Spirit of Thailand

Spirit of Thailand

Culture, Relationships,
Thai Massage, Traveling

The Different Types Of Foreigners In Thailand

Thailand comic sign

People watching can be quite an interesting way to spend your time in Thailand. It’s not quite as much fun when it happens in the same environment, let’s say an American watching other Americans in a mall in Chicago.

However when you watch foreign visitors to Thailand in an environment which is not so familiar to them, you get to see some really interesting and sometimes hilarious types of behavior.

After having lived in Thailand for way over a decade, I have compiled a list of those behavior types.

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Amazing Big Festival in a Small Town in Thailand

The Atmosphere In Omkoi Thailand

The author, Shama Kern, and his wife Jang at dinner in Omkoi Thailand
The author, Shama Kern, and his wife Jang at dinner in scenic Omkoi Thailand.

Just when you thought you have seen Thailand, something totally unexpected happens. Like you happen to be in an ordinary and not particularly interesting town or village, and suddenly there is this gigantic festival happening which transforms the town into an exciting, happening, fascinating place.

This happened to me in the town of Omkoi in Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand. My wife and I were visiting friends there. When we arrived, there was a huge festival going on with music, food, dance performances, and many other events.

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Thailand High School Sports Competition

If you have children, this is for you! Watch a big high school event where students from several schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand, are competing in sports and dance. The dancing is similar to western cheer leaders, however the sports events are less serious and more fun.

There is ‘sack hopping’, chasing a little ball with green eggplants hanging from the hip, and other fun events. This is not a tourist event, but footage about real life in Thailand. Watch the video below:

Why Thai Women Don’t Mind Telling You Their Age

How old are you
The reaction to the same question in Thailand would be very different

Why do the Thais always ask you how old you are?

In the western world you don’t dare asking a woman how old she is. It is considered rude and intrusive, and many western women will flat out refuse to tell you their age.

The implied concept is that aging is a bad thing for a woman and should be hidden as much as possible. Being secretive about age and even lying about it is considered acceptable.

Now let’s move on over to Asia. Here comes our first time Thailand visitor, a woman for our story, and she is taken aback since people regularly ask her how old she is. Why are they so nosy in Thailand? Why do they pry into such intimate subjects?

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Thailand’s Velvet Military Coups

tourists posing with soldiers
Tourists are lining up to pose with the soldiers in Chiang Mai’s Sunday Market

I have lived through two military coup d’etats here in Thailand. They were both very uniquely Thai style affairs. Normally we associate coups with violence, shooting, arrests, and political prisons, in other words very unpleasant events.

However Thailand has come up with what I call “velvet coups”. I remember the first one in 2006. The army rolled out tanks in the streets of Bangkok. But instead of creating an atmosphere of terror among the citizens, many Thais took it as a fun event.

They climbed up on the tanks, handed flowers to the soldiers and had their pictures taken while posing on the tanks with the soldiers. No shots were fired and nobody got hurt.

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8 Unusual Applications For Motorbikes In Thailand

Motorbike parking at the mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Motorbike parking at the mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are lots of motorcycles in Thailand. Most of them are of the variety which we would call a moped or a scooter. They have small engines, between 100cc and 125cc in general, and they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of US $1000-$1300. They are easy to drive, easy to park and they are very maneuverable. And surprisingly they can carry quite a lot of weight despite their small size.

The Thais have been quite ingenious in coming up with lots of methods to use them. I have identified 8 methods how I have seen them used, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

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Why Does Thailand Have More Than One New Year?

Are you living on a different planet?

What if I told you that I live in a place where the year is 2559? No, I am not schizophrenic, I did not watch too many science fiction movies, and I do not live on another planet.

But I do live in Thailand, and the year is 2559 for the simple reason that they use the Buddhist calendar instead of the Christian one. The Christian (Gregorian) calendar starts with the birth of Jesus, 2016 years ago.

The Buddhist calendar starts with the birth of Buddha, 2559 years ago. Most dates in Thailand are written with the Buddhist year which tends to be very confusing for westerners. The trick is to subtract 543 years and you are right back to 2016.

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World Class Zoo In Chiang Mai, Thailand

colorful thai temple

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city. It is also the second most important city with a huge tourism industry. The latest push is to turn it into one of Asia’s main convention centers.

Chiang Mai’s population is exploding since it is one of the most appealing cities not only in Thailand but in all of Southeast Asia. Why? It still has a laid back atmosphere which has fallen by the wayside in Bangkok already. Despite being a major city, people are still friendly, courteous, helpful, and always ready to flash you a friendly smile.

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