Spirit of Thailand

Spirit of Thailand

Culture, Relationships,
Thai Massage, Traveling

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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Visa Runs And Serendipity In Thailand

Thai/Burmese border post
Thai/Burmese border post

Here in Thailand there is a kind of visa which requires that you leave the country once every three months, even if only for 5 minutes.

It’s called a non-immigrant visa, and you can get it at some embassies outside of Thailand if you qualify.

Like thousands of other foreigners I have to make a “visa run” every 90 days to the Burmese border (The country is called Burma or Myanmar) to get my new stamp.

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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 2562? 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 2562 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, 2019 years ago.

The Buddhist calendar starts with the birth of Buddha, 2562 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 2019.

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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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Why I Went To Thailand

Wat Rong Khun Thailand
Wat Rong Khun, the white temple near Chiang Rai, Thailand

By contributing author Meghan Pierce

Like most people, I felt a strong urge to flee the nest right after high school and to go and experience life on my own. Going to school at a university wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to just learn about the world, I wanted to experience it. I had my mind set that the only way this was ever going to happen was if I traveled.

I wanted an experience that was unlike anything that would ever happen to me in Western civilization. I had an imaginary globe spinning around in my head and it wasn’t going to stop until I stepped foot on a plane and headed to a faraway land. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time.

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Why Are Thai Women Obsessed With Being White?

whitening cream in Thailand

Recently I purchased some sunblock cream in Thailand. When I checked the ingredients, I saw that they contained a whitening agent.

Since I did not want to be whitened or bleached, I checked some other brands – same story – all contained whitening agents.

I went to a couple more drugstores, and finally in the third one I found an imported sun block which did not contain any skin bleach.

I have known since a long time that most Thai women are obsessed with being as white as possible. They keep an array of whitening creams in their bathroom, and you can often spot them on the street.

Their bleached faces look much whiter than the rest of their bodies – kind of a ghostly look in my opinion.

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Health Care in Thailand

Dentist working on Thai girl
Dentist working on a Thai girl

How is healthcare in Thailand?

Sometimes people ask me what happens if they have to go to a doctor or dentist in Thailand.

They should really ask this question to the tens of thousands of people who fly to Thailand from all over the world every year to get excellent medical treatment for much lower prices than in their home country.

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How Many Ways Are There To Block A Sidewalk In Thailand?

Sidewalk in Thailand blocked with plants
The plants might look pretty, but they still block the sidewalk

You would think that sidewalks are meant for walking. At least that’s how it works in western countries. But in Asia this is not necessarily true. Although I have observed this in some other Asian countries as well, let’s talk about Thailand, because that’s where I live.

Sidewalks are often not very pretty affairs in Thailand. However I want to make a few things clear:

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Historic Old Town in Ko Lanta, Thailand

It’s this time of the year again when I had to escape from my usually beautiful home town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. During March and April the pollution levels are dangerously high due to seasonal agricultural burning. Whoever can, is leaving the city during this period.

Lanta Old Town street sign
Lanta Old Town street sign

This year my voluntary exile was Ko Lanta, an island in the south of Thailand with clean air and fresh sea breezes. While the island itself will be the subject of another article,  in this one I will focus on one tiny little spot on the island which happens to be quite unique. It is the historic Old Town.

Its character is quite different from the rest of the island. Ko Lanta is predominantly inhabited by Muslims. The heart of historic Old Town however is all Chinese.  It was settled over 100 years ago by a group of immigrants from China who arrived there by boat from their homeland.

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Religious Tolerance in Buddhist Thailand

Temple in Thailand

One of the aspects which I always appreciated about Thailand is its refreshing religious tolerance. Nobody ever tries to preach to you, nobody ever tries to convert you, nobody cares what religion you follow.

Here in Chiang Mai, where I live, several temples conduct regular “monk chats”. A monk is available to answer questions or tell stories or teach about Buddhist concepts. Anyone can attend, and some of those chats are held by English speaking monks for the benefit of western visitors.

You can be sure that the monk will not try to move you towards his religion, convince you of anything or expect you to change your behavior. This is always left up to you.

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