Spirit of Thailand

Spirit of Thailand

Culture, Relationships,
Thai Massage, Traveling

10000 Monks Assemble in Ceremony of Thailand

Have you ever seen 10000 monks assembled in one place? Most likely not, but I was lucky enough to catch this unique event on camera here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

It was quite amazing, seeing 10000 monks chanting and collecting alms. This was a profound insight into the Thai Buddhist culture and one of those events that you never forget.

Although this used to be a yearly event, it was discontinued after 2011. So I caught the final time it took place on camera.

The author, Shama KernThe author, Shama Kern, has been living in Thailand and southeast Asia for two decades. When he is not traveling and exploring, he lives with his Thai wife in Chiang Mai. You can reach him at [email protected]

Great Free Entertainment in Thailand

Recently I visited a town in Thailand (Hua Hin), and I noticed that there was a festival going on. Whatever the Thai festivals are about, the most important thing is always eating. No food – no festival.

There is always a party atmosphere, announcers are talking non-stop over loudspeakers tuned to top volume, and often there are traditional Thai dances performed on a stage.

At this festival most of the dance performances were from the southern provinces of Thailand which have a large Muslim population and influence from Malaysia.

The music was really upbeat, the dancers pretty and talented, and the food great. Some of the vendors put on shows of their own. You got to see how they make drinks – it’s quite a performance.

Luckily I had my camera handy and I turned the highlights into a short movie that shows you what kind of free entertainment you are likely to find in Thai towns.

The author, Shama Kern

The author, Shama Kern, has been living in Thailand and southeast Asia for two decades. When he is not traveling and exploring, he lives with his Thai wife in Chiang Mai. You can reach him at [email protected]

Thai Yogi Meditating In Boiling Oil

Some time ago I heard that there is a “Thai Yogi” who meditates in boiling oil. That of course peaked my curiosity and I had to go there and check it out. The event took place in a temple called “Wat Tanak” near Chiang Mai, Thailand on February 6, 2011.

I caught the entire event on film just like it happened. Everything was in plain view the entire time. The abbot of the temple was there watching, and there were hundreds of spectators.

I referred to a “Thai Yogi”, but they are actually called “Luesii” in Thailand. This Luesii’s name is Sombet, and he has been putting on his amazing performance in several temples in Thailand.

It is obvious from the video that he prepared the vat in such a way that the heat of the boiling oil is somewhat reduced where he is sitting – and who can blame him for that!

Continue reading…Thai Yogi Meditating In Boiling Oil

Amazing Street Performance in Thailand

Every year the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, hosts several huge festivals. Visitors come by the tens of thousands from Thailand and abroad. The performances are truly spectacular.

While wandering around the festival site I came across a group of  students who were showcasing martial arts, dancing and drumming.

image of the the author, Shama KernThe author, Shama Kern, has been living in Thailand and southeast Asia for two decades. When he is not traveling and exploring, he lives with his Thai wife in Chiang Mai. You can reach him at [email protected]

Escape to Paradise in Phuket, Thailand

My home town of Chiang Mai, Thailand, gets unbearably hot during the months of March and April. This is the perfect time to escape to the beaches of southern Thailand where the climate is much more pleasant at that time.

This time I spent a few weeks in Phuket, which is Thailand’s largest island. It is not exactly an unspoiled hidden gem – it is highly developed and quite expensive.

But it is still beautiful – there are great beaches, lots of different restaurants to choose from, the scenery is amazing, and there are many interesting excursions you can go on.

If you are looking for an undiscovered remote island with budget prices, and you like the idea of roughing it, then Phuket is not for you.

But if you like the combination of great beaches and a large variety of things to do along with the convenience of all modern amenities, then Phuket might just be your ticket.

I had fun with my camera and even more fun putting together this beautiful video. 

image of the the author, Shama KernThe author, Shama Kern, has been living in Thailand and southeast Asia for two decades. When he is not traveling and exploring, he lives with his Thai wife in Chiang Mai. You can reach him at [email protected]

Vegetarian Festival in Thailand

Every year Thailand celebrates a nine day long vegetarian food festival. When I tell a Thai person that I am a vegetarian, the usual reaction is something like: ‘Very good, that’s great for your health, I admire that, but I could never do it”.

But during those nine days of the vegetarian festival many Thais actually switch to a largely non-meat diet. They consider it quite a sacrifice which is quite amusing for those of us who have been vegetarians for many years or even decades.

There is another aspect to this event. In some areas of Thailand members of the Chinese community practice quite weird and gruesome body piercing rituals while they are in a trance state.

This allows them to perform severe mutilations on their body without feeling the pain and without suffering any physical consequences. I wrote an article which shows pictures about those trance piercings.

Continue reading…Vegetarian Festival in Thailand

Blind Musicians in a Market in Thailand

Recently I went shopping in my local produce market here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and there was a band of blind musicians performing for donations. I thought they were quite good, and I captured one of their songs on video.

There are quite a few blind street musicians in Thailand, but you rarely find any that play quality music. This band had a really good repertoire.

It was evening, so there was not that much light, but since this is the best musical street performance by blinds that I have ever heard in Thailand, I thought it worth sharing.

The Beautiful Faces of Thailand

Thailand is known as the land of smiles. People will often spontaneously smile at you, for no apparent reason. You might be walking along the street, and a total stranger will flash you a beautiful smile, regardless of gender.

However Thailand is also the land of beautiful faces. Many Thais have attractive, relaxed, friendly features which are not distorted by stress. This is the country of “sabai sabai” – live and let live, and enjoy as much as you can.

Here is a visual presentation of one the most endearing aspects of Thai culture, the naturally beautiful faces of the Thai people.

A good show in a Chiang Mai market

Recently I went to my local fruit and veggie market here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. To my surprise there was a stage set up and there was a whole big show going on. It was put on by a phone company to promote their products, but the unusual thing was that they had some “ladyboys”, transsexuals, perform in the show. Luckily I had a camera with me and I caught the action. There are some pretty amazing things going on in Thailand, and this was definitely one of them!

An Amazing Temple Pilgrimage in Thailand

Every year there is an amazing temple pilgrimage happening in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This year, in 2010, it happened in late May. The goal is to walk up to Doi Suthep temple, which is the most venerated shrine in Chiang Mai. The challenge is that this temple is not in the city, but way up a steep mountain, 14 kilometers (9 miles) from the outskirts of the city.

Thais are not really much  into exercising in general, but on this day tens of thousands of people stream up the mountain – in the middle of the night! Daytime temperatures would almost certainly result in heat stroke for many participants, so people start walking in the evening when it is cooler.

Thais love to party and they have a real talent when it comes to organizing festivities. All the way up the long mountain road volunteers pass out thousands of free water bottles to prevent dehydration. There is free food for everyone too.

Continue reading…An Amazing Temple Pilgrimage in Thailand