Culture

Bua Ban: Chiang Rai’s rising star

Bua Ban: Chiang Rai’s rising star

People who have recently visited the foodcourt in Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar might have noticed a change in the entertainment program. Since August 2012 a relatively new artist called Bua Ban, which translates as Blossoming Lotus, is stealing the show. Bua Ban (Real name: Witchapon Wongtong), aged 22, has a mixed program of stand-up comedy and [...]

Thailand’s kuddle industry

Thailand’s kuddle industry

Welcome to the pagan Walhalla,  welcome to Thailand! Men are enjoying their days on the beach, drinking beer and having sex with any local they can get their hands on, whenever they feel like. Eventhough the stereotype of sextourism and sexpats in connection to the beautiful country persists, it is far from a catch-all phrase for [...]

Top 20 signs you know you’ve been living in Thailand too long

Top 20 signs you know you’ve been living in Thailand too long

I know this has been done before, but over the last months I have compiled a list of things that I regard as more or less typical for contemporary Thai culture and expats living here. 20. You explicitely order HOT coffee, but are used to being asked later: “Hot or cold?” 19. Foreigners stop assuming [...]

Do Thai / foreign couples have more make up sex?

Do Thai / foreign couples have more make up sex?

Last week Polly and I were visiting a Thai couple. During dinner a friend who was a lawyer dropped in. I had not met a Thai lawyer in his private time before, so after a few drinks I asked if it would be alright to ask a few questions about Thai law. One of my [...]

Tangun: The origin of Koreans in North Korean manga

Tangun: The origin of Koreans in North Korean manga

Tangun mausoleum near Pyongyang (NK) Tangun, a mythology about the father of the Korean people and founder of the first Korean kingdom, is mentioned in a number of sources and is believed to have some actual historical understructure. It gives some clues in understanding the unique traditional self-conception of Korean’s. See below a manga version from North [...]

Culture & history vs Action: 0-1

Culture & history vs Action: 0-1

Is the atractiveness of the temples of Angkor in decline? Covering at least 1000 square kilometer (390 sq mi), Angkor was by far the largest preindustrial city known to man. The sheer size and beauty of what is left of Angkor’s estimated 1000+ temples at the city’s core have puzzled foreign travelers as far back as the 16th century. [...]

Thai rocket festivals

Thai rocket festivals

In Thailand, Yasothon province is famous for it’s rocket festivals. Festivities will be held each year from May 11th till 15th. The tradition goes that rockets will help to kick off the rainy season needed for the farmers. The festivals are not restricted to Yasothon only. In neighbouring province Roi Et, villages organize their own festivities. [...]

Boiling Buddhists

Boiling Buddhists

Mea Salong, Chiang Rai, 19 Apr. 2012:A Buddhist monk sits in a bowl of boiling water on a wood log fire for an extended period.Somehow his body and skin remain unaffected. Sorry for the quality, but I took this photofrom the display of someone’s camera. Here’s a video of a similar event held last year:

Life is easy, Thai style

Jon Jandai is a farmer from North-Thailand. He founded the Pun Pun Center for Self-reliance, an organic farm outside Chiang Mai, with his wife Peggy Reents in 2003. Pun Pun doubles as a center for sustainable living and seed production, aiming to bring indigenous and rare seeds back into use. It regularly hosts training on [...]

Katoey in historical and social perspective

Katoey in historical and social perspective

All katoey band, Venus Flytrap Tolerant and protective about human rights as people try to be, in a growing part of the world post- and/or pre-operative transgender people are now allowed to change their official identity from M to F or vice versa. The Thai concept of katoey however is hardly understood in the West. Commonly [...]