99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand – Part III

The 99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand List from Thai Airways’ Sawasdee Magazine continues.

[ Part I ] [ Part II ]

41. Golfing

42. Street Foods :: Duh! Do I even have to go into details here? Sawasdee Magazine points to noodles of China Town, northern curries around Dusit area, southern roti on Phra Athit Road, and northeastern Thai BBQ chicken on every corner! My personal advice, look where the crowd gathers at lunch time and eat there!

43. Loy Kratong Festival :: Sing with me now! ./~ November full moon shines, Loy Kratong, Loy Kratong. (Yes, I know the English version of the whole song. Learned it for international camp gazillion years ago.) Usually on the full moon night of November, Thai folks take ther kratongs, an open-lotus shaped floating object, to the river as an offering to the river goddess. They light the candles on the kratongs, so the river is lit up by all these floating lanterns. Being a Thai festival, of course, parties and fireworks ensue nationwide! My mother treated Brandon and I to the extravangaza at the Oriental last year. Obviously, up and down the river at hotels and even restuarants there are celebrations. Even the inland hotels have them poolside!

44. Thai Talismans :: Ancient warriors wore them for protection and special powers. Today’s amulets still have the same effects on believers. From miniature Buddha to ancient scroll and tiger’s fang, head down to Chinatown for the city’s oldest amulet market.

45. Old Town Bangkok:: Check out all the nooks and crannies of Chareon Krung road. Through each Soi, small street, you can find modern townhome next to 1920s architecture.

46. Thai Garlands – Puang Malai :: You’ve seen these on the dashboard of taxi cabs, at places of worship, used to welcome state guests by the prime minister. Jasmine garlands made fresh daily and can be purchased just about anywhere.

47. Thai Script :: Thai alphabets were invented over 700 years ago, and evolved since then to become what we have today. The first record of the alphabets were carved on the Sila Jaruk, a black stone pillar. I believe there’s a replica at the National Museum in Bangkok.

48. Meditation :: Peaceful environment (outside the city and probably some patches in Bangkok) helps with meditation or perhaps outdoor yoga. When in doubt, you can always find a corner at a temple to sit and meditate. Tons of meditation camp/lessons are available anywhere you go.

49. Thai fruits :: Exotic and deeelicious! Richard has also blogged about the wonders that are Thai fruits. Please check his archive for your drooling pleasure.

50. Lampang :: Lampang is known as the friendly town. Up in the north, it’s famous for teak houses reflecting Thai and Burmese influence, and home of the last remaining horse drawn carriages.

51. Koh Lanta :: 50 kilometers south of Krabi province lies an island of 2 seasons–low (wet) and high (dry). Not too off the beaten path, but still have stretches of quiet beach.

52. Local Ice Cream :: More than just the coconut ice cream served in buns topped with sweet fruits! Some other boutique joints offer more adventurous flavors like tamarind, basil, lychee, and mangosteen.

53. Climbing Phang-nga Bay :: Head south for some limestone face time.

54. Thai Elvis :: Elvis impersonator swivels his hips nightly at Radio City. As for Los Angelenos, you don’t have to go far. LA has a Thai Elvis at the Palms Thai Restaurant in Hollywood!

55. Head Case :: This one will explain a lot about the whole head is sacred thing with Thai people. I’ll type it word for word. For Thais, a person’s body is a sacred temple, and the head symbolizes a crown of conscience that deserves highest reverence. It’s disrespectful to pat anybody on the head, and it’s a blasphemy to place your feet near or at the same level as another person’s head, especially your parents. Observe how people take utmost prudence when dealing with other people’s heads–it will be appreciated and you’ll learn another reason why the country is so special.

56. Thai Spices :: Fresh herbs and ready-made chili pastes for all occasions.

57. Northern Food :: While in Chiang Mai, check these guys out: authentic and affordable Huen Phen, riverside Huen Soontaree along with the famous Lanna entertainer performing nightly, more rare recipes of the north at Rachamankha Hotel, flower in your food at Saimok Kab Dokmai. Finally, for the famous Khao Soy, coconut based curry with meat and noodles, try Khao Soy Samurjai.

The 99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand List from Thai Airways’ Sawasdee Magazine continues.

[ Part I ] [ Part II ]

41. Golfing

42. Street Foods :: Duh! Do I even have to go into details here? Sawasdee Magazine points to noodles of China Town, northern curries around Dusit area, southern roti on Phra Athit Road, and northeastern Thai BBQ chicken on every corner! My personal advice, look where the crowd gathers, at lunch time and eat there!

43. Loy Kratong Festival :: Sing with me now! ./~ November full moon shines, Loy Kratong, Loy Kratong. (Yes, I know the English version of the whole song. Learned it for international camp gazillion years ago.) Usually on the full moon night of November, Thai folks take ther kratongs, an open-lotus shaped floating object, to the river as an offering to the river goddess. They light the candles on the kratongs, so the river is lit up by all these floating lanterns. Being a Thai festival, of course, parties and fireworks ensue nationwide! My mother treated Brandon and I to the extravangaza at the Oriental last year. Much different than the everyday-people way I’ve done growing up. Definitely more farangs present. 😉

44. Thai Talismans :: Ancient warriors wore them for protection and special powers. Today’s amulets still have the same effects on believers. From miniature Buddha to ancient scroll and tiger’s fang, head down to Chinatown for the city’s oldest amulet market.

45. Old Town Bangkok:: Through each Soi, small street, you can find modern townhome next to 1920s architecture. Check out all the nooks and crannies of Chareon Krung road.

46. Thai Garlands – Puang Malai :: You’ve seen these on the dashboard of taxi cabs, at places of worship, used to welcome state guests by the prime minister. Jasmine garlands made fresh daily and can be purchased just about anywhere.

47. Thai Script :: Thai alphabets were invented over 700 years ago, and evolved since then to become what we have today. The first record of the alphabets were carved on the Sila Jaruk, a black stone pillar.

48. Meditation :: We have clear water and clean air (outside of the city, of course). And plenty of places to learn to meditate and perhaps do some outdoor yoga.

49. Thai fruits :: Richard has also blogged about the wonders that are Thai fruits. Please check the archive for further drooling.

50. Lampang :: Lampang is known as the friendly town. Up in the north, it’s famous for teak houses reflecting Thai and Burmese influence, and home of the last remaining horse drawn carriages.

51. Koh Lanta :: 50 kilometers south of Krabi province lies an island of 2 seasons–low (wet) and high (dry).

52. Local Ice Cream :: More than just the coconut ice cream served in buns topped with sweet fruits! Some other boutique joints offer more adventurous flavors like tamarind, basil, lychee, and mangosteen.

53. Climbing Phang-nga Bay :: Head south for some limestone face time.

54. Thai Elvis :: Elvis impersonator swivels his hips nightly at Radio City. As for Los Angelenos, you don’t have to go far. LA has a Thai Elvis at the Palms Thai Restaurant in Hollywood!

55. Head Case :: This one will explain a lot about the whole head is sacred thing with Thai people. I’ll type it word for word. For Thais, a person’s body is a sacred temple, and the head symbolizes a crown of conscience that deserves highest reverence. It’s disrespectful to pat anybody on the head, and it’s a blasphemy to place your feet near or at the same level as another person’s head, especially your parents. Observe how people take utmost prudence when dealing with other people’s heads–it will be appreciated and you’ll learn another reason why the country is so special.

56. Thai Spices :: Fresh herbs and ready-made chili pastes for all occasions.

57. Northern Food :: While in Chiang Mai, check these guys out: authentic and affordable Huen Phen, riverside Huen Soontaree along with the famous Lanna entertainer performing nightly, more rare recipes of the north at Rachamankha Hotel, flower in your food at Saimok Kab Dokmai. Finally, for the famous Khao Soy, coconut based curry with meat and noodles, try Khao Soy Samurjai.

58. 19th Century Phuket :: 19th Century buildings built by prosperous Chinese merchants on Krabi, Thalang and Dibuk Roads.

59. Jatujak Market :: There is NO shopping experience like a day at J-J! Thousands of stalls. 2 days a week. Everything from amulets, clothes to wear to work, food, to (shh…you didn’t hear it from me…pirated movies) handmade paper and other handicrafts.

60. Khao Yai National Park :: Go camping in the lush jungle 2-hour drive from Bangkok. I was there when I was a wee child. We did drive out at night with our flashlights to see if we could spot wildlife. We saw some deer. And we found tiger paw prints in the morning too!

I took yesterday off as it was Labor Day for us here in the Yankee land. I have a project due on Wednesday (yes, taking classes again…A is for Asian, I tell you!) so you’ll see me back with the list later this week with the next 20 of the remaining 39.

5 responses to “99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand – Part III

  1. haha, I saw that Thai Elvis at The Palm back in 2002. More memorable was the fact that the food there was great! Can’t wait to go back.

  2. Hunting for street foods outside of the major cities can be daunting task. For individual who is seeking street foods out side of Bangkok, I suggest you to visit the street vendors that have a lot of province (local) polices there.

    There is a common Thai saying that “when the police eat at your vendors, the food is considered to be very delicious.” So the next time you visit the street foods and you see a lot of local policemen and policewomen on the province street vendors, go there. Plus you might even try some exotic foods that you never try before (e.g. stir fry bugs, glass hopper, and deep fry fog with vegetable). Good luck.

  3. NONG JAU INTHARATH

    Hi! 1st time i enter this web…

  4. Definetly that Thai-Elvis guy is a bit of a character. Don’t know how old he is now but i’d guess around the same age as Elvis if he were still alive today. Check out The Thai-Beatles around BKK too, geez theyre pretty decent, great noodle-soup bowl haircuts!

    Stranga there how Lampang gets a mention. Would agree, its one of me fave provinces in Thailand, lush countryside. Pity (or perhaps not a pity!) that foreign tourists seldom go there. As for the Banana Shake Backpackers, they stick to the same old routes, even though they claim that they ‘have come to get off the beaten track’!

  5. I also found it strange that “Sawasdee” rated Lampang as unmissable -but for a different reason.
    I was totally underwhelmed when I visited.
    Sure, the surrounding countryside is great, but I found the town centre itself pretty crowded and polluted -certainly riding around in a carriage with one of the “cowboy” drivers was not too enjoyable with all the traffic and exhaust fumes.
    Walking around, I failed to see the attraction Lampang supposedly has over other towns. It was not bad, but it was not good either. Just average. Much preferred Queen Chama Thevi’s other town, Lamphun.