99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand – Part IV

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

[ Part I ] [ Part II ] [ Part III ]

61. Seafood :: A plenty. Fresh. And cheap.

62. Ancient City (Muang Boran) :: A park in the shape of Thailand filled with more than 100 small-scale reproductions of the country’s important historic, religious, and royal sites. Some are resconstructions of structures that no longer exist.

63. Party…all the time! :: You know about Sanuk, Thai notion of fun and pleasure. (See #72) So we celebrate every occasion we can get from Chinese New Year to Christmas, birthday to funeral, when it rains to when there’s a drought. You name it!

64. Thai silk :: Traditional Thai silk. There’s nothing like it.

65. Isaan and Southern Cuisines :: The northeast (Isaan) and the south are not only well known for the hot weather but also the heat of their foods.

66. Takraw :: National sport which players handle a rattan ball with their feet, heads, knees and elbows. Sort of like Hacky-Sack. 2 styles to play. One is with players on each side of the net. Feet volleyball if you will. The other is scored more for your fancy moves to get the ball to the basket hanging high in the middle of the circle.

67. Thai folk music :: Luk Thung (Child of the Rice Field) music is kind of like American country music–songs about love and loss, harsh life, and other more risque topics, backed up by a throng of sequinned and plumed dancers. Moh-ram (Dance master) is lavishly costumed and more traditional–I’d say more like bluegrass. You’ll find those kind of music blaring in your taxi cabs or any Isaan restuarants. For a more rock n’ roll field, it’s the Plaeng Peua Cheevit–Songs for Life–very much true to the spirit of the 60s activist folk songs. You’ve read about Carabao on this blog before, and that’s their kind of music. The joint for that is at the Tawandaeng.

68. Chao Phraya Express Boat :: A quick way to get through town and what a view!

69. Bird Watching :: More than 900 species, people. That’s one-tenth of the world’s species!

71. Sea Kayaking :: Paddle through and explore the limestone caves of Krabi and Phuket in one of these.

72. Sanuk :: Sanuk, although literally means “fun”, is more than that. All night party is sanuk. Watching an action film is sanuk. Teasing your friend is sanuk. Laying out on the beach doing nothing can be sanuk. To quote the magazine, you feel it not when you laugh, but when you’ve developed this attitude, for better or worse, that things–including life itself–can’t be all that bad no matter what the situation.

73. Koh Hong, Phuket :: Hong means room, and this island has plenty of that…built in limestone. Koh Hong is an island jutting out of Phang-gna Bay near Phuket in Krabi. It has a network of collasped caves and stone formations, and beautiful beach.

74. Bangkok (and all its adjectives!) :: Sprawling, delicious, traditional, overdeveloped, exotic, golden, infuriating, astonishing, pungent, ultra-modern, creative, tropical, hectic, contemporary, surprising, stressful, frenetic, hip , steamy, cheap, refreshing, frantic, spicy, smiling, sublime, historic, regal, air-conditioned, urban, atmospheric, fast-paced, mad, graceful, riverine, farcical, crowded, surprising, hungry, cacophonous, sexy, dynamic, confusing and aromatic. And. Much. Much. More.

75. Nightlife :: Although the curfew is now oh-so-early, there are still a lot of action going on from DJ sets to live indie bands. More festivals and private parties are catching on.

76. The Emerald Buddha :: He’s small, green, and 500 years old. No, he ain’t Yoda. The Emerald Buddha is 66 cm. high. His cloak is changed three times a year according to the change of the seasons traditionally by the King, now by the Crown Prince.

77. Sukhothai :: The capital of the first Siamese Kingdom (mid 13th to late 14th century), Sukhothai once extended south to Nakhon Si Thammarat, east to Vientiane and west to Pagu. The city is 12 km. away from Bangkok and well restored.

78. Kanom Moh Kaeng :: Sweet custard steamed to perfection in a square tin that is Kanom Moh Kaeng can only comes out of the palm sugar captial of Thailand, Petchburi. This is a pit stop town for people on the way to and from Hua-Hin and Cha-Am.

79. Mekong River :: Cruise a few kilos of the 750 km. length of the Thai border on Mekong, veering into Laos for a bit, up in the north and northeast.

80. The King’s Birthday :: The best fireworks of the year is over Sanam Luang on the King’s birthday December 5. Not to mention that the entire city is all lit up all the way through New Year’s. Oh yes, it is also Father’s Day.

We’re almost there, folks. 19 more to go. I hope to get that in here tomorrow night. Given that I finish my homework AND baking cookies for my AIDS Walk fundraiser. 😉 See you then!

2 responses to “99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand – Part IV

  1. Thank you for the detailed explanation/definition of “Sanuk”. I know what it feels like but could never put it into words.

  2. Koh Hong (Hong = room) is located in Krabi. I insist this fact since I’ve been there twice already!