Issue 30 / January 2014
Chinese New Year LOMPRAYAH CUSTOMER CARE
+66 (0) 2-629-0011
Editor’s Talk Hello, January Happy New Year everyone. Did you enjoy your countdown night and the long vacation? When the New Year begin, people usually has new goals, we’re also. Our goals are to published a good magazine and provide many useful articles to make you enjoy our magazine as much as we can. International New Year celebration has passed already, but Chinese New Year is not. So, as a highlight, we decided to put ten places where organized the interesting events for Chinese New Year festival. You will find that the Chinese New Year celebration is not in the China or Asia only, but it’s worldwide. However, Bangkok is one of those places which organize this festival, but if you don’t sure if it good idea to celebrate in Bangkok, just move to the ‘Real Story’ column, it’s about the tourist who joined the Chinese New Year in Bangkok. Now, it’s time to leave again. Please enjoy our Lomprayah magazine. Good bye.
Editor in Chief
Executive Editor Wanitcha Sukchet Tinn Chacalanuwattanapong
Editorial Staff Vorapong Vongvarothai Juntiya Laoniyomthai Areeya Pichittanabordeekul Jiraporn Boonta Saksid Boonrawang Kitthawat Chaisingthong
Art Director Methakritsada Wanngoen
Graphic Designer Photjanard Kantiwong
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is considered the most important and extravagant traditional Chinese celebration of the year. The celebration falls on a different day each year depending on the cycles of the moon and the sun. It is a time for celebration and family reunion. People celebrate by lighting firecrackers and decorating their homes with auspicious signs on their front doors to ward off evil spirits. It’s also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. The Chinese people are living in many countries, so the Chinese New Year celebration is not organized in China only, but also in another place. The following are the interesting place where the festival is organized.
Beijing, the capital of China, is the heart of the Chinese New Year festivities. Celebrations include Spring Festival carnivals, Peking Opera, acrobatics and tea culture displays. However, the most important celebration activity during the Spring Festival in Beijing is Temple fair. This traditional cultural event integrates religious worship and entertainment, and features almost all kinds of Chinese folk art. Temple fairs in Beijing have a long history, and the origin can be traced back to the Liao Dynasty (907 – 1125). The fairs are held at various ancient temples regularly or during festivals, so they are called “temple fairs”. For foreigners, visiting a temple fair is definitely a cultural experience. You may enjoy the reenactment of the ceremony of worship to Earth and Heaven. Folk performances like dragon and lion dances, demonstration of traditional arts and crafts, and fun games are all part and parcel of temple fairs. You can also taste numerous Beijing snacks, court dishes and delicacies. And to end the celebration, you can attend the annual Lantern Festival to witness wonderful and bright handcrafted lanterns.
San Francisco USA The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is the oldest and largest event of its kind outside of Asia, and the largest Asian cultural event in North America. Every year, since 1860, the Chinese community in San Francisco celebrates the start of the Lunar New Year in a giant parade. The strong impression on the spectators is created by the colors, music and the numerous participants. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival More than hundred groups display ancient Chinese tradition. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival No parade in the western world can compete with this parade. Numerous exploding firecrackers, ferocious lions, elaborate costumes, gorgeous floats, and of course the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and her court take part in the parade. The parade attracts thousands of spectators who fill the streets along its course. One of the beautiful attractions is the 1200ft (61 meters) long Golden Dragon. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival It is carried by 100 men and women from the martial arts.
Hong Kong In Hong Kong, the Spring Festival is the biggest holiday, and people celebrate differently than in the Mainland. People mark the occasion with a unique fusion of modern fun and ancient customs. The three days of Spring Festival events often make it to the top of the lists of world festival events. On the evening of Chinese New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, there is a carnival-like night parade and international Spring Festival entertainment night with performing groups from many countries. After the parade, you can hang out and have fun in the streets afterwards. Also, the Victoria Harbor is the site which displays beautiful synchronized fireworks against the city skyline for almost 30 minutes.
Melbourne Australia Melbourne is one of the city which has a special Chinese New Year celebration. Not only at the Chinatown on Little Bourke Street, but there will be various venues showcasing over 50 performances, for example Chinese opera and singing, karaoke competition, numerous stalls of culinary delights, arts and crafts, Chinese chess competitions, lion dances, dragon parades, calligraphy and childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s events. This festival is open to all, young and old and its aim is to share the Chinese Cultural heritage of Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chinese community.
Bangkok Thailand Because there have been Chinese in Thailand for a long time, the customs and traditions of the Chinese have become a part of the local Thai culture. Outside the mainland of China, there is the largest community of Chinese in Thailand, where most everyone enjoys everything that is related to the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year brings one of the most exhilarating celebrations to Yaowarat, which is officially the Chinatown of Bangkok. Yaowarat neighborhood comes to life with crowds of worshippers, exploding firecrackers, dragon dancers, and families of Chinese descent who gather to partake in the street fanfare as well as enjoy sumptuous Chinese banquets. In addition to acrobats and lion dances, you can find colorful Chinese operaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.
New York USA Since 1999, New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chinese American community has celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year with an annual parade and festival. Held each year on a Sunday in February, the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival features a wide range of cultural activities in Chinatown. Each year over 500,000 New Yorkers and visitors pack the streets of Chinatown and Sara Roosevelt Park for the annual Lunar New Year celebrations. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Cultural Festival takes place each year at Sara Roosevelt Park. Each year, activities at the cultural festival follow a zodiac theme. Events at past cultural festivals have included a dog parade, pig race, and live music performances. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival is free, and all ages are welcome to celebrate the Lunar New Year with age-old customs. After the celebrations, enjoy traditional foods and drinks at the restaurants, bars, and cafes nearby in Chinatown.
Singapore Chinese New Year in Singapore finds the city streets alive with the sights of red lanterns, the sounds of music and the smells of the many stalls that are set up with tasty treats. One of these areas is Chinatown, which is known for its night markets, beautiful street light-ups and decorations, is one of the main focal points for celebrations in Singapore. The main event being the Chingay Parade, which is more like a grand carnival with fire-eaters, magnificent floats, dance acts, magicians and other thrilling spectacles. Even though it is a parade, it is held on the huge grounds of the Formula One Pit Building beside the waterfront Marina. Another event that is also popular during the Chinese New Year is the River Hongbao. This event is held in mid February a little closer to the end of Chinese New Year, when the area comes to life with more street performances, lanterns, shopping, games and of course the crowd favorite, the fireworks. The best time to discover Singapore is during their Chinese New Year, when you will be both be entertained and learn about the culture and traditions of Singapore and China.
London England London’s Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest outside Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to wish each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (or Happy New Year). London celebrations taking place in Chinatown, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square with a number of activities. Festivities begin at 10am with a parade which begins at Duncannon Street, moving along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. An official opening ceremony then takes place in Trafalgar Square with speeches from special guests. Once officially opened, the real celebrations kick off with Dragon dancing, music and performances on the Trafalgar Square stage. Join the throng in a stall-covered Chinatown for fun and firecrackers on and around Gerrard Street, Lisle Street and Shaftesbury Avenue where there are impromptu parties, food stalls and lion dancing.
Sydney Australia Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is considered to be the largest and most spectacular Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia. Running January 24 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; February 9, 2014 in Sydneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chinatown, the festival is host to over 600,000 attendees and more than 80 events to choose from. Spanning over three weeks, the Chinese New Year Festival features a spectacular Twilight Parade filled with illuminated floats, zodiac lanterns, building projections and over 2,500 dancers, acrobats, martial artists and performers. In addition, the festival is bursting with cultural events, outdoor markets, Chinese opera performances, dragon boat races, market tours and evening street food stalls. In recent years, the festival has expanded to recognize and embrace other countries observance of the Lunar Calendar by incorporating Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese performances.
Since 1999, New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chinese American community has celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year with an annual parade and festival. Held each year on a Sunday in February, the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival features a wide range of cultural activities in Chinatown. Each year over 500,000 New Yorkers and visitors pack the streets of Chinatown and Sara Roosevelt Park for the annual Lunar New Year celebrations. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Cultural Festival takes place each year at Sara Roosevelt Park. Each year, activities at the cultural festival follow a zodiac theme. Events at past cultural festivals have included a dog parade, pig race, and live music performances. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival is free, and all ages are welcome to celebrate the Lunar New Year with age-old customs. After the celebrations, enjoy traditional foods and drinks at the restaurants, bars, and cafes nearby in Chinatown. It seems like the celebrations in every country are the same; red lantern, dragon and lion dance or Chinese opera, but actually each country has its own charm. Someone enjoy the festival in Beijing, while someone loves to see the Chinese culture in the western city like San Francisco. Well, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about you? Have you decided to visit somewhere for celebrating the Chinese New Year?
Koh Libong is not your typical postcard island getaway -- the accommodation is on the rustic side, tourists are far outnumbered by locals, and the beaches and swimming are not the greatest Thailand has to offer. Even so, Libong offers a unique chance to enjoy a laidback, isolated atmosphere, a memorable nature-jungle experience, and to get a sense of local island village life.
From Koh Libong, visitors can get a good view of Koh Chao Mai and Chao Mai Cape. To reach the island, take a boat that leaves every hour at Hat Yao Ban Chao Mai Pier. The fare for the 30 minute trip is 400 baht per boat. Accommodations are provided on the island. For more information, please contact the Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve, P.O. Box 5, Amphoe Kantang, Trang, tel. 0-7525-1932.
If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for luxury resorts, spa treatments and perfect English-speaking hotel staff, then you might as well stop reading right now. But if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re tired of the over-development and crowds on places like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samet, and Koh Lipe, and are looking for deserted beaches and thick but accessible jungle, then Koh Libong is for you. Koh Libong, Trangs largest island is located in Tambon Libong and is part of the Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve whose headquarters are located here. With an area of 40,000 square kilometers, Koh Libong, which is a haven for holidaymakers, has many fishing villages where most of the residents are Muslims. The island has many capes and beaches such as Tup Beach, Chu Hoi Cape, Thuat Cape, and To Chai Cape. At low tide visitors can walk across the beach from Chu Hoi Cape to Koh Tup where numerous seabirds and mangrove birds from colder climates congregate during their migration. Around the island are masses of seaweed where rare herds of manatees can be seen. It is : www.phuket101.net/2011/01/surin-beach-phuket.html also the home of a variety of native andCredit migratory www.phuket-plaza.com/travel-guide/surin-beach birds that are most abundant in winter. Photo : Kimberly Sue Blake (see more photo on : http://chinapictureoftheday.blogspot.com/2010/12/22-december-2010-surin-beach.html )
Laytrang The best â&#x20AC;&#x153;Freshâ&#x20AC;? Dim-Sum in Trang
Open hours : 6:00 am - 2:00 pm and
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. on Monday to Sunday Contact :
075-217700, 0816655870, 0897723080 https://th-th.facebook.com/laytrang.dimsum
Laytrang restaurant opens only two times which are 6:00 am - 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. For the breakfast and brunch, the restaurant offers more than 40 dishes of fresh-cooking DimSum. In the evening, the restaurant offers fresh delicious seafood. Here is also the place where you can taste the Trang traditional food. Laytrang restaurant also provides you both of indoor and outdoor location.
at Thalang Road, Phuket
‘Lard’ in southern Thai language means market, a place where you can find rare goods for sale and great entertainment. Actually, we are talking about the hip and exciting walking street of Phuket. Every Sunday from 16:00 to 22:00, avid shoppers of all race and ages would gather at Thalang Road to enjoy bargaining and buying unique, handmade goods while enjoying local entertainment on this cultural 100 years old street. Vendors would bring their goods and set up stalls along the street. You can find different things including local snacks and food, souvenir items, one-of-a-kind handmade products that require a lot of imagination in the making. Performances are staged at various corners of the long street and visitors will find anything from high school bands playing the King’s musical compositions to jazz bands romancing the lovers’ crowd.
A little further away is the reggae group filling the air with fun rhythm. At another end, the chill out crowd gathers to enjoy bossanova music. Adding color to the scene are the street artists of various talents. Some show their aerobics dance skills while others get attention by dressing up as ghosts, angels and other characters. Food is in abundant supply and variety. There are so much savories and sweets to try; it is hard to decide where to begin. Strolling around Laad Yai or Big Market is every bit fun and filling. The Sino-Portuguese style buildings that line the street add even more magic to the ambiance. But more than anything, it was the smiles that were exchanged between shoppers and passersby that made the entire atmosphere so friendly and enjoyable.
Credit : www.pathsunwritten.com/2013/02/26/chinese-new-year-in-bangkok
Chinese New Year in
by Benjamin Williams
On a random whim of a hosted couchsurfer, I was on a riverboat down the Chao Phraya to see what the hubbub of Chinese New Year entails in a country much more influenced by China than anywhere I had been before. From the Ratchawong riverboat pier, it was only a short walk to Yaowarat Road, the usually-congested artery through the Bangkok Chinatown neighborhood.
While Yaowarat is routinely decorated with Chinese banners and occasionally lanterns hanging over the streets, it was most certainly on full display this evening. Currents of opposing shoulder-to-shoulder pedestrians stuffed in between knick-knack sellers instead replaced the traffic that usually plagues the narrow two-lane road. Nevertheless, a stray car occasionally forced its way through.
While the street was exceptionally busy, I was quite honestly expecting more to be going on than vendors and some decorations. I was a little underwhelmed. And then the drums came. Three drummers behind a wheeled speaker cart dragged behind them a 100-meter or so long lighted dragon carried by dozens of people. In the process, all onlookers were shoved to the furthest edges of the road as it passed by us. Still, this huge monster lined with Christmas lights was quite a sight to watch.
Liz, the couchsurfer who had come with me had read about a must-eat soup stand that was very near where we were, as determined by a few iPhone GPS checks. The area where this soup stand was had a myriad of food vendors. This took us a while to track down what we thought was the right one. They served us a different soup than their specialty was supposed to be. So either this was the wrong stand or, as Liz suggested, they had changed things up in the 3 years since the guide she had read was written. Toward the end of Yaowarat Road, where the Chinatown gate is located, was where most of the entertainment was going on. Here was much more than just the food and trinket vendors. Crowds gathered around dancing dragons and Chinese break-dancers in what looked to be porcelain headpieces. The most entertaining part of this routine, I thought, was the dragons “eating” the bought that people gave them after their dance routine. Since the dancers’ hands controlled the dragons’ mouths, they simply took the money and handed it to the others following them around. A large stage was also set up with two female announcers doing something I couldn’t figure out. But as far as things I really couldn’t figure out; a large crowd was grouped around something next to the Gate monument. Liz and I worked our way in to see what the fuss was about. On the ground were a duck and a small dog. They
were dressed in clothes, but not doing anything. I am completely baffled as to the attention they were getting.
Next to the stage was an intriguing Chinese temple centered around a shrine to Kuan Yin, a female deity of mercy, which seems to predate Buddhism. In an interesting instance of syncretism, she was absorbed into Buddhism as a bodhisattva, and is often associated with Avalokitesavara, the current steward of souls to Nirvana. It seems fitting that this temple then adorns a small Chinese hospital as well. Looming over the entire area is Wat Traimit, the temple of the solid Golden Buddha. Its ornate marbel-esque tower and golden rooftop shined in the light of all the red Chinese lanterns. The crowds of the celebration were certainly thinning out here. We had the option to enter the main temple for the arbitrary ticket fee, but decided against it, instead walking a few blocks away in order to get a taxi. This proved much more difficult than expected, and we finally settled for a decent enough tuk-tuk price back to Pinklao.
Chinese New Year in
by Benjamin Williams
Thailand National Children’s Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in January. Known as “Wan Dek” in Thailand, Children’s Day is celebrated to give children the opportunity to have fun and to create awareness about their significant role towards the development of the country. It was originally created in response to UNICEF day for children but since it was originally on a fixed day in October it caused problems as it was rainy season and it could happen during the week so, children and their parents could not really participate. So in 1964 it was decided to make it a fixed Saturday in the cool season. So from 1965 onwards it has always been the second Saturday in January.
Many Government offices are open to children and their family; this includes the Government House, the Parliament House Complex and various Military installations. These events may include a guided tour and an exhibition. A notable example is the guided tour at the Government House, where children have an opportunity to view the Prime Minister’s office and sit at the bureau. The Royal Thai Air Force usually invites children to go and explore the aircraft and the Bangkok Bank distributes stationery, such as pens, pencils and books to every child that enters the bank as a community service. Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children. Children can enter zoos or ride buses for free.
Credit : www.history.com/topics/christmas, www.happywink.org/christmas-day/christmas-tradition.html
Predictions for the month of
Rup Krishen Baqaya
Aries: You will spend time with the family and enjoy it. In mid moth you will be socially in demand. You are however advised to steer clear of rumor mongers. There could be some upheavals which would knock you off course, but you will soon regain your nerve. Taurus: There is new love in your life. You will be lost in the throes of passion. There will also be many expenses as you indulge in hectic shopping and travel. Gemini: Your mind continues to play games. You have to get a grip on it before it overpowers you. You are advised to play down your personal feelings to some extent. Cancer: Your affairs will stabilize now and you make sustained progress. You may enter a new relationship and may spend steamy times with your beloved. Leo: You make many flamboyant career moves. You take risks without worrying for the consequences. Finances continue to occupy your attention and your shrewd moves may result in good profits.
There is new intensity in all your endeavors. There is love, passion, new assignments and a lot of contacts and correspondence. You are keen on worldly achievements and take your career to the next level of success. However, there may be a need to temper your activities as you could be grossly overindulgent.
You spend quality time with loved ones as there are emotional moments at home. You may take a relationship to the next level. Even marriage could be on the cards. Results at the workplace will be good.
You are able to sort out all misgivings, arguments by sweet talking your way through situations. There could be international travel and new interests. You may take up gardening, nature walks or even spirituality.
You manage to steady the boat with your hard work. As a boss, you will lead by example. You will also learn the respect of your peers.
A lot of movement, communications and contact are indicated. You are networking furiously and are in touch with everyone that matters. You could be at the vanguard of a social movement and if so will have a large following. You may also meet long lost friends.
You will work very hard and get kudos from all for your phenomenal efforts. Your prestige will reach an all time high. You are advised not to spend recklessly. Stay modest and treat everyone, the big and the small equally.
You have many emotional moments in this phase. You look back at life and all that u missed out on, and are filled with regret and sadness. It is no use crying over spilt milk and you are advised to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated.
Credit : blog.comfi.com/2013/09/06/5-ways-to-avoid-getting-sick-while-traveling
5 ways to avoid getting sick while traveling by ComFi Blog Nothing puts a damper on a vacation like falling ill. It’s not uncommon for people to pick up colds while they’re abroad – after all, you’re likely exposed to various types of germs that may not be part of your everyday environment. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to prevent yourself from catching a cold while you’re traveling. Here are some tips :
Get plenty of sleep When you are lacking sleep, your immune system is weak, making it much easier for you to contract an illness. That’s why you have to make sure you get plenty of shut-eye the night before you leave, once you arrive at your destination, and if possible, while you’re in transit. Bring an eye mask and neck pillow on long train trips. If it’s really hard for you to sleep while you’re traveling, consider purchasing an over-the-counter sleep aid.
More washing You probably wash your hands a few times a day after eating or using the rest room, but when you’re traveling, you need to bump this habit into high gear. Because you’ll be in public places, you’re going to be exposed to germs a lot more than you normally would. That’s why it’s a good idea to wash your hands more frequently. Having some hand sanitizer in your bag makes it much easier to keep bad bacteria at bay.
Sound of mind Many illnesses are stress-related, so it’s important that you do your best to minimize anxiety while traveling. This may mean practicing breathing exercises, listening to calming music or using a calling card to keep in touch with a loved one back home who may be able to help you relax. During layovers, you may want to find an open space that would allow you to do a few simple exercises, like jumping jacks or pushups, as working out can also help reduce stress.
Eat well Your body needs lots of healthy nutrients to ward off illness, so do your best to eat well while you’re traveling. This is easier said than done, seeing that many airports only offer unhealthy dining options. Bringing your own snacks is one way around this issue. Pack a few healthy items, like fresh fruit or vegetables, in your carry-on luggage and you’ll be good to go.
Lompraya News Lomlahk Khirin High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. opens a new pier at Bangrak. According to the AEC, which will soon begin and have a lot of competition, Lomlahk Khirin High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. opens a new pier at Bangrak. The main goal is to increase the ability of our service for preserving us to be a leader in this business and also leading us to be the international. This pier is the main point for supporting the tourists, which are increasing every day. It can support a large number of the tourists.
Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. shooting the company music video. Last month, Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. shooting the company music video. This music video will show about the identity of Lomprayah and our successful. Here is a behind the scene of this music video. We guarantee that the full music video will be funnier. It will release soon via Facebook Fanpage Lomprayah www.facebook.com/lomprayah.
Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. decided to renovate the Lomprayah Thung Makham Noi Pier (Chumphon Branch) In last year, the amounts of the tourists who travel with Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. are increasing. So, before joining the AEC, Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd. decided to renovate the Lomprayah Thung Makham Noi Pier (Chumphon Branch) for supporting the tourists and makes them feel good while waiting for taking the trip. There also have a restaurant, coffee shop, minimart, toilet and a place for take a photo and check-in at there.
Global News AirAsia is Asia’s Best Managed Company two years in a row! Leading international magazine Euromoney has once again named AirAsia Berhad as the winner of the ‘Best Managed Company in Asia for the Airlines & Aviation sector’, for the Euromoney ‘Best Managed and Governed Companies – Asia Poll 2014’. AirAsia was the winner of the same accolade in 2013, a tribute to the company’s focus on integration and expansion and excellent corporate foresight of the aviation industry.
Thailand records historical high in tourist arrivals in 2013 While Bangkok is again attracting all the media of the world with the shutdown of the city by anti-government protesters, the Tourism Authority of Thailand had at least the satisfaction to claim the following fact: the Kingdom is more popular than ever with tourists from all over the world. Thailand has indeed recorded a total of 26,735,583 visitor arrivals in 2013, exceeding the year’s original target of 26.1 million. This represents a 19.6 per cent increase over the 22,353,903 international tourists in 2012.
With Chinese New Year Approaching, U.S. Cities Lure Chinese Tourists As Chinese New Year celebration is approaching, rich Chinese are heading abroad in larger numbers than ever. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. has become a leading getaway destination, with million Chinese tourists visiting the U.S. in 2012, and spending more than $8.8 billion. The number is expected to quintuple by 2020. Thanks : www.traveldailynews.asia
Tip to Trip
Credit : www.thaizer.com/thailand-dos-and-donts
AND DON’TS Don’t get too hung up about learning a huge list of do’s and don’ts! Most social indiscretions will be forgiven without you even realizing. Thais know that foreign visitors have their own customs and different ways of doing things, but if you are aware of some of the do’s and don’ts you will earn respect from your Thai hosts. Most importantly of all, be particularly careful about respecting Buddhism and the Thai Royal Family.
• Do respect all Buddha images. Buddha images are held sacred and sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors. • Do dress properly when visiting a temple. • Do remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody’s house and even some shops. • Do treat monks with the highest respect. • Do try and keep calm no matter what the problem or provocation may be. • Do eat with a spoon. Use the fork to load food on to the spoon. • Do lower your body slightly when passing between or in front of people. • Do try and learn a few basic phrases in Thai, like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. • Do smile a lot. • Do enjoy yourself. Thais like life to be ‘sanuk’ (‘fun’). • Do ensure that you have a visa if you need one. • Do make sure you have adequate travel insurance.
• Don’t show disrespect towards the Thai Royal Family. • Don’t cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk. This applies whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair. • Don’t touch a Thai woman without consent. Despite the image portrayed in some bars and clubs, the majority of Thai women are conservative. • Don’t be overly affectionate in public. This has changed in recent years and younger Thai couples can be seen holding hands, but snogging your boyfriend or girlfriend in the middle of the shopping mall won’t win you too many friends. As with many things, Thais know that behavior in the West is different to Thailand so you won’t be chased out of town for holding hands with your partner, but resist the temptation to do so inside temple grounds. • Don’t sunbathe nude. This is offensive to most Thai people although nobody is likely to say anything to you if you do so. • Don’t worry too much about whether you should ‘wai’ (Thai greeting) or not. • Don’t touch a Thai person’s head or ruffle their hair. Apologize if you accidentally touch somebody’s head. There are exceptions to this standard of behavior; for example, it doesn’t apply to lovers in the privacy of their room. Thai people will also sometimes pat a child on the head, but as a Westerner it’s best not to do this to any child to prevent any embarrassment. • Don’t place your feet on the table while sitting, don’t point to anything with your feet and don’t touch anybody with your feet. • Don’t raise your voice or lose your temper; try and be ‘jai yen’ (‘cool heart’). • Don’t be offended by questions about age, marital status or what you do for a living. These are subjects that will often come up in small-talk. Of course, you don’t have to answer (especially the question about age), you can just smile and just say it’s a secret or ‘mai bok’ (‘not telling’). • Don’t take Buddha images out of the country. Strictly speaking it is against the law to take or send Buddha images out of the country unless special permission has been granted. However, this doesn’t mean that stores won’t sell them to you. They will sell them to you, but won’t necessarily tell you about the regulations. • Don’t overstay your visa.