Three Times a Charm
The whole world celebrates the beginning of the new year on the 31st of December. The people in Thailand celebrate it too, but they have two more New Year parties to attend. As more than 14% of the people in Thailand are of Chinese ancestry, the Chinese New Year, honored in January or February, is celebrated too. In addition, the national Thai New Year, marked in April, is also widely celebrated.
The people of Thailand love to party, and they can surely teach us a thing or two about what a good party should look like. Each New Year party, whether a December, February, or April one, is celebrated to the extent of drawing visitors from all over the world to take part and spread their good vibe.
Lopburi is the capital of the Lopburi region and is located about 150 km north of Bangkok, the capital city. The meaning of the name Lopburi is "the City of Lava" and relates to the ancient Indian prince Rama. Every year, the city hosts a unique and bizarre festival called the Monkey Banquet.
The extravagant population of Macaque Monkeys is honored with a grand banquet. The monkeys are presented with lavish fruit, vegetables, and loads of other treats. The Phra Prang Sam Yot temple hosts the event, and many locals believe that these monkeys bring good luck. The tradition has been celebrated for years and is quite an experience to witness.
If you thought that we were having a hard time with silent letters and no sense between what you read and hear, think again, as the Thai alphabet is one of the most complicated in the world of alphabets. It consists of 32 vowels, which accompany the 44 consonants.
The natives find it challenging to master, so when it comes to foreigners, they don't have a chance. In order to master the language, you will have to invest a minimum of 2,500 hours. That means you will need to invest five hours a day, five days a week, for over two years.
Thailand is obsessed with condensed milk. If you are unfamiliar with it, condensed milk is a thick, creamy, overly sweetened milk-flavored liquid without the high water concentration you usually find in regular milk. In Thailand, it is everywhere and on everything. You can find it in every 7-11 store (which can also be found everywhere), and almost all stores will have some version of the stuff.
The syrupy supplement accompanies hot drinks, refreshing shakes, and endless desserts. In general, the Thai kitchen has a sweet flavor to it (sourced from regular sugar), so it is not surprising that the locals enjoy the concentrated ivory indulgence poured onto everything they consume.
You know the tattoo on Angelina Jolie's back? Well, you know the Thai tattoo. The traditional Thai tattoos, named Sak Yant, are also called bamboo tattoos. These tattoos are more than just decorating your body. They have a spiritual significance and a different technique than regular needle tattoos. Bamboo needles are used to create these dazzling designs, and each tattoo has a unique pattern and meaning.
It is believed to provide protection or some blessing, turning this body decoration into cultural importance. The designs of the Sak Yant tattoos are endless, and some have become more distinguished than others. There is the Kao-yot, which means nine spirals; Ha-the, meaning five rows; and the most popular, Ong Phra, which means Buddha's Body.