Phi ta Khon Festival – Thailand’s Answer to Halloween

Costumed figure at Phi ta Khon Festival in Dan Sai Loei Province Thailand

Picture thousands of people dressed up as monsters, roaming the streets of a tiny village in northeastern Thailand. Giant ears, huge hooked noses, and foot-long spiked teeth sprout from their masks. Their chin-to-toe costumes are sewn from scraps of cloth into a kaleidoscopic patchwork of colors. Many carry wooden truncheons shaped into phallic symbols. Others … Read more

Bangkok – What’s in a Name

Demons and monkeys support a gilt stupa at the Grand Palace in Bangkok Thailand

Thai society erupted in controversy last month when the government approved a proposal to change the official name of Thailand’s capital from Bangkok to Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. While this might seem slightly bizarre to most Westerners, Thais have always referred to their capital city as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. In everyday conversation, they shorten the … Read more