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LEXICON

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Cabbage White

Common name for a butterfly in the family Pieridae, and with the scientific designation Pieris brassicae. READ ON.

cacao tree

See ton kohkoh.

Cai Shen (财神)

Chinese. ‘Wealth god’, ‘money spirit’ or ‘mammon’. There are numerous distinct Chinese wealth gods, differentiating between formal and informal, as well as civilian and military wealth deities. READ ON.

caitya (चैत्य)

1. Sanskrit. ‘Sanctuary’. An assembly hall for meditation and teaching. Originally an apsidal hall housing a stupa, or a funerary mound enshrining sacred relics of the Buddha, or objects used  by him. It is the precursor of the Thai chedi. Also transcribed chaitya. In Pali cetiya.

2. Sanskrit. A particular style of arch and window construction as found in early cave temples in India. Also transcribed chaitya.

calabash

See nahm tao.

Caladium

Generic Latin name for any of the tropical plants, which in Thai are called bon.

Calliandra

Latin. Generic botanical name for large shrubs that belong to the family Fabaceae and the subfamily Mimosaceae, and with flowers that are often confusingly similar to those on trees and shrubs of the genus Albizia. They are originally from the North of South America and have typifying tassel-like flowers, usually white and pink or red, that grow on top of the branches. Within this large genus, there are two comparable species, i.e. Calliandra surinamensis or Pink Tassel-flower (fig.), and Calliandra haematocephala or Red Powder-puff (fig.), the latter which is also commonly called Blood-red Tassel-flower and Pink Powder-puff. In Thai, Calliandra surinamensis is called jamajurih (จามจุรี), whereas Calliandra haematocephala is called phu jomphon (พู่จอมพล), phu naay phon (พู่นายพล), and phu chomphu (พู่ชมพู), with the latter name also being used for the comparable Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin). In addition, the Thai name jamajurih is also used for a large tree in the same family and with similar flowers, and which is commonly seen in Thailand (fig.). To differentiate between the two, usually the prefix ton (ต้น) is added when referring to the tree, whereas the prefix phreuk (พฤกษ์) is used for the shrub.

Calling Crab

See piyaw.

Cambodia

Thailand's neighbouring country to the East, roughly between Vietnam and Laos, bordering the Gulf of Thailand. The official name is Kingdom of Cambodia and the capital is Phnom Penh. Its covers a land area of 181,040 km² and has a total of 2,572 km of boundaries with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Its coastline is 443 km long and its highest point is Phnum Aoral, with an altitude of 1,810 meter. Natural resources are timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese and phosphates. The currency is the Riel (រៀល), a name that literally means ‘Small Fish’. Besides the often silver colour of fish, akin to that of coin money, the term likely derives from the country's former bartering system, i.e. a mode of payment by exchanging goods for food, especially fish, that was commonly used in the past in the many fishing communities, that today still exist around Tonlé Sap (fig.), the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia (fig.). Cambodia has a population of just over 13 million, of which 90% are Khmer, the rest Vietnamese, Chinese and others. With 95% the majority of the people are Theravada Buddhist. The official language is Khmer, but also French and English are spoken. Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns. Over 1 million displaced people died from execution or enforced hardships (fig.). A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off almost 20 years of fighting. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces in 1998. Apart from its well-known recent past, the country is perhaps best known for Angkor Wat, an ancient Khmer temple (fig.) and one of the seven Wonders of the World, which is also depicted on the current national flag of Cambodia (fig.). In Thai called Kamphucha. See also Thailand's Neighbours & Beyond.

Cambodian Lascar

Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific designation Neptis tiga. It has a wingspan of 4 to 5 centimeters, and the upper-wings have a dark brown ground colour with orange markings (fig.). On the forewings, these markings consist of broad orange streaks, whilst the hind wing has two orange bands, the one on the top broader than that in the lower area. It is very similar to the Common Lascar (Neptis hordonia), which has a blackish ground colour on the forewings rather than dark brown, a distinction which –depending on the light– is not always easy to differentiate in the field.

Camellia

A genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae, that are found in eastern and southern Asia, with around 200 described species, and known in Thai as ton cha, i.e. ‘tea plant’, since the leaves of the variety Camellia sinensis are processed to make tea. See also cha and Camellia amplexicaulis.

Camellia amplexicaulis

Botanical name of an unusual species of Camellia native to northern Vietnam, that has purplish-pink to purplish-red flowers, with massive clusters of yellow pollen in the centre. It’s flower buds, after which the plant is sometimes dubbed Pink Bubblegum (fig.), develop over a long period of time. Due to this, it is not uncommon to have many different size flower buds on a single stem, and which allow it to bloom all year if conditions are right. The plant has huge, glossy leaves, that are serrated, may grow up to 28 centimeters in length, and that –in mature plants– are dark green in colour. When the plant was introduced in northern Thailand, it was called yih hub/yee hoob (ยี่หุบแดง), i.e. ‘red coconut magnolia’, which is a rather misleading name as it has nothing to do with the Magnolia. The name however refers to the unopened flowers of the Coconut Magnolia, which –like those of the Camellia amplexicaulis- somewhat resemble small coconuts.

Camphor Tree

Common designation of a large, broadleaf evergreen tree, with the botanical name Cinnamomum camphora, and which is also commonly known as Camphorwood and Camphor Laurel. READ ON.

can ()

Chinese for ‘silkworm’. See also Can Shen.

Canda (चन्द)

1. Sanskrit-Pali. Name of the bodhisatta, i.e. a former chaht of the Sakyamuni Buddha, born as a Kinnara, who lived in the Canda mountains of Himavah, together with his spouse Yashodhara, who was born as the Kinnari Candah. Their story is described in the Canda Jataka.

2. Sanskrit-Pali. Name of a mountain range in Himavah (fig.), as described in the Canda Jataka, where it is described as the residence of Canda and Candah, a Kinnara and Kinnari, and former incarnations or chaht of Siddhartha and his shakti Yashodhara. In the jataka, it is described as a silver mountain and is also referred to as Canda-pabbata, i.e. the Mountain of the Moon’.

Candah (चन्दा)

Sanskrit-Pali. Name of a former chaht or incarnation of Yashodhara, when she was born as a Kinnari. See also Canda and Canda Jataka.

Canda Jataka (चन्दजातक)

Name of a jataka as told by the Sakyamuni Buddha and which describes one of his former chaht or incarnations, when he was born as a Kinnara, called Canda. He lived in the Canda mountains of Himavah, together with his spouse Yashodhara, who was born as the Kinnari Candah. One day, while the inseparable lovers were enjoying themselves near a  stream, Anuruddha Thera (fig.), the king of Benares (fig.), was out hunting and saw the couple. He immediately fell in love with Candah. Hence, he took his bow and shot Canda with an arrow, killing him instantly. When Candah wept aloud at the sight of her dead husband, the king revealed himself and offered her his love, as well as his realm. Candah ridiculed the offer and instead protested to the devas for allowing the tragedy to take place, praying for a miracle to happen. Hence Indra, the chief of the devas, who in Burma is associated with Thagyamin (fig.), Lord of the Nats, descended from Tavatimsa heaven in the guise of a brahmin priest and resurrected Canda (fig.).

Candakumara

Name of a jataka, which describes one of the former incarnations of the Sakyamuni Buddha, when he was was born as Candakumara. READ ON.

candi

Indonesian. General term for all ancient temples, both of Hindu and Buddhist.

Candi Prambanan

See Prambanan.

Candle Festival

See Wax Candle Festival.

Cangjie (仓颉)

Name of an official historian of the Yellow Emperor (fig.), who is usually accredited with the invention of the Chinese characters, known in Chinese as Han zhi (汉字) and in Japanese as Kanji (漢字, i.e. the traditional Chinese script). Though he is not always considered a historical figure, legend has it that he lived around 2650 BC. He may also not be the sole inventor of Chinese writing, and Fu Xi is often mentioned as the inventor of Chinese characters alongside with Cangjie. According to legend, after unifying the country and to replace an earlier unsatisfying method of recording information, the Yellow Emperor commissioned Cangjie to create a script that could be used to embrace all Chinese languages and dialects. Inspired by an object that fell from the beak of an overflying phoenix (fig.), and which turned out to be an impression of a distinctive hoof-print belonging to a Bi Xie (fig.), different from the hoof-print of any other animal alive, Cangjie set out to create the new script by capturing in a pictogram the special characteristics that set apart each and every thing on the earth, and thus compiled a long list of characters for writing, according to the special characteristics he found in everyone and everything. According to the myth, when Cangjie revealed his invention, the gods cried and the skies rained millet. The Cangjie method, a Chinese character input method, is named after him. In Wade-Giles, transliterated Ts'ang-chieh.

Canna Lily

Common English name for a flowering plant, which is known in Thai as Phuttaraksah.

cannonball tree

Epithet for the sala tree, from its large cannonball like seeds.

Can Shen (蚕神)

Chinese. ‘Goddess of the silkworm’. Nickname of Leizu, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, Huang, who discovered silk at the age of fourteen and is said to have invented the silk reel and silk loom. Also known as the Chinese goddess of silk.

canting

Indonesian term for a pen-like tool to draw wax lines and dots on cotton fabrics in order to make batik. It consists of a wooden or bamboo handle with a small copper vessel. The vessel is filled with wax and heated over a flame to make the wax fluid. At the bottom of this vessel is an thin exit spout that resembles a blunt, hollow needle, through which the wax can flow and controllably be applied on the cloth (fig.). Also spelled tjanting.

Cantonese vegetable

See phak kwahng tung.

Cao Dai (Cao Đài)

Vietnamese. ‘Highest Power’. Name of  a monotheistic religion that was officially established in 1926, in the city of Tay Ninh (Tây Ninh), in southern Vietnam. READ ON.

capital

Architectural term for the uppermost, usually decorated part of a column, pillar or pilaster. See also cornice.

carabao

A designation for the East Indian tame buffalo, also commonly known as Water Buffalo, and in Thai as kwai and krabeua. The term Carabao is also used as the brand name of a well-known Thai rock band.

cardamom

The seeds of an aromatic Southeast Asian plant, used as a spice and known in Thai as kra-wahn.

carnivorous plant

See ton mai kin malaeng.

Carpenter Bee

Common name for any of the large bees in the subfamily Xylocopinae, of which there are some 500 species, and that are also known as borer bees, deriving their name from the fact that most species make their nests by tunneling into dead wood. They does so by vibrating their bodies while scraping theis mandibles against the wood. Though usually solitary, the females of some species form social groups of cohabiting mothers and daughters. Whereas female carpenter bees have a stinger, males do not. Somewhat similar to bumblebees, carpenter bees can be distinguished by the fact that their often beetle-like bodies are naked and shiny, rather than veiled in dense hair. They have large compound eyes, which in most species are larger in males than in females. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

cashew nut

Fruit of a tree with the scientific name Anacardium occidentale. The shape of the cashew nut (fig.) resembles that of a mango, resulting in the Thai name ma muang himaphan, the Himaphan ‘mango’. A cashew nut tree bears its nuts at the far end of an edible ‘fruit’ that resembles the rose apple (fig.). Although edible this ‘fruit’ is seldom consumed. Cashew nut shells contain urushiol, a toxin that may cause skin irritation and which must be removed by shelling the nuts before the seed inside is processed for consumption. This is a manual process done one by one with a large nutcracker (fig.), a slow, labour-intensive and because of the toxin- a somewhat hazardous occupation, hence the relatively high price of cashew nuts. Afterwards the nuts are cooked, roasted or fried, making any possible remainders of the toxin non-noxious. Additionally, they may be salted or coated with a seasoned crunchy layer. The different varieties are then sorted and packed, which also is done by hand, which allows for a final quality check (fig.). In Thai also shortened to himaphan. Cashew nuts are a common ingredient in Thai cooking, such as in the dish kai pad med ma muang, ‘fried chicken with cashew nuts’.

cassava

Starch from the thickened root of the manioc plant, which is hence also referred to as the cassava plant (fig.). Also tapioca. In Thai paengman.

cassava plant

See manioc.

caste

Term derived from the Portuguese word casta, meaning ‘breed’, ‘kind’ or ‘race’, and which is used to define the four varna or social classes that form Indian society, i.e. the Brahmans, the learned class; Kshatriya, the royal or warrior class; Vaishya, the class of traders; and Shudra, the agricultural and serving class. In China, the four social classes as defined in Maoism and represented in the republic's flag (fig.) are somewhat different, also in order of importance, with the highest class of people being the scholars and officials, who were given examinations to determine government positions; the second class and largest group of people were the farmers, who were considered to be the economic backbone of the country; only then came the artisans, who were considered skilled in crafting things; and finally fourth and lowest class, i.e. that of merchants, who were considered parasites, as they made their living off other people without any valuable skill of their own. Members of any of three upper castes are also called considered Dvija, i.e. ‘Twice-born’. See also chaht.

cast net

A type of circular net used for fishing and with a weight around its edge, usually a metal chain. Its is cast by hand (fig.) in such a manner that it spreads out on the water (fig.) and sinks due to the weight. When the net is hauled back the chain sinks to the middle and fish are trapped in between. It is also referred to as a throw net and net casting is still a popular way to catch fish in most Southeast Asian countries. See also pramong, chonsae (fig.), soom pla (fig.), shamuak (fig.), and cormorant fishing (fig.).

Cat Ba Langur

Common name for a species of Leaf Monkey with the scientific name Trachypithecus poliocephalus and also commonly known as Golden-headed Langur. READ ON.

cathedral

Christian church which contains a cathedra, i.e. the throne or seat of a bishop, which in Greek is known as a kathédra (καθέδρα). An example of a cathedral in Southeast Asia is the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi. See also basilica.

Cattle Egret

Common name of a white, heron-like bird with the scientific name Bubulcus ibis. This bird is often seen associating with cattle (fig.), especially water buffaloes, from which it removes ticks and flies, a trait referred to in both its English and Latin names, with the word bubulcus meaning ‘herdsman’. Though officially listed amongst the wading birds, it actually prefers grasslands to marshes or mudflats. There are two geographical races, i.e. the Western Cattle Egret and the Eastern Cattle Egret. They are sometimes each classified as a species in its own right, with the latter being given the scientific name Bubulcus coromandus. The non-breeding plumage of Cattle Egrets is almost completely white, and they have a relatively short, thick neck and a hunched posture (fig.). They have long, greyish legs and a sturdy, yellow bill. The positioning of its eyes allows for binocular vision during feeding (fig.). Its diet consists mainly of terrestrial insects, though it can occasionally be found in shallow waters foraging on aquatic prey. During the breeding season (fig.), adults have some buff colouring  (fig.), which is darker in colour in the Eastern Cattle Egret. In addition, the bill of the latter is yellow near the tip and orange towards the base, its facial skin is purplish, its legs reddish, and the feet are dark grey (fig.). In Thai Cattle Egrets are known as nok yahng kwai.

cao lau (cao lầu)

Vietnamese. Name of a culinary specialty from Hoi An. READ ON.

Cau Thach Han (Cầu Thạch Hãn)

Vietnamese. ‘Thach Han Bridge’. Name of a bridge over the Thach Han River in Hai Lang (Hải Lăng) District of Vietnam’s Quang Tri (Quảng Trị) Province, located alongside the historically important Cau Quang Tri (fig.), a railway bridge which during the Second Indochina War saw some fierce fighting. READ ON.

Cau Quang Tri (Cầu Quảng Trị)

Vietnamese. ‘Quang Tri Bridge’. Name of a historically important bridge over the Thach Han River in Hai Lang (Hải Lăng) District of Vietnam's Quang Tri Province, in the North Central Region and which during the Second Indochina War saw some intense fighting. READ ON.

Cave Dwelling Snake

A snake with the scientific names Elaphe taeniura ridleyi and Orthriophis taeniura ridleyi, that occurs in southern Thailand and northern Peninsular Malaysia. It lives in or near limestone caves and preys primarily on bats. The top of its head is grey-blue with large, dark patches behind the eyes and an almost white throat. Its neck is orange-brown and gradates into beige toward the middle of its body, whilst a creamy-yellow vertebral stripe gradually appears, which usually gets darker and more visible as it progresses towards the tail. From the middle onward, the flanks become gradually black, whilst its underside also becomes creamy-yellow. This attractive snake may grow up to 2.5 meters long. Also called Cave Dwelling Rat Snake (Ratsnake) and Black-tailed Rat Snake, and in Thai known as ngu kaab mahk hahng nin.

cayenne

Cayenne pepper or red pepper. A popular spice used as an ingredient in many a Thai dish, as well as in kaeng and in Thai curries, made of chili paste (fig.) mixed with coconut milk. In Thai prik pon. Also named chili pepper and Spanish pepper.

celadon

Earthenware with a blue-green to gray glaze, named after L'Astrée, a shepherd in the 1610 play by Honoré d'Urfé, who wore a green cloak with grey-green ribbons. Its colour is usually green and sometimes blue, but the hue may vary from pale to dark depending on the clay used, the glaze, and the temperature in the kiln. Modern celadon's finishing is finer (fig.), but the name is also often misused for pottery with a chemical glaze in which copper or lead are used. Originally it was produced in China where it was called ‘green-wares’, and later in other countries, including Thailand, where it first existed as a specialty of Sawankhalok, and in the beginning of the 20th century it was reintroduced by the Shan from Burma. Since celadon glaze is hard to control as it melts at a critical point under extreme temperatures, it was often not completely applied to the base, to avoid it sticking to the baking tray.

cella

Sanskrit. Temple chamber housing the image or symbol of a god.

Celosia

Generic name for a small genus of ornamental plants in the family Amaranthaceae. There are several different species, with a wide variety in appearance, size and colour (fig.), yet they are divided into two main categories, i.e. the so-called woolflowers (fig.) and cockscombs, of which the latter species has flower heads crested with a fasciation that is reminiscent of a cockscomb. Celosia plants and flowers are edible and also have some medicinal properties. Though originally from Africa, they can be found in many parts of the world, including South, East and Southeast Asia. In Thai, the variety of woolflowers is known as soi kai (สร้อยไก่), whereas the latter is called ngon kai (หงอนไก่), meaning ‘chicken mane’ and ‘chicken comb’, respectively.

cenotaph

Monument for someone who is buried elsewhere.

centipede

Hundred feet. Name for an invertebrate arthropod belonging to the class of chilopoda. It has an elongated flattened body that consists of several segments with each segment bearing a single pair of legs and with each a dorsal and a ventral plate. Most species have a pair of poison claws on their head, used for preying upon insects. These claws are connected to a poison gland that releases a poison when it bites. Its bite is painful and will paralyze its victims. Centipedes can reach a length of over 10 centimeters and are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators on the planet. Their back end has a noteworthy pair of legs called the ultimate legs which are not for walking but for defense and mating. Centipedes are nocturnal and live in a range of moist habitats and are typically found in leaf litter, under stones and around deadwood. The variety commonly found in Thailand usually belongs to the family of Scolopendridae, a family of large centipedes and called takaab in Thai. Centipedes are similar to millipedes (fig.), but centipedes are insect eaters, whereas millipedes are vegetarians, and while centipedes have just one set of legs per segment, millipedes have two sets of legs per segment, as well as more segments. In China, where the populace is said to eat everything on four legs, except for the table, also centipedes are eaten as a snack (fig.).

century egg

See khai yiew ma.

Cereal Leaf Beetle

Common name for a tiny beetle with the scientific names Lema subapicalis. It is largely black, with a buffish-orange head and neck. Though attractive and small, it is much feared by farmers as its larvae are capable of destroying entire harvests. It is very similar to other leaf beetles, such as Luperomorpha pryeri; Aulacophora nigripennis; Lema diversa, which is known in Japan as the Red-necked Narrow Flower Beetle; Oulema duftschmidi; and Lema melanopus or Oulema melanopus, commonly known as the Red-throated Cereal Leaf Beetle or Barley Leaf Beetle, and which has a black head.

cetiya

Pali for caitya.

Ceylon

Old name for modern Sri Lanka.

cha (ชา, 茶)

Thai-Chinese. ‘Tea’. Name of a small tree of which its dried leaves are soaked in hot water to make the beverage tea. READ ON.

chaab (ฉาบ)

Thai. Name for round, cup-shaped cymbals, similar to ching, but larger, thinner and not joined by a cord. Instead, they have a separate handgrip each, often a colourful tassel. There are two sizes, i.e. chaab lek (ฉาบเล็ก) and chaab yai (ฉาบใหญ่), with chaab lek measuring 12 to14 centimeters in diameter and the larger ones usually about 24 to 26 centimeters (fig.). To play, each cymbal is held in a hand, one in the right the other in the left hand, and both are then struck together, once with an outward sliding movement, then straight on, producing alternately a high-pitched pealing sound and a dampening blocked sound. The Thai name is an onomatopoeia, i.e. it mimics the sound of the instrument when the cymbals are brought together with the outward sliding movement that produces a muffled sound. In Thai, chaab may also refer to any other type of cymbal and hence, the traditional handheld type is also referred to as chaab ku (ฉาบคู่), i.e. a ‘pair of cymbals’. Also transcribed chaap, chahb or chab.

chaam (ชาม)

See cham.

Chaamphoowaraat (ชามพูวราช)

Thai. A monkey soldier in the Ramakien, on the side of Phra Ram. He transformed himself into a bear in order to bite through a large tree, making it fall and thus disrupting Indrachit's (fig.) poison arrow ceremony. Sometimes transcribed Chahmphuwaraht, Champhoovaraat or Champhuvaraj.

Chachengsao (ฉะเชิงเทรา)

The capital of Chachengsao province (map) in East Thailand, 82 kms to the East of Bangkok, situated on the banks of the Bang Pakong River, which divides the city in two. The name of the city which developed around the river and its many canals is said to be a Khmer word meaning ‘deep canal’. The city has an old history, dating back to the reign of King Somdet Phra Borom Trailohkanat (1448-1488 AD) in the Ayutthaya Period. Most of the people have settled by the Bang Pakong River which is used extensively for farming rice. The main attraction is the Sothon Wararam Worawihaan temple (fig.) with the Sothon Buddha image, one of the most sacred images in the country and associated with the notorious Luang Po Sothon, a Phra saksit. This monk predicted the exact time of his own death, to which thousands of spectators flocked to the temple to watch him die, seated in the dhyani meditation pose. The city (fig.) is also called Paet Riw, a name that comes from a story which relates that the city's river (fig.) once teemed with giant snake-head fish that needed up to eight cuts (paet riw - fig.) on each side, to make it into sun-dried fish. The region is known for a particular kind of mango, the mamuang raed. The province has ten amphur and one king amphur, that are divided into 93 tambon and 859 mu ban. Also transcribed Chachoengsao. See also Chachoengsao data file.

Chachungsao (ฉะเชิงเทรา)

See Chachengsao.

chadah (ชฎา)

Thai. Golden conical shaped ornamented crown, as worn by Thai monarchs and the royal characters in classical Khon performances. Compare with radklao.

chadok (ชาดก)

Sanskrit-Pali-Thai. Each of the in total 547-550 incarnations that every soul needs to take before it is able to be born as a buddha. Generally, it stands for the former life stories of the Buddha. In Thai tradition the last ten incarnations of the Buddha are the most important and are called Totsachat. See also chaht and jataka.

chae im (แช่อิ่ม)

Thai. ‘Soaked to saturation’. General name for a method used to preserve fruits in syrup, or for the preserved fruits themselves, if prepared in this manner. Sometimes the word chae (to saok) is used in combination with the Thai name of the processed fruit, e.g. farang chae, soaked guava or syrup-preserved guava. A suffix may be added to refer to the kind of syrup used, e.g. farang chae buay (green syrup-preserved guava - fig.), farang chae krajiab (guava soaked in a krajiab or roselle based syrup) or farang chae strawberry (red syrup-preserved guava), etc. Other traditional methods of preserving fruits include kuan (boiling and stirring), cheuam (boiled in syrup) and dong (pickling).

chaht (ชาติ)

Thai term that derives from Pali and which means ‘life’, ‘incarnation’, and ‘birth’, but also ‘caste’ or ‘race’, as well as ‘nationality’. See also Totsachat.

chai (ชัย)

Thai for ‘victory’. It often appears as a name or as part of a name, e.g. Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Mahachai, etc. With words in or derived from Sanskrit, it is sometimes pronounced chaya, as in maravichaya.

Chainat (ชัยนาท)

Thai. ‘Echo of victory’ or ‘celebrated victory’. Province and provincial capital in Central Thailand (map), 194 kms to the North of Bangkok with a population of approximately 30,000 in the city and 359,830 inhabitants in the province. It borders the provinces of Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Singburi and Suphanburi. Historically Chainat is known for its important position as an military base during the age-long wars with Burma and where in 1776 King Taksin defeated the last Burmese troops, leading to the total liberation of Siam, hence its designation. Originally the city was located at the present-day amphur of Sankhaburi but was moved to its present location in the reign of king Mongkut (Rama IV). The region is also known for the Chao Phraya dam, Thailand's first large water dam which was completed in 1957 (fig.) and was built as part of the the Greater Chao Phraya Project. The province is home to presumably the largest bird sanctuary (fig.) in Southeast Asia and has six amphur, two king amphur, 53 tambon and 474 mu ban. See also Chainat data file.

chai pattana aerator

Name of an invention ascribed to King Bhumipon Adunyadet and used to transfer oxygen to bodies of still water. Since it can be used to solve water pollution problems in natural water sources it is also referred to as a waste water aerator. Research for the aerator was done by the Royal Irrigation Department whilst the Chai Pattana (‘Victorious Development’) Foundation assisted with providing the budget. On 2 February 1993 the Department of Intellectual Property presented the king with a patent for the chai pattana aerator model RX-2, the first ever given to any monarch worldwide. In 2007 a sculpture of the chai pattana aerator (fig.) was raised in the King Rama IX Royal Park in Bangkok, on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the king. In many aspects the device is similar to the floating paddle wheel surface aerators (fig.) that are found on fish, shrimp and other aquatic products  farms nationwide, and which are used to improve the water quality and odour, and reduce algae and harmful dissolved gases, in order to enhance the health and growth of the aquatic creatures that are being farmed. In Thai the chai pattana aerator is known as kang han nahm chai pattana.

Chai Sing (ไฉ่ซิง, ไฉ่สิ่ง)

General Thai-Tae Chew name for any of the Chinese wealth gods, which in Mandarin are known as Cai Shen.

Chai Sing Ihya (ไฉ่ซิงเอี๊ย, ไฉ่ซิ้งเอี้ย, ไฉ่ซิ่งเอี๊ย)

Thai-Tae Chew name for the Chinese wealth god Tsai Shen Yeh. He comes in two guises, i.e. in a benign appearance, known as bountiful Cai Sing Ihya, where he is depicted holding gold riches and a ruyi (fig.), and provides good fortune, money, wealth and prosperity to his worshippers; and a fierce manifestation (fig.) known as the belligerent Tsai Shen Ye, who befits worshippers in terms of debt collecting or debt clearing, by making them afraid to cheat. He is known by a variety of other names, including the Chinese designations Zhao Gong Ming, Chao Kung Ming, etc. In Thailand, he is known as Phra Thonbodih and Thao Wetsuwan, and associated with Thao Kuwen. When worshipped as one of the Three Star Gods (fig.), he is referred to as Foo. Also transcribed Cai Shen Ye (fig.) and Tsai Shen Yeh.

Chai Sing Ihya Boo (ไฉ่ซิงเอี๊ยบู๊)

Thai-Tae Chew name for the Chinese deity Zhao Gong Ming (Chao Kung Ming), the military Chinese wealth god, who is typically portrayed either seated (fig.) or with his foot on a tiger, his mount that swallows all evil. In Thai-Tae Chew he is also called Uh Chai Seun Yeh. Also transcribed Cai Shen Ye Bu (fig.).

chaitya (चैत्य)

See caitya.

Chaiya (ไชยา)

One of the oldest and historically most significant settlements in southern Thailand where a number of sculptures dating from the Srivijaya period (7th -13th century) were found, many showing Mon and Indian influences. As a port Chaiya played an important role in the trade between the peninsula, India and China. The name is possibly derived from Siwichaiya, the Thai pronunciation for Srivijaya.

Chaiyaamphawaan (ไชยามพวาน, ไชยามพวาร)

Thai name of a monkey-warrior character from the Ramakien. READ ON.

Chaiyanta Mongkon (ไชยันตมงคล)

The birth name of Mahison Rachareuthay. Sometimes transcribed Jayanta Mongkol.

chaiyaphreuk (ชัยพฤกษ์)

Thai. ‘Tree of victory’. Name for the Javanese cassia, a kind of pink cassia tree (fig.) with the scientific name Cassia javanica, in the order of Leguminosae (family of plants with seeds in pods). It is sometimes referred to as the apple-blossom cassia. The names chaiyaphreuk and rachaphreuk are in Thai literature however often muddled up, using one for the other and visa versa, sometimes referring to the cassia agnes (a pink cassia tree) as rachaphreuk. The name is also often confused with another pink cassia tree, i.e. cassia bakeriana or kalapaphreuk. The official botanical list used by the Thai government as well as several prominent books on the subject however, tend to list both the cassia renigera (a subspecies of the cassia javanica which has pink flowers) as chaiyaphreuk, the cassia fistula (with yellow flowers) as chaiyaphreuk (khoon) and the cassia agnes (a pink cassia) as the rachaphreuk.

Chaiyaphum (ชัยภูมิ)

Thai. ‘Field of victory’ or ‘victorious land’. The name of a province (map) and its capital, in Isaan. The city has around 25,000 inhabitants and is located at 342 kms Northeast of Bangkok. The history of this city dates back to the 12th century AD, during the Angkorian period of the Khmer Empire, when it was a small town on the way from Angkor to Prasat Meuang Singh (fig.) in present-day Kanchanaburi and of which Prang Ku (fig.) is today a remainder. In 1817 a group of Laotians from Vientiane, led by Nai Lae, settled in the area which they called Ban Luang. With the 1819 appointment of his son Chao Yo as the ruler of Champasak, the power of the Laotian vassal king Chao Anuvong of Vientiane greatly expanded, as did his ambitions and in 1827 he declared war on Siam. Nai Lae, the local Laotian ruler of Ban Luang, changed allegiance and supported the Siamese troops. The Laotian troops were defeated, but before that Nai Lae was killed on the battlefield. He was made a local hero and was renamed Phraya Phakdi Chumpon. His monument today stands in front of the Chaiyaphum City Hall. Geographically the province is cut into two from North to South by the Phetchabun mountain range, with the East of the province belonging to the Korat Plateau. Chaiyaphum province has five national parks, the Taht Thohn National Park with several scenic waterfalls and dry dipterocarp forests, the Saithong National Park with its waterfall of the same name and Siam Tulip fields,  the Pah Hin Ngahm National Park with its rock forest, bizarrely shaped rock formations, Phu Laenkha National Park with its forested hills, and Nahm Nahw National Park which territory is shared with Phetchabun province. The name Chaiyaphum refers to the natural richness and fertility of the soil. The province neighbours the provinces of Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Lopburi and Phetchabun, and has 15 amphur and one king amphur, 124 tambon and 1,393 mu ban. See also Chaiyaphum data file.

chakra (चक्र, จักร)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Disc’, one of the attributes of the Hindu god Vishnu. In the Ramakien the chakra is incarnated by Phra Phrot. In Thai, it is pronounced chak.

2. Sanskrit for ‘wheel’, representing the Buddhist Wheel of Law, symbol of the setting in motion of the Buddhist doctrine when the Buddha gave his first sermon, and symbol of the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth. One of the marks of an enlightened being. In Thai pronounced chak.

3. Sanskrit. Centre of spiritual energy in the body and symbol of the sun. In Thai pronounced chak. Compare with Shakra.

Chakraphad (จักรพรรดิ)

Thai. Term for an emperor. Usually in combination with the prefix Phra Chao. Sometimes transcribed Chakrapad, Jakrapat and Chakraphati.

Chakraphong Phuwanaht (จักรพงษ์ภูวนาถ, จักรพงษภูวนารถ)

Thai. Name of the 22nd son and 43rd child of King Rama V, with the title Prince of Phitsanulok. He was born on 3 March 1883 and died on 13 June 1920, aged 37. In his youth, he was sent to study at the Page Corps of Tsar Nicolas II in Russia, to be trained as a military cadet. After his graduation, he returned to Siam with a Russian wife named Catherina, with whom he later had a son, i.e. Prince Chula Chakraphong (จุลจักรพงษ์). Field Marshal Prince Chakraphong Phuwanaht went on to serve as Chief of Staff of the Royal Siamese Army and −together with his half-brothers Field Marshal Prince Jiraprawat Woradet (fig.) and General Prince Burachat Chaiyakon (fig.)− became instrumental in the early development of aviation in Siam. In 1911, he and his half-brother Prince Burachat took a ride as a passenger (fig.) in the airplane Henri Farman (fig.) of the Belgian pilot Charles Van den Born (fig.) during his flight demonstration at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club's (fig.). His name is also transcribed Chakrabongse Bhuvanarth.

Chakravartin (चक्रवर्तिन्)

Sanskrit. ‘Emperor’ or ‘universal monarch’. Indian royal term used for the Buddha as the spiritual ruler of the universe. He who ruled with a chakra, i.e. the weapon of Vishnu, considered by many to be the supreme deity of the Hindu Trimurti.

Chakrawat (จักรวรรดิ)

Thai. Name of a giant or yak character in the Ramakien. He has a white complexion and is described as having four faces and eight arms (fig.). In Thai iconography, he is hence depicted wearing a chadah-like crown, with an additional three small white faces, and either with two or more arms. The peak of his crown is shaped like a thick giant plume that bends toward the back (fig.), and which is usually referred to as a cockerel's tail. He is the ruler of Krung Maliwan (กรุงมลิวัน) and a comrade of Totsakan (fig.). He joined Phainasuriyawong (ไพนาสุริยวงศ์), a son of Totsakan, to restore Langka City, capturing Phiphek (fig.) before he had started his enthronement ceremony, and appointed Phainasuriyawong as the new ruler instead, whilst renaming him Thao Totsaphin (ทศพิน). The event thrickered Phra Phrot to attack the city and recapture it, while extending the battle to Maliwan City, though without being able to defeat Chakrawat. This then resulted in a longlasting war, until Phra Phrot finally terminated Chakrawat with his bow, his lethal arrows hitting him in the chest, arms and legs. Thus, peace returned to the city. In Wat Phra Kaew, Chakrawat is one of the gatekeepers, who stands at the first of the three western gates, together with Thao Atsakammalah. His name is also transcribed Chakrawati and Chakravarti, and is related to the Sanskrit term Chakravartin. See LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS.

chakrayahnyon (จักรยานยนต์)

Thai. ‘Motorbike’ or ‘motorcycle’. READ ON.

Chakri (จักรี)

1. Thai. The dynasty that has reigned in Thailand since 1782 and was founded by general Chao Phya Chakri who was crowned king Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok, known to westerners as king Yot Fa. During the reign of king Phra Nang Klao, the third king in the dynasty, a new royal title system was established giving all the kings the crown title of Rama. His predecessors were posthumously given the titles Rama I and Rama II, whilst taking the title Rama III for himself. All successive kings of the dynasty (fig.) have since ruled with the crown title Rama, including the present king, Rama IX. With Rama being the seventh avatara of the powerful Hindu god Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, the link can be seen to the Thai monarch as the preserver of the nation. The Thai royal emblem is likewise the mythical bird Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu. Note that there have been nine avataras of Vishnu with the tenth yet to come, as there have been nine Chakri monarchs, the tenth also yet to come. The coat of arms of the Chakri Dynasty is a trisun (trident) encircled by a chakra (disc), the weapon of Vishnu. In the centre of the trident is sometimes also a small depiction of Narai (the Thai designation for Vishnu), riding on the Garuda (fig.). The Chakri Throne Hall (fig.) is the main palace building of the Chakri monarchs, located within the compound of the Grand Palace in Bangkok (fig.) and its central spire contains parts of the ashes of the Chakri Kings of the past. See also list of Thai kings. MORE ON THIS.

2. Thai. In the Ayutthaya, Thonburi and early Rattanakosin Periods, the title or rajatinanaam for a military commander in service of either a governor of a principality or the king, the equivalent of Commander-in-Chief. The word is related to the chakra, an attribute and weapon of several Hindu gods, including Vishnu and Brahma, and a symbol showing on the ensigns of the Royal Army and Navy today (fig.). The rank of Chakri was the highest military position at that time and carried the bandasak of Chao Phraya.

3. Thai name for a style of female national dress of Thailand, fully known as Thai Chakri, and in 1972 depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.).

Chakri Day

Thai public holiday on April 6, on which Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty is remembered. In Thai Wan Chakri.

Chakri Nareubet (จักรีนฤเบศร)

Thai. ‘Chakri the Brave’. Name of Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier. READ ON.

Chakri Throne Hall

The largest of the palace buildings of Phra Rachawang, the Grand Palace, which consists of a main facade building, visible to the public and in Thai called Phra Tihnang Chakri Maha Prasat, and a number of other palace buildings built in the back of it and that are part of it. Collectively, this group is referred to by the same name of the facade building, i.e. Phra Tihnang Chakri Maha Prasat Group (fig.). Besides the main building, the group includes Phra Thihnang Moon Sathaan Borom Aht (พระที่นั่งมูลสถานบรมอาสน์), Phra Thihnang Sommathi Thewaraat Uppabat (พระที่นั่งสมมติเทวราชอุปบัติ), and Phra Thihnang Borom Ratchasathit Maholaan (พระที่นั่งบรมราชสถิตยมโหฬาร). The Chakri Throne Hall was designed by the British architect John Chinitz and shows a combination of Thai and European style architecture. The central mondop-like multi-tiered spire on the roof of the facade building enshrines the ashes of each of the kings of the Chakri Dynasty, whilst the flanking spires house the ashes of princes who never inherited the throne. Today it is the place where royal banquets are held in honour of royal guests. The Chakri Throne Hall at is watched over by a honour guard provided by the ceremonial unit of the King's Own Guard (fig.), whose former barracks are located within the same compound (fig.). Also known as the Grand Palace Hall.

Chakri Throne Hall

chak waw (ชักว่าว)

Thai for ‘flying a kite’, ‘kite flying’.

chalaam (ฉลาม)

Thai for ‘shark’, a species of fish of which there are many varieties. They are characterized by pectoral fins that are not fused to the head and multiple gill covers known as slit gills and found also in rays. Most sharks have eight fins, a feature known in Thai as hoo chalaam (fig.) and considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine. One of the more commonly seen shark species off Thailand's coast are reef sharks, such as the Blacktip Reef Shark (fig.). Also pla chalaam.

chalaew (เฉลว)

See talaew.

Chalawan (ชาละวัน)

Name of a crocodile in the Thai classical story Kraithong, a love story that originated in the province of Phichit (fig.). Also Chalawankumphih and sometimes transliterated Shala One. See also POSTAGE STAMP

Chalawankumphih (ชาละวันกุมภีล์)

See Chalawan.

Chalky Percher

Another common name for the Ground Skimmer.

chalom (ชะลอม)

Thai. A small round basket made of bamboo strips called tok (fig.), with the vertical strips at the top left unwoven, in order to tie the basket shut. It is used to vend bulked food in at markets. Nationwide, vendors at natural hot springs sell quail's and chicken's eggs in them, to enable visitors to easily cook them. There is a legend of a Sukhothai king, which tells that this ruler was so fast and skilled, that he could even transport water in chalom baskets.

chalong phra baht (ฉลองพระบาท)

1. Rajasap. Footwear for a king.

2. Thai. Footwear in the form of golden sandals which are a part of the Thai royal regalia or kakuttapan.

cham (ชาม)

Thai. Bowl or rice bowl, or a deep plate. Also written chaam.

Cham (Chăm)

1. Vietnamese. The inhabitants of central and southern Vietnam since ancient times, probably of Indonesian origin. They founded the Indianized coastal kingdom of Champa and produced a unique style of architecture and sculpture (fig.), known as Cham art.

2. Vietnamese. Art style with a unique genre of architecture and sculpture between the 7th and 17th centuries AD, made by the Cham people of Champa.

Cham

Tibetan. ‘Masked dance’. Name of a lively ritual associated with some sects of Buddhism and performed to exorcise evil. The ceremony and local variations of the festival were once practiced in Tibet, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, China and Mongolia, and consists of a series of sacred dances, in which the dancers dress up as demons or deities in a ferocious form, such as Yamantaka (fig.), wearing ornamented costumes and wraithlike masks, usually decorated with miniature skulls and some even made in the form of a genuine human skull (fig.). Because Chinese officials have in the past prohibited the festival, and still discourage participation, performances in Tibet are now rare and Cham masks have mostly become collectables. Also spelled Tsam, Tscham or Chaam.

Cha Ma Dao (茶马道)

Chinese. ‘Tea Horse Road’. Name of an ancient tea route, i.e. a mountainous trade link that developed about a thousand years ago and over which mainly tea, especially tea bricks, but also salt was transported, both by porters on foot as well as on horseback, typically using ponies and mah klaeb-like horses, and that ran from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces in southwestern China, over Myanmar to India, as well as to central China and Tibet. See also cha and mah.

Chamadevi (จามเทวี)

Thai. Name for Chamadevi of Lopburi, the former city of Lavo, where she originally came from. She was probably born in 633 AD. Her father send her northwards to spread civilization and Buddhism where she became the legendary first ruler of the Mon city of Haripunchai (now Lamphun), part of the 7th Century Dvaravati Kingdom. She was married to the king of Lavo and gave birth to a twin, Mahantayot and Anantayot, of whom the first one succeeded her as ruler of Lamphun, while the latter became ruler of Lampang. According to legend she had a terrible body odour which could be smelled from a far distance. She reportedly passed away at the high age of 98. Today, her statue (fig.) stands at various locations throughout Lamphun, e.g. at Wat Phrathat Haripunchai (fig.), in Nong Dok public park, etc. Also Phra Nang Chamadevi.

chamara (चमर)

Sanskrit. ‘Yak tail’. A whisk or fan made from the hairs of a yak's tail. It is a symbol of kingship and the attribute of several gods from Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. In Thailand it is one object of the padwaanlawichanih (fig.) a part of the royal regalia, called kakuttapan. In Thai jamajurih.

Chambered Nautilus

Common name of a marine creature in the family Nautilidae, and with the scientific name Nautilus pompilius. It is a cephalopod, i.e. a class of marine mollusks which includes the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. It is the only member of this group that has an external shell, which with other members is either absent or intern. On the underside the shell is plain white, whilst above it is matte white with irregular brownish stripes. This double colouring is a special design for camouflage, known as countershading. Unlike a snail's shell, the Nautilus' shell contains a series of separate chambers, sealed by thin partitions and arranged in a more or less logarithmic spiral (fig.). The animal lives in the largest chamber, which opens to the outside. The remaining chambers are filled with gas, and by adjusting the amount of liquid in them, the Nautilus is able to adjusts its buoyancy and to dive. It has a prominent head and tentacles, and is about 20 centimeters in size. Its seemingly large eyes lack a solid lens and do not actually provide good vision. This marine creature lives in the Indo-Pacific region, in general at depths of about 300 meters, yet rising to around 100 meters at night, to feed. In the vicinity of Thailand, it occurs in the Andaman Sea, for one. Nautilus shells are popular collector's items, used for decoration and to make ornamental cups, usually mounted on a stand (fig.). In Thai known as hoi nguong chang, literally ‘elephant-trunk mollusk’.

chameleon

A word derived from Greek and meaning ‘ground-lion’. It is the name of a reptile with distinctive eyes and a long tongue, that belongs to the family of Chamaeleonidae. It is able to change colour according to its surroundings, for camouflage or when offended. The term is however, also sometimes used to translate the Thai word king kah, the name for an unrelated, small tropical lizard, known in English as the Oriental Garden Lizard and with the scientific name Calotes versicolor, which belongs to the family of Agamidae (fig.).

cham ma liang (ชำมะเลียง)

See phumriang.

Champa (चम्‍पा)

An early Indianized kingdom in the coastal areas of central and southern Vietnam, existing from the 2nd to the 15th centuries AD and inhabited by the Cham. It was briefly annexed and controlled by the Khmer between 1181 to 1220, then gradually absorbed by the Vietnamese from the late 10th to 17th centuries AD. There are important archeological Cham sites in the region of present-day Da Nang (fig.), Vietnam.

champada (จำปาดะ)

Thai. A species of jackfruit, genus Artocarpus. The fruit is comparable to the breadfruit and the kanun, but slimmer in shape. Like the kanun, the champada's flesh of fruit is dark yellow in colour (fig.). Its fruiting season is from May to November.

Champasak (ຈໍາປາສັກ, จำปาศักดิ์)

Lao-Thai. Former capital of the Cham in present  southern Laos. It was a kingdom of the Khun Lo Dynasty, that in 1713 broke away from the Lan Xang kingdom. But it soon became a vassal state of Siam and later, in 1904, a French protectorate. Also called Cyambo.

Chamunda (चामुण्डा)

1. Sanskrit. The goddess of war, death and destruction, as well as epidemics, lethal diseases, famines, and other disasters, and one of the malicious aspects of Devi, the consort of the Hindu god Shiva. It is sometimes described that it was in this form, also known as Mahishasuramardini, i.e. ‘Slayer of the buffalo demon’, that Durga fought and defeated the demon Mahishasura (fig.), an event that is described in the Devi Mahatmyam and which is remembered during Vijayadazaami (fig.), i.e. the last day of the annual Hindu festival of Navaratri, which is also known as Dushera.

2. Sanskrit. One of the seven mothers goddesses or Matris worshiped in Tantrism, who is also described as one of the chief yogini, a group of 64 or 81 Tantric goddesses, who are attendants of the warrior goddess Durga. Her name is a combination of Chanda and Munda, two lesser asuras in the service of Sumbha and Nisumbha, whom Chamunda killed, after they tried to abduct her on the orders of Sumbha and Nisumbha.

Chan (จัน)

Thai. Name of one of the famous Siamese twins born on 11 May 1811 in Samut Songkhram, the other one being named In. They are names that describe fruits: where ‘in’ or ‘look in’ means young green fruit, ‘chan’ or ‘look chan’ stands for matured fruit, usually recognized by its yellow colour and sweet fragrance.

Chan (ฉันท์)

Thai. A traditional form of verse in dramatic literature, consisting of rhymes and a definite metrical scheme. Sometimes transliterated Chant.

Chan (จันทร์)

1. Thai for ‘moon’. Sometimes transliterated Chantr (fig.). See also Chandra.

2. Nickname for Thep Krasatri. Sometimes transliterated Chantr.

chanak

Nepali-Tibetan. ‘Eagle’. A symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism. Pronunciation khaw-nak.

chan atsadong (ชั้นอัสดง)

Thai. ‘Floor set’. Architectural term for a certain part of a chedi and prang. In the prang, it is the base section of the spire, just above the pedestal-like part above the main base called reuan that (เรือนธาตุ), i.e. the place where the actual shrine is. In a chedi, the term refers to the part in between the hemispherical or bell-shaped base and the plong shanai, and which may be built with small pillars in a style resembling a balcony (fig.).

chanchu (蟾蜍)

Chinese. ‘Moon toad’ or ‘toad’. Name for the Lucky Money Toad. Chan means both ‘toad’ and ‘moon’ in Chinese and ‘moon’ in Thai. In Thai, it is called kaangkok sawan.

Chanda (चण्ड)

Sanskrit. Name of a lesser asura in the service of Sumbha and Nisumbha, who was slain by Devi for trying to abduct her. After Chanda and the demon Munda, had encountered the goddess Devi, they were overwhelmed by her beauty and reported this back to Sumbha and Nisumbha. Hence, Chanda and Munda were sent out to abduct her, yet both were destroyed by Devi. See also Chamunda.

Chandaka (ชันดากะ)

Thai-Sanskrit. Siddhartha's servant who initially accompanied him during the Great Departure. In Pali, his name is Channa. MORE ON THIS.

Chandi (चण्डी)

Sanskrit. ‘Cruel’. One of the fierce forms of Devi, also known as Chandika, which means the ‘Violent and Impetuous One’, and Durga Sapthashati, i.e. the ‘Invincible Seven Hundred Verses’. Though she was initially described as a combination of Mahakali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Sarasvati, she is later described as a form of Maha Lakshmi, depicted with eighteen arms holding weapons.

Chandra (चन्द्रा)

Sanskrit. ‘Moon’. The term is also used to refer to the Hindu moon god, alongside some other appellations. It was this lunar god who discovered the deceit by the demon Rahu during the distribution of the amrita, together with Surya, the god of the sun. They reported this to Vishnu, who immediately cut the demon in half with his disc. However, the amrita taken by Rahu already had its effect and both parts lived on separately. Since Rahu never forgot the betrayal by the sun and moon, he now chases them alternately with his mouth wide open, and when swallowing them causes the eclipses of the sun and moon. The name Chandra derived from the Sanskrit word chand (चन्द्), meaning ‘to shine’. The vahana of this deity is the Blackbuck (fig.), though it may also be a goose, or a horse (fig.). The moon god is sometimes represented as a female deity, i.e. a moon goddess (fig.). In Thai, both the moon and the moon god are referred to as Chan or Phra Jan.

chandrabindu (चन्द्राबिन्द)

Sanskrit. ‘Moon-dot’. A compound word consisting of the words chandra and bindu. It refers to a mark used in the Devanagari script, a stroke in the form of a crescent-shaped moon surrounding a dot. The moon-dot stroke can be placed above the top-line of vowels, in order to emphatically nasalize their sound. The diacritic is reminiscent of the urdhva-pundra worn by Vaishnavas, the followers of Vishnu. The urdhva-pundra is a sectarian mark (pundra) and type of tilaka (fig.) in the form of a U-shape usually with a red dot inside, that Vaishnavas may wear on the forehead (fig.) or on other parts of the body, especially on the torso. The chandrabindu is part of the famous word Aum (fig.), where it is by some believed to represent Vishnu. Also called anunasika (अनुनासिक).

Chandrahasa (ಚ೦ದ್ರಹಾಸ)

Kannada. Name of a prince in the epic Mahabharata, who was the son of Sudharmika, the king of Kerala. He married the princess of Kuntala, with whom he had two sons, and befriended Arjuna, who was accompanied by Krishna guarding the ashwamedha, horse of Yudhishtira, the son of Pandu, leader of the Pandavas in the battle at Kuruksthera.

chandrahasa (चन्द्राहास)

Sanskrit. ‘Smiling moon’ or ‘laughing moon’. Name of the gleaming scimitar in the Ramayana, a curved oriental sword sometimes referred to as ‘moon blade’, that Ravana received from Shiva as a favour.

Chandra Suriyawong (จันทรสุริยวงษ์)

Thai-Sanskrit. ‘Lunar-Solar Circle’. Name of a Chao, a local ruler in Isaan, who in the 18th century AD founded a settlement along the left banks of the Mekhong River which was later moved and became he town of Mukdahan. Also spelled Chandrasuriyawongse.

chandrika (จันทริกา, चन्द्रिका)

Thai-Sanskrit. A traditional Indian silkworm breeding frame made of bamboo and arranged in concentric circles. Depending on its size it can carry somewhere between 250 to over 1,000 silkworms. Sometimes called chandrike. In Thailand, they are usually round flat baskets, called krajo or jo (fig.). In Sanskrit, chandrika literally means ‘moonlight’ and thus conceivably suggests a round shape.

chang (ช้าง)

1. Thai for ‘elephant’. Also transcribed chaang or chahng. See Asian Elephant and teuk chang.

2. Thai name for any member of the orchid family in the genus Rhynchostylis, also referred to as sakun chang (สกุลช้าง). In 2010, orchids of this family, that occur in Thailand and of the variety Rhynchostylis gigantea, i.e. Chang Kra (ช้างกระ); Chang Som (ช้างส้ม); Chang Pheuak (ช้างเผือก); and Chang Daeng (ช้างแดง), were published on a set of four postage stamps (fig.). Chang Pheuak (Rhynchostylis gigantea var. alba) is both rare and very expensive, as it blooms only in winter, i.e. in December and January.

Chang Cheng (长城)

Chinese. Long City Wall or Eternal City. Name for the Great Wall of China.

Chang-e (嫦娥)

Chinese. Name of a legendary beauty who flew to the moon, hence she is also known as the lady in the moon. She was the spouse of Houyi, the god of archery. Whereas the second character of her name translates as ‘good’ and ‘beautiful’, the first character seems to be linguistically related to the Thai word for moon, i.e. Chan. In art, she is often portrayed together with the Jade Rabbit that lives on the moon (fig.).

Changeable Hawk-eagle

Name of a large bird of prey, with the scientific designations Nisaetus cirrhatus and Spizaetus cirrhatus. READ ON.

Chang Heng (張衡)

See Zhang Heng.

Chang Kuo Lao (張果老)

Chinese. Name of one of the Eight Immortals (fig.), said to be the most unconventional of the group, an alchemist known for making liquor from herbs and shrubs, thought to have therapeutic properties. Being a master of Qi Gong, he could go without food for lengthy periods of time, surviving on only a few drops of his herbal liquor. In legend, he has been described as being a white bat that came out of the primeval chaos and as a hermit who was able to revive the death. He lived in the Zhongtiao Mountains (中条山) during the Tang Dynasty and rode a donkey that could travel thousands of miles a day. Whenever he stopped to rest, he would fold his donkey up like a piece of paper and store it away. When he wished to ride again, he would spew water over it, thus transforming it back into its real size. When he became ill, he retrieved to the Zhongtiao Mountains and reportedly died there, but when his followers opened his tomb, they found it empty. He is also referred to as Elder Chang Kuo and his name is sometimes transcribed Zhang Kuo Lao. His attribute is a fish drum (fig.), a traditional Chinese instrument known as yugu (fig.), that can foretell future events and which he uses to perform divination. He is usually depicted holding this yugu and sometimes while seated on his donkey (fig.). His name is also transcribed Zhang Guo Lao.

Chang Nahm (ช้างน้ำ)

1. Thai. ‘Water Elephant’. Mythological animal with the characteristics of both an elephant and a fish. Similar compound animals with the features of an elephant and a fish are Kunchon Warih, i.e. a creature with  the head of an elephant, two front legs of an elephant and the body of a fish; and Warih Kunchon, an elephant with a fish tail, and fins that run along the backbone, as well as fins that are attached to the back of each of its four legs. Similar to chang nahm, the word warih means ‘elephant’, and the word kunchon translates as ‘water’ or ‘sea’. All these creatures have gills and dwell in the sea, where they are able to submerge and swim at great speed under water.

2. Thai. ‘Water elephant’. Thai name for a hippopotamus.

3. Thai for ‘sea cow’.

Chang Pheuak (ช้างเผือก)

1. Thai name for a White Elephant, though literally pheuak means taro (fig.), the tuberous root in the Araceae family with a brownish pink colour and bulbous shape, features reminiscent of White Elephants, which according to legend are born from lotus flowers (fig.) and hence also have the colour of a lotus, i.e. a pinkish white colour (fig.).

2. Thai name for the Milky Way, also referred to as the Path of the White Elephant, that is Thahng Chang Pheuak.

 3. Thai name for a member of the orchid family in the genus Rhynchostylis, known in Thai as Chang and of which there exist only 6 species, the Chang Pheuak (Rhynchostylis gigantea var. alba) being an orchid with whitish flowers, that has been publicized on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2005 (fig.), and again in 2010, together with three other varieties of Rhynchostylis orchids (fig.). The Chang Pheuak is both rare and very expensive, as it blooms only in winter, i.e. in December and January.

Chang Sanfeng (张三丰)

Chinese. Name of a semi-mythical supposed 13th century Chinese Taoist monk who is believed by some to have achieved immortality. There are many myths and folktales about this figure and according to some sources he was a former Shaolin disciple who had left the Shaolin temple to establish a Taoist mountain monastery. Other sources make record of at least two Chinese emperors sending missions to Chang Sanfeng to ask for his advice, but neither mission is reported to have found him. Due to his legendary status he is frequently presented as a spiritual teacher and master of Chinese martial arts, including as a grandmaster of tai chi chuan. Before he became a Taoist his name is said to have been Zhang Junbao. Also transcribed Zhang Sanfeng.

chang seuk (ช้างศึก)

Thai. ‘War elephant’ or ‘battle elephant’. Name for an elephant used in a form of ancient warfare, known as yutthahadtie. In this hand-to-hand combat, the warrior -often royalty- sat on the neck of the elephant, whilst an aide-de-camp sat in a howdah on the back, to overlook the battle field, give directions and steer the animal, using a pair of fly whisk-like tools (fig.), as well as to hand the combatant his choice of long-handled weapons (fig.), which were stored on the back of the howdah (fig.). These weapons include a kho ngao, a scythe-like weapon used particularly in this kind of combat. The warrior engaged in this kind of hand-to-hand combat typically wore a malabiang, a kind of battle hat with a wide brim and earflaps, which offered protection against the weapons of the enemy. Famous historical battles fought on war elephants include the ca. 1256 scuffle in Tak between Poh Khun Sahm Chon (สามชน), ruler of Chot (ฉอด), and Sri Indraditya, in which the then 19-year old prince Ramkamhaeng, the later king of Sukhothai, intervened by driving away his father's enemy, for which he got the name Ramkamhaeng, which means ‘Rama the Brave’; the 1424 fight over the Ayutthayan Throne between the brothers prince Chao Aai Phraya (เจ้าอ้ายพระยา) and prince Chao Yih Phraya (เจ้ายี่พระยา) at Saphaan Pah Thaan (สะพานป่าถ่าน), in which both were killed; the 1549 War of Tabinshwehti (fig.), in which Queen Suriyothai of Ayutthaya (fig.) was slashed to death by Phra Chao Prae (พระเจ้าแปร) of Burma; and the 1593 Battle of Nong Sarai (fig.), in which king Naresuan (fig.) defeated Minchit Sra, the Burmese crown prince and a grandson of Bayinnuang, the king of Pegu.

Changshou (长手)

Chinese. ‘Long hand’. Name of a luohan and one of the Eighteen Arahats, as well as of the Five Hundred Arahats, who in English is commonly referred to as the Long-armed Arahat. He is described as having a very sharp mind and the magical property to grow his arms as long as he wants them to be, which enables him to reach for the stars (fig.), as well as to help others. He is sometimes depicted with a beard, and is also known as Bantuo-jia (半讬迦) and Tan Shou (探手), i.e. ‘Search Hand’, whereas in India he is called Panthaka and also referred to as Pantha the Elder.

Chang Ton (ช้างต้น)

Thai. ‘First Elephant’. The Elephant of State on which the kings formerly rode during state ceremonies and which would have been a White Elephant (fig.).

chanih (ชะนี)

1. Thai for gibbon. In this context the word is also used derogatory for women, since the gibbon call sounds like ‘phua’, the Thai word for husband, thus indicating a gibbon sounds like a woman who is calling for her husband. Also transcribed chani and chanie.

2. Thai. A kind of durian.

Channa (ฉันนะ)

Pali-Thai. The male servant of prince Siddhartha, the historical Buddha. In Sanskrit, he is known by the name Chandaka.

Channanie (ชนนี)

Thai. ‘Matriarch’ or ‘mother’. Thai name for the mother of a king, or for a noble widow (fig.). Her full title is Somdet Phra Boromma Raja Channanie or Somdet Phra Pan Pie Luang. See also chanok. Sometimes transcribed Channanee, Channanih or Channanih, and also pronounced Chonnanih.

Chanok (ชนก)

1. Rajasap. ‘Patriarch’ or ‘father’. Thai name for the father of a king. His full title is Somdet Phra Borom Raja Chanok. See also Channanie.

2. Rajasap. Name of the second incarnation of the Buddha in the Totsachat-stories, before his Enlightenment when he was still a bodhisattva.

Chanok Jakrawat (ชนกจักรวรรดิ)

Thai. ‘Father Empire’. Name of a king and  hermit (reusi) in the epic Ramakien, who one day found a baby girl in a bowl on the boat landing of his ashram. He decided to adopt her, but until he could do so, he buried her near a banyan tree, invoking the gods to guard it. When he eventually ended his life as a hermit, he returned to his throne in Mithila and ploughed the field in search of the bowl with the girl, that was buried under the ground. He came across a lotus marking the place of the bowl and found inside the girl who had grown into a 16-year old woman, whom he named Sida (fig.). Chanok Jakrawat is often referred to as thao Jakrawat. Also spelled Chanok Chakrawat.

Chanthabuli (ຈັນທະບູລີ, จันทะบูลี)

1. Lao-Thai. The meaning in modern Lao is ambiguous and could mean either ‘walled city of sandalwood’ or ‘moon city’, similar to the Thai city of Chanthaburi. According to legend this was the original name of Vientiane, which in full was Chanthabuli Si Sattanakhanahud. Also spelled Chantabuly and Chanthabuly.

2. Lao-Thai. The name of a district in the city of Vientiane in Laos. Also spelled Chantabuly and Chanthabuly.

Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี)

Thai. ‘City of the moon’ or ‘moon city’. The capital of Chanthaburi province (map) in East Thailand, 245 kms Southeast of Bangkok, with a population of approximately 40,000 inhabitants in the city and around 480,060 in the province which also has a significant minority of native Vietnamese citizens. Those first arrived there after fleeing from the 19th century anti-Catholic persecutions, later from French rule in Indochina and once again after the 1975 communist victory in Vietnam. In the South the province borders the Gulf of Thailand and in the East it runs alongside the Cambodian province of Battambang. Like Trat, the city is known for the trade in sapphires and rubies and for the nearby mining of these gemstones. The province is the country's main production centre for dried rice noodles and it is the place where general Taksin formed an army to drive away the Burmese after they had conquered and destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767, causing its definitive downfall. This event is remembered in the town by a monument in King Taksin Park (fig.). After the Paknahm incident of 13 July 1893, in a dispute over the Laotian border in which France sent its troops into territories on the left bank of the Mekhong river and moored several gunboats to blockade the Gulf of Thailand at the mouth of the Chao Phraya river, the French colonist army on 29 July 1893 occupied the western part of Chanthaburi, not pulling their troops out until 1903, after which they went on to occupy Trat. In 1906 the French eventually pulled all their troops out of Siamese territory, after Siam gave up ownership of the western part of Cambodia. The province has several national parks, the more popular being Nahm Tok Phliw National Park (fig.). Due to its similarity in name, ton jan or ton chan (ต้นจันทร์, ต้นจัน or ต้นจันทน์), i.e. the Gold Apple, a tree with the botanical name Diospyros decandra, is the provincial tree of Chanthaburi province, which has 9 amphur and one king amphur, 76 tambon and 690 mu ban. Compare with Chanthabuli. See also Chanthaburi data file.

Chanthakumaan (จันทกุมาร)

Thai for Candakumara.

Chao (ชาว)

Thai for a member of a race or group of people, usually translated as ‘ethnic group, tribe’ or ‘native’.

Chao (เจ้า)

1. Thai. A title denoting greatness, used for royalty, princes, lords, potentates and rulers in Thailand and Laos, like in Chaochai (prince), Chaoying (princess) and Chao Phraya (nobleman of the highest rank).

2. A Thai pronoun in the second person, nowadays used only when speaking to an inferior, equivalent to you. In obsolete or poetic usage, it is equivalent to ‘thou’ or ‘thee’, used especially when talking to one's wife.

3. A Thai pronoun in the third person, in obsolete or poetic usage, especially when referring to a woman, equivalent to ‘she’ or ‘her’.

4. A term of assent used by women in northern Thailand to address an equal. It is a polite term identical to the central Thai word ‘kha’ used by women and ‘khrab’ used by men to express agreement or added to a phrase in order to show good manners.

chao ahwaht (เจ้าอาวาส)

Thai. ‘Ruler (chao) of a temple’, i.e. an abbot. The word ahwaht derives from avasa, i.e. the Pali word for ‘temple’.

Chaochai (เจ้าชาย)

Thai for ‘prince’.

Chao Chiwit (เจ้าชีวิต)

Thai. ‘Lord of Life’. Title formerly used for a sovereign, especially during the Ayutthaya period until the beginning of the Rattanakosin period.

Chao Chom Maanda (เจ้าจอมมาร)

Thai-rajasap. Title for a royal mother, i.e. a concubine who gave birth to a prince.

Chao Fah (เจ้าฟ้า)

Thai. ‘Lord of the Skies’. Initially, title given to the son of a king born of a mother who is also of royal blood. Later it was also used for any daughter of a king born of a mother who is also of royal blood, and may hence also be translated ‘Dame of the Skies’. It now is a common title for the offspring of the King and Queen, usually translated as ‘Prince’ or Princess’, depending on the gender. The Burmese equivalent is Saopha.

Chao Jet Ton (เจ้าเจ็ดตน)

Thai. ‘Dynasty of the Seven Lords’. Another name for the dynasty of the house of Thipchakratiwong. Literally the name means ‘lord’ (Chao), ‘seven’ (jed), ‘lords’ (with ton being a classifier for the word chao). Despite its name this dynasty in fact had nine rulers or lords. See also list of Thai kings.

chao kana (เจ้าคณะ)

Thai. Housemaster. A priest who has charge of the monks in a temple building or a portion of a monastery.

Chao Kawila (เจ้ากาวิละ)

Thai. Ruler of Lampang and Chiang Mai in the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty. He was born in 1742, the first of ten children of Prince Chai Kaew of Lampang, and a descendant of Phaya Suwareuachai Songkram of the house of Thipchakratiwong. After he had succeeded his father as ruler of the city he joined forces with Prince Chaban of Chiang Mai in a plot to rid the cities of oppressive Burmese rule. They sought the help of King Taksin who sent an army under the command of Chao Phrya Chakri. With combined forces they overthrew the Burmese in Lampang in 1774 and in the night of February 14, 1775 also Chiang Mai fell to the Siamese. However, due to Burmese counterattacks Chiang Mai had to be abandoned and was only formally reoccupied in March 1796. By then Chao Phraya Chakri had become King Rama I and in 1802 he officially appointed Kawila as ruler of Chiang Mai, in lieu of the late Prince Chaban who had died at the end of the Thonburi Period. Kawila continued with campaigns against the Burmese and placed his brothers as rulers of other northern cities, whilst Kawila's sister, Princess Sri Anocha, married to Prince Boonma, King Rama I's only brother. In 1815 Chao Kawila died of fever. He was the first king of Lan Na under Siamese rule. His full title is Phra Chao Boromma Rachathibodi Kawila. See also list of Thai kings.

chao kuay (เฉาก๊วย)

Thai name for a black vegetable jelly, eaten as a dessert in Southeast Asia, as well as in some countries of the Far East, including China and Taiwan. It is made by boiling the aged and slightly oxidized stalks and leaves of a plant known as ya chao kuay, with potassium carbonate and a little starch. When cooled the decoction becomes a translucent black jelly which is usually cut into small cubes (fig.). It is generally consumed mixed with crushed ice and palm sugar, or with soy milk to create a drink. In China, it is mixed with rice water and used as a cooling drink. In English, it is known as grass jelly. Also transcribed chao kuai.

Chao Le (ชาวเล)

Thai. ‘Sea people’. Term for the once nomadic sea gypsies who have a long history in Southern Thailand and are believed to be the first settlers in Koh Lanta and other islands of the Andaman Sea. They are ethnically separated from Southern Thais and have their own language and customs. The sea gypsy people support their families through the fishing trade, which has always been the mainstay of their livelihoods. Structural changes in the modern world and loss of fishing ground due to general development have made their way of life increasingly difficult and has put a strain on their unique culture. During full moon of the 6th and 11th months in the lunar calendar the sea gypsies perform a ceremony to bring prosperity and happiness in the forthcoming year. They build a two meter wooden boat, fill it with mementos and then perform a dance before setting it adrift. Also Chao Ley and sometimes called Chao Thai Mai as well.

Chao Luang (เจ้าหลวง)

Thai for a vassal prince or the ruler of a colony or protectorate.

Chao Mae Thabthim (เจ้าแม่ทับทิม)

Thai name for Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea (fig.), who is worshipped by Chinese-Hainanese people worldwide. Her name means ‘Goddess Ruby’ or ‘Ruby Majesty’, and derives from the red colour of her dress (fig.). She is worshipped in many places around Thailand, where numerous shrines, called Sahn Chao Mae Thabthim, can be found, with sahn (ศาล) being a word related to sala. Sometimes called Mae Chao Thabthim. See also Chao and thabthim.

cha om (ชะอม)

Thai name for a shrub, with the botanical name Acacia pennata. Its young leaves are edible and usually eaten raw with nahm phrik, generally as a side vegetable with other food (fig.), or fried with eggs in a dish called cha om thod khai (fig.), which on markets is usually sold as a thick, greenish omelet, which is cut up into square, cube-like blocks. It is also used as an ingredient in soups, such as kaeng som, i.e. a sour soup made of tamarind paste, as well as in certain curries and stir-fried dishes. The taste of the leaves is rather unusual, somewhat bitter.

cha om thod khai (ชะอมทอดไข่)

Thai name for a kind of omelet, which is mixed with cha om, i.e. young Acacia leaves (fig.). It is usually cut up into thick, square or diamond-shaped blocks and is served with other food (fig.), such as kaeng som, e.g. kaeng som cha om kung (fig.).

Chao Phaya (เจ้าพระยา)

See Chao Phraya.

Chao Pho Chetakup (เจ้าพ่อเจตคุปต์)

See Citragupta.

Chao Pho Ho Klong (เจ้าพ่อหอกลอง)

Thai. Name of a protective deity, said to be the spirit of Chao Phraya Si Surasak (สีห์สุรศักดิ์), an important military leader from the Thonburi period, who in battle used to encourage his troops by beating on a war drum. After his death, people would sometimes hear drumbeats coming from his drum, whilst no one was near, and each time just before something bad was about to happen, as it were a supernatural warning sign. His spirit is thus believed to safeguard the population and warn them for looming dangers. In art, he is sometimes depicted standing upright and wearing a chadah (fig.), whilst holding a lotus flower in his right hand and a horn in the left hand.

Chao Pho Seua (เจ้าพ่อเสือ)

Thai. ‘Tiger guardian spirit’. Thai name for Xuanwu.

Chao Phraya (เจ้าพระยา)

1. A Thai ‘nobleman of the highest rank’ (fig.), a title conferred by former kings. Also transcribed Chao Phya, Chao Phaya and Chao Phrya.

2. Thai. Name of the Chao Phraya river, Thailand’s most important waterway, that flows through Bangkok and which is formed by the confluence of four rivers near the city of Nakhon Sawan, namely the Ping, Wang, Yom and Nan, and ends in the Gulf of Thailand near Samut Prakan, otherwise known as Meuang Pahk Nahm, the city at the estuary (fig.). Due to the meaning of its name, the river is often referred to as Royal River or River of Kings. In the evening (fig.) the river is a popular spot for dinner, both in riverside restaurants of upmarket hotels and on river boats (fig.), that organize evening dinner cruises that offer sensational views of the city's skyline as luxurious hotels and historical sites (fig.) are illuminated. During the daytime, the river also has a river express,  i.e. a public boat service popularly known as reua duan (fig.). Also transcribed Chao Phya, Chao Phaya and Chao Phrya.

Chao Phrya (เจ้าพระยา)

See Chao Phraya.

Chao Phya (เจ้าพระยา)

See Chao Phraya.

chao taan cheuam (จาวตาลเชื่อม)

Thai. ‘Sugar palm endocarp boiled in syrup’. Name for a sweet dessert, consisting of the endocarp (fig.) of sugar palm seeds, either boiled dry or in a thick syrup. It is often eaten with sticky rice mixed with ka-thi (coconut milk or cocnut cream), additionally it may be mixed with roasted (kua) sesame seeds, sugar, salt and shredded coconut, a version of this dish known as khao niauw tanoht (โตนด), the last word being a part of the Thai name for the sugar palm, i.e. ton taan tanoht. Popularly also called look taan cheuam (ลูกตาลเชื่อม). Also transliterated jaw tahn chueam, or similar.

Chaoying (เจ้าหญิง)

Thai for ‘princess’.

chaphlu (ชะพลู, ช้าพลู)

Thai. One generic name given to a herb of which there are actually two different kinds, one with the botanical name Piper sarmentosum, the other with the scientific name Piper lolot. There is no common English name, but both belong to the betel family Piperaceae. In English, the two are sometimes called wild betel or piper betel, but officially they are only identified by their scientific names. Both plants have glossy, heart-shaped leaves (fig.), called bai chaphlu, which are used in Thai cuisine, usually fresh and as a wrapper for miang, like with miangkham (fig.).  The leaves are also used in other Southeast Asian countries, e.g. in Malaysia, where it is known as kadok or kaduk and its leaves as daun kadok which are shredded in a rice dish called nasi ulam, literally ‘rice with raw vegetable’ or used as a wrapper for otak, a spicy fish pâté, reminiscent of the Thai dish khao neung, a dish that is also served with fresh chaphlu leaves (fig.); in Vietnam, where it is known as la lôt and the leaves as bo la lôt, which are used typically as a wrapper for grilling meats or seafood, a dish called bo cuôn la lôt (fig.), i.e. ‘betel leaf rolls’; and in Laos where it is called phak i leut and the leaves bai i leut which are used to make a kind of salad. The leaves are also used to wrap the betel nut (fig.), a stimulant mixed together with some tobacco and lime paste (fig.).

chappannarangsie (ฉัพพรรณรังสี)

1. Thai. Aureole, nimbus or halo. Also radsamie.

2. Thai. Star with six rays or points.

charcoal

See thaan.

chari

Gujari. Name of a container used to fetch water from a well and which is typically carried on the head by Indian women. It can be either an earthen urn, or a aluminum or brass pot. In Rajasthan, it is used in dance performances known as Chari Dances, in which women dance while balancing the pots on their heads, which at night are often kept ignited with cotton wicks dipped in oil (fig.). In other parts of India it is referred to as ghata (घट), ghatam or ghattam, and matka or matki.

Charles Van den Born

Belgian pilot who in January 1911 brought aviation to Thailand by carrying out the first flight in the Kingdom at Sanam Bin Sra Pathum (fig.), with his aircraft the Farman (fig.), a 1910 French manufactured bi-plane. Though born in Liege on 11 July 1874, though some sources say 1873, his mother was French, and he later became a French national himself. Before taking up flying, he was well-known as a bicycle and automobile racer. He earned his French pilot's license on 8 March 1910 in an H. Farman, and his Belgian license only weeks later, on 31 March 1910. He was one of the earliest licensed pilots. His flying career included flight demonstrations in France, Belgium, Italy, French Indochina, Thailand and China, and he was the first pilot ever to fly in French Indochina, Hong Kong, and Thailand. During WWI, he directed the Belgian aviation school in France. He later returned to Indochina and after the Indochina Wars, went back to France, where he died on 24 Jan 1958.

Charoen Krung (เจริญกรุง)

Thai. Name of a road in Bangkok, also known as the New Road. It is the first road to have been built with Western technology, at the time when the capital was changing its means of transportation from water to the land. It starts to the south of the Grand Palace and runs more or less southward, in part following the course of the Chao Phraya River. It has historical value due to the architectural structures that lie along the road, many of them ancient shop houses built in the same style as those in the Singapore of that time, an approach instigated by Phraya Sri Suriyawongse after he visited the city off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Due to its historical significance, the road has been dubbed the Road that Connects History. It was constructed in 1861 and is often referred to as Bangkok's oldest road. In 2011, it was portrayed on a Thai postage stamp to mark its 150th anniversary (fig.).

chat (ฉัตร)

1. Thai for chattra. See also ton son chat (fig.).

2. Thai. The wide rim of a gong or kong from which it is suspended.

chattra (छत्त्र)

Sanskrit. Multi-layered umbrella held over a honourary figure, usually as a symbol of royalty or honour, in part similar to and often used together with pad yot (fig.). It sometimes crowns the mast of a Buddhist stupa or chedi (fig.), and in North Thailand is often seen on the roofs of temple buildings, usually in the middle (fig.). When used as an ornament in such way, on top of a chedi, a temple roof, or even on a chadah, it is referred to as plih. Besides the symbol of a monarch, it also represents the spiritual authority and shelter for all living beings. The chattra is one of the eight auspicious symbols or Ashtamangala. In Chinese-Taoist temples, some Buddhist umbrellas are depicted long and cylindrical in shape and are used decoratively, hung from the ceiling (fig.). Those kind of Chinese-style umbrellas could in some way be considered as the Chinese equivalent of the Indian chattra. See also noppapadon and ton son chat (fig.). In Thai chat or shat.

chattri

Elevated pavilion that consist of a dome-shaped roof raised by four or more pillars and used in Indian architecture. It is found on top of buildings in India, where it is used decoratively or to provide shelter from the natural elements, or built over funerary sites. The name and function is hence reminiscent of the chattra (fig.), as well as of the chedi (fig.), which is believed to have derived from the former. Also transcribed chhatri.

Chatuchak (จตุจักร)

Thai. ‘Quadric circle’. Name of a district in northern Bangkok which has a park (fig.) and popular weekend market of the same name. These are both situated in between the old and new Mo Chit bus terminals. The park is built on a plot of land donated by the State Railway of Thailand to King Bhumipon on the occasion of his fourth-cycle (48th) birthday on 5 December 1975. The king named the site Chatuchak Park on 8 January 1976 and the park was officially opened on 4 December 1980. It features floral plants, herbal plants, several species of palm trees, a multipurpose ground, and sculptures representing some of the first ASEAN country members. There is also a health park built in honor of princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on her third-cycle (36th) birthday. The park has the nation's largest fountain, a musical fountain with regular, animated performances (fig.), choreographed to Thai music (fig.). The park is also used as a site for staging public events by its district's residents. The market is located on a 70 rai plot of land South of the park and is the first weekend market in Bangkok. It originally occupied Sanam Luang, where it had been established in 1948 and was then called Sanam Luang Market. In 1982 it was relocated to the present-day site on Phahon Yothin Road, which the State Railway of Thailand had given to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). The market at the new location was renamed the Phahon Yothin Market and later, in 1987, the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It claims to have more than 15,000 shops and an estimated 200,000 visitors per day.

Chaturbuja (चतुर्भुज)

Sanskrit. ‘Four-armed’. Name for the depiction of a Hindu god with four arms, with the Sanskrit word chatur meaning ‘four’. Also transcribed Caturbhuja.

chaturanga (चतुरङ्ग)

Sanskrit. ‘Having four limbs’. Name for an ancient Indian strategy game, which became the common ancestor of western chess and from which also other board games, such as sittuyin, derive. It is said to have developed in the 6th Century Gupta Period. The term chaturanga derives from a battle formation mentioned in the Mahabharata, which could be translated as ‘army’, and the four limbs refer to the four described army divisions, i.e. chariots, war elephants, the cavalry, and the infantry. The game board consists of 64 squares, i.e. 8 rows and 8 columns, though without alternating colours, while the pieces and their setup on the game board in starting position are similar to those of western chess, though the King is sided by a minister, counselor or general, rather than a Queen, and a set of elephants act for the bishops in western chess. See also mahk ruk and yutthahadtie.

Chaturanradsamih (จาตุรนต์รัศมี)

Thai. A royal prince of Siam, i.e. the 28th son of King Mongkut and the 3rd son of Queen Debsirindra, also transcribed Queen Thepsihrinthrah (เทพศิรินทรา), and thus a full brother of Prince and later King Chulalongkorn. During his term in office as Finance Ministry, he promulgated the notifications regarding the tax reform and abolished gambling. He was born on Tuesday 13 January 1856 and died on 11 April 1900 at the age of 44. He had 14 children. His portrait is depicted on one of a rare set of unmarked postage stamps of the Royal Family issued in circa 1893 (fig.), as well as on a commemorative postage stamp issued in 2006 to mark his 150th birthday anniversary (fig.). His name is also transliterated Chaturantarasmi and Chaturonrasmi, and his name and title in full are Somdet Phra Chao Borommawonthe Chao Fah Chaturonradsamih Krom Phra Chakraphandiphong (สมเด็จพระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ เจ้าฟ้าจาตุรนต์รัศมี กรมพระจักรพรรดิพงษ์). Chakraphandiphong (Chakrabardhibongse) Road in Bangkok's Pomprap Sattruphai (ป้อมปราบศัตรูพ่าย) District is named after him.

chaya (ชายา)

Thai term for the consort of a prince.

chayedan (茶叶蛋)

Chinese. ‘Tea-leaf egg’. See tea egg.

chedi (เจดีย์)

Thai. A bell shaped monument erected to house a holy statue or an object of a prominent person, such as the ashes of important monks and royalty, or relics of the Buddha. In Thailand they are called phra chedi and are most commonly used as a relic shrine. The bell shaped chedi is a copy of the Indian stupa or caitya, with the Thai name being derived from the latter term. In Burma this structure is known as zedi (fig.) or pagoda, in Vietnam as chua (fig.), in Tibet as chorten (fig.), and in Sri Lanka it is called dagoba (fig.). Its typical bell shape (fig.) probably developed from a chattra (fig.), the multi-layered umbrella carried for royalty as a symbol of their dignity as can be seen above some Buddha images today. Plausibly the chattra was initially placed on top of the grave of a deceased member of royalty thus initiating the idea to later replace this rather fragile mausoleum with more sturdy materials. In that way the relic shrine originated simultaneously with the specific bell shape tapering off to a point. The chattra may still sometimes crown the mast of a chedi (fig.), but is then referred to as plih. The multi-layered chattra form is also clearly seen in the pyatthat (fig.), a typical Burmese style, multi-roofed pagoda. In later structures the triphum is symbolically represented, that is, earth heaven and hell. Visitors to natural parks often create small chedi made from stones or pebbles (fig.), a practice reminiscent  of the mani stones from Tibet, as well as of the chedi saai, sand pagodas that are built in Thai temples as a kind of folk amusement. In addition, the making of small stone pagodas reminds of an ancient Tamil tradition, in which people celebrated their fallen warriors by erecting formless stones in their memory. See also plong shanai (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Chedi Chang Lom (เจดีย์ช้างล้อม)

Thai. ‘Elephants Surrounded Pagoda’. Name of a Buddhist pagoda, located within the temple complex of Wat Chiang Man. READ ON.

chedi saai (เจดีย์ทราย)

Thai. A pagoda (chedi) made of sand. Sand pagodas are built as a kind of folk amusement, especially in the northern provinces. It derived from the religious rite of khon saai khao wat, in which people annually bring sand back to the temple, as compensation for the sand that has been carried out from temple grounds over the past year, sticking to visitors feet. With the sand that is brought back, a chedi or pagoda is constructed. When finished, it is topped with small paper tung and paper flags, known as cho.

chenda (ചെണ്ട)

Malayalam name for a kind of large, cylindrical drum, of which there are various types. All have heads on both ends, though only one side is played, using drumsticks. There are a number of hinges that hold the drum head to the trunk using ropes. This kind of percussion instrument is widely used in the South Indian state of Kerala, as well as in parts of Karnataka, where they also use another yet similar drum, referred to as chende. The chenda is mainly played in Hindu temple festivals, as well as in a variety of cultural activities, such as weddings (fig.). It produces a loud and rigid sound.

Chenla (ចេនឡា, 真腊)

Khmer-Chinese name for a state in Cambodia, that existed between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, after the fall of Funan. It is also known as the Kamboja kingdom. Sometimes transcribed Zhenla.

cheroot

Name for a kind of handmade cigar from Myanmar. It is produced (fig.) by rolling tobacco powder made from a locally grown plant (fig.) into a dried and flattened leaf called thana hpe (fig.), or alternatively in a dried corn leaf, and closed off with a filter on one side, whilst the other side is closed off by pressing the leaf's ends into a pointed tip. The filter (fig.) is made from dried corn leaves that have been rolled into paper, often of an old tabloid, and then cut off to the right size using a wooden measuring object, i.e. after it has been fitted into the cheroot. After being rolled with the use of a wooden stick as an aid, the cheroot is fastened with a kind of glue made on the basis of rice, whilst a cigar band –with the brands name printed on it– is added. Unlike regular cigars, the cheroot is not tapering but it is cylindrical in shape. The word cheroot is said to mean ‘roll of tobacco’. In Burmese, the cheroot is called hsei bo lei (fig.), and is smoked by both Burmese men and women alike (fig.).

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

See Bee-eater.

Chestnut Rajah

Common name of a species of leafwing butterfly. READ ON.

Chestnut-tailed Minla

Common name for a 16-18.5 centimeter tall bird, with the scientific designations Minla strigula and Chrysominla strigula, and also commonly known as Chestnut-tailed Siva. It is found in South and mainland Southeast Asia, as well as in southern China. Its natural habitat consists of subtropical and tropical moist montane forests. Adults have a golden-rufous crown, a blackish eyebrow, and a black-and-white scaly throat and cheeks, divided by a blackish line and patch. There is a small yellow patch just below the dark bill. Its upperparts are greyish-olive, whilst it underparts are pale yellowish. The wings and tail are rufous and yellowish-orange, with black and white. There are some subspecies, i.e. Minla strigula malayana, which is duller and has broader throat scales, and Minla strigula traii, which is greyer above, has a solid white face and black cheeks, a brighter crown, and yellow-and-black throat scales. In Thai, this bird is called nok siwa hahng sih tahn, i.e. ‘brown-tailed Shiva bird’. In 1980, this bird was depicted on the third stamp of a set of four Thai postage stamps featuring Thai birds (fig.).

Chestnut-tailed Starling

Common name for a bird in the Sturnidae family, with the scientific designation Sturnus malabaricus, aka Sturnia malabarica. READ ON.

Chetsadabodin (เจษฎาบดินทร์)

Pali-Thai. Birth name of king Rama III. The first part of his name, chetsada, is Pali and means ‘senior’ or ‘(clerical) brother’, whereas the latter is a name derived from Indra, in Thai In (อินทร์). Also transcribed Chetsadabodintr and Jetsadabodin.

cheuam (เชื่อม)

Thai. ‘To boil in syrup’. A method to preserve fruit and enhance flavour, as in gluay cheuam. Other traditional methods of preserving fruits and vegetables include kuan (boiling and stirring), dong (pickling) and chae im (soaking in syrup).

chevrotain

Name given to a group of small, secretive animals, found only in the tropical forests of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Among others, it includes the family Tragulidae, which in itself includes the four species of Mouse-deer that are endemic to Thailand, i.e. the Greater Mouse-deer (fig.), the Lesser Mouse-deer (fig.), the Williamson's Mouse-deer and the Java Mouse-deer. The name chevrotain may derive from the chevron pattern on the throat and upper chest of most species, though some sources claim it derives from the French word chèvre, meaning ‘goat’, and that it could be translated as ‘little goat’. In Thai chevrotain are called krajong.

Chiang Hai

Northern Thai dialect for Chiang Rai.

Chiang Kai Shek (蒋介石)

Chinese. Name of the former leader of the Kuomintang, i.e. the Chinese Nationalist Party, who lived from 1887 to 1975. He was a close ally of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who became the first president of the Republic of China, and took his place as leader of the Kuomintang when Sun Yat-sen in 1925 died. However, Chiang Kai Shek was unable to maintain good relations with the Communists and a major split between the Nationalists and Communists in 1927 led to a civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, who in 1949 eventually defeated the Kuomintang, forcing the Nationalists to retreat to Taiwan, where Chiang Kai Shek ruled as the self-appointed President of the Republic of China and Director-General of the Kuomintang until his death.

Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่)

Thai. ‘New City’. The city of Chiang Mai is also the capital of the province of the same name (map) and is situated in North Thailand (fig.) along the banks of the Ping River (fig.), at about 745 km North of Bangkok and on an altitude of roughly 310 meters above sea level. The city now has a population of approximately 168,000, whilst the province has around 1,650,00 inhabitants. It was formerly named Nopburi Sri Nakhon Phing. The city was founded in 1296 AD by king Mengrai as the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom. He consolidated his power in the northern regions by making a pact with the rulers of two neighboring kingdoms (fig.), i.e. king Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and king Ngam Meuang of Phayao. In 1558 the city of fell to the Burmese forces of king Bayinnaung when Phra Chao Burengnong captured the city from Phra Chao Mekuthi in a three-day battle. It was made a vassal of Burma, required to pay annual tributes of silver and gold trees. Phra Chao Mekuthi tried to get rid of the Burmese control and was consequently deposed in 1564. For many years Chiang Mai and the North had been struggling under Burmese oppressive rule, especially when the area came to be used as the major forward base for Burmese military operations against Ayutthaya and Thonburi, and its population was frequently called upon to provide manpower. In 1774, Lan Na forces under the command of Prince Chaban, ruler of Chiang Mai and Chao Kawila, then ruler of Lampang and a descendant of the house of Thipchakratiwong, were sent by the Burmese to help defend against an invading Siamese army from Thonburi, but instead went over to the Siamese side and joined forces with the troops of King Taksin in recapturing the main northern cities and driving out the Burmese occupiers. By the time Chiang Mai was recaptured the city was however almost completely abandoned, due to the foreign suppression and the fact that the Burmese used it as a base to wage their military campaigns. Chao Kawila consequently repopulated the city with local people as well as with Shan and other ethnic groups, formally re-establishing the city in 1796. Being allied to the Siamese, king Rama V in 1892 took over the administration of Chiang Mai which in 1932 became a province of Siam. The province today covers an area of 20,107 km² and has 22 amphur, two king amphur, 204 tambon and 1,915 villages. In size of area is the second-biggest province of Thailand, but with regards to population it ranks only sixth. Its places of interest include Thailand's highest mountain Doi Inthanon (fig.) in Doi Inthanon National Park (fig.), Wachirathan Waterfall (fig.), the famous Buddhist temple Wat Doi Suthep (fig.), Wat Phrathat Sri Chom Thong Wora Wihaan (fig.), Oub Luang National Park (fig.), the daily night bazaar, the giant pandas Chuang-Chuang and Lin-Hui (fig.), Mae Fahng National Park (fig.), Chiang Dao Cave (fig.), Doi Suthep-Pui National Park (fig.), Huay Nahm Dang National Park (fig.), the Northern Telecoms of Thailand Museum (fig.), etc. Popular activities would include mountain hiking. The city also maintains a tradition of local handicraft manufacturing, such as the making of umbrellas, woodcarvings and furniture, silk weaving, silver and bronze artifacts, etc. The province is home to several hill tribe peoples and is bordered by Burma's Shan State in the North, Chiang Rai in the Northeast, Lamphun and Lampang in the East, Tak in the South and Mae Hong Son in the West. Its main waterways are the Ping, Fang, Taeng and Kuang rivers. The occupation of the Chiang Mai people includes trading and business, rice farming, fruit and vegetable cultivation, fresh water fishing and gardening. The province has many lamyai trees. See also Chiang Mai data file.

Chiang Mai Philatelic Museum

Museum in housed in the building of the former central post office of Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Chiang Mai Zoo

The first ever commercial zoo in northern Thailand. In 1952, Harold Mason Young, an American missionary, started a private animal collection at his home in Chiang Mai and opened it to the public as a private zoo. As his collection grew and his animals became a nuisance to his neighbors, he applied for permission to use a piece of land to keep his animals, allowing him to open the first public zoological park of the North in April 1957. After his death, the city of Chiang Mai recognized its value and on 16 June 1977 placed it under the administration of the state Zoological Park Organization, which also operates most other major zoos in the country. It is located on the foothill of Doi Suthep, along the road towards Wat Doi Suthep. It covers an area of 531 rai and is home to an estimated 400 animals, including Chuang-Chuang and Lin-Hui, two giant pandas from China (fig.), who on 27 May 2009 had a female cub. The cub was named Lin Bing (林冰) or Lin Ping, which is Chinese for ‘Ice Forest’, but in Thai it is also reminiscent of the city's Ping River. In Thai called Suan Sat Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Rai (เชียงราย)

Province and provincial capital (map) in North Thailand. The city lies on the southern bank of the Kok River (fig.), at 829 kilometers north of Bangkok and 185 kms from Chiang Mai, and at an altitude of around 416 meters above sea level. It has a population of approximately 45,000 inhabitants. In northern dialect it is called Chiang Hai. The city was founded in 1262 by King Mengrai as part of the Lan Na kingdom. Chiang Rai became Thai territory in 1786 and a Thai province in 1910. Among the places of interest are Wat Rong Khun (fig.), Wat Tham Pla (fig.), and Wat Tham Pah Acha Thong with its phra khi mah bintabaat, as well as the city's most important historical monument, Wat Phra Kaew. In this temple the Emerald Buddha was discovered after its octagonal chedi was struck and damaged by lightning in 1434 thus revealing the statue. The province covers an area of 11,678 kms² and numbers around 1,225,000 inhabitants. Its northern border is formed by the Mae Khong river, with across the provinces Bokeo and Oudomxai of the Democratic Republic of Laos, whilst to the West it borders the Shan State of the Union of Myanmar at the Golden Triangle, once the hub of opium production. Furthermore it borders the Thai provinces of Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Mai and is the most northerly province, about 2,100 kms away from Thailand's southernmost border. Its northernmost town is Mae Sai, situated at the confluence of the Ruak and Mae Sai rivers, at the Burmese border. The province has 16 amphur and two king amphur, 124 tambon and 1,510 villages known as mu ban. See also Chiang Rai data file.

Chiang Saen (เชียงแสน)

1. An amphur with its main town at the southern banks of the Mekhong River in northern Thailand, along the border with Laos. To the Northwest is the Shan State of Myanmar and to the North the Laotian province of Bokeo. It was a Lanna principality, founded in 1328 by King Mengrai's nephew Saenphu (แสนภู - fig.). In 1804, during the reign of Rama I, the city was conquered by Chao Kawila because it had been a Burmese stronghold for some time. It was consequently deserted and its inhabitants resettled in other Bangkok-allied Lanna cities such as Lampang and Chiang Mai. An ancient legend says that the city was destroyed by an earthquake as punishment for its inhabitants who, when they were starving because they couldn't find food or catch any fish, they ate a sacred naga which they had caught in the river. Today an archeological site still exists and some monuments found here pre-date Chiang Saen by several hundred years. According to a legend that earlier kingdom was called Yonok. Among the several ancient ruins in the old city (fig.) are the temples Wat Pa Sak and Wat Mung Meuang. MORE ON THIS.

2. Thai. Northern Thai art style produced in Chiang Saen during the 12th and 13th centuries AD.

chianmahk (เชี่ยนหมาก)

Thai for betel-set.

Chiasmia Moth

Name for a semi-large moth, known by the scientific names Chiasmia eleonora, Godonela eleonora, Phalaena eleonora Phalaena fasciata, Semiothisa fasciosaria and Semiothisa eleonora. It belongs to the family Geometridae and is found in South and Southeast Asia. It has mostly greyish upper-wings, with some dark and orange markings, and a distinctive whitish bar near the centre of the hind- and forewings, which both also have an outer whitish fringe. It has rather large eyes, and its body is grey with some orange, especially on the underside, as well as brownish-orange legs and antennae. It is also commonly known as Eleonora Angle, and in Thai as mot thong ngeun (มอธทองเงิน), which translates as ‘gold-silver moth’.

chiat (เจียด)

Thai. Literally ‘to allot’ or ‘to distribute’. Term used for a rectangular −or sometimes rounded− receptacle with a foot and covered with a cone-shaped lid used as an emblem of noble rank. Originally, these type of vessels were conferred by the king on a courtier or a prelate. Later on, they became used for keeping a set of fresh cloths in which visitors to the palace could change prior to an audience with the king. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Chien Li Yen (千里眼)

Chinese. ‘Eyes [that can see] a thousand miles’, sometimes also translated as ‘The Lynx-eyed’, ‘Thousand-mile Eye’ or ‘Thousand League Eyes’. Name of a mythological figure from Taoism. He and his brother (fig.) are said to have been the ruthless generals Kao Chuch and Kao Ming, treacherous brothers in the Shang Dynasty, who having died in a battle on Peach Blossom Mountain, remained there and haunted the place. One day, the Mother-Ancestor Tian Hou (Matsu/Mazu) passed through there and the brothers began to compete for her affection. To get rid of them Tian Hou challenged them to a fight: if any of them won, she would marry him but if she won, they both would have to serve her forever. Tian Hou won and the brothers serve her still, looking and listening for those who need her help. In art and temples, Chien Li Yen is generally depicted with the hand shielding his eyes from the sun and is usually portrayed with a green complexion, and sometimes with a horn. He and his brother are found in mainly Tian Hou temples, where Shun Feng Er (usually with a brown or red complexion, and sometimes with two horns) stands on the left side of the offering tables and Chien Li Yen to the right of the altar. However, their complexion or position to the altar may be reversed thus it is their unique positions of the hands that are the conclusive keys for recognition. However, occasionally, he and his brother may be portrayed in the tou liu bi iconographic style, with three heads and six arms, and with a different complexion, as is the Yu Huang Dian (玉皇殿), i.e. the Jade Emperor Palace Hall at Fengdu Ghost City (fig.). Also called Chin Lei Ngan and often transcribed Qian Li Yan.

chi fan le ma (吃饭了吗)

Chinese. ‘Have you eaten rice yet?’. Informal greeting in China, similar to the Burmese thamin sa bibi la, and the Thai kin khao reua yang. These questions are usually rhetorical in nature, and posed in order to show an interest in the other person's wellbeing, rather than a nosiness into someone's actual eating habits or an invitation to a meal.

Chi Guo Tian (持国天)

Chinese. ‘Deity that watches the land’. Name of the Kingdom-keeper, i.e. one of the Four Heavenly Kings. He correspondents with the Indian lokapala Dhritarashtra, who guards the East, whom is associated with the Hindu god Indra. He is King of the East, where he rules from a palace of gold over the continent of Purva-videha. In Chinese tradition, his attribute is a Chinese lute known as a pipa (fig.), which stands for harmony and represents the balanced power with which he rules. In Vietnam, he is known as Tri Quoc (Trì Quốc), and in full as Dong Phuong Tri Quoc Thien Vuong (Đông Phương Trì Quốc Thiên Vương), i.e. Tri Quoc, Heavenly King of the Eastern Quarter’ (fig.).

Chih Pleuay (ชีเปลือย)

1. Thai. ‘Nudist’. Name of a hermit or reusi character in the story Phra Aphaimanih, who in English is usually referred to as the Naked Maniac. He is depicted as a naked, meager, old man with a long white beard and appears on the seventh stamp in a series of eight Thai postage stamps issued in 2009 to publicize the story of Phra Aphaimanih as a major literary work of the Rattanakosin Era (fig.). Also transliterated Chee Pleuay.

2. Thai. ‘Nudist’. Term used for certain sadhu or ascetics in India, who go around naked and usually rub themselves completely with cremation ashes called vibhuti (fig.). Compare with chih pah kao. Also transliterated Chee Pleuay.

Chi Kung (气功)

See Qi Gong.

Children's Discovery Museum

Bangkok museum for kids, which encourages a hands-on and fun approach to learning, by presenting interactive displays and playful experiments, in which inquisitive young minds are persuaded to ask questions on how the world works. The museum is located in Chatuchak district, adjacent to Chatuchak Park and opposite of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. In Thai it is known as Phiphithaphan Dek, meaning ‘Children's Museum’.

chili

See cayenne. Also spelt chilli and chilie.

China

Name for a vast country in Central East Asia which took form in 221 BC through the unification of several feudal states under Qin Shi Huang Ti (fig.), heir to the throne of Qin (Chin), a powerful feudal state in the northwest. After this enforced unification through annexation and warfare, he founded the Qin (Chin) Dynasty, from which China derives its name and proclaimed himself emperor, marking the beginning of Imperial China, a period which lasted until the fall of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty in 1911 (fig.), and even though the Qin Dynasty collapsed shortly after Qin Shi Huang Ti's death, it formed the model for all later dynasties. In Chinese however, China is called Zhong Guo (中国), literally the ‘Middle Kingdom’ or ‘Central Land’, a name that most likely refers to its self-regarded position as the centre of civilization during its early history. The modern state which today covers an area of 9,598,086 km² and has an estimated population of over 1,321,850,000 is now officially referred to as the People's Republic of China. It is a nation of 55 ethnic groups and 235 spoken languages. The country's capital is Beijing, and with over 23 million inhabitants, Shanghai (fig.) is the nation's most populated city, and the fastest growing city in the world in terms of skyscraper construction (fig.). In Thai called Prathet Jihn (ประเทศจีน). See also Thailand's Neighbours & Beyond.

china

Name for fine white or translucent ceramic ware, porcelain, etc. In Thai called kreuang thuay chaam.

Chinatown

Area in Bangkok were a large population of Chinese has been living after they were moved from Banglamphu in 1782 by the then government, to make room to built the new capital Rattanakosin and the Grand Palace Phra Rachawang. It is generally referred to as Yaowaraht, after its main street. The area has many gold shops and several crowded markets, both with food and wholesale hardware produce. On the sidewalk of Charoeng Rung Road the practice of mang ming can often be observed, or undergone (fig.). There are several Chinese restaurants and some tea shops. Places of interest include the Mahayana Buddhist temple Wat Mangkon Kamalawat on Charoen Krung Road, the wholesale market at Sampeng Lane and the thieves market Nakhon Kasem. Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic Chinese of which 56% are Tae Chew. Bangkok's Chinatown is purportedly the largest of its kind in the world.

Chinese abacus

Wooden frame with rings or beads as an aid to calculate. READ ON.

Chinese ancestral tablet

A form of ancestor worship, in which usually wooden tablets, inscribed with the titles and names of deceased relatives, are preserved in an altar-like, household shrine, which may additionally have patron deities set up nearby too. Large shrines may hold tablets of an entire clan and tablets usually vary in size and shape, and may occasionally be of stone. They also have the dates of birth and death on them, as well as some additional information, such as the place of burial and the name of the person who erected the tablet, which is customarily a son. Often two tablets are made, i.e. one of paper and one of wood. A ceremony then takes place (fig.) in which the dead person’s spirit is transferred onto the wooden tablet. Once the transfer is successful, the paper tablet is either burned or buried with the dead person's remains. The main idea behind this is the belief that the soul is made up of yin-yang components, which at the time of death split. Yin then goes with the body to the grave, whilst yang takes up residence in the ancestral tablet. Since those components are not immortal they need to be nourished, and surviving relatives will feed them with offerings. The tablets are enshrined according to the importance of the ancestor, with the centre of the shrine being reserved for the tablet of the primary family ancestor. In addition to ancestor tablets, the edge of the shrine might also hold spirit tablets, i.e. tablets devoted to spirits that are believed to protect the family circle. It is a key religious custom and ritual throughout China, as well as in many places with a large community of Chinese immigrants. In Chinese, an ancestral tablet is called zhu.

Chinese Bamboo-partridge

Common name for a small partridge, with the scientific name Bambusicola thoracicus and native to mainland China. The underparts are golden-rufous, with some elongated black spots on the sides, that run over the back which is otherwise brownish-grey. Its face and throat are also golden-rufous, whilst the crown, neck and breast are ashy grey. In Manadarin, it is known as huī xiōng zhú jī (灰胸竹鸡), which literally translates as ‘ash-breasted bamboo chicken’, and in Thai it is called nok kratha phai jihn, the Thai equivalent of the English common name. It is one of two species in the genus Bambusicola, the other one being the Mountain Bamboo-partridge (fig.). Its common name is alternatively spelled Chinese Bamboo Partridge. See also Chinese Francolin (fig.).

Chinese Bulbul

Common name for an up to 19 centimeter tall passerine songbird in the bulbul family Pycnonotidae, which is also commonly known as Light-vented Bulbul. The species is widespread in East Asia, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as in Korea and Japan. It also occurs in parts of Laos, the northernmost part of Vietnam, and in northern Thailand. It has a distinctive black head, with a white throat, small white patches covering the sides of its head, and a large white nape. The underparts are light, yellowish-grey, and the mantle, rump and wings are greyish-olive, wilst the primaries are yellowish-green. This species scientific designation is Pycnonotus sinensis and in Thai it is known as nok parod jihn. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Chinese cabbage

Common name used for a variety of oriental leaf vegetables, including phak kahd khao, phak kahd khao kwahng tung, phak kahd khao plih, phak kahd kiyaw kwahng tung, phak kwahng tung, etc. In Cantonese, cabbages are called bok choy, and in Mandarin bai cai (白菜), which literally means ‘white vegetable’. Since this sounds similar to bai cai (百财), meaning ‘numerous wealth’, cabbages are regarded symbols of wealth, and are hence commonly found as good luck charms. A precious jadeite cabbage is displayed in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, where it is the most famous exhibit and considered among the finest of all artifacts from ancient Imperial China, a masterpiece that stands apart from a long tradition of idealized perfection in jade carving. In this particular artifact, the sculptor has achieved remarkable realism by masterfully incorporating the stone's natural variations in colour, as well as the stone's flaws, into his design, for the latter using the stone's natural cracks as leaf edges.

Chinese calligraphy

Name of an art form and East Asian tradition of writing Chinese characters. There are different types of script being used, i.e. Regular or Standard Script; Semi-cursive or Running Script; Cursive or Grass Script; Clerical, Scribal, Draft or Official Script; and Small or Lesser Seal Script, the latter being the oldest style that continues to be practiced, especially on traditional seals called yin zhang (fig.), but with ever fewer people able to read it. Its predecessor, the rugged and blocky Great Seal Script which was in use prior to the invention of the writing brush (fig.), is not used in contemporary Chinese calligraphy. In Regular Script, often referred to as kaishu (楷书), each of the strokes is placed carefully with the ink brush being lifted from the paper after every stroke. This makes it the most easy style to read and a appropriate base for other, more flowing styles. In Semi-cursive Script strokes and sometimes characters are allowed to run into one another with the ink brush leaving the paper less often than in Regular Script, whilst in Cursive Script entire characters may be written without lifting the brush from the paper at all, making the characters flow into one another. Although easier to write more fast, both Semi-cursive and Cursive Script are much more challenging to read. Regular Script is usually written in Traditional Chinese, although Simplified Chinese may occasionally also be used. Traditionally, Chinese calligraphy is written on rice paper and only in black, as the ink used for it is made from soot, a black powdery deposit from smoke, and binders. While performing calligraphy, the rice paper is usually held in place with two Chinese paperweights in a rectangular bar shape, one for each end of the paper and known in Chinese as zhenzhi (fig.). By way of identification and instead of a signature, an artist, also called a calligraphist, will place a Chinese seal (fig.) in red ink, usually at the side (top, bottom or middle) of each calligraphic work. Besides the writing of Chinese characters the term calligraphy may also be used to refer to a similar art form that includes a certain style of ink painting, such as the making of Zen circles (fig.), Chinese blossoms and landscapes (fig.) or other traditional figures. Calligraphy is sometimes referred to as the Soul of Chinese Fine Arts and enthusiasts can sometimes be observed in public piazzas and parks writing on the floor in water (fig.), with a large writing brush (fig.). See also mao bi and wen fang si bao (fig.).

Chinese character cards

See zi pai.

Chinese chess

See xiang qi.

Chinese cloisonné

See jingtai lan.

Chinese Culture Centre

Complex in Bangkok that promotes the culture and arts of China. It was inaugurated on 21 November 2012, in the presence of the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Thai Prime Minister Yinglak Shinawat, and aims to publicize Chinese culture and offer information about the People's Republic of China. It is equipped with an exhibition hall, a small theater, a library, and several training rooms for Chinese music and dance, as well as for painting and calligraphy workshops. The Chinese Culture Centre in Bangkok is the first and largest of its kind built by China in Southeast Asia, and combines both ancient Chinese and modern architectural styles, such as roofs designed in the fashion of a giant Kongming Lock (fig.) and reminiscent of the China Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, which was itself inspired by dougong (fig.), i.e. interlocking brackets as used in traditional Chinese architecture. The Chinese Culture Centre is located in Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District, adjacent to the Thailand Cultural Centre (fig.) and opposite of the Thai-Chinese Culture & Arts Exchange Centre (fig.). In Thai called Soon Wattanatham Jihn (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมจีน), and in Chinese known as Zhong Guo Wen Hua Zhong Xin (中国文化中心). In English, it is also referred to as Chinese Cultural Centre, or simply CCC.

Chinese door gods

Portraits of two military generals, that are painted in pair on either door of a double-door entrance to a palace, mansion or temple, and facing each other, as it is considered bad luck to place the figures back-to-back. The custom reportedly started in the Tang Dynasty, when its founding emperor was troubled by an evil spirit and had two of his brave generals, i.e. Qin Shubao (Qin Qiong) and Yuchi Jingde (Yuchi Gong), guard the front doors of his palace. Since the generals were not fulltime available, the emperor ordered their portraits painted on his front door instead. Qin Shubao is typically represented with a goatee-like beard and holding a long-handle mace, whereas Yuchi Jingde has a full beard and holds a long-handle battle axe. Usually, though not always (fig.), Qin Shubao is portrayed with a reddish-pink complexion, whilst Yuchi Jingde is rather brownish. The imperial custom was later adapted by commoners and became folk tradition (fig.), sometimes replacing the generals with other mythological figures or legendary heroes. Sometimes, it is understood that one guardian stands guard during the day, whilst the other protects the entrance at night. If so, the figures may be represented in combination with a Chinese character, i.e. the one with the character for sun, i.e. ri (日), and the other with the character for moon, i.e. yue (月), thus indicating their different responsibilities. See also Zhong Kui.

Chinese dragon

See dragon.

Chinese fortune sticks

Flat sticks used in Chinese shrines and Thai temples to tell one's fortune. The sticks are kept in a -usually red- cylindrical container and each stick has a number written on it that correspondents with a numbered horoscope-like leaflet that tells your luck for the future. Both the sticks and container are generally made of bamboo or wood. Players will sit on their knees holding the container with both hands, shaking it until just one stick drops out. In Thai they are called siamsih and in Mandarin qiuqian. See also krab.

Chinese Francolin

Name for a species of bird in the Phasianidae family, with the binomial name Francolinus pintadeanus, which is found in South, East and Southeast Asia, including China, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, where it is known as nok kratah thung, i.e. ‘field partridge’. It is short-tailed and has a body size of about 31-33 centimeters. The male's mantle and underparts are blackish with whitish spots, whereas those of the female are somewhat duller and browner, with whitish bars. Males have a white throat and ear-coverts, surrounded with black, which is similar with females, but the latter's ear-coverts are slightly buff. The male's scapulars are chestnut and the crown is black with rufous on the sides. Females have less black on the crown-centre and only a little chestnut on the scapulars. With both sexes, the bill is short, slightly curved downward and gray in colour. The legs and feet, are dark yellowish to orange. Its natural habitat consists of open forests and woodlands, grass and scrub. See also Mountain Bamboo-partridge (fig.) and Chinese Bamboo-partridge (fig.).

Chinese gold ingot

See kon tamleung thong.

Chinese Goose

See Swan Goose.

Chinese Grey Shrike

Common name for a bird in the family Laniidae, with the scientific designation Lanius sphenocercus, and which is found in northern East Asia. It has an overall pearl grey body and head, with a black mask extending from the forehead, through the eye, to the ear coverts. The lower wings are black, as is the long tail. This bird is reminiscent of the Long-tailed Shrike (fig.), but without the rufous colours, though juvenile birds do have a brown cast to the grey on the breast and mantle.

Chinese Health Balls

See Chinese Massage Balls.

Chinese Hwamei

Common name for a species of songbird with the scientific designations Garrulax canorus and Leucodioptron canorum, and also commonly known as Melodious Laughingthrush, which in Thai translated to nok krarahng siang sai (นกกระรางเสียงใส). It is a popular cage bird, kept for its attractive song, which consists of a quite high, repetitive, rich and varied, whistling, that increases in volume and may include imitations of other birds. Adults are about 23 centimeters tall, and have a largely light to dark brown plumage, depending on the individual, with streaks above, as well as on the breast. Its most distinctive characteristic is the white marking around the eyes, i.e. a white eyering that extends backwards to form a white -often downward bent- stripe, a feature that actually gave this bird the name hwamei, which derives from the Chinese words hua mei (画眉), that literally mean ‘painted eyebrows’ (fig.).

Chinese Imperial roof decoration

Name for a row of small animal figures, usually made of glazed ceramic and placed on Chinese-style roofs, near the corners, which are always curved upward (fig.) as it is believed in feng shui that straight lines attract evil, whereas curved lines ward off evil spirits. At the head of the row is a man riding either a kilen or a fenghuang, a mythical fowl or bird similar to a phoenix, and at the tail of the procession is usually a dragon. In between the two are a number of other mythical animals, their number varying according to the significance of the building, thus indicating the importance of duties performed within it. Their number is usually odd and total maximum nine, sometimes said to be the [sons of the] Nine Dragons. However, there are exceptions, such as in the Forbidden City in Beijing, where there are roofs with as many as 12 figures, i.e. a man riding a bird, followed by nine quadrupeds, and a dragon, with what seem like a winged human figure with a sword or mace standing in front of the dragon (fig.). Their function is evil-dispelling and they are all squatted, four-footed animals. Imperial roof decorations can be found all over Southeast Asia and the Far East, especially with Chinese temples. Also referred to as roof figures or roof charms and comparable to the Thai temple roof fittings, called kreuang pradap langka wat (fig.). In Chinese called ji xiang shou, dun shou, zou shou, or yan shou.

Chinese knot

Designation for a decorative, mystic knot, with a seemingly endless and repetitive pattern, which is hence a symbol of longevity and eternity. READ ON.

Chinese Lantern

Common name of a plant with the botanical designation Physalis alkekengi, and which is also commonly known as Japanese Lantern, Winter Cherry and Bladder Cherry. Its edible orangey to reddish fruits sit in a papery covering that derived from the calyx and rich in Vitamin C, B and Iron− they have some medicinal uses, including being a stimulant for the immune system. In Japan, its seeds are used as offerings to guide the souls of the deceased. In Chinese, the fruits are known as gu niang guo.

Chinese Leaf-warbler

Name for a species of Old World warbler in the Phylloscopidae family, though sometimes listed in the Sylviidae family, yet with the scientific name Phylloscopus yunnanensis, i.e. from ‘Yunnan’. It is found from China to the northern part of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, where it is known as nok krajid phan jihn. It has pale, yellowish grey underparts, with a darker throat. Its upperparts are olive to greenish brown, with a characteristic dark bar, flanked by two white stripes, on the wing-coverts. It has a pale supercilium that runs from the nostrils to behind the eyes. The slender and pointed bill, as well as the legs are dark orange. Also spelled Chinese Leaf Warbler.

Chinese Massage Balls

A set (usually a pair) of therapeutic balls, that are manipulated in the palm of one hand using the five fingers, in order to massage it, relax the joints and improve muscle-strength, especially as a form of rehabilitation, although they are also used as an aid in −or a form of− meditation. Its use also claims to prevent high blood pressure. They consist of hollow spheres, generally with a diameter of 4.5 centimeter (though other sizes exist), each with a smaller metal ball inside, that strikes against a coiled chime and thus produces a ding-dong sound, as they are moved. Balls are made of metal and often decorated with patterns in cloisonné. Exercises are initially done with two balls that are rotated slowly in one hand, whilst in constant contact with each other, though gradually the speed of the rotation is increased and the balls are moved without making contact with each other. Chinese Massage Balls have a long tradition and are considered one of the seven biggest traditional medical  inventions in China, which include also acupuncture and tai chi chuan. Also known as Chinese Health Balls, Chinese Medicine Balls, Chinese Meditation Balls, and Baoding Balls, after Baoding (保定), a prefecture level city in Hebei (China), where they originated. In Chinese, known as Jiang Shen Qiu and Baoding Jiang Shen Qiu.

Chinese Medicine Balls

See Chinese Massage Balls.

Chinese Meditation Balls

See Chinese Massage Balls.

Chinese New Year

See Trut Jihn.

Chinese Opera

See ngiw.

Chinese Pond Heron

Common name for an approximately 46 centimeter tall, East Asian wading bird with the scientific name Ardeola bacchus. Its winter plumage is light brown and streaked, with white underparts and white wings (fig.), making it almost indistinguishable from the Javan and Indian Pond Heron (fig.), apart from the sometimes more dusky  tips at the outermost primaries, which are best visible during flight (fig.). During the breeding season its head and breast become deep chestnut, the back grey and the underparts white, which is clearly different from its relatives. It has a yellow bill with a black tip, yellow eyes and legs. It occurs in lowland regions and its natural habitat consists of shallow fresh and salt-water wetlands and ponds, where it feeds on insects, fish and crustaceans. In Thailand it is a common winter visitor called nok yahng krok pan jihn. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Chinese rockery

An ancient Chinese art style or a form of abstract iconography, in which large natural rocks are used as decoration, both indoor and outdoor, and either erected on their own in homes, gardens, parks and along roadsides, or in group, forming complete rock gardens. Chinese garden rockery may also involve the modeling of natural landscapes and sceneries, featuring peaks, cliffs, winding caves, waterfalls and gorges. Many rocks are obtained from rivers, such as Shanghai's famous Exquisite Jade Rock in Yu Yuan (fig.), and while some are smooth, others might be rough with sharp, uneven edges, and holes (fig.). Smooth rocks often have Chinese characters engraved or painted on them (fig.). The history of Chinese rockery can be traced back as far as the early Qin Dynasty and over time it became more popular due to the influence of landscape painting and poetry. In Chinese rock gardens and rockeries are known as jia shan (假山), i.e. ‘artificial mountains’. The art style is also commonly found in Vietnam (fig.). See also shan zi and Stone Forest (fig.).

Chinese sausage

See kun chiang.

Chinese seal

See yin zhang.

Chinese Soft-shell Turtle

See taphaab.

Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle

Name for a species of semi-aquatic freshwater turtle which is found in southern China, Taiwan and Vietnam, and with the scientific designation Ocadia sinensis. It has a series of black and yellow stripes from the head to the neck, and front legs with five toes. Chinese Stripe-necked Turtles grow to a size of about 24 cm and have an elliptical, slightly depressed carapace, which is somewhat serrated at the back. Juveniles have three keels on the carapace, which generally all disappear with age. The carapace is reddish brown to black with yellow seams, especially in juveniles, who occasionally also show some yellow or orange on the projections of the keels. Males have a slightly concave plastron and the vent lies beyond the margin of the carapace, whereas females have a flat to slightly convex plastron with the vent beneath the carapace. In the wild, where it inhabits slow-moving lowland waters with soft bottoms, such as marshes, swamps, ponds and canals, this species is threatened by overhunting and habitat destruction, and in captivity it is vulnerable to crossbreeding (hybridization). Peculiarly, juveniles of both sexes are omnivorous, but males are carnivorous whereas females are herbivorous, feeding on a variety of aquatic plants. Chinese Stripe-necked Turtles are fond of basking. In Thai it is known as tao ko laai, meaning ‘striped neck turtle’.

Chinese tea house

Public establishment in China or of Chinese origin, where primarily tea, but often also other refreshments, are served. READ ON.

Chinese Valentine's Day

See Qi Qiao Jie.

Chinese Water Dragon

See Indochinese Water Dragon.

Chinese wealth god

See Cai Shen.

Chinese wedding box

A rounded, basket-like box, with a lid and a handle on the top. It is often made of lacquered wood or bamboo, and always painted red, the auspicious colour for Chinese weddings. There are two common models, i.e. those with a single container that usually have a decorated handle, and those with multiple containers placed on top of each other, somewhat reminiscent of kheng baskets (fig.), Indian tiffin boxes or the Thai pintoh (fig.). It is used by the groom's family to carry wedding gifts to the bride's house, some time before the couple are married, as well as the so-called ‘milk money’, a sum of money offered to the bride's parents to cover the expenses for her upbringing and education. Then, three days before the wedding day, women from the bride's family reciprocate, bearing gifts and sometimes a kind of dowry to the groom's family, as well as personal things for the bride, so that on her wedding day all of her personal belongings will be in the groom's house.

Chinese writing brush

See mao bi.

Chinese yo-yo

See kong zhu.

Chinese zodiac

Contrary to the West, people in the Far East have a cyclical concept of time, rather than a linear one and the traditional Chinese calendar, for one, is based on a twelve year cycle. READ ON.

ching (ฉิ่ง)

Thai. Name of a pair of small, cup-shaped hand cymbals, joined by a cord or a leather string. They exist in different sizes and are usually made of a thick and heavy metal, often an alloy of brass and iron mixed with bronze. They are sometimes beautifully decorated. They are used to keep the rhythm in a musical ensemble. To play, each cymbal is held in a hand, one in the right the other in the left hand (fig.), and both are then struck together, once with an outward sliding movement, then straight on, producing alternately a high-pitched pealing sound and a dampening blocked sound. The Thai name is an onomatopoeia, i.e. it is named after the sound the instrument makes. See also chaab.

Chinglish

Term used to express the incorrect use of English grammar, vocabulary (word choice) and pronunciation by Chinese people, often due to interference from their own language, as well as local anomalies and colloquialism. Due to the enormous linguistic and cultural divide, there are many possible pitfalls when trying to convey a message from Chinese into English, as well as the other way around. It is a longstanding myth that when a certain US fast-food chain arrived in China, it ended up translating its slogan Finger-licking Good into actually telling its customers to eat their own fingers...

Chinkara

Common name for a species of small gazelle, with the scientific name Gazella bennettii found in South Asia, especially in grasslands and desert areas. It is widely distributed in India (fig.), where it is mostly found in the northern and central regions, as well as in Bangladesh and parts of Iran and Pakistan. These gazelles are only 65 centimeters tall and their fur is reddish-buff, with a pitch black tail and white underparts. The sides of the face have dark chestnut stripes bordered by white stripes, from the corner of the eye to the snout. Males grow a pair of blackish, ribbed horns, that have a set of rings at the base and usually grow up to around 20-25 centimeters long. The horns typically curve backward and then upward, ending in a sharp point. Females may also grow horns, but with a less thick base and without any base rings. The Chinkara can go without water for long periods. especially in dry, arid areas. However, it does derive essential moisture from herbs and dew. It east grass, leaves, crops and fruits, such as melons and pumpkins. Also known as the Indian Gazelle.

chinlone (ခြင်းလုံး)

Burmese. ‘Rounded basket’. A traditional team sport of Myanmar, very similar to takraw. READ ON.

chintamani (चिन्तामणि)

Sanskrit. ‘Wishing gem’, but literally ‘idea jewel’ or ‘thought gem’. A wish-fulfilling jewel in both Hindu tradition and Buddhism, akin to the Chinese ruyi (fig.) and Tibetan mani-stones. It is said to be one of four relics that fell from the sky, together with a Buddha's bowl, which is by some believed to have been a singing bowl (fig.). In iconography it usually takes the form of a ball wreathed in flames or of a small bowl (fig.), and occurs as an attribute of Mahayana Buddhist deities (fig.), buddhas (fig.) and bodhisattvas. It also occurs in architecture, often on a lotus flower base or pedestal (fig.) and sometimes on top of three other jewels, that represent the Trairat or Triple Gem (fig.). It is also associated with the flaming pearl (fig.) and on occasion described as one and the same thing. As such, it is found on Chinese-style temple and palace buildings, usually on the roof, but sometimes on the gable, and depicted in the form of a circle wreathed in flames (fig.), often in between two dragons that are facing one another. Besides this, the circle is reminiscent of a Zen circle, wreathed in flames of wisdom, with the circle symbolizing void, wholeness, perfection, strength, and elegance, whilst the flames, as well as the Zen circle, are both symbols of Enlightenment. Though, another explanation says that the halo or sphere with flames (sometimes compared to a pearl with flames) represents the pure energy (Chi or Qi), that emanates from the incense burner in the temple. Also transcribed cintamani.

Chintamani Lokesvara (चिन्तामणिलोकईश्वर)

Sanskrit. ‘Lord of the universe with a wishing gem’. A form of the bodhisatva Avalokitesvara. See also chintamani and Lokesvara.

chintha (ခြင်္သေ့)

Burmese name for the stylized mythical lion seen standing guard at temples. Lions were believed to be the protectors of Buddhist teachings. Also transcribed chin dhei and sometimes spelled chinthe. See also hintha.

chinthe

See chintha.

chi pa kao (ชีปะขาว, ชีผะขาว)

See chi pah kao.

chi pah kao (ชีผ้าขาว)

Thai. An ascetic with a white cloth or habit. Compare with naang chi and mae chi. Also transcribed chi pa kao, chee pah khao and chih pah khao. Compare with Chih Pleuay.

Chirapravati Voradej (จิรประวัติวรเดช)

See Jiraprawat Woradet.

Chiranjivi (चिरंजीवी)

Sanskrit term for the Seven Immortals of Hinduism.

Chital

Another name for the Spotted Deer.

Chitralada (จิตรลดา, चित्रलता)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Wonderful creepers’. Name of the private residence of King Rama IX, located in Dusit and named after the garden of the god Indra. It is part of the Dusit Palace complex, of which the grounds that are surrounded by a moat (fig.), take up an area of four square kilometers. Besides several palace buildings, there are gardens and an agricultural research centre. Annually, during the nights of the week of Wan Chaleum Phra Chonma Phansa, the western palace gate and the trees along the moat surrounding the compound are decorated with mini lights to celebrate the King's birthday (fig.). The name of the palace in full is Phra Tamnak Chitralada Rahotaan (พระตำหนักจิตรลดารโหฐาน), which translates as ‘Chitralada Private Palace’.

2. Thai name of a building within Vajiravudh College, located across the street from Chitralada Palace, that is to the Northwest and opposite of the palace compound. It is in Thai referred to as Ka-na Chitralada (คณะจิตรลดา), i.e. ‘Chitralada Faculty’ (fig.).

3. Sanskrit-Thai name for a kind of verse, also referred to as Maha Chitralada.

4. Thai. Name for a style of female national dress of Thailand, fully known as Thai Chitralada, and in 1972 depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.).

Chitralekha (चित्रलेखा)

Sanskrit. ‘Bright communication’ or ‘wonderful writing’. Friend of Usha, the beautiful daughter of Bana.

Chiwha (ชิวหา)

Thai. Name of a giant or yak character in the Ramakien. READ ON.

cho (ช่อ)

A northern Thai term for small triangular flags, made from coloured paper or cloth on a wooden stick and used in religious practices in the North, especially to put on top of offerings (fig.) and sand pagodas (fig.). Also called tung (ตุง), thung siauw (ทุงเสี้ยว) and thung sahm liam (ทุงสามเหลี่ยม).

Chocolate Albatross

Common name for a small butterfly with the scientific designation Appias lyncida vasana, which belongs to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows and Whites. This butterfly has a wingspan of 5.5 to 70 centimeters (fig.). The sexes are dimorphic and there is also seasonal dimorphism, making this species very variable. Males are white above with brown or black margins, which are narrower in the dry season, and bright yellow below with brown markings. The female is white and densely clouded with dark-brown, whilst the hind wings may be yellowish or whitish and have broad dark border, and in the dry season it may have more more extensive white markings. It is also commonly known as Vanilla Flavoured Albatross, and in Thai it is called phi seua non bai kum khob tahn mai (ผีเสื้อหนอนใบกุ่มขอบตาลไหม้). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).

Chocolate Grass Yellow

Common name for a 4 to 4.5 centimeter small butterfly, with the scientific designation Eurema sari (sodalis) and belonging to the family Pieridae, i.e. the family of Yellows and Whites. It is recognizable by a distinct brown apex on the underside of the forewing, which sets it apart from most other Eurema species. However, above, the wings of males are all but identical to the Hill Grass Yellow (Eurema simulatrix littorea), while some species, such as certain individuals of the Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe hecabe) may also have similar upper wings above. The Chocolate Grass yellow  is found on the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia. In Thai, it is known as phi seua naen sahri (ผีเสื้อเณรส่าหรี).

Chocolate Soldier

Common name for a butterfly found in South and Southeast Asia, with the scientific name Junonia iphita. The upperside of both sexes is brown of varying depths of colour and with brown lines and a tiny white spot near the front edge of each forewing (fig.). It has wavy lines on the underside of the wings, that vary from wet to dry season forms. Females visibly differ from males by white markings on the oblique line on the underside of the hind wing. It is also known as Chocolate Pansy (fig.). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).

chofa (ช่อฟ้า)

Thai. ‘Tassel of air’ or ‘bunch of sky’. The bird's head-like finial at either end of Buddhist temple roofs in Thailand. Although its origin and meaning is disputed it is believed to symbolize either a highly stylized Garuda, the mount of the god Vishnu, or Hamsa, the mount of the god Brahma, both creatures from Hindu mythology. Possibly placed to attract worshippers from Hindu religion to Buddhism. Most temple roofs have a combination of a chofa, bai raka and hang hongse (fig.). Sometimes, a chofa with a different form (fig.) can be seen, whilst some tapering roofs may be decorated with multiple chofa called naakbeuang (fig.).

chok (จก)

Thai. ‘To pick’ or ‘to pull’. Term for a type of weaving technique from Central Thailand, which refers to the method used in order to make cloth with a typical design (fig.), i.e. to pick and lift the weft yarn to create a pattern, somewhat reminiscent of embroidery. The technique originates from Laos and was introduced to Thailand by immigrants during the reign of king Rama VI. The cloth that results from using this technique is called pah chok (fig.). Also transcribed jok.

Chola (சோழர்)

1. Tamil. Name of a dynasty and kingdom in South India, during the 10th and 13th centuries AD.

2. An art style from the Chola kingdom, known for its bronze sculpture.

Chom Klao (จอมเกล้า)

Thai name for king Mongkut, the fourth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty, with the crown title Rama IV.

chomphu (ชมพู่)

General Thai name for the ‘rose apple’, a kind of tree and its fruit (fig.), listed in the genus Syzygium, which has several varieties, e.g. Syzygium jambos, which is commonly known as Malay apple, and of which the fruits are usually bell-shaped, somewhat similar to the form of a pear, and vary in colour from pale green (chomphu thunklao) to bright red (chomphu thabthim). The green kind is originally from Thailand, the red from Malaysia. Another related variety is known as chomphu ma-miaw. Its fruits are more egg-shaped and of a dark red, wine-like colour (fig.). The latter has the botanical name Syzygium malaccensis or Syzygium malaccense, and is commonly referred to as the Malay-apple Pomerac, or simply Malacca Apple. Chomphu fruits are refreshing, but not very sweet. In addition, the name chomphu is also used for and entirely unrelated tree called chomphu phanthip, which is the Thai name for the Rosy Trumpet-tree or Pink Trumpet Tree, a tree with pink flowers and the botanical name Tabebuia rosea (fig.). Also transcribed chomphoo.

chomphu ma-miaw (ชมพู่มะเหมี่ยว)

Thai for a variety of ‘rose apple’, a fruit and tree (fig.) with the scientific name Syzygium malaccensis and commonly referred to as the Malay-apple Pomerac or Malacca Apple. It is egg-shaped and of a dark red, wine-like colour. See also chomphu.

Chomphuphan (ชมพูพาน)

Name of a monkey soldier in the epic Ramakien. He was made by Shiva's sweat to become a son of Bali. He is depicted with a greyish-brown fur and wearing a chadah-like crown (fig.) of which the tip is slightly bend backward. Also transcribed Chomphoophan while the pronunciation is Chomphoophaan.

chomphu phanthip (ชมพูพันทิพย์)

Thai name for Tabebuia rosea.

chomphu phuang (ชมพูพวง)

See phuang chomphu.

chomphu thabthim (ชมพู่ทับทิม)

Thai. Red rose apple. See chom phu (fig.).

chomphu thunklao (ชมพู่ทูลเกล้า)

Thai. Green rose apple. See chom phu (fig.).

Chom Trai Lohk (จอมไตรโลก)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Lord of the three worlds’. A name for Shiva. Also Chom Trai Pop. See Also triphum.

Chom Trai Pop (จอมไตรภพ)

See Chom Trai Lohk.

Chonburi (ชลบุรี)

Thai-Sanskrit. ‘Water City’. The name of  a province on Thailand's west coast (map), as well as its capital city which is located  about 81 kms from Bangkok, on the east side of the Gulf of Thailand. The name of the city, in Thai written as ชล (CHL) + บุรี (buri), is derived from the from the Sanskrit word jala meaning ‘water’ and the word buri meaning ‘city’. In Sanskrit each consonant carries the inherent vowel ‘a’ and CHL, pronounced ‘chon’ in Thai (with or L being pronounced as an N at the end of a word or syllable and carrying the silent vowel O), are thus pronounced ‘chala’ (jala) in Sanskrit. In this province are some places of interest, including the popular beach resort towns of Bang Saen (fig.), Pattaya (fig.) and Jomtien (map), as well as the cities Sri Racha, Sattahip and Laem Chabang which has an international seaport. Off the coast are the islands Ko Si Chang, Ko Lan, Ko Phai and Ko Khram. There are plenty of tourist attractions, such as Nong Nooch Garden (fig.), Sri Racha Tiger Zoo (fig.), Khao Khiao Open Zoo (fig.), Anek Kuson Sala (fig.), the Million Years Stone Park (fig.), Mini Siam (fig.), Prasat Satjatham, Jomtien Beach (fig.), Wihaan Thep Sathit Phra Kiti Chaleum (fig.), Khao Khiao Waterfall (fig.), Sai Kaew Beach (fig.), Mahathat Chedi Ming Molih Sri Burapah (fig.), etc. The province has ten amphur and one king amphur, 92 tambon and 691 villages or mu ban. See also Chonburi data file.

Chong Kai (ช่องไก่)

Thai. Cemetery for the war victims of WW II who died during the construction of the infamous Death Railway in the province of Kanchanaburi. This cemetery is about two kilometers from the centre of town, on the grounds of a former camp for POWs, on the left bank of the river Kwae Noi. 1,750 allied soldiers are remembered here. See also Don Rak.

chongkho (ชงโค)

Thai name for a small tropical tree that growing to 17 meters tall, with purple-white flowers and broad, rounded, bi-lobed leaves. It grows from India to the Malay peninsula and  South China, and is sometimes called Indian orchid. Its Latin name is Bauhinia purpurea. It is very similar to the Hong Kong orchid (Bauhinia blakeana), which is actually a hybrid between Bauhinia purpurea and Bauhinia variegata, and which is the flower emblem of Hong Kong, depicted also on its flag.

Chong Para (จองพารา)

Thai Yai. ‘Castle of wood’. Annual festival in Mae Hong Son during owk pansa, from wan phen of the 11th lunar month, to the night of the waxing moon of the same month, usually in October. During the festival wooden structures covered with colourful paper and decorated with fruits, flags and lamps are placed in the courtyard of a temple or in the garden of a house, as a gesture to welcome the Buddha on his return from Tavatimsa heaven. To celebrate the occasion also traditional dances are performed in which the dancers dress in animal costumes. Also transcribed Chong Phara, Chawng Phara, Jong Phara or similar.

chonlamahk (ชลมารค)

Thai-rajasap term that derives from Pali and means ‘water path’ or ‘waterway’, i.e.  ‘[to proceed] over the water’, with the word chon (ชล) meaning ‘water’, as in Chonburi, and the word mahk (มารค) meaning ‘path’. The term is used in the Royal Barge Procession, for one.

chonma pansa (ชนมพรรษา)

Rajasap for ‘age’ of ‘aging’, as in Wan Chaleum Phra Chonma Phansa.

Chonnanie (ชนนี)

See Channanie.

Choochok (ชูชก)

See Chuchok.

chonsae (ช้อนแซะ)

Northern-Thai name for a bamboo net used to catch fish and other aquatic animals. It is woven from thin bamboo strips called tok, into a triangular shape with a long handle. It is for use in places with shallow water such as shorelines, creek and river edges, reservoirs, rice paddies, etc.

chopstick(s)

See takiab.

chorten

Tibetan word for stupa or chedi, usually in a miniature form.

Chou Tsang (周仓)

Chinese. Name of Kuan U's (fig.) aide-de-camp, a fierce looking warlord, who bears the Tiger General's kuandao battle blade (fig.). He is a fictional character from the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. He is described as a strong warrior with a dark face and a wiry beard, who became caught up in the Yellow Turban Rebellion and joined the rebels. It was during this time that he first met Kuan U, who impressed him with his courage and sense of honour. However, after the rebellion was crushed by Han troops, Chou Tsang became a renegade bandit. He inhabited Mount Woniu with another former Yellow Turban rebel, Pei Yuanshao, and became infamous as a warrior of great strength and skill. After encountering Kuan U once more on a mountain road, he swore his loyalty to the Tiger General and was appointed to Kuan U's kuandao carrier. A capable boatman, his skills were critical in helping achieve Kuan U's water attack at the Battle of Fancheng. At Fan, he managed to capture the fearsome warrior Pang De during the flooding of the castle. Alas, his strong loyalty to Kuan U would cost him his life, when in 219 AD, upon seeing the heads of his master and his adopted son Kuan Ping (fig.) displayed by the forces of Wu, he committed suicide. In iconography, he is often depicted alongside Kuan U and Kuan Ping, with his face traditionally painted black (fig.). Also transcribed Zhou Cang.

Chou Tsang

Christianity

The Christian religion based on the monotheistic principle, the belief in one supreme God (יהוה - Yahweh in Hebrew) and on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ, as presented in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. As such, Christian heritage is interwoven with that of Judaism and Islam, entwined yet not united, like the filaments of a rope. The most important event in Christianity is the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who atones for the sins of the world and thus brings salvation to humankind, through victory over evil and death. Besides the cross, which was introduced into the church only at a later stage, the icon of Christianity early on was a fish, usually referred to as the Ichtus symbol (fig.), and a Greek acronym for Iesous Khristos Theou Huios Soter (Ἰησοῦς Χριστός θεοῦ Υἱός Σωτήρ), meaning ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour’. An estimated 0.5% of Thais are Christians, of differing denominations and including many of the hill tribe people in Northern Thailand, who often practice their Christian belief mixed with remaining customs of animism.

Christmas Flower

Name for the Poinsettia, an up to three meters high poisonous shrub, that belongs to the family of spurges and in Thailand blooms from October to February. Its milky sap or latex, as well as its leaves are very irritating for the eyes, skin and digestive system. There are varieties with flaming red, dark red, salmon, white or pale yellow bracts, that are arranged in a star-shape, around small flowers which are mainly of a yellow colour. Also known by the scientific name Euphorbia pulcherrima and in Thai as dok krismas (ดอกคริสมาสต์).

chua (chùa)

Vietnamese for pagoda or chedi. In Vietnam, chua is often used as a more generic term referring to any place of worship. Chua are often octagonal and usually have an odd  number of stories, as in the yin-yang concept this corresponds with the yang principle, i.e. the bright aspect, which in turn relates to Enlightenment. See also den.

Chua Bai Dinh (Chùa Bái Đính)

Vietnamese. Name of purportedly Vietnam's largest Buddhist temple complex, located on a 700 hectares compound in Ninh Binh and consisting of both ancient and new structures, including a 34 meter tall hall with a facade of over 59 meters long; a tall, slender pagoda; and a huge outdoor statue of Maitreya, elevated centrally on a hill. It is part of the Trang An eco-tourism area and is since 2014 listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (fig.) under the name Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which also includes Tam Coc (fig.) and Bich Dong (fig.), as well as Hoa Lu.

chuan chom (ชวนชม)

Thai. ‘To invite admiration’ and ‘attractive’. Thai name for the Desert Rose.

Chuchaka (ชูชก)

Thai name for Jujaka, sometimes transliterated Choochok or Chuchok.

Chuchakoh (ชูชะโก)

Pali-Thai name use in prayer for Jujaka. Also transliterated Choochako.

Chuchok (ชูชก)

Thai name for Jujaka, also transliterated Choochok and Chuchaka.

Chudapanthaka (चूडपन्थक)

Sanskrit. Name of one of the Eighteen Arahats, the younger brother of Panthaka (fig.). Whereas the Sanskrit word paantha (पान्थ) means ‘traveller’, pantha (पन्थक) is a word derived from panthan (पन्ठन्), meaning ‘road’, ‘path’ or ‘way’, and panthaka  is usually translated as ‘produced or born on the way’. The Sanskrit word chuda (चूड) has the same meaning as the Pali and Thai word chula, i.e. ‘tonsure’, though it is often translated as ‘small’, perhaps referring to the fact that he was the younger brother of Panthaka the Elder. He is hence also known as Pantha the Younger. According to legend, when Chudapanthaka went begging for food he would bang roughly on people's doors and on one day he knocked on an old, rotten door which consequently fell apart. The Buddha thus gave him a staff with several rings on it, which he could use to tap on the ground making the rings rattle to get peoples attention, instead of pounding on their doors. This ringed beggar's staff, known as a khakkhara, has become the symbol of this arahat and he is often depicted holding it (fig.). It is also said that he was slow on the uptake and unable to learn even a single verse.  To focus his mind, the Buddha taught him to sweep dust whilst repeating verses, a method that helped him understand that by sweeping he took away all attachment and eventually attained Enlightenment. Symbolically, the sweeping of dust signifies purification. His association with sweeping and doors led to the understanding that he is the doorman who guards the doors of the senses, letting only pure things in. In Chinese he is known as the luohan Kan Men (看门, or in traditional Chinese: 看門), literally ‘To Look [at the] Gate’ or ‘To Examine [the] Door’. In English he is referred to as the Doorman Lohan or Door Watching or Arhat. In some ways he can be put on a par with Kalika, the Dust Cleaning Arhat who is a cleaner of dusty minds. For his name in Thai the same pronunciation as in Pali is used, i.e. Chulapanthaka (จูฬปันถกะ), but he is also known as Gujapakyakha (กุจะปักยะขะ).

chui tang ren (吹糖人)

Chinese term for ‘blowing sugar’, a traditional folk art in China, in which the artist uses a mouth blowing technique, similar to that of glass blowing, in order to create various kinds of figures, such as animals, out of molten sugar. READ ON.

chula (จุฬา)

1. Thai. A ‘male’ kite, with a pentagonal shape, that is used against the pak pao (fig.), the ‘female’ kite, during contests. These competitions are held at the beginning of the hot season, in Bangkok usually at Sanam Luang, the large field in front of the Royal Palace. The intention of both parties is to try and take out the opponents kite. The male kite is named after King Chulalongkorn during whose reign kite flying became a popular sport, mainly due to his support. Also called kula. See also kite flying fights.

2. Thai for ‘tonsure’.

Chulachomklao (จุลจอมเกล้า)

Thai name for King Chulalongkorn, the fifth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty with the crown title Rama V. See also list of Thai kings.

Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum

An open-air museum situated at a modern-day naval yard and base, located on the West bank and at the estuary of the Chao Phya River (fig.) in Samut Prakan, South of the ancient Chulachomklao Fortress (fig.), of which it is a newer wing. The museum is named after King Chulachomklao (fig.), i.e. Rama V (fig.), of which the compound houses a magnificent standing monument (fig.). It is also known as the Naval History Park or Navy Historical Park, from its Thai designation Uthayaan Prawatisaat Thahaan Reua. It consists of two main sections, i.e. the HTMS Mae Klong Warship Museum, which features a decommissioned battle ship that is still used as a navy training ship today, and the Chulachomklao Naval Armaments Museum, i.e. a garden with decommissioned naval armaments (fig.)

Chulachomklao Fortress

Ancient fortress on Phi Seua Samut Island in Samut Prakan, that dates from 1893 and guards the estuary and approach to Bangkok. The fortress has in the past played an important role in protecting the sovereignty of Siam against unfriendly nations, especially during the reign of King Rama IV and Rama V, when the then superpowers were hunting for oversees colonies. Part of the fortress today is a newer naval base, located to its South, on the West bank of the river near the Gulf of Thailand. The new fort also features a museum known as the Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum, which has a decommissioned battle ship, that is still used as a navy training ship today (fig.). In Thai, the fortress is known as Pom Phra Chulachomklao (fig.)

Chulamanie (จุฬามณี)

Thai. Name of a stupa containing hair from the Buddha in Tavatimsa heaven. Buddhist worshippers sometimes lit paper lanterns known as kohm loy, i.e. ‘floating lantern’ (fig.), which they release into the sky as offerings. Also transcribed Chulamanee and in Burmese referred to as Sulamani, as in Sulamani Phaya (fig.).

Chulalongkorn (จุฬาลงกรณ์)

English-Thai. Fifth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty with the crown title Rama V. He was born on 20 September 1853 and became king in 1868. He introduced western influences in Thailand and abolished slavery. He is probably the most popular sovereign of the present dynasty after King Bhumipon Adunyadet. His picture is depicted on ten baht banknotes. In the beginning of the nineties a true cult originated around Chulalongkorn in which the spirit of the deceased monarch is worshipped. The cult is especially strong in Bangkok and other large cities, as most followers belong to the upper middle class and nouveau riche. The Buddhist university Mahawithayahlai Maha Chulalongkon Ratcha Withayahlai (fig.), founded by this king himself, as well as the Chulalongkorn University (fig.), founded by his son Rama VI, are both named after Rama V, with the latter featuring a statue of both kings in its front yard (fig.). Chulalongkorn University is the most prestigious house of learning in the country (fig.). It has a Centre for Arts and Culture, which is housed in a traditional wooden building called a Reuan Thai (fig.). This king was born on a Tuesday and hence takes pink as his personal colour, following to the sih prajam wan-system. Accordingly, the Chulalongkorn University has the Rain Tree or Pink Tassel-flower as its floral emblem, and his royal consort Princess Dara Radsami named a thorn-free pink rose after him (fig.). Among the Thais he is known as Chulachomklao and by the predicate Piya Maha Raj. See also Wan Piya Maha Raj, Sri Savarindira, and list of Thai kings.

Chulalongkorn Day

Annual Thai public holiday on October 23 in commemoration of King Chulalongkorn. In Thai Wan Piya Maha Raj, literally ‘day of the beloved great king’.

Chulaphorn Walailak (จุฬาภรณ์วลัยลักษณ์)

Third daughter and fourth child to King Bhumipon and Queen Sirikit. Born at Phra Tihnang Amphon Sathaan in Dusit Palace, on 4 July 1957. Her personal flag consists of an orange field, the colour of her birthday, i.e. Thursday (see sih prajam wan), with the initials  Ch. Ph. (จ. ภ.), bound by a pale blue ribbon, and underneath a small crown (fig.). Nicknamed Princess Scientist of Thailand, she on 1 December 1987, established the Chulabhorn Research Institute, which conducts academic study of medical science and public health and of which the princess is the president (fig.). Her name is also transcribed Chulabhorn Valailak.

Chularachamontrih (จุฬาราชมนตรี)

Thai. Leader or head of the Muslim people in Thailand. The title is a Thai adaptation of the Muslim office of Sheikh al-Islam. The very first holder of this Thai title was Sheikh Ahmad Qomi, a merchant from Persia who is said to have arrived in Ayutthaya in 1602. Until 1945 the office was held by his Shi'ite descendants, but since that year, Sunnites have held the office. Also transcribed Chularajamontri and Chularajmontri. See also Bunnag.

Chumphon (ชุมพร)

1. The small capital of Chumphon province (map) with just around 15,000 inhabitants, situated on the peninsular east coast near the Gulf of Thailand, 463 kms South of Bangkok. Chumphon is the most northern province of the South Thailand region (map) and here the one road from the North to the South forks to Ranong and Surat Thani. Chumphon's name is probably derived from its location at this crossroad, a meeting place or place were ‘gather’, as chumphon (with a different Thai spelling) means ‘gathering of troops’, a reference also to the presence of an earlier army camp in town where warriors from the region gathered before going into battle, as the area was a frontier city in the wars against Burma. Another source suggest the name might come from the ficus glomerata, a local fig tree found abundant in the province and in Thai called madeua chumphon. This province has eight amphur, 70 tambon and 674 villages or mu ban. See also Chumphon data file.

2. Abbreviated name of Chumphon Khet Udomsak (ชุมพรเขตอุดมศักดิ์), a Krommaluang (i.e. the third highest title for a prince of royal descent) and the modernizer of Thailand's Royal Navy. He is widely honoured with shrines and statues, especially in ports and seaside towns, such as Rayong, Trat, Pattaya (fig.), etc. See also Aphakon Kiatiwong and Krom Phra Nakhon.

Koh Chang naval combat memorial

chumphon (ชุมพล)

1. Thai. ‘Gathering of troops’ or ‘gathering of an army’. The word occurs frequently in Thai nomenclature, e.g. in the name of a gate in Nakhon Ratchasima, and the city name of Chumphon is derived from it.

2. Thai. Name of a kind of madeua, i.e. the madeua chumphon, a species of fig tree known in Latin as Ficus glomerata.

3. Thai. Name for an ancient city gate in Nakhon Ratchasima, located behind the monument of Queen Suranari (fig.) in the centre of town. In Thai, it is known as Pratu Chumphon (ประตูชุมพ), meaning Chumphon Gate’ or ‘Troops Gathering Gate’, and local folklore has it that when a young bachelor passes through the gate together with a young unmarried girl, the two will certainly become a couple and likely get married. It was built in 1656, during the reign of King Narai, who commanded that a strong city wall be built. The then more or less rectangular shaped city was at that time an outpost of Ayutthaya, and engineers from France -then an ally- helped with the design. The battlemented walls were built from large laterite stones and bricks, and covered with plaster, whilst the gate has a watchtower made of wood, with a tiled roof decorated with ngao, bai raka and chofa. Pratu Chumphon, the western gate, is the only original of the four city gates that still stands today, though the other three, i.e. the northern Pratu Phon Saen (ประตูพลแสน) or Pratu Nahm (ประตูน้ำ), meaning ‘Hundred Thousand Troops Gate’ and ‘Water Gate’; the southern Pratu Chai Narong (ประตูไชยณรงค์) or Pratu Phi (ประตูผี), which translates as ‘Campaign Victory Gate’ and ‘Spirit Gate’; and the eastern Pratu Phon Lahn (ประตูพลล้าน) or Pratu Thung Sa-wahng (ประตูทุ่งสว่าง), i.e. ‘Million Troops Gate’ or ‘Bright Field Gate’, as well as an additional watchtower (fig.), have been rebuilt.

4. Thai. Paternal name of Princess Bunjirathon, the spouse of Prince Chuthathut Tharadilok (fig.).

Chunda (จุนทะ, चुन्द)

1. Thai-Sanskrit. The blacksmith who offered the Buddha the food that made him fatally ill, at Pava. Also transcribed Cunda.

2. Sanskrit. A goddess, one of the five Taras of Vajrayana or Mantrayana Buddhism. She is described as having twelve or sometimes sixteen arms. Also transcribed Cunda.

Chung K'uei (鍾馗)

See Zhong Kui.

Chung-li Chuan (钟离权)

Chinese. Name of one of the Eight Immortals (fig.), who is regarded as the official leader of the group, though many consider Lu Tong-pin the informal, de facto leader (fig.). He is usually portrayed with a either a thin or a long beard, the top of his head bald and his chest and belly bare. He may be portrayed completely bald, but more often with some hair on the sides and the back of his head, usually tied into two small topknots at the back (fig.). His attribute is a big, magical feather fan, generally depicted in a form reminiscent of that of a small banana plant leaf, with which he can revive the dead. In art, his depiction with a thin beard, bald and long earlobes (fig.) at times confusingly resembles Huan Xi Fo (fig.). According to legend, he was born in Yan Tai (燕台) during the Han Dynasty and is therefore also called Han Chung-li. During his birth bright beams of light appeared and the newborn reportedly cried nonstop for seven days. When he grew up he became a general. After appearing in a dream of Lu Tong-pin, the latter followed Chung-li Chuan into the Ho Ling Mountains, in order to seek the Tao and achieve immortality. His mount is a kilen (fig.). His name is alternatively spelled Zhongli Quan and he is also known as Han Zhongli.

chung thian (เชิงเทียน)

Thai name for a ‘candleholder’ or ‘candlestick’. In Buddhist temples (fig.) and at other places of worship these candleholders often take the form of Suphanahongse, the King's personal Barge, a boat with the figure head of a mythical swan called hongse. Also transcribed choeng thian or cheung thian.

Chun Jie (春节)

Chinese. ‘Spring Festival’, that is Chinese New Year. Also Xin Nian, literally ‘New Year’ and Guo Nian, ‘pass the year’. In Thai Trut Jien.

chun mo (chun mo)

Vietnamese. Name for a traditional handheld wooden percussion instrument. It consists of a handle with a flexible metal bar that can vibrate, with at the end a solid piece of hardwood, which is flanked by two hollow wooden blocks in slightly different sizes to create a different sound pitch and often made in the shape of fish or birds. Hence, the woodblock tick tock is in English often called a fish trident or bird trident, respectively. It is played by beating the woodblocks with a small handheld stick and has three different pitches. Traditionally, the instrument has been used by Buddhist monks while chanting and is therefore also by some referred to as double fish temple block or double bird temple block. In Vietnamese, it is also known as simply mo. Compare with the Chinese muyu (fig.) and yugu (fig.).

Chun Qiu (春秋)

Chinese. ‘Spring and Autumn Annals’. Name of an ancient Chinese chronicle of Lu State (722 to 481 BC) that traditionally has been regarded as compiled by Confucius. It is represented as part of the emblem of the Cao Dai religion, together with an alms bowl from Buddhism and a fly whisk from Taoism (fig.).

Churning of the Ocean of Milk

To obtain the amrita, the nectar of immortality, the gods and demons churned the Ocean of Milk. They placed Mandara, the peak of Mt. Meru, upside-down in the ocean and used the snake Ananta as a stirring rope, whilst Vishnu incarnated as a tortoise -his second avatar- to support the mountain with its shell, thus preventing it from sinking in the soft mud of the sea floor (fig.). The scene is depicted on the southern section of the eastern gallery of Angkor Wat (fig.). See also Apsara and Bi Xi.

Chuthathut Tharadilok (จุฑาธุชธราดิลก)

Thai. Name of a son of King Chulalongkorn and Queen Saowapha, with the title Prince of Phetchabun. READ ON.

ci (祠)

Chinese for ‘temple’, but especially one that enshrines ancestry gods, i.e. human beings apotheosized as gods, against miao, i.e. a temple that enshrines nature gods and patron gods.

cicada

Latin-English. ‘Tree cricket’. Name for insects of the order Hemiptera in the family Cicadidae. READ ON.

Cinereous Tit

Common designation for a group of birds, with the scientific name Parus cinereus and belonging to the tit family Paridae. The group is distributed in parts of West Asia, across South Asia and into Southeast Asia, and is made up of several populations that were earlier treated as subspecies of the Great Tit (Parus major). Members are cinereous, i.e. ashy grey, with white undersides and thus distinguishable from the Great Tit, which is greenish-backed with a yellowish underside. However, confusingly the latter is sometimes listed as Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus), whilst the Cinereous Tit is in that case regarded as one and the same as the Great Tit (fig.). Yet, Cinereous Tits are about 13 centimeters tall, whereas Great Tits are recorded as being slightly larger, measuring about 14 centimeters. Both have large white cheek-patches, a white wing-bar, a black crown, and a black central stripe that runs from the throat to the vent (fig.). Females have a narrower ventral line and are slightly duller. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

cinnamon

Name of a small evergreen tree that grows up to 15 meters tall, belonging to the genus Cinnamomum, in the family of Lauraceae. The dried aromatic inner bark of the Cinnamon Tree is used as a spice, e.g. ground and mixed with granulated sugar it is used as a flavour for desserts. The bark is of a yellowish-brown colour and its name comes from the Greek word kinnamomon (κιννάμωμον). It is native to some countries of Southeast Asia, including India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and especially Sri Lanka, where it is known as Kurundu. This ‘Ceylon cinnamon’ is worldwide recognized as the true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum/zeylanicum), said to be ‘the best in all the Orient world’, against some related species, such as cassia which is sometimes labeled as cinnamon, but has a much harsher flavour and is thicker, harder and more woody in texture than cinnamon. Cassia sticks have a medium to light reddish-brown colour and are sometimes called ‘Indonesian cinnamon’, to distinguish it from the true cinnamon. In the 17th and throughout the 18th century the Dutch East India Company cultivated its own cinnamon trees on the island of Ceylon. Camphor, which is gained from the Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora - fig.), is used as a component of incense, and is often referred to as cinnamon (fig.). In Thai obcheuy.

Citragupta (चित्रगुप्त)

Sanskrit. ‘Collector of secrets’. Name of Yama's scribe, the Vedic god who presides over the dead. He is depicted carrying a pen and book in which he records the good and bad deeds of mankind. In Thai tradition, the god of the dead is called Phra Yom, and has two scribes, namely Suwan and Suwaan (fig.). Whereas Suwan keeps record of the good deeds of humankind, Suwaan records their bad deeds. Both are depicted with a pen and book, and act as advocate and accuser respectively, on judgment day. Also Chitragupta and in Thai he is referred to as Chao Pho Chetakup, or simply Chao Chetakup. In Thai iconography he is sometimes depicted as a deity, wearing a chadah (fig.) and holding a book in one hand and a pen in the other (fig.). In Chinese mythology, there are four scribes, i.e. one who keeps record of the good deeds of humankind, one who records their bad deeds, and each of them with a personal controller, who checks that not mistakes are made. They are collectively referred to as the Magistrates of the Netherworld (fig.).

Citrine Wagtail

Common name for a species of bird in the family Motacillidae, with the scientific name Motacilla citreola, and also commonly known as Yellow-headed Wagtail. Adult males in breeding plumage, are mostly greyish-black above, with vague white bars on the wings' flight feathers, and a bright yellow head and underparts. In non-breeding plumage, adult males are more greyish above, with the black reduced to a nuchal band. Females are similar, but grey above, including also the crown, and have a yellow face, throat and breast, while the underparts are mostly yellow diluted by white. Juveniles have brownish upperparts and lack the yellow.

City Pillar

See sahn lak meuang.

Clark's Anemone Fish

See Yellowtail Clownfish.

Cleartip Widow

A kind of dragonfly, with the scientific name Neurothemis fulvia. It is also commonly known as Fulvous Forest Skimmer and sometimes referred to as Russet Percher. Whereas males are overall dark red, females are rusty brown. Both sexes have transparent wingtips, but those of females additionally have a faint, thin, brown edge. Besides this, males have red eyes, whereas those of females are brown. In Thai this species is called malaeng poh ban tahn plaay pihk saai.

clepsydra (κλεψύδρα)

Greek compound term universally used for a water clock. READ ON.

Climbing Perch

Common name for a species of freshwater fish, with the scientific designation Anabas testudineus. READ ON.

Clipper

Common name for a species of fast flying butterfly found, in South and Southeast Asia, and with the scientific name Parthenos sylvia. There are several subspecies, all with a bright, bronze-green to blackish ground-colour and triangular brown markings near the outer margins. In addition, they have white spots, that are more dense near the tip of the forewings. Depending on the subspecies, the wings have an overall pale-blue, greenish or orange shine (fig.), which is somewhat more intense near the body of the butterfly, which is pale to dark orange barred with black. Its antennae are black with orange tips. In Thai, this species is known as phi seua chang ron (ผีเสื้อช่างร่อน).

cloisonné

Term for an ancient technique and its products, that in the 14th century spread from the near East via the West to China, where it developed its own style (fig.) and is in Chinese known as jingtai lan.

Cloth of Gold

See phakah krong.

Clouded Leopard

Common name of a medium-sized wild cat, with the Latin name Neofelis nebulosa and which is found in the forests of Asia. Clouded Leopards are distributed in most of Southeast Asia (fig.), from Nepal and southern China, through Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Their habitat consist mainly of lowland tropical rainforest, but they can also be found in dry woodlands and secondary forests, and have even been spotted at high altitudes near the foothills of the Himalayas, though they have an extremely secretive nature. Clouded Leopards are named after the cloud-like spots of their coat, which provides camouflage. They are one of the best climbers in the cat family, able to climb upside-down underneath tree branches and hang from branches with their hind feet. Though it often sleeps in trees, it nonetheless hunts mainly on the ground. In Thai it is called seua laai mek. There are several subspecies.

Cluster Fig Tree

Popular name for the Ficus racemosa (fig.), which in Thai is known as madeua kliang, in Sanskrit called udumbara, and in Hindi referred to as goolar. There are however many similar trees in Thailand that grow figs in clusters, including the deua bai yai or deua wah (Ficus auriculata), madeua plong (Ficus hispida), liab phak heuad (Ficus lacor), phak leuad (Ficus variegata), etc.

cobra

Generic name of a group of venomous hooded snakes, found in South and Southeast Asia, as well as in the Middle-East and Africa. Its name is derived from the Latin word colubra, meaning ‘serpent’. The snake family Colubridae is named after it and includes well over half of all snake species on earth. Cobras however, belong to the family Elapidae, more specifically the genus Naja, which is said to be the most widespread group of snakes, and includes amongst others the King Cobra or ‘Snake Eater’ (Ophiophagus hannah - fig.), the Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia - fig.), the Indochinese Spitting Cobra (Naja siamensis - fig.), and the Indian Cobra (Naja naja). The latter is regarded by many as the group's archetypal species. In India, the cobra is habitually hypnotized by so-called snake charmers (fig.) who play the pungi, a flute-like instrument made from a gourd (fig.). Though the practice has also spread to other parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, it is foremost an Indian custom. When threatened, a cobra will expand its hood and raise the anterior third part of its body. In Vietnam, cobra's are consumed by some and its venom is mixed with alcohol and drank as an aphrodisiac. In Thai, its general name is ngu hao, literally ‘barking snake’, a descriptive term referring to the hissing sound tat it makes when it feels threatened and usually is about to strike. See also Mwegyi Hnakaung.

coc (cọc)

Vietnamese. ‘Stake’. Term for 150 to 300 mm wooden poles, which in the past were used in Vietnamese maritime warfare. READ ON.

Cochin China

Name of a breed of chicken, which is also called just Cochin and Chinese Shanghai, and is in Chinese referred to as jiu jin huang (九斤黄). The most distinctive feature of the Cochin China is the excessive plumage that covers also the legs and feet which, like the skin underneath the feathers, are yellowish.  There are many varieties in colour of the plumage, including white, buff, black, blue, silver laced, golden laced, partridge and splash. As their name suggests, Cochins originate from China and are one of the most quiet breeds of domestic fowl, that hardly ever crow or cluck. Their excessive plumage and their tame character, also makes them popular as ornamental fowl and pets. This breed is classified as a variety of the domesticated fowl, with the scientific name Gallus gallus domesticus, and in Thai it may be referred to as kai phan cochin (ไก่พันธ์โคชิน) or kai phan yipun (ไก่พันธุ์ญี่ปุ่น), which actually means ‘Japanese breed fowl’.

cock

The cock or rooster (fig.) is the tenth animal sign of the Chinese zodiac (fig.). Those born in the Year of the Cock are said to have a flamboyant personality, and their protector or guardian deity is Budong (fig.). The cock is extrovert and outwardly confident, as well as a trustworthy, hardworking individual. He is outspoken and will tell it as it is, without any reservations. The cock features on certain Thai postage stamps, such as the Zodiac Year of the Cock Postage Stamp issued in 2005 (fig.) and the Songkraan Day Postage Stamp issued in 1993 (fig.). In Thai, the fowl correspondents to the first letter the alphabet, i.e. go gai or ko kai ( ไก่). Though kai is the general term for rooster in Thai, when referring to the animal in the zodiac (fig.), usually the term ra-kah (ระกา) is used. MORE ON THIS.

cock fighting

See kaanchon kai.

cockroach

See malaeng saab.

cocoa

The fermented and dried fatty seeds of the cacao tree (fig.) from which chocolate is made, as well as the name for a powder made from these seeds when crushed after the cocoa butter, the vegetable fat of the cacao bean, is already removed from the dark, bitter cocoa beans. Besides this, it may also refer to a drink made of chocolate powder or to the combination of both cocoa powder and cocoa butter put back together, as in chocolate bars. To produce one kilogram of cocoa paste around 300-600 seeds are required, depending on the desired cocoa content. See also ton kohkoh.

coconut

Edible fruit of the coconut palm, a tree with the botanical designation Cocos nucifera. READ ON.

coconut milk

Milky fluid gained from the flesh of the coconut by grinding (fig.) or grating (fig.) it and then squeezing the snippets. Although today the process is all but completely automated, in the past, a household tool called kratai jihn (fig.) was used for this. The obtained milky white liquid is used for the preparation of several Thai curries. Coconut milk is often mistaken for the fresh coconut water in the fruit which is drunk directly from the nut and should be called coconut juice, rather than milk. Especially young nuts are used for their juice. Also called coconut cream and in Thai ka-thi.

coconut palm

Palm tree with the Latin name Cocos nucifera. Nucifera is Latin for ‘nut-bearing’ and the word coco comes from Spanish-Portuguese and means ‘monkey face’, after the shape of the hard brown shell of the coconut. Of this useful tree and its fruit almost every part can be used. From its inflorescence juice is drawn, used for making sugar (fig.) and from the flesh of the coconut coconut milk is gained. Its spathes (broad blades) are used in the making of Phi Tah Khohn masks (fig.). In Thai ton maprao.

codhumbi

A tuft of hair retained on the back of the shaved head of Brahmin priests and novices (fig.), at a place known as the bindu chakra, i.e. the ‘circle of drops’. Brahmins believe that there a fluid is produced, which can become either amrita, the elixir of immortality, or the poison of death. Compare with Thai topknots called kle and juk (fig.).

coffee

Name of the popular beverage prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee tree (fig.). After being picked, the coffee berries (fig.) are sorted by ripeness and color and the flesh of the berry is removed. Then the seeds, called beans, are fermented to remove the slimy layer of mucilage, washed and dried. By then they are referred to as green coffee beans which may be decaffeinated by steaming or soaking them in hot water, using a solvent to break up the oils that contain caffeine. Then the green coffee beans are roasted at around 200°C-240°C. During this process caramelization takes place and the colour of the bean changes from pale to light or dark brown, depending on the temperature: the higher the temperature, the darker the beans. Dark roasts are generally smoother as they contain less fibers and a have more sugary flavour, whereas lighter roasts have more caffeine, are more bitter and a have stronger flavour. The word coffee is by some believed to derive from the Arabic word cafir or kafir (كافر), i.e. ‘unbeliever’, as coffee beans were initially imported from Ethiopia, up to present a mostly Christian country, and were hence referred to as cafir beans, while the Ethiopian province of Kefa, one of the 14 provinces in the old Ethiopian administration and earlier known as the Kingdom of Kaffa, is mentioned as the place were coffee originated, growing in the wild in the Ethiopian highlands and —according to a 17th century (likely apocryphal) story— discovered by a 9th century Ethiopian goatherd who had noticed how excited his goats became after eating coffee beans. As with tea in China and other parts of Asia and the Far East, coffee is used to welcome guests in one's home throughout the Arab world, the head of the household personally preparing and offering it to his guests. Thailand has its own brands of -especially hill tribe- coffees (fig.), while also Vietnam has a long tradition of growing its own brands (fig.). Some countries of Southeast Asia produce a kind of coffee known as kopi luwak (fig.), which is made from coffee berries that have been eaten by the Common Palm Civet (fig.), yet pass largely undigested through its digestive tract and are harvested from its feces. See also cha and Common Palm Civet.

coffee tree

Shrub or small tree of the genus Coffea, which has around 40 kinds, the best known being coffea arabica from which coffee is made. The fruits (fig.) are red when they are ripe and each fruit carries two seeds, the coffee beans (fig.). Sometimes called coffee plant.

Collared Crow

Common name for a 52 to 55 centimeter large bird in the Corvidae family, with the scientific name Corvus torquatus, and also commonly known as White-collared Crow and Ring-necked Crow, which is native to China, though reportedly not further North than Beijing. It is overall glossy black, with a broad white collar around the neck and lower breast. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are more brownish and less glossy, whilst the white collar is somewhat narrower, especially around the shoulders and at the lower neck, creating a black patch on the upper breast which is reminiscent of the breast patch with White Wagtails in non-breeding plumage (fig.).

Collared Falconet

Common name for a species of a small diurnal bird of prey in the Falconidae family, with the scientific designation Microhierax caerulescens, which is found in South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia. Adults are just between 16 and 18 centimeters tall and have a white body, with a chestnut wash on the throat, breast, belly, vent and thighs, and black upperparts, a black hind-crown and a black ear-covert patch. Its under-tail is white with black bars (fig.). The Collared Falconet's habitat consists of deciduous forests and forest clearings, where it perches in exposed places.

Collared Kingfisher

Common name for a species of medium-sized bird in the family of tree or wood kingfishers Halcyonidae, with the scientific names Halcyon chloris and Todiramphus chloris. It has a wide range extending from the Red Sea, across southern Asia and Australasia to Polynesia. It is a very variable species with about 50 subspecies, the ones occurring in Southeast Asia and Thailand including Halcyon chloris humii, Halcyon chloris armstrongi, and Halcyon chloris davidsoni. These noisy and conspicuous kingfishers are about 24 to 26 centimeters tall. They generally have blue to greenish upperparts and a whitish collar and whitish to buff underparts (fig.), with colouring, tinges, and brightness or dullness depending on the relevant subspecies. This species is also known as the White-collared Kingfisher and Mangrove Kingfisher.

Collared Owlet

A species of owl with the binomial name Glaucidium brodiei. It is commonly found in South, East and Southeast Asia. At around 15 centimeters and weighing about 60 grams it is the smallest owl in Asia, and is in Thai named nok khao khrae, meaning ‘pygmy owl’. It has a grayish brown scaled head, reddish brown upperparts with white barring, lighter underparts, yellow-black eyes and a yellow beak. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

colonette

A small decorated column, commonly used in Khmer architecture, usually positioned on either side of a doorway or as lattice in windows. Also pilaster.

colour per day

See sih prajam wan.

Comb Duck

Name of a species of duck with the scientific name Sarkidiornis melanotos. It is a pan-tropical duck, which occurs in tropical wetlands across the globe, from northern South America, over sub-Saharan Africa, to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and southern China. There are two subspecies, with the one found in Asia being Sarkidiornis melanotos melanotos. Adults have a white head, speckled with dark spots, and a pure white lower neck and underparts. The upperparts are glossy blue-black, with a bluish and greenish iridescence. The male is larger than the female, and has a large black knob on the bill. Due to this, the species is also commonly known as Knob-billed Duck. In flight, the dark wings contrast strongly with the whitish body (fig.). The white head with dark-speckled spots is reminiscent of that of the White-winged Wood Duck (fig.). In Thai it is called pet hong (เป็ดหงส์), which translates as ‘swan-duck’. A male and female Comb Duck are depicted on a postage stamp which was issued in 1996 as part of a set of four stamps on ducks found in Thailand (fig.).

combining the alms bowls

An attitude of the Buddha in which he is seated is a half lotus position holding an alms bowl on his lap with his left hand and covering it with his right hand. It refers to the scene in which the Buddha was contemplating the bliss of his Enlightenment underneath a tree when two merchant brothers named Tapussa and Bhallika arrived from the distant town of Ukkala. Upon seeing the Buddha they were filled with faith and offered him some honeyed rice. The Buddha asked them with what he was to receive their offerings and immediately the guardians of the four directions appeared and each gave the Buddha a green marble bowl. Using his divine powers the Buddha then combined the four bowls into one and received the offerings. Also known as uniting the (four) alms bowls.

Commander

Common name for a species of butterfly, known by the scientific names Limenitis procris and Moduza procris, and found in the wider region of the Himalayas and the Indian subcontinent, as far South as Sri Lanka and as far East as Myanmar. It has a wingspan of about 5.5 to 7.5 centimeters. The upper-side of its wings are a bright reddish brown, with brown, tawny and blackish spots, as well as white markings that are arranged across the four wings in a V-shape. The underside is bright pale yellowish to whitish, with markings in yellowish-brown, white and black. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Albatross

Common name for a species of small butterfly, with the scientific name Appias albina, as well as Appias paulina, both very similar and belonging to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows and Whites (fig.), and found in South and Southeast Asia. In the wet-season, the upperside of the males is mostly white, with some black at the apex and along the sides of the forewings, though this disappears almost completely in the dry-season. The underside is similar, but the light colouration is pale brownish-yellow in Appias albina, and more yellowish in Appias paulina. Females have more black on the forewings and some black spots at the outer margin of the hindwings, which is irregularly zigzag in Appias albina and evenly curved in Appias paulina. The female ground-colour on the upperside may be white to pale yellow. The upper body in males is bluish grey and the lower thorax is white in Appias albina and yellowish in Appias paulina. The antennae in Appias albina are grayish black, densely speckled with white.

Common Archduke

Name of a species of semi-large butterfly, with the binomial name Lexias pardalis dirteana, of which the largest species reach a wingspan of circa 10 centimeters. There are two species found in Thailand, with identical patterns and colours on their wings, though they are differentiated by the fact that one has orange tips to its antennae, whilst the other has black tips. Both species show strong sexual dimorphism, with the upperside of the male wings being mainly black with small, white or faint blue and orange spots at the top or inner side, and a bluish-grey apical border on the forewings, whilst the posterior wings have a grayish light-blue outer border with black spots, of which some may be heart-shaped. The underside of their wings is dark brownish orange. Females are have black wings with faint yellow to orange and white spots. The underside of their wings is identical to the top, but more faded in colour. The Common Archduke is a common forest species and generally feeds on fallen fruit. In Thai it is called phi seua achduk (ผีเสื้ออ๊าชดุ๊ค) or phi seua achduk thammada (ผีเสื้ออาชดุ๊คธรรมดา), a literal translation of its common English name.

Common Asian Toad

Common name for a toad, with the scientific names Bufo melanostictus and Duttaphrynus melanostictus, and listed in the true toad family Bufonidae. It is one of the most widespread species of true toads in Southeast Asia, and ranges from Sri Lanka to Southern China, and down through Thailand (fig.), West Malaysia and Singapore, to western Indonesia and the island of Borneo. It occurs in a variety of habitats, in both rural and urban areas, and is able to withstand brackish water. It is frequently seen at night, especially on grass lawns, paths and roads. It is about 10 centimeters long and generally buff to brown in colour, though there is considerable colour variation and some species are darker or have brownish patterning on the back. Its underside is of a much lighter colour, almost white. They are usually listed in four different categories of colouration. Its skin is rough, with warts that form small black, bumpy dots, which are scattered along the sides and the lower back. It also has poison glands in the form of a raised ridge behind each eye. The feet are not webbed. Also known as Southeast Asian Toad, Asiatic Toad, House Toad, Common Indian Toad, Common Asiatic Toad, and Black-spined Toad, and in Thai it is called kaangkok ban. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Birdwing

Name for a butterfly with the scientific name Troides helena. It is mainly velvety black, with some red spotting; pale streaks on the forewings, that are broader and more prominent with females; and mainly yellow hindwings, with a black rim. It has a light yellow body and yellow hindwings, though females have a somewhat darker body and more black spotting on the hindwings. It is very similar to the Golden Birdwing (fig.) and is somewhat reminiscent of the Great Mormon (fig.), Common Rose (fig.) and the Common Mormon (fig.).  回

Common Bluebottle

Common name for a species of swallowtail butterfly, with the scientific name Graphium sarpedon. READ ON.

Common Bronzeback

Common name for a species of fast-moving snake, found in South and Southeast Asia and with the binomial name Dendrelaphis pictus. Its head is bronze, with a black lateral stripe, that passes through the eyes. Its upper-lip is yellowish and its tongue red. The body is olive or brown above and whitish below, and has a cream lateral stripe bordered by a dark one along the length of the body. When threatened it will inflate its body slightly, thus revealing bluish-turquoise skin, that lays under the body scales. It occurs in a variety of habitats, including scrub, secondary forest, and back-beach areas, as well as parks and gardens. It is active by day, searching for its food, which consists mainly of lizards and frogs. Nervous in disposition, it will flee swiftly when disturbed. Also called Painted Bronzeback, and in Thai known as ngu saai mahn Phra In (งูสายม่านพระอินทร์), which translates as ‘curtain-striped Indra-snake’.

Common Bushbrown

Name for a small butterfly, with the scientific name Mycalesis perseus. It has a wingspan of around 3.5 to 4.5 centimeters and is overall brown. In the wet season, it has a number of orange-black eyespots, called ocelli, near the multiple-fringed wing-edges, each with a central white spot, and separated from the rest of the otherwise plane brown wing, by a white vertical stripe. There are 4 spots on the forewings and 7 spots on the hindwings. In the dry season, the eyespots are reduced to mere pale dots, with 4 of the 7 spots on the hindwings with a brown smudgy border and the other 3 with a black smudgy border, whilst the white vertical stripe has all but vanished, at best showing some white streaks (fig.). Also the white fringes on the border of the wings have retracted to form mere pale splotches. Also known as Dingy Bushbrown, and in Thai named phi seua tahn phum sahm jud riang (ผีเสื้อตาลพุ่มสามจุดเรียง).

Common Buzzard

Common name for a species of medium-sized to large bird of prey, with the scientific designation Buteo buteo. READ ON.

Common Caerulean

Common name for a species of 2.7 to 3.7 centimeter small butterfly, with the scientific name Jamides celeno (aelianus), which is found in Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Whereas the upper wings are sky blue, the underwings are buff-brown with discal lines, of which the second on the forewing is discontinuous. At the edge of the lower apex of the hindwing is an orange-black ocellus, as well as a short, filamentous, black, white-tipped tail, at the apex of the second vein. In Thai, this butterfly is known as phi seua fah wahw sih tahng reuduh (ผีเสื้อฟ้าวาวสีต่างฤดู).

Common Castor

Name for a butterfly with the scientific name Ariadne merione, and found across Southeast Asia. It has rusty-orange wings, with brown wavy lines and a tiny whitish spot near the front edge of each forewing. The wing pattern on the underside of the wings consists of alternating brownish and buff, wavy lines (fig.). In the wet-season form, it is similar, but somewhat darker in colour and less clear or even the absence of the whitish spots near the apex of each forewing. This butterfly got its name because its larvae (fig.) feed almost exclusively on the leaves of the Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis). This graceful butterfly loves to glide through the air. In Thai it is named phi seua non la-hung thammada (ผีเสื้อหนอนละหุ่งธรรมดา), with the word la-hung being the Thai name for the Castor Oil Plant.  

Common Clubtail

Common name for a species of dragonfly, with the scientific name Ictinogomphus decoratus. It belongs to the family Gomphidae, whose members' eyes are well separated, which sets them apart from other dragonfly families. The Common Cubtail is a large dragonfly, with greenish-grey eyes, and a black-and-yellow striped thorax and abdomen, which is  club-shaped, i.e. with a swollen apex. This species is less common and likes to breed mostly in standing water, away from densely populated areas. It is allegedly not well adapted to human inhabited areas and is therefore more easily found in forests. In Thai, it is known as malaeng poh seua thammada, i.e. ‘common tiger dragonfly’, but sometimes also as malaeng poh seua laai pradap, which translates as ‘ornamental-striped tiger dragonfly’. Also spelled Common Club-tail. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Coot

Common name for a species of waterfowl, with the scientific designation Fulica atra. Adults are up to 42.5 centimeters long, and largely slaty-black, aside from red eyes, a white bill and a white frontal shield. The legs and feet are also black and they have partial webbing in between the toes, for swimming. Immature birds are paler than adults, have a whitish breast, and lack the facial shield, until they get about one year old. Its habitat consists of freshwater lakes and ponds, and it occurs in Asia, as well as in Oceania, Europe, and Africa. The Common Coot is omnivorous. Also known as Eurasian Coot or simply Coot, and in Thai as nok coot (นกคู้ด/นกคู้ท). See also Common Moorhen (fig.).

Common Crane

Name of a large bird in the crane family Gruidae, with the scientific name Grus grus. This crane is medium-sized, measuring 100 to 120 centimeters tall, and has a wingspan of up to 240 centimeters. Its plumage is overall grey, with black-tipped secondaries and long, drooping tertials, mixed with black plumes. Its head and upper-neck are blackish, with a red patch on the crown, and a broad white band from the ear-coverts down to the upper neck. The legs and feet are grey, and the bill is pale (fig.). Common Cranes have a loud trumpeting call and are famous for their typical dance performances, in which they leap about with their wings uplifted. They are omnivorous, eating anything from leaves and roots, to insects, birds and small mammals. Their diet also includes berries and cranberries are purportedly named after this bird, which is also commonly known as the Eurasian Crane. See also crane.

Common Eggfly

See Blue Moon Butterfly.

Common Emigrant

Common designation for a species of butterfly, with the scientific name Catopsilia pomona, which has some six different varieties. It belongs to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows and Whites, and is found in Asia and parts of Australia. Depending on the variety, males usually have greenish-white wings above, and overall greenish-yellow wings on the underside, sometimes with tiny brown markings. The underwings of females are usually more yellowish and often have dark or brown markings. Common Emigrants typically perch with the wings closed, and are thus more easily identified by the colour and pattern of the underwings. They have six legs which they are able to use all and often perch on wet soil to drink and lick minerals from it. They regularly occur in larger swarms. Also known as Lemon Emigrant, and in Thai called phi seua non khoon thammada (ผีเสื้อหนอนคูนธรรมดา), with the word khoon being the Thai name for the Drumstick Tree, one of several species of Cassia on which leaves the caterpillars of this butterfly feed. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Evening Brown

Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific names Melanitis leda and Melanitis ismene. It has a wingspan of 6 to 8 centimeters and there is a wet-season and a dry season form. The former has an overall brownish upper side, with two large black spots on the sub-apical upper side of the forewing, bordered by some orange colouring, and each with a smaller white central spot, whereas the underside is paler with a bark-like pattern and a number of orange-black eyespots or ocelli, each with a central white spot. The latter form has a similar ground-colour above, but with larger markings and different ocelli, whilst its underside resembles a dead leaf, which may significantly vary in colour. The antennae, head and body in both seasonal forms are brown or greyish-brown, and the antennae may have dark (fig.) or pale tips (fig.). There are also other varieties of Evening Brown, which are listed as a separate species and known as Dark Evening Brown (fig.) and Great Evening Brown (fig.). In Thai, the Common Evening Brown is called phi seua sahyan sih tahn thammada. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Five-ring

Name for a species of Asian butterfly in the subfamily Satyrinae, which is also commonly known as the Browns, and with the scientific designation Ypthima baldus. In the wet-season form, the upperside of the male's wings is brown, with much darker terminal margins, and a double-dotted, yellow-ringed, black ocellus on the forewing, and two round, single-dotted similar yet smaller ocelli on the hind wing, very often with one or two minute additional ocelli. The underside of the wings has a pale ochraceous-white ground-colour, with six ocelli on each of the hind wings and a larger double-dotted, yellow-ringed, black ocellus on each of the forewings. The ocelli are flanked by a slant brown stroke that runs across both wings. In the dry-season, the ground-colour of the wings' underside is paler and the ocelli on the hinwings are reduced in size. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).

Common Flameback

Common name for a species of bird with the binomial name Dinopium javanense and also commonly known as Common Goldenback. It belongs to the Picidae family, and is found in many parts of South and Southeast Asia. Adults have a golden-brown to copper back and wings with a red shine on the top area of the mantle, a black tail, and a red rump, with black-scaled, white underparts. On the side of the head are long and solid black stripes and whereas the male has red crown, that of the female is black. The rump is red and contrasts with the black tail. It has a rather small bill and only three toes. It is similar in appearance to the Himalayan Flameback (fig.) and the Greater Flameback (fig.). In Thai, known as nok hua khwaan sahm niw lang thong. See POSTAGE STAMP.

Common Green Magpie

See Green Magpie.

Common Greenshank

Name for a medium-sized, pale wader, with the scientific designation Tringa nebularia. It stands to about 35 centimeters tall, has scaly, grey-brown upperparts, with darker shoulders and wing tips, and a barred tail, whereas the underparts are white, with a very faint breast pattern. Its long legs are greenish and the bill is thin and dark, with a grey base. The head is lightly streaked. Its breeding plumage is similar, but darker. It inhabits both fresh and coastal waters (fig.), where it feeds on aquatic invertebrates and small fish. It lives either solitary or in small groups, and often mixes with other warders. In Thai, this bird is known as nok thalae kha khiaw thammada. Also called just Greenshank. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Gull

Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific designation Cepora nerissa. Above, the wings are white, with a greyish shade along the veins and blackish margins, whilst below the wings are yellow to pale yellowish-white, also with dark shades along the veins, but which are more restricted and fainter, especially around the margins and on the hind-wings. Females are similar but much darker. In the dry-season, the colours are fainter, and the patterns less clearly defined than in the wet-season (fig.). There are several subspecies, such as Cepora nerissa cibyra, Cepora nerissa nerissa, etc. In Thailand, this species of butterfly is called phi seua leuang sayaam laai kiht (ผีเสื้อเหลืองสยามลายขีด). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Hawk Cuckoo

Common name for a species of cuckoo, with the scientific name Hierococcyx varius, and a common and widespread resident in South Asia. It is about 34 centimeters tall and bears a close resemblance to the Shikra (fig.), both in appearance and in style of flying and landing on a perch. The sexes are alike, with adults being ashy grey above and whitish with brownish-buff colouring below, that changes into brownish-buff crossed bars towards the belly. They have a broadly barred tail and a distinctive yellow eye-ring. Juvenile birds are brownish above, and whitish with blackish streaks below.

Common Hoopoe

See Hoopoe.

Common Indian Crow

Common name for a butterfly, with the scientific designation Euploea core. It has a wingspan of about 8 to 9 centimeters, and above its wings are glossy black, with a bluish shine on the outer apex of the forewing, whilst on the underside the wings are brownish, with pale bluish-white marks, especially on the hindwings (fig.). Its body is black with prominent white spots (fig.). It is also known as Common Crow and Australian Crow, and has three known races. In Thai, this species of butterfly is named after its larvae, i.e. phi seua jorakah non yihtoh (ผีเสื้อจรกาหนอนยี่โถ).

Common Imperial

Common name for a tailed butterfly, with the scientific designation Cheritra freja frigga. READ ON.

Common Iora

Common name of a small passerine bird, with the scientific designation Aegithina tiphia. In Thai, it is called nok khamin noi thammada (นกขมิ้นน้อยธรรมดา). It is mostly yellowish below and olive above, with washed flanks. Its wings and tail are blackish, with two whitish wing-bars. Females are overall duller and paler. In the breeding season, the male has no washed flanks and the underparts are more vivid yellow, while the upperparts are a somewhat darker. Some male variants in breeding plumage show black on the head, mantle and rump. It is usually found in forests and wooded areas (fig.), and breeds across South and Southeast Asia (fig.). It is similar to the Green Iora (fig.), but the latter has a darker olive-green body and less yellow. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Jay

Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific designation Graphium doson. It has black wings with whitish to pale blue semi-transparent central wing bands that are formed by large spots, whilst there is a series of smaller spots along the margins. The underside is similar but more whitish and with some tiny orangey-red spots on the hind-wing. The sexes are alike. This species is commonly found throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is reminiscent of the Common Bluebottle, a butterfly of the same genus which is known by the Latin name Graphium sarpedon (fig.). In Thai, this butterfly is known by the name phi seua non jam pih jut yaek (ผีเสื้อหนอนจำปีจุดแยก).

Common Kingfisher

Common name for a 16 to 18 centimeters tall bird, with the binomial name Alcedo atthis. This species has reddish-brown underparts, blue upperparts with a turquoise tinge, rufous ear-coverts and a white patch in the neck and on the chin (fig.). Its legs and feet are reddish. Whereas males have a mostly blackish bill (fig.), the base or most of the lower mandible of the females' bill is reddish-orange (fig.). Juveniles are similar to females, but have paler underparts with a grayish wash across the breast. In Thai it is called nok kra-ten noi thammada. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Leopard

Name of a medium-sized, sun-loving species of butterfly, with the binomial name Phalanta phalantha. READ ON.

Common Lettuce Coral

A genus of hard coral with the scientific designation Pectinia lactuca. READ ON.

Common Lionfish

Common name of a coral reef fish, with the scientific designation Pterois miles. It grows to around 35 centimeters and is white, with broad bars and some narrower stripes in between, which vary in colour from reddish (fig.) to greyish-brown. It has feathery dorsal and pectoral fins, that are arranged like the spikes of a folding fan, each with bands in the same colour as the stripes and bars on the body and head. These mane-like fins, that are actually spines that are highly venomous, give this sea creatures its name, and –though not lethal to humans– they can cause severe pain and discomfort upon contact. Due to this, the lionfish is also known as Devil Firefish, and as a result of its venomous defence system (fig.), it is able to put off most predators, making it a successful species with a high population density. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Common Map

Common name for a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae and with the scientific designation Cyrestis thyodamas. It is also commonly known as Common Mapwing. It is found in South and Southeast Asia and there is a lighter and darker form. Whereas the former may be overall more orangey (fig.), the latter has a whitish to pale ochraceous-yellow upperside, with black veins that form an intricate pattern of map-like markings, hence its common name. The distinctive pattern of the wings is somewhat reminiscent of stained glass, similar to that of the Straight-line Mapwing, yet more crooked. The markings on the underside of the wings are much paler than above and have some brownish ochraceous lining, while the ochraceous spots near the tail ends, that look like diffuse eyespots, clearly stand out. Above, the body is dark with very either narrow or broad pale lines that run from the back of the head to the end of the abdomen, while below the body is pale yellowish. The Common Map has a somewhat erratic flight. It is very similar to a butterfly found in Indonesia and The Philippines, which is also commonly as known as Common Map, but with the binomial name Cyrestis maenalis. See also Little Mapwing (fig.).

Common Mime

Common name for a butterfly with the scientific designation Chilasa clytia. This is a variable species found in Southeast Asia and occurs in many different forms in both sexes, which mimic various species of Euploea and Parantica, while the form Chilasa clytia f. dissimilis is regarded as a mimic of some Danainae species, such as Tirumala limniace and Parantica melaneus. In general, members of this species are usually brown or black with pale yellowish to white or greyish markings, sometimes with orange markings along the fringes.

Common Moorhen

Common designation for a small, widespread waterfowl, with the binomial name Gallinula chloropus. Its common name is somewhat deceptive as this bird actually prefers wetlands, such as marshes and swamps, over moorland, and in many other languages, such as Dutch, its name in translation means ‘waterhen’. Except for Australasia, its distribution is almost worldwide. It is recognized by a dark brown to black plumage, i.e. blackish brown upperparts and grey-black underparts, with a white line along the flanks and a white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield, which is absent in immature birds. Common Moorhens are omnivorous and forage on land, as well as in or above the water, both floating or while walking on floating plants, such as water hyacinths and the leaves of water lilies. Its diet includes seeds and roots of plants, berries and grass, algae, small fish and tadpoles, insects, snails and worms. In Thai it is named nok ih-lam. See also Common Coot (fig.).

Common Mormon

Name for a common species of swallowtail butterfly (fig.), with the binomial name Papilio polytes. It is  widely distributed across Asia and known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females, which includes mimicking the inedible Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the Common Rose (fig.). There are several different female forms within this species, known by the names sakontala, cyrus, romulus and stichius (fig.), though not all are found in Thailand. The male (fig.) has one morph only, which is swallow-tailed and mainly black, with a series of white spots on the edge of the forewing, that decrease in size towards the apex, and a complete band of elongated white spots on the upper side of the hindwing, as well as a series of white spots on its edge, alternating with the main black ground colour. The male's body is black with some white spots. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Muntjac

See Barking Deer.

Common Myna

Common name for a bird with the scientific name Acridotheres tristis, also identified as Martin triste. It belongs to the family of Sturnidae and is also known as Indian myna. Oddly, whereas the Latin word tristis in this bird's scientific designation means ‘sad’, Myna (मैना) is the Hindi term for starling and derives from the Sanskrit word madana (मादन), which means ‘joyful’ or ‘delightful’. This bird has a brown body, black hooded head and a bare yellow patch behind the eye. There is a white patch on the outer primaries and the wing lining on the underside is white (fig.). The bill and legs are bright yellow. The birds love to dwell on the ground and are often seen in pairs. The Common Myna is found naturally throughout Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia, as well as in many other parts of the world, some to which it was introduced. It is related to the White-vented Myna (fig.), as well as to the Talking Hill Myna (fig.), which is found in the mountainous regions of South Asia and a popular pet bird, with the scientific name Gracula religiosa. In Thai, this bird is called nok ihyang sarikah (salikah) or nok ihyang ngon kon laai. Myna is also spelled Mynah and is pronounced Mainaa. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Nawab

Name of a species of butterfly, with the scientific name Polyura athamas, which is found in the subtropical and tropical regions of Asia. READ ON.

Common Orange

Common name for a species of pond damselfly, with the scientific designation Ceriagrion calamineum, and also commonly known as Common Pond-damsel. READ ON.

Common Palm Civet

Mammal with the scientific name Paradoxurus hermaphroditus. READ ON.

Common Palmfly

Common name for a species of butterfly, with the binomial name Elymnias hypermnestra. It belongs to the Nymphalidae family and is found in South and Southeast Asia. There are several races, the one prevalent in Thailand being Elymnias hypermnestra undularis. Above, males of the latter have blackish brown forewings, with a subterminal series of blue, or sometimes slightly green, elongate spots, that curve strongly inwards and become more elongate, forming an almost oblique bar. Their hindwings have a broadly, bright chestnut, terminal margin, which sometimes has a subterminal, paler spot in two or more of the interspaces. The underside is pale brown, with a broadly triangular pale purplish-white mark on the forewings and a broad purplish-white subterminal area on both the forewings and hindwings (fig.). In addition, the hind-wing has a small white spot and a more or less complete series of more obscure whitish subterminal spots. The antennae, head and thorax are brown, and the abdomen is brown with paler undersides. Females have a yellowish-brown upperside, with black veins. The forewings have a broadly black dorsal margin, with a noticeable, broad, oblique white bar and three subterminal white spots. The hindwings have a greyish dorsal margin, with a more black margin and a subterminal series of four white spots. The underside is yellowish-brown, with markings similar to those in the male, though the pale whitish markings are more extensive (fig.). Since their caterpillars feed on coconut palms, these butterflies are named after their larvae, i.e. phi seua non maprao thammada (ผีเสื้อหนอนมะพร้าวธรรมดา) in Thai, which means ‘common coconut butterfly caterpillar’. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Palmking

Common name for a species of butterfly native to the Indian subcontinent, parts of China and Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, where it is named after its caterpillar form, i.e. phi seua non maprao khon puy. READ ON.

Common Pierrot

Common name for a species of a butterfly, with the scientific name Castalius rosimon. READ ON.

Common Punch

Common name for a species of a butterfly, with the scientific name Dodona durga. It belongs to the family Riodinidae and is found in southern Asia. It has a wingspan of around 3 to 4 centimeters, with wings that are brownish above, marked with orange and black spots on about two thirds of the outer wings. Its body is also brownish, with a greenish iridescence.

Common Punchinello

See Punchinello.

Common Redshank

Common name for an Eurasian wader, with the scientific designation Tringa totanus. It is also simply known as Redshank and belongs to the family Scolopacidae. In Thai, it is called nok thalae kha daeng thammada (นกทะเลขาแดงธรรมดา), i.e. ‘common red-legged sea bird’. In winter plumage it is plain greyish-brown above and whitish below, with reddish legs and a red-based black bill. In breeding plumage it is darker and more patterned above, while the underside is only slightly lighter.

Common Rose

Name for a species of red-bodied swallowtail butterfly (fig.), with the scientific appellation Atrophaneura aristolochiae. It belongs to the genus Atrophaneura, which encompasses Swallowtails, and to the subgenus Pachliopta. It is commonly found across South and Southeast Asia. It is similar to the Great Mormon (fig.), the Golden Birdwing (fig.), the Common Birdwing and the Common Mormon (fig.), but with a red body. In 2001, this butterfly was depicted on one of a set of four Thai postage stamps featuring Thai butterflies (fig.).

Common Sailor

Name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific name Neptis hylas. It found in South and Southeast Asia. Its upperside is blackish, with three white, horizontal bars and several white spots. The head and body are overall blackish, with a metallic green and bluish sheen, whilst the antennae are black, with pale yellowish tips. It has a characteristic flight, in which it glides through the air, with only occasional short and shallow wing beats. In Thai it is known as phi seua kalaasih thammada (ผีเสื้อกะลาสีธรรมดา), a literal translation of the English common name. Also called Common Plain Sailor.

Common Shelduck

Name for a species of waterfowl, with the scientific designation Tadorna tadorna. It is common and widespread in Europe and Asia, breeding in temperate and wintering in subtropical regions. Adults have a white body, with chestnut and black patches, and a blackish-green head and neck. Their legs and feet are pink, and the bill is reddish-pink. In drakes there is a large knob at the base of the bill, which females lack. Instead of this basal knob females have white facial markings near the base of the bill, as well as a very thin white eyering. In Thailand, this species of duck is called pet shelduck (เป็ดเชลดัก), with the word pet (เป็ด) meaning ‘duck’. See also Ruddy Shelduck. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Shelduck

Common Sun Skink

Common name for a species of skink (jing lehn), with the Latin scientific name Mabuya multifasciata, and also commonly known by a variety of other common names, including Vietnam Forest Skink, Many-striped Skink or Many-lined Sun Skink (fig.), Golden Skink (fig.), and East Indian Brown Mabuya. This large, heavy-bodied skink may have a bronze flank or olive-brown flank and tiny light spots, as well as five or seven dark lines on the ventral surface. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Tailorbird

A kind of Tailorbird, with the scientific name Orthotomus sutorius, which in Thai is known as nok krajib thammada. Their are a few subspecies. Common Tailorbirds are 11 to 13 centimeter small birds and though often hidden within vegetation, they are easily noticed as they give away their presence by their quick, loud and repetitive song, whilst frequently cocking their tail. Adult males have a reddish-brown forecrown, largely olive green upperparts (fig.) and all-white underparts, including the vent, yet with some dark patches on either side of the throat (fig.), that become clearly visible as the throat swells when calling (fig.). Non-breeding males and females are identical, though in the breeding season the male has longer central tail feathers. Juveniles are overall duller and their crown is initially all green (fig.). Their legs are pinkish and their sharp bill is pinkish grey. Typically, their nests are made by piercing the edges of a large leaf, which are sewn together with plant fiber, a technique shared by all tailorbirds and which led to their name. The Plaintive Cuckoo, a brood parasite, often lays its eggs in the nests of Common Tailorbirds. This species is sometimes listed in the family Sylviidae.

Common Tiger

See phi seua non khao sahn laai seua.

Common Tree Frog

Common name for an arboreal frog in the family Rhacophoridae, with the scientific designation Polypedates leucomystax. READ ON.

Common Tree Shrew

Name for a small mammal that resembles a squirrel. Even though it is arboreal (fig.) and inhabits primary and mature secondary forest, during the daytime it is mostly active on the forest floor (fig.) or amongst fallen branches, where it feeds on insects and fallen fruit. It has a body length of 17 to 24 centimeters, with an equally long, bushy tail and is easily recognized by its pointed snout. It is also known as the Indochinese ground squirrel and has the scientific name Tupaia glis. There are several species with varying colours and they range from southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra, the Riau Islands, Java and Borneo. The Common Tree Shrew is similar in appearance to the Mountain Tree Shrew, that is found only in the mountains of northeastern Borneo, but the first one is distinct by a characteristic pale mark on the shoulder. Like the slender squirrel (fig.) it also often has a pale area around each eye. In Thai called kratae thammada (กระแตธรรมดา). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Common Zinnia

Common name for a flowering plant of the genus Zinnia and with the botanical names Zinnia violacea and Zinnia elegans. It grows around 75 centimetres tall and bears Daisy-like flowers, originally with purple petals, that surround a deep wine to black centre, itself surrounded by stamens that consist of deep maroon filaments with bright yellow anthers (fig.), although many other cultivars now exist, with varying sizes and forms, as well as petal colours, that range from creamy and white, through bronze, orange and apricot, to rose, pink and red, as well as various hues of purple. It is also commonly known as Zinnia and Youth-and-Old-Age. It appears on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2003 (fig.).

Comptroller General's Department

See Krom Banchih Klahng.

concave

Architectural term for hollow or arch. See also convex.

conch

A shell representing the primordial sound and one of the attributes of the Hindu god Vishnu. It also represents wisdom in the voice of Buddha calling the people to worship. Shells which spiral clockwise are a rarity and are considered especially sacred. The conch is one of the eight auspicious symbols or Ashtamangala and is used in both Hindu and Buddhist rituals (fig.). See also Sankha.

Conehead Katydid

Name of a slender species of katydid, with the scientific designation Neoconocephalus robustus. The Robust Conehead Katydid is mostly fresh green in colour, with brownish legs, a cone-shaped head, with long antennae, and a beige stripe that runs from the behind the head along the body. The name katydid is an onomatopoeia and derives from the male’s repetitive call, i.e. Katy did. In general, katydids are also known as long-horned grasshoppers and bush-crickets. In Thai, this species is known as takkataen hua laem nuat yao (ตั๊กแตนหัวแหลมหนวดยาว).

Confucius

Chinese philosopher and religious reformer, who lived from 551 to 478 BC. His thoughts, which later became known as Confucianism, emphasize ethical values such as morality, social correctness, justice and sincerity, yet he described himself as  a transmitter who invented nothing. His philosophy developed parallel to Legalism and gained some importance over the much older doctrine of Taoism. In iconography, he is typically portrayed with a long beard and holding one hand on top of the other, a mudra or hand position that symbolizes the balance of yin and yang (fig.). The Chun Qiu (fig.) have traditionally been regarded as compiled by Confucius. In China, Confucius is known as Konfutse (fig.) and in his hometown of Qufu, as well as in the Chinese capital Beijing, there are large temples in his honour (fig.). In Vietnam (fig.), he is known as Khong Tu (Khổng Tử) and in Thai he is referred to as Khong Jeua (ขงจื๊อ).

cong (琮)

Chinese. An artifact from ancient China, that consist of a hollow cylinder, which is circular on the inside and square to octagonal on the the outside. The shape of smaller cong is somewhat reminiscent of a square-shaped napkin-ring, but most are bigger and usually much longer. It is originally made from jade (fig.) and is hence also referred to as yu cong (玉琮), though nowadays copies are made in all kind of materials (fig.). Also large ones are found as monuments (fig.) in cities and villages across China (fig.), and sometimes even modern buildings are shaped as cong (fig.). The earliest cong date back to the New Stone Age and were produced in the Liang Zhu civilization, that existed between 3400 and 2250 BC. Though the original function and meaning remain unknown, it is assumed that the cong might have been some kind of ritual object. In China, it is also believed that a square shape represents the earth and a circle represents heaven, as in the ancient fang kong qian coins (fig.). See also bi.

Congdon Anatomical Museum

Name of a museum which is part of the larger Siriraj Hospital Museum within the Siriraj Hospital (fig.) and which is situated in the Anatomy Building, conveniently located above the mortuary and Dissecting Room. It is named after Dr. Edgar Congdon, who founded the anatomical museum in 1927. It houses a large collection of normal and abnormal anatomical and osteological samples, including congenial anomalies, visceral anatomy of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis, the central and peripheral nervous system, etc. There are also some displays of whole body dissections, revealing the fine details of the nervous system and the arterial system of the human body. The museum has some rather morbid objects on display, such as the cross-section of human bodies, heads and body parts, and babies affected by genetic anomalies and disorders, frozen in time inside jars filled with formaldehyde. In Thai, the museum is called Phiphithaphan Kaai Wiphaaksaat Congdon (พิพิธภัณฑ์กายวิภาคศาสตร์คองดอน), which translates as the Congdon Museum of Scientific Body Vivisection’. Its design and objectives are in many ways similar to those of the Human Body Museum (fig.) at the Faculty of Medicine of the Chulalongkorn University.

Co Ngu Hanh (Cờ Ngũ Hành)

Vietnamese. ‘Five Elements Flag’. Vietnamese festival flag (fig.), flown at temples and pagodas, and during certain festivals and ceremonies, especially those that are religious in character. It consists of concentric squares in various colours, framed by a deeply indented border that is usually red, yet sometimes dark blue in colour, and with a thin white outer rim. The colours used in the flag symbolize the corresponding colours of the Five Elements according to ancient Chinese philosophy (fig.), originally red, green, yellow, white and black, though the black colour, which represents the element of water, is usually replaced by dark blue, and the white, which represents metal, is often changed for pink. Apart from the red or blue indented border, the colours of the concentric squares, as well as as that of the central square, are used interchangeably, may appear in any order, may include the colour red or blue once again, and often number less than four concentric squares. Occasionally, the central field of the flag may have one or more Chinese characters or a Christian cross  on it, typically in yellow onto a central field in red, and though less frequently encountered the Vietnamese festival flag also exists as a triangular banner, and may also occur with the same pattern in just two colours, sometimes not even part of or related to the corresponding colours of the Five Elements, and then especially purple and white seem to be popular.

console

See corbeau.

Constantine Phaulkon

Greek national and adviser to king Narai during the Ayutthaya period whose merit availed him the title of Chao Phraya Wichayen, the highest noble title ever given to a foreign national. This happened only twice in Thai history, the second time to the Belgian diplomat Gustave Rolin-Jaequesmyns, an adviser to King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) during the Rattanakosin period. Constantine Phaulkon was born in 1647 on the Greek island of Kefallonia from Greek and Venetian parents, and was originally named Constantinos Gerakes. At the age of 13 he became a cabin boy on an English ship, allowing him to travel and see the world. Dedicated and intelligent, the young adventurer learnt to speak English and Portuguese, and later on when he worked for the English East India Company in Bantam (Java), he also learnt Malay. In 1675 he traveled to Siam to work in the East India Company's office in Ayutthaya, whilst in the mean time also conducting private trade on the side. He soon became fluent in Thai and began to work as a translator at the court of king Narai. Due to his Western origin and experience with the East India Company, he before long rose to the position of adviser to the king, on matters related to the West. He was assigned to welcome foreign delegations and represent  Siam in political negotiations. In 1687 he received the highest of civil titles and became a minister under the name Ok Ya Wichayen. Whilst king Narai had welcomed Catholic missionaries and allowed them to built churches, Phaulkon felt he had been called by God to achieve the conversion of the king and all the people of Siam. His high position, however, had earned him the envy of some Thai members of the royal court and when king Narai became fatally ill Phra Phetracha, the foster-brother of king Narai, and Kosa Pan, the son of king Narai's wet nurse, staged a coup d'état and arrested Phra Pui, the royal heir, as well as Phaulkon. Constantine Phaulkon was executed in Lopburi on 5 June 1688, for high treason. Some sources, e.g. the Paston Papers from 1688 by Sydney Paston, suggest that the king's overthrow might even have been plotted by the Sangha, the Buddhist clergy, to prevent the Catholic Phaulkon to try and convert the terminally ill king Narai to Christianity.

Constantinos Gerakes (Κωνσταντίνος Γεράκης)

The Greek and original name of Constantine Phaulkon. Since gerakes is the Greek word for ‘falcon’, the surname of this seventeenth century adventurer in literature was changed into Phaulkon, i.e. the ancient spelling for Falcon transliterated from Greek. Gerakes is sometimes transliterated as Gerakis.

Constitution Day

Thai public holiday celebrated on December 10th. In Thai Wan Rattamnoon.

con tam (con tằm)

1. Vietnamese for silkworm. In northern Vietnam, there exists an extremely large kind of silkworm, which is eaten by some people, especially by members of the local ethnic hill tribe minorities. Also simply tam (tằm).