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taab (ตาบ)

Thai. A decorative or protective neckpiece, which at some time in the past was worn by kings (fig.) and warriors, and sometimes also by Thai dancers. Nowadays, it can still be seen on traditional marionette puppets (fig.). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

taak (ทาก)

1. Thai. Name used for almost all types of snails, slow-moving gastropod molluscs with a spiral shell. There are many different types and may live on land, in freshwater or in the sea. A commonly seen kind in Thailand is the Apple Snail (fig.), which lays its pink eggs, clung together in clusters. These pink, caviar-like, clusters of eggs are typically found near freshwater, often on poles or the stalks of plants that stand in the water, such as rice (fig.). This particular type of snail is therefore an natural enemy of rice plants and has several names in Thai, including hoy cherih (หอยเชอรี่), i.e. ‘cherry snail’. Generally, snails are also called hoy taak (หอยทาก). Alternatively transcribed thaak. WATCH VIDEO.

2. Thai general name for slugs and used for any gastropod mollusc that either has a very reduced, a small internal or no shell at all. There are many different types. Some species of slugs feed on leaves and thus often destroy plants, though other species are predators, eating snails, earthworms or even other slugs. Besides this many slugs may occasionally also eat carrion, including dead of their own kind.

3. Thai for leech, a bloodsucking, worm-like, invertebrate and hermaphrodite animal living on land and with the scientific name Haemadipsa interrupta, of the family Hirudinae. Being hermaphrodite means that each animal has both the female and also the male reproductive organs inside its body and when two leeches meet and want to mate, they will choose who is going to provide the sperm and who will provide the egg cells. Leeches have two suckers, i.e. one at each end of the body. Whereas the posterior disc-like sucker is used for locomotion, i.e. moving and erecting the body, the anterior sucker is used for adhesion to the host and feeding. Leeches have segmented bodies and belong to the phylum Annelida, which also includes ringed worms. Whereas most leeches are best known for sucking onto another animal and feed of its blood or haemolymph, i.e. the internal body fluid of invertebrate animals, though most species live a predatory life, actively hunting and feeding on small animals such as insects, snails and other worms. Since they don’t have teeth to chew their food, they will swallow their prey in one piece. Leeches are commonly found in Thai rainforests and will cling to passer-bys, people and mammals alike, and suck their blood. They may even make their way into clothing and shoes (fig.). Its bite is not painful but the leech will inject an anti-haemostatic agent that prevents the blood from curdling (fig.) and enables the leech to suck blood without difficulty, after which their bodies swell (fig.). Bloodsuckers usually stick to their host until they are full and then let go and drop off by themselves. To remove them sooner one could spray them with salt or burn them with a cigarette. To prevent leeches from attacking, locals often smear a mixture of saliva and tobacco on their exposed skin, but one may also spray insecticide or a mosquito repellant containing diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET). Leeches were in the past often used medically, for bloodletting. Akin to the taak is a leech living in freshwater which has the Latin name Hirudinaria manillensis and is in Thai known as pling, though the term is occasionally also used for terrestrial leeches, but then usually the suffix bok (บก), meaning ‘land’, is added, i.e. pling bok (ปลิงบก).


taan (ฐาน)

See tahn.

taanbat (ฐานบัทม์)

See tahnbat.

taanphrakon (ธารพระกร)

Thai. Royal stick or sceptre, part of the Thai regalia or kakuttapan. It represents the king's power over his subjects to lead them in the right directions, yet under the totsaphit rajatham or ten royal virtues, ruling with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Thai people.

taanphraphuttarup (ฐานพระพุทธรูป)

See tahnphraphuttarup.

taban (ตะบัน)

Thai name for a betel nut grinder, a cylindrical tool with a metal rod and a wooden pestle, which is used to mash the mixture of betel nut, chalk and spices, making it finer and easier to chew. The cylindrical tube is usually made from iron or brass, and its bottom end is plugged with a wooden pestle that serves as a stopper. An appropriate amount of betel nut and piper betel leaves is chopped and put into the cylinder and then pound with the metal rod, until they are fine. Then, the wooden pestle is pushed forward to force the mixture along the cylinder to the open end. The grinder is typically a part of a traditional betel set (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

taban fai (ตะบันไฟ)

A lighter made on the principle of the fire piston. It consist of two parts, that is: a cylinder called krabok taban and a compressor named look taban. This primitive fire starting device was widely used by several primeval tribes in the jungles of Southeast Asia, as was observed by British explorers already in the mid 1850's. Unlike other primitive fire starting methods such as the bow or hand drill, the fire saw, flint and steel, the fire piston operates by compression, a principle later adopted by the diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel. It is believed that the idea of the primitive fire piston may have inspired him. The tool may be made from buffalo horn, elephant tusk or hardwood, which is  turned into a hollow round, cylinder-like rod or bar with a lathe. It is about 8 to 12 centimeters long. The end of the krabok taban is often made into a pointed shape to allow the insertion of a pointed piece of metal to scrape out the ashes. The compressor is usually made from the same material as the cylinder but a little longer and with a good grip to make it easy to handle and avoid hurting your hand when the compressor is pressed down the cylinder to ignite a spark. At the end of the compressor a concave is drilled out to store the kindling or fueling agent, such as kapok. The taban fai is a lighter that will ignite a spark by rushing the compressor down in the cylinder. This causes an explosion of the air inside and makes a spark that will light the kindling attached in the hollow concave at the end of the compressor. It is also called fai ad, fai yad, bok yad, lehk tob fai or fai tob, and in English sometimes referred to as fire plunger.

Tabatkya Zedi (တဘက်ကျစေတီ)

Burmese. Anti-falling Pagoda. Name of a Theravada Buddhist temple in Old Bagan. It dates from 1046 AD and is located near the Tharabha City Gate (fig.) and opposite of the Buddhist library Pitaka Taik (fig.), which was built 12 years after this temple. Tabatkya Zedi has a square floor plan and is surrounded by a low brick wall. It has three terraces and is topped in the center by a bell-shaped stupa, though the spire with its gilded hti-umbrella has been toppled in the August 2016 earthquake. Also transliterated Tabhaat Kya Zedi. See MAP.

Tabebuia chrysantha

Tupian-Greek. Botanical name for the Trumpet Tree or Golden Tree, a deciduous tree of the genus Tabebuia, in the family Bignoniaceae. The tree originates from South America and the name tabebuia, a neotropical genus of about a hundred species, is a contraction of tacyba and bebuya meaning ‘ant wood’ in the Tupi dialect, a language spoken by Indian peoples living along the coast of Brazil, in the Amazon River valley and in Paraguay. Chrysantha is a Greek compound word (χρυσάνθα) which derives from the words chrysos (χρυσός, ‘golden’) and anthos (άνθος, ‘flower’), and means ‘golden flower’, due to its yellow trumpet flowers. In Thai it is known as leuang india (เหลืองอินเดีย) meaning ‘yellow India’. It usually blooms in two or three flushes from March to May, producing flowers in bulbous clusters. The tree is often multi-trunked and has a height that ranges from 6 to 12 meters.

Tabebuia rosea

Tupian-Latin. Botanical name for the Rosy Trumpet Tree, a deciduous tree of the genus Tabebuia, in the family Bignoniaceae. It blooms from January to April and produces light to dark pink trumpet flowers, usually with fading to dark yellow eyes which mostly grow in clusters. The tree originates from South America and for the etymology of the name tabebuia see Tabebuia chrysantha. In Thai the tree is called chomphu phanthip meaning ‘pink celestial strain’. It is similar to the Tabebuia impetiginosa, i.e. the Lavender Trumpet Tree.

Tabinshwehti (တပင်‌ရွှေထီး)

1. Burmese. Unitary Golden Umbrella. Name of a former Burmese King and founder of the Taungoo Empire, who reigned from 1530 to 1550 AD. His military campaigns, between 1534 and 1549, created the largest kingdom in Burma since the fall of the Pagan Empire in 1287, and was the impetus for the eventual reunification of the entire country by his successor and brother-in-law King Bayinnaung (fig.). He was born at the palace of Taungoo King Mingyi Nyo on 16 April 1516, and assassinated on 30 April 1550 by a close confidant of Mon descent, but also a pretender to the throne, who had lured the King to the region near Pantanaw, a town in the Irrawaddy Region of Southwest Myanmar, under the pretext to track an auspicious White Elephant.

2. Burmese. Unitary Golden Umbrella. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. In life, this nat had the same name, i.e. warrior King Tabinshwehti, the founder of the Taungoo Empire. He was assassinated on his 34th birthday, on the orders of Smim Sawhtut, one of his close advisers. He was killed by his own guard while he was drunk. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Ta-buang (ทบวง)

1. Thai. Name for a government agency in the central administration that may or may not belong to the Office of the Prime Minister or the Ministry.

2. Thai. Name for government agencies in the central administration that have the same status as the Ministry but are called Ta-buang.

Tachina Fly

See malaeng wan bian.

Tae Chew (แต้จิ๋ว)

1. Thai name for an ethnical subgroup of the Han Chinese people who principally live in the coastal region of southeastern China, especially in the Chaozhou (潮州) prefecture of Guangdong (Kwangtung - 广东) province, from where more than half of the ethnic Chinese population in Thailand trace their ancestry. They speak a branch of Chinese belonging to the Southern Min dialect, equally known as Tae Chew. Most of them came to Siam as traders, especially during the Ayutthaya Period and at least as early as the 13th century AD. King Taksin (fig.), who was the son of a Tae Chew immigrant named Hai-Hong, actively encouraged Chinese immigration and trade. Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic Chinese of which 56% are Tae Chew. Also transcribed Teochew, Taechew, Teochiu and Tae Chiw. See also Susahn Tae Chew.

2. Thai name for the largest Chinese dialect group in Thailand, spoken in most places, apart from Phuket and Songkhla, where the predominant Chinese dialect is Hokkien (and to some extend Hakka), and the North, where Hakka is the most important Chinese dialect, though most of the Hakka people can usually speak Tae Chew as well. It is the largest Min language and the only branch of Chinese that cannot be directly derived from Middle Chinese (the language spoken from the 6th to 10th century AD) and therefore has little intelligibility with most other Southern Min dialects. Much of the Tae Chew that is spoken in Thailand today is a rather old form of the original vernacular and not spoken anymore in the motherland, where the local tongue continued to develop over time. In Mandarin it is known as Chaozhou hua (潮州话), literally a ‘dialect of Chaozhou’. It is also transcribed Teochew, Taechew, Teochiu and Tae Chiw.


Name for a historical unit of weight or currency in East Asia, notably used in China, primarily as a measure for precious metals (fig.). The English term tael derives from the Portuguese, which in turn originates from the Malay word tahil, signifying ‘weight’. In Mandarin, the tael is known as liang (兩), which freely translates as ‘volume’ or ‘quantity’, with the most prevalent official tael measure weighing approximately 37.5 grams. The Thai equivalent of the tael is known as the tamleung.

taen (แตน)

See toh.

taeng (แตง)

Thai. General name for plants of the family Cucurbitaceae, of which many are grown in Thailand, such as taeng kwa (a small cucumber), taeng rahn (a large cucumber), taeng thai (a melon), taeng moh (the watermelon), etc. Compare with makheua.

taeng moh (แตงโม)

1. Thai for the watermelon, a fruit of the genus Citrullus and with the scientific name Citrullus lanatus. There are numerous varieties, differing in size, shape, coulour of skin and flesh. The watermelon belongs to a large and distinguished family of vines, which includes gourds and cucumbers, many of which names in Thai start with the prefix taeng. While some of these vines are climbers, the watermelon with its large and heavy fruit spreads across the ground. Its sweet succulent flesh is usually red, but may also be yellow (fig.). Its seeds too are edible and roasted these are a popular snack throughout Southeast Asia.

2. Thai. Name for one of the two drum barges used in the Royal Barge Procession, the other one being Ih-Leuang (อีเหลือง). Whereas the Ih-Leuang barge opens the parade as the first boat in the middle, preceded only by the reua pratu nah (เรือประตูหน้า) or ‘front door boats’ that actually sail on the sides, the Taeng Moh barge sails out in front of the King's Golden Swan Barge.

taeng thai (แตงไทย)

Thai. Name for a melon, the fruit of a plant with the botanical name Cucumis melo, that has been cultivated into many varieties and of which the rind can be either smooth, rough, ribbed, wrinkled, or netted, such as that of the Japanese crown melon (fig.). The colour of the flesh is often whitish to pale yellowish-green with a darker green outer edge, or either entirely light green or orange. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

Taengwood Tree

Name for a kind of tree found in some countries of mainland Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, and that produces tropical hardwood. It is listed in the Dipterocarpaceae family and though disputed, it is usually given the botanical name Shorea obtusa. In Thailand, it is known as Teng or Mai Teng (ไม้เต็ง) in general; Jik or Mai Jik (ไม้จิก) in Isaan; and Ngae or Mai Ngae (ไม้แงะ) in the North, besides a variety of more specific regional names, including Mai Teng Khao (เต็งขาว) in Khon Kaen; Chan Tok, Chanatok or Chanatak (ชันตก) in Trat; Nao Nai (เน่าใน) in Mae Hong Son; Kho Jeua (เคาะเจื้อ) or Jeua (เจื้อ) in the Lawa dialect of Chiang Mai; Prajad (ประจั๊ด) in the Khmer dialect of Buriram; Prajeuk (ประเจิ๊ก) in the Khmer dialect of Surin; Lahnai (ล่าไน้) in the Karen language; Lenai (เหล่ไน้) in the Karen dialect of the North; Laeney (แลเน่ย) in the Karen dialect of Mae Hong Son; Oung Liang Yong (อองเลียงยง) in the Karen dialect of Kanchanaburi, etc. According to Thai Buddhist folklore, the Buddha was seated in deep meditation under a Taengwood Tree, when Muchalinda (fig.), the king of nagas (fig.), protected him against heavy rain by making a cover with its multi-headed figure, whilst coiling its body under the Buddha, to lift him above the floodwaters, a scene that in iconography is known as the naagprok pose (fig.). However, some sources describe the tree under which the Buddha was seated during this event as Freshwater Mangrove, a tree with drooping bright red flowers (fig.). The Taengwood Tree grows in relatively dry areas and in Thailand up to an altitude of 1,300 metres. It is deciduous, grows up to 27 meters tall, but usually smaller, and flowers from January to July, producing distinctive yellow flowers in drooping branched clusters, with long narrow and pointed petals, that are twisted and overlapping, but not fused together at the base. It has nut-like fruits with 3 shorter and three larger wings. The wood is a preferred source of firewood, while the yellow resin from its trunk, known as dammar, from Malay and meaning ‘resin torch’, is used to make torches, as well as paraffin wax used in batik (fig.). The hard timber has a long lifespan and is commercially exported, usually under the name Taengwood Balau, whereas the tree is also commonly known as Burma Sal and Siamese Sal. See POSTAGE STAMP.

tah jorakae (ตาจระเข้)

Thai. ‘Crocodile eyes’. Term used in iconography to refer to a style of eyes of certain characters from the Ramakien, especially demons or yak, and in which the upper eyelid in part covers the eyeball, similar to those of crocodiles (fig.), known in Thai as jorakae. If the eyes are wide open, with the pupil completely visible, the style is known as tah phlohng (fig.). See also tah mangkon.

Tahkahy Nah Chang (ตาข่ายหน้าช้าง)

Thai. ‘Elephant-faced Mesh’. Name of a kind of kreuang khwaen, i.e. net or frame-like, stringed flower arrangements, that are used to suspend at windows, doorways, gables, etc. This particular type is rather simple and is knitted in a triangular shape using mainly jasmine buds (fig.) and dok rak (fig.), and is adorned at the corners with colourful flowers, often yellow jampah flowers (fig.), or small garlands made of dok rak and roses. The tapering sides are also adorned, usually with the same kinds of flowers, but of a smaller size. Its name derives from the fact that the shape is remniniscent of that of the head from an elephant as seen from the front.

Tah Khai (ตาไข่)

Thai. ‘Egg Eyes’. Another name for Ai Khai, a disciple of the highly venerated monk Luang Poo Thuad (fig.).

tahmanae (ตามะแน)

Thai. A name for Hog Deer, next to neua saai.

tah mangkon (ตามังกร)

Thai for dragon eyes.

tahn (ฐาน)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a statue. Also transcribed taan. See also thaen.

tahnbat (ฐานบัทม์)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a Buddha image in the form of an upside-down lotus (fig.). Also transcribed taanbat.

tahn singh (ฐานสิงห์)

Thai. ‘Lion base’. The foot of a pedestal in the form of a lion's paw.

tahnphraphuttarup (ฐานพระพุทธรูป)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a Buddha image, often in the form of a lotus (fig.), but also in other forms such as elephants (fig.). When the pedestal has outward turned legs in the shape of a lion's paw, it is called tahn singh. Regularly pedestals may have a pah thip, an ornamental cloth hanging from the bottom of the Buddha image, in front of the pedestal (fig.). At Phra Phutta Monthon, a Buddhist compound and park in Nakhon Pathom, there are four garden sections with garnite pedestals, that represent the sangwechaniyasathaan sih tambon (สังเวชนียสถาน ๔ ตำบล), i.e. the four major stages in the Buddha's life (fig.), namely his birth (fig.), his Enlightenment (fig.), his first discourse (fig.), and his demise (fig.). These pedestals are also are depicted on a set of Thai postage stamps issued in 1988 (fig.). Also spelt taanphraphuttarup.

tah phlohng (ตาโพลง)

Thai. ‘Wide open eyes’. Term used in iconography to refer to a style of open, somewhat bulging eyes of certain character from the Ramakien, especially demons or yak. In this style, the pupil is completely visible. When, however, the upper eyelid partly covers the eyeball, the style is known as tah jorakaen (fig.). Compare also with the term dragon eyes.


1. An animist people in Southwest China (Sipsongpannah), though not ethnically Chinese, who from the 9th century began to migrate southward, little by little, into parts of Southeast Asia and the fertile Chao Phraya valley. They settled down in an area that nowadays would cover Burma, Laos and Thailand. They are the predecessors of the present-day people of the Thai race. See also Tai Yuan. MORE ON THIS.

2. A branch of the Tai–Kadai language group, that comprises of Thai, Lao, Shan, and Zhuang.

3. An ethnic minority group in Vietnam, also known as Tay.

4. An ethnic minority group in Vietnam, also known as Thai.

Tai Bai Jin Xing (太白金星)

Chinese. Name of  one of the higher-ranking celestial beings in the Taoist pantheon, also known as the Star God Venus. He is a deity in Taoism associated with the planet Venus, whose role encompasses governing celestial phenomena and maintaining cosmic order, particularly overseeing the movements and positions of celestial bodies, including the sun, moon, and stars.

tai chi (太极)

Chinese. Martial art and system of calisthenics with slow controlled movements, fully known as tai chi chuan. While popular and prevalent throughout China, in Thailand, it is practiced each morning in Bangkok's Lumphini Park by both the young and -especially- the old, though usually by people with a Chinese background. The gracefully performed movements are aimed at developing concentration, balance and grace while bringing inner peace. It is often performed with certain gear, such as folding fans (fig.) or –usually fake– swords (fig.), and more recently also a special racket and a ball made heavy with sand are being used to practice a form of tai chi known as rou li (fig.).

tai chi chuan (太极拳)

Chinese. ‘Great ultimate boxing’. Chinese martial art which has many traditional schools and different styles, sometimes including weapons such as tessen war fans (fig.), etc. One of its earliest masters is said to have been the supposed 13th century grandmaster Chang Sanfeng, a semi-mythical Chinese Taoist monk (fig.) who is believed to have been a former Shaolin disciple. The gracefully performed movements whilst holding a fan or other weapon are aimed at developing concentration, balance and grace. In the West often known simply as tai chi.

Tai chi tu

See Taijitu.

Tai Guo (泰国)

Chinese for ‘Thailand’. Though actually using the homophone Tai for Thai, the term Tai Guo could literally be translated as ‘Peaceful Land’, ‘Safe Country’ or ‘Grand Nation’. Yet when the characters are swapped, Guo Tai (国泰) becomes the Chinese name for the Honk Kong air carrier Cathay Pacific. In Pinyin, Tai Guo is spelled tàiguó.

Taihe Shan (太和山)

Chinese. ‘Mount of the Greatest Peace’ or ‘Mount of Great Harmony’. Name of a mountain in China's Hubei province. In mythology, it is believed to be the abode of Zhenwu, the protector god of the North in Chinese Taoism. On the opposite sides of the Yangtze River in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, there is a Tortoise Mountain and a Snake Mountain, a clear reference to the tortoise-snake, the symbol of Zhenwu. In the past the area was known for its many Taoist monasteries which were academic centres of research and teaching, with emphasis on meditation, martial arts, traditional medicine, agriculture and Taoist art. Also referred to as Mount Wudang.

tai jian (太监)

Chinese. ‘Highest supervisor’. Term for a court eunuch in Imperial China.

Taijitu (太極圖)

Chinese. ‘Diagram of the supreme Ultimate’. Name for a Chinese symbol (fig.) which represents the principle of yin and yang, and therefore often mistakenly called yin-yang. Also spelled Tai chi tu.

Tailed Judy

Common designation for a butterfly, with the scientific name Abisara neophron. READ ON.


Name of a small bird belonging to the genus Orthotomus. They are warblers and are usually brightly coloured, with green or grey upperparts and a yellow-white or grey underside. Some species have reddish-brown on the head. They have short wings with rounded tips and a short tail which is typically held upright. Its bill is flat and rather wide and long compared to its head. At the corners of its bill are short, hard hairs. Tailorbirds build their nests by piercing the edges of a large leaf which are then sewn together with plant fiber to make a cradle in which the actual grass nest is constructed. It is a resident breeder in tropical south Asia, from Pakistan and India to southern China and Indonesia. Worldwide there are 15 species of which 5 are found in Thailand i.e. the Mountain Tailorbird, the Common Tailorbird, the Dark-necked Tailorbird, the Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, and the Ashy Tailorbird (fig.). In Thai it is called nok krajib.

Taiping Rebellion

Tai Ping (太平) may mean ‘Heavenly Peace’, ‘Highest Peace’ or ‘Peace and Security’, and is the name given to a widespread civil war in southern China between 1850 and 1864, in which about 20 to 30 million people perished, making it history's most deadly civil war and leading to the devastation of the Yangtze delta, China's so-called rice bowl. The rebellion against the then ruling Qing Dynasty was led by a heterodox Christian convert with the name Hong Xiu Quan (洪秀全), who claimed that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. The rebels attempted to replace the corrupt feudal system, as well as all Chinese folk religions, with social reforms that were anchored in a kind of pseudo-Christian belief system that promoted full social equality, land redistribution, and common property for all. Whilst the former ideal, i.e. to do away with the dynasty, inspired Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the republic, as well as Mao Ze Dong, the latter seems also to have been enthused by certain principles shared by communism. Hong Xiu Quan founded the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and placed its capital at Nanjing. Although he controlled large parts of southern China, his troops –known as the Chang Mao (长毛) or ‘Long-hairs’– were besieged by imperial forces throughout most of the rebellion. British sailors had initially sided with the Xiao Dao (小刀) or ‘Small Swords’ rebels, one of a number of revolutionary groups in that period, due to the fact that this group had occupied the walled city of Shanghai and most of the Chinese sections of the city, yet had not invaded the foreign concessions. However, the French supported the imperial government and brought in troops to support the imperial army. This dual stand caused foreigners to fight each other and thus the British authorities, who until then had officially remained neutral, were forced to side with the French. In the end, the rebels became divided by infighting and were eventually crushed by the Qing imperial army, with the aid of French and British forces.

Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君)

Chinese. ‘Supreme Old Master’ (fig.). Another name for Lao Jun (fig.), that is Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism (fig.), in his deified form.

Tai Sui (太岁)

Chinese god of the year. Name of any of the Sixty Heavenly Generals, who assist the Jade Emperor in his task to guard the mortal world. READ ON.

Tai Yai (ไทใหญ่)

Thai. ‘Great Tai’. One of the subgroups of the Shan people, who also live in Thailand. They are also referred to as Tai Luang (ไทหลวง) or Tai Lohng (ไตโหลง), and is English as Tai Proper, besides the name Ngiaw, which is used in general for all the Shan people. Sometimes transcribed Thai Yai.

Tai Yuan (ไทยวน, ไท-ยวน)

Name for a subgroup of the Tai people, which lives in Northern Thailand and whose members today all have the Thai nationality. They are also referred to as Khon Meuang (คนเมือง), Tai Lan Na (ไทล้านนา), and Tai Neua (ไทเหนือ), though the latter term is also used for a group of people living in Yunnan. Sometimes transcribed Thai Yuan.

Taj Mahal (ताजमहल)

Hindi. Name for the famous mausoleum in Agra, in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh. READ ON.

Tak (ตาก)

Name of a province (map) and its capital city on the eastern banks of the Ping River in North Thailand. READ ON.

takaab (ตะขาบ)

1. Thai for centipede. Also transliterated takhaab and ta-kahb.

2. Thai name for a roller bird, as in nok takaab thung, the Indian Roller.

3. Thai. Name of a rhythmic instrument.

4. Thai name for a centipede-like stick made of split bamboo.

takan (ตะคัน)

Thai. ‘Censer’. Earthen receptacle for burning incense or gum spices, as well as an ancient dish-shaped, clay phaang pha theed-like receptacle used as lamp (fig.). Also referred to as tao spa (เตาสปา).

tak baat (ตักบาตร)

Thai. To put food in the alms bowl of Buddhist monks. An alms bowl is called baat (fig.) in Thai and tak baat is an act usually done in the morning during bintabaat (fig.). After giving alms to monks, it's customary to pour a small amount of water into a cup and then pour the water onto the soil. This is done to dedicate the merit gained by the almsgiving to the dead as a kind of libation in order to keep hungry ghosts at bay. See also kruad nahm.

Tak Baat Thewo (ตักบาตรเทโว)

Thai. To put food in the alms bowl of Buddhist monks as an act of tamboon on the morning of the first night of the waning moon of the 11 month of the lunar calendar, to remember the occasion when the Buddha came down from the heaven, known in Thai as Thewalohk, i.e. ‘World of the gods’. The word Thewo (เทโว) is an abbreviation of the Pali word Theworohana (เทโวโรหนะ), which translates as the ‘descend from Thewalohk’. It takes place around owk pansa, at the end of the rainy season.

Ta Keo (តាកែវ)

Khmer. ‘Tower of crystal’. Temple in Angkor dedicated to Shiva and built in the late 10th to early 11th century AD, under the auspices of Jayavarman V.

takhob (ตะขบ)

Thai name for a small tree with the botanical designation Muntingia calabura. This tree has tiny white flowers and bears small round edible date-like berries, that initially are green, but which turn red and sweet when ripe (fig.). The juicy fruits contain a large number of tiny yellowish seeds. They are a favourite food source for many fruit-eating birds (fig.). It is widely found in Vietnam, where it is called trung ca (trứng cá), i.e. ‘fish eggs’. It originates from South and Central America, and in Thai it is also called takhob farang, whereas in English it has a variety of names, including Singapore Cherry, Strawberry Tree, Jamaican Cherry, and Panama Berry. The berries somewhat resemble the acidulous fruits of the Governor's Plum, which is also known as Indian Plum, i.e. a tree with the botanical name Flacourtia indica.

takiab (ตะเกียบ)

Thai for ‘chopsticks’, a pair of small, slightly tapering sticks of even length, usually square at one end and round at the other, that are both held in one hand as eating utensils in Eastern cuisine. They are the traditional ‘cutlery’ of the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and Vietnamese, each with its own distinctive variation. In Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries they are used only with noodle dishes. Ordinary chopsticks were initially made of wood or bamboo, but also of ivory, jade and other precious materials as a luxury item. In ancient China, the emperor used silver chopsticks to check if there was poison in his food, as it was believed that if the food was poisoned the colour of the chopsticks would change from silver to black. In Vietnam, wood of the kim giao (Podocarpus fleuryi - fig.) is used to make chopsticks, in the past reportedly for the same reason, i.e. that this wood changes colour when it comes into contact with toxins, allowing the chopsticks to be used to test for poisoned food. Nowadays, chopsticks are commonly made of plastic. Though plastic is more environmentally friendly (the Chinese alone use an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks per year which adds up to 25 million fully grown trees) and better resistant to wear, wooden chopsticks are far more convenient as they provide a much better grip for picking up food, against the plastic ones which have a tendency to let things slip. Wooden chopsticks, especially the larger sized ones, can also be used for cooking (fig.), whereas plastic ones can't, since the high temperatures would damage them or produce toxic emissions. Chopsticks are believed to have originated in ancient China where they are called kuaizi. Japanese chopsticks differ from those from China in that they are made of lacquered wood (fig.) and taper to a pointed end, whereas Chinese chopsticks end in a blunt tip. The latter is more commonly used for picking boiled rice from a plate that is placed on the table, whereas the Japanese type is used to sweep the rice from the bowl into the mouth, holding the bowl in front of the mouth. In general, Thailand uses the Chinese type but also sells the others, mainly as souvenirs. In China, when finished eating, one should lay the chopsticks on the plate and certainly never place them upright, like in a glass or another vessel, as that is done on certain occasions to memorize a deceased person. In Vietnam, it is believed that chopsticks placed vertically in a rice bowl look very much like incense sticks burned for the dead (fig.), and is hence an evocative sign not appreciated anywhere.

takian thong (ตะเคียนทอง)

Thai name for a large, rapid growing tree with buttressed roots and a dark brown, flaky bark. It has the botanical name Hopea odorata and is in English known as the gagil tree. It is a widespread species, distributed from the west coast of India, Bangladesh, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, lower Myanmar, throughout Indochina, including North Vietnam and peninsular Malaysia. In Thailand, it is prevalent throughout the country in lowland evergreen dipterocarp to dry evergreen forests up to an altitude of 900 meters. It is occasionally found by streams, open forest, near beaches and peat swamp forest. Its wood is often used by sculptors to make large artistic carvings (fig.). In Thailand, the tree is considered sacred by many who believe it to be the abode of a powerful tree nymph named Naang Takian. In Thailand, it bears flowers around January-December and fruits from January to August. In Isaan it is also known by the name kaen.

takkataen (ตั๊กกะแตน, ตั๊กแตน)

Thai. ‘Grasshopper’ or ‘mantis’. The generic name for all members of the Acrididae family, i.e. the predominant family of grasshoppers, though the term is also used as a prefix in the name for members of other families of grasshoppers, such as mantises and stick insects, etc. Many grasshoppers are straight winged insects with long strong hind legs, that enables them to jump far. There are many different species occurring in diverse sizes and colours, which in some species can be rather bright (fig.). Locusts and certain larger species of grasshoppers are eaten by some Thai people, and can be seen for sale at many food markets throughout the country (fig.). Its taste is told to be nutty. Commonly seen in Thailand is the large praying mantis (fig.), a predatory insect that holds its forelegs like hands folded in prayer. In Thai, the latter is called takkataen tam khao, which translates as ‘rice crushing mantis’.

takkataen king mai (ตั๊กแตนกิ่งไม้)

Thai name used for a stick bug, i.e. an insect that camouflages as a stick (fig.) and which is also commonly called a walking stick.

takkataen lang ngo (ตั๊กแตนหลังงอ)

Thai name for the Monkey Grasshopper.

takkataen phung phluy (ตั๊กแตนพุงพลุ้ย)

Thai. ‘Pot-bellied grasshopper’. Designation for the Large Brown Leaf Katydid (fig.). The last word (phluy) is usually pronounced without the ‘l’, i.e. phuy, thus in full: takkataen phung phuy.

takkataen tam khao (ตั๊กแตนตำข้าว)

Thai. ‘Rice crushing grasshopper’ or ‘rice pounding mantis’. General name for any praying mantis (fig.), a predatory insect of the genus Mantis, that holds its forelegs like hands folded in prayer. Its Thai name is derived from its physical form, which resembles a saak tham khao (สากตำข้าว), i.e. a pestle used to grind rice in a mortar. Other Thai names include takkataen yohng yoh (ตั๊กแตนโยงโย่), takkataen tha phanom (ตั๊กแตนท่าพนม) and takkataen toy muay (ตั๊กแตนต่อยมวย), meaning ‘grasshopper halfway between sitting and standing’, ‘grasshopper in a phranommeua pose’ (i.e. with the hands together as a greeting or to pay respect, like in a Thai wai) and ‘boxing grasshopper’, respectively. Praying mantises belong to the order of Mantodea, which has nine families and includes more than 200 genera worldwide, each genus with several members of its own. In total, there are 2,210 species of mantis found in tropical areas all over the world. The genera native to Asia include the Armantis, Ameles, Asiadodis, Creobroter, Deroplatus, Hierodula, Odontomantis, Rivetina, Tenodera, Theopompa and Theopropus. The most commonly found species in Thailand are the Hierodula bipapilla Serville (Green Mantis) and Hierodula membranacea Burmeister (Giant Asian Mantis). Mantises generally have a green or brown colour, but there also exist species that are beautifully coloured, or have -sometimes colourful- markings, e.g. Spotted Flower Mantis (fig.). Due to their predacious nature, it either waits motionless to ambush unsuspecting prey or slowly stalks it, often using a sit-and-wait strategy (yohng yoh - โยงโย่) to get within striking distance. It therefore has the need for a good camouflage and certain genera have less ordinarily shapes, such as that of leaves, sticks, flowers or flower buds, such as the Orchid Mantis (fig.). These are in Thai often referred to as malaeng phi, i.e. ‘ghost insects’ (fig.). Some species may grow up to a length of about 25-30 centimeters and they are sometimes kept as pets. Mantises hatch from egg cases referred to as mantis oothecae. The shape of the ootheca is distinctive for each species, yet many have a horn-like projection to one side (fig.). See also Mantis Shrimp. In Thai known generally as takkataen. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES and TRAVEL PICTURES.

Takkatoh (ทักทอ)

Thai. Name for an animal from the Himaphan forest, similar to a lion but with a trunk and tusks like an elephant. In Pali the cross between an elephant (gaja) and a lion (singha) is called Gajasingha (fig.), of which there are several types. It is similar to the Kodchasih (fig.), but with a goatee and furry hair on the top of its head which extends to the front, a bit like a Mohawk haircut.

ta-koh (ตะกอ)

Thai name for the heddle bar on a traditional weaving loom, used to separate the warp threads. The heddle bar typically consists of two wooden rods bridged by vertical cords, thus forming elongated eyes through which each thread in the warp passes through. To weave cloth, the heddle is moved up and down in an alternating fashion by lifting and lowering the heddle bar, usually by means of loom pulleys (fig.), in order to allow the passage of the weft-thread, which is passed back and forth through the shed with the aid of a shuttle, in Thai known as krasuay, in which sits the reel from which the weft unrolls (fig.).

takoh (ตะโก)

1. A Thai name for persimmon.

2. Thai. Name for a style of Buddhist monk's alms bowl. It is an alms bowl with a compressed and flat-bottomed shape, and is usually referred to as baat song takoh (บาตรทรงตะโก), i.e. ‘persimmon (fig.)-shaped alms bowl’. Compared to the original baat song thai deum, i.e. the ‘old-shaped Thai alms bowl’, it has a less rounded bottom so it can be placed on the floor. This style of alms bowl has been in use for centuries.

takong (ตะกอง)

A Thai name for the Indochinese Water Dragon, alongside lang and king kah yak.

takong (ตะข้อง)

Thai. ‘Creel’. Name for a bamboo basket (fig.), which is used as a tool for keeping aquatic animals (fig.), such as crabs, fish, shrimps, clams, etc. They usually have a narrow bottleneck-like opening that can be closed off with a lid in the form of funnel-shaped spikes (fig.), known in Thai as nga (fig.). There are many different kinds and shapes, some with the form of a animal and called accordingly, such as takong pet (duck creel), takong mah (dog creel - fig.), takong gai (chicken creel), etc. A takong pet is a creel woven in the shape of a duck and typically has floats on its sides to enable it to drift on the water, like a duck (fig.). Sometimes transliterated takhong and also called kong, an aphaeresis.

takrai (ตะไคร้)

Thai for any kind of plants or grasses belonging to the genus Cymbopogon which has a variety of about 55 species, including lemon grass (fig.), citronella grass, etc. Takrai is a widely used herb in Southeast Asian cooking. Its stalks contain a citrus flavoured oil but are too hard to be eaten, except for the softer inner part. When used fresh it is therefore usually finely sliced or sometimes bashed and added to food where its aromatic oils are absorbed. Although habitually served with the dish for flavour it is generally not meant to be eaten. It is used in a variety of Thai dishes, such as tom yam, tom kha, etc. It is also exists in dry or powdered form. Commonly found in Thailand are the species Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon citratus. Besides takrai this herb has many local names, depending on place. In North Thailand it is called jakrai, in the South krai, in Mae Hong Son ka hom, in Surin churt kreuy or lo kreuy, and the Karen call it howo tapoh.

takrai nihb mahk (ตะไกรหนีบหมาก)

Thai.  ‘Betel nut scissors. Name for a betel cutter, i.e. a metal or copper tool with two handles, of which one side has a blade, the other a modified groove. The head is habitually engraved with ornamental designs, and often made in the form of a naga-head or the head of another animal, often mythological, such as that of a hongse or a singha, generally depending on the region. It is used to pinch or nip off slices of betel nut and is usually part of a traditional betel-set (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

takra sai kai (ตะกร้าใส่ไก่)

1. Thai. ‘Fowl basket’. Name for a kind of basket used to transport fowl, also referred to as a poultry basket (fig.). May be transcribed takraa sai gai or takrah saai gai. See also soom kai.

2. Thai. ‘Fowl basket’. Name for a kind of basket used to transport fighting cocks. May be transcribed takraa sai gai or takrah saai gai. See also soom kai.

takraw (ตะกร้อ)

1. Thai. Traditional game played over a net (fig.), similar to volleyball, but with a rattan ball, also called takraw (see below). READ ON.

2.  Thai. A lightweight spherical ball, originally loosely hand-woven of rattan (fig.), though these days usually made from more durable, synthetic materials, such as polyester, and used in a foot sport that is also known as takraw (see above). Officially, the ball must have a circumference of between 42 and 45 centimeters, have 20 intersections and 12 pentagonal holes. It has a weight that ranges from 150 to 180 grams. In the past, one form of torture used in Thai prisons was a large rattan takraw ball, referred to as the elephant ball (fig.), which on the inside had sharp nails sticking through. A prisoner was put inside the ball, which was then kicked around by elephants, encouraged by the guards. Miniature  takraw balls are also found as key hangers and as souvenirs, and they make fun toys for pet birds, such as parakeets and parrots (fig.). Also called look takraw (ลูกตะกร้อ) and sometimes spelt takro.

3.  Thai. A basket made from rattan with a long handle, that is used for picking fruit from trees. Also spelt takro.

takro (ตะกร้อ)

See takraw.

takrut (ตะกรุด)

Thai. A charm of rolled gold or silver strips, or of a bullet shell (fig.) usually filled with 108 herbs blessed by a monk, providing immunity from physical assault to those who wear it strung around the neck or the waist, though there are also smaller versions that are worn around the wrist. It sometimes has a piece of cord tightly coiled around it (fig.). It is usually an alternative for those who want supernatural protection against bullets but don't like to get a sacred tattoo. Also trakrut. If the takrut consists of a single cylinder, it is known as takrut thohn/thone (ตะกรุดโทน); if it consists of two cylinders attached parallel to each other, it is called takrut faed/faet (ตะกรุดแฝด), i.e. twin takrut’; and if it has three cylinders, it is referred to as takrut sahm kasat (ตะกรุดสามกษัตริย์), literally ‘three kings takrut’. See also takrut sahm huang and takrut song huang.

takrut sahm huang (​ตะกรุดสามห่วง)

Thai. ‘Three-looped takrut’ or ‘three-ringed takrut’. A charm that consists of a cylinder with three loop-like rings at the top, often made from glass and sometimes with a piece of cord tightly coiled around it. It generally contains a piece of paper with religious writings on, and is blessed by a senior monk, usually a Luang Pho or a Luang Poo. See also takrut song huang.

takrut song huang (ตะกรุดสองห่วง)

Thai. ‘Two-looped takrut’ or ‘two-ringed takrut’. A charm that consists of a cylinder with two loop-like rings at the top, often made from glass and sometimes with a piece of cord tightly coiled around it. It generally contains a piece of paper with religious writings on, and is blessed by a senior monk, usually a Luang Pho or a Luang Poo. See also takrut sahm huang.

Taksin (ทักษิณ)

Thai. ‘South’ or ‘southern’. The wind direction guarded by the lokapala Phra Yom. See also Udon, Isaan, Burapah, Ahkney, Horadih, Prajim and Phayap.

Taksin (ตากสิน)

Thai. ‘Wealth of Tak’. General who after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 assembled an army (fig.) in Chanthaburi to chase out the invading Burmese. READ ON.

Taksin Bridge

Name of a bridge in Bangkok named after King Taksin and which connects Sathorn Road on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River with Krung Thonburi Road on the west bank.

takuad (ตะกวด)

Thai name for a monitor lizard of the species varanus bengalensis.

takuhatsugasa (托鉢笠)

Japanese. Name of a traditional kind of hat made from bamboo and rounded at the top, akin to some types of ajirogasa, and worn especially by Japanese mendicant monks to offer shade during alms rounds, as well as by pilgrims.

Talaat Khlong Thom (ตลาดคลองถม)

Thai. ‘Khlong Thom Market’. Name of a market named after a neighbourhood in Bangkok's Chinatown and which includes Khlong Thom Center, i.e. a huge indoor market for tools, toys and electronics (fig.).

talaat nahm (ตลาดน้ำ)

Thai. ‘Water market’. A floating market where people trade from boats. READ ON.

Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam (ตลาดน้ำขวัญ-เรียม)

Thai. ‘Khwan-Riam Water Market’. Name of a floating market located on Khlong Saen Saeb, a major canal in Bangkok. READ ON.

Talaat Nahm Lao Wiang (ตลาดน้ำลาวเวียง)

Thai. ‘Lao Wiang Water Market’. Name of a is a floating market in Saraburi, located on and along the eastern bank of the Pa Sak River. The name of the market suggests that it is organized by Thais of Laotian descent, who belonged to the ethnic super-group of the Lao Wiang. Around the market are the ruins of an ancient temple, as well as a display of some local pottery and Thai cultural effigies, such as a replica buffalo. See MAP.

Talaat Nat Rot Fai (ตลาดนัดรถไฟ)

Thai. ‘Train Flea Market’. Name for a number of night markets held in different locations throughout greater Bangkok. READ ON.

Talaat Roi Pih (ตลาดร้อยปี)

Thai. ‘100-Year Old Market’. Name for old-fashioned markets, often with wooden shop houses, that have retained their authentic Thai character from a century ago, hence the name. There are several such markets nationwide, such as the Chinese community Sam Chuk Riverside Market in Suphanburi, which is famous for its unique giant look chin. See MAP.

Talaat Rom Hoop (ตลาดร่มหุบ)

Thai. ‘Shadow Valley Market’. Local name for the Mae Klong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram, where local vendors set up shop alongside the rail tracks, which are still in operation, with a train passing by several times a day. Hence, each time this train arrives, everyone and everything needs to move aside. In order to be able to move away quickly many vendors display their merchandise on retractable trolleys, whilst others display their groceries on low trays that don't need to be removed as they fit underneath the carriages of the train (fig.). See also TRAVEL PHOTOS, MAP, and WATCH VDO.

Talaat Sampheng (ตลาดสำเพ็ง)

Thai. Name of a bustling semi open-air, wholesale market at Sampheng Lane and in many of the adjacent narrow alleys, in Bangkok's Chinatown. It is set up in many of the narrow alleys in this area where motorbikes come and go to deliver supplies. The market is a source for many a vendor who comes here to buy goods en mass and sell them on as loose items elsewhere. See MAP.

Talaat Tha Tian (ตลาดท่าเตียน)

Thai. ‘Tian Wharf Market’. Name of a large indoor dry fish market in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district. The market is situated in the centre of a U-shaped building which on the outside is lined with shop houses, many also selling dried and salted seafood products (fig.). It is located adjacent and to the west of Wat Poh, and named after as well as situated at the Tian Wharf along the Chao Phraya River. In the early Rattanakosin Period, a floating market was held along the shores of this wharf and the dry fish market evolved from this. Additionally, the name thian (เตียน) could also be translated and means ‘tidy’, ‘leveled’, ‘even’ or ‘smooth’. See MAP.

talaat thong nahm (ตลาดท้องน้ำ)

Thai. ‘Market (talaat) in the middle (thong) of the water (nahm)’. See talaat nahm.

Talaat Trok Moh (ตลาดตรอกหม้อ)

Thai. ‘Pot Alley Market’. Name of a fresh market in Soi Thetsah (ซอยเทศา) in the Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, in Bangkok, which in English is usually referred to as Trok Moh Morning Market, which is often transliterated Trok Mor Morning Market. Historically, the market extended its reach to the Giant Swing (fig.) and the area now occupied by Bangkok City Hall (fig.), and was at the time described as one of the oldest and liveliest markets in the city. However, in 1973, coinciding with the construction of Bangkok City Hall, the market's extend was substantially reduced and traders relocated to their current premises. Today, the market has earned recognition for its diverse offerings, featuring seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, rice and curry, and clothing. Whereas the downsized market area is characterized by a Chinese-Portuguese architectural style, the majority of businesses are managed by individuals of Thai-Chinese descent. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (E).

talaew (ตาแหลว)

Thai. Thin strips of bamboo (fig.) called tok (fig.), which are plaited (fig.) into a circular or star shaped object with five or seven points, found mainly in northern Thailand. The hill tribes, place them at the entrance to their houses or villages to keep away the spirits of the deceased. Similar items, either circular or star shaped, are placed in (fig.) or at paddy fields during the rice growing season (fig.) as a protection for the offers made to Poh Sop (fig.). It may also be used as a charm on a pot containing a potion, or as a boundary mark. Also called chalaew.

Talamae Sri (ตะละแม่ศรี)

Thai. Name of the daughter of Suthasomma (สุทธโสม/สุตตโสมมะ), a Mon King from Hongsawadih, who became the wife of King Mengrai (fig.), the founder and ruler (fig.) of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, as well as a king of Lan Na (fig.). Chao Nang Talamae Sri is also referred to as Usah Paikoh (อุสาปายโค) or Nang Phaiko/Paikoh (นางพายโค/ปายโค), and is accredited with renovating Wat Ming Meuang in Chiang Rai (fig.).

Talamae Sri

talapat (ตาลปัตร)

Thai. Originally a feather fan or, like the pad bai laan (fig.), a fan made of  a palm leaf, and which is used by Buddhist monks to hide their face when preaching or chanting, similar to the  pad yot (fig.). Though nowadays, it is often made from other materials, such as cloth. As the described religious fan it has an approximately 70 cm long handle, but there is also a similar type, that in general is referred to as kreuang soong, which has a much longer handle, about two meters in length. Its use may be stationary, or it may be carried around in royal processions and ceremonies as a symbol of royalty or honour. In some ways the longer variety has a similar purpose as the chattra or chat (fig.) and it is often used or displayed simultaneously (fig.).


An object which it is believed to bring good fortune to its holder. The counterpart of an amulet, which rather serves an apotropaic purpose.

Talking Hill Myna

Common name for a tropical bird that belongs to the starling family Sturnidae. It is also called Hill Myna or Common Hill Myna, and In Thai it is known by the names nok khun thong and nok ihyang dam. This genus has representatives in tropical southern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka in the West, to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in the East. Until recently, only two species were recognized, i.e. Gracula religiosa and Gracula ptilogenys, but several additional subspecies of Gracula religiosa have now been listed as being distinct species, including the Gracula religiosa intermedia, which is found mostly in northern Thailand, and the Gracula religiosa religiosa, which is found on the southern peninsula, where it is sometimes called nok khun thong kwai by the locals. This glossy black bird typically has large yellow wattles on the head, usually in the area of the neck, though their position and shape varies with species. Its legs and beak are bright yellow or orange. The Talking Hill Myna gets its name from its ability to mimic human speech, a skill for which it has become a popular pet (fig.), both in Thailand and overseas. It is still fairly common in the wild, though not normally outside the forests. See POSTAGE STAMP and WATCH VIDEO.

talokbaat (ถลกบาตร, ตลกบาตร)

Thai. ‘Bowl-case’ or ‘bowl-bag’. An alms bowl-sack with shoulder strap, a removable bag with a cloth sling, used for carrying an alms bowl (baat) in. It sometimes has a foot at its base, on which the bowl can rest when placed on the floor or on a table (fig.).

tam (ธรรม)

Thai name for dhamma.

tam (tằm)

See con tam.

Tamahagane (玉鋼)

Japanese. ‘Precious steel’. A kind of iron sand unique to Japan and used to forge katana, i.e. Japanese swords, such as those worn by samurai in feudal Japan.


An evergreen tree that grows to 25 meters and has the Latin name Tamarindus indica. Its fruits have elongated pods of a woody structure, somewhat reminiscent of pea pods. There are several varieties, mostly sweet or sweet-sour, as well as some other, related species, such as makhaampom, makhaamthet and velvet tamarind. Tamarind fruits develop in three distinct stages: growth, maturation and ripening, and they are usually harvested at two stages, i.e. half ripe and fully ripe. At the half ripe stage the pulp is yellowish and has a more dense consistency, particularly in the case of sweet forms. At the fully ripe stage the pulp shrinks, due to loss of moisture, and changes to reddish-brown and becomes sticky. At this stage, the sticky fruit sits very lose in the peel, around shiny brown seeds, and is held together by inedible fibres (fig.). Sometimes tamarind is also harvested at the unripe, growing stage, when the fruit is sour, the seeds soft and white, and its peel still attached to the greenish-white flesh. It is then eaten entirely, i.e. with skin, seeds and flesh, dipped in a mixture of sugar, salt and chilies, or processed for other purposes. Tamarind is slightly laxative and is processed as an ingredient for phad thai, chutney and curries, as well as in drinks. In Thailand, the general name is makhaam (fig.) and sweet varieties are widely grown in Phetchabun province.

tambon (ตำบล)

1. Thai. ‘Rural administrative subdistrict’. A subdivision of an amphur administered by a kamnan and consisting of several mu ban or villages. Thailand has a total of 7,255 tambon. In Bangkok, subdistricts are named khwaeng. See also thetsabahn tambon.

2. Thai. The major stages in the Buddha's life, the four most important being referred to as sangwechaniyasathaan sih tambon (สังเวชนียสถาน ๔ ตำบล), namely his birth, his Enlightenment, his first discourse, and his demise. These stages, symbolized by stone pedestals, are represented on a set of Thai postage stamps issued in 1988 (fig.).

tamboon (ทำบุญ)

Thai. Offering or merit making for religious purposes to gain advantage either for oneself or for a third person. This may consist of make temple offerings (fig.); donate food to mendicant monks (sai baat - fig.); release birds (fig.); release or feed of turtles or fish (fig.); a temporary stay in a temple; burning candles or joss sticks (fig.); an offering of paddy, i.e. unhusked rice, mixed with rice flour (fig.); attach gold leaf to Buddha images or other sacred objects (fig.); a prayer (fig.); a miniature boat offering (fig.), etc. It could be said that tamboon in is certain cases akin to a social safety net and as such the country's alternative welfare distribution network, that forms the backbone of survival for anyone not covered by the governmental social security system which is very basic and benefits only some. Often the people selling flowers, birds or fish food are disabled or poor people without an education nor a job, trying to make a living. By buying from those individuals one supports them. The merit therefore does not necessarily comes from the act of feeding the fish or releasing a bird in itself, but more so from the fact that one is supporting a fellow citizen who is not as well off. In this way Buddhist temples may likewise act as intermediaries, collecting from the rich who make merit and distributing among the poor. See also dana.

tamboon sai baat (ทำบุญใส่บาตร)

Thai. To perform a good deed or to make merit (tamboon) by giving an offering into (sai) the alms bowl (baat) of a Buddhist monk. Sometimes in temples several alms bowls are arranged in a long row in which small coins, usually 25 satang (fig.) are offered. The alms bowls are typically 108 in number, symbolizing the 108 auspicious signs of a buddha. This form of tamboon may occur in combination with Buddha images as in the phra prajamwan system (fig.). Sometimes transliterated tamboon saai baht. See also sai baat.

Tam Coc (Tam Cốc)

Vietnamese. ‘Three Caves’. Name of a village in Ninh Binh Province (fig.), an area that is often referred to as Ha Long Bay (fig.) on land, as it is likewise dotted with numerous karst formations. It is part of the Trang An eco-tourism area, which since 2014 is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (fig.) under the name Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex and that also includes Hoa Lu and Chua Bai Dinh (fig.). It is often referred to as Tam Coc-Bich Dong as it consists of a flooded cave karst system called Tam Coc, and a series of mountain pagodas known as Bich Dong (fig.). The region can best be visited by small rowing boat passing several tunnel caves, through which the Ngo Dong (Ngô Đồng) River flows. See MAP.

tamleung (ตำลึง)

1. Thai. A monetary that equals 4 ticals. The term derived from Khmer and was formerly used as a unit of currency equal to four baht. Nowadays, is is used as a unit of weight and is fixed at 60 grams. See also tael, saleung and kon tamleung thong.

2. Thai. A weight unit that equals 4 baht or 60 grams. The term derived from Khmer and was formerly used as a unit of currency, but nowadays, as a unit of weight, it is fixed at 60 grams. See also tael, saleung and kon tamleung thong.

tammaht (ธรรมาสน์)

Thai. A pulpit in the form of an elaborately carved seat. See also phanak phing.

Tamnaan Luang Pho Loy Nahm Hah Phi-Nong (ตำนานหลวงพ่อลอยน้ำ พี่น้อง)

Thai. Legend of the Five floating Luang Pho brothers’. Name of a legend that in English is referred to as the Legend of the 5 Floating Buddha Statues. According to the legend, there once were five brothers who ordained and became enlightened monks. They prayed together and vowed that they would dedicate their lives to help all living creatures, by stopping their suffering. When these five monks passed away, their spirits dwelled in five Buddha statues and displayed their miraculous power by allowing these Buddha statues to float along five rivers, until they stranded and were found by the local villagers, who enshrined each Buddha statue in a temple in the vicinity where they were found. The five Buddha images and temples are: 1. Luang Pho Sothon (fig.), a Buddha image seated in the dhyani pose, which was found in the Bang Pakong River and is today enshrined in the Sothon Wararam Woriwihaan Temple (fig.) in Chachengsao; 2. Luang Pho Toh (fig.), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was found at the Chao Phraya River and now located at Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai (fig.) in Samut Prakan; 3. Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing (วัดไร่ขิง), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was found in the Nakhon Chai Sri River and now housed at Wat Rai Khing in Nakhon Pathom; 4. Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem, a Buddha image standing in the pahng um baat pose, which was found floating in the Mae Klong River and is now standing at Wat Phet Samut Worawihaan in Samut Songkhram; and 5. Luang Pho Wat Khao Ta-Khrao (วัดเขาตะเครา), also known as Luang Pho Thong Khao Ta-Khrao (ทองเขาตะเครา), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was also found at the Mae Klong River, though some sources mention the Phetchaburi River, and is currently enshrined at Wat Khao Ta-Khrao in Phetchaburi. Since these Buddha statues are 5 in number, they were depicted on a set of 5 Thai postage stamps, each with a value of 5 Baht, and issued on 5/5/2555 BE, that is 5 May 2012 AD (fig.), believed to be an auspicious date for the occasion.

tamnaay laksana (ทำนายลักษณะ)

Thai. ‘Personality prophecy’. Refers to a scene in Buddhism where the reusi Kaladevaila honoured the newborn prince Siddhartha causing the latter to perform his first miracle by placing himself on top of the turban of the sage (fig.). On the fifth day after his birth king Suddhodana invited eight brahman priests to foretell the future of the prince. Seven of them proclaimed that he had the auspicious signs of a monarch or a buddha, depending on whether he would strive for a secular or religious career. The eight brahman confirmed that if he denied a worldly life he would attain Enlightenment.

Tamnak Chan (ตำหนักจันทร์)

Thai. ‘Chandra Palace’ or ‘Moon Palace’. Name of a two-storey building that was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn as a residence for Vajirananavarorasa, the tenth Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, who was in office from 1910 to 1921. It is located adjacent to Tamnak Phet (fig.), within the compound of Wat Bowonniwet in Bangkok (fig.). It is named for Princess Chandra Saradavara (จันทราสรัทวาร), a daughter of Chulalongkorn, who donated the funds for its construction.

Tamnak Phet (ตำหนักเพ็ชร)

Thai. ‘Diamond Palace’. Name of a two-storey building in western Gingerbread-style, built by King Mongkut as a royal residence within the compound of Wat Bowonniwet in Bangkok (fig.), adjacent to Tamnak Chan. The front porch of this L-shaped edifice is decorated with elaborately detailed openwork lattices, typical of the reuan kanompang khing-style.

Tamnak Phra Mae Kwan Im (ตำหนักพระแม่กวนอิม)

Thai. ‘Residence hall of the goddess of Mercy’. Name of a Chinese temple in Bangkok's Laht Phraw (Lad Phrao) district. READ ON.

Tam Toa (Tam Ṭa)

Vietnamese. Name of an old Catholic church in Dong Hoi (Đồng Hới), nowadays the capital of Quang Binh (Quảng B́nh) Province in central Vietnam. It was built in the late 19th century and was destroyed by American bombs on 11 February 1965, during the Vietnam War. It has remained in ruins ever since. The building belongs to one of the oldest Catholic parishes in Vietnam, with its roots dating back to the mid 17th century AD, and efforts to restore it have led to a conflict with the local government who wants to keep it undisturbed as a war relic. See MAP.

tandava (ताण्डव)

Sanskrit. Cosmic dance of the Hindu god Shiva. See also Nataraja and kalachakra.

tang cong (糖蔥)

Chinese. ‘Sugar shallot’ or ‘onion candy’. Name of a Chinese-Taiwanese confectionary made from liquid sugar or syrup. READ ON.

tang meh (ตังเม)

Thai name for nougat, a sweet made from sugar or honey, nuts and egg-white. Different from the West is that usually roast peanuts, called thua lisong, are used, whereas in western nougat, called tang meh farang, several kinds of roast nuts are used, ranging from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts to pistachios, but usually not peanuts. It is made in a huge block filled with pulverized, roast peanuts. From this block a string is pulled using some strength which is cut into small pieces (fig.). The term tang meh possibly derives from the Chinese word for nougat (fig.), i.e. niu ga tang (牛轧糖), in which the character tang (糖) is the Chinese equivalent of the Thai word kanom, i.e. ‘candy’.

Tanimbar Corella

Common name for a species cockatoo, with the scientific name Cacatua goffiniana. It is the smallest species of the white cockatoos and originates from the Tanimbar Archipelago in Indonesia. It has been introduced in several other countries, including also Singapore, and occurs in Thailand as a feral bird (fig.). The Tanimbar Corella is overall white, with pinkish-salmon lores, a pinkish tinge on the upperparts, and a washed yellow tinge on the underside of the wings and tail. It has a short crest, of which the feathers can be raised. The legs and feet are bluish-grey, the beak is deep pale, and the colour of the eyes can range from reddish-brown in females to brown or black in males, though otherwise both sexes are similar. Juveniles have dark grey eyes. Its habitat includes open forest and cultivation. In Thai this bird is called kra tua goffin (กระตั้วก็อฟฟิน).


Pali for thangka.

Tan Khun Khun Luang (ท่านขุนขุนหลวง)

Thai. The next title in ascending line after a Khun or Khun Luang, now obsolete. Also the popular name for a Khun. Also transliterated Than Khun Khun Luang.

tanta (दन्त)

Sanskrit. ‘Tooth’ or ‘tusk’. An attribute of Ganesha (fig.) and refers to his broken tusk that he uses as a divine weapon to destroy obstacles. In Thai called nga tih hak, literally ‘broken off tusk’. Also danta.

Tantima (ทัณฑิมา)

Thai. Mythological bird of the Himaphan forest. It has the head of a bird and the body of a Garuda. According to legend, it loves to dwell near lotus pools, where it looks for fish. In some legends this bird has the face of a human and it is sometimes associated with the bird Sadayu, the younger brother of Samphati. It is usually depicted holding a long rod with both hands and is often seen in pairs, standing guard at the gates of certain temple buildings (fig.), such as in Wat Phra Kaew, where a bronze pair guards Wihaan Yod (fig.). Also referred to as nok Tantima.

Tantkyitaung Zedi (တန့်ကြည့်တောင်စေတီ)

Burmese. Tantkyi Mountain Pagoda. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple near Bagan. READ ON.

tantra (तन्त्र, ตันตระ)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Weave’, ‘loom’, ‘warp’, ‘groundwork’ or ‘underlying principle’. A term used to refer to a collection of sacred texts and practices associated with Tibetan Buddhism (fig.). There are also tantric texts in Hinduism. The central theme of the tantra is the divine energy and creating power symbolized by the female characteristics (shakti) of a god, personified in a goddess. See also samahkhom tantra.

Tantra Thewalai (ตันตระเทวาลัย)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Tantra Idol Shrine’ or ‘Home of Tantra Deities’. Another name for Wat Phra Siwa Chao. See also thewalai.


A late form of Brahmanism, that consists of a Hindu doctrine in which the worship of demons −in particular Devi− plays an important role, as well as a mystical form of Vajrayana Buddhism. Tantra yoga is described as the extreme expression of Hinduism and designed to invoke possession by Indian spirits, in order to break the chain of reincarnation. It is a form of occultism, in which the shakti of Durga or Kundalini force is aroused, releasing psychic powers that can be channeled either into white or black magic by the medium. Whereas white magic is employed in healing, advanced disciples in black magic indulge in the most degenerate and perverse behaviour, from human sacrifices to sorcery, including meditation on severed human heads, the eating of bits of flesh and unconsumed parts of cremation rites, and other horrifying practices. It became important in Northeast India after the 8th century AD, and is still practiced in Mongolia, Tibet and Nepal. It expanded the Buddhist pantheon and emphasizes the worship of shakti, whilst placing greater importance on the esoteric practices based on the tantra. In India, the Hindu sect of the Aghoris have similar practices. They dwell on Hindu cremation and charnel grounds, eat leftovers from human dead bodies, drink and eat from a kapala (fig.), i.e. a bowl made from a human skull, and smear vibhuti on their bodies (fig.), i.e. ash from a human cremation pyre. Followers engage in morbid and gruesome occult practices that date back to the 5th century AD. They are sadhus and followers of Shiva in his manifestation as Bhairava, and of Durga. They claim to live in a natural state of no fear and no disgust, hence the name Aghori, which derives from the Sanskrit word aghora (अघोर), an euphemistic title of Shiva, that means ‘not terrific’ or ‘not terrible’, yet which is usually translated as ‘one who has no fear’. Besides cannibalism, the Aghori sadhus also indulge in the smoking of marihuana, the drinking of alcohol and human urine, and the eating of animal feces and decomposing meat for which they scavenge in garbage, etc. They also practice rituals of animal and human sacrifices. See also Dakini (fig.).

tao (เตา)

Thai generic term for a ‘stove’, a ‘cooker’, as well as for a ‘kiln’. The specific type is defined by adding a suffix, e.g. tao tahn, tao tawaan, tao turiang, tao wong, etc.

tao (เต่า)

Thai for ‘turtle’, ‘terrapin’ or ‘tortoise’. The Thai word tao is used to refer to all species of turtles and tortoises, despite the fact that ‘tortoises’ are in reality land turtles, and ‘turtles’ are either aquatic or semi-aquatic reptiles, including ‘sea turtles’ and ‘terrapins’. Often no difference is made when translating the word from Thai, using one for the other and vice versa. Other languages, such as Chinese and Sanskrit, also have certain words that are not specific whether it concerns a turtle or tortoise, i.e. the Chinese word gui refers to both, whereas bie specifically means ‘turtle’. Besides this Chinese has specific words to refer to certain mythological creatures that are some form of turtle or tortoise, e.g. Xuanwu. In Hindu mythology the second avatar of Vishnu is known as Kurma, which translated means either ‘turtle’ or ‘tortoise’, though from the context it can be understood that it rather was a turtle, since Kurma supported the churning stick during the churning of the Ocean of Milk (fig.), thus preventing it from going in the soft soil of the ocean. Given the above and the fact that foreign texts, or translations thereof, are often ambiguous in their meaning, Thailex may at times also use one term for the other, usually depending on the origin of the word or following the original texts, but only when related to mythology. In the domain of science, Thailex always uses the proper term, e.g. with animal names. If such was unspecified or unclear from the original text, then the word ‘turtle’ is used, which correctly refers to any of all the species. See also tao mangkon.

tao (เท้า)

1. Thai for ‘foot’ or ‘pedestal’.

2. Thai for ‘to lean on’. In this regard it can be used as a prefix for the name of deities or gods, on who one leans in need. It can than be written with a capital letter in English.

Tao (道)

Chinese. ‘Right Way’. The all embracing, ultimate and primordial principle of Taoism, with which Taoists aspire to become one by comprehending the universal law that everything returns to its source. The Tao has been described as a square circle, a sound that can't be heard and an image without form, said to be everything and nothing, and while it is nowhere, it can be seen without looking for it. Also transcribed Dao.

tao angloh (เตาอั้งโล่)

See tao tahn.

tao bai mai (เต่าใบไม้)

Thai. ‘Leaf turtle’. Name for the Asian Leaf Turtle.

tao ban (เต่าบ้าน)

Thai. ‘House turtle’. A name for the Giant Asian Pond Turtle, along with tao waai.

tao bua (เต่าบัว)

Thai. Lotus turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, alongside tao wat and tao bung hua leuang.

tao bung hua leuang (เต่าบึงหัวเหลือง)

Thai. Yellow head turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, next to tao bua and tao wat.

tao dam (เต่าดำ)

Thai. ‘Black turtle’. A name for the Black Marsh Turtle.

tao dao india (เต่าดาวอินเดีย)

Thai for Indian Star Tortoise.

tao dao pa-mah (เต่าดาวพม่า)

Thai for Burmese Star Tortoise.

tao hab (เต่าหับ)

Thai. ‘Shut turtle’ or ‘closed turtle’. Name for the Southeast Asian Box Turtle. The name refers to fact that the plastron, the flat to slightly concave part of the shell structure on the turtle's underside, fits tightly in the openings of the dome-shaped carapace.

tao hok leuang (เต่าหกเหลือง)

Thai name for the Asian Forest Tortoise. The word hok translates as ‘spill’ or ‘six’ and may refer to the sometimes hexagonal shape of this tortoise's scutes, whereas leuang means ‘yellow’ and refers to the carapace's colour, which is dark brownish gray with light brown to vague yellow clouds in the centre of each scute, which are striated.

tao hoo (เต้าหู้)

Thai for tofu.

Tao Hua (桃花)

Chinese. Peach Blossom’, a Taoist deity, who is also referred to as the peach god. READ ON.


An influential philosophy in China, probably founded in the 4th century BC by Lao Tzu (fig.), and advocating humility and religious piety. The Tao-te Ching forms the basis of Taoism, in which Tao is the comprehensive ultimate and primordial principle. Its objective is to become one with the Tao by comprehending the universal law that everything returns to its source. It has been described as a square circle, a sound that can't be heard and an image without form. It is everything and nothing, and although it is nowhere it can be seen without looking for it. Also transcribed Daoism. See also Wu Wei, Yu Huang, Quan Zhen, and Qiu Chang Chun. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (EN).


1. Follower of Taoism. Also transcribed Daoist.

2. Adjective of Taoism.

Taoist Gate of Hell

According to Chinese folklore in Taoism, the souls of the deceased have to enter the Underworld through a gate, known in Chinese as Gui Men Guan.

tao jan (เต่าจัน)

Thai for Keeled Box Turtle.

tao kaem daeng (เต่าแก้มแดง)

Thai. ‘Red-cheeked turtle’. A name for the Red-eared terrapin, alongside tao yipun.

tao kaem khao (เต่าแก้มขาว)

Thai. ‘White-cheeked turtle’. A name for the Black Marsh Turtle.

tao ko laai (เต่าคอลาย)

Thai. ‘Striped neck turtle’. A name for the Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle.

tao kra-ahn (เต่ากระอาน)

Thai name for the Mangrove Terrapin.

Tao Maliwaraat (ท้าวมาลีวราช)

The distinguished old man who came from his abode in the Himalayas to arbitrate the differences between Ramachandra and the demon king. Also transcribed Thao Maliwaraat and Thao Maliwaraht.

tao mangkon (เต่ามังกร)

Thai. ‘Dragon-tortoise’. Name of an auspicious animal from Chinese mythology. It has the characteristics of two kinds of favourable animals, i.e. the tortoise and the dragon (fig.). It is depicted with the head of a dragon and the body of a tortoise (fig.). It is the symbol of longevity and power, because the tortoise is an animal with a long life, whereas the dragon is animal with an enormous strength. It is thus a combination of the great virtues of both the dragon and the tortoise (fig.), two out of the four animals from Chinese paradise. Those four animals are the tortoise, the dragon, the hongse and the tiger, though in some instances they may consist of a dragon, tortoise, red phoenix or other bird, and a white tiger (fig.). The tortoise with dragonhead embodies the intelligence and ability, that comes with courage, and the prestigious and influential power of the dragon, as well as the steadfast power, endurance, happiness and lasting physical force of the tortoise. A statue of the dragon-tortoise is believed to have the power to bring about or enhance progress, strength, fortune, influence, etc., depending on how the statues is placed with regard to the points of the compass. It is sometimes depicted with the characteristics of all four animals from Chinese paradise, i.e. the tortoise, the dragon, the hongse and the tiger (fig.). A female dragon-turtle is, like the Rui Shi lion, usually depicted with a young (fig.). Though it originated in China, it also occurs in other Southeast Asian nations and in northern Vietnam there is in fact a hill shaped like a giant dragon-tortoise (map - fig.). Sometimes transcribed thao mangkon. See also tortoise-snake.

dragon turtle (female)

tao nah (เต่านา)

Thai. ‘[Rice-] field turtle’. A name for the Rice-field Terrapin.

tao rahng (เต่าร้าง)

Thai name for the fishtail palm.

Tao Ramathep (เท้ารามเทพ)

Thai. Name of the guardian god of the holy relics of the Buddha, together with Tao Kadtukam (Kattukam). In iconography he is generally represented together with the demon-god Rahu (fig.) and seated with the right knee uplifted in a casual yoga position. Though, sometimes he is depicted seated in half lotus position on the coiled body of a snake that uses its head as a cover, similar to the pahng nahg prok pose with Vishnu (fig.) and some Buddha images (fig.). He is also depicted on the front side of the famous Jatukam-Ramathep amulet (fig.). Also spelled Thao Ramathep.

tao sahm san (เต่าสามสัน)

Thai. ‘Three-keeled turtle’ or ‘three-barred terrapin’. A name for the Rice-field Terrapin, and referring to the three strong keels or bars on this turtle's carapace, which is somewhat reminiscent of the upper shell of horseshoe crabs (fig.).

Tao Samon (ท้าวสามล)

The old king with seven daughters from the story of Santhong. Also known as king Benares.

tao tahn (เตาถ่าน)

Thai. ‘Charcoal stove’ or ‘cinder oven’. Name for a brazier, a kind of a small charcoal stove (fig.) which is often used on markets, etc. It is made of earth, chaff, ashes, galvanized iron and cement. It is also called tao angloh, which name derives from a Chinese earthen stove, and this kind of furnace, sometimes in a somewhat different style, may also be referred to as tao wong, i.e. ‘circular stove’ (fig.). Besides charcoal, also kindling is sometimes used for fuel, especially with the tao wong. Also transliterated tao thaan.

tao tawaan (เตาตาหวาน)

Thai. The oven stoked up to heat the pans used to process sugar from the bud of the coconut palm (fig.). ‘Tao’ means oven, ‘ta’ is the bud of the tree that produces the fruits and ‘waan’ sugary or sweet.

Tao-te Ching (道德经)

Chinese. ‘Book of the way’. Book that forms the basis for the philosophy of Taoism and is attributed to its founder Lao Tzu.

Taotie (饕餮)

Chinese. Name of a ferocious mythological animal, the fifth son of the Dragon King (fig.), commonly represented in the form of a zoomorphic mask motif. READ ON.

tao turiang (เตาทุเรียง)

Thai for a kind of kiln used in Sawankhalok.

tao waai (เต่าหวาย)

Thai. ‘Rattan turtle’. A name for the Giant Asian Pond Turtle, alongside tao ban.

tao wat (เต่าวัด)

Thai. Temple turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, besides tao bung hua leuang and tao bua.

tao wong (เตาวง)

Thai. ‘circular stove’. It uses kindling for fuel, rather than charcoal. See also tao tahn.

tao yipun (เต่าญี่ปุ่น)

Thai. ‘Japanese turtle’. A name for the Red-eared terrapin, alongside tao kaem daeng.

tapathi (တပသီ)

Burmese term for a recluse, ascetic or hermit (fig.). They typically dress in dark brown robes and wear a distinctive hat, which is similar in shape to that of the Indian rishi (fig.) and the Thai reusi (fig.). In Mon, the term is ithi, which drives from the Pali word risi, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word rishi.

taphaab (ตะพาบ)

Thai common name for the Asiatic or Malayan Soft-shell turtle, found in Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Trionychidae and has the scientific name Amyda cartilaginea. In Thailand it is also known by the names taphaab nahm (ตะพาบน้ำ), taphaab suan (ตะพาบสวน), taphaab khao tauk (ตะพาบข้าวตอก), taphaab thammada (ตะพาบธรรมดา) and taphaab thai (ตะพาบไทย), meaning ‘water soft-shell turtle’, ‘garden soft-shell turtle’, ‘popped rice soft-shell turtle’, ‘common soft-shell turtle’ and ‘Thai soft-shell turtle’, respectively. In Isaan it is called pla fah (ปลาฝา), literally ‘capped fish’. It has a round to oval, olive-grey to green carapace with dark spots and a soft belly, white with males and grey with females, though the shell of juveniles is somewhat darker, with tiny yellow and larger dark spots. The yellow spots are also visible on the juvenile's head, which has a typical nozzle-shaped snout. Males have long and thick tails, but those of females are short. A mature Asiatic Soft-shell Turtle can grow to a length of over 80 centimeters and a weight of 35 kilograms or more. It occurs in rivers and canals, as well as in garden beds, in all parts of the kingdom. Some people, mainly Chinese, breed soft-shell turtles for consumption, but not the Chinese or Taiwanese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus or Trionyx sinensis - fig.), as that particular species grows much slower. The Siamese or Striped Narrow-headed Soft-shell Turtle (Chitra chitra), also known as Giant Thai Soft-shell Turtle and Burmese Chitra, and in Thai as taphaab mahn laai (ตะพาบม่านลาย), meaning ‘dotted or striped-curtain soft-shell turtle’, is allegedly the largest known Soft-shell Turtle in the world, measuring up to 140 centimeters and weighing around 150 kilograms (fig.). It is found in Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand.


Starch gained from the thickened root of the manioc, i.e. cassava (fig.). Also called tapioca starch and in Thai known as paengman. It is the basic ingredient to manufacture monosodium glutamate (MSG), but also an ingredient in many a food product, especially in the form of starch. In addition, it is also used as fodder and to produce bio-fuel.

tapioca balls

A snack of tapioca dough obtained by kneading small-sized tapioca pearls in warm water, and filled with minced pork and condiments, such as ground white pepper, ground roasted peanuts, fish sauce, onion and palm sugar. The dough is steamed on a piece of cloth spanned over the mouth of a large pot and covered by a cone-shaped lid, until the balls have become semi-transparent (fig.). It is typically served with lettuce leaves, chopped fried garlic, chopped coriander and prik khee noo chilies, very similar to kanom pahk moh. In Thai known as kanom sakoo sai moo, i.e. ‘sago-snack filled with pork’.

tapioca starch

See tapioca.

tapohn (ตะโพน)

Thai. A drum with a double drum head, horizontally placed in a holder and played with both hands whilst sitting on the floor. Sometimes called pohn.

Ta Prohm (ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម)

Khmer. ‘Grandfather Brahma’. Presentday name of an ancient Khmer temple at Angkor, which was formerly known as Rajavihara. According to a stele commemorating its foundation, the temple was founded in 1186 AD by King Jayavarman VII, as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery. The temple's main image represents Prajnaparamita, i.e. the bodhisattva of knowledge (fig.), and was purportedly modelled on the king's mother. The inscriptions also state that the temple had considerable riches, including gold, pearls and silks. Expansions and additions to Ta Prohm continued well into the 15th century. Today, the complex is very popular, because it is left in much the same condition in which it was found, i.e. in the jungle and covered with trees of which the roots overgrow the ruins. In Thai, Tah Phrom (ตาพรหม). As in many other Angkor temples, many of the walls are decorated with Apsaras (fig.). See also Phra Phrom, raja and vihara, as well as Thai Family Tree. See also THAILAND'S NEIGHBOURS & BEYOND, as well as TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3) and (4), and MAP.

Ta Pu Yie (淡浮院)

Tae Chew-Chinese name for Anek Kuson Sala. In Thai, it is transcribed Tah Poo Ih (ต้าผู่อี่). In Mandarin, it is pronounced Tan Fu Yuan, transliterated in Thai as Tahn Foo Yewian (ต้านฝูเยวี้ยน).

taqiyah (طاقية)

Arabic term for the brimless, short, and rounded cap, worn by Muslim boys and men (fig.). In English, it is known as a prayer cap, and Thai in called kapioh (fig.), yet in some places it may also be called a kufi, topi, or just a cap. There are many varieties and it can be of any colour, but often it is –and in some instances needs to be–white. See also Hadj.

Tara (तर/तारा)

1. Sanskrit. ‘One who enables crossover’. Name of a bodhisattva, i.e. a Buddhist goddess, who is especially worshipped as the female emanation, shakti or spouse of Avalokitesvara (fig.). Her name is derived from the word ‘to cross’, and refers to her function, i.e. to help mankind to cross safely from birth to death. She is described as full of compassion and devoted to alleviating the suffering of mankind. Gradually, she became the personification of love and compassion. In this sense, she is associated with the Chinese goddess Kuan Yin (fig.). Eventually, Tara was elevated to the status of mother of all buddhas and is often depicted with a royal crown and holding a vajra. Her name is sometimes spelled Tārā, which means ‘star’ and is related to dara, the Thai word for star, and a term used for both heavenly bodies and celebrities. In Vajrayana Buddhism, there are five goddesses named Tara, corresponding to the five jinas or transcendental buddhas. They are the consorts of the five great bodhisattvas, who were created by the jinas and hold the rank of a bodhisattva.  In Tibetan Buddhism, there are 21 forms of Tara, each with a different colour, posture, and attribute (fig.). They can have either peaceful or wrathful appearances. The most frequent forms are Green Tara and White Tara (fig.).

2. Wife of the monkey king Vali in the Indian epic Ramakien.

Taraw Palm

See chanoht.


See pheuak.

Tarut (ตรุษ)

Another pronunciation for Trut.

Tatakot (ตถาคต)

Thai. Term for a buddha or Buddha, derived from the Sanskrit word Tathagata.

Tatar Grasshopper

Name of a 6 to 7 centimeter large grasshopper, with the scientific names Cyrtacanthacris tatarica, Acanthacris tartarica, and Cyrtacanthacris ranacea. It has a long, tapering body, which is overall brownish, with alternating light and dark brown streaks, as well as some pale yellowish markings. Its antennae are pale yellow and it has dark spots spread allover the outer-wings, leading to its nickname Brown-spotted Locust. It has three pairs of legs, the larger posterior pair with some spines, similar to the Bombay Locust (fig.). It feeds on cotton and corn leaves and is hence considered a potential pest. In Thai, it is known as takkataen saitahkhaentahkris (ตั๊กแตนไซตาแคนตาคริส), a transliteration of this creature's designation in Latin, as well as by the name takkataen faai (ตั๊กแตนฝ้าย), which means ‘cotton grasshopper’.

Tatar Grasshopper

Tat Bunnag (ทัต บุนนาค)

Thai. Name at birth of Somdet Chao Phraya Borom Maha Phichaiyaht (fig.). Also transliterated That Boonnaak, or similar. See also Bunnag.

Tathagata (तथागत)

Sanskrit word meaning a buddha or Buddha. In Thai Tatakot.

Tatmadaw (တပ်မ​တော်)
Burmese. ‘Armed Forces’. The official name of the military apparatus of Myanmar under
command of the  Ministry of Defence. It is  composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, whilst auxiliary forces include —though are not limited to— the Myanmar Police Force (fig.).

tat molih (ตัดโมฬี)

Thai. ‘Cutting the hair tuft’. In religious context the term refers to prince Siddhartha who cut his hair after the Great Departure, thus giving up his secular life to start his spiritual existence. See also Pittih Kohnjuk.


See sak.

Taungmagyi (တောင်မကြီး)

Burmese. ‘Lord of the South’. Name of a spirit that belongs to the official pantheon of 37 nats worshipped in Myanmar. During his life, he was known as Shin Nyo, brother of Shin Byu, who later became the nat Maung Minshin. Both brothers served under King Duttabaung of Prome. According to legend, the king became so fearful of the brothers' strength that he forced them to fight each other, to death. They are the sons of Maung Tint De, the extremely strong son of a blacksmith, who was burned to death by the King of Tagaung for similar —yet unfounded— fears that he might usurp the throne, and after his death became the gold-faced spirit Min Mahagiri (fig.). According to another version the brothers are described as the sons of Naga Medaw (fig.). See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Taung Min Gyi (တောင်မင်းကြီး)

Burmese. Southern Minister. Name of a Buddhist temple located on the west bank of Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura. READ ON.

Taungoo (တောင်ငူ)

Burmese. Name of a former vassal state of the Ava Kingdom, that grew in importance and produced a dynasty of the same name, which rulers −especially the Kings Bayinnaung (fig.) and his predecessor Tabinshwehti− with military campaigns succeeded in unifying Burma and integrating many other former sovereign kingdoms and states into the Taungoo Empire, and thus came to rule the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia, even exceeding the size of the earlier Khmer Empire and including much of modern-day Burma, the Chinese Shan States, the northeastern Indian State of Manipur, Lan Xang (Laos), Lan Na and Siam (both part of present-day Thailand). Also transliterated Toungoo.

Taungoo Mingaung (တောင်ငူမင်းခေါင်)

Burmese. ‘Minkhaung of Taungoo’. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. In life, he is by some believed to be Minkhaung II, twice viceroy of Taungoo between 1549 and 1584 AD, and a younger brother of King Bayinnaung (fig.). However, Minkhaung II died of natural causes, according to one report from dysentery or, though reported yet less likely, from a strong smell of onions coming from an onion field he was passing by on his quest to find a cure for his illness. But, since one of the main criteria for being inducted into the pantheon of the 37 nats usually includes a violent dead, many belief that this nat in life was actually Minkhaung I, the viceroy of Taungoo from 1446 to 1451 AD, who was brutally assassinated, i.e. hacked to death by a sword. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Taungthu (တောင်သူ)

1. Burmese. Another name for the people of the Pa-oh ethnic group (fig.) in Myanmar. Also transcribed Taundhu.

2. Burmese term for cultivators of agricultural crops other than paddy. Also transcribed taundhu. See also Taungthugyi Min.

Taungthugyi Min (တောင်သူကြီးမင်း)

Burmese. Cucumber King or Farmer King. Another name for the 10th Century Bagan King Nyaung-u Sawrahan. According to legend, King Nyaung-u Sawrahan usurped the throne from King Theinhko. Once a farmer, Nyaung-u Sawrahan killed Theinhko when he stole a cucumber from his field, after which Nyaung-u Sawrahan was accepted as the new King by the Queen, supposedly in order to prevent unrest in the kingdom. See also Taungthu.


Pali. The heaven of 33 gods presided over by Indra. It's a place on the summit of the mythical Mt. Meru and one of the heavens that can be reached by accumulated merit. The Buddha spent one rainy season there preaching to his mother who had died shortly after his birth. The Buddha descending from Tavatimse heaven is often portrayed in Southeast Asian art and was the starting point for the creation of the walking Buddha image that originated in Sukhothai. This heaven is said to house Chulamanie, a stupa containing hair from the Buddha, which is worshipped by Buddhists during certain nights by releasing kohm loy, i.e. paper lanterns, into the sky as offerings (fig.). A tower-like structure in Lay Myat Nar Phaya (fig.) depicts the Buddha's descent from the Tavatimsa Heaven. In Thai called Dawadeung. See also Apsara.

tawaai (ถวาย)

Thai. ‘To present, to dedicate’. Term used when the receiver is a prince or monk, as in tawaai phra traipidok. If the recipient is a king, the correct term is toonklaw tawaai or nomklaw tawaai.

tawaai naet (ถวายเนตร)

See paang tawaai naet.

tawaai phra traipidok (ถวายพระไตรปิฎก)

Thai. To present (tawaai) a volume of the Tripitaka (traipidok) to a monk, as a form of tamboon.

Tawagu Phaya (တဝဂူဘုရား)

Burmese. Name of a small group of freestanding stupas located in a grove in the field just behind Bagaya Kyaung (fig.) in Inwa. The main stupa in the centre is a gu-like, that is cave-style edifice, reminiscent of the Thai mondop. It houses a Buddha image seated in the full lotus position and with a bhumisparsa mudra. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2), and MAP.

tawak (ตวัก)

Thai. A ladle made of coconut shell and wood. Its handle is made of wood and attached to the coconut shell scoop or bowl whickered by a piece of rattan. It somewhat resembles a wooden spoon. There are generally three types of ladle, that is one with a shallow bowl, one with a slightly deeper bowl and one with a very deep bowl. Also called krajah or jah, in southern Thailand it is called jawak or wak, and in the North phaak. See also krabuay.

tawed (เตว็ด)

Thai. ‘Figure’. Another word for jawed.

Tawny Coster

Common name of a butterfly (fig.), with the scientific designations Acraea terpsicore and Acraea violae. In Thai, it is known as phi seua non nahm kathokrok (ผีเสื้อหนอนหนามกะทกรก), which translates as ‘thorny butterfly passiflora caterpillar’, a name that refers to the leaves of the Passiflora foetida, which the larvae of this butterfly, which are reddish-brown with fine black spines, prefer to feed on. The upperside of the male butterfly is tawny, with transverse black spot on the forewings and a black apex and termen. The hindwings also have some black spots and black border, with pale, almost white spots. The underside is similar to the upperside, but paler, and females are similar to males, but duller. In both sexes, the antennae are black, the head and thorax black with pale brownish-yellow and white spots, and the abdomen is black near the front and orangey at the back, with narrow transverse black lines. On the head there is also has an orangey epistome.

Taxila (तक्षशिला)

Sanskrit. The ancient capital city of the Gandhara civilization and a former Buddhist centre of learning, which developed the Gandhara style, an Indian art form in which Buddha images have realistic features and draped attire. Today, Taxila is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in present-day Pakistan. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Tay (Tày)

Vietnamese. With an estimated 1.5 million members, the second largest ethnic group in Vietnam, after the majority of Viet people. Most members live in the hills and valleys of northern Vietnam and are self-supporting agriculturalists. They typically inhabit small villages of  a dozen or so households, usually located at the feet of mountains, where they cultivate the fertile plains, planting rice and other crops, such as corn and sweet potatoes. Most Tay abide by animism and ancestor worship. They speak Tai and are are closely related to the Nung, and the Zhuang (fig.) in China. In China, the Tay are known as Dai Yi (岱依) and are, together with the Nung, classified as members of the Zhuang.

tazaung (ဆောင်)

Burmese. Room’ or ‘chamber’. Name of small pavilions, located within Buddhist temple complexes or palaces in Burma. There are different types with different functions, with some being similar to the Thai sala, while others are more reminiscent of a mondop, or may serve as the temple's belfry, or as a building that connects two main halls in a monastery or a palace. They usually have pyatthat-like rooftops. Also hsaung.

Tazaung Daing (တန်ဆောင်တိုင်)

Burmese. ‘Leading Light Pillar’ or ‘Leading Light Post’. Name of a festival in Myanmar, similar to Loi Krathong in Thailand, and celebrated during the full moon day of the eight lunar month of the Burmese calendar called Tazaungmon, which is usually in November. In English, the event is referred to as the Festival of Lights or Balloon Festival, as hot air balloons lit with candles, similar to the Thai kohm loy floating lanterns (fig.), are released and monk's robes weaving competitions are held. The festival marks the end of the rainy season, as well as the end of the kathin season, during which monks are offered new robes and alms. Whereas the hot-air balloons date back to the late 19th century, when the British first held hot air balloon competitions, the origin of the robe weaving competition goes back to Maha Maya, the mother of the Buddha, whom after her death was reborn in Tavatimsa heaven. It is believed that when the Buddha went there to preach to his mother during the rainy season, she near the end of his visit spent the entire night weaving a monk's robe for him. Gautami, the sister of Siddhartha's mother, who became his guardian after Maha Maya died, continued this tradition and began offering new robes annually, thus initiating the tradition of thod kathin. Also spelled Tazaungdine.


See cha.

tea brick

Dried tea which is pressed into an easily transportable and storable block, in the past usually square in shape, though in our time the dried tea may be pressed into chunks of any form, sometimes even decorative, as a souvenir or a novelty item, such as the form of Chinese gold ingots (fig.) or ancient Chinese coins (fig.) called fang kong qian (fig.), perhaps to indicate that they in the past were also used as a form of currency, though most commonly they are nowadays disc-shaped. Also referred to as compressed tea. See also cha.

tea bricks

tea ceremony

A ritualized form of making, serving and drinking tea. Though these rituals can be found in many countries with a tea culture worldwide, they are practiced typically by people from nations such as China, Korea and Japan. The Chinese tea ceremony, which is locally called cha yi (茶仪), includes certain gestures, e.g. the server will lift the teapot high-up three consecutive times while pouring the hot water on the dried tea leaves, whilst the drinker will tick with his index and middle fingers together on the surface of the table to express his recognition, yet without saying a word. When pouring ready-to-drink tea from a pot, rather than just hot water on tea leaves, often an additional cylindrical cup is used, in which the tea is poured first. Afterward, the tea is poured from the cylindrical cup into the drinking cup and the cylindrical cup is held under the nostrils to absorb the aroma before dinking the tea. Chinese people always use tea to welcome guests in their home, filling a cup of tea for only seven-tenths of its capacity, believing that the other thirty percent will be filled with friendship and affection, in line with Confucius' wisdom: ‘behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest’. See also Chinese tea house and Lu Yu.

tea egg

A chicken's egg boiled until hard and then simmered in black tea, which is mixed with various spices, such as ground cinnamon, star anise (fig.), fennel seeds, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns, and soy sauce. To allow the fragrance and flavours of the tea and spices to penetrate the hard-boiled egg, the shell is gently cracked all around, which produces marbling that becomes visible when the egg is peeled (fig.). In Chinese tea eggs are known as chayedan, i.e. ‘tea-leaves eggs’.

tea house

See Chinese tea house.


Name for a deciduous tree with the botanical name Tectona grandis. It is recognizable from its large rough leaves (fig.), and the dull coloured flowers and seeds that sit on the sides and rise above the canopy. The leaves resemble those of the ton phluang (fig.), but they have a rough surface instead of a smooth one. When squeezed, they release a dark red sap (fig.), which some hill tribe women reportedly use to colour their lips as a natural alternative to cosmetic lipstick. According to some sources, teak is the tree under which Siddhartha was born (fig.) and of which Maha Maya holds a branch standing during the delivery, a scene often depicted in art (fig.). Other sources however state that Maha Maya reached out to pick a flower of the Ashoka blossom when the prince was born. Besides this, the tree is famed for its use as tropical hardwood (fig.), which is sometimes called djatiwood and in Thai known as mai sak. Logging, usually with the aid of elephants (fig.), is nowadays strictly regulated, and while trees are cut at a much youmger age as in the past, for every tree cut a new one must be replanted. However, there is reportedly still a lot of illegal logging going on by poachers, who during transportation of the logs habitually use forged documents to support their claims that the logs have been imported from neighbouring Myanmar. Due to its hard qualities it is used for furniture, as well as for carving art (fig.), especially for making very detailed reliefs (fig.). Nowadays, the thick logs from the past have now become rather rare. The tree itself is in Thai called ton mai sak.

teak tree

In Thai ton mai sak. See teak.


In Thai mai sak. See teak.

tears grass

See deuay.

Temiya (เตมีย์)

Thai-Pali. Name of the bodhisatta in one of the jataka stories, when he was born as the son of Queen Chanda Devi, the wife of the king of Kashi, i.e. Varanasi. READ ON.

Temminck's Tragopan

Common name for a medium-sized pheasant, with the scientific name Tragopan temminckii. Adult males are crimson, with grey-edged, white ocelli-like spots below and black-edged, white spots above. They have a brown tail, barred with chestnut and a grey tip, a dark bill with some faded yellowish patches, and pinkish-orange legs. The neck, breast and hind-crown are dark orange, whilst the forehead and ear-coverts are black. They have bare blue facial skin, and an inflatable dark-blue lappet on the throat, as well as inflatable, horn-like appendixes over the eyes. These features stand at the origin of its Chinese name, i.e. hong fu jiao zhi (红腹角雉), which translates as red-bellied horned pheasant. Adult females are brown, with white spots, and a bare blue eyering. This bird is widespread in northern India, China and some northern areas of Southeast Asia, such as Northwest Vietnam.


See wat or araam.

Temple of Dawn

See Wat Arun.

Temple of Heaven

See Tian Tan.

Temple Plant

Another name for the Sacred Garlic Pear.

temple tree

Nickname for the frangipani tree, often grown in temples grounds.

temple drum

Large drum in temples and monasteries usually kept in the drum tower or ho klong (fig.). The most common is called klong aew.

Temple Of Literature

Name of a Confucian temple in Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, which was first built in the beginning of the 11th century AD. READ ON.

tengai (天蓋)

Japanese. Name of a beehive-shaped reed hood that fully covers the head and face and worn by the mendicant monks the Komuso sect of Zen Buddhism in Japan during the 17th to mid-19th century AD, in order to manifest the absence of specific ego.

teng lang (เต็งลั้ง, 灯龙)

Thai-Chinese term for any type of Chinese lantern. It derives from tung long (เติงหลง, 灯笼), which literally translates as ‘caged lamp’ or ‘light basket’, and since it is often red in colour, it may also be referred to as hong tung long (หงเติงหลง, 红灯笼), which means ‘red lantern’ and which is a symbol of good fortune (fig.). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3) and (4).

Ten Judicious Kings of Hell

According to popular Taoist beliefs influenced by Buddhist karma, the Ten Judicious Kings of Hell (fig.), who come up against the Ten Celestial Judges, are responsible for the judgement of the soul after death by examining the deeds of the newly-deceased, in order to dispense punishments for evil acts and rewards for good deeds, and accordingly give them a reincarnation in a fit form. The concept comes from the apocryphal Sutra of the Ten Kings, which describes the ten spheres through which a soul must pass on its way to rebirth. It was believed that each sphere was presided over by a king and hence hell is made up of ten courts. They are also called the Ten Kings of Hell (Diyu - fig.) or the Ten Yama Kings and are sometimes depicted in the presence of Ksitigarbha (fig.), the bodhisattva of hell beings, who is regarded as having powers to rescue souls from undesirable forms of rebirth. In Vietnam, they are known as Thap Dien Diem Vuong (Thập Điện Diêm Vương), and statues of the judges are often found in pagodas, as funeral rites for the saving of the souls of the deceased were once closely linked with Buddhist rituals.

ten kam ram khiyaw (เต้นกำรำเคียว)

Thai. ‘Sheaves and sickle dance’. A Thai folk dance in which the participants dance while holding a sheaf (kam) of rice in one hand and a serrated sickle (kiyaw - fig.) in the other. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Ten Principal Disciples

Monks and the main disciples of the historical Sakyamuni Buddha. Depending on the source, the disciples included in this group vary, and according to the Vimalakirti Sutra the members are: Sariputta (fig.), founder of the Abhidhamma tradition; Mogallana (fig.), the disciple who was the most accomplished in supernatural powers; Maha Kassapa or Kasyapa (fig.), the monk that succeeded the Buddha as leader of the Sangha; Ananda (fig.), a cousin of Siddhartha Gautama and chief disciple; Rahula (fig.), the only son of Prince Siddhartha and Princess Yashodhara; Upali (fig.), a top master of the Vinaya, which in the First Buddhist Council after the Buddha's death was compiled based on his memory; Anuruddha Thera (fig.), a cousin to Prince Siddhartha who frequently appears in the Jataka (fig.) and who is described as an affectionate and loyal disciple of the Buddha and a master of clairvoyance; Maha Katyayana (fig.), who is known in Thai as Phra Sangkatjaai (fig.) and whom the Buddha praised for his excellence in explaining the Dhamma; Purna (fig.), the greatest teacher of the Dhamma; and Subhuti (fig.), who had a deep understanding of the potency of Emptiness. Large marble images of the Ten Principal Disciples are on display at Chua Linh Ung (fig.), a Buddhist pagoda in Da Nang in central Vietnam.


Name of a small subtropical or tropical antlike, social insect of the genus Isoptera, of which there are an estimated 4,000 species. They are sometimes referred to as white ants and in Thai called pluak (ปลวก). The genus has several families, the three main ones, which are economically the most significant as pests, being Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae, with the latter including the subfamily Macrotermes. In Southeast Asia alone there are about 270 species, with around 90 of them living in Thailand. Eleven of those are economically significant as pests and are divided into two main categories, i.e. dry wood termites and subteranean termites, in Thai known as pluak mai haeng (ปลวกไม้แห้ง) and pluak tai din (ปลวกใต้ดิน), respectively. In Thailand, about 95% of all economic damage is caused by two species belonging to the last group, i.e. the rubber termite or Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi) and the Mound-Building Subterranean Termite (Globitermes sulphureus), which in Thai are known as pluak yahng phara (ปลวกยางพารา) or ‘rubber tree termite’ and pluak tih sahng jom pluak (ปลวกที่สร้างจอมปลวก), respectively. Termites live in large colonies, often inside a termite mound (fig.). Physically, termites differ from ants by three main features: 1. termites' antennae are straight and look like a very fine string of pearls, whereas those of ants are elbow antennae, i.e. bent in an angle; 2. the termite's waist is broader than that of ants; 3. in alates, i.e. winged adults, the termite's wings are equally long and shaped the same, whereas those of ants are not the same size nor shape. See also mot. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

termite mound

Name of a sculptured, cone-shaped, hard earth mound, home to a small tropical antlike social insect called termite (fig.). Termite mounds  can be small or tall, and the outer form can be rather simple, with a smooth rounded shape, to quite complex, wavy structures (fig.), which increases the surface area and thermal mass, providing a cooling system during the day, as well as a heating system at night, by flattening out the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler. Besides this, there is a complex system of labyrinth-like tunnels and cavities inside a termite mound. Cool wind is drawn into the base of the mound via channels and its coldness is stored using wet soil. As the air warms during the day, it flows upwards and out of the mound via vents. This gives the mound the ability to keep a stable temperature throughout. Termites live in large colonies and do not feed on wood as is commonly believed but on fungus, as they lack enzymes in their intestines to break down wood cellulose. Inside the termite mound, there are several chambers, including a nest chamber and humid food chambers used to cultivate fungus. These fungus gardens are supplied with wood fiber, hence the confusion with regard to their nourishment. Termites are heavily preyed upon by other insects, reptiles, birds and even larger mammals, such as the pangolin and some bears. Worker termites build and maintain the chambers as well as a labyrinth of tunnels leading to them. Soldier termites have the important task of defending the termite mound from enemies and for that reason have enlarged jaws. Unlike ants termite workers may be of either sex, but only one male and female in the entire colony reproduce: the queen with her distended abdomen produces eggs and the king fertilizes them. At certain times, often at sundown during the rainy season, the nest will send out large swarms (fig.) of winged offspring (fig.) to establish new colonies. In popular Thai speech, these winged termites are called maeng mao (fig.), meaning ‘drunken insects’, since they seem to be completely disorientated and once they have dropped on the floor, they act even more so, going around in circles, as if they are drunk. Although the majority of them will die, it takes only one male and one female to become the king and queen of a new colony. In Hinduism, termites and ants are considered divine beings and are believed to be the first beings ever created. As such, they are the subjects of a number of myths, especially in connection with procreation. In traditional folklore they play an essential role in the creation process. Some say the world was created from their excreta, whilst others believe that the first humans were made from the clay of termite mounds. In India, it is also widely believed that rainbows originate from termite mounds or anthills. In addition, termite mounds and anthills are the haunt of snakes, which are inextricably connected with the cult and myths of the naga. Also known as termitaria and in Thai called jom pluak (จอมปลวก).


Italian. ‘Baked earth’. Hard orange to brown clay, used in architectural decorations, sculpturing and pottery. It is made into unglazed, usually brownish-red earthenware, including statuettes. Famous places where terracotta is produced, include Koh Kred or Ko Kret (เกาะเกร็ด) in Nonthaburi, Dan Kwian (ด่านเกวียน) in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Ban Thung Luang (บ้านทุ่งหลวง) in Sukhothai. Sometimes spelled terra-cotta. WATCH VIDEO.

Terracotta Army

See Terracotta Warriors.

Terracotta Garden

Name of a traditional theme park in the northen Thai province of Lamphun which features a number of lifesized Khmer-style monuments, art and architecture, much of it in reddish sandstone and terracotta. In Thai, this location is known by the name Suan Mai Thai Ban Pho Liang Meun (สวนไม้ไทยบ้านพ่อเลี้ยงหมื่น), which translates as the ‘Wooden Garden of Stepfather Meun's Thai House’.

Terracotta Warriors

Name for a collection of about 8,000, life-sized, terracotta funerary statues (fig.), that were excavated near the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang Ti, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and the founder of China. The terracotta sculptures allegedly represent exact replicas of the then soldiers and servants of the aforementioned emperor, and beside warriors, such as archers, cavalrymen and infantrymen, the collection also includes horses, chariots and charioteers, as well as officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. Each statue is said to be unique, varying in aspect, height, uniform and hairstyle, in accordance with the model's function, rank and military unit. The Terracotta Warriors were discovered by accident in 1974, in the district of Lintong, about 40 kilometers East of the city of Xi'an. Today, the Terracotta Warriors have become one of China's prime tourist attractions, and copies of the terracotta army's soldiers and chariots (fig.) can be found all over China, as well as abroad, such as in Thailand's Anek Kuson Sala (fig.). Construction of the tomb, with 35 square miles the largest in China (i.e. 500 times bigger than any other tomb excavated in the nation), was started as soon as emperor Qin ascended the throne and is said to have lasted 37 years, hence it continued even after his death. At one point some 710,000 people worked on it. So far, no one has been able to find the entrance to the tomb where the emperor is buried. See MAP.

tessen (鉄扇)

Japanese. ‘Iron fan’. Name for a war fan, a folding fan with outer spokes made of iron and used in oriental warfare, originally from Japan. The fan was designed to look like a normal, harmless folding fan, so it could be taken to places where swords or other weapons were not allowed. The war fan was used as a throwing weapon or for fending off arrows, kung-fu stars and darts, and even as an aid in swimming. Some tessen were solid clubs shaped to look like a closed fan. A certain style of tai chi chuan using a fan (fig.) is derived from the use of war fans. In Chinese, it is called tie shan and in Thai pad lek.

tetrahedron (τετράεδρον)

Greek term for a building with four gable ends. See also jaturamuk.

teuk chang (ตึกช้าง)

Thai for ‘Elephant Building’.

teuk hun yon (ตึกหุ่นยนต์)

Thai for ‘Robot Building’.

tha (ถะ)

Thai name for a Chinese-style pagoda (fig.).

tha (ท่า)

1. Thai. ‘Pose’ or ‘posture’, a term typically used for poses in dance. It is similar to pahng, but the latter is more frequently used to indicate the attitude, position, pose or style of a Buddha image or other statues.

2. Thai. ‘Wharf’ or ‘port’.

thaan (ถ่าน)

Thai. ‘Charcoal’. Burnt wood used as a fuel. Charcoal is produced by removing fluid from wood by means of heating it in the absence of oxygen. The process of carbonizing the wood therefore takes place in a oven underneath the ground and takes several hours. Charcoal is mainly used by street vendors using a small charcoal brazier called tao tahn (fig.) for cooking food on (fig.), and in foundries. In Myanmar, bamboo charcoal is used for cooking rice, i.e. added to the water, as it is said to absorb chlorine, bad odor and toxic substances from it. Typically, unindustrialized charcoal is always packaged in the same manner in most, if not all places across mainland Southeast Asia, i.e. in large woven polypropylene bags, generally left open at the top yet laced with plastic cord, i.e. tied in an open web-like pattern. The legendary creature Sih Hoo Hah Tah (fig.) eats red-hot charcoal which it defecates as pure gold (fig.). Also transcribed tahn.

thaan tawan (ทานตะวัน)

Thai for ‘sunflower’. A kind of annual flowering plant, with a large flower head and the botanical name Helianthus annuus. It is produced commercially, in Thailand especially in the provinces of Saraburi and Lopburi, with the latter celebrating an annual Sunflower Blooming Festival in December (map - fig.). Its seeds are edible and roasted they are a popular Thai snack, while the roots of the species Helianthus tuberosus, which are known in Thai as kaen tawan, are also edible (fig.). There are several cultivars. See also POSTAGE STAMP (1), (2) and (3).

thaat (ธาตุ)

See that.

Thab Lan (ทับลาน)

Thai. Name of a Thai National Park that covers a 2,235 km² area in both Nakhon Ratchasima and Prachinburi Provinces. Its name is also transliterated Thaplan and is pronounced Thap Lahn.

thablang (ทับหลัง)

Thai for lintel.

thabthim (ทับทิม)

1. Thai for pomegranate, the name of a tropical tree and its fruit, of the genus Punica. The fruit has a thick and tough rind, and inside it has many seeds with a reddish pulp varying in colour from deep crimson to pale rose, hence its name which derived from French means ‘many-seeded apple’. The reddish-pink flesh covering the seeds is translucent and juicy and tastes either sweet or sweet and slightly sour. The tree fruits during the rainy season. In Chinese it is named shi liu, which is written with the character shi, meaning ‘stones’ and refers to the many seeds, while it is also homonymous with the word shi meaning ‘generation’. It is regarded as one of the three fruits of abundance, together with the peach and the fingered citron, and is thus often represented in Chinese art (fig.).

2. Thai name for ruby, a rare transparent precious stone varying in colour from deep crimson to pale rose. See POSTAGE STAMP.

3. Thai name for a Chinese goddess, who is fully known as Chao Mae Thabthim (fig.).

Tha Byae Tan (သပြေသန်း)

Burmese. Name of a fortress, located at the east bank of the Irrawaddy River (fig.), near the old Ava bridge (fig.) or southern bridge to Sagaing, southwest of Mandalay and just north of the mouth of the Myit Nge River near Inwa. It was built under King Mindon Min (fig.) between 1874 and 1878 AD in order to protect the Mandalay capital against the British during the Third Anglo-Burmese War, as one of three forts, the others being Asaykhan Fortress (fig.) and Sin Kyone Fortress (fig.). Also transliterated Thabyedan. See MAP.

Tha Chang Wang Luang (ท่าช้างวังหลวง)

Thai. ‘Main Palace Elephant Wharf’. Location at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, near the old city gate at the Grand Palace, where in the reign of Rama I, the royal palace elephants were taken to bathe. When in 1808,  the Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha image (fig.) from Sukhothai was transported to Bangkok by raft, in order to be installed at Wat Suthat (fig.), a wharf was built at the location to unload the Buddha image. However, the large image could not pass through the city gate, which was consequently demolished and a new one was built afterward, which was named Pratu Tha Phra (ประตูท่าพระ), i.e. ‘Buddha Wharf Gate’ or ‘Buddha Port Gate’ and the wharf is since then referred to as Tha Phra, i.e. ‘Buddha Wharf’ or ‘Buddha Port’. Today, it is still a boat landing from where ferries cross the river and which is by local residents unofficially still called Tha Chang, i.e. ‘Elephant Wharf’.

Tha Chin (ท่าจีน)

Thai. ‘Chinese Seaport’. Name of a river in central Thailand, that flows through the Central Plains. It is a distributary of the Chao Phraya River, that branches off near the province of Chainat and then flows southward, more or less parallel to the Chao Phraya, but to its West, until it empties into the Gulf of Thailand at the province of Samut Sakon. The Tha Chin River is an important source for local distribution of tap water. Only near its mouth at Samut Sakhon is the river called Tha Chin, i.e. the old name of Samut Sakon, because in the past, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks. However, along its flow, the river is known by a variety of regional names: after it splits from Chao Phraya River at Chainat, it is called Makhaam Thao River; near Suphanburi it is known as the Suphan River; and near Nakhon Pathom it is referred to as the Nakhon Chai Sri River. Tha Chin is also transliterated Tachin and is pronounced Thah Jihn. See MAP.

Thadingyut (တင်းကျွတ်)

Burmese. ‘The End of Buddhist Lent’. Name of a lunar month in Myanmar, which coincides with the end of the Buddhist Lent, i.e. the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada Buddhists known in Pali as Vassa and locally as Wa or Thadin, whereas the end of it is known as Watwin or Thadin Gyut (Kyut), literally ‘The Top of Buddhist Lent’, and is akin to the Thai period of owk pansa. On the full moon day of this month, usually somewhere in September/October, the Lighting Festival is held, which commemorates the Buddha's descent from Tavatimsa Heaven after having preached the Abhidhamma there to his mother Maha Maya during the rainy season. Thadingyut Festival is known in full as Thadin Gyut Pwe Taw, i.e. the ‘Week of the Fall Festival’, and considered the second most popular festival in Myanmar, after Thingyan, i.e. the New Year Water Festival.

Thadin Gyut Pwe Taw (သီတင်းကျွတ်ပွဲတော်)

Burmese. ‘The End of Buddhist Lent Festival’. Full name for the Thadingyut Festival. See also pwe taw and pwe.

Thadominbya (သတိုးမင်းဖျား)

Burmese. Name of a Shan King, who was born on 7 December 1345 as the son of Princess Soe Min Kodawgyi of Sagaing (fig.) and Viceroy Thado Hsinhtein of Tagaung, and thus a grandson of King Saw Yun (fig.), the founder of the Sagaing Kingdom. In 1365 AD, he founded Ava and reigned it from 26 February 1365 to ca. 3 September 1367 AD, when he passed away, aged 21. In his 3+ years of reign, he laid the foundation for the reunification of central Burma and took on corrupt clergy. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

thaen (แท่น)

Thai. Base, pedestal or altar. See also tahn.

Thaen Khwan (แทนขวัญ)

Thai. Name for a species of water lily, with the botanical name Nymphaea tan khwan and commonly as the Tan-khwan Water Lily. READ ON.

Thaen Phong (แทนพงศ์)

Thai. Name for a species of water lily, with the botanical name Nymphaea tanpong and commonly as the Tanpong Water Lily. This free-blooming hardy water lily originates from Thailand and blooms all year round. It is a hybrid of the Mayla and the Madam Ville Frongoniere, and was bred by Pairatana Pongpanich of the Department of Agriculture. The flower bud tapers towards the top end and bulges in the middle, whilst the tip of the petals is pointed. The petals are white and red, whilst the layers of petals are specially dense, with more than 45 petals. This water lily is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2008 (fig.).

Thagyamin (သိကြားမင်း)

Burmese. ‘King Thagya’ or ‘Lord Thagya’. Name of the nat who is the appointed leader of all other nats, i.e. nature spirits or spirits from mythology (fig.), especially the spirits of those who met a violent and unjust death, and of which there is a pantheon 37 in total, although Thagyamin himself has not suffered a sudden and violent death. He was designated their leader by King Anawrahta in the 11th century, in an effort to merge the existing practices of animism with those of Theravada Buddhism. Thagyamin is said to rule over the deva plane of existence and is often depicted holding a conch in both hands, or a conch in one hand and a yak-tail's fly-whisk in the other. Sometimes he is represented standing on a three-headed White Elephant, similar to Erawan, the mount of the Hindu god Indra, with whom he is identified. In Buddhism, he is associated with Shakra. Sometimes transcribed Thagya Min and also called Thagya nat. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

thahaan sarawat (ทหารสารวัด)

Thai for ‘military policeman’. See also Sarawat Thahaan.

Thahng Chang Pheuak (ทางช้างเผือก)

Thai. ‘Path of the White Elephant’. Thai name for the Milky Way.

thahng deun jong krom (ทางเดินจงกรม)

Thai term for a meditation path, a lane that is typically about 1 meter wide and 15 meters long, with the entire floor leveled so that one can walk easily without having to worry about any obstacles, oftentimes fashioned as a kind of elongated sandbox and used by Buddhist monks to walk whilst meditating, a practice done barefooted and known in Thai as deun jong krom (เดินจงกรม), literally ‘to walk being mindful’. The meditation path is usually covered with a roof and as such somewhat resembles an elongated sala-like edifice. At one end it typically has a large thian pansa, i.e. a large Buddhist candle (fig.). WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Thahng Rot Fai Mareutayu (ทางรถไฟมฤตยู)

Thai for Death Railway.

Thai (Thái, ไท)

Vietnamese-Thai. Name of an ethnic minority group in mainland Southeast Asia, not to be confused with the present-day people of the Thai race, who inhabit Thailand. There are many subgroups. In Vietnam, the traditional attire of the women consists of a long-sleeved blouse or a short-sleeved shirt in pale blue, purple, white, red or pink colour, worn over a long black skirt, with a waistband is a bright colour (fig.). The short-sleeved shirt is trimmed with a black collar-like band with silver buttons or clips, whereas the long-sleeved blouse has no buttons, but is of one piece. The latter is typically covered with an embroidered cloth that is wrapped around the lower torso, and stretches from the breasts to navel. Also spelled Tai and sometimes Thay or Tay, of which the latter spelling is not to be confused with the other ethnic minority group in Vietnam.

Thai (ไทย)

1. The present-day people of the Thai race, formerly called Siamese, who inhabit Thailand.

2. Language spoken by the present-day people of Thailand.

Thai Air Force Museum

See Royal Thai Air Force Museum.

Thai Airways

Name of the national airline of Thailand. READ ON.

Thai Bank Museum

Museum founded by the Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand's first ever local bank (fig.), and located at its head office in Chatuchak District (fig.). The museum exhibits objects and information on the historical development of the Thai financial world and commercial business, which is strongly related to the bank's own history. In Thai, the museum is known as Phiphithaphan Thanakhaan Thai (พิพิธภัณฑ์ธนาคารไทย). See also Mahison Rachareuthay and Bank of Thailand Museum. See MAP.

Thai-Belgian Bridge

Flyover on Rama IV Road in Bangkok that crosses Witthayu Intersection near Lumphini Park. The viaduct originally stood on the largely residential Leopold II Boulevard in Brussels and was built to improve traffic during the 1958 World Fair. The elevated road connected the brand new ring road around central Brussels with the highway to the coastal city of Oostende. Though intended to be a temporary measure, the viaduct stayed for over 25 years. The viaduct was dismantled in 1984 and replaced with a 2,5 kilometer-long tunnel. The classic story is then that the dismantled bridge was shipped to Thailand and rebuilt in Bangkok, yet other sources state that the Thai-Belgian Bridge in Bangkok would have been made up of parts of another temporary bridge that was put up next to the Brussels viaduct during its demolition. In any case, Belgian engineers constructed Bangkok’s first of many flyovers as a gift from the Belgian government. See MAP.

Thai basil

Another name for a kind of basil, with the botanical name Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora and known in Thai as hora-phaa.

Thai Black Tarantula

See beung.

Thai cabbage

See kalamplih.

Thai-Chinese Culture & Arts Exchange Centre

Organization that looks after the coordination of the cultural exchange relations between Thailand and China. It is located in Bangkok's Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District, opposite of the Chinese Culture Centre (fig.). In Thai, it is known as Soon Laek Plian Silapa Wattanatham Thai-Jihn (ศูนย์แลกเปลี่ยนศิลปวัฒนธรรมไทย-จีน). See MAP.

Thai Constitution

See Ratthathammanoon.

Thai Dragon Tree

Common epithet for an ornamental plant with the botanical binomial names Dracaena cochinchinensis and Dracaena loureiroi, the latter often misspelled as Dracaena loureiri. In Thai, it is known as chanpha (จันผา, จันทร์ผา).

Thai eggplant

See makheua proh.

Thai fisherman pants

See kaangkaeng le.

Thai Forest Tradition

Theravada Buddhist lineage of monasticism that focuses on kammataan, which started around 1900 AD with Phra Ajaan Man (fig.), who strived for a return the oldest form of Buddhism by concentrating on a strict observance of the Vinay, while teaching the actual practice of jhana, and the realization of nibbhana. His doctrine includes that virtue is a matter of the mind and that intention forms the essence of virtue, rather than the widely held belief that virtue is a matter of ritual and that good results are achieved by conducting the proper ritual. Practitioners of this form of monasticism that consists of wandering meditating monks typically dwell or are accommodated in so-called forest temples called wat pah.

Thai gold

Thai gold usually contains 96.5% gold, which is a bit over 23 karat. The remaining 3.5% are
silver and bronze. Thai gold is measured in baht, a unit of weight that equals 15.244 grams for gold bars and ingots, and 15.16 grams for gold jewelry. Because pure gold, in Thai referred to as thong nopphakhun and thong kham neua kao, is considered too soft to make jewelry, a lower karat like 18k is recommended. The price of Thai gold is published daily by the government and every gold shop uses that price for selling their gold items on that particular day. Gold shops display the buying and selling prices on their windows. Thai gold is a popular item amongst the Chinese population during Chinese New Year (fig.) when the young traditionally buy gold to give to senior family members. Since 1982, a well-liked collectable among Thai-Chinese people are the popular Chinese gold panda coins (fig.), which are issued annually (fig.) by the People's Bank of China (fig.). See also Chinese gold ingot.

Thai Heritage Conservation Day

Since 1985, an annual event organized on 2 April, the birthday of Princess Sirinthon, to celebrate her efforts to preserve a variety of national heritages, such as culture, art, language, literature, history, archeology, architecture, music, and religion. Since 1988, this annual event is commemorated by issuing a set of postage stamps (see list). In Thai, Wan Anurak Moradok Thai.

Thai Human Imagery Museum

Museum in Nakhon Pathom with a permanent exhibition featuring life-size wax images of famous Thai and foreign personalities. READ ON.

Thai Khoo Fah (ไทยคู่ฟ้า)

1. Thai. ‘Thai Pair of the Sky’. Name of the Government House of Thailand, i.e. a building in Neo-Venetian Gothic style, that resembles the Palazzo Santa Sofia in Venice and since 1963 houses the offices of the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers. It was built in 1923, in the reign of King Vajiravudh (fig.), and designed by the Italian architect Annibale Rigotti. It was initially referred to as Baan Norasingh and Teuk Kraison, i.e. ‘House Norasingh and Kraison Building, and served as the residence of General Chao Phraya Ram Rakhop (รามราฆพ), i.e. Momluang Feua Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya (เฟื้อ พึ่งบุญ ณ อยุธยา) and his family. When the general eventually moved, he sold the edifice to the government during the time when Phibun Songkram (fig.) was premier, to be used as a reception venue for foreign guests of the government, rejecting a bid from the Japanese government, who wanted to turn it into their Embassy. But at the time, the government lacked the necessary funds for the purchase, so the Royal Treasury was asked to step in and buy the property on their behalf, for the amount of 1 million baht. The office of the Prime Minister was given the care of the building, and had it renovated and modified with the help of the Italian sculptor Corrado Feroci (fig.). Though the government initially used it as a venue to entertain foreign guests of the government, from 1963 onward it is used as the Government House. When Sarit Thanarat/Dhanarajata was premier, he further purchased the land and mansions around the Government House, including the assets that belonged to the Royal Treasury in front of the Department of Highways, for nearly 57 million baht. Today, Thai Khoo Fah (fig.), is located on a 45,000 square meters plot of land near the Royal Turf Club in Bangkok (fig.). In 2012, the building was published on a postage stamp, to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Office of the Prime Minister (fig.). See MAP.

2. Thai. ‘Thai Double Sky’. Name of an Airbus A319 CJ, which purchase was approved by the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawat, to serve as the Office of the Prime Minister, and nicknamed the Thai Air Force One. After the coup of 2006, which ousted Thaksin Shinawat, the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Thai Air Force. It is currently used primarily to transport VIPs and as a reserve aircraft for members of the royal family. Its Thai name is the same as that of the Government House of Thailand, as it was meant to serve as its double in the sky.


Thailand is a unified kingdom, previously known by the name Siam. It was officially established in 1238 AD, the traditional founding date. READ ON.

Thailand Balloon Festival

Annual event in Bangkok featuring balloon art, i.e. multiple party balloons that are made into sculptures. During the 4th Thailand Balloon Festival in June 2009, the main theme was creatures from Thai mythology, featuring multiple balloon sculptures of fabulous creatures (fig.), many of them inhabitants of Himaphan forest, including the most gigantic Hanuman in Asia (fig.). The happening, organized for the first time in 2006, should not to be confused with the Thailand International Balloon Festival, which features hot air balloons. In Thai, the Thailand Balloon Festival is called thetsakahn look pohng yak.

Thailand-Burma Railway

See Death Railway.

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre in Kanchanaburi is an interactive museum, as well as a research and information Centre dedicated to presenting the story of the Thailand-Burma Railway, which ran from Nong Pladuk in Thailand to Thanbuyuzayat in Burma and was built by the Imperial Japanese Army during WW II. The museum consists of eight galleries featuring: an introduction in view of a timeline; the different phases of planning; construction and logistics; a geography of the railway; the living conditions in the camps; medical aspects; a summary of the deaths; the end of the war; and what happened after the war. The museum has video and slide show displays and sixty panels describing the history of the Death Railway from its inception to the final scene of the line in 1947, in both Thai and English. The text is supported by artwork, (electronic) maps, scale models, a diorama (fig.), graphics, actual war time photographs and plans. The museum is situated just beside the Don Rak war cemetery, on which it offers a panoramic view from its coffee shop. See also the Hellfire Pass Memorial. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Thailand Cultural Centre

Complex in Bangkok that promotes the culture and arts of Thailand, especially the performing arts, such as khon. For this purpose, the venue has several auditoria and an outdoor amphitheater. It also features a cultural library and several permanent exhibition on Thai life and culture, including a collection of khon masks. The Thailand Cultural Centre was built with a grant from Japan and in tribute features a Japanese pavilion and Japanese-style garden (fig.), as well as a Thai pavilion, which is built over a pond and houses a Buddha image. The foundation stone was laid on 1 April 1983 by Princess Sirinthon and the venue was inaugurated on 9 October 1987 by King Bhumiphon. The Thailand Cultural Centre is located in Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District, adjacent to the Chinese Culture Centre (fig.), and is built on a plot of land measuring 22 rai, 2 ngan and 83 wah, donated by Mr. Phairoht (ไพโรจน์) and Mrs. Thipawan Jirachanahnon (ทิพย์วรรณ จิรชนานนท์). The centre is under the supervision of the Fine Arts Department and is also referred to as Thailand Culture Centre. In Thai, it is known as Soon Wattanatham Haeng Prathet Thai (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมแห่งประเทศไทย). See MAP.

Thailand Earth Observation Systems Satellite

Name of the first satellite in Southeast Asia, that is used for natural resource exploration in Thailand and which is operated by the Thailand's national space agency, i.e. Geo-Informatics & Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), in cooperation with EASD Astrium SAS in France, who developed the satellite. The project is funded by the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology and stems from the cooperation between the French and Thai governments. It is also referred to by its abbreviated name, i.e. THEOS, which is Greek for ‘God’. The satellite was launched into orbit on 1 October 2008 from Dombarovsky Air Base near Yasny in Russia, using a Dnepr carrier rocket of the International Space Company Kosmotras. The satellite has an orbital inclination of 98.78° and orbits earth every 101.4 minutes. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Thailand Post

See Praisanih Thai.

Thailand Tobacco Monopoly

Thai state enterprise, that ‒until the signing of the ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement in 1992‒ had a monopoly over the manufacturing and distribution of tobacco products in Thailand. READ ON.

Thai Labour Museum

Museum on the evolution of Thai labour, from the time that slavery still existed up to the present. It is located in Bangkok's Makkasan district, in a building that was first used as the office of the Railway Police and later as office of the Labour Union, from where it conducted its operations. In front of the museum a monument is erected to celebrate the dignity of labour, which consists of a sculpture of a man and a woman pushing a large mechanical wheel forwards, symbolizing the (cog-)wheel of (labour) history (fig.). Inside the museum, murals depict the history of the evolution of Thai labour, and displays objects from the past, such as a Chinese rickshaw, an important vehicle of the past. A former police cell, which still has metal bars, has been adapted as a library with the works of prof. Nikhom Chantharawituhm (ศ. นิคม จันทรวิทูร), the foremost expert on Thai labour. The exhibition is divided into six themes, i.e. 1. forced labour as the foundation of the ancient society; 2. labour during the time of the reformation of the country; 3. the sorrows of the labourer; 4. labour and democracy; 5. from the dark age to the golden age; and 6. Thai labour today. See MAP.

Thai Lu (ไทลื้อ, ไตลื้อ)

Ethnic minority group and a subgroup of the Tai, who migrated some 200 years ago from China's Xishuangbanna to Thailand and mainly settled in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, and Nan. Their religion is similar to Thai Theravada Buddhism. In Nan, they have influenced Buddhist architecture and a typical Thai Lu style temple is recognizable from its thick walls with small windows and stairs with broad handrails and double or triple roofs with curved gable boards. They build their traditional houses of wood or bamboo on solid wooden poles. On the ground floor is usually the kitchen and a place for weaving. They are known for their hand-woven fabrics. In Thailand, they are estimated to be with ca. 100,000. The word Lu, Leu or Leua in the Tai languages means North, akin to the Thai word Neua (เหนือ). Also transliterated Thai Leua, Tai Lue, Tai Lü, and Tai Leua. They are also called Lawa and Lua, and in China, the ethnic Tai are classified as Dai (傣), in Laos as Tai (ໄຕ), in Myanmar as Tai Yai, and in Vietnam as Tai (Tại) and Thai (Thái). See also Tai Yuan and Wa. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

Thai Mask Play

See khon.

Thai Military

See kong thap.

Thai Parliament Museum

Name of a museum within the Parliament House of Thailand in Dusit and dedicated to the political history of Thailand after the transition to a constitutional monarchy in 1932. In Thai, the museum is known as Phiphithaphan Lae Jodmaay Het Rattasaphah (พิพิธภัณฑ์และจดหมายเหตุรัฐสภา). See MAP.


Abbreviation for ‘Thailand Philatelic Exhibition’, a biannual event organized by the Thai Post Office, in which stamp collectors exhibit their national and international stamp collections. There may also be competitions. The exhibition is usually held in August in a location in or around Bangkok. It was first held in 1971 under the name ThailandPEX, and has occasionally been organized under different names, especially when it was part of a larger international event. Since 1973, special commemorative stamps with the Thaipex logo have been issued on the occasion of each of the exhibitions. In Thai, it is known as ngan sadaeng trah praisanih yahkon haeng chaht (งานแสดงตราไปรษณียากรแห่งชาติ), which translates as ‘national postage stamps' exhibition’.

Thai Phuan (ไทยพวน)

Name of a Tai Theravada Buddhist people spread out in small pockets over most of the Isaan, with other groups dotted in Central Thailand and Laos. They number around 205,000 and their population is split fairly evenly between Laos and Thailand. Their language is closely related to other tribal Tai languages. In the beginning of April the Thai Phuan of Sri Satchanalai hold their annual Buat Chang Had Siew ceremony in which they use elephants to parade buatnaag novices into the temple. Also transcribed Tai Phuan and sometimes called just Phuan or Lao Phuan.

Thai plum

See makok.

Thai Pony

See mah klaeb.

Thai Red Cross Society

Society founded on 26 April 1893, during the reign of King Rama V, to provide relief to the victims of the territorial conflicts along the borders of Siam and French Indochina, over land on the left bank of the Mekhong River. Initially and prior to 1906, the organization was called Red Unnahlohm Society of Siam (fig.), referring to the yan-like (fig.) insignia (fig.) worn on the cap of the soldiers of those days (fig.), which the organization took at its emblem (fig.) and also appeared on its flag (fig.). At first, the society only dispatched medical supplies, food and clothing to the soldiers engaged in defending the country, and aided to alleviate the suffering of the injured. Later, during the reign of King Rama VI, the scope of its activities was widened to include general health care, disease prevention and relief services. In 1920, the society was recognized officially by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a year later accepted as a member of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The society has always been closely associated with the royal family and is under royal patronage, with many projects initiated by royal members, such as the Queen's Housing Resort in Sri Racha (map - fig.). From its foundation onward successive queens have been the Thai Red Cross Society's presidents and at present princess Sirindhorn serves as executive vice president, while a council of 20 members and 12 representatives from the provincial Red Cross chapters are appointed by the queen to oversee the operations of the organization. The Thai Red Cross Society is represented in all of Thailand’s 77 provinces (fig.) and the provincial Red Cross chapters are usually chaired by the provincial governor’s wife. Besides hospitals (map - fig.) and administrative offices (fig.), the society has several specialized branches and services, such as a cancer institute (map - fig.), a national blood centre (map - fig.), an organ donations centre (fig.), a nursing college, a first-aid and health training centre, a research centre, a children's home for orphans (fig.), etc. In the society's Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute anti-tuberculosis (map - fig.) and rabies vaccines, as well as snake serums are produced (fig.), both for domestic use and export. In Thai called Sapaakahchaad Thai. See MAP.

Thai Red Cross Youth

Movement founded on 27th January 1922 by the initiation of Prince Boriphat Sukhumphan (fig.), the then Executive Vice-president of the Siam Red Cross Society, and initially known as the Siam Red Cross Youth Division. Its goal is to inculcate Thai youth to be good citizens, have self-dedication, as well as values and ideas of peace and good health, and to offer voluntary services to the society. Hence, on January 27th the annual Thai Red Cross Youth Day is observed. There are today more than 900,000 Thai Red Cross Youth members all over the nation, though the majority are girls. Initially, membership was available for children aged 8 to 18, but in 1978 the age range was expanded from 8 to 25 years old. In Thai, the organization is known as Yuwakahchaad Thai (ยุวกาชาดไทย) and its emblem is a red cross on a white background in a pale blue circle, the same colour as the girls' uniforms, whereas boys wear a white shirt over blue shorts. See also POSTAGE STAMP, as well as TRAVEL PICTURE.

Thai Song Dam (ไทยทรงดำ)

Another name for Lao Sohng.

Thai Talipot Palm

Common name for the bai lahn fan palm (fig.).

Thai Thani Arts and Culture Village

Name of an arts and cultural village, located just south of Pattaya (fig.) city, in Chonburi province, that highlights authentic Thai traditions and lifestyles. It features a replica of the Lan Na-style Ho Kham Luang Grand Pavilion (fig.), and a northern traditional market. The village also includes a khantoke northern-style dinner (fig.), traditional houses in the different architectural styles of the four regions of Thailand (fig.), and cultural performances.

Thai Water Dragon

See Indochinese Water Dragon.

Thai Waterworks Museum

Museum located at the Samsen Water Treatment Plant in Bangkok's Phaya Thai District. READ ON.

Thai Yai (ไทใหญ่)

See Tai Yai.

Thai Yuan (ไทยวน)

See Tai Yuan.

Thaksin (ทักษิณ)

1. Thai name for the South. See also Isaan and Phayap.

2. Thai. Name for a kind of base for chedi, and also known as tahn thaksin.

3. Thai. Another name for Shiva, the Hindu deity who represents destruction.

thaksinahwat (ทักษิณาวรรต)

Thai. A circular procession around a temple, an important shrine or a stupa, in a clockwise direction with the temple or shrine on the right, whilst holding candles, or other offerings. It is practiced during some Buddhist festivals, such as Khao Pansa and Visakha Bucha. When candles are used, it is also referred to as kaan wian thian. It is the opposite of an uttarawat. Compare this with the Sanskrit word pradakshina. WATCH VIDEO.

thalae mek (ทะเลเมฆ)

1. Thai. ‘Sea of ​​clouds’. Name for a natural phenomenon that arises due to low stratiform clouds that form a foggy band, often floating in between mountains.

2. Thai. ‘Sea of ​​clouds’. Name for a lunar mare, i.e. a dark spot of basaltic lava on the moon's surface, visible from Earth, and in generally referred to by its Latin name Mare Nubium.

Thalang (ถลาง)

1. Ancient name for Phuket. It derives from the old Yawi word telong, which means ‘cape’ and the Malay name for the island, i.e. Tanjung Salang, which means ‘Cape Salang’ and was itself distorted into Junk Ceylon in some Western sources. The northernmost amphur of the province, which was the location of the old capital, is still named Thalang. Sometimes transcribed Tha-Laang.

2. Name of the northernmost amphur of the province Phuket, where the old capital used to be located. It is also the former name of the island and is sometimes transcribed Tha-Laang.

Thalon (သာလွန်)

Burmese. Name of the eighth king of the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma, who reigned for 19 years, from 19 August 1629 until his death on 27 August 1648. He was born on 17 June 1584 as the son of King Nyaungyan Min and thus a grandchild of King Bayinnaung (fig.). He is acclaimed for successfully rebuilding the war-torn country after the preceding near century long warfare, thereby instituting many administrative reforms and restoring the economy. During his reign an revenue inquest was made for the first time in the peaceful kingdom. Also transliterated Thalun.

tham (ธรรม)

Thai pronunciation of the Pali word dhamma. Also pronounced thamma.

tham (ถ้ำ)

Thai for cave. Most caves in Thailand are limestone caves that have formed over long periods of time when corrosive trickles of rain water seeped through tiny pores and cavities in the limestone, eating away at the rock. Cavities became cracks allowing more water to enter and erode more rock, sometimes allowing for an underground river to form. The flow of such as subterranean river then can create enormous underground chambers, in which in due course speleothems, such as stalactites and stalagmites are formed. This happens when a single drop of water saturated with minerals trickles from the rock. Each time this occurs it leaves behind the faintest ring of limestone, a process that is repeated time and again, over time depositing enough limestone rings to eventually form a very narrow hollow tube known as a soda straw. These can grow quite long, but are very fragile. If they become plugged by debris, water begins flowing over the outside, depositing more calcite and eventually form into cone-shaped stalactites. The same water drops that fall from the tips of stalactites deposit more limestone on the floor below over time resulting in the formation of rounded stalagmites. Given enough time these formations can meet and fuse, creating columns.

Tham Din Phiang (ถ้ำดินเพียง)

Thai. Name of a tunnel cave within the compound of Wat Tham Sri Mongkhon (fig.) in Nong Khai. The grotto is said to be the abode of the naga and a golden statue of a seven-headed naga guards the entrance. The cave has been formed by water erosion and allegedly has an underground corridor that connects all the way to the Mekhong River, several kilometers away. Visitors are let in only in small groups of a few people at a time,  as most of the area in this subterranean place is narrow while the ceiling is mostly low. Year-round, the cavern is at least in part inundated and visitors are asked to take off their shoes before entering, as  in most places one needs to walk through shallow streams or pools of still water. Whereas walking upright would be virtually impossible for adult visitors most of the time, in a few places one will also have to squeeze through narrow corridors, often while wading through low water. At certain spots the passage is in fact so narrow or low that visitors will have to crawl on their knees or belly in order to pass through. The naga tunnel cave is eventually exited at the top by a series of steep ladders, just a short walk back downhill to the main entrance where visitors can retrieve their shoes. See also TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.

thamin sa bibi la (ထမင်းစားပြီးပြီလား)

Burmese. ‘Have you eaten rice yet?’. Informal greeting in Myanmar, similar to the Chinese chi fan le ma, 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. Also transliterated thamin sa pyeepyee la, or similar.

Tham Kaew (ถ้ำแก้ว)

Thai. Chrystal Cave’. Name of a huge limestone cave in Surat Thani province, located in a steep cliff near Khao Sok National Park (fig.). This little visited, off the beaten track cave is situated about a kilometer from the entrance along the main road but the mountainous path towards it is challenging, i.e. steep and slippery, with sharp rocks. Some sections are fitted with metal ladders and ropes to hold onto to facilitate the way up and down. WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Tham Kaew Saraphat Neuk (ถ้ำแก้วสารพัดนึก)

Thai. Magic Crystal Cave’ or Crystal Cave of the Various Imaginations’. Name of a stunning cavern located on the compound of Wat Tham Trairat (วัดถ้ำไตรรัตน์), a Buddhist temple in Nakhon Ratchasima province. The cave is believed to be sacred and used to be a residence of several revered monks, such as Luang Poo Dun Atulo (ดูลย์ อตุโล), Luang Poo Chot Khunasampanno (โชติ คุณสัมปันโน), and Luang Pho Pheum Barami (เพิ่มบารมี). The cave is divided into five major zones, namely: 1. The entrance to the cave is the name also used as a generic name for the entire cave, i.e. Tham Kaew Saraphat Neuk (ถ้ำแก้วสารพัดนึก), which means ‘Magic Crystal Cave’; 2. Tham Phra Phut (ถ้ำพระพุทธ) or Buddha Cave’; 3. Khrohng Kraduk Phra Reusi (โครงกระดูกพระฤาษี), meaning the Hermit’s Skeleton, i.e. the remains of a hermit that allegedly lived in the cave some 4,000 year ago; 4. Pratu Mangkon (ประตูมังกร) or Dragon Gate’; and 5. Phiphithaphan Hin lae Rohng Phapphayon Tham (พิพิธภัณฑ์หินและโรงภาพยนตร์ถ้ำ), which translates as Rock Museum and Cave Theatre’. In English, the cave is referred to as Magic Cave Land. This subterranean labyrinth of interconnecting grottos is inhabited by a small colony of microbats that find their way in and out by an open-ended shaft in the ceiling. WATCH VIDEO.

Tham Khamin (ถ้ำขมิ้น)

Thai. Turmeric Cave’. Name of a huge limestone cave in Tai Rom Yen, a circa 425 km² National Park in Surat Thani. READ ON.

Tham Khwan Deuan (ทำขวัญเดือน)

Thai. Name of a ritual in which the hair present at birth, which in Thai is called phom fai, is shaved. The ritual is consequently also known as Kohn Phom Fai and often referred to as Phittih Tham Khwan Deuan. It takes place when the infant has reached the age of one month (deuan), i.e. pass the danger period, when the infant is considered to be no longer at risk of dying. An auspicious day is chosen and on the occasion, it will also be given its name. The term Tham Khwan literally means ‘to perform welcoming rites’. Compare also with khwan and Phittih Kohnjuk. See also TRAVEL PICTURE, POSTAGE STAMPS and WATCH VIDEO.

Tham Khwan Naag (ทำขวัญนาค)

Thai. Blessing the Naga’. Name of a pre-ordination ritual and  purification rite conducted in order to educate the naga or buatnaag, i.e. the candidate Buddhist novice, on parental grace, nurturing a commitment to virtue and monk's discipline that will lead to merit accumulation and blessings for the parents, and in which the naga will receive the traijiewon or pahkahsahwapad, i.e. the monk's habit, which symbolizes the protection one enjoys as a monk. See also POSTAGE STAMPS and WATCH VIDEO.

Tham Le Khao Kop (ถ้ำเลเขากอบ)

Thai. Name of a limestone cave with a subterranean stream in Trang, which can be visited only by a flat-bottomed rowing boat. READ ON.

thamma (ธรรม, ธัมมะ)

Thai pronunciation of the Pali word dhamma. Also pronunced tham.

Thammakaay (ธรรมกาย)

Thai ‘Legal body’, ‘truth body’ and ‘reality body’. Name of a Thai Buddhist tradition known in English as Dhammakaya.

Thammasat (ธรรมศาสตร์)

Thai ‘Legal science’. The term derives from the Sanskrit word Dharmasastra, an ancient book of the law in Hinduism, and refers in Thai to the science or philosophy of the law, i.e. jurisprudence. In the late 19th century, the Thai legal system was reformed with the assistance of Gustave Rolin-Jaequesmyns, a Belgian diplomat and adviser to King Chulalongkorn, who helped to establish law courts and founded the International Law Institute, the precursor of the Thammasat University founded by Pridi Phanomyong (fig.), where he is now honoured with a statue (fig.). Both in 1973 and 1976 the university was the scene of a massacre (fig.) twice, first during an uprising in which students and other citizens alike demanded democracy, the second time during demonstrations against the return of the former dictators of the military regime who in 1973 had fled the country. For its 60th Anniversary in 1994, a memorial building was erected and a plaza was established on the University's Tha Phrachan Campus, located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, along where the former Rattanakosin western city wall (fig.) used to be and which today features a paifang-style (fig.) memorial wall and archway. The middle section of this watchtower-like walled gate (fig.) has battlements similar to the bai sema (fig.) of a crenellated city wall, and refers to the base of the ancient city wall built in the reign of King Rama I, that was discovered underneath the adjacent 60th Anniversary Building during restoration works in 1997. The Thammasat Association (fig. - map) in the khet Sathorn, is a prestigious organization and leading center for all students and alumni of the Thammasat University that supports and develops activities in education and social development. There is also a large campus in Pathum Thani, which in its front has a large water pond filled with lotus flowers, the symbol of Pathum Thani, whose name actually means Lotus City’. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and PANORAMA PICTURE.

Thammayut (ธรรมยุต, ธรรมยุติ)

Thai word derived from the Pali word Dhammayutika, meaning ‘group adhering the dhamma’. It is the name of a sub-sect of the Thai Theravada school of Buddhism, founded in 1833 by King Mongkut and modeled after an early Mon form of monastic discipline which is generally stricter than its counterpart. Its aim was to make monastic discipline more orthodox, as it was found that there were serious discrepancies between the rules given in the Pali Canon and the actual practices of the monks. It also tried to get rid of all non-Buddhist, folk-religious and superstitious elements that had become part of Buddhist practices. Thammayut monks are expected to attain proficiency in meditation, as well as Buddhist scholarship through study of the scriptures. They are allowed to eat only once a day, before noon, and only what is in their alms bowl. This is in contrast with the monks of the Mahanikaai sect, who specialize in either meditation or study of the scriptures, not in both, and are allowed to eat twice before noon, as well as to accept side dishes. In 1855, the Khmer king Norodom invited a Cambodian monk educated in the lineage of King Mongkut, to establish a branch of the Thammayut order in Cambodia. With the passing of the Sangha Act of 1902, the Thammayut sect was formally recognized as the lesser of Thailand's two Theravada denominations. It became stronger under royal patronage and the present-day royal family is purportedly still closely associated with the Thammayut order. Also called Thammayutnikaai.

Thammayutnikaai (ธรรมยุตินิกาย)

See Thammayut.

tham moh (ทำหม้อ)

Thai for pottery making.

Thamoddarit (သမုဒ္ဒရာဇ်)

Burmese. Name of a Burmese monarch, i.e. the founder of and first King of Bagan.

Tham Pah Acha Thong (ถ้ำป่าอาชาทอง)

See Wat Tham Pah Acha Thong.

Tham Pha Tai (ถ้ำผาไท)

Thai. ‘Independent Cliff Cave’ or ‘Free Cliff Cave’. Name of a cave in Lampang province, as well as of the National Park in which it is located. Whereas the national park covers an area of about 1,214 km², the limestone cave has a depth of about 1,150 meters, of which about 405 meters can be visited. The cave is home to some bats (fig.) which are preyed upon by at least one local Cave Dwelling Snake (fig.) and some smaller creatures, such as the cave dwelling giant Huntsman Spider. Also transliterated Tham Phah Thai. See also WILDLIFE PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.

Tham Phet (ถ้ำเพชร)

Thai. ‘Diamond Cave’. Name of a cave in Krabi, located on the small peninsula of Railay (ไร่เลย์), between its eastern and western bays and beaches. This small limestone cave is about 130 meters deep and has a bridge-like walkway for visitors to facilitate sightseeing. It is home to some Micro-bats (fig.) that dwell between its stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is also known as Tham Phra Nang Nai (ถ้ำพระนางใน), i.e. ‘Inner Princess Cave’ or ‘Inner Queen Cave’. See EXPLORER'S MAP, TRAVEL PICTURE, and WATCH VIDEO.

Tham Phraya Nakhon (ถ้ำพระยานคร)

Thai. ‘Princely City Cave’. Name of a cave in Khao Sahm Roi Yot National Park, in Prachuap Khirikhan, which consists of a compound of the words tham, Phraya, and nakhon. The cave is home to a royal pavilion (fig.) known as Phra Thihnang Khoo Ha Khareuhaat, built in 1890 by order of King Chulalongkorn, after his second visit to the cave. The mansion today houses a statue of this former monarch, who is known by the crown title Rama V. See MAP.

Tham Sat My Lai (Thảm Sát Mỹ Lai)

Vietnamese for ‘My Lai Massacre’.

thana (သနပ်)

Burmese name for the Fragrant Manjack, a shrub or small tree with the botanical name Cordia dichotoma, of which the leaves, called thana hpe, are used in Myanmar as a wrapper to make cheroot-cigars (fig.).

thanaakhaan (ธนาคาร)

Thai for ‘bank’, i.e. a financial institution. The first ever Thai bank that came into being is the Siam Commercial Bank (fig.), founded in 1907 and sprouting from the Book Club which was established in 1904. Later other banks were established, such as the Government Savings Bank (map - fig.), which was founded in 1913 under the name Saving Treasury and initially located in the Grand Palace, and using the personal funds of King Rama VI. The word Thanaakhaan derives from the Sanskrit term dhanagara, in which dhana means ‘wealth’ or ‘money’.

thana hpe (သနပ်ဖက်)

Burmese. ‘Thana leaf’, i.e. the leaves of the Cordia dichotoma, which are edible. In Myanmar, they are also dried and used as a wrapper to make cheroot-cigars (fig.).

thanaan (ทะนาน)

Thai name for a vessel made of a coconut shell and used for scooping rice, which later became a unit of capacity for uncooked rice, now officially settled at one liter and called thanaan luang. See also thang.

thanaan luang (ทะนานหลวง)

Thai. The official unit of capacity for measuring uncooked rice, equivalent to one liter. The term is derived from a vessel made of a coconut shell, used for ladling rice, which is known as thanaan. See also thang.

thanaka (သနပ်ခါး)

Burmese. Traditional fragrant paste used in Myanmar for cosmetic purposes and facial painting. It consists of organic wood powder mixed with water, which is obtained from pulverizing or rubbing (fig.) wood bark of the Wood-apple Tree (Limonia acidissima) on a stone slab (fig.). Markets in Myanmar usually have ample thanaka wood vendors selling chunks of wood (fig.), which they may saw into smaller sizes to order (fig.). The use of thanaka is very popular, especially amongst Burmese minority groups in parts of Thailand and in Burma, both as protection from the sun or simply as a decoration. By some it is also believed to have protective powers. When under British rule as part of the British-Indian Empire, Burma has long been administered as a province of India and the practice is probably a Burmese adaptation of a Hindu tradition known as tilaka, a Sanskrit word used for a coloured mark worn on the forehead of most Hindus, typically as a sign of spiritual devotion (fig.), or as a decoration. Like the tradition, the word thanaka is most likely also related to this Sanskrit word. The custom also occurs in Laos where it is known as kajae. Also transcribed thanakha.

Thandawgan (သံတော်ခံ)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. In life, he was Ye Thiha, a royal messenger of Minkhaung II, the viceroy of Taungoo, i.e. a brother of the 16th Century King Bayinnaung (fig.). Some belief Minkhaung II became the nat Taungoo Mingaung, though other ascribe this nat representation to Minkhaung I. According to legend, Ye Thiha went to the forest to fetch flowers for his king, but contracted malaria and died, though according to another version, the cause of his death was from a snakebite, also while collecting flowers for his king. In iconography, he is sometimes portrayed in a seated pose while holding a fan made of palm leaves on a stick. Compare with the nat Shindaw. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

thang (ถัง)

1. Thai name for a bucket or pail, used for storing uncooked rice. It is customarily made from wood, with a metal ring on the top rim, in the centre and at the bottom, and a wooden grip in the middle of the opening, leveled with the top of the bucket. This bucket traditionally has a capacity of 20 liters, and is used to scoop and measure rice. As such, it stands at the origin of a measure of capacity, especially for rice, equivalent to 20 liters and referred to by the same name.

2. Thai name of a measure of capacity, especially for rice, equivalent to 20 liters. The term is derived from a wooden bucket used for storing uncooked rice. One thang equals 20 thanaan, officially referred to as thanaan luang and equivalent to 20 liters; 50 thang equals 1 ban or ban luang; and 100 thang is the equivalent of 1 kwian, officially known as kwian luang.

thangka (टङ्क)

1. A piece of cloth, often made from silk, painted with deities from Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Also tanka. Compare with mandala.

2. An object of veneration and a source of inspiration when meditating. Also tanka. Compare with mandala.

Thanh Giong (Thánh Gióng)

Vietnamese. ‘Saint Giong’. Name of a Vietnamese mythical folk hero. READ ON.

Thanh Thai (Thành Thái)

Vietnamese. Name of an Emperor of the Nguyen (Nguyễn) Dynasty, who reigned for 18 years, from 1889 to 1907 AD. READ ON.

thani (ธานี)

A Thai term for ‘city’, which is used often as part of city names, next to krung, nakhon, .

Thani (ตานี)

1. Thai. Old name for the town of Pattani in the South of Thailand.

2. Thai. Name for a species of banana. See gluay thani.

Thaniniwat Sonakun (ธานีนิวัต โสณกุล)

Name at birth of Phitayalahp Phrithiyakorn.

Than Tai (Thần Tài)

Vietnamese. ‘God of Wealth’. Name of a wealth deity, akin to Chinese wealth deities, who are generally referred to as Cai Shen (fig.). Than Tai typically is one of two deities placed in small Vietnamese home altars, together with Tu Di Gong, the Chinese Lord of the Soil and the Ground, who in Vietnamese is known as Tho Cong (fig.). According to local beliefs, these house shrines (fig.) should always be erected in such a manner that they face the entrance door, and its deities are offered fruit, food and drinks, the latter usually in the form of tea traditionally offered in either 5 or alternatively 3 small cups.

Than Tai

thao (ท้าว)

Thai honorary title meaning ‘lord’, ‘prince’ and ‘king’. Also used in a feminine way and accordingly translated as ‘dame’, ‘princess’ and ‘queen’. In titles usually transcribed with a capital letter Thao, but also often spelled tao or Tao.

Thao Barot-Nang Usa (ท้าวบารส-นางอุษา)

See Nang Usa-Thao Barot.

Thao Pajit-Nang Oraphim (ท้าวปาจิต-นางอรพิม)

Thai. Name of an ancient folk tale that is set in Phimai in the pre-Sukhothai era, during the reign of the Khmer, when the area was known by the name Suvarnabhumi, around the 15th-16th century BE. It relates the love story between Thao Pajit and Nang Oraphim, people from two big cities, i.e. Phimai and Nakhon Thom. The tale also mentions that Meru Phrommathat (fig.) was the cremation ground used for the legendary ruler Thao Phrommathat.

Tha Phae (ท่าแพ)

Thai. ‘Raft Landing’. Name of an ancient city gate located on the eastern wall of Chiang Mai. READ ON.

that (ธาตุ)

1. Thai. One of the four  elements from antiquity, namely earth, water, air and fire. Pronunciation and alternative transliteration is thaat.

2. Thai-Laotian. A relic of the Buddha or a shrine with a relic of the Buddha. Common in Laos and some parts of Thailand. Pronunciation and alternative spelling is thaat.

3. Thai. A funeral temple for members of the monarchy. Pronunciation and alternative transcription is thaat.

Thatarattha (ธตรฐ)

Thai name of one of the four guardian gods, also known as the Four Heavenly Kings, and the guardian of the East, who is associated with Indra. READ ON.

Thatbyinnyu Phaya

See Sabbannu Phaya.

Thathanabaing (သာသနာပိုင်)

Burmese. ‘Keeper of the Faith’. Term used for the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhist church in Upper Burma during the Konbaung Dynasty, comparable to the Phrasangkaraat in Thailand, while prior to this period the term Sangha-raja was popularly used. The office was abolished in 1938 AD by the British authorities in colonial Burma, after the death of Taunggwin Sayadaw U Visuddha Silacaraha, the last Buddhist monk to hold the office. See also Nyaunggan Sayadaw.

thattiya (ทัตติยะ)

Thai term meaning ‘to give’.

Thaton (ท่าตอน)

Thai. Name of a tambon located along the Kok River (fig.) in the amphur Mae Ai, in the far north of the Thai province of Chiang Mai and bordering Myanmar. Its main attraction is the hilltop temple Wat Thaton (fig.). This sleepy Thai town is not to be confused with Thaton, a former Mon Kingdom and present-day town in Myanmar.

Thaton (သထုံ)

Burmese-Mon. Name of a Mon Kingdom in Lower Burma, located on the Tenasserim plains in present-day Myanmar and not to be confused with the Thai town and tambon of Thaton (fig.). The Kingdom was founded in ca. 300 BC and ceased to exist in 1057 AD after it was defeated by King Anawrahta (fig.), who captured and took its ruler King Makuta to Pagan (fig.) as a prisoner.

thawaanbaan (ทวารบาล)

Thai term for dvarapala, which derives from the Pali words thawaan and paan (ปาล), which mean ‘door’ or ‘gate’, and ‘to look after’ or ‘to guard’, respectively. In Thailand, the term often refers to any of the giant or demon, i.e. yak guardians, found at entrances of temples, palaces, and important tourist attractions.

Thawai (ทวาย)

Thai. Name of a people and city in southern Myanmar and in English known as Dawei. The name derives from the Mon term hawai, which means to sit cross-legged, in reference to the Buddha's lotus position. See also phanaeng choeng.

Thanwantari (ธันวันตรี)

Thai name of one of the avatars of Phra Narai, who is considered to be a health deity, also referred to as phaet sawan, i.e. physician of heaven. His name derives of Dhanvantari, the matching avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Thawornwatthu (ถาวรวัตถุ)

Thai. Name of an elongated building along the southwestern part of Sanam Luang (fig.). READ ON.

Thayaan Phikaat (ทะยานพิฆาฎ)

Thai. A Thai Army Lieutenant, who in 1912 took an aviation course in France. Afterward, he received a proper Air Force rank and was at the same time promoted to Group Captain. He took his aviation training course together with Army Captain Luang Ahwut Sikhikorn (fig.) at Mourmelon-le-Grand (fig.), a military airfield in northern France, flying a Nieuport 11 trainer monoplane (fig.). They were sent to France together with Army Major Luang Sakdi Sanyawut (fig.), who received his initial training at Villacoublay (fig.), a military air base near Paris, and learned to fly in a Breguet Type III biplane (fig.). Of both aircrafts replicas are on display at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum in Bangkok (fig.) and the planes are depicted on the first two postage stamps of a double set of 8 postage stamps each (fig.), issued in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of theses pioneer's initial training, which eventually led to the establishment of the Royal Thai Air Force. The trio became known as the Founding Fathers of the Royal Thai Air Force, sometimes referred to as the Parents of the RTAF, and Thayaan was bestowed with the title of Phraya. He is also known as Thip Ketuthat.

The Bangkok City Model

Name of a huge scale model of inner Bangkok (fig.) that was built in 2009 by The Bangkok Department of City Planning. It measures 10,4 by 13,8 meters, i.e. 143.52 m², and is made to a scale of 1:750, encompasses 20 khet or zones, and covers an area of ca. 80 km². Where the Chao Phraya River (fig.) divides the city in east and west, the model is split and visitors can walk on the divide for a better view from the banks of either side.  It is located in a vacant hall of the former Thailand Tobacco Monopoly in Bangkok (fig.). In Thai, The Bangkok City Model is known as Hun Jamlong Meuang Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (หุ่นจำลองเมืองกรุงเทพมหานคร). WATCH VIDEO.

theen (เถร)

Thai-Pali. ‘Elder’. A senior Buddhist monk who has been more than ten years in the priesthood. Also thera as in Theravada. May also be spelt then.

The Government Lottery Office

State-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Finance. READ ON.

The Helix Bridge

Name of a pedestrian bridge, officially known as The Helix, in Singapore. It is an iconic structure that connects Marina Centre with Marina South in the Marina Bay (fig.) area. The bridge is named for its helical tubular structure, built to resemble a double-stranded helix DNA structure. The bridge is constructed using stainless steel, giving it a modern and sleek appearance. The helical design is made up of curved steel tubes that are illuminated at night, creating a visually stunning effect. The Helix is an integral part of the pedestrian network around the Marina Bay area, connecting key attractions, such as to Marina Bay Sands (fig.), Gardens by the Bay, and the Singapore Flyer.

thein (သိမ်)

The ordination hall at Buddhist temples in Burma and as such the Burmese counterpart of the Thai bot.

The Mall Group

Name of a major shopping center and retail entertainment complex operator in Thailand. The group opened its first retail store in Bangkok in 1981 and though that was disbanded in 1988, its operations over time expanded to include some of Thailand's main shopping centers, with brands that include The Mall (M Lifestore), Emporium, Siam Paragon (fig.), Power Mall, Gourmet Market, The Mall SkyPORT, EmQuartier, SportsMall, BeTrend, BLÚPORT, EmSphere, Bangkok Mall (Bangkok Arena), and BLÚPEARL. It's head office is currently at The Mall Bangkapi. Many of these often gigantic malls have lush indoor gardens, sometimes with pools, waterfalls and even live animals, such as giant fish and parrots. To attract more visitors many malls regularly organize special thematic events, markets and fairs. WATCH VIDEO (1), (2) and (3).

Theng (เท่ง)

Thai. Name of one of the tua talok characters (fig.) in the lesser Thai shadow play known as nang thalung. He is usually depicted as an old man with dark skin, a big nose, a bald forehead and curly hair in the back of his head, a potbelly, and wearing only a checkered sarong, a pahkaomah behind which he carries a southern-style knife called miht aai krok, and wearing a kind of shawl or necklace. Characteristically, his face is reminiscent of a hornbill (nok hang), and his one hand is shaped as a human penis complete with testicles (fig.). The character was reportedly invented in Songkhla Province as a change to the classical characters that up to then were depicted with a slim and tall figure. He is also referred to as Aai Theng (อ้ายเท่ง).


Abbreviation for Thailand Earth Observation Systems Satellite.

thep (เทพ, ទេព)

Both a Thai and a Khmer term for a deva, a god, a deity, an angel, a miracle worker or something divine. In Thai, also called thevada. See also Apsara. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

thepaniyai (เทพนิยาย)

Thai. ‘Mythology’. A legend or myth.

thepanom (เทพนม)

Thai. ‘To pay homage to angels and gods’. A compound word referring to a respectful posture clasping the hands as a token of worship and sign of respect, a gesture commonly known as phanom, phranom or phranommeua, and more commonly as wai (fig.). In iconography, it often occurs as a depiction of an angel, thep, thevada, deva or devi (fig.). Also spelled thephanom, and a compound of thep and phanom. See also gluay thep phanom and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1) and (2).

thepatida (เทพธิดา)

Thai. A goddess or angel.

thepbut (เทพบุตร)

Thai. ‘Offspring of a thevada’. Term for an angel or a male deity.

thepchumnum (เทพชุมนุม)

Thai. ‘Assembly of thevadas’. The rows of devas, garudas, yakshas, etc., often seen as decoration on rajarot, royal sedan chairs (fig.), chedis, temples, etc., both in sculptured form and as painted murals. One of the more well-known thepchumnum are those of the two golden redented chedis at the compound, in which 4 monkeys and 16 giants from the Ramakien support the base of these pagodas, which were built by King Rama I to house the ashes of his parents, i.e. those of his mother in the gilded chedi on the North, and those of his father in the gilded chedi on the South (fig.).

Thep Haeng Kwahm Samret (เทพแห่งความสำเร็จ)

Thai. ‘God of Success’ or ‘Deity of Accomplishment’. A designation used for Ganesha.

thephanom (เทพนม)

See thepanom.

The Philatelists Association of Thailand

Association of stamp collectors and interested persons, under the royal patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirinthon. It was established in 1975 and originated from a group of enthusiastic stamp collectors who, together with some senior officials of the then Post and Telegraph Department, officially founded and registered the association. Their first ever meeting was held on 9 August 1975 to elect an ad-hoc executive committee, as is required by the association's regulations, and therefore 9 August of each year has been designated as the Association's establishment day. On 9 August 2011, a Thai postage stamp was issued to mark the 36th anniversary of its establishment (fig.). In Thai, the association is known by the lengthy name samahkhom nak sasom trah praisanihyahkon haeng prathet thai. See MAP.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand

A juristic entity set up under the Securities Exchange of Thailand Act, which started operations on 30 April 1975 and serves as a centre for the trading of listed securities. READ ON.

The Supreme Court of Thailand

The final court of appeal, i.e. the highest court where the Chief Justice presides. READ ON.

The Petalclouds

Name of a kinetic art sculpture in Terminal 4 at Changi Airport (fig.) and crafted by the same art studio that delivered the work on the Kinetic Rain (fig.) sculpture, also on display at the airport. Suspended 200 metres across the Central Galleria, the sculpture consists of six clouds, each adorned with 16 petal elements and seamlessly blend art, music, and science, as the petals move in a choreographed dance, accompanied by animated lighting and synchronized music, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The intricate design showcases the intersection of artistic creativity and technological innovation. The suspended clouds, each petal element supported by four specially designed cables, result in a total of 384 cables and 192 winches controlling the movement of the entire installation. Beyond the petal elements, various components like motors, oscillators, and LED lights contribute to the overall aesthetic and require meticulous attention. The Petalclouds stand as a testament to the harmonious integration of art and engineering. WATCH VIDEO.

Thep Kasatri (เทพกษัตรี)

Thai heroine with the title of thao who in 1785 prevented a Burmese invasion of Phuket Island, together with her sister Sri Sunthon. Also known as Chan, Satri and Thep Krasatri. See also heroines of Phuket.

Thep Krasatri (เทพกระษัตรี)

See Thep Kasatri.

Thepnorasi (เทพนรสีห์)

Thai. Creature from Thai mythology with a body that is half man and half lion, and also known as Thepnorasingh (เทพนรสิงห์), literally ‘Angel-lion’. It is similar to Narasimha, yet differs in this that the latter has the body of a man with the head of a lion, whereas in Thepnorasi the head and torso are those of a man and the part from the hips down that of a lion or singha (fig.). It is a creature from Himaphan forest and is depicted either standing or walking upright. It serves an apotropaic purpose and could be seen as the Thai equivalent of the Burmese Manuthiha (fig.). See also Apsonsi.

Theppaksi (เทพปักษี)

Thai-Pali. ‘Angel-bird’. Name of a mythical creature, half-bird half-celestial being from Himaphan Forest, with the upper body of a thep, i.e. an angel depicted as a male human, and the lower body of a bird (paksi - fig.). It is similar to the Kinnon but has no winged section with feathers on its lower arms (fig.).

Thep Patchanna (เทพปัชชุนนะ)

The god of the storm clouds in Lan Na folklore. His mount is a mom. Also known by the name of Watsawalahok Thep.

thep prajam wan (เทพประจำวัน)

Thai system in which each day of the week corresponds with a certain deity. These seven deities (fig.) are Phra Jan for Monday (fig.), Phra Angkahn for Tuesday (fig.), Phra Phut for Wednesday (fig.), Phra Phareuhadsabodih for Thursday (fig.), Phra Suk for Friday (fig.), Phra Sao for Saturday (fig.) and Phra Ahtit for Sunday (fig.). In Thai the days are derived from these gods and their names appear in them e.g. Thursday is wan phareuhad, Sunday is wan ahtit, etc. See also wan tua, dao prajam wan, sat prajam wan, Phra prajam wan and sih prajam wan.

The Privy Council Chambers

Name of the government building used by the Office of the Privy Council, a private agency of the King that is supervised by a Secretary-General appointed by the King, and responsible for supporting the Privy Council in their duties towards the Crown, or as instructed by the King. In Thai, it is known as Thamniyeb Ongkhamontrih (ทำเนียบองคมนตรี).

Thep Than Jai (เทพทันใจ)

Thai. ‘Instant Deity’. Name used in Thailand for the Burmese nat-like deity Bo Bo Gyi, a benevolent guardian spirit found in Buddhist temples in Myanmar (fig.). Thep Than Jai is basically the same deity but sometimes depicted in a style more typically Thai.

The Queen's Gallery

Thai art gallery founded in response of queen Sirikit's whish to provide a permanent home for the exhibition of a wide range of Thai visual arts, especially sculpture and paintings, in order to promote Thai culture and artists, both young and well established talents. The gallery also acts as an education centre giving training courses to Thai nationals from all backgrounds, turning them into professional artists in various disciplines. The queen is a loyal patron of the gallery.

thera (เถระ)

See theen.

Theranuthera (เถรานุเถระ)

Thai-Pali. The Buddhist hierarchy, the governing body of the Buddhist clergy. See also Sangha.

Therasapha (เถรสภา)

Thai-Pali. Buddhist council. See also Sangkayana.

Theravada (थेरवाद)

Sanskrit-Pali. ‘Words of the elders’ or ‘teachings of the elders’. A Hinayana sect of Buddhism that spread to Southeast Asia from India via Sri Lanka, where it is the dominant form of Buddhism. Its texts are written in Pali.

Therawaht (เถรวาท)

Thai for Theravada.

thet (เทศน์)

Thai. ‘Sermon’, as in kanthet and kreuang kanthet.

thetsabahn (เทศบาล)

Thai for ‘municipality’. See also thetsabahn tambon.

thetsabahn nakhon (เทศบาลนคร)

Thai for ‘city municipality’. Name for a municipal district in large cities with a population of 50,000 or more and with sufficient income to provide public services according to the duties provided by law. There are currently 30 city municipalities throughout Thailand.

thetsabahn tambon (เทศบาลตำบล)

Thai for ‘municipal district’. It is often abbreviated as th t (ทต.). See also thetsabahn and tambon.

thetsakahn (เทศกาล)

Thai for ‘festival’, ‘festival season’, ‘festivities’ and ‘holiday’. The term is reminiscent of ‒and possibly linguistically related to‒ Tet (Tết), i.e. the Vietnamese New Year (fig.).

thetsakahn hua toh (เทศกาลหัวโต)

Thai for ‘Big Head Festival’.

thetsakahn kin jae (เทศกาลกินแจ)

Thai. Lent or fasting period according to Chinese custom. In translation it is generally called Vegetarian Festival, but it is also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. This nine-day festival is celebrated the most exuberantly in Phuket, but is also popular in other regions and all over Thailand restaurants place small yellow banners with red Thai and Chinese characters (fig.) to indicate that they serve vegetarian food. It is believed the soul and mind are purified by refraining from meat consumption. Believers will gather to help clean out spirit shrines and light candles to prepare the arrival of nine angels. To symbolize their presence, nine lanterns are lit up and placed aloft a pole, known as Ko Teng. A ceremony is also held to welcome Yok Ong Song Te. Festival partakers dress in white, place yellow and red banners and make small altars in front of shop houses (fig.). On the sixth day of the festival in Phuket this custom is accompanied with parades in which spiritualist mediums chastise themselves whilst in a trance, doing such things as body piercing and walking over hot coals. Other participants walk over lit candles, crossing the bridge of purification, whilst receiving a stamp with red Chinese signs on their back, as proof of their participation and the reward for their commitment to the nine days festival. Throughout the festival firecrackers are used abundantly to add lustre and noise to the celebrations. On the last day of the festival there will be a goddess procession. This festival usually takes place somewhere in the beginning to the middle of October and coincides with the Indian festival of Vijayadazaami, to which it bears many resemblances. See also jae and mangsawirat.

thetsakahn look pohng yak (เทศกาลลูกโป่งยักษ์)

Thai name for the Thailand Balloon Festival.

thevada (เทวดา)

Thai. A deva, god, deity, angel, miracle worker or something divine. Also transliterated Thewada. The Thewada bar in Bangkok, which is decorated with colourful paintings of angels and themes of Himaphan, serves so-called creation cocktails whose names are inspired on creatures of this legendary heavenly place of Thai mythology, such as its Mekhala cocktail, named after the goddess of lightning and topped with a smoke bubble that symbolizes Mekhala's crystal ball (fig.). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Thevasathaan (เทวสถาน)

Thai. ‘Divine place’ or ‘angelic place’. Name of a Brahmin temple built in 1784, on the orders of King Rama I, to be used for holding Brahmin rites and ceremonies. The temple comprises of three Thai-style buildings, made from brick and mortar. Each building has a different colour of roof and is actually a Hindu shrine, each for another deity. The first one on the premises from the main entrance, with a brown roof, is devoted to the god Shiva and contains his image in a blessing pose, whereas the building in the middle, with a green roof, has a shrine dedicated to Ganesha, and the last shrine, with an orange roof, is devoted to Vishnu. In front of the first building is a large golden statue of Brahma, enshrined under an open, arched pavilion. Past the entrance on the left is a small garden with a pile of rocks, topped by a small golden statue of Shiva, and on the opposite side stands a tall sala tree. In the back of the compound is an assemby hall where devotees gather. This temple is located adjacent to the Giant Swing, another residue of one of the Brahmin rites from the past. Sometimes referred to as the Brahmin Shrines, in Thai Boht Phraam, and also transcribed Devasathan. See MAP.

Thevasathaan Uthayaan Phra Phi Kaneht (เทวสถานอุทยาน พระพิฆเนศ)

1. Thai. ‘Place of the deity Ganesha’. Name of a religious complex, also referred to as the Ganesha Idol Park in Chachengsao Province, and located on the banks of the Bang Pakong river at Bang Talaht, in the king amphur Klong Kheuan. It is allegedly the world's largest bronze statue of Ganesha, described to stand 39 meters tall (fig.), and the project was officially initiated in a casting ceremony held on 28 January 2012, in which the giant head of the statue was cast using phaen thong kham, donated by the public. The lampothon statue is in the Chaturbuja-style, i.e. with four arms, and with a halo in the shape of a lasso called pasa, an attribute that in Hindu iconography represents an instrument used to destroy desire and craving. At the top of the lasso is a circle wreathed in flames, similar to the chintamani (fig.), with the word ohm inside. Among his attributes are also a writing brush, that represents literature and refers to his role as the god of arts, as well as some food favoured by Ganesha, such as mango. At his left leg sits a rat, i.e. the official vehicle or vahana of Ganesha. There is also a Ganesha Idol Park in Nakhon Sawan, located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in the tambon Klang Daet (กลางแดด) of the amphur meuang (map - fig.) and featuring a large Ganesha statue in a seated pose and with a pink complexion, which in colour and design is reminiscent to the large reclining statue of Ganesha at Wat Samaan Rattanaraam (map - fig.), also in Chachengsao. See MAP.

2. Thai. ‘Place of the deity Ganesha’. Name of a religious complex (fig.) in Nakhon Sawan Province, located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, in the tambon Klang Daet of the amphur meuang, and known in English as Ganesha Idol Park. It features a large Ganesha statue in a seated pose and with a pink complexion. The statue is  similar in style and colour to the to the large pink reclining statue of Ganesha (map - fig.) at Wat Samaan Rattanaraam in Chachengsao, whereas the name is also used for a 39 meter tall bronze statue of Ganesha (map - fig.), also in Chachengsao. Besides the large pink statue of this Hindu deity, the temple has several other smaller statues and images of Ganesha, as well as a number of statues and shrines devoted to other deities and characters from both Thai and Hindu religion and mythology, such as Phra Witsanukam (fig.); nagas, including those forming a naga-bridge (fig.); reusi tah fai (fig.); Vishnu (Narai) on his Garuda; Jivaka Komarabhacca (fig.); etc. See also TRAVEL PICTURE (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6), and MAP.