• Explore the Wai in Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture,  Travel

    Explore the Wai in Thai Culture

    The wai is an important gesture in Thailand culture. Thai people use the wai to greet one another, to pray, and show respect. The wai may be included with a thank you. It is even performed when apologizing. This aspect of Thailand culture is displayed in all of the aforementioned situations. In addition, the position of the wai relative to the body has different meanings as well.   First, let’s talk about form. Touch hands together at the chest level. You then place the hands and fingers together in symmetry. Elbows should be close to the sides of the body as opposed to out and away in the air. This…

  • Lotus flower in Buddhism & Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture

    Examining the Lotus Flower in Buddhism and Thai Culture

    The lotus flower is a sacred symbol of Buddhism. It is found throughout Thai culture. Found in muddy waters, the lotus rises above to show off it’s beauty. This feat is symbolic in Buddhism as it represents enlightenment. The lovely look of the flower is symbolic of purity. Throughout Thai literature and art it reflects feminine beauty. Known as ‘bua’ in the Thai language, the lotus is one the most important images in both Buddhism and Thai culture. Lotus is symbolic of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. For more on this subject, read Quick Introduction to Thai Buddhism. The murky waters the flower grows in represents suffering. Suffering is the…

  • Petition to Marry your Thai Fiance in the United States with an I-129F
    Relationship

    Petition to Marry your Thai Fiance in the United States with an I-129F

    So you began a relationship with a Thai person, fell in love, and now desire to marry your fiance in the United States. Congratulations! An I-129F is your first step into making it possible to marry a Thai citizen within your country. By filling out this form you are petitioning the U.S. government to allow your fiance to enter the country on a K-1 visa for the purpose of marrying. It can be a time of great excitement, but also stress. USCIS approved my I-129F petition after 5 ½ months. The I-129F petition alone is now averaging a processing time of 5 ½ months to 7 months. The good news…

  • Ton Phaa paa, or money tree
    Culture,  Relationship

    Songkran Festival 2018 – a Small Village in Isaan

    Songkran Festival 2018 was an amazing time. My wife, Ping Ping, and I traveled from Bangkok to her home, a small village in Isaan. So what is Songkran? Songkran is the traditional new year of Thailand, which takes place in the month of April. All Thai people eagerly look forward to this holiday. Important is returning home to spend time with family. Featured heavily is water. This year, the Thai government extended the festival to 5 days, from April 12th to April 16th. The reason being that so people would have more time for travel. Driving from Bangkok to Isaan and back, it is easy to see why the holiday…

  • Journey to Wat Pha Nam Thip, Roi Et, Thailand
    Travel

    Journey to Wat Pha Nam Thip in Roi Et, Thailand

    Wat Pha Nam Thip Thep Prasit Wanaram appears in the northeastern Thailand (Isaan) countryside seemingly out of nowhere. The journey here is scarce by tourists. The wat is located in the eastern part of the Roi Et province. The temple sits atop a hill. Surrounding below are rural villages and forests. The site contains one of Thailand’s largest chedis, Phra Mahachedi Chai Mongkhon. This chedi stands in the center with eight smaller chedis placed in each direction. The site is vast with lots to explore. Wat Pha Nam Thip is a must see if you plan to travel in Roi Et. You may also want to visit nearby Waterfall Cave Soda.…

  • Buddha Poses Thailand Culture
    Culture

    Buddha Poses for Days of the Week in Thailand Culture

    Golden statues of Buddha line up in a row at many temples of Thailand. These represent the 7 days of the week. Thai people are especially concerned about the day of the week they were born on. Coins will often be left at the statue of their birthday. However, this practice is not actually part of Buddhism, or the teachings (Dhamma). It wasn’t until the last few hundred years that this became a ritual in Thai culture. In fact, this type of belief would fall under the category of superstition, even mixing in elements of astrology. Yet the belief of these poses throughout the week is now very ingrained in…

  • Top 6 Laws to Know when Vacationing in Thailand
    Travel

    Top 6 Laws to Know When Vacationing in Thailand

    Laws in Thailand may differ from your home country. If you plan to travel to Thailand it is of importance to do a check on what may be legal or illegal to do during your stay. Be sure not to break the following while in the country. These are 6 of Thailand’s top laws. 1. Lese Majeste Thailand’s lese majeste law is one of the strictest versions of the law in the world. Simply put, it is illegal to insult, defame, or threaten the King, Queen, heir apparent, or regent. This even includes mistreatment of currency since the King’s image is displayed on Thai baht. The law really does not…

  • Travel

    Waterfall Cave Soda, Roi Et, Thailand: Nature & Buddhism

    A treasure named Waterfall Cave Soda awaits those willing to find it in the northeastern tip of Roi Et province, Thailand. Nature and Buddhism blend together to create this amazing site. Waterfall Cave Soda is a tremendous site for hiking, photography, and prayer. The spectacular views are also worth the bumpy ride it takes to arrive here. Make no mistake about it, this is agricultural countryside. The northeastern part of Thailand, called Isaan, is what one would call unseen Thailand. The beauty of it being that Isaan is quiet, peaceful, and laidback. Waterfall Cave Soda is one of those places barely found on a map, but locals are more than…

  • Unseen Bangkok: Royal Thai Air Force Museum
    Travel

    Unseen Bangkok: Royal Thai Air Force Museum

    The Royal Thai Air Force Museum is an unseen gem hidden away from all of the major tourist sites. The museum is located in the Don Mueang district of Bangkok. A district that many foreign visitors never even explore. I was lucky enough to know about the museum because it is near Bang Khen district where my wife lives. We were looking for some places close by to visit during my stay in Bang Khen. Admission to the museum is completely free also. This will be a popular site for the guys, but that shouldn’t stop the ladies from checking it out also. Myself, I like history, so the museum…

  • Buddhism in Thailand: A Quick Introduction
    Buddhism

    Buddhism in Thailand: A Quick Introduction

    From an early age I was drawn to the peaceful religion of Buddhism. The teachings had always made a lot of sense to me. I have since married a Thai woman, traveled throughout Thailand, and have also prayed at Buddhist temples. What exactly is Buddhism though? Seeing that I read this question often, I have attempted a quick introduction to those who may be interested. With this in mind, the Buddhism I discuss here is Theravada Buddhism, the most popular religion of Thailand. Quickly, a few translations of words frequently heard in the Thai language… To make merit – tham bun Temple – wat Holy, sacred – saksit Thai Buddhists will…