Archive for the 'Art & culture' Category

Aug 24 2013

Bangkok street sports

Published by under Art & culture

Leafy hoops -- somewhere in Din Daeng.

In Bangkok, life happens on the streets. Kids and dogs play in alleyways. Uncles and aunties gossip in front of shophouses. Clothing boutiques, restaurants and pubs pop up on footpaths. Under overpasses, in empty lots and inner city temples and schools, residents gather for a more competitive purpose — street sports. According to a 2012 … read the full post

May 24 2013

Phrases every visitor to Thailand should know: Sabai

Published by under Art & culture

Sabai most definitely extends to the animals of Thailand.

We previously explored the deeply layered meanings of mai pen rai and jai yen. Now it’s time for our last Thai phrase that comes in handy in the kingdom but is also not so easy to translate. Perhaps no single word captures the spirit of Thailand better than sabai. Though it’s most often translated as … read the full post

May 15 2013

Thailand’s Wat Bang Phra tattoo temple

Published by under Art & culture

A master tattoo monk in concentration.

Ever since Buddhism arrived in Thailand, it has mingled with a complex, pre-existing tapestry of Hinduism, spirit worship, superstition and black magic. One aspect of these traditions is sak yant, or magical tattoos believed to grant health, protection, power, wealth and luck to those who receive them. The most famous place to get a sak yant tattoo … read the full post

May 10 2013

Phrases every visitor to Thailand should know: Jai yen

Published by under Art & culture

Looking for the pure heart.

We’ve delved into the subtleties of mai pen rai; the next phrase we think every traveller to Thailand should know, jai yen, literally translates as “cool heart“. Good to keep in mind during tense situations, it highlights Thai culture’s emphasis on staying cool and composed. In a deeper sense, jai yen can be a powerful … read the full post

Feb 27 2013

Phrases every visitor to Thailand should know: Mai pen rai

Published by under Art & culture

"So a train's going through the market, mai pen raaaiiii."

Beyond basics like khop khun (thank you) and horng nahm yuu thee nai (where is the bathroom?), the Thai language draws on a pool of deeply emotional/spiritual words and ideas, many of which are difficult to translate. In the coming weeks, we’ll be spotlighting a handful of phrases that are useful, but will also allow … read the full post

Dec 26 2012

Dream Keeper coffee & art studio, Thonburi

Published by under Art & culture

Let me just finish park my horse out front before I order.

I’m always amazed at the surprises Bangkok pulls out of its hat when I least expect it. For instance, who would have thought that a unique Thai artist influenced by Native American art would have tucked a funky gallery/cafe on a sidestreet behind the major tourist attraction of Wat Arun? A recent stroll proved this … read the full post

Dec 21 2012

Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok

Published by under Art & culture

A voyage through Asian history -- without leaving modern Bangkok.

Thailand has long been an Asian crossroads where ideas, philosophies and goods have converged and flowed in myriad directions. It’s also home to a rich artistic tradition that has produced distinctive works while embracing fine arts of other cultures. One of the best places in Bangkok to explore this rich and diverse legacy are the … read the full post

Nov 29 2012

Warp54 Studio, Bangkok

Published by under Art & culture

No cannons left over from the Japanese, but the eyes on some of these portraits could blow a hole right through you.

Historic Charoen Krung Road in Bangrak has long been home to fantastic Asian antique art galleries, but Belgian painter Chrisian Develter and partner Peter Smits contribute a fresh breath of artistic air at Warp54 Studio. Not far from the old Portuguese embassy on Charoen Krung Soi 30, Warp54 occupies an airy teak wood warehouse constructed … read the full post

Nov 02 2012

Bangkok’s two Little Indias

Published by under Art & culture

A few of Shakti's friends.

In Thailand, cultural influences from India run deep. Thai kings are referred to as “Rama” after the main character in the Indian epic, Ramayana, and Thai religion is a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism, both of which came from India. Early influences like these are now indistinguishable from greater Thai culture, but two distinct Indian … read the full post

Sep 11 2012

Bangkok’s Amphawa houses: safe for now?

Published by under Art & culture

They're still there.

As of September 11, the remaining century-old houses in Bangkok’s historic Amphawa that were slated to be levelled on August 31 remain untouched, and virtually all construction at the site has been stalled. According to the Bangkok Post, jewellery tycoon turned hotelier Chuchai Chairittelert shed tears while admitting his large-scale project was wrong during a … read the full post

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