for a butterfly in the family Pieridae, and with the scientific
designation Pieris brassicae.
Cai Shen (财神)
‘Wealth god’, ‘money spirit’ or ‘mammon’. There are numerous distinct
Chinese wealth gods, differentiating between formal and informal, as
well as civilian and military wealth deities.
Sanskrit. ‘Sanctuary’. An assembly hall for meditation and teaching.
Originally an apsidal hall housing a
stupa, or a funerary mound enshrining sacred relics of
Buddha, or objects used by him. It is the
precursor of the Thai
chedi. Also transcribed
Sanskrit. A particular style of arch and window construction as
found in early cave temples in India. Also transcribed
Generic Latin name for any of the tropical plants, which in Thai are
botanical name for large shrubs that belong to the family Fabaceae
and the subfamily Mimosaceae, and with flowers that are often
confusingly similar to those on trees and shrubs of the genus
Albizia. They are originally from the North
of South America and have typifying tassel-like
flowers, usually white and pink or red, that grow on top of the branches. Within this large genus, there are two comparable
species, i.e. Calliandra surinamensis
Pink Tassel-flower (fig.),
the latter which is also commonly called Blood-red
Tassel-flower and Pink Powder-puff. In Thai, Calliandra surinamensis
(จามจุรี), whereas Calliandra
haematocephala is called
phu jomphon (พู่จอมพล), phu naay phon
(พู่นายพล), and phu chomphu (พู่ชมพู),
with the latter name also being used for the comparable Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin). In
addition, the Thai name jamajurih is also used for a large tree in the same
family and with similar flowers, and which is commonly seen in
To differentiate between the two, usually the prefix
(ต้น) is added when referring to
the tree, whereas the prefix phreuk (พฤกษ์) is used for the shrub.
Thailand's neighbouring country to the East, roughly between
Laos, bordering the Gulf of
Thailand. The official name is Kingdom of Cambodia and the capital
Phnom Penh. Its covers a land area of 181,040 km² and has a total
of 2,572 km of boundaries with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Its
coastline is 443 km long and its highest point is Phnum Aoral, with
an altitude of 1,810 meter. Natural resources are timber, gemstones,
some iron ore, manganese and phosphates. The currency is the Riel (រៀល),
a name that literally means ‘Small Fish’.
Besides the often silver colour
akin to that of coin money, the term likely derives from the
country's former bartering system, i.e. a mode of payment by
exchanging goods for food, especially fish, that was commonly used
in the past in the many fishing communities, that today still exist
Tonlé Sap (fig.), the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia (fig.).
Cambodia has a population of just over 13 million, of which 90% are
Khmer, the rest Vietnamese, Chinese
and others. With 95% the majority of the people are
Theravada Buddhist. The official
language is Khmer, but also French and English are spoken. Following
a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom
Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns.
Over 1 million displaced people died from execution or enforced
hardships (fig.). A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the
countryside and touched off almost 20 years of fighting.
UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of
normalcy as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the
mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections
in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of
remaining Khmer Rouge forces in 1998. Apart from its well-known
recent past, the country is perhaps best known for
Angkor Wat, an
ancient Khmer temple
and one of the seven Wonders of the World,
which is also depicted on the current national flag of Cambodia (fig.). In Thai called
Kamphucha. See also
Thailand's Neighbours & Beyond.
Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific
designation Neptis tiga. It has a wingspan of 4 to 5 centimeters, and
the upper-wings have a dark brown ground colour with orange markings (fig.). On
the forewings, these markings consist of broad orange streaks, whilst
the hind wing has two orange bands, the one on the top broader than that
in the lower area. It is very similar to the Common Lascar (Neptis
hordonia), which has a blackish ground colour on the forewings rather than dark brown, a
distinction which –depending on the light– is not always easy to
differentiate in the field.
A genus of flowering plants in
the family Theaceae, that are found in eastern and southern Asia,
with around 200 described species, and known in Thai as
plant’, since the leaves of the variety Camellia sinensis are
processed to make tea. See also
Botanical name of an unusual species
Camellia native to northern
Vietnam, that has purplish-pink to
purplish-red flowers, with massive clusters of yellow pollen in the
centre. It’s flower buds, after which the plant is sometimes dubbed Pink
develop over a long period of time. Due to this, it is not uncommon to
have many different size flower buds on a single stem, and which allow
it to bloom all year if conditions are right. The plant has huge, glossy
leaves, that are serrated, may grow up to 28 centimeters in length, and
that –in mature plants– are dark green in colour. When the
plant was introduced in northern Thailand, it was called yih hub/yee
hoob (ยี่หุบแดง), i.e. ‘red
magnolia’, which is a
rather misleading name as it has nothing to do with the Magnolia. The
name however refers to the unopened flowers of the Coconut Magnolia,
which –like those of the Camellia amplexicaulis- somewhat resemble
Common designation of a large,
broadleaf evergreen tree, with the botanical name Cinnamomum camphora,
and which is also commonly known as Camphorwood and Camphor Laurel.
Chinese for ‘silkworm’.
1. Sanskrit-Pali. Name of the
i.e. a former
born as a
lived in the Canda mountains of
with his spouse
who was born as the
described in the
2. Sanskrit-Pali. Name of a mountain
Himavah (fig.), as
where it is described
as the residence of
and former incarnations or
it is described as a silver mountain and is also referred to as
Canda-pabbata, i.e. the
of the Moon’.
Sanskrit-Pali. Name of a former
when she was born as a
Canda Jataka (चन्दजातक)
Name of a
jataka as told by
and which describes one of his
incarnations, when he was born as a
He lived in the Canda mountains of
with his spouse
who was born as the
Candah. One day, while the inseparable
lovers were enjoying themselves near a stream,
Anuruddha Thera (fig.), the
king of Benares (fig.),
was out hunting and saw the couple. He immediately fell in love with
Hence, he took his bow and shot Canda with an arrow, killing him
instantly. When Candah wept aloud at the sight of her dead husband, the
king revealed himself and offered her his love, as well as his realm.
Candah ridiculed the offer and instead protested to the
for allowing the tragedy to take place, praying for a miracle to happen. Hence
the chief of the devas,
is associated with
Lord of the
heaven in the
guise of a
brahmin priest and
resurrected Canda (fig.).
Shin Mway Loon nae Min Nandar
Name of a
which describes one of
former incarnations of the
when he was was born
Indonesian. General term for
all ancient temples, both of Hindu and
Wax Candle Festival.
historian of the
who is usually
accredited with the invention of the Chinese
characters, known in Chinese as Han zhi (汉字) and in Japanese as Kanji
(漢字, i.e. the traditional Chinese script). Though he is not always
considered a historical figure, legend has it that he lived around
2650 BC. He may also not
be the sole inventor of Chinese writing, and
mentioned as the inventor of Chinese characters alongside with Cangjie.
According to legend, after unifying the country and to replace an
earlier unsatisfying method of recording information, the Yellow Emperor
commissioned Cangjie to create a script that could be used to embrace
all Chinese languages and dialects. Inspired by an object that fell from
the beak of an overflying
and which turned out to be an impression of a distinctive hoof-print
belonging to a
Bi Xie (fig.),
different from the hoof-print of any other animal alive, Cangjie set out
to create the new script by capturing in a pictogram the special
characteristics that set apart each and every thing on the earth, and
thus compiled a long list of characters for writing, according to the
special characteristics he found in everyone and everything. According
to the myth, when Cangjie revealed his invention, the gods
cried and the skies rained
The Cangjie method, a Chinese character input method, is named after
him. In Wade-Giles,
Common English name for a flowering
plant, which is known in Thai as
Epithet for the
sala tree, from its large
cannonball like seeds.
Can Shen (蚕神)
Chinese. ‘Goddess of the silkworm’. Nickname of
Leizu, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, Huang, who discovered
silk at the age of fourteen and is said to have invented the silk reel
and silk loom. Also known as the Chinese goddess of silk.
Indonesian term for a pen-like tool
to draw wax lines and dots on cotton fabrics in order to make
It consists of a wooden or bamboo handle with a small copper vessel. The
vessel is filled with wax and heated over a flame to make the wax fluid.
At the bottom of this vessel is an thin exit spout that resembles a
blunt, hollow needle, through which the wax can flow and controllably be
applied on the cloth (fig.).
Also spelled tjanting.
phak kwahng tung.
Cao Dai (Cao Đài)
Vietnamese. ‘Highest Power’. Name of
a monotheistic religion that was officially established in 1926, in the
city of Tay Ninh (Tây Ninh), in southern
Architectural term for the uppermost, usually decorated part of a
column, pillar or pilaster. See also
that derives from
a local word in the Philippines and which is
used for the East Indian tame
buffalo, commonly known as
water buffalo and in Thai
referred to as
krabeua. Carabao is
in Thailand also used as the brand name
of a well-known Thai rock band.
seeds of an aromatic Southeast Asian plant, used as a spice
and known in Thai as
ton mai kin malaeng.
name for any of the large bees in the subfamily Xylocopinae, of which
there are some 500 species, and that are also known as borer bees,
deriving their name from the fact that most species make their nests by
tunneling into dead wood. They does so by vibrating their bodies while
scraping theis mandibles against the wood.
usually solitary, the females of some species
form social groups of cohabiting mothers and daughters. Whereas female
carpenter bees have a stinger, males do not. Somewhat similar to
bumblebees, carpenter bees can be distinguished by the fact that their
beetle-like bodies are naked and shiny,
rather than veiled in dense hair. They have large compound eyes, which
in most species are larger in males than in females.
Fruit of a tree with the scientific name Anacardium occidentale. The
shape of the cashew nut (fig.)
resembles that of a
mango, resulting in the Thai name
ma muang himaphan, the
‘mango’. A cashew nut tree bears its nuts at the far end of an
edible ‘fruit’ that resembles the
rose apple (fig.).
Although edible this ‘fruit’ is seldom consumed. Cashew nut shells
contain urushiol, a toxin that may cause skin irritation and which
must be removed by shelling the nuts before the seed inside is
processed for consumption. This is a manual process done one by one with a large
a slow, labour-intensive and because of the toxin- a somewhat hazardous
occupation, hence the relatively high price of cashew nuts. Afterwards the nuts are
cooked, roasted or fried, making any possible remainders of the
toxin non-noxious. Additionally, they may be salted or coated with a
seasoned crunchy layer. The different varieties are then sorted and
packed, which also is done by hand, which allows for a final quality
check (fig.). In Thai also shortened to
Cashew nuts are a common ingredient in Thai cooking, such as in the
dish kai pad med ma muang, ‘fried chicken with cashew nuts’.
Starch from the thickened root of the
manioc plant, which is hence also referred to as the
cassava plant (fig.). Also
tapioca. In Thai
derived from the Portuguese word casta, meaning ‘breed’, ‘kind’ or
‘race’, and which is used to define the four
social classes that form Indian society, i.e. the
the learned class;
the royal or warrior class;
Vaishya, the class of traders; and
the agricultural and serving class. In
China, the four social classes as
defined in Maoism and represented in the republic's flag (fig.) are somewhat different, also in order of importance,
with the highest class of people being the scholars and officials, who
were given examinations to determine government positions; the second
class and largest group of people were the farmers, who were considered
to be the economic backbone of the country; only then came the artisans,
who were considered skilled in crafting things; and finally fourth and
lowest class, i.e. that of merchants, who were considered parasites, as
they made their living off other people without any valuable skill of
their own. Members of any of three upper castes are also called
i.e. ‘Twice-born’. See also
A type of circular net used for
fishing and with a weight around its edge, usually a metal chain. Its is
cast by hand (fig.)
in such a manner that it
spreads out on the water (fig.) and
sinks due to the weight. When the net is
hauled back the chain sinks to the middle and fish are trapped in
between. It is also referred to as a throw net and net casting is still
a popular way to catch fish in most Southeast Asian countries. See also
soom pla (fig.),
Cat Ba Langur
Common name for a
species of Leaf Monkey with the scientific
name Trachypithecus poliocephalus and
also commonly known as Golden-headed Langur.
Christian church which contains a
cathedra, i.e. the throne or seat of a bishop, which in Greek is known
as a kathédra (καθέδρα). An example of a cathedral in Southeast Asia is
the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi (map).
name of a white, heron-like bird with the scientific name Bubulcus ibis.
This bird is often seen associating with cattle (fig.),
buffaloes, from which it removes ticks and flies, a trait
referred to in both its English and Latin names, with the word bubulcus
meaning ‘herdsman’. Though officially listed amongst the wading birds,
it actually prefers grasslands to marshes or mudflats. There are two
geographical races, i.e. the Western Cattle Egret and the Eastern Cattle
Egret. They are sometimes each classified as a species in its own right,
with the latter being given the scientific name Bubulcus coromandus. The
non-breeding plumage of Cattle Egrets is almost completely white, and
they have a relatively short, thick neck and a hunched posture (fig.).
They have long, greyish legs and a sturdy, yellow bill. The positioning
of its eyes allows for binocular vision during feeding (fig.).
Its diet consists mainly of terrestrial insects, though it can
occasionally be found in shallow waters foraging on aquatic prey. During
the breeding season (fig.),
some buff colouring (fig.),
which is darker in colour in the Eastern Cattle Egret. In addition, the
bill of the latter is yellow near the tip and orange towards the base,
its facial skin is purplish, its legs reddish, and the feet are dark grey (fig.). In
Thai Cattle Egrets are known as
nok yahng kwai.
cao lau (cao lầu)
Vietnamese. Name of a culinary specialty from Hoi An.
Cau Thach Han (Cầu Thạch Hãn)
Vietnamese. ‘Thach Han Bridge’. Name
of a bridge over the Thach Han River in Hai Lang (Hải Lăng)
Vietnam's Quang Tri (Quảng Trị) Province, located alongside the historically important
Cau Quang Tri
a railway bridge which during the Second
saw some fierce fighting.
Cau Quang Tri (Cầu Quảng Trị)
Vietnamese. ‘Quang Tri Bridge’. Name
of a historically important bridge over the Thach Han River in
Hai Lang (Hải Lăng) District of
Vietnam's Quang Tri Province,
in the North Central Region and which during the Second
Cave Dwelling Snake
snake with the scientific names Elaphe taeniura ridleyi and Orthriophis
taeniura ridleyi, that occurs in southern Thailand and northern
Peninsular Malaysia. It lives in or near limestone caves and preys
bats. The top of its head is
grey-blue with large, dark patches behind the eyes and an almost white
throat. Its neck is orange-brown and gradates into beige toward the
middle of its body, whilst a creamy-yellow vertebral stripe gradually
appears, which usually gets darker and more visible as it progresses
towards the tail. From the middle onward, the flanks become gradually
black, whilst its underside also becomes creamy-yellow. This attractive
snake may grow up to 2.5 meters long. Also called Cave Dwelling Rat
Snake (Ratsnake) and Black-tailed Rat Snake, and in Thai known as
ngu kaab mahk hahng nin.
Cayenne pepper or red pepper. A popular spice used as an ingredient
in many a Thai dish, as well as in
kaeng and in Thai curries, made of
coconut milk. In Thai
prik pon. Also named chili pepper and Spanish pepper.
TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and
Earthenware with a blue-green to gray glaze, named after L'Astrée, a
shepherd in the 1610 play by Honoré d'Urfé, who wore a green cloak
with grey-green ribbons. Its colour is usually green and sometimes
blue, but the hue may vary from pale to dark depending on the clay
used, the glaze, and the temperature in the kiln. Modern celadon's
finishing is finer (fig.),
but the name is also often misused for pottery with a chemical glaze
in which copper or lead are used. Originally it was produced in
China where it was called ‘green-wares’, and later in other
countries, including Thailand, where it first existed as a specialty
Sawankhalok, and in the beginning of the 20th
century it was reintroduced by the
Burma. Since celadon glaze is hard to
control as it melts at a critical point under extreme temperatures,
it was often not completely applied to the base, to avoid it
sticking to the baking tray.
Sanskrit. Temple chamber housing the image or symbol of a god.
Generic name for a small genus of ornamental plants in the family
Amaranthaceae. There are several different species, with a wide variety
in appearance, size and colour (fig.), yet they are divided
into two main categories, i.e. the so-called woolflowers (fig.) and cockscombs,
of which the latter species has flower heads crested with a fasciation
that is reminiscent of a cockscomb. Celosia plants and flowers are
edible and also have some medicinal properties. Though originally from
Africa, they can be found in many parts of the world, including South,
East and Southeast Asia. In Thai, the variety of woolflowers is known as
soi kai (สร้อยไก่), whereas the latter is called ngon kai (หงอนไก่),
meaning ‘chicken mane’ and ‘chicken comb’, respectively.
Monument for someone who is buried elsewhere.
Hundred feet. Name for an invertebrate arthropod belonging to the class
of chilopoda. It has an elongated flattened body that consists of
several segments with each segment bearing a single pair of legs and
with each a dorsal and a ventral plate. Most species have a pair of
poison claws on their head, used for preying upon insects. These claws
are connected to a poison gland that releases a poison when it bites.
Its bite is painful and will paralyze its victims. Most centipede species can reach
a length of well over 10 centimeters while the Asian Forest Centipede (Scolopendra
subspinipes), which can grow to a length of up to 38 centimeters. They
are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators on the planet
and are extremely fast, highly aggressive and venomous, with a bite that
releases a venom of which one of the major components is a neurotoxin.
Their bite is excruciatingly painful and is able to kill even humans.
Being feared for centuries, it in Japan inspired the legend of Omukade,
a giant man-eating centipede that lives in the mountains and has a
weakness to human saliva. Though able to slay even a powerful dragon, it
can be killed simply by a weapon dipped in human saliva, i.e. a symbol
for the wisdom of the body. The back end of centipedes has a noteworthy
pair of legs called the ultimate legs which are not for walking but for
defense and mating. Centipedes are nocturnal and live in a range of
moist habitats and are typically found in leaf litter, under stones and
around deadwood. The variety commonly found in Thailand usually belongs
to the family of Scolopendridae, a family of large centipedes and called
in Thai. Centipedes are similar to
but centipedes are insect eaters, whereas millipedes are vegetarians,
and while centipedes have just one set of legs per segment, millipedes
have two sets of legs per segment, as well as more segments. In
where the populace is said to eat everything on four legs, except for
the table, also centipedes
are eaten as a snack (fig.).
khai yiew ma.
Cereal Leaf Beetle
name for a tiny beetle with the scientific names Lema subapicalis.
It is largely black, with a buffish-orange head and neck. Though attractive and small, it is much feared by farmers as its larvae
are capable of destroying entire harvests. It is very similar to other
leaf beetles, such as Luperomorpha pryeri; Aulacophora nigripennis; Lema
diversa, which is known in Japan as the Red-necked Narrow Flower Beetle;
Oulema duftschmidi; and Lema melanopus or Oulema melanopus,
commonly known as the Red-throated Cereal Leaf Beetle or Barley Leaf
Beetle, and which has a black head.
name for modern Sri Lanka.
cha (ชา, 茶)
Thai-Chinese. ‘Tea’. Name of a small tree of which its dried leaves
are soaked in hot water to make the beverage tea.
Name for round, cup-shaped cymbals, similar to
but larger, thinner and not joined by a cord. Instead, they have a
separate handgrip each, often a colourful tassel. There are two sizes,
i.e. chaab lek (ฉาบเล็ก) and chaab yai (ฉาบใหญ่),
with chaab lek measuring 12 to14 centimeters in
diameter and the larger ones usually about 24 to 26 centimeters (fig.).
To play, each cymbal is held in a hand, one in the right the other in
the left hand, and both are then struck together, once with an outward
sliding movement, then straight on, producing alternately a high-pitched
pealing sound and a dampening blocked sound. The
Thai name is an onomatopoeia,
i.e. it mimics the sound of the instrument when the cymbals are brought
together with the outward sliding movement that produces a muffled
sound. In Thai, chaab may also refer to any other type of cymbal and
hence, the traditional handheld type is also referred to as chaab ku (ฉาบคู่),
i.e. a ‘pair of cymbals’. Also transcribed chaap, chahb or chab.
A monkey soldier
on the side of
Phra Ram. He
transformed himself into a bear in order to bite through a large tree,
making it fall and thus disrupting
poison arrow ceremony. Sometimes transcribed Chahmphuwaraht,
Champhoovaraat or Champhuvaraj.
Thai name for the
especially of the type
rosa-sinensis, but also used as a
prefix to other types of Hibiscuses,
used for the
Thai designation for the
an up to 1.5 meter tall shrub with the botanical name Malvaviscus
arboreus Cav. var. drummondii and also commonly known as Turk's
Cap and Wax Mallow. It was one of seven types of
flowers, used in the royal cremation ceremony of King
Rama IX, in
October 2017, and is
said to represents the heartfelt condolences of the people and a symbol
of all in paying their final tributes to the late King.
Thai designation for one of the
seven types of
flowers, used in the royal cremation ceremony of King
Rama IX, in
October 2017, and
described as a newly created
flower that represents
demise and divinity, and offered to pay a final tribute to the late King.
Name of a province as well as the
capital city of this province (map)
in East Thailand, 82 kms to the East of
Thai. Golden conical shaped ornamented crown, as worn by Thai
monarchs and the royal characters in classical
performances. Compare with
Sanskrit-Pali-Thai. Each of the in total 547-550 incarnations that every
soul needs to take before it is able to be born as a buddha.
Generally, it stands for the former life stories of the Buddha. In Thai
tradition the last ten incarnations of the Buddha are the most
important and are called
Totsachat. See also
chae im (แช่อิ่ม)
Thai. ‘Soaked to saturation’. General name for a method used to
preserve fruits in syrup, or for the preserved fruits themselves, if
prepared in this manner. Sometimes the word chae (to saok) is used
in combination with the Thai name of the processed fruit, e.g.
or syrup-preserved guava. A suffix may be added to refer to the kind
of syrup used, e.g.
farang chae buay (green
syrup-preserved guava -
farang chae krajiab (guava
soaked in a
roselle based syrup) or farang chae
strawberry (red syrup-preserved guava), etc. Other traditional
methods of preserving fruits include
(boiled in syrup) and
Thai term that derives from Pali and which means ‘life’, ‘incarnation’,
and ‘birth’, but also ‘caste’
or ‘race’, as well as ‘nationality’. See also
‘victory’. It often appears as a name or as
part of a name, e.g.
etc. With words in or derived from
Sanskrit, it is sometimes
pronounced chaya, as in
Thai. ‘Echo of victory’ or ‘celebrated victory’.
Province and provincial capital in Central Thailand (map),
194 kms to the North of
chai pattana aerator
Name of an invention ascribed to King
Bhumipon Adunyadet and used to transfer
oxygen to bodies of still water. Since it can be used to solve water
pollution problems in natural water sources it is also referred to as a
waste water aerator. Research for the aerator was done by the Royal
Irrigation Department whilst the Chai Pattana
(‘Victorious Development’) Foundation assisted with providing the
budget. On 2 February 1993 the Department of Intellectual Property
presented the king with a patent for the chai pattana aerator model
RX-2, the first ever given to any monarch worldwide. In 2007 a sculpture
of the chai pattana aerator (map
was raised in the King
Rama IX Royal Park in
Bangkok, on the occasion of the 80th
birthday of this monarch. In many aspects the device is similar to the
floating paddle wheel surface aerators (fig.)
that are found on fish, shrimp and other aquatic products farms
nationwide, and which are used to improve the water quality and odour,
and reduce algae and harmful dissolved gases, in order to enhance the
health and growth of the aquatic creatures that are being farmed. In Thai
the chai pattana aerator is known as
kang han nahm chai pattana.
See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1)
Chai Sing (ไฉ่ซิง,
General Thai-Tae Chew name for any of the
Chinese wealth gods,
which in Mandarin are known as
Chai Sing Ihya (ไฉ่ซิงเอี๊ย, ไฉ่ซิ้งเอี้ย,
name for the
Chinese wealth god
He comes in two guises, i.e. in a
known as bountiful Cai Sing
Ihya, where he is depicted
gold riches and a
provides good fortune, money, wealth and prosperity to his worshippers;
and a fierce manifestation (fig.)
known as the belligerent Tsai Shen Ye, who befits worshippers in terms
of debt collecting or debt clearing, by making them afraid to cheat. He is known by a variety of other names, including the Chinese
Zhao Gong Ming,
In Thailand, he is known as
and associated with Thao
When worshipped as one of
Three Star Gods
he is referred to as
Tsai Shen Yeh.
Chai Sing Ihya Boo (ไฉ่ซิงเอี๊ยบู๊)
name for the Chinese deity
Zhao Gong Ming (Chao
Chinese wealth god,
who is typically portrayed either seated
or with his foot on
his mount that swallows all evil. In Thai-Tae Chew he is also called
Uh Chai Seun Yeh.
Ye Bu (fig.).
of the oldest and historically most significant settlements in
southern Thailand where a number of sculptures dating from the
Srivijaya period (7th -13th century) were found,
Mon and Indian influences. As a port Chaiya played an
important role in the trade between the peninsula, India and
China. The name is possibly derived
from Siwichaiya, the Thai pronunciation for Srivijaya.
Thai name of a monkey-warrior
character from the
Chaiyanta Mongkon (ไชยันตมงคล)
The birth name of
Mahison Rachareuthay. Sometimes
transcribed Jayanta Mongkol.
‘Tree of victory’. Name for the Javanese cassia, a kind of
with the scientific name Cassia javanica, in the order of Leguminosae
(family of plants with seeds in pods). It is sometimes referred to as
the apple-blossom cassia. The names chaiyaphreuk and
rachaphreuk are in Thai
literature however often muddled up, using one for the other and visa
versa, sometimes referring to the cassia agnes (a pink cassia tree) as
rachaphreuk. The name is also often confused with another pink cassia
tree, i.e. cassia bakeriana or
kalapaphreuk. The official
botanical list used by the Thai
government as well as several prominent books on the subject however,
tend to list both the cassia renigera (a subspecies of the cassia
javanica which has pink flowers) as chaiyaphreuk, the cassia fistula
(with yellow flowers) as
chaiyaphreuk (khoon) and the cassia
agnes (a pink cassia) as the rachaphreuk.
Thai. ‘Field of victory’ or ‘victorious land’. The name of a
and its capital, in
chakra (चक्र, จักร)
Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Disc’, one of the
attributes of the Hindu
Ramakien the chakra
is incarnated by
Phra Phrot. In Thai, it is
Sanskrit for ‘wheel’, representing the Buddhist
Wheel of Law, symbol of the setting in motion of the
Buddhist doctrine when the
Buddha gave his first sermon, and symbol of the
eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth. One of the marks of an
enlightened being. In Thai pronounced chak.
Sanskrit. Centre of spiritual energy in the body and symbol of the
sun. In Thai pronounced
chak. Compare with
Thai. Term for an emperor. Usually in combination with the prefix
Sometimes transcribed Chakrapad, Jakrapat and Chakraphati.
Chakraphong Phuwanaht (จักรพงษ์ภูวนาถ, จักรพงษภูวนารถ)
Thai. Name of the 22nd son and 43rd
child of King
with the title Prince of
He was born on 3 March 1883 and died on 13 June 1920, aged 37. In his
youth, he was sent to study at the Page Corps of Tsar Nicolas II in
Russia, to be trained as a military cadet. After his graduation, he
with a Russian wife
named Catherina, with whom he later had a son, i.e. Prince Chula
Prince Chakraphong Phuwanaht went on
to serve as Chief of Staff of the Royal Siamese Army and −together with
his half-brothers Field
Jiraprawat Woradet (fig.)
and General Prince
Burachat Chaiyakon (fig.)− became
instrumental in the early development of aviation in Siam. In 1911, he
and his half-brother Prince Burachat took a ride as a passenger (fig.)
in the airplane Henri
of the Belgian pilot
Charles Van den Born
during his flight demonstration at the
Royal Bangkok Sports Club's (fig.).
His name is also transcribed
chakra being a
disk-like weapon (fig.)
typically held by gods and rulers and part of the logo of the Chakri
krabong is a
club, i.e. a weapon typically held by door guardians (fig.).
Both weapons make up the family logo of
Sanskrit. ‘Emperor’ or
‘universal monarch’. Indian royal term used for the
Buddha as the spiritual ruler of the universe.
He who ruled with a
i.e. the weapon of
considered by many to be the supreme deity of the
Thai. Name of a giant or
character in the
He has a white
and is described as having four faces and eight arms (fig.). In Thai
he is hence depicted wearing a
crown, with an additional three small white faces, and either with
two or more arms. The peak of his crown is shaped like a thick giant plume that
bends toward the back (fig.), and which is usually referred to as a cockerel's
He is the ruler of Krung Maliwan (กรุงมลิวัน) and a comrade of
He joined Phainasuriyawong (ไพนาสุริยวงศ์), a son of Totsakan, to
restore Langka City, capturing
before he had started his enthronement ceremony, and appointed
Phainasuriyawong as the new ruler instead, whilst renaming him
Totsaphin (ทศพิน). The event thrickered
Phra Phrot to
attack the city and recapture it, while extending the battle to
City, though without being able to defeat Chakrawat. This then resulted
in a longlasting war, until Phra Phrot finally terminated Chakrawat with
his bow, his lethal arrows hitting him in the chest, arms and legs.
Thus, peace returned to the city. In
Wat Phra Kaew,
Chakrawat is one of the gatekeepers, who stands at the first of the
three western gates, together with Thao
His name is also transcribed Chakrawati and Chakravarti, and is related
to the Sanskrit term
Chakravartin. See LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS.
Thai. ‘Motorbike’ or ‘motorcycle’.
Thai. The dynasty that has reigned in Thailand since 1782 and was founded
Chakri who was crowned King
Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok, known to westerners as
King Yot Fa. During the reign of King
Phra Nang Klao, the third King in the
Dynasty, a new
royal title system was established giving all the kings the crown
Rama. His predecessors were posthumously given the titles
Rama I and
Rama II, whilst taking the title
Rama III for himself. All successive kings of the dynasty (fig.)
have since ruled with the crown title Rama, including the present
Rama X. With Rama being the seventh
avatara of the powerful Hindu god
Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, the link
can be seen to the Thai monarch as the preserver of the nation. The
Thai royal emblem is likewise the mythical bird
Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu. Note that there
have been nine avataras of Vishnu with the tenth yet to come, as
there have been nine Chakri monarchs, the tenth also yet to come.
The coat of arms of the Chakri Dynasty is a
trisun (trident) encircled
chakra (disc), the weapon of
Vishnu. In the centre of the trident is sometimes also a small depiction of
Narai (the Thai designation for
Vishnu), riding on the Garuda (fig.).
Chakri Throne Hall
is the main
palace building of the Chakri monarchs,
the compound of the
Grand Palace in
contains parts of the ashes of the Chakri Kings of the past (fig.). See also
list of Thai kings.
MORE ON THIS.
2. Thai. In
for a military commander in service of either a
governor of a principality or the King, the equivalent of
The word is related to the
attribute and weapon of several
Brahma, and a symbol showing on the
ensigns of the Royal Army and Navy today (fig.).
The rank of Chakri was the highest military position at that time and
3. Thai name for a style of female
national dress of Thailand, fully known as Thai Chakri, and in 1972
depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.).
public holiday on April 6, on which
Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok, the founder of the
Chakri Dynasty is remembered. In Thai
Chakri Nareubet (จักรีนฤเบศร)
the Brave’. Name of
Thailand's first and only aircraft
Chakri Throne Hall
largest of the palace buildings of
Phra Rachawang, the Grand Palace,
which consists of a
facade building, visible to
the public and
in Thai called
Phra Tihnang Chakri Maha Prasat,
and a number of other palace
buildings built in the back of it and that are part of
it. Collectively, this group is referred to by the same name of the
facade building, i.e.
Phra Tihnang Chakri Maha Prasat
Besides the main building,
Phra Thihnang Moon Sathaan Borom Aht
(พระที่นั่งมูลสถานบรมอาสน์), Phra Thihnang Sommathi Thewaraat Uppabat
(พระที่นั่งสมมติเทวราชอุปบัติ), and Phra Thihnang Borom Ratchasathit
The Chakri Throne Hall was designed by the British architect John Chinitz and shows a
combination of Thai and European style architecture. The central
mondop-like multi-tiered spire on
the roof of the facade building enshrines the ashes of each of the Kings of the
Dynasty, whilst the flanking spires house the ashes of princes who never
inherited the throne. Today it is the place where royal banquets are
held in honour of royal guests. The Chakri Throne Hall at is watched
over by a honour guard provided by the ceremonial unit of the King's Own
whose former barracks are located within the same compound (fig.). Also known as the Grand Palace Hall.
chak waw (ชักว่าว)
for ‘flying a kite’, ‘kite
Thai for ‘shark’, a species of fish of
which there are many varieties. They are characterized by pectoral fins
that are not fused to the head and multiple gill covers known as slit
gills and found also in rays. Most sharks have eight fins, a feature
known in Thai as
considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine. One of the more commonly seen
shark species off Thailand's coast are reef sharks, such as the
Blacktip Reef Shark
crocodile in the Thai classical story
Kraithong, a love story that originated in the province
and sometimes transliterated Shala One.
See also POSTAGE STAMP. 回
Chaleum Prakian (เฉลิมพระเกียรติ)
‘Honour’. Term often used when referring to structures built or projects
initiated in honour of the King, e.g.
80th Anniversary Lighthouse (fig.).
Another common name for the
Thai. A small round basket made of bamboo strips called
the vertical strips at the top left unwoven, in order to tie the
basket shut. It is used to vend bulked
food in at markets. Nationwide, vendors at natural hot springs sell
quail's and chicken's eggs in them, to enable visitors to easily
cook them. There is a legend of a
Sukhothai king, which tells that this ruler was so fast and skilled,
that he could even transport water in chalom baskets.
chalong phra baht (ฉลองพระบาท)
Rajasap. Footwear for a king.
Thai. Footwear in the form of golden sandals which
are a part of the Thai royal regalia or
Thai. Bowl or
bowl, or a deep plate. Also written chaam.
Vietnamese. The inhabitants of central (map
Vietnam since ancient times,
probably of Indonesian origin. In 192 AD, they founded the Indianized coastal
which consisted of a collection
of independent Cham polities that extended across the coast of what
is today central and southern
Vietnam until it in 1832 AD was
absorbed and annexed by
Nguyen Emperor Minh Mang.
Between the 4th and 14th centuries
was Champa's religious centre
The Cham produced a unique style of architecture
and sculpture, known as Cham art, much of it which is now housed in
the Museum of Cham Sculpture
in Da Nang (map
and to a lesser extend in the
Vietnamese National History
Museum in Hanoi (map
In 1177 AD the
Cham invaded the Khmer Empire and
until they were
defeated in 1181 AD (fig.)
by the Khmer King
they were briefly annexed and controlled by the
between 1181 to 1220 AD.
Vietnamese. Art style with a unique genre of architecture and sculpture
the 7th and 17th centuries AD, made by the Cham people (fig.) of
Tibetan. ‘Masked dance’. Name of a lively ritual associated
with some sects of Buddhism and performed to exorcise evil. The ceremony and
local variations of the festival were once practiced in Tibet, Ladakh, Nepal,
Sikkim, Bhutan, China and Mongolia, and consists of a series of sacred dances,
in which the dancers dress up as demons or deities in a ferocious form, such as
Yamantaka (fig.), wearing ornamented
costumes and wraithlike masks, usually decorated with miniature skulls and some
even made in the form of a genuine human skull (fig.). Because Chinese officials have in the past prohibited the festival,
and still discourage participation, performances in Tibet are now rare and Cham
masks have mostly become collectables. Also spelled Tsam, Tscham or Chaam.
Cha Ma Dao (茶马道)
Horse Road’. Name of an ancient tea route, i.e. a
mountainous trade link that developed about a thousand years ago and over which
mainly tea, especially
tea bricks, but also salt was
transported, both by porters on foot as well as on horseback, typically using ponies and
horses, and that ran from
Provinces in southwestern
India, as well as to central China and Tibet. See also
Thai. Name for Chamadevi of
Lopburi, the former city of
Lavo, where she originally came
from. She was probably born in 633 AD. Her father send her northwards to
spread civilization and Buddhism where she became the legendary
first ruler of the
Mon city of
Lamphun), part of the 7th Century
Kingdom. She was married to the king of Lavo and gave birth to a
Anantayot, of whom the first one succeeded her as
ruler of Lamphun,
while the latter became ruler of
Lampang. According to legend she
had a terrible body odour which could be smelled from a far
distance. She reportedly passed away at the high age of 98. Today, her statue (map
stands at various locations throughout Lamphun, e.g. at
in Nong Dok public park,
Phra Nang Chamadevi.
Sanskrit. ‘Yak tail’. A whisk or fan made from the hairs of a yak's
tail. It is a symbol of kingship and the attribute of several gods
Hinduism and Taoism. In Thailand it is
one object of the
a part of the royal regalia, called
kakuttapan. In Thai
Common name of a marine creature in the family Nautilidae, and with the
scientific name Nautilus pompilius. It is a cephalopod, i.e. a class of
marine mollusks which includes the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. It is
the only member of this group that has an external shell, which with
other members is either absent or intern. On the underside the shell is
plain white, whilst above it is matte white with irregular brownish
stripes. This double colouring is a special design for camouflage, known
as countershading. Unlike a snail's shell, the Nautilus' shell contains
a series of separate chambers, sealed by thin partitions and arranged in
a more or less logarithmic spiral (fig.). The animal lives in the largest
chamber, which opens to the outside. The remaining chambers are filled
with gas, and by adjusting the amount of liquid in them, the Nautilus is
able to adjusts its buoyancy and to dive. It has a prominent head and
tentacles, and is about 20 centimeters in size. Its seemingly large eyes
lack a solid lens and do not actually provide good vision. This marine
creature lives in the Indo-Pacific region, in general at depths of about
300 meters, yet rising to around 100 meters at night, to feed. In the
vicinity of Thailand, it occurs in the Andaman Sea, for one. Nautilus
shells are popular collector's items, used for decoration and to make
ornamental cups, usually mounted on a stand (fig.).
In Thai known as
hoi nguong chang, literally ‘elephant-trunk
A word derived from Greek and meaning ‘ground-lion’. It is the name
of a reptile with distinctive eyes and a long tongue, that belongs
to the family of Chamaeleonidae. It is able to change colour
according to its surroundings, for camouflage
or when offended. The term is however, also sometimes used to
translate the Thai word
king kah, the name for an unrelated, small tropical
lizard, known in English as the Oriental Garden Lizard and with the
scientific name Calotes versicolor, which belongs to the family of
cham ma liang (ชำมะเลียง)
early Indianized kingdom in the coastal areas of central (map
Vietnam, existing from the 2nd to the 15th centuries AD and
inhabited by the
Cham. It was briefly annexed and controlled by the
Khmer between 1181 to 1220, then gradually
absorbed by the Vietnamese from the late 10th to 17th centuries AD.
There are important archeological Cham sites in the region of
present-day Quang Nam (map
Thai. A species of jackfruit, genus Artocarpus. The fruit is
comparable to the
breadfruit and the
kanun, but slimmer in shape. Like
the kanun, the champada's flesh of fruit is
dark yellow in colour
(fig.). Its fruiting season is from
May to November.
Common name for a genus of cup
fungi in the family Sarcoscyphaceae, with the scientific designation
Cookeina sulcipes. In Thai, it is known as hed chaempen (เห็ดแชมเปญ),
a literal translation from the English common name. This edible
mushroom has a pale, whitish stipe, i.e the stem or stalk-like
feature, and an orangey-pink to pinkish-red (fig.), deep cup-shaped pileus, i.e. the
cap-like part, 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter and 3 to 6 centimeter
tall, a shape somewhat reminiscent of a
hence the name. It grows on wood, often in clusters.
Common name for a large evergreen
tree with the scientific name Michelia champaca, native to South and
Asia, and known in Thai as
jampah. According to
under the champak tree.
a floral design with the outline or a four-petalled flower is used to
represent this and since 1975 it appears in the logo of
Lao-Thai. Former capital of the
in present southern
was a kingdom of the Khun Lo Dynasty, that in 1713 broke away from
the Lan Xang kingdom. But it soon became a vassal state of
and later, in 1904, a French protectorate. Also called Cyambo.
1. Sanskrit. The goddess of war, death and destruction,
as well as epidemics,
lethal diseases, famines, and other disasters, and
one of the malicious
Devi, the consort of the Hindu god
Shiva. It is sometimes described
that it was in this form, also known as
‘Slayer of the
Durga fought and
defeated the demon
an event that is
described in the
Devi Mahatmyam and which is
the last day of
which is also known as Dushera.
2. Sanskrit. One of the seven
mothers goddesses or
who is also described as one of the chief
a group of 64 or 81 Tantric goddesses, who are attendants of the warrior
Her name is a combination of
Munda, two lesser
asuras in the
Nisumbha, whom Chamunda killed, after they
tried to abduct her on the orders of Sumbha and Nisumbha.
Name of one of the famous
born on 11 May 1811 in
the other one being named
In. They are names that describe
fruits: where ‘in’ or ‘look in’ means young green fruit, ‘chan’ or ‘look
chan’ stands for matured fruit, usually recognized by its yellow colour
and sweet fragrance.
traditional form of verse in dramatic literature, consisting of rhymes
and a definite metrical scheme.
Sometimes transliterated Chant.
Thai for ‘moon’.
Sometimes transliterated Chantr (fig.).
Sometimes transliterated Chantr.
Nepali-Tibetan. ‘Eagle’. A symbol of
Vajrayana Buddhism. Pronunciation khaw-nak.
chan atsadong (ชั้นอัสดง)
‘Floor set’. Architectural term for a certain part of a
prang. In the prang, it is the base
section of the spire, just above the pedestal-like part above the main
base called reuan
(เรือนธาตุ), i.e. the place where the
actual shrine is. In
a chedi, the term refers to the part in between the hemispherical or
bell-shaped base and the
plong shanai, and which may be built
with small pillars in a style resembling a balcony (fig.).
Chinese. ‘Moon toad’ or ‘toad’. Name for the Lucky Money Toad.
means both ‘toad’ and ‘moon’ in Chinese and ‘moon’ in Thai. In Thai, it
Sanskrit. Name of a lesser
asura in the
Nisumbha, who was
Devi for trying to abduct her.
After Chanda and the demon
had encountered the goddess
Devi, they were
overwhelmed by her beauty and reported this back to Sumbha and Nisumbha.
Hence, Chanda and Munda were sent out to abduct her, yet both were
destroyed by Devi. See also
Siddhartha's servant who initially accompanied him
Great Departure. In Pali, his name is
MORE ON THIS.
Sanskrit. ‘Cruel’. One of the fierce forms of
Devi, also known as Chandika, which means the
‘Violent and Impetuous One’, and
Sapthashati, i.e. the ‘Invincible Seven Hundred Verses’. Though she
was initially described as a combination of
Sarasvati, she is later described
as a form of Maha Lakshmi, depicted with eighteen arms holding
Sanskrit. ‘Moon’. The term is also used to refer to the Hindu moon god,
alongside some other appellations, including Soma. It was this lunar god who
discovered the deceit by the demon
Rahu during the distribution of the
Surya, the god of the sun. They reported this to
Vishnu, who immediately cut the demon in half with
his disc. However, the amrita taken by Rahu already had its effect
and both parts lived on separately. Since Rahu never forgot the
betrayal by the sun and moon, he now chases them alternately with
his mouth wide open, and when swallowing them causes the eclipses of
the sun and moon. The name Chandra derived from the Sanskrit word
chand (चन्द्), meaning ‘to
vahana of this deity is the
though it may also be a
or a horse (fig.). In Thai,
both the moon and the moon god are
referred to as
Phra Jan, whereas in
the moon god is usually represented as a female deity, i.e. a moon
referred to as the Moon Empress and known as Tai Shan Niang Niang (泰山娘娘
Sanskrit. ‘Moon-dot’. A compound word consisting of the words
bindu. It refers to a mark
used in the
Devanagari script, a stroke
in the form of a
crescent-shaped moon surrounding a dot.
The moon-dot stroke can be placed above the top-line of vowels, in order
nasalize their sound. The diacritic
is reminiscent of the
Vaishnavas, the followers of
Vishnu. The urdhva-pundra
sectarian mark (pundra)
and type of
in the form of a U-shape
usually with a red dot inside, that
wear on the forehead
or on other parts of the body, especially on the torso.
is part of the famous word
where it is by some believed to represent Vishnu. Also called
Kannada. Name of a prince in the epic
Mahabharata, who was the son of Sudharmika,
the king of Kerala. He married the princess of Kuntala, with whom he had
two sons, and befriended
Arjuna, who was accompanied by
horse of Yudhishtira, the son of
Pandu, leader of the
in the battle at
Sanskrit. ‘Smiling moon’ or ‘laughing moon’. Name of the gleaming scimitar
Ramayana, a curved oriental sword
sometimes referred to as ‘moon blade’, that
Ravana received from
Shiva as a favour.
Chandra Suriyawong (จันทรสุริยวงษ์)
Thai-Sanskrit. ‘Lunar-Solar Circle’. Name of a
Chao, a local ruler in
Isaan, who in the 18th century AD
founded a settlement along the left banks of the
which was later moved and became he town of
Also spelled Chandrasuriyawongse.
Thai-Sanskrit. A traditional Indian
frame made of bamboo and arranged in concentric circles. Depending on
its size it can carry somewhere between 250 to over 1,000 silkworms.
Sometimes called chandrike. In Thailand, they are usually round flat
In Sanskrit, chandrika literally means ‘moonlight’ and thus conceivably
suggests a round shape.
for ‘elephant’. Also transcribed chaang or chahng. See
of one of the main brands of
beer in Thailand, in operation since 1995 and winner of some
Since Chang is Thai for
‘Elephant’, the company
in its logo, and designed the entrance gate of its brewery in
in the form of an elephant
i.e. a stockade or palisade formerly used to round-up wild
and known in Thai as
3. Thai name for any
member of the
family in the genus Rhynchostylis,
also referred to as sakun chang (สกุลช้าง). In 2010, orchids of this
family, that occur in Thailand and of the variety Rhynchostylis
Chang Kra (ช้างกระ);
Chang Som (ช้างส้ม);
(ช้างเผือก); and Chang Daeng (ช้างแดง),
were published on a set of four postage stamps (fig.).
Chang Pheuak (Rhynchostylis
gigantea var. alba)
is both rare and very expensive, as it blooms only in winter, i.e. in
December and January.
Chang Cheng (长城)
‘Long City Wall’
or ‘Eternal City’.
Name for the
Name of a
legendary beauty who flew to the moon, hence she is also known as the
lady in the moon.
She was the spouse of Houyi, the god of
Whereas the second character of her name translates as ‘good’
and ‘beautiful’, the first
character seems to be linguistically related to the Thai word for moon,
In art, she is often portrayed together with the
lives on the moon (fig.).
Name of a
large bird of prey, with the scientific designations Nisaetus cirrhatus
and Spizaetus cirrhatus.
Chang Heng (張衡)
Chang Kuo Lao (張果老)
Chinese. Name of one of the
Eight Immortals (fig.),
said to be the most
unconventional of the group,
an alchemist known for making liquor from herbs and shrubs, thought to
have therapeutic properties. Being a master of
he could go without food for lengthy periods of time, surviving on only
a few drops of his herbal liquor. In
legend, he has been described as being a white
bat that came out of the primeval chaos and as a
hermit who was able to revive the death. He lived in the Zhongtiao
Mountains (中条山) during the Tang Dynasty and rode a donkey that could
travel thousands of miles a day. Whenever he stopped to rest, he would
fold his donkey up like a piece of paper and store it away. When he
wished to ride again, he would spew water over it, thus transforming it
back into its real size. When he became ill, he retrieved to the
Zhongtiao Mountains and reportedly died there, but when his followers
opened his tomb, they found it empty. He is also referred to as Elder
Chang Kuo and his name is sometimes transcribed Zhang Kuo Lao. His
attribute is a fish drum (fig.),
instrument known as
that can foretell future events and which he uses to perform divination.
He is usually depicted holding this yugu and sometimes while seated on
his donkey (fig.).
His name is also transcribed Zhang Guo Lao.
Chang Nahm (ช้างน้ำ)
1. Thai. ‘Water Elephant’. Mythological animal with the
characteristics of both an elephant and a fish. Similar compound
animals with the features of an elephant and a fish are
Kunchon Warih, i.e. a
creature with the head of an elephant, two front legs of an
elephant and the body of a fish; and
Warih Kunchon, an elephant
with a fish tail, and fins that run along the backbone, as well as
fins that are attached to the back of each of its four legs. Similar
to chang nahm, the word warih means ‘elephant’, and the word kunchon
translates as ‘water’ or ‘sea’. All these creatures have gills and
dwell in the sea, where they are able to submerge and swim at great
speed under water.
2. Thai. ‘Water elephant’. Thai name for a hippopotamus.
3. Thai for ‘sea cow’.
Chang Pheuak (ช้างเผือก)
Thai name for a
White Elephant, though literally
the Araceae family
with a brownish pink colour and bulbous shape, features reminiscent of
White Elephants, which according to
and hence also have the colour
of a lotus, i.e.
a pinkish white colour
Thai name for the Milky Way, also referred to as the Path of the
White Elephant, that is
Thahng Chang Pheuak.
Thai name for a member of the
family in the genus Rhynchostylis,
known in Thai as
of which there exist only 6 species,
the Chang Pheuak (Rhynchostylis
gigantea var. alba) being an orchid with whitish flowers, that has been
publicized on a Thai postage stamp issued
and again in 2010, together with three
other varieties of
both rare and very expensive, as it
blooms only in winter, i.e. in December and January.
Chang Sanfeng (张三丰)
Chinese. Name of a semi-mythical supposed 13th century Chinese
monk who is believed by some to have achieved
immortality. There are many myths and folktales about this figure and
according to some sources he was a former
Shaolin disciple who had left the Shaolin temple to
establish a Taoist mountain monastery. Other sources make record of at
least two Chinese emperors sending missions to Chang Sanfeng to ask for
his advice, but neither mission is reported to have found him. Due to
his legendary status he is frequently presented as a spiritual teacher
and master of Chinese martial arts, including as a grandmaster of
tai chi chuan.
Before he became a Taoist his name is said to have been Zhang Junbao. Also transcribed Zhang Sanfeng.
chang seuk (ช้างศึก)
or ‘battle elephant’. Name for an elephant used in a form of ancient
warfare, known as
yutthahadtie. In this hand-to-hand
combat, the warrior -often royalty- sat on the neck of the elephant, whilst an
aide-de-camp sat in a
howdah on the back, to overlook
the battle field, give directions and steer the animal, using a pair of fly
whisk-like tools (fig.),
as well as to hand the combatant his choice of long-handled weapons (fig.),
which were stored on the back of the howdah (fig.).
These weapons include a
kho ngao, a scythe-like weapon used particularly in this kind of
combat. The warrior engaged in this kind of hand-to-hand combat typically wore a
malabiang, a kind of battle hat with a wide brim and earflaps, which
offered protection against the weapons of the enemy. Famous historical battles
fought on war elephants include the ca. 1256 scuffle in
Poh Khun Sahm Chon (สามชน), ruler
of Chot (ฉอด), and Sri
Indraditya, in which the then 19-year
the later king of
intervened by driving away his father's enemy, for which he got the name
Ramkamhaeng, which means ‘Rama the Brave’; the 1424
fight over the
Throne between the brothers prince Chao Aai Phraya
(เจ้าอ้ายพระยา) and prince Chao Yih Phraya (เจ้ายี่พระยา) at Saphaan Pah Thaan
(สะพานป่าถ่าน), in which both were killed;
War of Tabinshwehti (fig.),
in which Queen
was slashed to death by Phra Chao Prae (พระเจ้าแปร) of Burma; and the 1593
Battle of Nong Sarai (map
in which King
defeated Minchit Sra, the Burmese Crown Prince and a
Bayinnaung (fig.), the
Ayutthaya, near the
phaniad, i.e. the
elephant kraal (fig.),
the Battle Elephant Memorial
fig.), which displays large bronze
statues of war elephants being led into battle.
See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.
‘Long hand’. Name of a
and one of the
Eighteen Arahats, as well as of the Five Hundred
Arahats, who in English is commonly referred to as the Long-armed
Arahat. He is described as
having a very sharp mind and the magical property to grow his
arms as long as he wants them to be, which enables him to reach for the
as well as to help others. He is sometimes depicted with a beard, and is
also known as Bantuo-jia (半讬迦) and
Tan Shou (探手), i.e.
‘Search Hand’, whereas in
India he is called
and also referred to as
Pantha the Elder.
Chang Ton (ช้างต้น)
Thai. ‘First Elephant’. The Elephant of State on which the kings
formerly rode during state ceremonies and which would have been a
1. Thai for
gibbon. In this context the word is also used
derogatory for women, since the gibbon call sounds like ‘phua’, the
Thai word for husband, thus indicating a gibbon sounds like a woman
who is calling for her husband. Also transcribed chani and chanie.
2. Thai. A kind of
Pali-Thai. The male servant of prince
Siddhartha, the historical
Buddha. In Sanskrit, he is known by the name
Thai. ‘Matriarch’ or ‘mother’. Thai name for the mother of a king,
or for a noble widow (fig.). Her full title is
Somdet Phra Boromma Raja Channanie or
Somdet Phra Pan Pie Luang. See also
chanok. Sometimes transcribed Channanee, Channanih
or Channanih, and also pronounced Chonnanih.
Thai name for the Taraw Palm, is
a species of palm tree with the botanical name Livistona saribus and
found in Southeast Asia. The tree grows up to 25-30 meter in height and
grows in dense, secondary forests. The trunk is similar to that of the
and the leaves resemble those of the
along its leaf stems are spikes which resemble shark teeth. In
the leaves are used for the thatching of roofs for huts and to make
hats. The Taraw Palm produces dark blue fruits and in Thai, this palm is
also known as kho s(r)oy (ค้อสร้อย), literally ‘necklace’, perhaps due
to these bead-like fruits that grow from long stalks, reminiscent of
in southern Thailand, the tree is known as kho (ค้อ) and sihreng
(สิเหรง). See also
Rajasap. ‘Patriarch’ or ‘father’. Thai name for the
father of a king. His full title is Somdet Phra Borom Raja Chanok.
Rajasap. Name of the second incarnation of
Totsachat-stories, before his Enlightenment when he was
Chanok Jakrawat (ชนกจักรวรรดิ)
‘Father Empire’. Name of a king and hermit (reusi)
in the epic
Ramakien, who one day found a baby
girl in a bowl on the boat landing of his
He decided to adopt her, but until he could do so, he buried her near a
tree, invoking the gods to guard it. When he eventually
ended his life as a hermit, he returned to his throne in Mithila and ploughed
field in search of the bowl with the girl, that was buried under the
ground. He came across a
marking the place of the bowl and found inside
the girl who had grown into a 16-year old woman, whom he named
Chanok Jakrawat is often
referred to as
thao Jakrawat. Also spelled Chanok Chakrawat.
Lao-Thai. The meaning in modern Lao is ambiguous and could mean either
‘walled city of
sandalwood’ or ‘moon city’, similar to the Thai
Chanthaburi. According to legend this was the
original name of
Vientiane, which in full was
Chanthabuli Si Sattanakhanahud. Also spelled Chantabuly and Chanthabuly.
Lao-Thai. The name of a district in the city of
Also spelled Chantabuly and Chanthabuly.
Thai. ‘City of the moon’ or ‘moon city’. The capital of Chanthaburi
in East Thailand, 245 kms Southeast of
for a member of a race or group of people, usually translated as ‘ethnic
group, tribe’ or ‘native’.
Thai. A title denoting greatness, used for royalty, princes, lords,
potentates and rulers in Thailand and Laos, like in
Chaoying (princess) and
Chao Phraya (nobleman of the
Thai pronoun in the second person, nowadays used only when speaking
to an inferior, equivalent to you. In obsolete or poetic usage, it
is equivalent to ‘thou’ or ‘thee’, used especially when talking to
Thai pronoun in the third person, in obsolete or poetic usage,
especially when referring to a woman, equivalent to ‘she’ or ‘her’.
term of assent used by women in northern Thailand to address an
equal. It is a polite term identical to the central Thai word ‘kha’
used by women and ‘khrab’ used by men to express agreement or added
to a phrase in order to show good manners.
chao ahwaht (เจ้าอาวาส)
i.e. an abbot. The word ahwaht derives from
avasa, i.e. the Pali word for ‘temple’.
Chao Chiwit (เจ้าชีวิต)
Thai. ‘Lord of Life’. Title formerly used for a sovereign,
especially during the
period until the
beginning of the
Chao Chom Maanda (เจ้าจอมมาร)
Title for a royal mother, i.e. a concubine who gave birth to a prince.
Chao Fah (เจ้าฟ้า)
Thai. ‘Lord of the Skies’. Initially, title given to the son of a king born of a
mother who is also of royal blood. Later it was also used for any
daughter of a king born of a mother who is also of royal blood, and may
hence also be translated ‘Dame of the Skies’. It now is a common title
for the offspring of the King and Queen, usually translated as ‘Prince’
or Princess’, depending on the gender. The Burmese equivalent is
Chao Jet Ton (เจ้าเจ็ดตน)
Thai. ‘Dynasty of the Seven Lords’. Another
name for the dynasty of the house of
the name means ‘lord’ (Chao),
‘seven’ (jed), ‘lords’ (with
being a classifier for the word chao). Despite its name this dynasty in
fact had nine rulers or lords. See also
list of Thai kings.
chao kana (เจ้าคณะ)
Thai. Housemaster. A priest who has charge of the monks in a temple
building or a portion of a monastery.
Chao Kawila (เจ้ากาวิละ)
Thai. Ruler of
Chiang Mai (fig.) in the beginning of the
Dynasty. He was born in 1742, the first of ten children of Prince
Chai Kaew of Lampang, and a descendant of
Suwareuachai Songkram of the house of
Thipchakratiwong. After he had
succeeded his father as ruler of the city he joined forces with
Prince Chaban of Chiang Mai in a plot to rid the cities of
oppressive Burmese rule. They sought the help of King
Taksin who sent an army
under the command of
Chakri. With combined forces they overthrew the Burmese in Lampang
in 1774 and in the night of February 14, 1775 also Chiang Mai fell
Siamese. However, due to Burmese
counterattacks Chiang Mai had to be abandoned and was only formally
reoccupied in March 1796. By then Chao Phraya Chakri had become King
Rama I and in 1802 he officially
appointed Kawila as ruler of Chiang Mai, in lieu of the late
Prince Chaban who had died at the end of the
Period. Kawila continued with
campaigns against the Burmese and placed his brothers as rulers of
other northern cities, whilst Kawila's sister, Princess Sri Anocha,
married to Prince
King Rama I's only brother. In 1815 Chao Kawila died of fever. He
was the first king of
Lan Na under
Siamese rule. His full title is Phra Chao
Boromma Rachathibodi Kawila. See also
list of Thai kings.
chao kuay (เฉาก๊วย)
name for a black vegetable jelly, eaten as a dessert in Southeast Asia,
as well as in some countries of the Far East, including
China and Taiwan. It is made by boiling
the aged and slightly oxidized stalks and leaves of a plant known as
ya chao kuay, with potassium carbonate and a little starch.
When cooled the decoction becomes a translucent black jelly which is
usually cut into small cubes (fig.).
It is generally consumed mixed with crushed ice and palm sugar, or with
soy milk to create a drink. In China, it is mixed with
rice water and
used as a cooling drink. In English, it is known as grass jelly. Also
transcribed chao kuai.
Chao Le (ชาวเล)
Thai. ‘Sea people’. Term for the once nomadic sea gypsies who have a
long history in Southern Thailand and are believed to be the first
settlers in Koh Lanta and other islands of the Andaman Sea. They are
ethnically separated from Southern Thais and have their own language
and customs. The sea gypsy people support their families through the
fishing trade, which has always been the mainstay of their
livelihoods. Structural changes in the modern world and loss of
fishing ground due to general development have made their way of
life increasingly difficult and has put a strain on their unique
culture. During full moon of the 6th and 11th months in the lunar
calendar the sea gypsies perform a ceremony to bring prosperity and
happiness in the forthcoming year. They build a two meter wooden
boat, fill it with mementos and then perform a dance before setting
it adrift. Also spelled Chao Ley and sometimes called Chao Thai Mai, as well
Chao Luang (เจ้าหลวง)
for a vassal prince or the ruler of a colony or protectorate.
Chao Mae Thabthim (เจ้าแม่ทับทิม)
Thai name for
Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea (fig.),
who is worshipped by Chinese-Hainanese people worldwide. Her name means
or ‘Ruby Majesty’, and
derives from the red colour of her dress (fig.).
She is worshipped in many places around Thailand, where numerous
shrines, called Sahn Chao Mae Thabthim, can be found, with
sahn (ศาล) being a word
Sometimes called Mae Chao Thabthim. See also
Chao Ngo (เจ้าเงาะ)
Thai. A male character
from the story of
Sangthong, namely the
himself (fig.) disguised
as an ugly ogre of the
tribe, with a black complexion and curly
hair, thus hiding his golden body underneath. To refer to the Prince's status,
the name bears the title
cha om (ชะอม)
name for a shrub, with the botanical name Acacia pennata. Its young leaves are edible and usually eaten raw
generally as a
side vegetable with other food (fig.),
or fried with eggs in a dish called
cha om thod khai
(fig.), which on markets is usually sold
thick, greenish omelet, which is cut up into square, cube-like blocks.
It is also used as an ingredient in soups, such as
sour soup made of
tamarind paste, as well as in certain curries and stir-fried dishes. The
taste of the leaves is rather unusual, somewhat bitter.
cha om thod khai (ชะอมทอดไข่)
Thai name for a kind of omelet, which is mixed with
i.e. young Acacia leaves (fig.).
It is usually cut up into thick, square or diamond-shaped blocks and is
served with other food
kaeng som cha om kung
Chao Phaya (เจ้าพระยา)
Chao Pho Chetakup (เจ้าพ่อเจตคุปต์)
Chao Pho Ho Klong (เจ้าพ่อหอกลอง)
Name of a protective deity, said to be the spirit of
Chao Phraya Si Surasak (สีห์สุรศักดิ์),
an important military leader from the
period, who in battle used to encourage his troops
by beating on a war drum. After his death, people would sometimes hear
drumbeats coming from his drum, whilst no one was near, and each time
just before something bad was about to happen, as it were a supernatural
warning sign. His spirit is thus believed to safeguard the population
and warn them for looming dangers. In art, he is sometimes depicted
standing upright and wearing a
in his right hand and a horn in the left hand.
Chao Pho Seua (เจ้าพ่อเสือ)
‘Tiger guardian spirit’. Thai name for
Chao Phraya (เจ้าพระยา)
Thai ‘nobleman of the highest rank’ (fig.), a title conferred by former
kings. Also transcribed Chao Phya, Chao Phaya and Chao Phrya.
Thai. Name of the Chao Phraya river, Thailand’s most important
waterway, that flows through
Bangkok and which is formed by the
confluence of four rivers near the city of
Nakhon Sawan, namely the
Yom (fig.) and
and ends in the
Gulf of Thailand
otherwise known as Meuang Pahk Nahm, the city at the estuary (map
Due to the meaning of its name, the river is often referred to as
Royal River or River of Kings.
In the evening (fig.)
the river is a popular spot for dinner, both in riverside
restaurants of upmarket hotels and on river boats (fig.), that organize
evening dinner cruises that offer sensational views of the city's
skyline as luxurious
hotels and historical sites (fig.) are
illuminated. During the daytime, the river also has a
river express, i.e. a public boat service popularly known as
reua duan (fig.). Also transcribed Chao Phya, Chao Phaya and
Chao Phraya Sky Park
Chao Phrya (เจ้าพระยา)
Chao Phya (เจ้าพระยา)
chao taan cheuam (จาวตาลเชื่อม)
endocarp boiled in syrup’. Name for a sweet dessert, consisting of the
of sugar palm seeds, either boiled dry or in a thick syrup. It is often
or cocnut cream), additionally it may be mixed with roasted (kua)
seeds, sugar, salt and shredded
coconut, a version of this dish known as
tanoht (โตนด), the last word being a part of the Thai name for the sugar
Popularly also called
cheuam (ลูกตาลเชื่อม). Also
transliterated jaw tahn chueam, or similar.
chao thi (เจ้าที่)
‘Spirit of the place’. A kind of
who lives on the land, also
phra phum chao tih
or simply phra phum. Also spelled
chao thee, chao tee,
chao tih, jao tee, jao tih, or similar.
chaphlu (ชะพลู, ช้าพลู)
One generic name given to a herb of which there are actually two
different kinds, one with the botanical name Piper sarmentosum,
the other with the scientific name Piper lolot. There is no common
English name, but both belong to
the betel family Piperaceae. In English, the two are sometimes called
wild betel or
but officially they are only identified by their scientific names.
Both plants have
leaves (fig.), called
which are used in Thai cuisine,
usually fresh and as a wrapper for
The leaves are also used in other Southeast Asian countries, e.g. in
Malaysia, where it is known as kadok or kaduk and its leaves as daun kadok which are shredded in a
called nasi ulam, literally ‘rice with raw vegetable’ or used as a
wrapper for otak, a spicy fish pâté, reminiscent of the Thai dish
khao neung, a dish that is also served
with fresh chaphlu leaves (fig.);
Vietnam, where it is known as la lôt and the leaves as bo la lôt,
which are used typically as a wrapper
for grilling meats or seafood, a dish called bo cuôn la
i.e. ‘betel leaf rolls’; and in
Laos where it is called phak i leut and the leaves bai i
leut which are used to make a kind of salad. The leaves are also used to
a stimulant mixed together with some tobacco and lime paste (fig.).
Thai. Aureole, nimbus or halo. Also
Thai. Star with six rays or points.
Gujari. Name of a container used to fetch water
from a well and which is typically carried on the head by Indian women.
It can be either an earthen urn, or a aluminum or brass pot.
In Rajasthan, it is used in dance performances known
as Chari Dances, in which women dance while balancing the pots on their
heads, which at night are often kept ignited with cotton wicks dipped in
In other parts of India it is referred to as ghata (घट),
ghatam or ghattam, and matka or matki.
Charles Van den Born
Belgian pilot who in January 1911 brought aviation to Thailand by
carrying out the first flight in the Kingdom at
Sanam Bin Sra Pathum
(fig.), with his aircraft the
a 1910 French manufactured bi-plane.
Though born in Liege on 11 July 1874, though some sources say 1873,
his mother was French, and he later became a French national
himself. Before taking up flying, he was well-known as a bicycle and
automobile racer. He earned his French pilot's license on 8 March
1910 in an H. Farman, and his Belgian license only weeks later, on
31 March 1910. He was one of the earliest licensed pilots. His
flying career included flight demonstrations in France, Belgium,
Italy, French Indochina, Thailand and China, and he was the first
pilot ever to
fly in French Indochina, Hong Kong, and Thailand. During WWI, he
directed the Belgian aviation school in France. He later returned to
Indochina and after the Indochina Wars, went back to France, where
he died on 24 Jan 1958.
Charoen Krung (เจริญกรุง)
Thai. Name of a road in
also known as the New Road. It
is the first road
to have been built with Western technology, at the time when the capital
was changing its means of transportation from water to the land. It
starts to the south of the
Grand Palace and runs more or less
southward, in part following the course of the
Chao Phraya River. It has historical
value due to the architectural structures, such as
Ban Lek Tih Neung (fig.), that lie along the road, many
of them ancient shop houses built in the same style as those in the
Singapore of that time, an approach instigated by
after he visited the city
off the southern tip of the Malay
Peninsula. Due to its
the road has been dubbed the
‘Road that Connects History’.
It was constructed in 1861 and is often referred to as Bangkok's oldest
road. In 2011, it was portrayed on a Thai
postage stamp to mark its 150th anniversary (fig.).
chattra. See also
Thai. The wide rim of a gong or
kong from which it is suspended.
Sanskrit. Multi-layered umbrella held over a honourary figure,
usually as a symbol of royalty or honour, in part similar to and
often used together with
pad yot (fig.).
It sometimes crowns the mast of a Buddhist
and in North Thailand is often seen on the roofs of temple
buildings, usually in the middle (fig.).
When used as an ornament in such way, on top of a chedi, a temple
roof, or even on a
chadah, it is referred to as
plih. Besides the symbol of a monarch, it also represents the spiritual
authority and shelter for all living beings. The chattra is one of
the eight auspicious symbols or
Ashtamangala. In Chinese-Taoist
temples, some Buddhist umbrellas are depicted long and cylindrical
in shape and are used decoratively, hung from the ceiling (fig.).
Those kind of Chinese-style umbrellas could in some way be
considered as the Chinese equivalent of the Indian chattra. See also
chat or shat.
Elevated pavilion that consist of a dome-shaped roof raised by four
or more pillars and used in Indian architecture. It is found on top of
buildings in India,
where it is used decoratively or to provide shelter from the natural
elements, or built over funerary sites. The name and function is hence
reminiscent of the
as well as of the
which is believed to have derived from the former. Also transcribed
Thai. ‘Quadric circle’. Name of a district in northern
Bangkok which has a park (map
and popular weekend market of the same name.
The park consist
of a small stroke of land squeezed between Phahon Yothin Road and
Kamphaeng Phet Road, while acorss the latter road is a cluster of
three larger, adjoining parks, i.e. Wachirabenchatat Park, Rot Fai Park, and Queen
Park, of which
the latter in its southwestern corner has a section known as the
Garden for the Sight Impaired
Since all these parks are located in Chatuchak district and connect
to each other, they are together often also referred to as Chatuchak
Park, rather than by their individual names.
These are both situated
in between the old and new Mo Chit bus terminals. The park is built
on a plot of land donated by the State Railway of Thailand to King
Bhumipon on the occasion of his fourth-cycle (48th)
birthday on 5 December 1975. The king named the site Chatuchak Park
on 8 January 1976 and the park was officially opened on 4 December
1980. It features floral plants, herbal plants, several species of
palm trees, a multipurpose ground, and sculptures
representing some of the first
members. There is also
a health park built in honor of princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on
her third-cycle (36th) birthday. The park has the nation's largest
fountain, a musical fountain with regular, animated performances (map
choreographed to Thai music (fig.).
The park is also used as a site for staging public events by its
district's residents. The market is located on a 70
rai plot of land South of the park and is the first
weekend market in Bangkok. It originally occupied
Sanam Luang, where it had been established in 1948 and
was then called Sanam Luang Market. In 1982 it was relocated to the
present-day site on Phahon Yothin Road, which the State Railway of
Thailand had given to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
The market at the new location was renamed the Phahon Yothin Market
and later, in 1987, the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It claims to have
more than 15,000 shops and an estimated 200,000 visitors per day.
Sanskrit. ‘Four-armed’. Name
for the depiction of a Hindu god with four arms, with the Sanskrit word chatur meaning ‘four’. Also transcribed Caturbhuja.
Hanuman sih kon
Sanskrit. ‘Having four limbs’. Name for an ancient Indian strategy game,
which became the common ancestor of western chess and from which also
other board games, such as
derive. It is said to have developed in the 6th Century
The term chaturanga derives from a battle formation mentioned in the
which could be translated as
‘army’, and the four limbs refer to the four described army divisions,
the cavalry, and the infantry. The game board consists of 64 squares,
i.e. 8 rows and 8 columns, though without alternating colours, while the
pieces and their setup on the game board in starting position are
similar to those of western chess, though the King is sided by a
minister, counselor or general, rather than a Queen, and a set of
act for the bishops in
western chess. See also
mahk ruk and
Thai. A royal prince of
i.e. the 28th son of King
the 3rd son of Queen Debsirindra, also transcribed Queen Thepsihrinthrah
(เทพศิรินทรา), and thus a full brother of Prince and later King
During his term in office as Finance
Ministry, he promulgated the notifications regarding the tax reform and
He was born on Tuesday 13
and died on 11 April 1900
at the age of 44.
He had 14 children. His portrait is depicted on one of a rare set
of unmarked postage stamps of the Royal Family issued in circa 1893 (fig.),
as well as on a commemorative postage stamp issued in 2006 to mark his
150th birthday anniversary (fig.).
His name is also transliterated Chaturantarasmi and Chaturonrasmi, and
his name and title in full are
Chakraphandiphong (สมเด็จพระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ เจ้าฟ้าจาตุรนต์รัศมี
กรมพระจักรพรรดิพงษ์). Chakraphandiphong (Chakrabardhibongse)
is named after him.
Chauk Htat Gyi (ခြောက်ထပ်ကြီး)
Burmese. Name of a
image in Yangon's Bahan Township, with a length of 65.85 meter.
Thai term for the consort of a
Chinese. ‘Tea-leaf egg’. See
Thai. A bell shaped monument erected to house a holy statue or an
object of a prominent person, such as the ashes of important monks
and royalty, or relics of the
Buddha. In Thailand they are called
phra chedi and are most commonly used as a relic
shrine. The bell shaped chedi is a copy of the Indian
caitya, with the Thai name being
derived from the latter term. In
Burma this structure is known as
zedi (fig.) or pagoda,
chua (fig.), in Tibet as
chorten (fig.), and in Sri
Lanka it is called
dagoba (fig.). Its typical
bell shape (fig.)
probably developed from a
the multi-layered umbrella carried for royalty as a symbol of their
dignity as can be seen above some Buddha images today. Plausibly the
chattra was initially placed on top of the grave of a deceased
member of royalty thus initiating the idea to later replace this
rather fragile mausoleum with more sturdy materials. In that way the
relic shrine originated simultaneously with the specific bell shape
tapering off to a point. The chattra may still sometimes crown the
mast of a chedi (fig.),
but is then referred to as
The multi-layered chattra form is also clearly seen in the
a typical Burmese style, multi-roofed pagoda. In later structures the
triphum is symbolically represented, that is,
earth heaven and hell. Visitors to natural parks often create small
chedi made from stones or pebbles (fig.),
a practice reminiscent of the
from Tibet, as well as of the
sand pagodas that are built in Thai temples as a
kind of folk
In addition, the making of small stone
pagodas reminds of an ancient Tamil tradition, in which people
celebrated their fallen warriors by erecting formless stones in
plong shanai (fig.).
See also POSTAGE STAMPS.
Chedi Chang Lom (เจดีย์ช้างล้อม)
Name of a Buddhist
located within the temple
Wat Chiang Man.
Chedi Khao (เจดีย์ขาว)
Name of a small white
located along the
chedi saai (เจดีย์ทราย)
made of sand.
Sand pagodas are built as a kind of folk
especially in the northern provinces of
but also in
Myanmar (fig.). It derived
from the religious rite of
khon saai khao wat,
in which people annually bring sand
back to the temple (fig.), as compensation for the sand that has been carried
out from temple grounds over the past year, sticking to visitors feet.
With the sand that is brought back, a chedi or pagoda is constructed.
When finished, it is topped with small paper
and paper flags, known as
Chedi Tham Jindah
Name of a twin
pagoda or chedi
site of an 18th
century AD Buddhist temple complex in
eastern bank of
Pa Sak River. It comprises two stupas
that stand side by side on the same base on an east-west axis, with
one being slightly larger and bulkier than the other,
a certain hierarchy.
Whereas one is a 16
the other is a 12
redented chedi (fig.),
and whereas the temple is believed to date from the end of the
the stupas are probably from the early
as the style of the stupa and
the techniques used for the
popular only in
Malayalam name for a kind of large, cylindrical drum, of which there are
various types. All have heads on both ends, though only one side is
played, using drumsticks. There are a number of hinges that hold the
drum head to the trunk using ropes. This kind of percussion instrument
is widely used in the South Indian state of Kerala, as well as in parts
of Karnataka, where they also use another yet similar drum, referred to
as chende. The chenda is mainly played in
temple festivals, as well as in a variety of cultural activities, such
as weddings (fig.).
It produces a loud and rigid sound.
Khmer-Chinese name for a state in
roughly existed between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, after the fall of
550 AD, it
initially was a vasal of Funan but gradually
Indianized kingdom of Indochina
in the 6th
century AD, yet was in
itself absorbed into
Empire. It is also
known as the
Sometimes transcribed Zhenla.
Name for a kind of handmade cigar from
Myanmar. It is produced (fig.)
by rolling tobacco powder made from a locally grown plant (fig.) into a dried and flattened
or alternatively in a dried corn leaf, and closed off
with a filter on one side, whilst the other side is closed off by
pressing the leaf's ends into a pointed tip. The filter (fig.) is made from
dried corn leaves that have been rolled into paper, often of an old
tabloid, and then cut off to the right size using a wooden measuring
object, i.e. after it has been fitted into the cheroot. After being
rolled with the use of a wooden stick as an aid, the cheroot is fastened
with a kind of glue made on the basis of
rice, whilst a cigar band
the brands name printed on it– is added.
Unlike regular cigars, the cheroot is not tapering but it is cylindrical
in shape. The word cheroot is said to mean ‘roll of tobacco’.
In Burmese, the cheroot is called
hsei bo lei (fig.),
smoked by both Burmese men
and women alike (fig.).
Common name of a species of leafwing
Common name for a 16-18.5 centimeter tall bird, with the scientific designations
Minla strigula and Chrysominla strigula, and also commonly known as
Siva. It is found in South and
mainland Southeast Asia, as well as in southern China. Its natural
habitat consists of subtropical and tropical moist montane forests.
Adults have a golden-rufous crown, a blackish eyebrow, and a
black-and-white scaly throat and cheeks, divided by a blackish line and
patch. There is a small yellow patch just below the dark bill. Its
upperparts are greyish-olive, whilst it underparts are pale yellowish.
The wings and tail are rufous and yellowish-orange, with black and
white. There are some subspecies, i.e. Minla strigula malayana, which is
duller and has broader throat scales, and Minla strigula traii, which is
greyer above, has a solid white face and black cheeks, a brighter crown,
and yellow-and-black throat scales. In Thai, this bird is
nok siwa hahng sih tahn, i.e.
Shiva bird’. In 1980, this
bird was depicted on the third stamp of a set of four Thai postage
stamps featuring Thai birds (fig.).
Common name for a bird in the Sturnidae family, with the scientific
designation Sturnus malabaricus, aka Sturnia malabarica.
Birth name of
The first part of his name,
and means ‘senior’ or ‘(clerical) brother’, whereas the latter is a name
Indra, in Thai
‘To boil in syrup’. A method to preserve fruit and enhance flavour, as
gluay cheuam. Other traditional methods
of preserving fruits and vegetables include
dong (pickling) and
chae im (soaking in syrup).
given to a group of small, secretive animals, found only in the tropical
forests of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Among others, it includes
the family Tragulidae, which in itself includes the four species of
Mouse-deer that are endemic to Thailand, i.e. the
Greater Mouse-deer (fig.),
Lesser Mouse-deer (fig.),
the Williamson's Mouse-deer and the Java Mouse-deer. The name chevrotain
may derive from the chevron pattern on the throat and upper chest of
most species, though some sources claim it derives from the French word
chèvre, meaning ‘goat’, and that it could be translated as ‘little
goat’. In Thai chevrotain are called
Northern Thai dialect for
Chiang Kai Shek (蒋介石)
Chinese. Name of the former leader of the Kuomintang, i.e. the Chinese
Nationalist Party, who lived from 1887 to 1975. He was a close ally of
Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who became the
first president of the Republic of
and took his place as leader of the Kuomintang when Sun Yat-sen
in 1925 died. However, Chiang Kai Shek was unable to maintain good
relations with the Communists and a major split between the Nationalists
and Communists in 1927 led to a civil war between the Kuomintang and the
Communist Party of China, who in 1949 eventually defeated the
Kuomintang, forcing the Nationalists to retreat to Taiwan, where Chiang
Kai Shek ruled as the self-appointed President of the Republic of China
and Director-General of the Kuomintang until his death.
Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่)
Thai. ‘New City’. The city of Chiang Mai is also the capital of the
of the same name (map)
and is situated in North Thailand.
Chiang Mai Philatelic Museum
Museum in housed in the building of
the former central post office of
Chiang Mai Zoo
The first ever commercial zoo in northern Thailand. In 1952, Harold
Mason Young, an American missionary, started a private animal collection
at his home in
Chiang Mai and opened it to the public as a private zoo.
As his collection grew and his animals became a nuisance to his
neighbors, he applied for permission to use a piece of land to keep his
animals, allowing him to open the first public zoological park of the
North in April 1957. After his death, the city of Chiang Mai recognized
its value and on 16 June 1977 placed it under the administration of the
state Zoological Park Organization, which also operates most other major
zoos in the country. It is located on the foothill of
Doi Suthep, along the road towards
Wat Doi Suthep. It covers an area
and is home to an estimated 400 animals, including Chuang-Chuang and
Lin-Hui, two giant
who on 27 May 2009 had a female cub. The cub was named Lin Bing (林冰) or
Lin Ping, which is Chinese for ‘Ice Forest’, but in Thai it is also
reminiscent of the city's
Ping River. In Thai called
Suan Sat Chiang Mai.
Chiang Miang (เชียงเมี่ยง)
Another name for the
Thai-Laotian folk tale of
not to be confused with
Province and provincial capital (map)
in North Thailand.
Chiang Saen (เชียงแสน)
with its main
town at the southern banks of the
Mekhong River in northern Thailand,
border with Laos. To the Northwest is the Shan State of Myanmar and
to the North the Laotian province of Bokeo. It was a
Lanna principality, founded in 1328 by
Saen Phu (fig.),
though the area was already ruled by kings of the
Dynasty as part of the Kingdom of
Hiran Ngun Yahng. In 1804, during the reign of
Rama I, the city was conquered by
Chao Kawila because it had been a
Burmese stronghold for some time. It was consequently deserted and
its inhabitants resettled in other
Bangkok-allied Lanna cities such as
An ancient legend says that the city was destroyed by an earthquake
as punishment for its inhabitants who, when they were starving
because they couldn't find food or catch any fish, they ate a sacred
naga which they had caught in the river.
Today an archeological site still exists and some monuments found
here pre-date Chiang Saen by several hundred years. According to a
legend that earlier kingdom was called
Yonok. Among the several ancient ruins in the old city (fig.)
are the temples Wat Pa Sak and Wat Mung Meuang.
MORE ON THIS.
Thai. Northern Thai art style produced in Chiang Saen during the
12th and 13th centuries AD.
for a semi-large moth, known by the scientific names Chiasmia eleonora,
Godonela eleonora, Phalaena eleonora Phalaena fasciata, Semiothisa
fasciosaria and Semiothisa eleonora. It belongs to the family
Geometridae and is found in South and Southeast Asia. It has mostly
greyish upper-wings, with some dark and orange markings, and a
distinctive whitish bar near the centre of the hind- and forewings,
which both also have an outer whitish fringe. It has rather large eyes,
and its body is grey with some orange, especially on the underside, as
well as brownish-orange legs and antennae. It is also commonly known as Eleonora Angle, and in Thai as mot thong ngeun (มอธทองเงิน),
which translates as ‘gold-silver moth’.
Thai. Literally ‘to allot’ or ‘to
distribute’. Term used for a rectangular −or sometimes rounded−
a foot and covered with a cone-shaped lid used as an emblem of noble
rank. Originally, these type of
vessels were conferred by the king on a courtier or a prelate. Later on,
they became used for keeping a set of fresh cloths in which visitors to
the palace could change prior to an audience with the king.
See also POSTAGE
Chien Li Yen (千里眼)
Chinese. ‘Eyes [that can see] a thousand miles’,
sometimes also translated as ‘The Lynx-eyed’,
‘Thousand-mile Eye’ or ‘Thousand League
Eyes’. Name of a mythological figure from
He and his brother (fig.)
are said to have been the ruthless generals Kao Chuch and Kao Ming,
treacherous brothers in the Shang Dynasty, who having died in a
battle on Peach Blossom Mountain, remained there and haunted the
place. One day, the Mother-Ancestor
Tian Hou (Matsu/Mazu) passed
through there and the brothers began to compete for her affection.
To get rid of them
Tian Hou challenged them to a fight: if any of
them won, she would marry him but if she won, they both would have
to serve her forever. Tian Hou won and the brothers serve her still,
looking and listening for those who need her help. In art and
temples, Chien Li Yen
is generally depicted with the hand shielding his eyes from the sun
and is usually portrayed with a green complexion, and sometimes with
a horn. He and his brother
are found in mainly Tian Hou temples, where
Shun Feng Er
(usually with a brown or red complexion, and sometimes with two
horns) stands on the left side of
the offering tables and Chien Li Yen to the right of the altar.
However, their complexion or position to the altar may be reversed
thus it is their unique positions of the hands that are the
conclusive keys for recognition. However, occasionally, he and his
brother may be portrayed in the
tou liu bi
iconographic style, with three
heads and six arms, and
with a different complexion, as is the
Dian (玉皇殿), i.e. the
Emperor Palace Hall at Fengdu
Ghost City (fig.). Also called Chin Lei Ngan and often
transcribed Qian Li Yan.
chi fan le ma (吃饭了吗)
Chinese. ‘Have you eaten
yet?’. Informal greeting in
similar to the Burmese
thamin sa bibi la,
and the Thai
kin khao reua yang.
These questions are usually rhetorical in nature, and posed in
order to show an interest in the other person's wellbeing, rather than a
nosiness into someone's actual eating habits or an invitation to a meal.
Chi Guo Tian (持国天)
‘Deity that watches the land’. Name of
one of the
Four Heavenly Kings.
He correspondents with the Indian
who guards the East,
associated with the Hindu god
He is King of the East, where he rules from a palace of gold over the
continent of Purva-videha. In
Chinese tradition, his
is a Chinese lute known as
which stands for harmony and represents the balanced power with which he rules.
Vietnam, he is known as
Tri Quoc (Trì Quốc), and in full as
Dong Phuong Tri Quoc Thien Vuong (Đông Phương Trì Quốc Thiên Vương),
i.e. ‘Tri Quoc,
of the Eastern Quarter’ (fig.).
Chih Pleuay (ชีเปลือย)
‘Nudist’. Name of a
who in English is usually referred to as the Naked Maniac.
He is depicted as a naked, meager,
old man with a long white beard and appears
on the seventh stamp in a series of eight Thai postage stamps issued in
2009 to publicize the story of Phra Aphaimanih as
a major literary work of
‘Nudist’. Term used for certain
or ascetics in India,
who go around naked and usually rub themselves completely with cremation
chih pah kao.
Chi Kung (气功)
Children's Discovery Museum
Bangkok museum for kids, which encourages a hands-on and fun approach to
learning, by presenting interactive displays and playful experiments, in
which inquisitive young minds are persuaded to ask questions on how the
world works. The museum is located in
Chatuchak district, adjacent to Chatuchak Park and opposite of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. In Thai
it is known as Phiphithaphan Dek, meaning ‘Children's Museum’.
cayenne. Also spelt chilli and chilie.
Chi Lin Nunnery
Name of a Buddhist temple complex
run by nuns and located on Diamond Hill, in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
for a vast country in Central East Asia which took form in 221 BC
through the unification of several feudal states under
Qin Shi Huang Ti (fig.), heir to the throne of
Qin (Chin), a powerful feudal state in
the northwest. After this enforced unification through annexation and
warfare, he founded the Qin (Chin) Dynasty, from which China derives its
name and proclaimed himself emperor, marking the beginning of Imperial
China, a period which lasted until the fall of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty
in 1911 (fig.), and even though the Qin Dynasty collapsed shortly after Qin Shi
Huang Ti's death, it formed the model for all later dynasties. In
Chinese however, China is called Zhong Guo (中国), literally the ‘Middle
Kingdom’ or ‘Central Land’, a name that most likely refers to its
self-regarded position as the centre of civilization during its early
history. The modern state which today covers an area of 9,598,086 km²
and has an estimated population of over 1,321,850,000 is now officially
referred to as the People's Republic of China. It is a nation of 55
ethnic groups and 235 spoken languages. The country's capital is
Beijing, and with over 23 million inhabitants, Shanghai (fig.)
is the nation's most populated city, and the fastest growing city in the
world in terms of skyscraper construction (fig.). In Thai called Prathet
Jihn (ประเทศจีน). See also
Thailand's Neighbours & Beyond.
for fine white or translucent ceramic ware, porcelain, etc. In Thai
kreuang thuay chaam.
Bangkok where a large population of Chinese has been
living after they were moved from Banglamphu in 1782 by the then
government, to make room to built the new capital
Rattanakosin and the Grand Palace
Phra Rachawang. It is generally referred to as
after its main street. The area has many gold shops and several
crowded markets, both with food and wholesale hardware produce. On
the sidewalk of Charoeng Rung Road the practice of
mang ming can often be observed, or undergone (fig.).
There are several Chinese restaurants and some
tea shops. Places of interest include the
Mahayana Buddhist temple Wat Mangkon Kamalawat on Charoen
Krung Road, the wholesale market at Sampeng Lane and the thieves
market Nakhon Kasem. Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic
Chinese of which 56% are
Bangkok's Chinatown is
purportedly the largest of its kind in the world.
Wooden frame with rings or beads as an aid to calculate.
Chinese ancestral tablet
of ancestor worship, in which usually wooden tablets,
inscribed with the titles and names of deceased relatives, are preserved
in an altar-like, household shrine, which may additionally have patron
deities set up nearby too. Large shrines may hold tablets of an entire
clan and tablets usually vary in size and shape, and may occasionally be
of stone. They also have the
dates of birth and death on them, as well as some additional
information, such as the place of burial and the name of the person who
erected the tablet, which is customarily a son. Often two tablets are
made, i.e. one of paper and one of wood. A ceremony then takes place (fig.) in
which the dead person’s spirit is transferred onto the wooden tablet.
Once the transfer is successful, the paper tablet is either burned or
buried with the dead person's remains. The main idea behind this is the
belief that the soul is made up of
yin-yang components, which at the
time of death split.
then goes with the body to the grave, whilst
yang takes up residence in the ancestral tablet. Since those components
are not immortal they need to be nourished, and surviving relatives will
feed them with offerings. The tablets are enshrined
according to the importance of the ancestor, with the centre of the
shrine being reserved for the tablet of the primary family ancestor. In
addition to ancestor tablets, the edge of the shrine might also hold
spirit tablets, i.e. tablets devoted to spirits that are believed to
protect the family circle. It is a key religious custom and ritual
as well as in many places with a large community of Chinese immigrants.
In Chinese, an ancestral tablet is called
name for a small partridge, with the scientific name Bambusicola
thoracicus and native to mainland
China. The underparts are golden-rufous,
with some elongated black spots on the sides, that run over the back
which is otherwise brownish-grey. Its face and throat are also golden-rufous,
whilst the crown, neck and breast are ashy grey. In Manadarin, it is
known as huī xiōng zhú jī (灰胸竹鸡), which literally translates as
‘ash-breasted bamboo chicken’, and in Thai it is called
nok kratha phai jihn, the Thai
equivalent of the English common name. It is one of two species in the
genus Bambusicola, the other one being the
Mountain Bamboo-partridge (fig.).
Its common name is alternatively
Bamboo Partridge. See also
name for an up to 19 centimeter tall passerine songbird in the bulbul
family Pycnonotidae, which is also commonly known as Light-vented Bulbul.
The species is widespread in East Asia, including mainland
Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as in Korea and Japan. It also occurs in
northernmost part of
Vietnam, and in northern
It has a distinctive black head, with a white throat, small white
patches covering the sides of its head, and a large white nape. The
underparts are light, yellowish-grey, and the mantle, rump and wings are
greyish-olive, wilst the primaries are yellowish-green. This species scientific designation is Pycnonotus sinensis and in Thai it is known as
nok parod jihn.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
name used for a variety of oriental leaf vegetables, including
phak kahd khao kwahng
phak kahd khao plih,
phak kwahng tung,
etc. In Cantonese, cabbages are called bok choy, and in Mandarin bai cai
(白菜), which literally means ‘white
vegetable’. Since this sounds similar to bai cai (百财), meaning ‘numerous
wealth’, cabbages are regarded symbols of wealth, and are hence commonly
found as good luck charms. A precious jadeite cabbage is displayed in
the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, where it is the most famous
exhibit and considered among the
finest of all artifacts from ancient Imperial
a masterpiece that stands apart from a long
tradition of idealized perfection in
carving. In this particular artifact, the sculptor has achieved
remarkable realism by masterfully incorporating the stone's
natural variations in colour, as well as the stone's flaws, into his
design, for the latter using the stone's natural cracks as leaf
of an art form and East Asian tradition of writing Chinese characters.
There are different types of script being used, i.e. Regular or Standard
Script; Semi-cursive or Running Script; Cursive or Grass Script;
Clerical, Scribal, Draft or Official Script; and Small or Lesser Seal
Script, the latter being the oldest style that continues to be
practiced, especially on traditional seals called
(fig.), but with ever fewer people able to read it. Its predecessor,
the rugged and blocky Great Seal Script which was in use prior to the
invention of the
(fig.), is not used
in contemporary Chinese calligraphy. In Regular
Script, often referred to as kaishu (楷书), each of the strokes is placed
carefully with the
being lifted from the paper after every stroke. This makes it the most
easy style to read and a appropriate base for other, more flowing
styles. In Semi-cursive Script (fig.) strokes and sometimes characters are
allowed to run into one another with the ink brush leaving the paper
less often than in Regular Script, whilst in Cursive Script entire
characters may be written without lifting the brush from the paper at
all, making the characters flow into one another. Although easier to
write more fast, both Semi-cursive and Cursive Script are much more
challenging to read. Regular Script is usually written in Traditional
Chinese, although Simplified Chinese may occasionally also be used.
Traditionally, Chinese calligraphy is written on
and only in black, as the ink
used for it is made from soot, a black powdery deposit from smoke, and
binders. While performing calligraphy, the rice paper is usually
held in place with two Chinese paperweights in a rectangular bar shape,
one for each end of the paper and known in Chinese as
By way of identification and instead of a signature, an artist, also
called a calligraphist, will place a
in red ink, usually at the side (top, bottom or middle) of each calligraphic work.
Besides the writing of Chinese characters the term calligraphy may also
be used to refer to a similar art form that includes a certain style of
ink painting, such as the making of
Zen circles (fig.),
Chinese blossoms and landscapes (fig.)
or other traditional figures. Calligraphy is sometimes referred to as
the Soul of Chinese Fine Arts and enthusiasts can sometimes be observed
in public piazzas and parks writing on the floor in water (fig.), with a large
writing brush (fig.). See also
mao bi and
wen fang si bao (fig.).
Chinese character cards
Chinese Culture Centre
that promotes the culture and
It was inaugurated on 21 November 2012, in the presence of the Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao and Thai Prime Minister Yinglak Shinawat, and aims to
publicize Chinese culture and offer information about the People's Republic of China. It is
equipped with an exhibition hall, a small theater, a library, and
several training rooms for Chinese music and dance, as well as for
workshops. The Chinese Culture
Centre in Bangkok is the first and largest of its kind built by China in
Southeast Asia, and combines both ancient Chinese and modern
architectural styles, such as roofs designed in the fashion of a giant
and reminiscent of the China Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in
Shanghai, which was itself inspired by
as used in traditional Chinese
architecture. The Chinese Culture Centre is located in Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District,
adjacent to the
Thailand Cultural Centre
(fig.) and opposite of the
Thai-Chinese Culture & Arts Exchange Centre
(fig.). In Thai called Soon
(ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมจีน), and in Chinese
known as Zhong Guo Wen Hua Zhong Xin (中国文化中心). In English, it is also
referred to as Chinese Cultural Centre, or simply CCC.
Chinese door gods
Portraits of two military generals, that are painted in pair on either door of
a double-door entrance to a palace, mansion or
temple, and facing each other, as it is considered bad luck to place the
figures back-to-back. The custom reportedly started in the Tang Dynasty, when its
founding emperor was troubled by an evil spirit and had two of his brave
generals, i.e. Qin Shubao (Qin Qiong) and Yuchi Jingde (Yuchi Gong),
guard the front doors of his palace. Since the generals were not
fulltime available, the emperor ordered their portraits painted on his
front door instead.
Qin Shubao is typically represented with a goatee-like beard and holding
a long-handle mace, whereas Yuchi Jingde has a full beard and holds a
long-handle battle axe. Usually, though not always (fig.),
Qin Shubao is portrayed with a reddish-pink complexion, whilst Yuchi Jingde
is rather brownish. The imperial custom was later adapted by
commoners and became folk tradition (fig.), sometimes replacing the generals
with other mythological figures or legendary heroes. Sometimes, it is
understood that one guardian stands guard during the day, whilst the
other protects the entrance at night. If so, the figures may be represented in combination with a Chinese character, i.e. the one
with the character for sun, i.e. ri (日), and the other with the
character for moon, i.e. yue (月), thus indicating their different
responsibilities. See also
Chinese fortune sticks
sticks used in Chinese shrines and Thai temples to tell one's
fortune. The sticks are kept in a -usually red- cylindrical
container and each stick has a number
written on it that correspondents with a numbered horoscope-like
leaflet that tells your luck for the future (fig.). Both the sticks and
container are generally made of
bamboo or wood. Players will sit on their knees holding the
container with both hands, shaking it until just one stick drops
out. In Thai they are called
and in Mandarin
qiuqian. See also
Name for a species of bird in the Phasianidae family, with the
binomial name Francolinus pintadeanus, which is found in South, East
and Southeast Asia, including
China, India, Bangladesh,
where it is known as
nok kratah thung, i.e. ‘field
partridge’. It is short-tailed and has a
body size of about 31-33 centimeters. The male's mantle and
underparts are blackish with whitish spots, whereas those of the
female are somewhat duller and browner, with whitish bars. Males
have a white throat and ear-coverts, surrounded with black, which is
similar with females, but the latter's ear-coverts are slightly
buff. The male's scapulars are chestnut
and the crown is black with rufous on the sides. Females have less
black on the crown-centre and only a little chestnut on the
scapulars. With both sexes, the
bill is short, slightly curved downward and gray in colour. The legs
and feet, are dark yellowish to orange.
Its natural habitat consists of open forests and woodlands, grass
and scrub. See also
Mountain Bamboo-partridge (fig.)
Chinese Bamboo-partridge (fig.).
Term used in architecture and
furniture to refer to a repeating ornamental design of interlaced
vertical and horizontal lines, that forms a meandering pattern.
Chinese gold ingot
kon tamleung thong.
Chinese Grey Shrike
Common name for a bird in the family Laniidae,
with the scientific designation Lanius sphenocercus, and which is
found in northern East Asia. It has an overall pearl grey body and
head, with a black mask extending from the forehead, through the
eye, to the ear coverts. The lower wings are black, as is the long
tail. This bird is reminiscent of the
but without the rufous colours, though juvenile birds do have a
brown cast to the grey on the breast and mantle.
Chinese Health Balls
Chinese Massage Balls.
Common name for a species of songbird with the
scientific designations Garrulax canorus and Leucodioptron canorum,
and also commonly known as Melodious Laughingthrush, which in Thai
translated to nok krarahng siang sai (นกกระรางเสียงใส).
It is a popular cage bird, kept for its attractive song, which
consists of a quite high, repetitive, rich and varied, whistling,
that increases in volume and may include imitations of other birds.
Adults are about 23 centimeters tall, and have a largely light to
dark brown plumage, depending on the individual, with streaks above,
as well as on the breast. Its most distinctive characteristic is the
white marking around the eyes, i.e. a white eyering that extends
backwards to form a white -often downward bent- stripe, a feature
that actually gave this bird the name hwamei, which derives from the
Chinese words hua mei (画眉), that literally mean ‘painted eyebrows’
Chinese Imperial roof
Name for a row of small animal figures, usually
made of glazed ceramic and placed on Chinese-style roofs, above the
eave near the corners.
Designation for a decorative,
mystic knot, with a seemingly endless and repetitive pattern, which
is hence a symbol of longevity and eternity.
Common name of a plant with the botanical
designation Physalis alkekengi, and which is also commonly known as
Japanese Lantern, Winter Cherry and Bladder Cherry. Its
fruits sit in a papery covering that derived from the calyx and
Vitamin C, B and Iron−
they have some
medicinal uses, including being a stimulant for the immune system. In Japan, its seeds are used as offerings to guide
the souls of the deceased. In Chinese, the fruits are known as
gu niang guo.
Name for a species of Old World warbler in the
family, though sometimes listed in the Sylviidae family, yet with
the scientific name Phylloscopus yunnanensis, i.e. from ‘Yunnan’.
It is found from
China to the northern part
of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, where it is known as
nok krajid phan jihn. It has pale,
yellowish grey underparts, with a darker
throat. Its upperparts are olive to greenish brown, with a
characteristic dark bar, flanked by two white stripes, on the
wing-coverts. It has a pale supercilium that runs from the nostrils
to behind the eyes. The slender and pointed
bill, as well as the legs are dark orange. Also spelled Chinese Leaf
Chinese Massage Balls
A set (usually a pair) of therapeutic balls, that
are manipulated in the palm of one hand using the five fingers, in order to massage it,
relax the joints and improve muscle-strength, especially as a form
of rehabilitation, although they are also used as an aid in −or a
meditation. Its use also claims to prevent high blood
pressure. They consist of hollow spheres, generally with a diameter
of 4.5 centimeter (though other sizes exist), each with
a smaller metal ball inside, that strikes against a coiled chime and
thus produces a ding-dong sound, as they are moved. Balls are made of
metal and often decorated with patterns in
Exercises are initially done with two balls that are rotated slowly
in one hand, whilst in constant contact with each other, though
gradually the speed of the rotation is increased and the balls are
moved without making contact with each other. Chinese Massage Balls
have a long tradition and are considered one of the seven biggest
traditional medical inventions in
China, which include also
tai chi chuan. Also known as Chinese
Health Balls, Chinese Medicine Balls, Chinese Meditation Balls, and
Baoding Balls, after Baoding (保定), a prefecture level city in Hebei
(China), where they originated. In Chinese, known as
Jiang Shen Qiu
Baoding Jiang Shen Qiu.
Chinese Medicine Balls
Chinese Massage Balls.
Chinese Meditation Balls
Chinese Massage Balls.
Chinese New Year
Chinese Pond Heron
name for an approximately 46 centimeter tall, East Asian wading bird
with the scientific name Ardeola bacchus. Its winter plumage is light
brown and streaked, with white underparts and white wings (fig.),
making it almost indistinguishable from the Javan and
Indian Pond Heron (fig.),
apart from the sometimes more dusky tips at the outermost
primaries, which are best visible during flight (fig.).
During the breeding season its head and breast become deep chestnut, the
back grey and the underparts white, which is clearly different from its
relatives. It has a yellow bill with a black tip, yellow eyes and legs.
It occurs in lowland regions and its natural habitat consists of shallow
fresh and salt-water wetlands and ponds, where it feeds on insects, fish
and crustaceans. In Thailand it is a common winter visitor called
nok yahng krok pan jihn.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
ancient Chinese art style or a form of abstract
iconography, in which large natural
rocks are used as decoration, both indoor and outdoor, and either
erected on their own in homes, gardens, parks and along roadsides, or in
group, forming complete rock gardens. Chinese garden rockery may also
involve the modeling of natural landscapes and sceneries, featuring
peaks, cliffs, winding caves, waterfalls and gorges. Many rocks are
obtained from rivers, such as Shanghai's famous
Jade Rock in Yu Yuan (map
and while some are smooth, others might be rough with sharp, uneven
edges, and holes (fig.).
Smooth rocks often have Chinese characters engraved or painted on them (fig.).
The history of Chinese rockery can be traced back as far as the early
Qin Dynasty and over time it became more popular due to the influence of
landscape painting and poetry. In Chinese rock gardens and rockeries are
known as jia shan (假山), i.e. ‘artificial mountains’.
The art style is also commonly found in
Vietnam (fig.). See also
shan zi and
Stone Forest (fig.).
Chinese Soft-shell Turtle
Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle
for a species of semi-aquatic freshwater
is found in southern
China, Taiwan and
Vietnam, and with the
scientific designation Ocadia sinensis. It has a series of black and
yellow stripes from the head to the neck, and front legs with five toes.
Chinese Stripe-necked Turtles grow to a size of about 24 cm and have an
elliptical, slightly depressed carapace, which is somewhat serrated at
the back. Juveniles have three keels on the carapace, which generally
all disappear with age. The carapace is reddish brown to black with
yellow seams, especially in juveniles, who occasionally also show some
yellow or orange on the projections of the keels. Males have a slightly
concave plastron and the vent lies beyond the margin of the carapace,
whereas females have a flat to slightly convex plastron with the vent
beneath the carapace. In the wild, where it inhabits slow-moving lowland
waters with soft bottoms, such as marshes, swamps, ponds and canals,
this species is threatened by overhunting and habitat destruction, and
in captivity it is vulnerable to crossbreeding (hybridization).
Peculiarly, juveniles of both sexes are omnivorous, but males are
carnivorous whereas females are herbivorous, feeding on a variety of
aquatic plants. Chinese Stripe-necked Turtles are fond of basking. In
Thai it is known as
tao ko laai, meaning ‘striped neck turtle’.
Chinese tea house
Public establishment in
or of Chinese origin,
but often also other refreshments, are served.
Chinese Valentine's Day
Qi Qiao Jie.
Chinese Water Dragon
Indochinese Water Dragon.
Chinese wedding box
rounded, basket-like box, with a lid and a handle on the top.
It is often made of lacquered wood or
bamboo, and always painted red, the
auspicious colour for Chinese weddings. There are two common models,
i.e. those with a single container that usually have a decorated handle, and those with multiple containers
placed on top of each other, somewhat reminiscent of
Indian tiffin boxes or the Thai
pintoh (fig.). It is used by the groom's family
to carry wedding gifts to the bride's house, some time before the couple
are married, as well as the so-called ‘milk money’, a sum of money
offered to the bride's parents to cover the expenses for her upbringing
and education. Then, three days before the wedding day, women from the
bride's family reciprocate, bearing gifts and sometimes a kind of dowry
to the groom's family, as well as personal things for the bride, so that
on her wedding day all of her personal belongings will be in the groom's
Chinese writing brush
Contrary to the West, people in the Far East have a cyclical concept of
time, rather than a linear one and the traditional Chinese calendar, for
one, is based on a twelve year cycle.
Name of a pair of small, cup-shaped hand cymbals, joined by a cord or a
leather string. They exist in different sizes and are usually made of a
thick and heavy metal, often an alloy of brass and iron mixed with
bronze. They are sometimes beautifully decorated. They are used to keep
the rhythm in a musical ensemble. To play, each cymbal is held in a
hand, one in the right the other in the left hand (fig.), and both are then
struck together, once with an outward sliding movement, then straight
on, producing alternately a high-pitched pealing sound and a dampening
blocked sound. The Thai name
is an onomatopoeia, i.e. it is named after
the sound the instrument makes. See also
Term used to express the incorrect use of English
grammar, vocabulary (word choice) and pronunciation by Chinese
people, often due to interference from their own language, as well
as local anomalies and colloquialism. Due to the enormous linguistic
and cultural divide, there are many possible pitfalls when trying to
convey a message from Chinese into English, as well as the other way
around. It is a longstanding myth that when a certain US fast-food
chain arrived in China, it ended up translating its slogan
Finger-licking Good into actually telling its customers to eat their
Common name for a species of small gazelle, with
the scientific name Gazella bennettii found in South Asia,
especially in grasslands and desert areas. It is widely distributed
in India (fig.), where it is mostly found in the northern and central
regions, as well as in Bangladesh and parts of Iran and Pakistan.
These gazelles are only 65 centimeters tall and their fur is
reddish-buff, with a pitch black tail and white underparts. The sides of
the face have dark chestnut stripes bordered by white stripes, from
the corner of the eye to the snout. Males grow a pair of blackish,
ribbed horns, that have a set of rings at the base and usually
around 20-25 centimeters long. The horns typically curve backward and then
upward, ending in a sharp point. Females may also grow horns, but
with a less thick base and without any base rings. The Chinkara can
go without water for long periods. especially in dry, arid areas.
However, it does derive essential moisture from herbs and dew. It
east grass, leaves, crops and fruits, such as melons and pumpkins.
Also known as the Indian Gazelle.
‘Rounded basket’. A traditional
team sport of
very similar to
Sanskrit. ‘Wishing gem’, but literally ‘idea jewel’ or ‘thought
gem’. A wish-fulfilling jewel in both Hindu tradition and Buddhism,
akin to the Chinese
It is said to be one of four relics that fell from the sky, together
with a Buddha's bowl, which is by some believed to have been a
iconography it usually takes the form of a ball wreathed in flames or of
a small bowl (fig.),
and occurs as an
Mahayana Buddhist deities (fig.),
It also occurs in architecture, often on a
base or pedestal (fig.)
and sometimes on top of three other jewels, that represent the
Triple Gem (fig.).
It is also associated with the
flaming pearl (fig.)
and on occasion described as one and the same thing. As such, it is found on Chinese-style temple and palace buildings,
usually on the roof, but sometimes on the gable, and depicted in the form
of a circle wreathed in flames (fig.),
often in between two
that are facing one another. Besides this, the circle is reminiscent of a
wreathed in flames of wisdom, with the circle symbolizing void,
wholeness, perfection, strength, and elegance, whilst the flames, as
well as the
circle, are both symbols of
Enlightenment. Though, another
explanation says that the halo or sphere with flames (sometimes
compared to a pearl with flames) represents the pure energy (Chi or
Qi), that emanates from the
in the temple. Also transcribed cintamani.
Chintamani Lokesvara (चिन्तामणिलोकईश्वर)
Sanskrit. ‘Lord of the universe with a
wishing gem’. A form of the
Avalokitesvara. See also
Burmese name for the stylized mythical
lion seen standing guard at temples. Lions were believed
to be the protectors of Buddhist teachings. Also transcribed chin
dhei and sometimes spelled chinthe. See also
chi pa kao (ชีปะขาว, ชีผะขาว)
chi pah kao.
chi pah kao (ชีผ้าขาว)
Thai. An ascetic with a white cloth or habit. Compare with
naang chi and
mae chi. Also
chi pa kao, chee pah khao and chih
pah khao. Compare with
Chirapravati Voradej (จิรประวัติวรเดช)
Sanskrit term for the Seven
Another name for the
Chitralada (จิตรลดา, चित्रलता)
1. Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Wonderful creepers’. Name of the private
residence of King
Rama IX, located in
and named after the garden of the god
is part of the
Dusit Palace complex, of
which the grounds that are surrounded by a moat (fig.), take up an
area of four square kilometers. Besides several
palace buildings, there are gardens and an agricultural research centre. Annually,
during the nights of the week of
Phra Chonma Phansa, the western palace gate
- fig.) and the
trees along the moat surrounding the compound are decorated with mini
lights to celebrate the King's birthday.
The name of the palace in full is Phra Tamnak Chitralada Rahotaan (พระตำหนักจิตรลดารโหฐาน),
which translates as ‘Chitralada Private Palace’.
2. Thai name of a building within
College, located across the street from Chitralada Palace,
that is to the Northwest and opposite of the palace compound. It is in
Thai referred to as Ka-na Chitralada (คณะจิตรลดา), i.e. ‘Chitralada
3. Sanskrit-Thai name for a kind of verse, also referred to as
4. Thai. Name for a style of female
national dress of Thailand, fully known as
Thai Chitralada, and in 1972
depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.).
Sanskrit. ‘Bright communication’ or ‘wonderful writing’. Friend of
Usha, the beautiful daughter of
Nepali. Name of the first National Park in Nepal, which was established
in 1973 and covers an area of 932 km² in the Terai Lowlands, at the
foothills of the Himalayas in south-central Nepal.
Thai. Name of a giant or yak character in the Ramakien.
northern Thai term for small triangular flags, made from coloured paper
or cloth on a wooden stick and used in religious practices in the North,
especially to put on top of offerings (fig.)
sand pagodas (fig.).
Also called tung
(ตุง), thung siauw (ทุงเสี้ยว)
and thung sahm liam (ทุงสามเหลี่ยม).
name for a small butterfly with the scientific designation Appias
lyncida vasana, which belongs to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows
and Whites. This butterfly has a wingspan of 5.5 to 70 centimeters (fig.). The
sexes are dimorphic and there is also seasonal dimorphism, making this
species very variable. Males are white above with brown or black
margins, which are narrower in the dry season, and bright yellow below
with brown markings. The female is white and densely clouded with
dark-brown, whilst the hind wings may be yellowish or whitish and have
broad dark border, and in the dry season it may have more more extensive
white markings. It is also commonly known as Vanilla Flavoured
Albatross, and in Thai it is called
non bai kum khob tahn mai (ผีเสื้อหนอนใบกุ่มขอบตาลไหม้).
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1)
Chocolate Grass Yellow
name for a 4 to 4.5 centimeter small butterfly, with the scientific designation
Eurema sari (sodalis) and belonging to the family Pieridae, i.e. the
family of Yellows and Whites. It is recognizable by a distinct brown
apex on the underside of the forewing, which sets it apart from most
other Eurema species. However, above, the wings of males are all but
identical to the Hill Grass Yellow (Eurema simulatrix littorea), while
some species, such as certain individuals of the Common Grass Yellow (Eurema
hecabe hecabe) may also have similar upper wings above. The Chocolate
Grass yellow is found on the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast
Asia. In Thai, it is known as
naen sahri (ผีเสื้อเณรส่าหรี).
name for a butterfly found in South and Southeast Asia, with the
scientific name Junonia iphita. The upperside of both sexes is brown of
varying depths of colour and with brown lines and a tiny white spot near
the front edge of each forewing (fig.).
It has wavy lines on the underside of the wings, that vary from wet to
dry season forms. Females visibly differ from males by white markings on
the oblique line on the underside of the hind wing. It is also known as
Chocolate Pansy (fig.).
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1)
Thai. ‘Tassel of air’ or ‘bunch of sky’. The bird's head-like finial
at either end of Buddhist temple roofs in Thailand. Although its
origin and meaning is disputed it is believed to symbolize either a
Garuda, the mount of the god
Hamsa, the mount of the god
Brahma, both creatures from Hindu mythology.
Possibly placed to attract worshippers from Hindu religion to
Most temple roofs have a combination of a chofa,
Sometimes, a chofa with a different form (fig.)
can be seen, whilst some tapering roofs may be decorated with multiple chofa
See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.
‘To pick’ or ‘to pull’. Term for a type of weaving technique from Central
Thailand, which refers to the method used in order to make cloth with a typical design (fig.),
i.e. to pick and lift the weft yarn to create a pattern, somewhat
reminiscent of embroidery. The
technique originates from
and was introduced to Thailand by immigrants during
the reign of king
Rama VI. The cloth that results
from using this technique is called
pah chok (fig.). Also transcribed jok.
Tamil. Name of a
dynasty and kingdom in South India, during the 10th and 13th
An art style from the Chola kingdom, known for its bronze sculpture.
cho muang (ช่อม่วง)
Thai. ‘Purple bouquet’.
Name of a traditional hand-made Thai
sweet that is fashioned in the form of [a bouquet of] purple flowers and
which consist of stuffed dumplings. The purple colour is obtained by
which have purplish blue petals, after which the purple to blue extract
is used as a natural food colouring agent that is mixed with the dough.
In turn, the dough is made by mixing water,
flour, starch from arrowroot tubers, and
flour, while the filling is made from chopped
hua chai poh wahn,
i.e. sweet white radish (fig.),
chopped and minced cloves of garlic, coarse roasted peanuts, cut
coriander roots, black pepper, salt, and sugar.
These stuffed flower-shaped
dumplings are depicted on a postage stamp issued in 2018 as part of a
set of six stamps on traditional Thai sweets (fig.).
Chom Klao (จอมเกล้า)
name for king
Mongkut, the fourth monarch of the
Chakri Dynasty, with the crown title
name for the ‘rose apple’, a kind of tree and its fruit
(fig.), listed in
the genus Syzygium, which has several varieties, e.g. Syzygium
jambos, which is commonly known as Malay
apple, and of which the fruits are usually bell-shaped, somewhat
similar to the form of a pear, and vary in colour from pale green (chomphu thunklao) to
bright red (chomphu thabthim).
The green kind is originally from Thailand, the red from
Malaysia. Another related variety is known as
chomphu ma-miaw. Its fruits are
more egg-shaped and of a dark red, wine-like colour (fig.).
The latter has the botanical name Syzygium malaccensis or Syzygium
malaccense, and is commonly referred to as the Malay-apple Pomerac,
or simply Malacca Apple. Chomphu fruits are refreshing, but not very sweet. In addition, the
name chomphu is also used for and entirely unrelated tree called
chomphu phanthip, which is the Thai
name for the Rosy Trumpet-tree or Pink Trumpet Tree, a tree with
pink flowers and the botanical name
Tabebuia rosea (fig.).
Also transcribed chomphoo.
chomphu ma-miaw (ชมพู่มะเหมี่ยว)
for a variety of ‘rose apple’, a fruit and tree (fig.)
with the scientific name Syzygium malaccensis and commonly referred
to as the Malay-apple Pomerac or Malacca Apple. It is egg-shaped and of a dark red,
wine-like colour. See also
of a monkey soldier in the epic
Ramakien. He was made by
Shiva's sweat to become a son of
He is depicted with a greyish-brown fur and wearing a
of which the tip is slightly bend backward.
Also transcribed Chomphoophan
while the pronunciation is Chomphoophaan.
chomphu phanthip (ชมพูพันทิพย์)
chomphu phuang (ชมพูพวง)
chomphu thabthim (ชมพู่ทับทิม)
Thai. Red rose apple. See
chom phu (fig.).
chomphu thunklao (ชมพู่ทูลเกล้า)
Thai. Green rose apple. See
chom phu (fig.).
Chom Trai Lohk (จอมไตรโลก)
Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Lord of the three worlds’. A name for
Chom Trai Pop. See Also
Chom Trai Pop (จอมไตรภพ)
Chom Trai Lohk.
Thai-Sanskrit. ‘Water City’. The name of
on Thailand's west coast
as well as its capital city which is located about 81 kms from
Bangkok, on the east side of the Gulf of Thailand.
Chong Kai (ช่องไก่)
Thai. Cemetery for the war victims of WW II who died during the
construction of the infamous
in the province of
Kanchanaburi. This cemetery is about two kilometers from
the centre of town, on the grounds of a former camp for POWs, on the
left bank of the river Kwae Noi. 1,750 allied soldiers are
remembered here. See also
name for a small tropical tree that growing to 17 meters tall, with
purple-white flowers and broad, rounded, bi-lobed leaves. It grows
from India to the Malay peninsula and South China, and is
sometimes called Indian
orchid. Its Latin name is
Bauhinia purpurea. It is very similar to the Hong Kong orchid
(Bauhinia blakeana), which is actually a hybrid between Bauhinia
purpurea and Bauhinia variegata, and which is the flower emblem of
Hong Kong, depicted also on its flag.
Chong Para (จองพารา)
Yai. ‘Castle of wood’. Annual festival in
Mae Hong Son during
owk pansa, from
of the 11th lunar month, to the night of the waxing moon of the same
month, usually in October. During the festival wooden structures covered
with colourful paper and decorated with fruits, flags and lamps are
placed in the courtyard of a temple or in the garden of a house, as a
gesture to welcome the Buddha on his return from
heaven. To celebrate the occasion also traditional dances
are performed in which the dancers dress in animal costumes. Also
transcribed Chong Phara, Chawng Phara, Jong Phara or similar.
chong ruong gia thu (chồng rường giả thủ)
Vietnamese architectural term for a
style of roof support typically used in temples, palaces and traditional
houses, and in which the beams are piled up into the shape of a
hand with five fingers, i.e. with three horizontal beams and five
Chinese. Name of a
Buddhist temple located on a hilltop in Dali, in
term that derives from Pali and means ‘water path’ or ‘waterway’, i.e.
‘[to proceed] over the water’, with the word chon (ชล)
meaning ‘water’, as in
and the word mahk (มารค)
meaning ‘path’. The term is
used in the
Royal Barge Procession,
chonma pansa (ชนมพรรษา)
Rajasap for ‘age’ of ‘aging’, as in
Wan Chaleum Phra Chonma Phansa.
Northern-Thai name for a bamboo net used to catch fish and other aquatic
animals. It is woven from thin bamboo strips called
tok, into a triangular shape with a long handle. It is for
places with shallow water such as
and river edges, reservoirs,
Tibetan word for
chedi, usually in a miniature form.
Chinese. Name of
Kuan U's (fig.)
aide-de-camp, a fierce looking warlord, who bears the
He is a fictional character from the novel Romance of the
Three Kingdoms. He is described as
a strong warrior with a dark face and a wiry beard, who became caught up
in the Yellow Turban Rebellion and joined the rebels. It was during this
time that he first met Kuan U, who impressed him with his courage and
sense of honour. However, after the rebellion was crushed by Han troops,
Chou Tsang became a renegade bandit. He inhabited Mount Woniu with
another former Yellow Turban rebel, Pei Yuanshao, and became infamous as
a warrior of great strength and skill. After encountering Kuan U once
more on a mountain road, he swore his loyalty to the
Tiger General and was appointed to Kuan
U's kuandao carrier. A capable boatman, his skills were critical in
helping achieve Kuan U's water attack at the Battle of Fancheng. At Fan,
he managed to capture the fearsome warrior Pang De during the flooding
of the castle. Alas, his strong loyalty to Kuan U would cost him his
life, when in 219 AD, upon seeing the heads of his master and his
Kuan Ping (fig.)
displayed by the forces of Wu, he committed suicide.
he is often depicted alongside Kuan U and
Kuan Ping, with his face
traditionally painted black (fig.).
Christian religion based on the monotheistic principle, the belief in
one supreme God (יהוה -
Yahweh in Hebrew) and on the teachings of Jesus
of Nazareth, also known as
Jesus Christ (fig.), as presented in the
Bible, especially in the New Testament. As such, Christian heritage is
interwoven with that of Judaism and
entwined yet not united, like the filaments of a rope. The most
important event in Christianity is the birth, life, death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, who atones for the sins of the world and
thus brings salvation to humankind, through victory over evil and death.
Besides the cross, which was introduced into the church only at a later
stage, the icon of Christianity early on was a
fish, usually referred to as the Ichtus
and a Greek acronym for Iesous Khristos Theou Huios Soter (Ἰησοῦς
Χριστός θεοῦ Υἱός Σωτήρ), meaning ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour’.
An estimated 0.5% of Thais are Christians,
of differing denominations and including many of the hill tribe people
in Northern Thailand, who often practice their Christian belief mixed
with remaining customs of
animism. See also
Festival commemorating the birth of
Jesus Christ (fig.).
for the Poinsettia, an up to three meters high poisonous shrub, that belongs to the
family of spurges and in Thailand blooms from October to February.
Its milky sap or latex, as well as its leaves are very irritating
for the eyes, skin and digestive system. There are varieties with
flaming red, dark red, salmon, white or pale yellow bracts, that are
arranged in a star-shape, around small flowers which are mainly of a
yellow colour. Also known by the scientific name Euphorbia pulcherrima and in Thai as dok krismas
Vietnam, chua is often used as a more
generic term referring to any place of worship, such as
a temple and its complex in
Buddhism. As a pagoda, chua are often
octagonal and usually have an odd number of stories, as
concept this corresponds with the
principle, i.e. the bright aspect, which in turn relates to
Enlightenment. See also
Chua Bai Dinh (Chùa Bái Đính)
Vietnamese. Name of
Vietnam's largest Buddhist
temple complex, located on a 700 hectares compound in Ninh Binh and
consisting of both ancient and new structures, including a 34 meter tall
hall with a facade of over 59 meters long; a tall, slender
pagoda; and a huge outdoor statue
elevated centrally on a hill. It is part of the
Trang An eco-tourism area and is since
2014 listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (fig.)
under the name Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which also
Tam Coc (fig.)
Bich Dong (fig.),
as well as
Chua Linh Ung (Chùa Linh Ứng)
Vietnamese. Name of
Buddhist temple complex, located on a mountain at the
peninsula, just north of the city of Da Nang in central
It was inaugurated on 30 July 2010 after six years of
construction and features several large edifices, including a 67 meter
tall image of
which is visible from the coast of Da Nang, as well as a nine-tiered
There are numerous large marble images of the
as well as of the
Ten Principal Disciples
some mythological animals. Many of
the temple's buildings, including the main prayer hall, all have
with upward curved corners, a
in which it is believed that curved lines ward off evil spirits, whilst
straight lines are said to attract evil.
PANORAMA PICTURES (1)
as well as
TRAVEL PICTURES (1),
Chua Nam Quang Tu (Chùa Nam Quang Tự)
Vietnamese. Name of
Buddhist temple (chua)
in Hoi An. The main
building has and architecture with features that are
reminiscent of those of
such as the
dharmachakra on the
which takes the form of a wheel
with eight spokes with
at the end of each of the
spokes an additional ornament (fig.)
as is typically found in
as well as of
Buddhism, such as the
on the roof. The main prayer hall houses a
seated in the
pose underneath a replica
while the courtyard features a marble Buddha image seated in the
pose underneath a genuine
and novices (fig.)
at this temple wear
dress with baggy,
chuan chom (ชวนชม)
Thai. ‘To invite admiration’ and
‘attractive’. Thai name for the
Thai name for
Choochok or Chuchok.
Pali-Thai name useก
in prayer for
Also transliterated Choochako.
Thai name for
Jujaka, also transliterated
Choochok and Chuchaka.
one of the
Eighteen Arahats, the younger brother of
the Sanskrit word paantha (पान्थ)
means ‘traveller’, pantha (पन्थक)
is a word derived from panthan (पन्ठन्),
meaning ‘road’, ‘path’ or ‘way’, and panthaka is usually
translated as ‘produced or born on the way’. The Sanskrit word chuda (चूड)
has the same meaning as the Pali and Thai word
‘tonsure’, though it is often translated as ‘small’, perhaps referring
to the fact that he was the younger brother of Panthaka the Elder. He is
hence also known as Pantha the Younger. According to legend, when
went begging for food he would
bang roughly on people's doors and on one day he knocked on an old,
rotten door which consequently fell apart. The Buddha thus gave him a
staff with several rings on it, which he could use to tap on the ground
making the rings rattle to get peoples attention, instead of pounding on
their doors. This ringed beggar's staff, known as
khakkhara, has become
the symbol of this
and he is often depicted holding it (fig.).
It is also said that he was slow on the uptake and unable to learn even
a single verse. To focus his mind, the Buddha taught him to sweep
dust whilst repeating verses, a method that helped him understand that
by sweeping he took away all attachment and eventually attained
Symbolically, the sweeping of dust signifies purification. His
association with sweeping and doors led to the understanding that he is
the doorman who guards the doors of the senses, letting only pure things
in. In Chinese he is known as the
Kan Men (看门, or in traditional Chinese: 看門), literally ‘To Look [at the]
Gate’ or ‘To Examine [the] Door’. In English he is referred to as the
or Door Watching
Arhat. In some ways he can be put on a
Kalika, the Dust Cleaning Arhat who is a cleaner of dusty
minds. For his name in Thai the same pronunciation as in Pali is used,
i.e. Chulapanthaka (จูฬปันถกะ), but he is also known as Gujapakyakha (กุจะปักยะขะ).
Vietnam, he may be depicted riding a
known as Khan Mon La Han
(Khán Môn La Hán -
chui tang ren (吹糖人)
Chinese term for
a traditional folk art in
in which the artist uses a mouth blowing technique, similar to that of
glass blowing, in order to create various kinds of figures, such as
animals, out of molten sugar.
Thai. A ‘male’ kite, with a pentagonal shape, that is used against
pak pao (fig.),
the ‘female’ kite, during contests. These competitions are held at
the beginning of the hot season, in
Bangkok usually at Sanam Luang,
the large field in front of the Royal Palace. The intention of both
parties is to try and take out the opponents kite. The male kite is
named after King
during whose reign kite flying became a popular
sport, mainly due to his support. Also called
kula. See also
kite flying fights.
Thai for ‘tonsure’.
Thai name for King
Chulalongkorn, the fifth monarch of the
Chakri Dynasty with the crown title
Royal Military Academy (fig.) of the
Royal Thai Armed Forces,
founded on 5 August 1887 by this King, is named after him (fig.).
one of the Great Kings in Thai history referred to as a
such his statue (fig.)
is included in the monument at
list of Thai kings.
Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum
An open-air museum situated at a
modern-day naval yard and base, located on the West bank and at the
estuary of the
South of the ancient
Phi Seua Samut Fort (fig.),
of which it is a newer wing. The museum is named after
Chulachomklao (fig.), i.e.
Rama V (fig.),
of which the compound houses a magnificent standing monument
It is also known as the Naval History Park or Navy Historical Park, from
its Thai designation
Uthayaan Prawatisaat Thahaan Reua. It
consists of two main sections, i.e. the HTMS Mae Klong Warship Museum,
which features a decommissioned battle ship
that is still used as a navy training ship today, and the Chulachomklao Naval Armaments
garden with decommissioned naval armaments (fig.).
See MAP (1)
Phi Seua Samut
dates from 1893 and guards the estuary and approach to
Bangkok. The fortress,
also referred to as Phi Seua Samut Fort, has in the past played
an important role in protecting the sovereignty of Siam against
unfriendly nations, especially during the reign of King
Rama IV and
Rama V, when the then superpowers
for oversees colonies. The fortress has today expanded well onto the
mainland where a newer naval base,
located to its South, on the West bank of the river near the
Gulf of Thailand, has been established.
The new fort also features a museum known as the
Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum,
which has a decommissioned battle ship,
that is still used as a navy training ship today (fig.).
In Thai, the both the new and old fortress are known as
Pom Phra Chulachomklao
though the old section on the island is also separately referred to as
Phi Seua Samut
See MAP. 回
Thai. Name of a
stupa containing hair from the
heaven. Buddhist worshippers sometimes
lit paper lanterns known as
kohm loy, i.e. ‘floating lantern’ (fig.),
which they release into the sky as offerings. Also transcribed
Chulamanee and in Burmese referred to as
English-Thai. Fifth monarch of the
Chakri Dynasty with the crown title
Rama V. He was born on 20 September 1853 and
became king in 1868. He introduced western influences in Thailand
and abolished slavery (fig.). He is probably the most
sovereign of the present dynasty
His picture is depicted on ten
nineties a true cult originated
around Chulalongkorn in which the spirit of the deceased monarch is
especially strong in
Bangkok and other large
as most followers
The Buddhist university
Chulalongkon Ratcha Withayahlai
founded by this king himself, as well as the
Chulalongkorn University (fig.), founded by
are both named after Rama V, with the latter featuring a statue of both
kings in its front
- fig.). Chulalongkorn University is the most prestigious house of learning in the
the Bangkok campus' Faculty of Political Science building (map
fig.) appeared on a Thai postage stamp to commemorate its
50th Anniversary. The university also
Centre for Arts and Culture, which is housed in a traditional wooden building
known as a
Reuan Thai (map
fig.). This king was born on a
hence takes pink as his personal colour, following to the
sih prajam wan-system.
Chulalongkorn University has the
Rain Tree or
as its floral emblem, and his royal consort
Dara Radsami named a
thorn-free pink rose
after him (fig.).
Among the Thais he is known as
Chulachomklao and by the predicate
Piya Maha Raj. See also
Wan Piya Maha Raj,
Sri Savarindira, and
list of Thai kings.
Annual Thai public holiday on October 23 in
commemoration of King
Chulalongkorn. In Thai
Wan Piya Maha Raj, literally ‘day of the beloved great
Chulaphorn Walailak (จุฬาภรณ์วลัยลักษณ์)
Third daughter and fourth child to King
Bhumipon and Queen
Sirikit. Born at
Phra Tihnang Amphon Sathaan
Palace, on 4 July 1957. Her personal flag
consists of an orange field, the colour of
her birthday, i.e. Thursday (see
sih prajam wan),
with the initials Ch. Ph. (จ. ภ.), bound
by a pale blue ribbon, and underneath a small crown
Nicknamed Princess Scientist of
Thailand, she on
1 December 1987,
established the Chulabhorn Research Institute, which conducts
academic study of medical science and public health and of which the
princess is the president (fig.).
Her name is
also transcribed Chulabhorn Valailak.
See also POSTAGE STAMPS
Thai. Leader or head of the
people in Thailand. The title is a Thai adaptation of the Muslim
Sheikh al-Islam. The very first
holder of this Thai title was
Sheikh Ahmad Qomi, a merchant from
Persia who is said to have arrived in
in 1602. Until 1945 the office was held by his Shi'ite descendants,
but since that year, Sunnites have held the office. Also transcribed
Chularajamontri and Chularajmontri. See also
The small capital of Chumphon province (map)
with just around 15,000 inhabitants, situated on the peninsular east
coast near the Gulf of Thailand.
Abbreviated name of Chumphon Khet Udomsak (ชุมพรเขตอุดมศักดิ์), a
Krommaluang (i.e. the third
highest title for a prince of royal descent)
and the modernizer of Thailand's Royal Navy, also known as the
Prince of Chumphon. He is widely honoured with
shrines and statues, especially in ports and seaside towns, such as
and so on, and in Chumpon Province there is the
Prince of Chumphon Shrine and Battle Ship Museum, featuring the
battleship H.M.S. Chumphon
fig.). See also
Aphakon Kiatiwong and
Krom Phra Nakhon.
Thai. ‘Gathering of troops’ or ‘gathering of an army’. The word
occurs frequently in Thai nomenclature, e.g. in the name of a gate
Nakhon Ratchasima, and the city name of
Chumphon is derived from it.
Thai. Name of a kind of
i.e. the madeua chumphon, a species of fig tree known in Latin as
3. Thai. Name for
an ancient city gate in
located behind the monument of Queen
in the centre of town.
In Thai, it is known as Pratu
Chumphon (ประตูชุมพล), meaning
‘Troops Gathering Gate’,
and local folklore has it that when a young bachelor passes through
the gate together with a young unmarried girl, the two will
certainly become a couple and likely get married. It was built in 1656, during the reign of
who commanded that a strong city wall be built. The then more or
less rectangular shaped city was at that time an outpost of
engineers from France -then an ally- helped with the design. The
battlemented walls were built from large
stones and bricks, and
covered with plaster, whilst the gate has a watchtower made of wood,
with a tiled roof decorated with
bai raka and
Pratu Chumphon, the western gate, is the only original of the four city gates that
still stands today, though the other three, i.e. the northern Pratu
Phon Saen (ประตูพลแสน) or Pratu Nahm
‘Hundred Thousand Troops Gate’ and
‘Water Gate’; the
southern Pratu Chai Narong (ประตูไชยณรงค์) or Pratu
(ประตูผี), which translates as
‘Campaign Victory Gate’ and
‘Spirit Gate’; and
the eastern Pratu Phon Lahn (ประตูพลล้าน) or Pratu Thung Sa-wahng (ประตูทุ่งสว่าง),
‘Million Troops Gate’ or
‘Bright Field Gate’,
as well as an additional watchtower (map
have been rebuilt.
4. Thai. Paternal name of
Princess Bunjirathon, the spouse
Thai-Sanskrit. The blacksmith who offered the Buddha the food that made
him fatally ill, at Pava. Also transcribed Cunda.
Sanskrit. A goddess, one of the five
Mantrayana Buddhism. She is described as having twelve or
sometimes sixteen arms. Also transcribed Cunda.
Chung K'uei (鍾馗)
Chung-li Chuan (钟离权)
Chinese. Name of one of the
Eight Immortals (fig.),
who is regarded as the official leader of the group, though many
the informal, de facto leader (fig.).
He is usually portrayed with a either a thin or a long beard, the top of
his head bald and his chest and belly bare. He may be portrayed
completely bald, but more often with some hair on the sides and the back
of his head, usually tied into two small topknots at the back (fig.).
His attribute is a big, magical feather fan, generally depicted in a
form reminiscent of that of a small
banana plant leaf, with which he can revive the dead. In art, his depiction
with a thin beard, bald and long earlobes (fig.)
at times confusingly resembles
Huan Xi Fo
According to legend, he was born in Yan Tai (燕台) during the Han Dynasty
and is therefore also called Han
Chung-li. During his birth bright
beams of light appeared and the newborn reportedly cried nonstop for
seven days. When he grew up he became a general. After appearing in a
dream of Lu Tong-pin, the latter
into the Ho Ling Mountains, in order to seek the
and achieve immortality. His mount is
His name is alternatively spelled Zhongli Quan and he is also known as
chung thian (เชิงเทียน)
name for a ‘candleholder’ or ‘candlestick’. In Buddhist temples (fig.)
and at other places of worship these candleholders often take the form
Suphanahongse, the King's personal
Barge, a boat with the figure head of a
mythical swan called
transcribed choeng thian or cheung thian.
Chun Jie (春节)
Chinese. ‘Spring Festival’, that is Chinese New Year. Also
Xin Nian, literally ‘New Year’ and
Guo Nian, ‘pass the year’. In
chun mo (chun mo)
Vietnamese. Name for a traditional
handheld wooden percussion instrument. It consists of a handle with a
flexible metal bar that can vibrate, with at the end a solid piece of
hardwood, which is flanked by two hollow wooden blocks in slightly
different sizes to create a different sound pitch and often made in the
shape of fish or birds. Hence, the woodblock tick tock is in English
often called a fish trident or bird trident, respectively. It is played
by beating the woodblocks with a small handheld stick and has three
different pitches. Traditionally, the instrument has been used by
Buddhist monks while chanting and is therefore also by some referred to
as double fish temple block or double bird temple block. In Vietnamese,
it is also known as simply mo.
Compare with the
Chun Qiu (春秋)
Chinese. ‘Spring and Autumn Annals’.
Name of an ancient Chinese chronicle of Lu State (722 to 481 BC) that
traditionally has been regarded as compiled by
It is represented as
part of the emblem of the
religion, together with an
and a fly whisk from
Churning of the Ocean of Milk
To obtain the
the nectar of immortality, the gods and demons churned the
Ocean of Milk (fig.).
Mandara, the peak of
upside-down in the ocean and used the
Ananta as a stirring rope
incarnated as the
(fig.), his second
to support the mountain with its shell, thus preventing it from sinking
in the soft mud of the sea floor (fig.).
The scene is depicted on the
southern section of the eastern gallery of
During this process
many things surfaced, with the
cow) being the first thing, followed by many other living things and
objects (fig.), including the
put in his hair (fig.),
and eventually the elixir of life.
as well as
Chuthathut Tharadilok (จุฑาธุชธราดิลก)
Name of a son of King
with the title Prince of
Chinese for ‘temple’, but especially one that
enshrines ancestry gods, i.e. human beings apotheosized as gods, against
miao, i.e. a temple that enshrines
nature gods and patron gods.
insects of the order Hemiptera in
the family Cicadidae.
designation for a group of birds, with the scientific name Parus
cinereus and belonging to the tit family Paridae. The group is
distributed in parts of West Asia, across South Asia and into Southeast
Asia, and is made up of several populations that were earlier treated as
subspecies of the Great Tit (Parus major). Members are cinereous,
i.e. ashy grey, with white undersides and
thus distinguishable from the Great Tit, which is greenish-backed with a
However, confusingly the latter is sometimes listed as Green-backed Tit
whilst the Cinereous Tit is in that case regarded as one and the same as
the Great Tit (fig.).
Yet, Cinereous Tits are about 13 centimeters tall, whereas Great Tits
are recorded as being slightly larger, measuring about 14 centimeters.
Both have large white cheek-patches, a
white wing-bar, a black crown, and a black central stripe that runs from
the throat to the vent (fig.).
Females have a narrower ventral line and are slightly duller.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
of a small evergreen tree that grows up to 15 meters tall, belonging
to the genus Cinnamomum, in the family of Lauraceae. The dried
aromatic inner bark of the Cinnamon Tree is used as a spice, e.g.
ground and mixed with granulated sugar it is used as a flavour for
desserts. The bark is of a yellowish-brown colour and its name comes
from the Greek word kinnamomon (κιννάμωμον).
It is native to some countries of Southeast Asia, including India,
Bangladesh and especially Sri Lanka, where it is known as
Kurundu. This ‘Ceylon cinnamon’ is worldwide recognized as the true
said to be ‘the best in all the Orient world’, against some related
species, such as cassia which is sometimes labeled as cinnamon, but
has a much harsher flavour and is thicker, harder and more woody in
texture than cinnamon. Cassia sticks have a medium to light
reddish-brown colour and are sometimes called ‘Indonesian cinnamon’,
to distinguish it from the true cinnamon. In the 17th and throughout
the 18th century the
Dutch East India Company
cultivated its own cinnamon trees on the island of Ceylon.
Camphor, which is gained from
(Cinnamomum camphora -
is used as a component of
and is often referred to as
Sanskrit. ‘Collector of secrets’. Name of
Yama's scribe, the Vedic god who presides over the dead.
He is depicted carrying a pen and book in which he records the good
and bad deeds of mankind. In Thai tradition, the god of the dead is
Phra Yom, and has two scribes, namely
Suwaan (fig.). Whereas Suwan keeps record of the good deeds of
humankind, Suwaan records their bad deeds. Both are depicted with a
pen and book, and act as advocate and accuser respectively, on
judgment day. Also Chitragupta and in Thai he is referred to as
Chao Pho Chetakup,
Chetakup. In Thai
is sometimes depicted as a deity, wearing a
holding a book in one hand and a pen in the other (fig.).
In Chinese mythology, there are four scribes, i.e. one who keeps record of the good deeds of
humankind, one who records their bad deeds, and each of them with a
personal controller, who checks that not mistakes are made. They are
collectively referred to as the
Magistrates of the Netherworld
name for a species of bird in the family Motacillidae, with the
scientific name Motacilla citreola, and also commonly known as
Yellow-headed Wagtail. Adult males in breeding plumage, are mostly
greyish-black above, with vague white bars on the wings' flight
feathers, and a bright yellow head and underparts. In non-breeding
plumage, adult males are more greyish above, with the black reduced to a
nuchal band. Females are similar, but grey above, including also the
crown, and have a yellow face, throat and breast, while the underparts
are mostly yellow diluted by white. Juveniles have brownish upperparts
and lack the yellow.
sahn lak meuang.
Clark's Anemone Fish
of dragonfly, with the scientific name Neurothemis fulvia. It is also
commonly known as Fulvous Forest Skimmer and sometimes referred to as
Russet Percher. Whereas males are overall dark red, females are rusty
brown. Both sexes have transparent wingtips, but those of females
additionally have a faint, thin, brown edge. Besides this, males have
red eyes, whereas those of females are brown. In Thai this species is
malaeng poh ban tahn plaay pihk saai.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Greek compound term universally used
for a water clock.
Common name for a species of
freshwater fish, with the scientific designation Anabas testudineus.
for a species of fast flying butterfly found, in South and Southeast Asia, and
with the scientific name Parthenos sylvia. There are several subspecies, all
with a bright, bronze-green to blackish ground-colour and triangular brown
markings near the outer margins. In addition, they have white spots, that are
more dense near the tip of the forewings. Depending on the subspecies, the wings
have an overall pale-blue, greenish or orange shine (fig.), which is somewhat more
intense near the body of the butterfly, which is pale to dark orange barred with
black. Its antennae are black with orange tips. In Thai, this species is known
for an ancient technique and its products, that in the 14th century
spread from the near East via the West to China, where it developed its
own style (fig.)
and is in Chinese known as
Cloth of Gold
name of a medium-sized wild cat, with the Latin name Neofelis nebulosa
and which is found in the forests of Asia. Clouded Leopards are
distributed in most of Southeast Asia (fig.), from Nepal and southern China,
through Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Their habitat consist mainly
of lowland tropical rainforest, but they can also be found in dry
woodlands and secondary forests, and have even been spotted at high
altitudes near the foothills of the
Himalayas, though they have an extremely secretive nature.
Clouded Leopards are named after the cloud-like spots of their coat,
which provides camouflage. They are one of the best climbers in the cat
family, able to climb upside-down underneath tree branches and hang from
branches with their hind feet. Though it often sleeps in trees, it
nonetheless hunts mainly on the ground. In Thai it is called
seua laai mek. There are several
are symbols of a desirable destiny, as the Chinese word for cloud is
homophonous with the word for
They are considered auspicious and invoke awish
for luck and fortune. Hence, the often occur in
often in the form of cloud scrolls, such as typically on
cloud pillars (similar decorative pillars yet without the dragons),
dragon staircase slabs
and as general decorations, such as on certain Imperial robes (fig.),
i.e. a Vietnamese ceremonial gown
In Tamil, the name of
considered to be the goddess of rain and
in South India, is said to mean
‘Mother Mari’, with amman meaning
‘mother’ and the word mari meaning ‘cloud(s)’.
In Thai mythology,
the god of the storm clouds, while
beauty and crystal ball of
attracted the attention of
thunder god (fig.),
when she was
playing about in the clouds, upon which the latter
the god of darkness (fig.),
to create a murkiness of black and ominous clouds to help conceal
in order to capture the
lovely nymph and carry her away to his den. He can also
cause a deafening sound and
a thunderous crash of clouds by throwing his
axe. In Thai, a cloud or
clouds are called mek
(เมฆ), from which the name of Mekala derives, and also appears is
‘sea of clouds’, a term used
for the natural phenomenon that arises when low stratiform clouds form a
foggy band (fig.).
Cluster Fig Tree
Popular name for the Ficus racemosa (fig.),
which in Thai is known as
madeua kliang, in Sanskrit called
udumbara, and in Hindi referred to as
goolar. There are however many similar
trees in Thailand that grow figs in clusters, including the deua bai yai
or deua wah (Ficus auriculata),
(Ficus hispida), liab phak heuad (Ficus lacor), phak leuad (Ficus
Generic name of a group of venomous hooded
snakes, found in South
and Southeast Asia, as well as in the Middle-East and Africa. Its
name is derived from the Latin word colubra, meaning ‘serpent’. The
snake family Colubridae is named after it and includes well over
half of all snake species on earth. Cobras however, belong to the
family Elapidae, more specifically the genus Naja, which is said to
be the most widespread group of snakes, and includes amongst others the
or ‘Snake Eater’ (Ophiophagus hannah -
Spitting Cobra (Naja siamensis
the Indian Cobra (Naja naja). The latter is regarded by many as the group's
archetypal species. In India, the cobra is habitually hypnotized by
so-called snake charmers (fig.)
who play the
pungi, a flute-like instrument made from a
Though the practice has also spread to other parts of Southeast
Asia, including Thailand, it is foremost an Indian custom. When threatened, a cobra will expand
its hood and raise the anterior third part of its body. In
cobra's are consumed by some and its venom is mixed with alcohol and
drank as an aphrodisiac. In Thai,
its general name is
ngu hao, literally ‘barking snake’,
a descriptive term referring to the hissing sound tat it makes when it feels
threatened and usually is about to strike. The cobra is also occurs
in a legend related to
Luang Poo Thuad,
who is sometimes depicted seated on a
(fig.). See also
Vietnamese. ‘Stake’. Term for 150 to
300 mm wooden poles, which in the past were used in Vietnamese maritime
Name of a region that encompasses
the southern third of present-day
whose most important city is Saigon.
It bordered current
to its west and
Annam to its
north, and was a
French colony from 1862 to 1954. The later state of South Vietnam was
created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In
Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bo (Nam Bộ), i.e. the ‘Southern
Department’. See also
Name of a breed of chicken, which is also called just Cochin and
Chinese Shanghai, and is in Chinese referred to as jiu jin huang (九斤黄).
The most distinctive feature of the Cochin China is the excessive plumage that covers also the legs and feet
which, like the skin underneath the
feathers, are yellowish. There are many varieties in colour of the
plumage, including white,
buff, black, blue, silver laced, golden laced, partridge and splash.
As their name suggests, Cochins originate from
and are one of the most quiet breeds of domestic fowl, that hardly ever
crow or cluck. Their excessive plumage and their tame character, also makes
them popular as ornamental fowl and pets. This breed is classified as a
variety of the domesticated fowl, with the scientific name Gallus gallus
domesticus, and in Thai it may be referred to as kai phan cochin (ไก่พันธ์โคชิน)
or kai phan yipun (ไก่พันธุ์ญี่ปุ่น),
which actually means ‘Japanese breed fowl’.
cock or rooster (fig.) is the tenth animal sign of the
Chinese zodiac (fig.).
Those born in the Year of the Cock
are said to have a flamboyant personality, and
their protector or guardian deity is
The cock is extrovert and outwardly confident, as well as a trustworthy,
hardworking individual. He is outspoken and will tell it as it is,
without any reservations. The cock features on certain Thai postage
stamps, such as the Zodiac Year of the Cock Postage Stamp issued in
Day Postage Stamp issued in 1993 (fig.).
In Thai, the fowl correspondents to the first letter the alphabet, i.e.
go gai or ko kai (ก ไก่).
Though kai is the general term for rooster in Thai, when referring to
the animal in the zodiac (fig.),
usually the term ra-kah (ระกา)
MORE ON THIS.
fermented and dried fatty seeds of the
from which chocolate is made, as well as the name for a powder made from
these seeds when crushed after the cocoa butter, the vegetable fat of
the cacao bean, is already removed from the dark, bitter cocoa
Besides this, it may also refer to a drink made of chocolate powder or
to the combination of both cocoa powder and cocoa butter put back
together, as in chocolate bars. To produce one kilogram of cocoa paste
around 300-600 seeds are required, depending on the desired cocoa
content. See also
Edible fruit of the
coconut palm, a tree with the
botanical designation Cocos nucifera.
Milky fluid gained from the
flesh of the
and then squeezing the snippets. Although today the process is all
but completely automated, in the past, a
kratai jihn (fig.)
was used for this. The obtained milky white liquid is used for the
preparation of several Thai curries. Coconut milk is often
mistaken for the fresh coconut water in the fruit which is drunk
directly from the nut and should be called coconut juice, rather
than milk. Especially young nuts are used for their juice. Also
called coconut cream and in Thai
tree with the Latin name Cocos nucifera. Nucifera is Latin for
‘nut-bearing’ and the word coco comes from Spanish-Portuguese and
means ‘monkey face’, after the shape of the hard brown shell of the
coconut. Of this useful tree and its fruit almost every
part can be used. From its inflorescence juice is drawn, used for
making sugar (fig.)
and from the flesh of the coconut
is gained. Its
spathes (broad blades) are used in the making of
Phi Tah Khohn
tuft of hair retained on the
back of the shaved head of
Brahmin priests and novices (fig.), at a
place known as the
i.e. the ‘circle of drops’.
Brahmins believe that there a
fluid is produced, which can become either
elixir of immortality,
or the poison of death. Compare with Thai topknots
Name of the popular beverage prepared from the roasted seeds of the
coffee tree (fig.).
After being picked, the coffee berries (fig.)
are sorted by ripeness and color and the flesh of the berry is removed.
Then the seeds, called beans, are fermented to remove the slimy layer of
mucilage, washed and dried. By then they are referred to as green coffee
beans which may be decaffeinated by steaming or soaking them in hot
water, using a solvent to break up the oils that contain caffeine. Then
the green coffee beans are roasted at around 200°C-240°C. During this
process caramelization takes place and the colour of the bean changes
from pale to light or dark brown, depending on the temperature: the
higher the temperature, the darker the beans. Dark roasts are generally
smoother as they contain less fibers and a have more sugary flavour,
whereas lighter roasts have more caffeine, are more bitter and a have
stronger flavour. The word coffee is by some believed to derive from the Arabic
word cafir or kafir (كافر),
i.e. ‘unbeliever’, as coffee
beans were initially imported from Ethiopia, up to present a mostly
country, and were
hence referred to as cafir beans, while the Ethiopian province of Kefa,
one of the 14 provinces in the old Ethiopian administration and earlier
known as the Kingdom of Kaffa, is mentioned as the place were coffee
originated, growing in the wild in the Ethiopian highlands and
—according to a 17th century (likely apocryphal) story— discovered by a
9th century Ethiopian goatherd who had noticed how excited his goats
became after eating coffee beans. As with
China and other parts of Asia and the Far East, coffee is
used to welcome guests in one's home throughout the Arab world, the head
of the household personally preparing and offering it to his guests.
Thailand has its own brands of -especially hill tribe- coffees (fig.),
has a long tradition of growing its own brands (fig.).
Some countries of Southeast Asia produce a kind of
coffee known as
kopi luwak (fig.),
which is made from
coffee berries that
have been eaten by the
Common Palm Civet
yet pass largely
undigested through its digestive tract and are harvested from its feces. See also
Common Palm Civet.
Shrub or small tree of the genus Coffea, which has around 40 kinds,
the best known being coffea arabica from which
is made. The fruits (fig.)
are red when they are ripe and each fruit carries two seeds, the
coffee beans (fig.).
Sometimes called coffee plant.
A form of merit making in Thailand,
as well as in several other countries of Southeast Asia, in which
people wishing to make
participate in the
benevolent practice of providing
coffins to those who cannot afford them, as an act of compassion.
Museum under the auspices of the
Grand National Treasure Bureau, a department of the Treasury Department
and a branch of the Ministry of Finance, and which aims to be a centre
for coin collectors and those with interest in meeting and exchanging
knowledge, information and activities on coins.
name for a 52 to 55 centimeter large bird in the Corvidae family,
with the scientific name Corvus torquatus, and also commonly known as
White-collared Crow and Ring-necked Crow, which is native to
though reportedly not further North than Beijing. It is overall glossy black,
with a broad white collar around the neck and lower breast. The sexes
are similar, but juveniles are more brownish and less glossy, whilst the
white collar is somewhat narrower, especially around the shoulders and
at the lower neck, creating a black patch on the upper breast which is
reminiscent of the breast patch with
White Wagtails in non-breeding plumage
name for a species of a small diurnal bird of prey in the Falconidae
family, with the scientific designation Microhierax caerulescens, which
is found in South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia. Adults are just
between 16 and 18 centimeters tall and have a white body, with a
chestnut wash on the throat, breast, belly, vent and thighs, and black
upperparts, a black hind-crown and a black ear-covert patch. Its
under-tail is white with black bars (fig.).
The Collared Falconet's habitat consists of deciduous forests and forest
clearings, where it perches in exposed places.
name for a species of medium-sized bird in the family of tree or wood
kingfishers Halcyonidae, with the scientific names Halcyon chloris and
Todiramphus chloris. It has a wide range extending from the Red Sea,
across southern Asia and Australasia to Polynesia. It is a very variable
species with about 50 subspecies, the ones occurring in Southeast Asia
and Thailand (fig.) including Halcyon chloris humii, Halcyon chloris armstrongi,
and Halcyon chloris davidsoni. These noisy and conspicuous kingfishers are
about 24 to 26 centimeters tall. They generally have blue to greenish
upperparts and a whitish collar and whitish to buff underparts (fig.), with
colouring, tinges, and brightness or dullness depending on the relevant
subspecies. This species is also known as the White-collared Kingfisher
species of owl with the binomial name Glaucidium brodiei. It is commonly
found in South, East and Southeast Asia. At around 15 centimeters and
weighing about 60 grams it is the smallest owl in Asia, and is in Thai
nok khao khrae, meaning ‘pygmy owl’. It
has a grayish brown scaled head, reddish brown upperparts with white
barring, lighter underparts, yellow-black eyes and a yellow beak. Its
natural habitat is temperate forests.
small decorated column, commonly used in
architecture, usually positioned on either side of a doorway or as
lattice in windows. Also
sih prajam wan.
of a species of duck with the
scientific name Sarkidiornis melanotos. It is
a pan-tropical duck, which occurs in tropical wetlands across the globe,
from northern South America, over sub-Saharan Africa, to the Indian
subcontinent, Southeast Asia and southern China. There are two
subspecies, with the one found in Asia being Sarkidiornis melanotos
melanotos. Adults have a white head, speckled with dark spots, and a
pure white lower neck and underparts. The upperparts are glossy
blue-black, with a bluish and greenish iridescence. The male is larger
than the female, and has a large black knob on the bill.
Due to this, the species is also commonly known as Knob-billed Duck. In
flight, the dark wings contrast strongly with the whitish body
white head with dark-speckled spots is reminiscent of that of the
White-winged Wood Duck
Thai it is called
which translates as
A male and female Comb Duck are depicted on a postage stamp which was
issued in 1996 as part of a set of four stamps on ducks found in
combining the alms bowls
attitude of the Buddha in which he is seated is a
half lotus position holding an
alms bowl on his lap with
his left hand and covering it with his right hand. It refers to the
scene in which the Buddha was contemplating the bliss of his
Enlightenment underneath a tree when two merchant
brothers named Tapussa and Bhallika arrived from the distant town of
Ukkala. Upon seeing the Buddha they were filled with faith and
offered him some honeyed
rice. The Buddha asked them with what he
was to receive their offerings and immediately the guardians of the
four directions appeared and each gave the Buddha a green marble
bowl. Using his divine powers the Buddha then combined the four
bowls into one and received the offerings. Also known as uniting the
(four) alms bowls.
Common name for a species of butterfly, known by the scientific names
Limenitis procris and Moduza procris, and found in the wider region of
Himalayas and the Indian
subcontinent, as far South as Sri Lanka and as far East as
Myanmar. It has a wingspan of about 5.5
to 7.5 centimeters. The upper-side of its wings are a bright reddish brown,
with brown, tawny and blackish spots, as well as white markings that are
arranged across the four wings in a V-shape. The underside is bright
pale yellowish to whitish, with markings in yellowish-brown, white and
black. This butterfly
somewhat resembles the
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common name for a species of small butterfly, with the scientific name
Appias albina, as well as Appias paulina, both very similar and
belonging to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows and Whites (fig.), and found
in South and Southeast Asia. In the wet-season, the upperside of the
males is mostly white, with some black at the apex and along the sides
of the forewings, though this disappears almost completely in the
dry-season. The underside is similar, but the light colouration is pale
brownish-yellow in Appias albina, and more yellowish in Appias paulina.
Females have more black on the forewings and some black spots at the
outer margin of the hindwings, which is irregularly zigzag in Appias
albina and evenly curved in Appias paulina. The female ground-colour on
the upperside may be white to pale yellow. The upper body in males is
bluish grey and the lower thorax is white in Appias albina and yellowish
in Appias paulina. The antennae in Appias albina are grayish black,
densely speckled with white.
of a species of semi-large butterfly, with the binomial name Lexias
pardalis dirteana, of which the largest species reach a wingspan of
circa 10 centimeters. There are two species found in Thailand, with
identical patterns and colours on their wings, though they are
differentiated by the fact that one has orange tips to its antennae,
whilst the other has black tips. Both species show strong sexual
dimorphism, with the upperside of the male wings being mainly black with
small, white or faint blue and orange spots at the top or inner side,
and a bluish-grey
border on the forewings, whilst the posterior wings
have a grayish light-blue outer border with black spots, of which some
may be heart-shaped. The underside of their wings is dark brownish
orange. Females have black wings with faint yellow to orange and
white spots. The underside of their wings is identical to the top, but
more faded in colour. The Common Archduke is a common forest species and
generally feeds on fallen fruit. In Thai it is called
phi seua achduk (ผีเสื้ออ๊าชดุ๊ค) or phi seua achduk thammada (ผีเสื้ออาชดุ๊คธรรมดา), a literal
translation of its common English name.
Common Asian Toad
Common name for a toad, with the scientific names Bufo melanostictus and
Duttaphrynus melanostictus, and listed in the true toad family Bufonidae.
It is one of the most widespread species of true toads in Southeast
Asia, and ranges from Sri Lanka to Southern China, and down through
Thailand (fig.), West Malaysia and Singapore, to western Indonesia and the
island of Borneo. It occurs in a variety of habitats, in both rural and
urban areas, and is able to withstand brackish water. It is frequently
seen at night, especially on grass lawns, paths and roads. It is about
10 centimeters long and generally buff to brown in colour, though there
is considerable colour variation and some species are darker or have
brownish patterning on the back. Its underside is of a much lighter
colour, almost white. They are usually listed in four different
categories of colouration. Its skin is rough, with warts that form small
black, bumpy dots, which are scattered along the sides and the lower
back. It also has poison glands in the form of a raised ridge behind
each eye. The feet are not webbed. Also known as Southeast Asian Toad,
Asiatic Toad, House Toad, Common Indian Toad, Common Asiatic Toad, and
Black-spined Toad, and in Thai it is called
See also WILDLIFE
Name for a butterfly with the scientific name Troides
helena. It is mainly velvety black, with some red spotting; pale streaks
on the forewings, that are broader and more prominent with females; and
mainly yellow hindwings, with a black rim.
It has a light yellow body and yellow hindwings, though females have a
somewhat darker body and more black spotting on the hindwings.
It is very similar to the
and is somewhat reminiscent of
Great Mormon (fig.),
Common Rose (fig.)
Common Mormon (fig.).
Common name for a species of
butterfly, with the scientific name Graphium sarpedon.
Common name for a species of fast-moving
snake, found in
South and Southeast Asia and with the binomial name Dendrelaphis pictus. Its
head is bronze, with a black lateral stripe, that passes through the eyes. Its
upper-lip is yellowish and its tongue red. The body is olive or brown above and
whitish below, and has a cream lateral stripe bordered by a dark one along the
length of the body. When threatened it will inflate its body slightly, thus
revealing bluish-turquoise skin, that lays under the body scales. It occurs in a
variety of habitats, including scrub, secondary forest, and back-beach areas, as
well as parks and gardens. It is active by day, searching for its food, which
consists mainly of lizards and frogs. Nervous in disposition, it will flee
swiftly when disturbed. Also called Painted Bronzeback, and in Thai known as
ngu saai mahn
Phra In (งูสายม่านพระอินทร์), which
translates as ‘curtain-striped
for a small butterfly, with the scientific name Mycalesis perseus. It
has a wingspan of around 3.5 to 4.5 centimeters and is overall brown. In
the wet season,
it has a number of orange-black eyespots,
near the multiple-fringed wing-edges, each with a central white spot,
and separated from the rest of the otherwise plane brown wing, by a
white vertical stripe. There are 4 spots on the forewings and 7 spots on
the hindwings. In the dry season, the eyespots are reduced to mere pale
dots, with 4 of the 7 spots on the hindwings
with a brown smudgy border
and the other 3 with a black smudgy border, whilst the
white vertical stripe has all but vanished, at best showing some white
Also the white fringes on the border of the wings have retracted to form
mere pale splotches. Also known as Dingy Bushbrown, and in Thai named
phi seua tahn phum sahm jud riang (ผีเสื้อตาลพุ่มสามจุดเรียง).
Common name for a species of medium-sized to large bird of prey, with
the scientific designation Buteo buteo.
Common name for a species of 2.7 to 3.7 centimeter small butterfly, with
the scientific name Jamides celeno (aelianus), which is found in Indian
subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Whereas the upper wings are sky blue,
the underwings are buff-brown with discal lines, of which the second on
the forewing is discontinuous. At the edge of the lower apex of the
hindwing is an orange-black ocellus, as well as a short, filamentous,
black, white-tipped tail, at the apex of the second vein. In Thai, this
butterfly is known as
fah wahw sih tahng reuduh (ผีเสื้อฟ้าวาวสีต่างฤดู).
Name for a butterfly with the scientific name Ariadne
merione, and found across Southeast Asia. It has rusty-orange wings,
with brown wavy lines and a tiny whitish spot near the front edge of each
forewing. The wing pattern on the underside of the wings consists of
alternating brownish and buff, wavy lines (fig.).
In the wet-season form, it is similar, but somewhat darker in colour and
less clear or even the absence of the whitish spots near the apex of
each forewing. This butterfly got its name because its larvae (fig.) feed almost
exclusively on the leaves of the Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis).
This graceful butterfly loves to glide through the air. In Thai it is
la-hung thammada (ผีเสื้อหนอนละหุ่งธรรมดา),
with the word la-hung being the Thai name for the Castor Oil Plant.
Common name for a species of
dragonfly, with the scientific name
It belongs to the family Gomphidae, whose members' eyes are well
separated, which sets them apart from other dragonfly families. The
Common Cubtail is a large dragonfly, with greenish-grey eyes, and a
black-and-yellow striped thorax and abdomen, which is club-shaped,
i.e. with a swollen apex. This species is less common and likes to breed
mostly in standing water, away from densely populated areas. It is
allegedly not well adapted to human inhabited areas and is therefore
more easily found in forests. In Thai, it is known as
malaeng poh seua
‘common tiger dragonfly’,
but sometimes also as
malaeng poh seua laai pradap,
which translates as
‘ornamental-striped tiger dragonfly’.
Also spelled Common Club-tail.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common name for a species of
waterfowl, with the scientific designation Fulica atra. Adults are up to
42.5 centimeters long, and largely slaty-black, aside from red eyes, a
white bill and a white frontal shield. The legs and feet are also black
and they have partial webbing in between the toes, for swimming.
Immature birds are paler than adults, have a whitish breast, and lack
the facial shield, until they get about one year old. Its habitat
consists of freshwater lakes and ponds, and it occurs in Asia, as well
as in Oceania, Europe, and Africa. The Common Coot is omnivorous. Also
known as Eurasian Coot or simply Coot, and in Thai as nok coot (นกคู้ด/นกคู้ท).
Name of a
large bird in the crane family Gruidae, with the scientific name Grus
grus. This crane is medium-sized, measuring 100 to 120 centimeters tall,
and has a wingspan of up to 240 centimeters. Its plumage is overall
grey, with black-tipped secondaries and long, drooping tertials, mixed
with black plumes. Its head and upper-neck are blackish, with a red
patch on the crown, and a broad white band from the ear-coverts down to
the upper neck. The legs and feet are grey, and the bill is pale (fig.).
Common Cranes have a loud trumpeting call and are famous for their
typical dance performances, in which they leap about with their wings
uplifted. They are omnivorous, eating anything from leaves and roots, to
insects, birds and small mammals. Their diet also includes berries and
cranberries are purportedly named after this bird, which is also
commonly known as the Eurasian Crane. In mythology it is one of the
Han Hsiang Tzu (fig.). See also
Common name of a species of semi-large butterfly with the scientific
designation Vindula erota. The male's upperside is tawny with a
bright orange band in the centre and black markings, including a narrow subterminal zigzag band,
and two eyespots on either hindwing, while
the wings are orangey-tawny with a pattern of buff wavy lines and thin
Females have a similar pattern and
markings but are brownish in colour, with a greenish shine on the
a broad slanting
white band in the centre, somewhat reminiscent to those of a
It is also similar in appearance to
The dry-season form of either gender is similar to the wet-season forms
described above, but paler and with diminished eyespots that have been
reduced to a few faint lines that are barely visible. In Thai known as
tahn hahng laem thammada (ผีเสื้อตาลหางแหลมธรรมดา).
See also TRAVEL PICTURES.
Blue Moon Butterfly.
Common designation for a species of butterfly, with the scientific name
Catopsilia pomona, which has some six different varieties.
belongs to the family Pieridae, i.e. the Yellows and Whites, and is
found in Asia and parts of Australia. Depending on the variety, males
usually have greenish-white wings above, and overall greenish-yellow
wings on the underside, sometimes with tiny brown markings. The
underwings of females are usually more yellowish and often have dark or
brown markings. Common Emigrants
perch with the wings closed, and are thus more easily identified by the
colour and pattern of the underwings. They have six legs which they are
able to use all and often perch on wet soil to drink and lick minerals
from it. They regularly occur in larger swarms. Also known as Lemon
Emigrant, and in Thai called
(ผีเสื้อหนอนคูนธรรมดา), with the word
khoon being the Thai name for the Drumstick Tree, one of several species
of Cassia on which leaves the caterpillars of this butterfly feed.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common Evening Brown
Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific names Melanitis leda
and Melanitis ismene. It has a wingspan of 6 to 8 centimeters and there
is a wet-season and a dry season form. The former has an overall brownish
upper side, with two large black spots on the sub-apical upper side of the forewing, bordered by some orange colouring, and
each with a smaller white central spot, whereas the underside is paler with a bark-like
pattern and a number of orange-black eyespots
or ocelli, each with a central white spot. The
latter form has a
similar ground-colour above, but with larger
markings and different ocelli, whilst its underside resembles a dead
which may significantly
vary in colour. The antennae, head and body
in both seasonal forms are brown or greyish-brown, and the antennae may
have dark (fig.)
or pale tips (fig.).
There are also other varieties of Evening Brown,
which are listed as a separate species and known as
Dark Evening Brown (fig.)
Great Evening Brown
(fig.). In Thai,
the Common Evening Brown is called
phi seua sahyan sih tahn thammada.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
for a species of Asian butterfly in the subfamily Satyrinae, which is
also commonly known as the Browns, and with the scientific designation
Ypthima baldus. In the wet-season
upperside of the male's wings is brown, with much darker terminal
margins, and a double-dotted, yellow-ringed, black ocellus on the
forewing, and two round, single-dotted similar yet smaller ocelli on the
hind wing, very often with one or two minute additional ocelli. The
underside of the wings has a pale ochraceous-white ground-colour, with
six ocelli on each of the hind wings and a larger double-dotted,
yellow-ringed, black ocellus on each of the forewings. The ocelli are
flanked by a slant brown stroke that runs across both wings. In the
dry-season, the ground-colour of the wings' underside is paler and the
ocelli on the hinwings are reduced in size.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1)
Common name for a species of bird with the binomial name
Dinopium javanense and also commonly known as Common Goldenback. It
belongs to the Picidae family, and is found in many parts of South and
a golden-brown to copper back and wings
with a red shine on the top area of the mantle, a black tail, and a red
rump, with black-scaled, white underparts.
On the side of the head are long and solid black stripes and whereas the
male has red crown, that of the female is black. The rump is red and
contrasts with the black tail. It has a rather small bill and only three
toes. It is similar in appearance to the
In Thai, known as
nok hua khwaan sahm niw lang thong.
See POSTAGE STAMP.
Common Green Magpie
for a medium-sized, pale wader, with the scientific designation Tringa
nebularia. It stands to about 35 centimeters tall, has scaly, grey-brown
upperparts, with darker shoulders and wing tips, and a barred tail,
whereas the underparts are white, with a very faint breast pattern. Its
long legs are greenish and the bill is thin and dark, with a grey base.
The head is lightly streaked. Its breeding plumage is similar, but
darker. It inhabits both fresh and coastal waters (fig.), where it feeds on
aquatic invertebrates and small fish. It lives either solitary or in
small groups, and often mixes with other warders. In Thai, this bird is
nok thalae kha khiaw thammada. Also
called just Greenshank.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific
designation Cepora nerissa.
Above, the wings are white, with a greyish shade along the veins and
blackish margins, whilst below the wings are yellow to pale
yellowish-white, also with dark shades along the veins, but which are
more restricted and fainter, especially around the margins and on the
hind-wings. Females are similar but much darker. In the dry-season, the colours are fainter, and the patterns less clearly defined
than in the wet-season (fig.). There are
several subspecies, such as Cepora nerissa cibyra, Cepora nerissa
nerissa, etc. In Thailand, this species of butterfly is called
sayaam laai kiht (ผีเสื้อเหลืองสยามลายขีด).
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common Hawk Cuckoo
Common name for a species of
cuckoo, with the scientific name Hierococcyx varius, and a common and
widespread resident in South Asia.
It is about 34 centimeters tall and bears a close resemblance to the
both in appearance and in style of flying and landing on a perch. The
sexes are alike, with adults being ashy grey above and whitish with
brownish-buff colouring below, that changes into brownish-buff crossed
bars towards the belly. They have a broadly barred tail and a
distinctive yellow eye-ring. Juvenile birds are brownish above, and
whitish with blackish streaks below.
Common Indian Crow
Common name for a butterfly, with
the scientific designation
Euploea core. It
has a wingspan of about 8 to 9 centimeters, and above its wings are
glossy black, with a bluish shine on the outer apex of the forewing,
whilst on the underside the wings are brownish, with pale bluish-white
marks, especially on the hindwings (fig.). Its body is black with prominent
white spots (fig.). It is also known as Common Crow and Australian Crow, and
has three known races. In Thai, this species of
butterfly is named after its larvae, i.e.
phi seua jorakah
Common name for a tailed butterfly, with the scientific designation Cheritra freja frigga.
Common name of a small passerine bird, with the scientific designation
Aegithina tiphia. In Thai, it is called nok khamin noi thammada (นกขมิ้นน้อยธรรมดา).
It is mostly yellowish below and olive above, with washed flanks. Its
wings and tail are blackish, with two whitish wing-bars. Females are
overall duller and paler.
In the breeding season, the male has no washed flanks and the underparts
are more vivid yellow, while the upperparts are a somewhat darker. Some
male variants in breeding plumage show black on the head, mantle and
rump. It is usually found in forests and wooded areas (fig.), and breeds across
South and Southeast Asia (fig.).
It is similar to the
Green Iora (fig.),
but the latter has a darker olive-green body
and less yellow.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common name for a species of butterfly, with the scientific designation
Graphium doson. It has black wings with whitish to pale blue
semi-transparent central wing bands that are formed by large spots,
whilst there is a series of smaller spots along the margins. The
underside is similar but more whitish and with some tiny orangey-red
spots on the hind-wing. The sexes are alike. This species is commonly
found throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is reminiscent of the
a butterfly of the same genus which is known by the Latin name
In Thai, this butterfly is known by the name
non jam pih jut yaek (ผีเสื้อหนอนจำปีจุดแยก).
Common name for a 16 to 18 centimeters tall bird,
with the binomial name Alcedo atthis.
This species has reddish-brown underparts, blue upperparts with a
turquoise tinge, rufous ear-coverts and a white patch in the neck and on
the chin (fig.). Its legs and feet are reddish. Whereas males have a mostly
blackish bill (fig.), the base or most of the lower mandible of the females'
bill is reddish-orange (fig.).
Juveniles are similar to females, but have paler underparts with a
grayish wash across the breast. In Thai it is called
nok kra-ten noi thammada.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Name of a medium-sized, sun-loving species of
butterfly, with the binomial name Phalanta phalantha.
Common Lettuce Coral
A genus of hard coral with the scientific designation
Common name of a coral reef
fish, with the scientific designation Pterois miles. It grows to around
35 centimeters and is white, with broad bars and some narrower stripes
in between, which vary in colour from reddish (fig.) to greyish-brown. It has
feathery dorsal and pectoral fins, that are arranged like the spikes of
a folding fan, each with bands in the same colour as the stripes and
bars on the body and head.
These mane-like fins, that are actually spines that are highly venomous,
give this sea creatures its name, and –though not lethal to humans– they
can cause severe pain and discomfort upon contact. Due to this, the
lionfish is also known as
Devil Firefish, and
as a result of its venomous
defence system (fig.), it is able to put off most predators, making it a
successful species with a high population density. See
also POSTAGE STAMP.
Common name for a species of
in the family Nymphalidae and
with the scientific designation Cyrestis thyodamas.
It is also commonly known as Common Mapwing. It is found in South and
Southeast Asia and there is a lighter and darker form. Whereas the
former may be overall more orangey (fig.),
the latter has a whitish to pale ochraceous-yellow
upperside, with black veins that form an intricate pattern of map-like
markings, hence its common name. The distinctive pattern of the wings is
somewhat reminiscent of stained glass, similar to that of the
Straight-line Mapwing, yet more crooked. The markings
on the underside of the wings are much paler than above and have some
lining, while the ochraceous spots near the tail ends, that look like diffuse
eyespots, clearly stand out. Above, the body is dark with
very either narrow or broad pale lines that run from the back of the
head to the end of the abdomen, while below the body is pale yellowish. The Common Map has a
somewhat erratic flight.
It is very similar to a butterfly found in Indonesia and The
Philippines, which is also commonly as known as Common Map, but with the
binomial name Cyrestis maenalis. See also
Little Mapwing (fig.)
Common name for a butterfly with the
scientific designation Chilasa clytia. This is a variable species found
in Southeast Asia and occurs in many different forms in both sexes,
which mimic various species of Euploea and Parantica, while the form
Chilasa clytia f. dissimilis is regarded as a mimic of some Danainae
species, such as Tirumala limniace and Parantica melaneus. In general,
members of this species are usually brown or black with pale yellowish
to white or greyish markings, sometimes with orange markings along the
Common designation for a small, widespread waterfowl, with the binomial
name Gallinula chloropus. Its common name is somewhat deceptive as this
bird actually prefers wetlands, such as marshes and swamps, over
moorland, and in many other languages, such as Dutch, its name in
translation means ‘waterhen’. Except for Australasia, its distribution
is almost worldwide. It is recognized by a dark brown to black plumage,
i.e. blackish brown upperparts and grey-black underparts, with a white
line along the flanks and a white undertail, yellow legs and a red
facial shield, which is absent in immature birds. Common Moorhens are
omnivorous and forage on land, as well as in or above the water, both
floating or while walking on floating plants, such as
and the leaves of
Its diet includes seeds and roots of plants, berries and grass, algae,
small fish and tadpoles, insects, snails and worms. In Thai it is named
Name for a common species of swallowtail
with the binomial name Papilio polytes. It is widely
distributed across Asia and known for the mimicry displayed by the
numerous forms of its females, which includes mimicking the inedible
Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the
Common Rose (fig.).
There are several different female forms within this species, known by the
names sakontala, cyrus, romulus and stichius (fig.), though not all are
found in Thailand. The male (fig.) has one morph only, which is swallow-tailed
and mainly black, with a series of white spots on the edge of the
forewing, that decrease in size towards the apex, and a complete
band of elongated white spots on the upper side of the hindwing, as
well as a series of white spots on its edge, alternating with the
main black ground colour. The male's body is black with some white
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
for a bird with the scientific name Acridotheres tristis, also
identified as Martin triste. It belongs to the
family of Sturnidae and is also known as Indian myna.
Oddly, whereas the Latin word tristis in
this bird's scientific designation means ‘sad’, Myna (मैना)
is the Hindi term for starling and derives from the Sanskrit word
which means ‘joyful’ or ‘delightful’. This bird has a
brown body, black hooded head and a
bare yellow patch
behind the eye. There is a white patch on the outer primaries and the
wing lining on the underside is white (fig.).
The bill and legs are bright yellow. The birds
love to dwell on
the ground and are often seen in pairs. The Common Myna
is found naturally throughout Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia, as
well as in many other parts of the world, some to which it was
introduced. It is related to the
White-vented Myna (fig.),
as well as to the
Talking Hill Myna (fig.),
which is found in the mountainous regions of South Asia and a popular
pet bird, with the scientific name Gracula religiosa.
In Thai, this bird is called
nok ihyang sarikah (salikah) or
nok ihyang ngon kon laai. Myna is also
spelled Mynah and is pronounced Mainaa.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES
Name of a species of butterfly, with the
scientific name Polyura athamas, which is found in
the subtropical and tropical regions of Asia.
Common name for a
with the scientific designation Ceriagrion calamineum, and also commonly known
as Common Pond-damsel.
Common Palm Civet
with the scientific name Paradoxurus hermaphroditus.
Common name for a species of butterfly, with the
binomial name Elymnias hypermnestra.
It belongs to the Nymphalidae family and is found in South and
Southeast Asia. There are several races, the one prevalent in
Thailand being Elymnias hypermnestra undularis. Above, males of the
latter have blackish brown forewings, with a subterminal series of
blue, or sometimes slightly green, elongate spots, that curve
strongly inwards and become more elongate, forming an almost oblique
bar. Their hindwings have a broadly, bright chestnut, terminal
margin, which sometimes has a subterminal, paler spot in two or more
of the interspaces. The underside is pale brown, with a broadly
triangular pale purplish-white mark on the forewings and a broad
purplish-white subterminal area on both the forewings and hindwings
In addition, the hind-wing has a small white spot and a more or less
complete series of more obscure whitish subterminal spots. The
antennae, head and thorax are brown, and the abdomen is brown with
paler undersides. Females have a yellowish-brown upperside, with
black veins. The forewings have a broadly black dorsal margin, with
a noticeable, broad, oblique white bar and three subterminal white
spots. The hindwings have a greyish dorsal margin, with a more black
margin and a subterminal series of four white spots. The underside
is yellowish-brown, with markings similar to those in the male,
though the pale whitish markings are more extensive (fig.). Since their
caterpillars feed on
coconut palms, these butterflies are named
after their larvae, i.e.
in Thai, which means ‘common
coconut butterfly caterpillar’.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.
Common name for a species of
butterfly native to the Indian subcontinent, parts of
and Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, where it is named after its caterpillar form, i.e.
maprao khon puy.