faed sayaam (แฝดสยาม)
fah baat (½Òบาตร)
Thai. The lid or cover of an
It is usually made from metal and either of a black or silver colour.
A glass-like material obtained by baking a fused mixture of sand and clay. The term also refers to glazed pottery and is derived from the Italian town of Faënza. Often used for coloured tile work.
Thai name for a
sheath or case to cover the blade of a sword, knife, machete, etc. Sometimes the
term is specified by adding the type of blade the sheath is used for, as an
appendix, e.g. fak miht (½Ñ¡ÁÕ´) for the case of a knife, fak daab (½Ñ¡´Òº)
for a scabbard
Thai name for the
winter melon, a vine with the scientific binomial name Benincasa hispida and
also known as white gourd or ash gourd, and sometimes nicknamed wax gourd, due
to the waxy coating, i.e. the whitish powder-like substance, known as
nuan in Thai, on its fruit's surface. When
mature, the large fruit, which may weigh in at around a kilo per piece, is eaten
as a vegetable and has a very mild flavour. It is often used in soups, but may
also be stir fried or prepared in other ways - it has even been seen used it as
an incense stand.
A Muslim who has taken a vow of poverty. In Muslim countries usually a hermit who does penance, lives from alms and chastises himself. The term is however often wrongly used for
who perform supernatural acts.
fak khao (¿Ñ¡¢éÒÇ)
Name for a the Spiny Bitter Gourd, a Southeast Asian edible fruit that grows
from a vine with the botanical name Momordica cochinchinensis. It grows to the
size of an adult hand, is round or oblong, and its exterior skin is covered in
small spines. Initially the thick skin is yellow, but becomes a dark orange upon
ripening (fig.). On the inside, ripe fruits have dark
surrounding the seeds, which in Vietnam is used to prepare a dish of
(xôi gấc -
fig.). The word
in Vietnamese, and in English the Spiny Bitter Gourd is hence sometimes referred
to as the Gac fruit. The Spiny Bitter Gourd
contains by far the
highest content of beta-carotene of any known fruit or vegetable, and thus helps
to alleviate vitamin A deficiency. It is
also good for the skin and improves vision.
fak maew (¿Ñ¡áÁéÇ)
gourd’. Name for the
chayote (ªÒâÂàµé), an edible vine of which the greens, roots and gourd-like fruits
are all used as vegetables in Asian cuisine. It originates from Central America
and has the botanical name Sechium edule.
grown both on the ground and as a climbing plant, and in Thailand it is
cultivated mainly in the mountainous area of the North, particularly by the
Hmong people, hence the name. The elongated tuber-like root of the plant is
eaten like a root vegetable; the young shoots, stems and leaves are eaten
stir-fried, mainly in a dish called pad yod fak maew (¼Ñ´ÂÍ´¿Ñ¡áÁéÇ);
whereas the peer-shaped gourd is sliced and either stir-fried (fig.) or cooked, as well
as used in certain soups.
It has a variety of other names and in Thai, it is also known as
ma-ra wahn (ÁÐÃÐËÇÒ¹)
(ÁÐà¢×Íà¤Ã×Í), amongst others, whereas in Vietnam it is
called susu (xu-xu) and in southern India chuw chuw. On the
outside, the gourd is somewhat reminiscent of the
Chinese gourd (fig.),
a type of
which in Thai is called
ma-ra jihn (ÁÐÃÐ¨Õ¹).
fak thong (¿Ñ¡·Í§)
Thai name for a
local kind of pumpkin, usually referred to as Thai pumpkin.
Thai pumpkins of the Kabocha variety have a dark green (fig.),
knobby skin, orange flesh and white seeds, though there are also other
varieties, that may have a white or orange skin. They are commonly used as a
vegetable in soups and curries, and it is the main ingredient in a dish called
fak thong phad khai,
‘stir fried pumpkin with egg’
Pumpkins are regularly used in vegetable carving, an art known in Thai as
pak kae salak.
Besides being merely
used as a food or decoratively, they
may in Thai cuisine also
have a practical use,
i.e. hollowed-out and used as a bowl
serve food (fig.).
fak thong phad khai (¿Ñ¡·Í§¼Ñ´ä¢è)
‘Stir fried pumpkin with egg’.
Name of a dish that consists of chunks of pumpkin (fak
thong) which is soft-boiled and
then stir fried in a
wok, with some garlic and fresh
eggs, and seasoned with light
seasoning sauce and sugar. Sometimes the eggs are fried separately and only
added to the mix once the dish is served.
False Clown Anemone Fish
Common name for a species of
anemone fish, with the scientific designation Amphiprion ocellaris. This
eye-catching fish has a variable orange to
brownish-orange body, with 3 white bands that are finely lined with black, at
its head, trunk and tail, whilst the fins are also edged with black (fig.). This
species of anemone fish
occurs both in the Andaman Sea and the
Gulf of Thailand,
especially near Koh Lohsin (à¡ÒÐâÅ«Ô¹),
an island off the coast of
and is a popular aquarium fish.
Like all other anemone fish, it dwells in and near sea anemones.
It is depicted on the second of four Thai postage stamps issued in 2006 to
publicize the anemone fish of Thailand (fig.).
Also commonly known as Ocellaris Clownfish, Clownfish and False Percula
Clownfish, due to its strong resemblance to the Orange or
Clownfish (fig.). Scientifically, it is also called Amphiprion
melanurus. In Thai, this fish is known as
pla cartoon som khao (»ÅÒ¡ÒÃìµÙ¹ÊéÁ¢ÒÇ), i.e. ‘orange-white cartoon fish’.
A multi-layered, sphere-shaped artifact from
jade, with on the outside reliefs
originally the symbols of the
male and female aspects of imperial power, i.e. the Emperor and the Empress
respectively. The ball
has 12 holes, representing the
12 months of the year, and consists of between 3 to 13 independent layers, each
layer representing one generation. It is carved (fig.) from a monolithic block of jade
in such a way that each layer can be moved separately, symbolizing eternal
survival. It was originally found only in the Imperial Palace and in the homes
of high officials, but is nowadays more widely distributed (fig.). The Family Ball is
believed to bless the family with happiness, harmony and good luck, all year
round. It is also referred to as Chinese Family Ball, Happiness Ball (fig.), Generation
Ball (fig.), and Lucky Ball.
An implement used since antiquity to either induce an airflow for the purpose of
cooling oneself or to ward off insects, or to conceal ones face or a weapon, to
signal someone, or one specific oriental folding fan known as the
tessen or iron fan, even as a weapon. There are
many kinds of oriental fans such as the folding fan, the fixed leaf fan or
screen fan, etc. In ancient Japan, folding fans were often made with plain paper
and were used to write remarks on, as a kind of early notebook, that was carried
along always and could be checked at any given time. Most fans are handheld but some may be attached to the ceiling
and moved by pulling strings, others may be placed on a stick and moved by
turning the stick around manually. The folding fan was invented in Japan in the 8th
century and taken to
in the 9th century (fig.). In Thai, their generic name is
and their name may be specified after the material or fabrics they are made of,
pad bai laan
fan made of the
leaf (bai) of a certain species of palm (laan).
But they may also be named after their purpose, e.g.
pad yot (fig.),
literally ‘fan of rank’, a fan used in certain religious and royal ceremonies (fig.).
They can be made of silk, bamboo, palm leaves, paper
feathers, etc. and are often beautifully decorated. In the past there even was a
fan made of steel which was used as a weapon in ancient oriental warfare and on
which a certain style of
tai chi chuan
is based. Folding fans are also very popular in several oriental dances as well
Chinese opera. In Chinese a fan is
called shàn (扇), a word that sounds the same as the Chinese word for
‘good’ or ‘merit’ (善), and is thus regarded as a symbol for perfection. Bo Sang district in
San Kamphaeng of
province is Thailand's largest producer of traditional folding fans.
pad daam jiw.
kong qian (方孔钱)
‘Square hole coin’. Name for ancient Chinese coins with a round
shape and a square hole in the middle. They are cast rather than
stamped and made from copper, brass or iron. The shape is symbolic
with the round outside representing Heaven and the square hole in
the centre representing Earth or the country
China, referring to guo
(国), the Chinese character for ‘country’, that equally is surrounded
by a square. Different kinds of this type of coin were used in China
between the 2nd Century BC and 20th Century AD. The hole enables the
coins to be strung together to create a higher value and for easy
transportation. This practice continues still today with
for protection against sickness and death. See also
Fan Li (范蠡)
the Chinese god of business, who is also a civilian
Descriptive term that can refer to any of several different kinds of
palms in various genera with usually almost circular or semicircular
leaves that are radially formed, somewhat like an folding
hence the name.
Thai term for any Caucasian or white foreigner, who the local Thai people
usually observe with an
and tolerance. The term is derived from the Thai word
meaning ‘Français’ or ‘French’ and was initially used some 400 years ago, during
Period when the
country -then called
was first confronted with foreign explorers from Europe, many of them French.
Although the term sounds rather xenophobic and is used partially due to the
nationalistic mindset of the Thai people, there is in fact no insult intended,
even if there are more official and refined words to describe foreigners, such
as ‘khon/chao tahng chaht’ and ‘khon/chao tahng phrathet’, words with a wider
meaning as they refer to all foreign people, irrespective of race. Whereas the
word ‘farang’ is commonly used for Caucasian people, the word ‘kaek’ refers to
people of Indian descent and means ‘guest’ or ‘visitor’, and the terms ‘khon piw
dam’ and ‘khon negro’ refer to people with a dark skin. Furthermore, the
Vietnamese are referred to as Yuan and the Cambodians as Kmen (Khmer).
May also be transcribed Farang, with a capital letter or falang, with an ‘l’ -
due to a mispronunciation of the ‘r’. In compound words it may also be
translated as western or foreign, e.g.
nok yoong farang. See also
farang kee nok
for the psidium guajava, popularly known as
This is due to the fact
over 400 years ago
the guava was brought to Thailand, then
by Portuguese traders. The fruit was thus called the farang fruit, i.e. the ‘fruit of the
foreigner’. See also
farang chae buay
farang kee nok.
farang chae buay (½ÃÑè§áªèºêÇÂ)
guava’. Name for a sweet and crisp fruit
snack that consists of a full-sized guava
which is preserved by soaking (chae) it in bright green syrup. The syrup
colours the fruit bright green. Its also has a red variant which is soaked in
strawberry flavoured syrup and is called
chae strawberry (fig.), as well as a variety called farang chae
krajiab which is soaked in syrup made from
roselle. It is typically eaten with
a fine mixture of sugar and
buay powder. See also
farang chae krajiab
soaked in a
roselle based syrup. See also
farang chae buay.
farang kee nok (½ÃÑè§¢Õé¹¡)
guava known in
English as the
pineapple guava or guavasteen. It is also known as feijoa, from
its scientific name Feijoa sellowiana, which itself
derives from João da Silva Feijó, the name of a Brazilian botanist. This
ellipsoid-shaped fruit is small in size, especially if compared to the normal
guava (psidium guajava). It is not much bigger than the
size of a chicken
egg and when ripe, it cannot be
good condition for any lengthy period. Therefore and due to the fact that
there isn't much flesh to it, its
meaning ‘bird shit guava’, indicates that the fruit is by most Thais regarded as rather
worthless or unbeneficial. Because in Thai the word farang means both ‘guava’ and
Caucasian origin’, the term farang kee nok over time became a
slang expression, though mainly used by parasitic exploiters and profiteers, to indicate certain foreigners
who are regarded as poor or stingy, i.e. of whom one cannot profit.
Thai term for Français or French. From which the shortened word
farang is derived, a general name for
Caucasian or white foreigners.
Name of the
(type of) aircraft, i.e. a
1910 Farman bi-plane, that in January 1911 carried out the first
powered flight in Thailand, operated by the Belgian pilot
Charles Van den Born
Sanam Bin Sra Pathum (fig.),
located on the grounds of the
Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
The same plane was later, on the afternoon of 18 March 1911, also used to make
the first powered flight in Hong Kong. The airplane is named after Henri and
Maurice Farman, two brothers of French-British nationality, who besides being
aviators themselves, also designed and manufactured aircraft, in their
aeronautic enterprise Farman Aviation Works, which between
1908 and 1941 built more than 200 types of aircraft.
A fountain used for ritual ablutions in a
Fea's Barking Deer
farang kee nok.
for ‘wasp’, ‘bee’ or
‘bumblebee’. It has the same sound and tone as the word
which means ‘abundant’ or ‘plentiful’, but
is written with a different character. Hence wasps and bees
are regarded a symbol for
abundance. In addition,
bees are well-known
for their production of beeswax and honey, as well as for their role in
which is crucial for the survival of many flowers, fruit
trees and crop plants. Wild bees often appear in
nest-like structures, i.e. a
colony of large numbers of bees, crawling over each other (fig.), like a
living nest (fig.). These groups of
bees are usually found, hanging high-up
in trees or from house roofs. They appear out of the blue and in no
time form a living cluster of bees, as seen in the picture. After
a while they depart, leaving behind a yellowish white, wax structure,
which is produced by the bee's sweat and which has the same outline as that
cluster of living bees had before (fig.).
In Thai, bees (fig.) are called
but names are often mixed up or used indiscriminate. Bees differ
from wasps (fig.) by the fact that they have hair
and wax producing glands, unlike wasps and hornets. Because of this,
wasps either live solitary, in burrows excavated in the soil or plant
stems, or in social groups. They may create nests from mud (fig.), sometimes
making a tubular entrance to their nest (fig.), or
in figs, or produce paper pulp nests
(fig.) from a
substance primarily made from wood fibers, which they soften by
chewing, mix with saliva and consequently use to make combs with cells,
typically in sheltered areas (fig.). There are many kinds of bees and wasps, in a variety of colours and
sizes, including a black-and-blue species, known in Thai as pheung sih
fah (¼Öé§ÊÕ¿éÒ), i.e.
The (Red) Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea) is a small and commonly found
species of honey bee in South and Southeast Asia, and the Greater Banded Hornet (Vespa tropica) is the most aggressive and
dangerous wasp in Asia. In some parts of Thailand, the larvae of bees
and wasps are fried, usually when still in the honeycomb, and eaten as a
In 2000, Thailand Post issued a set of four postage stamps with
different bees, featuring the
species Apis cerana, Apis dorsata,
and Apis andreniformis (fig.).
In India, the
Yellow Paper Wasp
is responsible for a number of
deaths per year,
temperate and tropical Eastern Asia, the sting of
Asian Giant Hornet,
the world's largest hornet, regularly causes fatalities.
‘abundant’ or ‘plentiful’. See also
name for a kind of a mythical bird similar to a
is actually a compound word, comparable to
kilen. The prefix feng refers to a male
species whereas the suffix huang refers to the female. Both have become
blurred into a single entity with no distinction of gender, having both
male and female connotations. It is a composition of many birds and is
often portrayed with the head of a golden pheasant, a short hooked beak
like that of a parrot, the body of a mandarin duck, the legs of a
bird, the tail of a peacock and the wings of a swallow. Fenghuang is considered an Immortal Bird and a representation
of high merit and grace. It also symbolizes the union of
and embodies the five virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety,
wisdom, and sincerity. It is said to only feed on bamboo seeds
and drink spring water, thus not harming a single insect nor a blade of
together with a
dragon it is known as
longfeng (龙凤) and is a symbol of
the Emperor. In this case, the phoenix becomes entirely feminine as the
Empress, and together they represent both aspects of imperial power (fig.).
In Thailand it is compared to the
Feng Huo Lun (风火轮)
‘Wind Fire Wheel’.
is the vehicle of
with which he can travel freely through the sky at great speed and that is able
to carry him to whichever place he wishes to go.
In English, it is referred to as
Wheel of Fire
feng shui (风水)
‘Wind and water’. Natural elements of wind and water used in a
geomantic system which determines the orientation of dwellings, cities, and graves in order to harmonize correctly with nature. A dousing rod and astrological compass (luopan) are used for this purpose which is also practiced in contemporary oriental architecture.
A typical feature of feng shui in Chinese-style
architecture are the upward curved roofs of
as it is believed that curved lines ward off evil spirits, whilst straight lines
are said to attract evil
fen tao (分桃)
divide a peach’. Vernacular expression for ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’. The term
originates from the story of Mizi Xia, the boyfriend of the ruler of Wei, who
one day, when strolling in a peach orchard gave half of a sweet peach to his
lover to enjoy. Besides this the peach is the symbol of immortality and eternal
live. In Pinyin fēn táo. Other related expressions include
Thai. An obsolete Thai monetary unit
with a value
equivalent to about twelve
satang. It is
still found on old coins and stamps.
feuang fah (เฟื่องฟ้า)
Thai name for
ton tarut jien.
Thai name for
a rake-like tool known as a ‘beater’, used in weaving to push the weft yarn
firmly into place. It consists of a wooden frame, with a wide horizontal slat
above, which might either have a separate handgrip or otherwise simultaneously
serves as the handgrip, and a narrower horizontal slat or bar below. In between
and all along the length of both horizontal slats is a comb-like structure of
vertical strips of a rigid material, often thin wooden sticks (fig.), through which the
warp threads pass. Feum sometimes display nicely carved ornaments and are
occasionally used in traditional interior design as wall decoration or as a
hanger to display traditional woven cloth (fig.).
Latin. Name for
banyan tree, a sacred tropical tree having many aerial roots that develop into additional trunks
it is known as the tree under which the god
Vishnu was born, and in
it is the tree to which the
moved to stay, seven days after he had gained
Enlightenment. It is therefore often confused with the
bodhi tree, the tree under which the Buddha sat at the moment he gained
Latin. Tree of the genus
Ficus, belonging to the family of trees with the Thai name
Latin. Scientific name for the
‘tree of knowledge’, also known as a
bodhi tree due to the narrative of Siddhartha Gautama who sat beneath a
Ficus religiosa in
Bodh Gaya, to meditate until he gained
bodhiyan, and thus became the
Buddha. The leaves of the
Ficus religiosa resemble the shape of a
lotus, a metaphor for Enlightenment and thus a clear reference. After the original tree was cut in 600 AD, cuttings were replanted wherever
Buddhism was introduced and practiced. In literature often confused with the
banyan tree, the tree to which the Buddha moved to stay, seven days after he had gained Enlightenment.
Fine ornamental work made of metal wire, usually gold or silver.
It is typically used in Burmese temple cloths, often made in relief using
as a filling. In Burmese, this kind of
heavily embroidered appliqué tapestry is known as
shwe gyi do.
Fine Arts Department
A department that originated from the Department of the Ten Artisan Groups and
was established on 27 March 1911 by King
It is responsible for the protection, conservation and stimulation of Thailand's
arts and culture, in order to preserve the national identity, as well as for
maintaining the practices and traditions of the royal and state ceremonies. Its
duties also include the creation, transmission and spreading of the country's
artistic and cultural heritage. In Thai, it is known as
krom silpakon and it has closely relations with
Silpakorn University (fig.).
Its offices in Bangkok are located on the grounds of the former
i.e. the Front Palace, adjacent to the university. Near the main entrance
is a statue of
Phra Itsanukam (fig.),
the patron god
of the arts. In 2011, on the
100th Anniversary of the Fine Arts Department,
a postage stamp was issued to commemorate the
its establishment (fig.).
Architectural term for a spire, in Thai called
monkut (crown), which refers to the ornament placed on top of a
stupa, tower or dome. Also found on the covers of some vessels.
Firearms Association of Thailand
Association that imports, sells and
distributes firearms and ammunition in Thailand, where private possession of
handguns, i.e. pistols and revolvers, is legally permitted under license to both
Thai nationals and expats living in the Kingdom. A firearm license can be
obtained after the applicant, who must be at least 20 years of age, has given
fingerprints, passed a background check, and has provided proof of a genuine
reason to possess a firearm, such as sports shooting or starting a gun
collection, while foreigners will also need to fulfill some extra requirements,
such as a Thai house registration. Thailand also has a National Shooting Sport
Association, which is under Royal Patronage.
kong dap phleung.
ba guan zi.
for a species of Barbet, with the scientific name Psilopogon pyrolophus. Unlike
most other species of Barbet, it is not placed in the family Megalaimidae, but
in the family Ramphastidae, together with the the
Barbet have pale green underparts, with black and yellow breast-bands, and dark
green upperparts, with a brownish-maroon crown and nape, which is adorned with a
diadem-like, whitish band on the fore-crown. In addition, they have grey
ear-coverts with a white edge at the bottom, a thick pale yellowish-green bill,
with a dark band, which in some cases might have gaps,
and with several red protruding hairs between the bill and the forehead, which
is referred to in its Thai name, i.e.
nok phrodok nuat daeng, meaning
‘red-moustached barbet’ or ‘red-whiskered barbet’.
The supreme primordial
Buddha in the
Vajrayana sect of
Budhhism, who created himself from the original void. In true
essence this Buddha is abstract, illusionary and inconceivable, and can therefore not be represented in art, unless in his revealed and more earthly forms such as
Vajrasattva, as found in
Khmer art, and the various
considered the Javan Adi-Buddha. Usually depicted in royal attire or in hermaphrodite unity with a consort, a principle in Vajrayana Buddhism known as
First Noble Truth
Four Noble Truths.
used to make artifacts, either carved sculptures or ground and moulded in combination with a resin.
kaang pla thod.
for a medium-sized cat with the scientific names Prionailurus viverrinus and
Felis viverrina. It is
found from Pakistan and Nepal in the West, to Indonesia in the East, throughout
mainland Southeast Asia and including Thailand, where it is called
seua pla and
seua phaew. Its has an olive-grey fur, with
dark spots that are arranged stripe-like along the length of the body, and
actually become stripes on the back towards the neck and on the head. It has a
brawny tail, which is also dark spotted and about one half of its body length.
tigers, the back of its ears are white with a
black rim (fig.).
It has a pale, almost whitish chin and breast. It is somewhat similar to the
but larger and usually with smaller spots and underparts that are less white. Fishing Cats (fig.) are skilled swimmers,
dwelling in habitats along waterways and mangrove swamps, where they hunt for
fish (fig.), their main prey, next to other aquatic animals, such as frogs, as well as
small terrestrial animals, such as rodents, and birds.
A popular hanging artwork, believed to bring
prosperity and made with fish folded from
palm leaves called
from coloured or painted paper, or
sometimes from real banknotes. Whereas mobiles are in Thai generally known as
pratimakamjonladoonplah (»ÃÐµÔÁÒ¡ÃÃÁ¨Å´ØÅ»ÅÒ), literally
‘kinetic (or trembling)
fish mobiles are usually referred to as
pla taphian sahn, and those made from palm
pla taphian sahn bai lahn.
Name for a kind of ornamental palm with the Latin name
Its spadix (cluster of flowers of a palm) and clusters of fruit resemble that of the
areca palm. Its root is used in
medicine and its soft inside is eaten, dipped in a condiment or sauce, usually
nahm phrik, a sauce made of shrimp paste and chilies. Its leaves resemble a
fishtail, hence its name. In Thai called
Common name for a
of butterfly in the family Papilionidae, found in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Common name for a species of butterfly in the family
Nymphalidae, with the scientific designations
Limenitis sulpitia and Athyma sulpitia, and also commonly known as Spotted
Sergeant. On the upperside, the wings are overall blackish, with a brown tinge,
and white bars and spots, with a pale bluish shine. The underside (fig.) is overall
brownish-orange with white and some dark markings, most notably a series of
black dots at the base of the hindwing.
Five-flavoured Tea of Forgetfulness
Name of a brew in Chinese-Taoist
mythology, which is made from various herbs by
(fig.), the Lady of
Forgetfulness, who serves in
the realm of the dead (fig.). She gives her tea to each soul that is ready
to be reincarnated. It causes instant and permanent loss of memory,
thus ensuring that they do not remember their previous life nor
their atonement in hell. See also
kwahng ha khao.
Five Hundred Arahats
for a tuberous climbing plant, with the botanical name Gloriosa superba. It bears
attractive, solitary, greenish-yellow to orange-red flowers, with six wavy-edged
The plant has some medicinal value and, though described as highly toxic, the
root is used to treat acute gout and some other ailments. Also commonly known as
Fire Lily, Gloriosa or Glory Lily, Superb Lily, and Climbing or Creeping Lily.
In Thai, it is called dong deung (´Í§´Ö§).
reusi phasom laew.
for a species of tree in the pea family Fabaceae, with the botanical designation
Delonix regia and placed in the genus Delonix. It was previously listed in a
genus called Poinciana, and is hence also known as Royal Poinciana. Due to its
flamboyant display of red flowers it is in addition also commonly known as
Flamboyant and Red Flame. It is a popular ornamental tree, prized for its large,
attractive flowers, which have four spreading red petals and a fifth, slightly
larger upright petal, which is white with a pale yellow base and spotted with
red, and somewhat reminiscent of certain
orchids. The seed pods are bright green, but turn dark brown as they ripen
They grow up to 60 centimeters long and are about 5 centimeters wide, but rather
thin, almost flat. The leaves are fern-like (pinnate) and
bright to dark green. Although rare in the wild, it is widely cultivated and
found throughout the nation, especially along the sides of highways and roads.
In Thai, it is known as
haang nok yoong farang or simply
nok yoong farang, which translates
‘foreign peacock tail’
The Flame Tree is the mascot of the
A species of perennial plant, with the
botanical name Anthurium andraeanum. It grows to about 60 centimetres high and
has large, hearth-shaped leaves. The plant produces just one to two flowers, but
they bloom all year round and they are much-liked for their large colourful
spathe, which is usually bright red, though other colours have been cultivated,
including pink, and species with green flowers marbled with red.
From the centre of the spathe, sprouts a fleshy axis, called a spadix, which
contains the actual flowers, that are crowded on this spike inflorescence, and
with bright red spathes they are often yellow in colour, yet −as with the
spathes− their colour is variable and can be modified. This plant is also known
as Flamingo Flower and Boy Flower, and in Thailand it is called nah hua (Ë¹éÒÇÑÇ),
which translates as
The plant is reminiscent of certain species of Spathiphyllum, a plant in the
same family which also produces flowers in a spadix, yet with a either white,
yellowish, or greenish spathe, and with ovate leaves.
found in Chinese
iconography, but of which
the origin is non liquet, i.e. unclear. It is often depicted with
Chinese dragons, regularly in the form of two
that are facing one another, usually in the
air, with a flaming pearl in between them (fig.). It originally was –and sometimes
still is– depicted as a disc engulfed in flames (fig.),
and is said by some to represent the sun, as in Chinese mythology the dragon was
believed to chase the sun. The disc over time gradually changed into a red ball
and later in to a flaming pearl, of which the latter became associated with a
gem, especially the wishing gem or
Mahayana Buddhism, and is often
described as one and the same thing. Although originally a symbol of wealth, the
wishing jewel in Buddhism usually symbolizes spiritual wealth, i.e.
Enlightenment. It therefore often occurs on a
base or pedestal (fig.)
and sometimes on top of three jewels, that represent the
Besides this, pearls are also understood to represent wealth, good luck, and
prosperity, and some scholars have suggested that the Chinese dragon with a
flaming pearl might in the past have been a special indicator of imperial rank.
It is said to symbolize wisdom and to have the power to multiply whatever it
Common name of a small wild cat found in parts of Southeast
Asia, including the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Sumatra, and easily
distinguished by the extreme depression of the skull, which gave it its name.
Above, this cat has a reddish-brown head, with rounded ears and a face that is
lighter in colour than the body, whilst the muzzle, chin and underbelly are
white. Two prominent whitish streaks run on either side of the nose, between the
large eyes, that –compared with other cats– are unusually far forward and close
together, giving the animal enhanced stereoscopic vision. The body is greyish-brown
above, and the fairly short legs are of a similar background colour, but with
blackish, horizontal, stripe-like marks on the upper side. The Flat-headed Cat
is known by the scientific designation Prionailurus
planiceps and it is
listed as an endangered species, with an estimated population of
less than 2,500 mature animals. As such, it
occurs on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2011, as part of a set on wild cats (fig.),
in an effort to promote awareness for this
vulnerable animal, as well as for wildlife conservation in general.
Common name for kind of house gecko, with the scientific names Cosymbotus
platyurus and Hemidactylus platyurus, and which is found in many subtropical and
tropical places of Asia. It grows up to 12.5 centimeters long and though its
colouration varies greatly, it can easily be recognized by its flattened tail,
the webbing at the base of the toes, and the fringe of skin along the
body. Also known as Flat-tailed House Gecko. In Thai, this species is called
baan haang baen (¨Ôé§¨¡ºéÒ¹ËÒ§áº¹).
A species of hard branching coral
with the scientific name Acropora aspera.
Flower of Life
A geometrical figure, that is composed of multiple
evenly-spaced, overlapping circles of the same diameter, that are arranged in a
six-fold symmetry, with the centre of each circle being on the border of six
surrounding circles, creating a flower-like pattern. It is deemed by some to
depict the fundamental forms of space and time, and in three-dimensional form it
is associated with the figure of a tube torus, which is described as the form
that the flow of energy takes at every scale of existence. The torus' dynamic,
i.e. the primary pattern of balanced energy that flows around its skeleton
structure, the vector equilibrium –a perfectly balanced force field in the shape
of a cuboctahedron, i.e. a cube with 8 triangular and 6 square faces, which has
12 equal energy lines radiating out, that stabilize its centre like the 12
spokes of a wheel, and that form the outlines of 8 triangular pyramids (tetrahedrons),
as well as 6 square based pyramids–, are said to be the primary patterns
fundamental to the creation of the universe at all scales, creating energy
without combustion. There are many spiritual beliefs associated with this
figure, especially a version made up of a total of 64 circles and semi-circles, that can be found in the art of cultures from all over the world, from
the rust coloured whirlpool designs painted on
Ban Chiang-style pottery (fig.)
to the ball with a flower-like pattern under the right front paw of the
Imperial Guardian Lion at the
Forbidden City in
The latter is also associated with a larger scale of the vector equilibrium,
with a total of 64 pyramids known as tetrahedra, that
radiate outward from the centre and which –if replaced by spheres that represent
the torus' force fields that surround each of the pyramids– would result in a
perfect template of the ball, or if flattened out, an exact overlay on the
pattern of the Flower of Life as found in other cultures. Some even believe that the 64 energy units
in the sphere are
associated with the 64 hexagrams used in the
Ching, as the six lines of each symbol could be set together
to form the six edges of a tetrahedron, together forming
exactly 64 tetrahedra. Curiously, this pattern of 64 is repeatedly found encoded
in ancient art forms from around the world, as well as in the 64 codons of DNA.
for a species of small butterfly, found on the Indian subcontinent and known by
a variety of scientific designations, such as Zeltus etolus, Zeltus amasa,
Hypolycaena amasa, etc. The upper side of the forewings are of a
blue colour that merges into dark blue, almost black, towards the apexes. The
underside of the forewings are pale at the base and become gradually dark
brownish to orange towards the apex, and have a black spot near the centre, as
well as some broken dark lines across the wing. The colouring and pattern on the
underside of the hind wings is very similar to that on the forewings, but paler
pale at the base, while the upper side of the frontal hind wings is white with a
bluish shine towards the apex, which is dark blue, almost black, whereas the
lower part of the hind wing is mostly white. This butterfly also has two white
trailers on each hind wing, i.e. a long one and a short one.
foi thong (½ÍÂ·Í§)
Thai. ‘Shredded gold’
Name of a kind of
sweet (fig.), also
It can be soft or crispy, the latter being called foi
thong krob (½ÍÂ·Í§¡ÃÍº), i.e.
‘crispy angel hair’.
Thai. ‘Shredded gold’
Nickname for a parasitic creeper known by the
common name Southern Asian Dodder or Giant
An ornament carved or painted in a leaf design.
Fon Dahb (¿éÍ¹´Òº)
Dance’. Name of a northern style dance from
in which the dancer handles several swords simultaneously, showing the pride in the former
martial art and defense of
Fon Lep (¿éÍ¹àÅçº)
Thai. ‘Fingernail Dance’. Name of a northern style dance from
in which the dancers wear eight
lep, aluminum finger pieces, allegedly as a replacement for
the candles that are sometimes used. Sometimes these long fingernails are adorned with red pompoms,
a possible representation of the flame with a candle. Sometimes transcribed Fawn Lep.
‘Blessing’, ‘good luck’ and ‘happiness’, especially with regards to material benefits.
Foo is one of the most popular Chinese characters and is used in Chinese New
Trut Jihn. It regularly appears as
an imprint or as an inscription on Chinese temples and in art, or as a jewel (fig.).
It is often written or printed in gold on a red background, as in China the
colour red itself is a symbol for good luck, as well as for health, happiness,
harmony, peace and prosperity, whereas the colour gold refers to both
completeness and wealth. It
is also often portrayed upside-down (fig.),
or posted the wrong side up on the front door of a house or an apartment.
This is done to invite good luck to come, since the last two characters of dao
guo lai (倒过来), which means ‘upside-down’, are the same (过来) as those used to say
‘to come over’ or ‘to come up’. This
method is used in the same manner as the law of attraction, hoping that by
posting it in this way, it will in fact attract good luck (fig.). Foo is also one of the
Three Star Gods,
Hok Lok Siw or
Fu Lu Shou,
and is often worshipped as an informal
Chinese wealth god
Chai Sing Ihya
(fig.). The word
fu also has a sound loan word meaning ‘bat’, the mouse-like nocturnal flying mammal. Therefore also the bat has become a
symbol for good luck and often appears in Chinese iconography (fig.)
as well as in Chinese art (fig.).
Also transcribed fu and in Cantonese
pronounced fuk. The Chinese
name of the coastal province of
Fujian (福建) in eastern China begins with the character fu (foo)
and translates as ‘Establishing Good Luck’ or ‘Founding Happiness’. See also
The Forbidden Palace, i.e. the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming
(1368–1644) and Qing
(1644–1912) Dynasties in Beijing.
Common name for a
species of small butterfly in the family
Lycaenidae, i.e the so-called Blues.
It is found on the Indian subcontinent, as well as in Sri Lanka,
Indochina, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Above its wings are pale violet, with
a bluish-silvery shine, while below the wings are a pale dull greyish-brown. On the hindwings it has a black tipped tail with some white, and small but prominent
black spots on both the underside and upperside, with those of the underside
being faintly edged by orange, similar to common eyespots (fig.). It has a wingspan of
only 25 to 30 millimeters, and the scientific
designation Catachrysops strabo.
See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1)
Founding Fathers of the Royal Thai Air Force
Three Thai Army officers (fig.), who took in 1912 an aviation
course in France, i.e. Army Major
Luang Sakdi Sanyawut
Luang Ahwut Sikhikorn (fig.)
and Army Lieutenant
Luang Sakdi received
his training at
a military air base near Paris, and learned to fly in a
Breguet Type III biplane
both Capt. Luang Ahwut and Lt. Thip were trained
at Mourmelon-le-Grand (fig.),
a military airfield in northern France, flying
Nieuport 11 trainer monoplanes
Afterward, they received proper Air Force ranks and were promoted to Air Marshal
and Group Captain respectively, while all were in addition bestowed with the title of
The pioneer trio is also referred to as the Parents of the Royal Thai Air Force.
Name for he four powerful animals,
which represent the sacred qualities and attitudes that
on the path to
These animals and their qualities are the
confidence; the sky
dragon, which stands for
represents fearlessness; and the
symbolizes gentle power.
often adorn the corners of Buddhist
The four sights encountered by Prince
Siddhartha which made him renounce his royal life and become an ascetic. In
Theravada Buddhism these are an old man, a sick man, a dead body and a mendicant ascetic who went around begging without any form of attachment or hate, and with inner peace. Attracted by the qualities of this monk and the condition of the three others Siddhartha eventually exchanges his princely life for a religious one. Often depicted in temple decorations. See also
Also known as Four Sights (fig.)
and in Thai named
Four Harmonious Friends
Tibetan folktale about an
elephant, a monkey, a rabbit, and a bird
(sometimes said to be a partridge), that
congregated at a tree. One version relates that these four animals lived in a
valley, where times had been quite turbulent, with quarrelling inhabitants that
did not respect each other. The four animals then gathered
at a fruit tree
to decide what could be done, and concluded that a peaceful, harmonious society
is one that respects its elders. It was determined that the bird was eldest,
then the rabbit, followed by the monkey and that the elephant was youngest. The
animals are hence portrayed supporting one another, with the eldest on top and
the youngest below (fig.).
Another version relates that the animals themselves actually had a discussion
about who first discovered the tree. The elephant was resting in the trees
shade, but it had no fruits, since the monkey already ate them. Then, the rabbit
said it already knew the tree since it was just a sapling with only a few
branches, but the bird interrupted and said the tree actually came forth from a
seed it had spit out after eating a fruit. Hence, it was established that the
bird knew the tree first, but rather than claiming the tree for one, the animals
decided to share the tree together in peaceful harmony, enjoying the beauty of
the tree's fragrance, the nourishment of its fruits, and the bounty of its
shade. Hence, the representation of an elephant, a monkey, a rabbit and a bird
on top of each other, has become the Tibetan symbol for peace
and harmony, and can often be found in Tibetan
In Chinese, known as Si He Xiang
(四合象), which loosely translates as
Four Heavenly Kings
Si Tian Wang.
Four Noble Truths
The fundamentals of
Buddhism as taught by the
Buddha. The first noble truth is the recognition that suffering exists; secondly, that suffering is caused by the craving for and clinging to that which is pleasant; thirdly, that after discovering the origin of suffering one can put an end to it; and fourthly, that this can be done by following the
Four Stages of Life
Hindu beliefs, the human life is divided into four stages, known as the four
the celibate stage, which is spent in controlled, sober and pure
contemplation under a
guru, building up the intellect for the
realization of truth, as well as in pursuing education in sciences, arts and the
scriptures; Gruhastha or Grihastha, the married or householder's stage, in which
one marries and satisfies
develops a professional career; Vanaprastha, the
retirement stage, with a gradual detachment from the material world,
ostensibly giving over duties to one's offspring and spending more time in
contemplation of the Divine; and Sannyas or Sanyasa, the recluse stage, in which
one goes into seclusion to find the Divine through detachment from worldly life,
and finally, peacefully sheds the body for
that is the
transmigration of the soul by means of
reincarnation, or for
fowl bone prognostication
which the outcome of certain events are interpreted by reading the bones of a
fowl. It is usually practiced by a
and the fowl used may be a chicken, hen, cock or even a
small chick, depending on the occasion or function. In Thailand it is still
common practice with most of the northern hill tribes. Prior to the
prognostication the shaman will conduct an invocation. He holds the fowl with
his left hand and his right hand holds the neck facing eastwards while reciting
his oaths. After the incantation he kills the fowl, takes out the thighbones and pricks them with tiny pointed
bamboo sticks. The right
thighbone is extracted first and then the left one. They are then place next to
each other and pricked with the bamboo sticks which position in relation to each
other can than be read. Fowl bone
prognostication is practiced since ancient times for settling
discords, for guidance about certain major works, for hunting, in family
affairs and for religious functions. A single bone can retain as many as seven sticks and the
interpretation is rather complex. There are a total of 42 symbols that can
branch off into various interpretations and a versed shaman has as much as 170
interpretations. According to
lore the art of fowl bone prognostication started when an old man who wished to
pass his legacy to his three sons earmarked a golden scroll for his firstborn, a silver scroll for the second son and a scroll of parchment for the
youngest son. Since the oldest son lived far away and didn't come to collect his
scroll as he was unaware of it, the youngest son took it over to him on his hill
farm. On arrival he tried to explain about the scrolls but his brother was too
busy to take heed and told him to wait. The youngest son grew bored of waiting
and decided to keep the golden scroll for himself. He left the parchment scroll
on a tree stump and returned home. After work the oldest son went looking for
the scroll but couldn't find it and so asked his dog. It said it had eaten it
and already dropped it as excrement. The man asked where it had dropped it and
the dog said that a fowl had already eaten it. The man went to the fowl and
asked the fowl where the excrement of the dog was. The fowl said it had been
assimilated and it was now in its body, pointing with its wing tips to its
thighbones. At the last resort the man had to read the bones of the fowl that had
eaten the dung of the dog, interpreting the holes in them as if he was reading
the script of the scroll.
A military conflict between France and Siam,
that arose when the French furthered their interests in French Indochina,
especially when expanding their territory by bringing
under French rule.
The Siamese government, who refused to give up territory East of the
River, reinforced their
military presence in the region and when in September 1892 some French merchants
were expelled from the area, France used it as a pretext to send their troops
into the disputed region, to assert French control. When they arrived by April
1893, some small Siamese garrisons withdrew, though others resisted and when on
5 June 1893, the Siamese organized an ambush on a village in southern Laos, it
resulted in the killing of a French police inspector, who was also the commander
of a Vietnamese militia in Laos, of whom some 17 were killed. This incident was
used as an excuse for an even stronger French intervention. Thus, the French in
July 1893 ordered two their warships to sail up the
River towards Bangkok, without the permission of the Siamese. This led to the
Paknam Incident, after
which the Siamese submitted fully to the French conditions of an
ultimatum that on 3 October 1893 ended the conflict with the Franco-Siamese
Treaty, in which the Siamese
handed over the disputed territory of the
Mekhong and withdrew their troops from the area.
The treaty also led to the demilitarization of the Cambodian cities Battambang
and Siemreap, as well a 25 km-wide demilitarized zone on the western bank of the
Tree with the Latin name
Plumeria acutifolia, named after the seventeenth century French botanist Charles Plumier, who catalogued several tropical species. In total eight kinds are known, mostly deciduous trees and shrubs. It can grow up to nine meters high, but is usually smaller. It has a fairly bare structure and its green pointed leaves are thick, hard and glossy
(fig.). Its branches contain a poisonous milky sap and they have scented, usually white
or pink flowers (fig.), often with a yellowish centre
(fig.), or a
combination of those colours (fig.), and five petals (fig.).
The flowers flourish before the leaves sprout,
although some species are evergreens. Since it is often found at temples it is also called pagoda tree or
temple tree (fig.).
The flowers are more fragrant at night in order to lure moths to pollinate them, but since they
don't produce nectar, they actually trick their
pollinators. In Thai, the frangipani tree is called ton lanthom (µé¹ÅÑè¹·Á)
and was imported to Thailand from
after the Siamese conquered
Nakhon Thom. The name lanthom (ÅÑè¹·Á)
is said to be a corruption from lanthom (ÅÑè¹¸Á), a word with a
slightly different spelling in Thai. It is composed of the words lan (ÅÑè¹) and
thom (¸Á), with lan meaning ‘to fire’ (i.e. to pull the
trigger of a firearm) and thom referring to the city (or
nakhon) Thom. In the South of Thailand the tree is
khom (µé¹¢ÍÁ), literally ‘Khmer tree’. The word lanthom however, sounds like rathom (ÃÐ·Á), often
pronounced lathom by the Thais and meaning to be ‘sore at heart’ or ‘heartbroken’. Hence, many superstitious people would be reluctant to plant the tree near their
homes, until it was eventually nicknamed lihlahwadih (ÅÕÅÒÇ´Õ), what could be
translated as ‘to proceed gracefully’. In Indian culture, the frangipani flower
is said to represent loyalty and Hindu women put a flower in their hair on the
day of their wedding, to express their loyalty to their husband. The frangipani
flower is the national flower of
Mural painting in watercolor, or with earth pigments or minerals are applied onto wet lime plaster
Ornamental frame or decorated strip, often an horizontal band with figures, decorative designs or a decorative pattern.
Common name for
insects of the superfamily Cercopoidea, that belong the order Hemiptera.
Frog-legged Leaf Beetle
A species of beetle in the family
Chrysomelidae and with the scientific name Sagra femorata.
Pediment or gable field, like that of a
Concise title, as well
as the name of the residence of a Siamese viceroy, fully known as
Krom Phra Rachawang
Bowon Sathaan Mongkon.
In Thai called
A common name
used for two very different flies, i.e. vinegar flies on the one hand, which are
also known as wine flies or pomace flies,
and picture-wing flies on the other. The first kind is the small fly that tends to linger
around overripe or rotting fruit and may be found around peeled fruit, salad
bars or in the compost bin, while the latter is a larger fly that infests tree
fruits. Vinegar flies are mostly 2-4 millimeter small, pale yellow to reddish
brown or black flies, with distinctive red eyes (fig.).
Their larvae feed on the decay fungi in overripe or rotting fruit or vegetables,
in which skin adult female flies lay their eggs. Vinegar flies cause no direct
damage to fruit, but can be a nuisance when present in large numbers. They are
also widely used in genetics research. Picture-wing flies (fig.),
infest tree fruit and often cause considerable damage. They are larger, almost
the size of common house flies, and are easily distinguished from other, similar
flies, by the dark pattern or banding of the wings, which gave them their common name. In
scientific terms the vinegar flies belong to the family Drosophilidae, whereas
the larger picture-wing flies belong to the family Tephritidae. In Thai, members
of the first family are referred to as
which means ‘buzzing insect’, whilst members of the latter group are known as
malaeng wan ponlamai, which literally means ‘fruit fly’.
Worldwide, there are about 1,500 pecies of Drosophilidae fruit fly and about
4,400 known species of Tephritidae fruit fly, some named after the kind of fruit
they prefer to feed on. Because there are so many species, many of which are
extremely similar, the identification of these fruit flies is very difficult,
even for professional identifiers. 回
sculpturing fruit into shapes and reliefs, usually to adorn banquets.
requires the patience and meticulous care of
carvers in order to ensure the exquisite beauty of their creation. The carved
fruit and vegetables also have to remain fresh and undamaged, so that they can
be used as beautiful decorations on the dinner table. Thai women in the past,
especially the ladies of the court, had to be trained in this kind of intricate
art work. Most commonly, larger fruits are used, such as the
it is called is
ponlamai kae salak, and if vegetables are used it is
pak kae salak
(fig.), although often one term is used to refer to both
(fig.). Also called fruit sculpting.
See also POSTAGE STAMPS.
for a complex group of moths, whose members attack many kinds of fruits. They
have been recorded to attack over 40 different species of tropical and
subtropical fruit in the region. One of the species found in Thailand is the
genus Ophiusa coronata, listed in the subfamily Calpinae and in the family
Noctuidae, i.e. Owl Moths. It is a rather large species with a wingspan of about
6 centimeters. Adult moths have dark grey-brown forewings with a variety of
markings on each wing, including a light or dark coloured elliptical spot near
the middle of each wing (fig.),
or occasionally just the faint outlines of such a spot but without any obvious
colour (fig.), whilst the hindwings are of a pale to bright orange
colour with double black bars. It is considered a pest for fruit, as it pierces many
kinds of fruit with its proboscis to suck the juice, leaving a hole through
which other insects and bacteria can enter, causing the fruit to rot. In Thai Fruit-piercing Moths
phi seua muan waan.
Chinese ‘bat’. Since
the word fú means both ‘bat’ (the mouse-like nocturnal flying mammal) and
luck’, the bat has become a symbol for good luck and
are thus believed to bring happiness and peace into one's life. It
therefore often appears in
as an attribute of mythological figures such as
(fig.), on furniture (fig.), in
and on artifacts (fig.).
When five bats are displayed together
they stand for fortune, longevity, good health, love and death of natural causes.
Fu Lu Shou (福禄寿)
Three Star Gods,
in Thai called
Lok Siw (fig.)
and in Vietnamese
referred to as
Phuc Loc Tho (fig.).
Indianized kingdom in Indochina and precursor of
Chenla. According to Chinese chronicles,
it was founded in the 1st century AD, and thus the precursor to
Cambodia. It dominated the valley regions of the
Chao Phya rivers between the 2nd and 6th centuries, exerting strong cultural influences on the area around the Thai Central Plains.
Artifacts from this era are on permanent display at the
Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap (fig.).
fu shou (佛手)
‘Buddha's hand’. Name for
the fingered citron (fig.), known in Thai as
Name of a semi-mythological
Chinese emperor, often described as the first of
the Three Sovereigns during the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors Period of