A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

LEXICON

 R          

 

raat (राज्, -ราช)

Sanskrit-Thai. A suffix meaning ‘great’, ‘royal’, ‘regal’, ‘imperial’ and ‘kingly’, as in nagaraat. Literally raat may also mean ‘contentment’. Also transcribed as raj.

raat nah (ราดหน้า)

Thai. Name for a dish consisting of crisp fried noodles with kha-nah and a form of meat, e.g. chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, and covered in a gravy made of stock and tapioca starch. The name of the kind of meat or seafood used, will be added as a suffix to the name of the dish, i.e. raat nah moo for this dish with pork, etc. When first served the noodles are hard and crispy, but the gravy will drench the noodles and soften them somewhat. Also transliterated rad na, rat na, raad nah or rahd nah.

rabbit

A mammal in the family Leporidae and the fourth animal in the cycle of the traditional Chinese Zodiac (fig.). Those born in the Year of the Rabbit belong to the element mu (), that represents wood and correspondents to the colour green and the celestial stems jia (甲) and yi (乙). The mouths of those born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be guarded by mercury and hence their words appeal to their seniors and superiors. Their hearts are said to be guarded by Venus, thus filling them with desire and anger, but making them also courageous volunteers. According to Chinese mythology, a Jade Rabbit lives on the Moon (fig.), making the Moon its seat and causing those born in the Year of the Rabbit to be obsessed with worldly matters. The Sun and Saturn serve as their hands, making their work orderly, whilst the Sun and Mars serve as their feet, inspiring them to travel far and wide. This animal of the zodiac is sometimes called Naughty Rabbit. In contrast to most western countries, rabbits are not considered a food meat in Thailand and most other parts of Asia, where people prefer them as pets. The rabbit (fig.) features on many a Thai postage stamp, including the Songkraan Day Postage Stamp issued in 1999 (fig.) and the Zodiac Year of the Rabbit Postage Stamp issued in 2011 (fig.), whilst the rabbit on the surface of the moon (fig.) is used as the symbol of Chanthaburi (fig.), i.e. the ‘Moon City’. In Myanmar's Buddhist iconography, Enlightenment is often symbolized by the representation of a peacock and a rabbit (fig.), which in their own right are symbols for the sun and moon, respectively, akin to the Chinese characters for sun and moon, i.e. (ri) and (yue), that when placed together as (ming), become to mean bright, clear, or to understand.

Rabi Badhanasakdi (รพีพัฒนศักดิ์)

Thai. Name of the fifth son and 13th child of King Chulalongkorn, whom he begot with his concubine Talap Ketudat (ตลับ เกตุทัต). READ ON.

racha (राज, ราช)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Contentment’. A different spelling for raja.

rachakahn (รัชกาล)

See radjakaan.

rachaphreuk (ราชพฤกษ์)

Thai. ‘Royal flora’. Nickname for the Cassia fistula or Indian laburnum, a medium-sized deciduous tree which grows to 20 meters tall with drooping branches (fig.). It is also known by its more popular names Golden Shower Tree, due to its countless showy yellow flowers, and Drumstick Tree (fig.), due to its long, tubular seedpods (fig.). Officially it is listed by the Thai name khoon, but the epithet rachaphreuk means ‘royal flora’ and refers to king Bhumipon Adunyadet, who was born on a Monday and thus has yellow as his personal colour (sih prajam wan), hence the name of this tree which bears countless pendant, yellow flowers. It is sometimes confused with the kaeng khi lehk or suwannaphreuk (fig.), a Cassia tree with similar flowers but which grow upward. Its flower is the symbol of Khon Kaen province, as well as the National Flower of Thailand. In northern Thailand it is called lom laeng (ลมแล้ง), in the South it is referred to as audib (อ้อดิบ), except in Pattani where it is called lak kleua (ลักเกลือ) or lak keuy (ลักเคย), and the Karen people have named it kupheya (กุเพยะ), the same name as used in Kanchanaburi. The names rachaphreuk and chaiyaphreuk are in Thai literature often confused, using one for the other and visa versa, sometimes referring to the Cassia fistula as chaiyaphreuk, or to the or Cassia agnes as rachaphreuk. The official botanical list used by the Thai government as well as several prominent books on the subject also tend to list the Cassia agnes (a pink Cassia) as the rachaphreuk and both the Cassia renigera (a subspecies of the Cassia javanica which has pink flowers) and the Cassia fistula (with yellow flowers) as chaiyaphreuk.

Rachaprayoon (ราชประยูร)

Thai-rajasap term for ‘Royal family’.

racharot (ราชรถ)

See rajarot.

racha trinnamai samahkhom (ราชตฤณมัยสมาคม)

Thai for ‘Royal Turf Club’.

Rachawang (ราชวัง)

See Phra Rachawang.

Racket-tailed Treepie

Common name for a bird with the binomial designation Crypsirina temia. It belongs to the Corvidae family, which also includes crows, as can be seen from its name in Thai, i.e. nok kah waen (นกกาแวน), which translates as ‘ringed crow’. It is 30.5 to 32.5 centimeters tall, overall blackish, and has a long, spatulated-tipped tail, i.e. a tail that broadens towards the end, somewhat reminiscent of the shape of a shoehorn. Its natural habitat includes mixed deciduous woodland and open broadleaved forests, secondary growth, bamboo and mangroves. Also known as Black Racket-tailed Treepie.

Radha (राधा)

1. The favourite love of Krishna. She is said to embody the human soul, whereas Krishna represents universal life energy (fig.). She is sometimes worshiped as an avatar of the goddess Lakshmi.

2. Name of the foster mother of Karna, the first son of Kunti and thus a half-brother to the Pandava in the epic Mahabharata.

Radiating Avalokitesvara

A certain form of the bodhisatva Avalokitesvara in Mahayana Buddhism appearing with a body covered with countless small Buddha images, the image of Amitabha in his headdress and his arms spread around his body like a radsamie or halo. He may have up to 22 arms and 11 heads. His body is akin to certain Buddha images (fig.) found in Myanmar (fig.).

radjakaan (รัชกาล)

Thai. ‘Reign’ of ‘rule’ of a king, e.g. ‘radjakaan tih hah’, the reign of King Rama V. Also rachakahn.

radjakaan patjuban (รัชกาลปัจจุบัน)

Thai. The present reign, the reigning sovereign.

radjasamay (รัชสมัย)

Thai. The ruling years or reign of a king.

radjataayaat (รัชทายาท)

Thai. The heir to the throne. Also mongkut rachakumaan.

radklao (รัดเกล้า)

Thai. A jeweled tiara or coronet as sometimes worn by Thai dancers. Compare with chadah.

radsami (รัศมี)

Thai. ‘Aureole’, ‘halo’ or ‘nimbus’. Also called chappannarangsie and sometimes transcribed radsamie, ratsamie, radsamee, radsamih, ratsamih, or similar. It may also be translated as ‘ray’, ‘beam of light’, or ‘glow’, and can also mean ‘power’ or ‘prestige’. Compare with rasmi.

raeknakwan (แรกนาขวัญ)

Thai. ‘The first ploughing’. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, an ancient brahman custom marking the beginning of the rice planting season. In Thailand, this comprises of an annual ritual performed in the second week of May on Sanam Luang, in presence of the king or an envoy, and known as the Ploughing Ceremony (fig.). It also refers to a scene in the life of the historical Buddha when he retreated to meditate under a tree during the Ploughing Ceremony at the age of seven.

Rafflesia

Name of a genus of parasitic flowering plants, of which there are several species, with Rafflesia arnoldii being known as the world's biggest single ‘flower’, with a diameter of up to a meter. It only occurs in the Sundaic region of Southeast Asia, and further in Sarawak (Borneo) and Sumatra (Indonesia). The Rafflesia species found in Thailand has the botanical name Rafflesia kerrii (fig.) and is habitually found in Khao Sok National Park (fig.), in the southern province of Surat Thani, which made the Rafflesia its symbol. The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that does not put down roots, but attaches itself to the nutrient system of woody lianas of the genus Tetrastigma. The flower buds, which swell to the size of a football, may first emerge on the host liana from October to December and it blossoms for only a couple of days per year in January and February, after which it completely dies back. It is totally unpredictable when exactly it will sprout next. Its pungent odour resembles the smell of rotting carrion, which attracts flies that pollinate it. The plant is named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who introduced it to the West in the beginning of the 19th century. Due to the typical odour described above, the Rafflesia is sometimes called carrion flower, a designation which may have led to the fact that it is sometimes mistaken for a carnivorous plant, though it is in reality parasitic and not carnivorous. In Thai it is called bua phut.

rahng khon (รางค้น)

Thai. Name for an apparatus with spools of yarn lined up in order to prepare them for further processing. It consists of a frame of about 5-8 meter wide which is placed on 1.5 meter high posts and has either two or three levels of spindles, usually for a total of 152-162 spools. See also lak khon (fig.).

Rahu (राहु, ราหู)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. The god of darkness, a legless demon who causes the eclipses of the sun and moon. READ ON.

2. Sanskrit-Thai. Another name for the pahng pah leh laai pose of the Buddha, corresponding with Wednesday after sunset in the Buddhist Phra prajam wan system.

3. Sanskrit-Thai. Name for the planet Earth. Compare with the demon Rahu who just like Earth causes the eclipses of the sun and moon.

4. Thai. The god who interferes with human affairs.

Rahula (राहुल, ราหุล)

1. Sanskrit. ‘Union’ or ‘bond’. Name of the son of prince Siddhartha and Yashodhara. In ancient India, it was believed that eclipses were caused by the god of darkness, Rahu. He is a legless demon who travels through the universe and alternately swallows the moon and the sun, thus blocking out the light and causing an eclipse (fig.). Though, because he was cut in two by Vishnu as punishment for drinking of the amrita, he no longer has an underside and the moon or sun, thus keep on falling out again, ending the eclipse. Since Rahula was purportedly born during a lunar eclipse, he was named after this demon god Rahu. When he was born, prince Siddhartha had already decided to renounce the world and seek a religious life. Fatherhood was thus merely seen as a new source of attachment, and Rahula's name is sometimes even translated as ‘fetters’. The Buddha taught him the path to Enlightenment and Rahula later became an arahat, well-known for his meditative power. Worshippers believe that he could become omnipotent and omniscient during meditation. He is usually depicted in a seating pose whilst reflecting. In Thai, his name can be pronounced Rahun, Rahul or Rahula, but he is also known as Lawaloh (ลาวาโล). In Chinese, he is known as the luohan Chen Si (沉思), literally ‘Profound Thinking’. In English he is referred to as the Thinking Lohan or the Arhat in Deep Concentration. MORE ON THIS.

2. Sanskrit. ‘Union’ or ‘bond’. Name of a wrathful Tibetan protector deity, of which there are numerous forms. Generally, he is depicted in a horrific form, with nine heads and the lower body of a coiled serpent or naga (fig.). The nine heads are stacked in three piles and are usually topped with a black crow or raven. He usually also has a giant face on the belly. The upper body is in the chaturbuja-style, i.e. with four arms. Furthermore, he is habitually depicted encircled by a halo or belt of flames around his entire body. He occurs chiefly in the Red Hat Sect (fig.) or Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism and likely has his origin in the Indian ancient demi-god Rahu, a deity of the cosmos related to the eclipses of the sun and the moon (fig.), yet Rahula is said to also eclipse other planets. Whereas the face in the middle of his stomach is said to to be his actual face, the nine stacked heads represent the nine planets that this deity may eclipse. In Tibetan, he is known as Kyab Jug and is considered a protector of the Three Jewels, and is believed to be extremely ferocious towards those who perform Buddhist rituals incorrectly or in an untimely manner. In painted compositions, Rahula is often depicted in the company of Vajrapani.

rai (ไร่)

Thai. An area measure equivalent to 1,600 square meters.

rainbow

See rung.

Rainbow Water Snake

A species of snake with the scientific name Enhydris enhydris, found on the Indian subcontinent, southeastern China and Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, where it is called ngu saai rung. It can grow to a length of about 86 centimeters and has a cylindrical body with smooth scales. Its colouration is olive-gray above, with brown stripes on both sides of the vertebral ridge, and broad pale stripes separated by thin black lines on each side. This harmless snake is found in lowland freshwater bodies, where it feeds mainly on fish. Also called Striped Water Snake.

Rain Bug

See Red Velvet Mite.

Rain Tree

See jamajurih.

raj (राज्,-ราช)

See raat.

raja (राज, ราช-)

Sankrit-Thai. A form of raat used as a prefix and meaning ‘great’, ‘royal’, ‘regal’, ‘imperial’ and ‘kingly’, as in rajarot. Literally raja also means ‘contentment’.

rajabhat (ราชภัฏ)

Thai term that means ‘civil servant’. Also transliterated radjabhat or rachabhat, but in fact pronounced rajaphat. Compare with rajakaan.

rajabut (ราชบุตร)

Thai. Term that derives from the Sanskrit word rajaputra and the Hindi term rajaput, and which means ‘son of a raja’ i.e. ‘son of a king’. Also transcribed rajabutr, rachabutr, rachabut.

Rajagaha

Pali for Rajagrha.

Rajagrha (राजगृह)

Sanskrit. ‘House of the King’. Name of a major city in ancient India which was the capital of the former kingdom of Magadha. It is a place where the Buddha spent several months and several important events took place, such as the investiture of Makha Bucha, when he gave the Ovada Patimokkha Discourse to the assembly of 1,250 arahats at Bamboo Grove Monastery. The latter scene is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1993 (fig.). Also called Rajagriha and Rajgir, and in Pali Rajagaha. The Sanskrit Rajagrha is related to the Thai word rajakaan, i.e. ‘service to the king’. See also Nalagiri and Jivaka.

rajakaan (ราชการ)

Thai. ‘Royal service’ or ‘service to the king’, i.e. a general term used for officials and similar to rajabhat, which means ‘civil servant’, a synonym for rajakaan phon reuan (ราชการพลเรือน). Compare with Rajagrha. See also RANKS CIVIL SERVICE and POSTAGE STAMP.

rajakumaan (าชกุมาร)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Prince’. In Sanskrit it is pronounced raajakumaar and in English it is usually transliterated rajakumar, but the pronunciation is raajakumaan, as the final consonant is at the end of a word or syllable pronounced as N. See THAI CONSONANTS.

2. Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Prince’. Name of a school within the Royal Palace, in English usually referred to as Rajakumar School. It was founded by King Chulalongkorn on 7 January 1892 in order to educate the King's siblings, and who appointed Robert Morant, since November 1886 the tutor to the royal family of Siam, as its headmaster. See also Anna Leonowens.

rajakumari (राजकुमारी, ราชกุมารี)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Princess’.

Rajamangala National Stadium

The biggest stadium in Thailand and the main stadium inside the Hua Mahk Sports Complex, which is administered by the Sports Authority of Thailand (fig.). READ ON.

rajanikun (ราชนิกุล)

Thai. A member of the royal family. See also rajasakun.

rajapisek (ราชาภิเษก)

Thai. ‘Coronation’. In religious context the term refers to a scene in the life of prince Siddhartha when he succeeded his father Suddhodana as king of the Sakya clan, after his marriage with princess Bimba.

rajaput (राजपूत)

Hindi. Term that derives from the Sanskrit word rajaputra, and which means ‘son of a raja’, i.e. ‘son of a king’. The term is nowadays mainly used for a number of inhabitants of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, i.e. the ‘Land of the Rajas’, who claim to be Rajput, i.e. descendants of the ruling Hindu warrior classes of North India, that ruled the area between the 6th and 20th centuries AD. The Thai term rajabut derives from it.

rajaputra (राजपुत्र)

Sanskrit. ‘Son of a raja’, i.e. ‘son of a king’. See also rajaput.

rajarot (ราชรถ)

Thai. Royal triumph, battle or funeral cart, generally a coach.

rajasakun (ราชสกุล)

Thai. ‘Royal surname’. System initiated by Royal Decree in 1912 AD, by the prolific king Rama IV (fig.), who had 82 children himself, allowing all royal descendants to use certain royal names as surnames, thus indicating that they are a member of that specific royal family, regardless of how remote that lineage may actually be. It is similar to rajanikun and sometimes transcribed rachasakun, rajasakul or rachasakul.

rajasap (ราชาศัพท์)

Thai. Special vocabulary or respectful terms that should be used when speaking to or about members of the royal family, the Buddha, monks and religious things. See also song.

rajasie (ราชสีห์)

Thai. A heraldic lion which, for one, occurs on the coat of arms of the Ministry of the Interior.

rajatilaka (राजतिलक)

Sanskrit. Name of a kind of tilaka used for kings on their accession to the throne, usually applied as a single vertical red line.

rajatinanaam (ราชทินนาม)

Thai. A title bestowed by the king. Compare with bandasak.

rajatiraat (ราชาธิราช)

1. Thai. ‘King of kings’. A historic drama relating the wars between Thailand, Burma and the Mon empire.

2. Thai. ‘King of kings’. A title given to King Rama IX.

Rajavora Maha Vihaan (ราชวรมหาวิหาร)

The highest title given to a temple under royal auspices. There are only a few temples in Thailand on which this title was conferred. These include Wat Suthat Thepwarahrahm Rajavora Maha Vihaan, Wat Saket Rajavora Maha Vihaan, Wat Mahathat Yuwaraja Rangsarit Rajavora Maha Vihaan, Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mang Khalahrahm Rajavora Maha Vihaan and Wat Arun Rajawarahrahm Rajavora Maha Vihaan, all in Bangkok, and Wat Phra Phutthabaat Rajavora Maha Vihaan in Saraburi.

Rajput (राजपुत्र)

A term derived from the words rajaput and rajaputra, and used mainly to refer to certain inhabitants of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, i.e. the ‘Land of the Rajas’, who claim to be descendants of the ruling Hindu warrior classes of North India, that ruled the area between the 6th and 20th centuries AD.

ra-kah (ระกา)

Another Thai term used for cock or rooster (fig.) besides the general term gai or kai (ไก่). It is mainly used when referring to the animal in the zodiac (fig.), i.e. the year of the cock . See also POSTAGE STAMP.

ra-kam (ระกำ)

Thai. A palm with a height of up to seven meters which bears fruit throughout the year. The snake-like pattern of its skin gives it the nickname snake fruit. The nutritious fruit is packed in thick large bunches at the top of the trunk, and tastes between a banana and a pineapple, but has a sour aftertaste. There is a variation with the Thai name sa-la, but these are slightly longer and less bulbous in shape than the ra-kam. The fruit has the scientific names Zalacca and Salacca, and in Indonesia and Malaysia both variations are known by the name salak.

rakhang (ระฆัง)

Thai for a large ‘bell’, especially a temple bell, whereas hand bells and smaller bells are called krading (กระดิ่ง), small temple bells kradeung (fig.) and small bells tied around the neck of domestic animals are known as phruan (พรวน). Temple bells are either kept in the ho rakhang (fig.), or lined up around a temple building (fig.) to allow visitors to strike them, as this is believed to bring a long life and good luck. Near the bells a wooden mallet will usually be available, typically a bamboo root with a L-shaped end. This is used to hit the bell as most temples won't allow people to push the sometimes heavy bells. Most temple bells have the name(s) of their donor(s), a sacred text or a prayer written on them, and hitting the bell will send this text out in the world, a principle similar to Tibetan prayer wheels (fig.). Some believe the number of times the bell is struck is also important to receive boon. When the bell in the belfry is rang it is to call the monks and novices to the ubosot.

Rakshasa (राक्षस)

Sanskrit. A demon of darkness with a violent nature who dwells on burial grounds waking up the dead and frequently torments humans in several ways. In the Ramayana, Ravana is the leader of the Rakshasas. In the Ramakien he is known as Totsakan. MORE ON THIS.

Rama (रम, ราม)

1. Sanskrit. ‘He who charms’ or ‘the beloved one’, but also ‘joy’. The hero in the Indian epic Ramayana and its Thai version the Ramakien. He is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and the son of king Totsarot and queen Kao Suriya. His shakti or consort is Sita (fig.). In Thai, he is called Phra Ram (fig.). MORE ON THIS.

2. Sanskrit-Thai. Crown title for the kings of the Thai Chakri dynasty.

Rama I (พระราม ๑)

Crown title of Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok (fig.), the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty in Thailand (fig.). This title was posthumously conferred by King Phra Nang Klao, the third monarch of the dynasty who introduced the system of crown titles. In the West he is known as King Yotfa, formerly general Chao Phya Chakri (fig.), who founded the dynasty of his name in 1782 after seizing power from King Taksin. He moved the Siamese capital from Thonburi to Rattanakosin and is author of the most complete Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana called Ramakien, adapted and written in 1785. He ruled until 1809 when he died at the age of 73, leaving 42 children. He was born with the name Thong Duang and as the elder brother of Boonma. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Neung, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Neung, i.e. the ‘First Reign’, after his time in power. He is also called Phra Pathom Boromaha Kasatriyatiraat, a title meaning the First Great King, i.e. of the Chakri Dynasty. He was born in Ayutthaya on 20 March 1737, a Wednesday, and passed away in the Grand Palace in Bangkok on 7 September 1810, aged 73. See also list of Thai Kings.

Rama II (พระราม )

Crown title of Phra Phutta Leut La, the second King (fig.) of the Chakri dynasty (fig.). The title was posthumously bestowed by King Phra Nang Klao, the third monarch of the dynasty who introduced the system of crown titles. He was the son of King Phra Phutta Yotfa Chulalok and ruled from 1809 to 1824, when he succumbed after a lengthy illness, leaving 73 children. He was born with the name Itsarasunthon. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Song, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Song, after his reign. His royal emblem is known as Krut Yut Naak and consists of a garuda holding a three-headed naga with two tails, of which one is held in either hand (fig.). See also list of Thai Kings.

Rama III (พระราม )

Crown title of Phra Nang Klao, the third monarch of the Chakri dynasty (fig.). He was born on Saturday 31 March 1787, ascended the throne in 21 July 1824 as Chetsadabodin (fig.) and ruled until his death on 2 April 1851. He introduced the use of the crown titles Rama, i.e. ‘the Beloved One’, for the rulers of the Chakri dynasty and bestowed himself with the title Rama III (fig.), while conferring the titles Rama I and Rama II posthumously on his predecessors. He was the first son of Rama II, but because he was born to a non-royal concubine he was denied the title of Chao Fah, ‘Lord of the Skies’. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Sahm, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Sahm, after his reign. He had 51 children with various consorts, but since he hadn't named a successor at the time of his death, the throne passed to his half-brother Prince Mongkut (fig.). See also list of Thai Kings.

Rama IV (พระราม )

Crown title of Phra Chom Klao (fig.) the fourth monarch of the Chakri dynasty and half-brother to Rama III. In the West he is known as King Mongkut (fig.). He lived for 27 years as a Buddhist monk before ascending the throne in 1851. During his priesthood he studied Sanskrit, Pali, Latin and English, history and several western sciences, including astronomy. Interested by western ideas he modernised his realm and established diplomatic relations with the then Superpowers (fig.). To avoid colonisation commercial treaties were signed, though with very favourable conditions for the West. By presenting himself as a friend rather than a foe and approaching the Superpowers with gifts instead of weapons King Mongkut (fig.) succeeded in averting an imminent colonization, at least temporarily. Due to the establishment of several allies, none of the Superpowers dared to attack or invade Siam for fear of a conflict with each other. The law forbidding subjects to look into the face of the King was done away with, as well as the system of forced labour for the state. On 1 October 1868, his own birthday, Mongkut (fig.) died of malaria, which he contracted on an expedition to Khao Sahm Roi Yot near the Gulf of Siam in order to observe a solar eclipse which he −as an amateur astronomer− accurately predicted, leaving 82 children and 35 wives. It is said that on his deathbed, before succumbing, he reiterated the virtues of the dhammaracha and uttered the same words as spoken by the Buddha himself when he died, likewise on his own birthday. His royal emblem (fig.) consists of the Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut or ‘Great Crown of Victory’, a royal chadah, i.e. a Thai style of conical crown (fig.), flanked by two multi-layered parasols known as chattra (fig.), which are a symbol of kingship, and accompanied by some flame-patterned kranok motifs (fig.). Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Sih, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Sih, after his reign. Rama IV Road (fig.) in Bangkok is named after this King, as well as the King Mongkut's Institute of Technology (fig.) and the King Mongkut's Institute of Science. See also list of Thai Kings.

Rama V (พระราม )

Crown title of Chulachomklao, the fifth monarch of the Chakri dynasty (fig.). Born on 20 September 1853 the oldest son of King Mongkut and Queen Debsirindra (Rampheuy Phamaraphirom). In the West he is known by the name Chulalongkorn (fig.). He was crowned on 10 November 1868 (fig.) at the age of 15 and ruled under the regency of Chao Phraya Borom Maha Sri Suriyawongse (fig.) until 1873. Educated by European private teachers he continued with reforms after the western model. Public schools were established and modernisation implemented, including the construction of a railway network. Under his rule slavery was abolished (fig.) and a modern judicial and prison system was established. During the expansionist aims of the colonial Superpowers Chulalongkorn was compelled under pressure of a possible military intervention to make more concessions and gave up substantial parts of Siamese territory. The colonial threat necessitated Rama V precisely demarcating the borders of his realm, forcing him to centralise administrative power and incorporate the still remaining smaller vassal states into Siamese territory. He died on 23 October 1910 and had 97 children (fig.), or 77 not counting miscarriages and those who died at birth or soon after. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Hah, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Hah, after his reign. See also Sawang Watthana, and list of Thai Kings.

Rama VI (พระราม )

Crown title of Wachirawut (fig.), the sixth monarch of the Chakri dynasty (fig.). He was born on Thursday 1 January 1880 as the oldest son of King Chulalongkorn with Queen Saowapha. With crown prince Wajirunhit's (fig.) untimely death in 1895 at the age of seventeen his half-brother, Prince Wachirawut was appointed as the new successor to the throne by King Chulalongkorn, at the age of thirteen. After the death of Rama V, who had a total of 77 children, he ascended the throne in 1910. He implemented more reforms, especially in the field of education and administration, such as the introduction of the Krut Trah Tang Hahng (fig.). Educated in the West, he introduced the use of surnames for his subjects and encouraged them to adopt more western ways, such as western clothes and hair styles. He stimulated patriotism (fig.) and promoted nationalism on a large scale. In 1911, he established the Thai Scouting organization, locally known as look seua (fig.) and in 1917, he founded the Chulalongkorn University (fig.). In the same year, he changed the Siamese flag, then a White Elephant on a red field (fig.), for the present red-white-blue-white-red, horizontally striped banner, known as thong trai rong (fig.), with its colours symbolizing the Nation (red), the Monarchy (blue), and Religion (white). His regime was rather extravagant and when he died nearly childless on 25 November 1925 –he had a daughter (Princess Phetcharatana Rachasuda) at the last moment– the treasury was empty. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Hok, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Hok, after his reign. His royal emblem (fig.) consists of a wachira (fig.), that emits a halo-like rasmi (fig.) of thunderbolts (wachira) and which both are a reference to his name, as well as his power. The wachira is placed on top of a double gilded phaan, i.e. a bowl or dish with a base or foot (fig.), and flanked by two multi-layered parasols known as chattra (fig.), which are a symbol of kingship. Under his successor, King Rama VII, the double phaan was adapted into a part of the emblem of the Thai Constitution (fig.), as if saying that the king's power was replaced by the Constitution indeed, when King Prajadhipok (fig.) in 1932 became the nation's first constitutional monarch. The Rama VI Bridge (fig.) is named after him. In Thai, Rama VI is known by the name Phra Mongkutklao. See also King Vajiravudh Museum (fig.) and list of Thai Kings.

Rama VI Bridge

Name of a railway bridge over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, named after King Rama VI, during whose reign it was constructed, as the first bridge ever to cross the Chao Phraya River, in order to link the northern and eastern rail line network with that of the South. It has 5 spans and with a total length of 441.44 meters, it is the longest railway bridge in the nation, connecting Bangkok's Bang Sue district with Bang Phlat on the West bank. Though construction started in December 1922, it wasn't officially opened until 1 January 1927. During World War II, the bridge was heavily damaged. In 1953, it was finally repaired, after which a plaque was added with the date BE 2496. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Rama VI Bridge

Rama VII (พระราม )

Crown title of Prajadhipok (fig.), the seventh monarch of the Chakri dynasty (fig.) who in 1925 succeeded the late King Wachirawut. During his rule absolute monarchy came to an end. Because of the enormous breach his predecessor had made in the treasury the economy was stagnant. This in combination with the existence of an oligarchic system eventually led to the coup d'état in 1932 followed by the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. At this time Rama VII (fig.) was diligently working on a new constitution that might have worked better than the so-called democratic system that was imposed by the leaders of the conspiracy. But in spite of this, Rama VII on 24 June 1932 conferred, and on 10 December 1932 signed, the first Thai Thai Constitution (fig.), that would bring an end to more than seven hundred years of absolute monarchy (fig.). He eventually abdicated in 1935 and spent the rest of his life abroad, mostly in Surrey, just outside of London. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Jet, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Jet, after his reign. His royal emblem (fig.) consists of Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut, i.e. the ‘Great Crown of Victory’, above the discus-and-trident emblem of the Royal House of Chakri (fig.), and a rack with arrows, which is known as Prajadhipok Saktitejana. On the flanks are two kreuang soong, i.e. long-handle talapat and in between are two flame-patterned kranok motifs (fig.). This emblem also appears on his Privy Seal (fig.), which is part of his Phra Rachalanjakon. In Thailand he is known by the name Pokklao. He was born in Bangkok on Wednesday 8 November 1893 as a son of King Chulalongkorn and Queen Saowapha Phongsri (เสาวภาผ่องศรี) and died in Surrey from heart failure on 30 May 1941. In 1993, a Thai postage stamp was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth (fig.) and again in 2013 to commemorate his 120th anniversary (fig.). See also King Prajadhipok Museum and list of Thai Kings.

Rama VIII (พระราม )

Crown title of Ananda Mahidol (Anantha Mahidon), the eighth monarch of the Chakri dynasty (fig.), who was born on 20 September 1925 as the son of the brother of the childless King Prajadhipok. In 1935, he succeeded Rama VII, when the latter abdicated. He was however just ten years old (fig.) and still at school in Switzerland, and it was not until after WW II that he would return to Siam as Rama VIII. In 1946, some months after his return, the young King was found shot dead in his bed, a mystery that was never officially resolved. In commemoration of this King, the Rama VIII Bridge in Bangkok (fig.) was named after him, and annual merit-making for the late King takes place in Wat Suthat on 9 June, the date of his death. Both the bridge (fig.) and King Rama VIII are depicted on 20 baht banknotes, issued after the construction of the bridge. He was succeeded by his younger brother Bhumipon Adunyadet. Ananda Mahidol was never crowned as King, but his brother posthumously gave him the full royal title of the chat, the nine-layered parasol. Though in Thai his title is literally Phra Ram Paet, it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Neung, after his Paet. See also list of Thai Kings.

Rama VIII Bridge

Name of a cable-stayed bridge over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, named after Rama VIII, whose statue is erected adjacent to the bridge, on the Thonburi side (fig.). It officially opened on 20 September 2002 and consists of a single pylon topped with a stylized golden lotus bud, and from which golden suspension cables extend to the road surface. The bridge is 300 meters long, but including the approach spans it is 2,450 meters, and has two lanes in each direction, as well as footpaths for pedestrians. It is depicted on the back of the 20 baht banknote issued between 2005 and 2009 (series 15), together with a portrait of Rama VIII. In Thai known as Sapaan Phra Ram Paet (สะพานพระราม ).

Rama IX (พระราม )

Crown title of Bhumipon Adunyadet, the ninth King of the Chakri dynasty and Thailand's longest reigning monarch. He succeeded his older brother Ananda after the latter was found shot dead in his bed, but he wasn't formally crowned King (fig.) until after his marriage (fig.) to Sirikit Kitthiyag. Though he ascended the throne on 9 June 1946, he wasn't crowned until 5 May 1950, after the royal wedding of 28 April 1950. In Thai, his crown title is literally Phra Ram Kao, though it is usually referred to as Radjakaan Tih Kao, after his reign. See also the number nine and list of Thai Kings.

Rama IX Bridge

Name of a cable-stayed bridge over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, named after King Rama IX, in honour of his 60th birthday. It connects the districts Yahnahwah with Rat Burana, as a part of the Chaleum Maha Nakhon Expressway. When it was first opened in 1987, it was the largest bridge, as well as the first cable-stayed bridge in the kingdom. It is 41 meters high (fig.), 782 meters long, with an approach span of 1,127 meters on the Yahnahwah side and another 782 meters on the Thonburi side, bringing the total length to 2,716 meters. The bridge is 33 meters wide and has six lanes, as well as footpaths for pedestrians on each side. It has yellow pylons and cables, representing the colour for Monday and the personal colour of the King, who was born on a Monday (see sih prajam wan). In Thai known as Sapaan Phra Ram Kao (สะพานพระราม ๙).

Rama IX Golden Jubilee Monument

See Sum Chaleum Phra Kian Kanchana Phisek.

Ramachandra (रामचन्द्र)

1. Sanskrit. Another name for Phra Ram or Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, and the hero from the Indian epic Ramayana, in Thailand called Ramakien.

2. Sanskrit. Another name for the crown title Rama.

Ramakien (รามเกียรติ์)

Thai. ‘The honour of Rama’. Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana rewritten in 1785 by Rama I, the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. Depictions of characters and scenes from the Ramakien are found all over Thailand, represented in art, music and the nomenclature. The story relates the birth of prince Rama in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (fig.), and his later marriage with Sida, the daughter of King Janaka. Sida is kidnapped by the demon King Totsakan (fig.) who abducts her to Longka, the present Sri Lanka. Then follows the account of the lengthy battle between Rama and the ten-headed Totsakan, in which Rama is assisted by mythical half-man half-animal characters, including the courageous monkey-god Hanuman (fig.), always depicted in white. The battle brings the defeat of Totsakan and the salvation of Sida, after which Rama returns as King. The Thai version includes incidents and details not found in the Sanskrit original, such as the appearance of Suphanamatcha. The epic in Thailand had –and still has– great importance and influence onto its culture and art. See also Khon, Pha Lak Pha Lam and Reamker. MORE ON THIS.

Raman (รามัญ)

Thai. Another name for Mon or a Peguan, a person from Pegu.

ramanah (รำมะนา)

Thai. A kind of flat, one-sided drum. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Ramasoon (รามสูร)

Thai. The god of thunder. His weapon is an axe and in dance he is generally depicted as the companion of Mekala, the goddess of lightning (fig.). He is born in the storm clouds and has rain as his cloak. He asked Rahu, the god of darkness (fig.), to create a murkiness of black clouds to help conceal himself, in order to try and capture Mekala, his opponent.

Ramathep (รามเทพ)

See Tao Ramathep.

Ramathibodi (รามาธิบดี)

1. Name of King U-Thong of Ayuthhaya, also Ramathibodi I. See also list of Thai Kings.

2. Thai. A  title introduced for the Kings of the Chakri Dynasty (fig.), by King Vajiravudh, (Phra Mongkutklao), the sixth monarch of the dynasty with the crown title Rama VI, who called himself Ramathibodi VI.

Ramathibodi I (รามาธิบดีที่ ๑)

First King of the Ayuthhaya period, also named King U-Thong, who ruled from AD 1350 to 1369. See also list of Thai Kings.

Ramayana (रामायण)

Sanskrit. ‘Story of Rama’. Indian epic drama written around 400-200 BC, narrating the story of Rama, the abduction of his wife Sita (fig.) by the demon King Ravana of Lanka and the struggle for her release. In Thailand, the story was rewritten and renamed Ramakien, and in Laos the local version is called Pha Lak Pha Lam, while in Cambodia it is known by the Khmer name Reamker (fig.). MORE ON THIS.

rambutan

A sweet fruit in a hairy red rind (fig.). The flesh is white, succulent and has a large seed. They are widespread in all Southeast Asian countries, and Thai rambutans are grown particularly in the East and South. Its season is from April to September. In Thai they are called ngo, meaning ‘hair’, and the most popular varieties are ‘ngo rong rien’ and ‘ngo si chompoo’.

Ramkamhaeng (รามคำแหง)

Thai. ‘Rama the brave’. King of Sukhothai from 1279 to 1298 and designer of the Thai script (fig.). He got his name from his father at the age of 19, after intervening in a battle in which he drove away the enemy by charging his elephant, named Bekphon, pushing it ahead in front of the opponent's elephant and beating it. During his reign, absolute monarchy commenced and Theravada Buddhism, introduced by Indian missionaries from Sri Lanka, was adopted as the official religion. There is a Thai university named after him and his statue features on 20 baht banknotes issued in 2013. See also list of Thai Kings. Also transcribed Ramkhamhaeng. MORE ON THIS.

ram kaen (รำแคน)

Thai. ‘Long drum dance’. A Thai folk dance from Isaan, in which the male participant dances with a kaen, i.e. a bamboo mouth organ (fig.). Also transcribed ram khaeng. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

ram klong yao (รำกลองยาว)

Thai. ‘Long drum dance’. A Thai folk dance in which the male participant dances with a long hand-held drum called klong yao (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

ram krathop mai (รำกระทบไม้)

Thai. ‘Wood impact dance’ or ‘hop on wood’. Another name for ram krathop saak.

ram krathop saak (รำกระทบสาก)

Thai. ‘Pestle impact dance’. A traditional dance, that involves two wooden blocks or slaths placed on the floor parallel to each other at distance, and two bamboo poles, that are placed across on the set on the floor. The end of the top poles are held by people sitting on their knees or cross-legged, one at each end, and who move and beat the top poles rhythmically, by sliding and clashing them against each other, as well as on the poles or wooden blocks or slaths on the floor, in coordination with one or more dancers, who step or jump over and in between the poles in a dance and on the rhythm of the clashing poles, and usually accompanied with music or song. Sometimes multiple sets of bamboo poles are used, either placed next to each other, with an extra set of wooden blocks or slaths on the floor, or placed crosswise on top of the initial set of bamboo poles below. Also known as ram krathop mai and ten krathop sahk (เต้นกระทบสาก). In English, it may be referred to as Clashing Bamboo Dance or just Bamboo Dance, and in The Philippines a similar dance is called Tinikling. See also saak and POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

ram muay (รำมวย)

Thai. A ceremonial dance preceding official matches in honour of the trainers and the guardian spirit of Thai boxing. The muay thai boxers wear a loop-shaped headband (mongkon) and coloured armlet (pah prachiad) on their biceps, which may contain a protecting amulet or Buddha image (fig.). The practice is as old as the sport itself (fig.), which dates from the Ayutthaya Period.

ram peung (รำพึง)

See paang ram peung.

Ramphai Phannih Sawatdiwat (รำไพพรรณี สวัสดิวัตน์)

Thai. Name of the wife of Prince Prajadhipok, who in 1925 became Queen Consort of Siam, when her husband ascended the throne as King Rama VII. READ ON.

ram pheuy (รำเพย)

Thai. Name for a large evergreen shrub or small tree, that grows to 7 meters tall and with the binomial name Thevetia peruviana, named after a French missionary who collected plants in South America. This evergreen bears yellow to dark yellow, trumpet-like flowers and its fruit consists of a large seedpod that bears some resemblance to a Chinese lucky nut. The sap and the seed of the Yellow Oleander are toxic and it has recently become a popular method of self-harm in northern Sri Lanka, with thousands of cases each year. The seeds contain cardiac glycosides that cause vomiting, dizziness and cardiac dysrhythmias. In Sri Lanka it has a fatality rate of at least 10%. It is also known as Lucky Bean, Lucky Nut, Yellow Oleander, Trumpet Flower and Be-still Tree.

Rampheuy Phamaraphirom (รำเพย ภมราภิรมย์)

Thai. Name of the second consort of King Mongkut, i.e. Rama V. She was born Princess Ramphoei Siriwong (รำเพย ศิริวงศ์) and later became known as Queen Thepsirin (เทพศิรินทร). She is the mother of Prince Chulachomklao, who later became King Rama V, as well as of Prince Chaturanradsamih, Princess Chanthonmonthon (จันทรมณฑล), and Prince Bhanurangsi Savangwongse. She was born on 17 July 1834 AD in Bangkok, where she also died untimely on 9 September 1862, aged only 28. Also transliterated Ramphoei Phamaraphirom. See also ram pheuy and Wang Burapha Phirom.

ram tha (รำท่า)

Thai. ‘Dance pose’. Term used in Khon, i.e. Thai classical dance (fig.), to refer to the different postures of the body in combination with mudras, i.e. the movements of the hands, which jointly represent different situations, thoughts and feelings demonstrated in the story, each with an exact specified meaning, akin to sign language. Sometimes also called ram thai tha (รำไทยท่า), i.e. ‘Thai dance pose’. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

ram thian (รำเทียน)

Thai. ‘Candle dance’. A folkdance in which participants move their hands in an elegant manner in the air while holding burning candles. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

ram wong (รำวง)

Thai. ‘Circle dance’. A folkdance in which participants move their hands in an elegant manner in the air.

ranaat ek (ระนาดเอก)

Thai. A xylophone-like instrument that sets the high tones in a traditional Thai orchestra. It is the counterpart of the ranaat thum (fig.), which sets the bass tones. It is somewhat boat-shaped and may at times be copiously decorated (fig.). In contrast to the ranaat thum, which is flat-bottomed with fous small legs, the ranaat ek has just one large stand in the centre, which makes the instrument stand some distance above the ground. A legendary musician skilled at playing the ranaat ek was Luang Pradit Phairo (fig.). See also ranaat ek lek.

ranaat ek lek (ระนาดเอกเหล็ก)

Thai. A kind of angulated xylophone that in the pih phaat, i.e. a Thai music ensemble that features mainly wind and percussion instruments, is set up next to the ranaat ek (fig.). It is very similar to the ranaat thum lek, but has 21 bars, whereas the latter usually has only 17 (fig.).

ranaat thum (ระนาดทุ้ม)

Thai. A kind of flat-bottomed xylophone, somewhat boat-shaped, like the ranaat ek, but with just four small legs, one in each corner, whereas the ranaat ek has just one large stand, in the centre (fig.). This kind of xylophone sets the bass tones in a Thai music ensemble, whereas the ranaat ek ets the high tones. See also ranaat thum lek.

ranaat thum lek (ระนาดทุ้มเหล็ก)

Thai. A kind of Thai-style xylophone that in the pih phaat, i.e. a Thai music ensemble that features mainly wind and percussion instruments, is set up next to the ranaat thum. Whereas the latter is somewhat boat-shaped (fig.), the ranaat thum lek is more angulated in shape and its legs are a bit longer, causing it to be raised a little higher from the floor tan the ranaat thum. It is very similar to the ranaat ek lek (fig.), but whereas the latter has 21 bars, the ranaat thum lek has 17.

rangbuab (รังบวบ)

Thai. ‘Nest gourd’ or ‘hive gourd’. A name for luffa.

rang mai dip (รังไหมดิบ)

Thai. Cocoon of the silkworm from which silk is made. The cocoons are sun dried for a couple of days to kill the larva after which the silk is taken off the cocoons by boiling. Yellow cocoons are from the Thai silkworm and white from the Chinese. One cocoon contains roughly 900 meters of silk yarn.

rang nok (รังนก)

Thai for ‘bird's nest’. The term includes both true bird's nests and certain dishes that resemble bird's nests. In addition, it is a Thai designation for swallow's nests.

rangoli (रंगोली)

Hindi name for a holy decorative design, which is drawn on the floor during certain Hindu festivals and meant as a sacred welcoming area for deities. It can be made from −often coloured− sand, granulated rice or flour and its form, which  is often circular in shape, may vary from a simple geometric design without colour to an elaborate pattern of different shapes and even portraits in numerous colours. Sometimes other materials, such as flowers or petals, are used.

Rangoon Creeper

Common name of a vigorous, evergreen, scandent vine, with the botanical designations Quisqualis indica and Combretum indicum. It can grow well over 10 metres long and is in constant bloom, bearing clusters of spike flowers that change color over time from white to pink, into red. The fruit is 3 to 3.5 centimetres long, ellipsoidal and has five prominent wings.. The fruit is 3 to 3.5 centimetres long, ellipsoidal and has five prominent wings. It is usually found growing on fences and along exterior walls. In Thai, this vine is called lep meua nang, i.e. ‘lady fingernails’. It is also called Chinese Honeysuckle and nicknamed Drunken Sailor.

rang pheung oun thod (รังผึ้งอ่อนทอด)

Thai. ‘Fried bee larvae nest’. Fried honeycombs that contain the larvae of bees. This snack is considered a delicacy by some, especially in northern and northeastern parts of Thailand. The honeycombs are wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a charcoal fire, blending the melting honey with the larvae and giving the snack a unique flavour (fig.). The honeycomb and larvae are eaten together as a whole, like a cake. Local markets, especially forest markets, often have a wide variety of fried honeycombs of different bee species on offer, as well as of certain wasp species. Additionally, the larvae are also sold separately, i.e. taken out of the honeycomb and wrapped in banana leaf (fig.).

Rangsit Prayoonsak (รังสิตประยูรศักดิ์)

Thai. Name of a prince of the Rattanakosin Period, who was born on 12 November 1885 as a son of King Rama V, i.e. the 52nd child of King Chulalongkorn with his consort Chao Chom Manda Neung. He was founder of the Public Health Ministry and President of the Regency Council from 1946 until his death, and with the title of Krom Phraya Chainat Narenthon, i.e. Prince of Chainat. He was also a great collector of antiques and art works. He died on 7 March 1951 of an heart attack while at his residence Wang Witthayu in Bangkok and was succeeded as Prince Regent of Siam by his cousin Prince Phitayalahp Phrithiyakorn (fig.). At his death, he was the last surviving son of King Chulalongkorn. Rangsit District and the Rangsit Canal in northern Bangkok are named after this prince. His name is often also transcribed Rangsit Prayurasakdi, i.e. literally from Thai writing, but contrasting the correct pronunciation. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Ranong (ระนอง)

Province (map) and its capital city (fig.) in the South West of the Thai peninsula on the Andaman Sea, 568 kms South of Bangkok and situated on a small neck of land known as Kokod Kra, the Isthmus of Kra (fig.), with a unique marine estuary that contains the largest preserved mangrove forests of Thailand. The city has a population of about 18,000 and borders Myanmar, separated by the Kraburi River (fig.). the province's name is derived from the saying ‘Raenong’ which refers to both its natural resource of tin which is a mineral (rae) and the name of the city's first ruler, Nai Nong. He was the person in charge and an able ruler of the mu ban Ponrang in the present-day tambon Bang Rin. He was rewarded the bandasak of Luang Ranong at the end of the Ayutthaya Period. The province has four amphur and one king amphur. Its places of interest include Raksawarin Public Park, Phu Khao Ya Grass Hill (fig.), Punyabaan Waterfall (fig.), etc. See also Ranong data file.

Raphanasoon (ราพณาสูร)

Another name for Totsakan or Ravana.

rasih (ราศี)

Thai for zodiac. See also Chinese zodiac.

rasmi (रश्मि)

Sanskrit. ‘Beam of light’. A term referring to both the halo around Buddha images (fig.), and the flame (fig.) that emerges from his ushnisha (fig.). It symbolizes the Buddha's superiority. It may sometimes also be used on other deities, such as the Vedic sun god Surya (fig.). Also transcribed rasmie, rasmih or rasmee. Compare with the Thai word radsami.

rat

First animal of the Chinese zodiac (fig.), as the first year of the animal cycle. According to its astrological aspects it represents persistence, but also irresoluteness. Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to enjoy travelling and to have gained empiric wisdom. However, though absolute in their speech, they may also be arrogant. The rat features on certain Thai postage stamps, including the Zodiac Year of the Rat Postage Stamp issued in 2008 (fig.) and the Songkraan Day Postage Stamp issued in 1996 (fig.). The rat is also the mount of the Hindu god Ganesha. According to legend, Ganesha's rat was originally the elephant-faced asura Gajamukhasun, who fought with Ganesha, was defeated and then disguised himself as a rat and ran away. However, Ganesha caught him and used him as his vahana. When riding the rat, Ganesha is also referred to as Akhuratha (fig.). In the Indian town of Deshnoke, there is a rat temple that is home to circa 20,000 rats, considered to be holy, and are worshipped. Some anthropologists believe that the rat became Ganesha's vehicle (fig.) after ancient tribal elephant worshippers defeated other tribes who worshipped rats. Another theory is that the rat is the mount of Ganesha, also known as the god of obstacles, because it is able to gnaw through obstacles. In Thailand, however, certain species of field rat are caught and eaten by some (fig.). See also Brown Rat.

rat (รัตน์)

See rattana.

Ratchaburi (ราชบุรี)

Thai. ‘Royal city’. Province (map) and its capital city of the same name in West Thailand about 100 kms from Bangkok with a population of around 46,000. Like Samut Songkhram it is situated on the banks of the Mae Khlong river. Its places of interest include the famous floating market of Damnoen Saduak (fig.) and it is famous for the production of large earthen water vessels decorated with dragon motifs and called ohng mangkon (fig.). The province has nine amphur and one king amphur. See also Ratchaburi data file.

ratha (रथ)

Sanskrit for ‘chariot’. The word is related to the Thai word rot. See also Akhuratha.

Rati (रति)

Sanskrit for ‘love’, ‘affection’, ‘pleasure’, and ‘delight’. It is the name of the consort or shakti (fig.) of Madana, i.e. Kama.

Ratnasambhava (रत्नसंभव, รัตนสัมภว)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Born jewel’. In Mahayana Buddhism, the transcendental buddha or dhyani buddha of the southern universe. He has a yellow or golden complexion and performs a varada mudra, a sign of mercy. His mount is a horse. On mandalas, he may hold a chintamani jewel.

ratri (रात्रि)

Sanskrit term for ‘night’ or ‘darkness’, i.e. ‘darkness of night’. The Thai expression ratrisawat (ราตรีสวัสดิ์), i.e. ‘goodnight’, is derived from it.

rattana (रत्न, รัตนะ, ရတနာ)

Sanskrit-Thai-Burmese. A gem, semiprecious or precious stone. Often translated as ‘jewel’. In Burmese, the term may also be pronounced yattana and can besides ‘gem’ also be translated as ‘treasure. It may appear in Buddhist names, especially of temples, where it usually refers to either all or one of the Rattanatrai, i.e. the ‘Triple Gems’ or ‘Three Jewels, that is to say the Buddha, his teachings (dhamma) and the Sangha. Also rattanah and rat.

rattanah (रत्ना, รัตนา, ရတနာ)

See rattana.

Rattanakosin (รัตนโกสินทร์)

1. Thai. ‘Jeweled City’. Bangkok, distinguished from Thonburi. It refers to the area on the right bank of the Chao Phrya River in general, but in reality relates merely to the area between the river and Khlong Rop Krung. This corresponds more or less with the khet today known as Phra Nakhon, though the present-day district also includes the area to the North of the former frontier, i.e. the area between Khlong Rop Krung and Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, which in the East borders Rachadamnoen Nok Road and in the West the Chao Phrya River. Rattanakosin is where the City Hall is located and Phra Rachawang with the adjacent Wat Phra Kaew are built, and is hence sometimes translated as the ‘Residence of the Emerald Buddha’. It is often referred to as Koh Rattanakosin (เกาะรัตนโกสินทร์), i.e. the ‘Rattanakosin Island’, due to the fact that it is surrounded by the water of the Chao Phrya River on one side and that of Khlong Rop Krung Canal on the other. Rattanakosin was in the past defended (fig.) by 14 forts that were built on its surrounding frontiers. Of these strongholds today only two survive, i.e. Pom Phra Sumeru and Pom Maha Kaan (fig.). In 1982, a set of postage stamps was issued to commemorate the bicentennial of the foundation of Rattanakosin, featuring an aerial view of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, as well as all the rulers of the Chakri Dynasty (fig.). See also Rattana Pura.

2. Thai. Period of the Chakri Dynasty. Also called Rattanakosinsok.

Rattanakosinsok (รัตนโกสินทรศก)

Period of the Chakri dynasty. In 1889 it was officially declared by King Chulalongkorn that the era started in 1782, and Year 1 was 6 April 1782, i.e. the accession of King Rama I. Also called Rattanakosin and Rattankosinthorasok.

Rattana Pura (ရတနာပူရ)

Burmese. ‘City of Gems’. The official name of Inwa, which is also known as Ava, an ancient royal city located about 20 kilometers southwest of Mandalay. Also pronounced Yattana Pura. See also Rattanakosin and Yattana Pontha.

Rattanatrai (รัตนตรัย)

Thai. ‘Triple Gems’ or ‘Three Jewels’. Term for the Buddha, his teachings (dhamma) and the Sangha. Also Trairat.

Ratthathammanoon (รัฐธรรมนูญ)

Thai for ‘Constitution’. The term is composed of the words rat (รัฐ), thamma (ธรรม) and ma-noon (มนูญ), meaning ‘State’, ‘Law’ and ‘satisfactory’, respectively. The charter is written in a folded book, reminiscent of bai lahn, Buddhist manuscripts (fig.) that contain religious writings, including the Buddhist Law or Dhamma. This folded book is placed on top of a gilded phaan, i.e. a bowl or dish with a base or foot (fig.), which in turn is placed on another, somewhat larger, phaan. These three objects have become symbol for the Constitution and are found on the Democracy Monument (fig.), and as an emblem on Parliament House (fig.), etc. It was coined on the former emblem of King Wachirawut, whose royal insignia in part consisted of a wachira (fig.) with a halo-like rasmi of thunderbolts, placed on top of a double gilded phaan (fig.). By replacing the wachira, the King's personal symbol, which referred to both his name and power, by the book of the Constitution, also his supremacy was in a way replaced by the Constitution, both symbolically and actually, when his successor King Prajadhipok (fig.), under duress became the nation's first constitutional monarch. The book is of a golden colour and topped by a Garuda (fig.), the official Emblem of State. On the side it has three white dots, applied with wet talcum powder by a Buddhist monk as a traditional blessing, and referring to the Triple Gem. The Thai Constitution was conferred on 24 June 1932 by King Rama VII, thus ending the Absolute Monarchy and initiating the transition to a Constitutional Monarchy. See also Prisdang Chumsai. MORE ON THIS.

Ravana (रावण)

Sanskrit. ‘He who makes cry’ or ‘he who causes to wail’. The demon king of Lanka and the leader of the Rakshasas. He is the enemy of King Rama in the Ramayana and is usually depicted with ten heads and sometimes with twenty arms. In the Ramakien he is known as Totsakan. Also called Raphanasoon. MORE ON THIS.

ravanahatta

Name of an ancient Indian stringed instrument played with a bow, and used by wandering street musicians, often gypsies or pilgrims, particularly in the Indian states Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is probably the earliest instrument played with a bow and some believe it is the precursor of the violin. It consists of a hollow bamboo cylinder attached to half a coconut shell, of which the mouth is covered with goat hide, and two principal strings. Typically, the bow often has small jingle bells attached to it. The instrument is somewhat reminiscent of the Chinese erhu, the Thai so uh, so duang and saloh, and the Cambodian tro. In the past, this instrument was played by kings and princes and its name is derived from Ravana, the legendary demon king of Lanka. Also known by a range of other names, including ravanhatta and ravanstron.

Ray Ngan Bain U Shin Gyi (ရေငံပိုင်ဦးရှင်းကြီး)

Burmese. ‘Lord of the Sea’. See U Shin Gyi.

Rayong (ระยอง)

Name of a province (map) as well as of its capital city in East Thailand, on the north coast of the Gulf of Thailand. The city has a population of about 45,000 and is situated 179 kms Southeast of Bangkok. Popular with the locals is Had Suan Son near Ban Pe, a white sandy beach with pines, and the island of Koh Samet (fig.) where a large chapter of the epic story Phra Aphaimanih is set and where a lighthouse still guides local navigation. At Samet Port (fig.) several statues of the main characters from this story (fig.) remind visitors its of relation to the island. Besides this popular island, the province is also known for its many fruit orchards including rambutan, durian and pineapple. The province has six amphur and two king amphur. See also Rayong data file.

Reamker (រាមកេរ្តិ៍)

Khmer. ‘Glory of Rama’. Name of the local adaptation in Cambodia of the Indian epic Ramayana, i.e. the Khmer or Cambodian counterpart of the Thai Ramakien, and which likewise includes incidents and details not found in the Sanskrit original narrative, such as the appearance of Suphanamatcha (fig.), who is known in Khmer as Sovanna Maccha. As in Thailand and Laos, the epic in Cambodia had –and still has– great importance and influence onto Khmer art and culture.

Rear Palace

Concise title, as well as the name of the residence of a Siamese third King, fully known as Krom Phra Rachawang Bowon Sathaan Phimuk. In Thai called Wang Lang.

reclining Buddha

One of the four positions of the Buddha in iconography, usually referring to the death or Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, though it may also refer to a scene in the Buddha's life, when he miraculously enlarged himself in order to meet with a haughty giant, who intended not to bow for the Buddha due to his assumed superiority and greater posture. When the Buddha, who knew of the giant's arrogance then miraculously enlarged himself, the giant was humbled and disgraced, changed his attitude, and eventually became a follower of the Buddha. Besides this, Buddha images are often made in an enormous size, or alternatively erected in large numbers, as it is believed that each Buddha image radiates a fraction of the Buddha's Enlightenment, that is reflected onto anyone in its vicinity. In Myanmar, large reclining Buddha images only refer to the Buddha's demise or Mahaparinirvana when the Buddha's head is laid to the North, without support under it and with the eyes closed. Yet, despite the large number of giant reclining Buddha images in Burma, most reclining Buddha images found in Myanmar are of a different type, namely: supporting the head with the hand or a cushion and with the head laid in the East, it is called Paung Laung Buddha, while if the head is laid toward the West, it is referred to as Tharaban Buddha, and if the head is laid in the South it is known as Tha Lyaung Buddha. The most well-known image of a reclining Buddha in Thailand is found at Wat Poh in Bangkok (fig.). In Thai called Phra Phut Saiyaat. See also pahng saiyaat and iryapatha.

Red Avadavat

Common name for a passerine bird in the family Estrildidae, i.e. weaver finches, with the scientific designation Amandava amandava, and also known by the common designations Strawberry Finch and Red Munia. There are three subspecies, which occur in a huge range extending from Pakistan and southern Nepal, through much of Southeast Asia, to Indonesia. Its habitat is near marshes, swamps and bodies of water, but it also visits open fields and grasslands while foraging. The male has a reddish face and lower breast, and a brownish belly and upperparts, whilst the tail is black. It has a black eye-stripe and a row of white spots that form a line underneath its eyes, as well as white spots all over the side of its body and on its wing feathers. The bill is reddish-orange with a black streak on two-thirds of the upper mandible, while the legs and feet are pinkish-grey. Females are similar, but duller and they have less white spotting on the feathers. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Red-billed Blue Magpie

Common name for a species of long-tailed bird in the crow family Corvidae and which has a number of subspecies, including Urocissa erythrorhyncha erythrorhyncha, Urocissa erythrorhyncha alticola and Urocissa magnirostris. It has a black head, neck and breast, with a large creamy white, mane-like spot on the crown, that may somewhat taper towards the back of the neck and has some blue spotting above. In Urocissa erythrorhyncha erythrorhyncha this mane-like spot is more extensive, bluish grey, and somewhat greyer above. Its upperparts are greyish blue, with somewhat brighter wing primaries, whilst the underparts are greyish cream (fig.). The upperside of the tail is a also a little brighter blue and ends in a broad white tip, whereas the underside of the tail is greyish cream, with black bars from below the vent to halfway down the tail (fig.). The Red-billed Blue Magpie has a thick, bright, orange-red bill and its legs and feet, as well as a ring around the eye can vary from dark yellow to orange-red.

Red-billed Leiothrix

Common name for a colourful, 15.5 to 16 centimeter tall bird in the Timaliidae family, with the scientific designation Leiothrix lutea and related to the Silver-eared Mesia (fig.). There are several subspecies, but the nominate race has a olive to golden crown, a yellow face, and a dark to blackish submoustachial, while the throat is also yellow and the breast is golden to orange-rufous. The undersides are pale grey and yellowish. As its common name suggests it has a red bill, though the base of the bill is darker, almost blackish. It has a patterned wing with black, yellow and dark orange or red patches, depending on the race. Females are similar to males, but have a greener crown, greyer face and are paler below (fig.). In the wild, this species is found in India, the Himalayas, Myanmar, and southern China. In Thailand, where the Red-billed Leiothrix is found only in captivity, it is called nok karong thong pahk daeng. In English, it is also referred to by the names Pekin Robin, Pekin Nightingale, Chinese Nightingale, Japanese Nightingale and Japanese Robin or Hill Robin, the last two being misnomers as this Old World babbler is not native to Japan.

Red-bordered Ground Beetle

Name for a ground beetle in the Carabidae family, with the scientific designation Mouhotia batesi. READ ON.

Red-breasted Parakeet

Common name for a colourful parakeet with the scientific designation Psittacula alexandri, an appellation confusingly reminiscent of that of the related Alexandrine Parakeet, which has the binomial name Psittacula eupatria. Its appearance however is more comparable to that of the Grey-headed parakeet, which is known by the Latin deisgnation Psittacula finschii, yet is distinct by a pinkish-red breast (fig.) and some yellowish-lime colouring on the wings. The Red-breasted parakeet (fig.) has a greyish-blue head with a black throat patch and a narrow black line between the eyes. It plumage is overall green and males have a red beak (fig.), whereas that of females is black (fig.). The legs of both sexes are grey. Though very rare in Thailand, it does occur in the wild, even in urban areas (fig.). In Thai, this bird is known as nok kaek tao. See also POSTAGE STAMP and WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).

Red-claw Marsh Crab

See Poo sahaem kaam daeng.

Red Collared Dove

Common name for a small pigeon, with the binomial name Streptopelia tranquebarica. It is a resident breeder in Thailand, where it can be found in drier, open country, scrub and cultivation, as well as occasionally in cities and parks. The male is brownish vinous-red, with a pale bluish-grey head and a black neck-bar or collar. Its rump and uppertail-coverts are grey, and its tail is rather short and square, with broadly white-tipped outer feathers and whitish undertail coverts (fig.). The female has a similar pattern, but its body and wing coverts are mostly brownish, and it has less grey on the head (fig.). Females are somewhat reminiscent of the Eurasian Collared Dove (fig.), but are overall darker. Also known as Red Turtle Dove and in Thai as nok khao fai.

Red Dwarf Honeybee

Common name of one of eleven known bees in the genus Apis (honeybees). It is a very small-sized species of bee (fig.), which makes small, single comb nests, often no larger than 15 to 20 centimeters wide. They build their nests usually fairly low down in bushes, or in the open, suspended from a branch or rock surface (fig.). It has the scientific name Apis florea, and is one of two species placed in the subgenus Micrapis (dwarf honeybees), the other one being the Black Dwarf Honeybee (Apis andreniformis - fig.). Until 1991, the two species were listed together. Apis florea is distributed throughout Thailand, but in contrast to Apis andreniformis, it has not been found in the southern Malay peninsula, Borneo, the Philippines or the surrounding islands, or Indonesia, with the exception of Java, where they were likely introduced with human assistance. On the other hand Apis florea has been recorded as far West as Sudan, a presence which is probably the result of human-assisted introduction. In any case, records that derive from research on the species may also be inaccurate due to the fact that it was earlier listed along with Apis andreniformis. See also feng.

Red-eared terrapin

Common name of a semi-aquatic turtle originally from the southern United States, where it is called Red-eared Slider, but which became widespread in various areas of the world due to its popularity in the pet trade. Their attractive hatchlings (fig.) grow rapidly and, quick to bite at anything that resembles food, these omnivorous pets often end up being released into the wild, Buddhist temple ponds (fig.) and city parks. With reproduction ideal under tropical conditions, they are quickly spreading through much of the region and they have now become by far the most conspicuous turtle in Southeast Asia. They are characterized by a red to orange elongated mark at each side of the head and yellow stripes and bars on the head, legs and tail. Their carapace is bright olive green in juveniles, but changes to dark olive brown in adults. The plastron is deep yellow with dark spots on each scute (fig.). Compared to females, adult males are slightly smaller, less domed and have elongated nails on their front feet. In Thai it is called tao kaem daeng and tao yipun, meaning ‘red-cheeked turtle’ and ‘Japanese turtle’ respectively.

redented chedi

A feature in Thai temple architecture in which the angle of each horizontal level of a chedi is recessed from the one below.

Red Ginger

An evergreen herb growing to a height of one meter and consisting of long sharp leaves that emerge from its inedible root and with a scarlet red bracts, that look like the bloom, but the true flower is a small white flower that grows on its top (fig.). Its Latin name is Alpinia purpurata and is related to the family of edible gingers. In Thai khing daeng.

Red-headed Blister Beetle

Common name for a species of oil beetle in the family Meloidae and with the scientific designation Epicauta hirticornis. It is overall black in colour, with whitish rings towards the lower abdomen, and an off-white to pale yellowish-orangey horizontal line across the sides of the upper abdomen, which is only fully visible in flight. Apart from the black antennae, mandibles and eyes, it has an orangey-red head. Whereas the black body and wings are shiny, its black elytra are matt and seemingly lined with a fine white border. Also commonly known as Red-headed Slender Oil Beetle, and in Thai called duang nahm-man lang dam (ด้วงน้ำมันหลังดำ), i.e. ‘black-backed oil beetle’. See also Blister Beetle.

Red Hot Cattail

Name for the Chenille Plant, an attractive, constant blooming, to three meters high, flowering shrub, with the botanical name Acalypha hispida, and belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is also known by the names Philippines Medusa, Red Cattail, and Foxtail. In Thai, it is called hahng kra-rohk daeng (หางกระรอกแดง), which means ‘red squirrel's tail’. All the above names refer to this shrub's furry flowers, that range in colour from bright red to purple, and grow in clusters along small spikes of hanging flowers called catkins, which gave rise to the name Red  Hot Cattail. This shrub needs full sun to flower. Also spelled Red-hot Cat's Tail.

Red Junglefowl

See kai pah.

Red Lahu

A subgroup of the Lahu tribe. Also known by the name of Lahu Nyi, and by the Thai as Mussur Daeng.

Red Munia

See Red Avadavat.

Red-naped Ibis

Common name for a bird in the ibis family, with the scientific designation Pseudibis papillosa, and also commonly known as Indian Black Ibis or simply Black Ibis. It is found on the Indian Subcontinent, and though its habitat includes lakes, marshes, riverbeds and irrigated farmland, it is less aquatic than many other ibis species. It appears largely blackish, though it is rather dark brown with a green and purple gloss. It has reddish legs and a patch of crimson on the nape of the black naked head, and a white shoulder patch, which is best visible during flight. Whilst the wings are largely blackish, the belly is a pale pinkish-brown (fig.). Like other ibises, it has a stout down-curved bill. It nests in trees and breeds from March to October in northern India. Immature birds are brown and have a feathered head.

Red-necked Keelback

Common name of a colourful snake, with the scientific designation Rhabdophis subminiatus. READ ON.

Red Pierrot

Name of a species of small butterfly with the scientific designation Talicada nyseus. It is found in South Asia and Southeast Asia and belongs to the family Lycaenidae i.e. the family of Blues. On the upperside, this striking butterfly has black wings with black-and-white fringes, and large orange patches on the hindwings, which have short, black, white-tipped tails. On the underside, the wings are mostly white with black spots, and a reddish-orange band with white spots, that more or less correspondents with the orange patches of the upperside. Above, its body is mostly black, with diffuse white rings at the end of the abdomen, while below it is white. It has black antennae with white tips and white ringed shafts. The pupa or dakdae of this species is cream-coloured, with rows of black spots along the back and sides, and is covered with short soft bristles.

Red Powder-puff

Epithet for the Calliandra haematocephala, which is also commonly called Blood-red Tassel-flower and Pink Powder-puff, with tassel-like flowers that can be either white with pink or red. This up-to-five meter tall shrub belongs to the family Fabaceae and the subfamily Mimosaceae, and is related and very similar to the Calliandra surinamensis or Pink Tassel-flower. In Thai, the Red Powder-puff is known by the names phu jomphon (พู่จอมพล), phu naay phon (พู่นายพล), and sometimes phu chomphu (พู่ชมพู), though the latter term is in some Thai literature also used for the comparable Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin).

Red Saraca

Common name for a tree, with the botanical designations Saraca declinata and Saraca cauliflora. LEXICON.

Red-shanked Douc Langur

Name for a colourful and attractive species of leaf monkey native to Indochina, especially Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It has the scientific name Pygathrix nemaeus and the Thai name kaang ha sih, meaning ‘five-coloured langur’ and referring to its five different colours (fig.), i.e. a gray back, belly and head, a black forehead, upper arms, hands and upper legs, a white beard, tail, bottom and forearms, maroon-red throat and lower legs, and a yellowish face (fig.). Even though they are known as ‘douc langurs’, this species is in fact more closely related to the Proboscis Monkey, than to any of the langurs. Especially their large belly is reminiscent of this (fig.). They live in groups of up to a dozen and more, in both mature rainforest and second growth forest, feeding on large quantities of leaves and fruit. They are strongly arboreal, eating and sleeping in the mid to upper levels of the canopy. There are several subspecies, including the Pygathrix nemaeus nigripes, which arms and legs are black, and which face has more blue-grey in it. Sometimes this species is simply called Douc Langur.

Red-tailed Rat Snake

Name of a 170 to 240 centimeter long snake with a dark green body, light green belly and a brown to reddish-brown tail. Its head is green with a dark line running through the large rounded eyes, separating the darker green top of the head from the lighter green underside and chin. It has a distinctly blue tongue. Its scientific name is Gonyosoma oxycephalum and in Thai it is known as ngu khiaw kaab mahk (งูเขียวกาบหมาก), i.e. ‘green betel palm spathe snake’.

Red-throated Barbet

Common name for a colourful, about 23 centimeter tall bird, with the scientific name Megalaima mystacophanos in the family Megalaimidae. It is mostly green, with males (fig.) having a yellow forehead, a red crown and red throat, a black supercilium and blue cheeks. In addition, the upper breast has a horizontal blue bar, flanked by a red patch on either side. Its large, strong bill is black, with several black protruding hairs between the bill and the forehead, a feature typical with barbets. Females (fig.) are overall green, with a greenish forehead and only faint coloured patches in the above mentioned places. They lack the throat and breast patches and have only a very narrow, near invisible, black supercilium. Red-throated Barbets are found in subtropical to tropical moist lowland forests across parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. In Thai it is known as nok prodok kaang daeng (นกโพระดกคางแดง), meaning ‘red-chin barbet’.

Red-throated Flycatcher

Common name of a small passerine bird, with the scientific name Ficedula parva. It is found across South, East and Southeast Asia, up to eastern Europe. Non-breeding males are largely brown above and whitish below, with a grey head and a buff-grey breast and white throat. In the breeding season, the male's throat is orange, with a grey border. Females are similar to non-breeding males, but duller. The bill of both sexes is black and has a broad, pointed shape, which is typical of aerial insectivores. The Red-throated Flycatcher is about 13 centimeters tall. Also known as Red-breasted Flycatcher and Taiga Flycatcher, and in Thai named nok jab malaeng kho daeng (นกจับแมลงคอแดง), i.e. ‘red-throated insect-catching bird’.

Red-throated Thrush

Common name for one of the two subspecies or races of the Dark-throated Thrush, the other one being the Black-throated Thrush. This large, plump thrush has the scientific designation Turdus ruficollis ruficollis and has a plain grey back, and rufous-buff underwings, with adult males having a brick-red supercilium, throat and upper breast, and rufous coloring in the tail, whilst adult females and young birds lack the bib of adult males. Instead, adult females have have dark streaks on the side of the throat and on the chestnut upper breast, as well as a whitish submoustachial. The bill is pale yellowish with a dark tip. In Thai, this bird is known as nok deun dong kho daeng, i.e. ‘red-necked jungle-walking bird’.

Red Turtle Dove

Another name for the Red Collared Dove.

Red Velvet Mite

Common name for an arachnid in the family Trombidiidae and also commonly known as Rain Bug. The species typically found in southern Asia and parts of southeastern Asia is the Giant Red Velvet Mite, which is also known as Giant Indian Velvet Mite, Rain's Insect, Scarlet Fly, and Bride of the Seafarer, while scientifically, it is referred to as Trombidium grandissimum. The latter can reach a length of up to two centimeters, which is huge compared to any of its other family members, many of whom are up to a hundred times smaller. Whereas it gets its the name Red Velvet Mite from its appearance, the designations Rain Bug and Rain's Insect derived from the fact that they tend to pop up from the soil during the rain and may appear in large numbers after the monsoon. It is a predator, feasting on other invertebrates, their larvae and their eggs. They posses strong, pincer-like mouthparts, and two puny eyes at the end of stalks, though they are thought find prey by sensing chemicals and vibrations. They are typically found in soil litter. In Ayurveda, the oil from these mites is used to treat paralysis and as an aphrodisiac dubbed Indian viagra. See also List of Thai Insect Names.

Red-vented Bulbul

Common name for a medium-sized passerine bird, that grows up to about 23 centimeters tall and with the scientific designation Pycnonotus cafer. It is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia, from India (fig.) and Sri Lanka to Myanmar and southern China. It has a short black crest, a dark blackish head, a brownish-grey body with a scaly pattern above and a light grey belly, and a red vent. Its cheeks are more brownish than the rest of the head, though there are several subspecies and hybrids, some of which may have white cheeks or even a yellow vent. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Red-wattled Lapwing

Name of a wader with the binomial name Vanellus indicus. Its body is white, whilst its wings and back are light brown with a purple sheen near the shoulders. The primaries (the largest feathers on the edge of a bird's wing) are black and the scapulars (shoulder feathers) white, forming a distinctive white V-shape in flight. The head, chest and front part of the neck are black with a red fleshy wattle in front of each eye. The bill is red with a black tip and it has a large white patch behind the eyes. It has a short white tail with a black bar towards the end, which is only visible during flight. Its legs are yellow and long. In Thai this bird is called nok kratae tae waed, meaning ‘frivolously-bawling tree shrew bird’, which refers to its loud piercing call, that can go on for hours during the breeding season, even well into the night and that sounds like ‘did he do it’. When nesting, these birds will divert predators using distraction displays, such as imitating the inability to fly and give plaintive calls to entice the predator after themselves, away from the nest. With the exception of Isaan, this bird is found everywhere in Thailand, most commonly in short and sparse vegetation near water (fig.). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Name of a crested passerine bird (fig.) with the scientific name Pycnonotus jocosus and originally endemic to subtropical and tropical Asia, from Pakistan through to Southeast Asia and southern China. It is commonly seen in urban areas (fig.) and wherever there are clearings in the forest. It has brown upperparts and pale underparts with buff flanks, and at shoulder level it has a dark patch running onto the breast. It is easily recognized by its tall vertical crest and red patches above white cheeks that at their base have a thin black line. The tail is long and brown with an orange vent, and undertail-coverts and white feather tips. Red-whiskered Bulbuls feed on fruit, nectar and insects. In Thai it is called nok parod hua khohn, meaning ‘khon-masked bulbul’ and referring to its crest, which is apparently seen as reminiscent of the masks worn by Khon actors (fig.). This singing bird is very popular as a pet, especially in the southern provinces, where regular mass contests are held (fig.), in which the birds compete with one another for the most beautiful song and voice (fig.). Typically three rounds are held before a team of experts passes judgment. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Red Yao

1. Name of a branch of Yao, found in southern China, especially around Longsheng (fig.). Members of this group have very long hair, which they coil up and then wrap with a long piece of cloth, black for women and red for men. They are mostly farmers and live primarily in mountainous areas.

2. Name of a branch of Yao, found in northern Vietnam, especially around Sapa.

Reef Stonefish

Common name for a species of reef fish, with the scientific designation Synanceia verrucosa, and which is listed as the most venomous fish in the world. READ ON.

reflexology

A therapy over 5,000 years old that originated in China and consists of pressuring and massaging certain points of the sole of the foot, where more than 7,000 nerves converge. Specific points in the sole of the foot correspond  with other parts of the body and pressure or a massage carried out on these exact spots is said to be able to cure over a hundred ailments.

reincarnation

Rebirth. Belief that the soul after death moves to another bodily form and lives on.

relief lintel

In Thailand this usually refers to a stone bas-relief on the lintel above a doorpost or gate of ancient temples in Khmer style, but may also be a woodcarving or sculptured work above doors or windows on other buildings.

reliquary

Container in which a sacred relic is stored, such as a box, case, tomb or sanctuary.

reua (เรือ)

Thai generic for ‘boat’.

Reua Asurapaksi (เรืออสุรปักษี)

Thai. Name of an escort barge that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It has a bow that has a figurehead that represents Asurapaksi (fig.), a creature from Himaphan Forest, half-demon (asura) and half-bird (paksi), with a dark greyish-green complexion (fig.). His wears a golden coat decorated with coloured glass. The figurehead (fig.) stands over the barrel of a small cannon, that sticks out from a hole in the lower bow. During processions he also holds two red poles with golden-green pennants, one in each hand, and the barge will be positioned at the starboard side of the fifth Reua Dang escort barge. The barge's outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm, with floral motifs on a black lacquer undercoat. This barge can take 30 rowers and two helmsmen (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Asuravayuphak (เรืออสุรวายุภักษ์)

Thai. Name of an escort barge that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It's bow has a figurehead that represents the giant or demon (asura) Vayuhpak (fig.), also known as Asurawayuphak, a mythical creature from Himaphan Forest (fig.), with a dark purplish complexion. It has a crew of 30 rowers and 2 helmsmen (fig.), besides a trumpeter, an officer, etc. The oarsmen wear pink trousers, a dark-blue to purplish shirt trimmed with gold, and a red Malabiang-helmet, whilst the oars are silver with a red handle. It sails on the port side of the procession, to the opposite side of Reua Asurapaksi. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Dang (เรือดั้ง)

Thai. ‘Shield boat’. The name for a lesser barge used in the Royal Barges Ceremony to escort the procession on the outside (fig.). There are currently 22 of these vessels in use and each carries around 30 people, mostly rowers, but also a helmsman, a master of the vessel, four gunman and an officer.  The oarsmen wear a black jacket trimmed with red, striped black-and-red trousers, and a black hat with a neck- and earflaps, also trimmed with red and with a golden naval emblem and a golden spike (fig.). Apart from the two last barges, the outside hull, bow and stern are painted black, without any pattern, and the inside is red with yellow edges (fig.). Reua Dang number 21 (fig.) and number 22 (fig.) are positioned last in the row of this type of shield boats and are painted gold. The Reua Dang fleet is followed by another kind of shield barges that close the procession, and which are called Reua Saeng. The paddles are also black. During processions the lesser escort barges are fitted with a peaked roof in the middle of the vessel, where the VIPs take place, and the bow and stern are adorned with a pair of creamy-white tassels, one on each side, and a golden,  green-red, pah thip-like streamer made from brocade, in the middle (fig.). Like most other barges that take part in the procession, the roof is additionally topped with a cloth, which is red with a broad golden frame (fig.). In English, also referred to as Lesser Escort Barge. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua duan (เรือด่วน)

Thai. ‘Express boat’. Name for a type of large boat operated on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, where it is also known as river express, and in Thai officially called Reua Duan Chao Phraya, i.e. ‘Chao Phraya Express Boat’. These long boats operate a service similar to that of public busses, following a regular route up and down the river, stopping at certain wharfs on the route. The boat stops only briefly at each pier where there are waiting passengers or if someone wants to debark, allowing people to board onto the boat's platform in the back, whilst the boat's conductor gives signals by a whistle to the driver in the front. Until the arrival of the subway and the BTS, it was one of the quickest means of public transportation in town, yet somewhat restricted in service, as it runs only during daytime and only to certain parts of the city along the river.

Reua Ekachai Heun Haaw (เรือเอกไชยเหินหาว)

Thai. Name of an escort barge that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It has a raised, backward-bent, gilded prow, that ends in an almost horizontal, kranok-shaped pinnacle. It is 29.76 meters long and the outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm on a black lacquer undercoat, which at the front, below the bow, has what looks like the head of a makara (fig.), reminiscent of the bow of a former Royal Barge (fig.). The prow is said to be its horn (fig.). At its broadest point it is 2.06 meters wide, and can take 38 rowers and two helmsmen (fig.). This barge was built during the reign of King Rama I, but was damaged in 1944, in an explosion during WW II, after which the bow and stern were replaced. It is today kept in the Royal Barges Museum (fig.). It is a twin of Reua Ekachai Laaw Thong and in ceremonies they are habitually used together (fig.) to accompany Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong, the King's personal barge (fig.). It can also be used a tow-boat of the king's barge, if thats lack enough manpower to be rowed upstream. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Ekachai Laaw Thong (รือเอกไชยหลาวทอง)

Thai. Name of an escort barge that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It has a raised, backward-bent, gilded prow, that ends in an almost horizontal, kranok-shaped pinnacle, and the outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, which at the front, below the bow, has what looks like the head of a makara (fig.), reminiscent of the bow of a former Royal Barge (fig.). The prow is said to be its horn. It is a twin copy of Reua Ekachai Heun Haaw and was built as a replacement for the former when that was damaged in an explosion during WW II, though the original was later repaired. In ceremonies (fig.), they are now habitually used together to accompany Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong, the King's personal barge (fig.). It can also be used a tow-boat of the king's barge, if that would lack the manpower. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua ganya (เรือกัญญา)

Thai. A kind of flat bottomed barge, used during some ceremonies of state. See also ganya and Royal Barges.

reua hahng maeng pong (เรือหางแมงป่อง)

Thai. ‘Scorpion-tail boat’. Name for a type of boat from the past which in the back is curved high upward, like the tail of a scorpion (fig.). It has a large cabin covered with a rounded roof and its belly is made from thick, durable wood, able to withstand collisions with rocks, knolls and hillocks in shallow waters. It was a common means of transportation to move up and down the river, before the arrival of the railway, particularly near Bangkok.

reua hahng yahw (เรือหางยาว)

Thai. ‘Long-tail boat’. Typically, a long shaped kind of boat that s powered by a truck engine driving a propeller at the end of a long shaft. However, similar motors, though usually with smaller engines, are also used with a variety of other boats. The long shaft of these motors is specially designed to avoid floating rubble and to overcome the problem of water hyacinths that are often abundant or may even block the rivers and canals. Due to its design the shaft can easily be lifted out of the water and cleared if the propeller gets stuck. The downside however, is that these kind of motors are generally rather noisy.

Reua Ih-Leuang (เรืออีเหลือง)

Thai. ‘Yellow boat’. Name of one of the two drum barges (fig.), used in the Royal Barge Procession and known in Thai as reua klong. It is positioned in between, yet behind the Tiger Barges Reua Seua Kamron Sin (fig.) and Reua Seua Thayan Chon (fig.), and accommodates six musicians, who sing the kaap he reua versed songs (fig.), and play the Javanese flute (fig.), the conch, and klong khaek drums (fig.). Its oarsmen use black paddles and are dressed in a white jacket trimmed with blue, a blue pahkaomah, blue trousers, and a blue brimless hat trimmed with gold and with earflaps (fig.), informally referred to as muak hoo krataai (fig.). Despite its name, the hull of this barge is all-black. It is also referred to as reua klong nouk, i.e. ‘outer drum barge’. See also Reua Taeng Moh. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Ih-Leuang

reua jaew (เรือแจว)

Thai. A small flat bottomed paddle boat. It is commonly used nationwide, especially on canals, often to sell goods from, as on floating markets. In that sense it is the counterpart of the slightly larger reua tae. The word jaew is the name for a ‘long paddle’, as well as for a verb meaning ‘to row with (such a) long paddle’, hence the boats name. Nowadays it is often used with a small ‘longtail’ motor. It is characterized by a bulwark frame that surrounds almost the entire boat above deck and which is supported by a rib-like structure on the inside. Some models are rather flat, whereas others are more curved, shaped like a banana or the rind of a slice of melon.

reuak (เรือก)

1. Thai. Flooring and walls made from cleaved krabok, i.e. a bamboo cylinder which has been split with a knife and rolled open. It is typically used in dwellings of hill tribe people and in some farmer communities.

2. Thai. Flooring made from strips of wood tied together by rattan.

reua khem (เรือเข็ม)

Thai. ‘Needle boat’. Name of a slim, needle-like paddle boat, with a length of about 3 to 4 wah. It is made of thin planks, traditionally with aromatic wood, i.e. mayom or teakwood. The sides of the boat rise only just above the waterline. There is a phanak phing or backrest in the middle of the boat, identical to those for monks in Buddhist temples (fig.), as it is used by some members of the clergy on waterways during their early morning alms round, called bintabaat. There is place for just one person, who needs to sit with the legs stretched forward and is paddled like a kayak, using a double bladed paddle.

reua khut (เรือขุด)

1. Thai. ‘Digging boat’. Name for a dredger (fig.). Dredgers can be seen on rivers digging for sand or ore, or clearing bars to maintain the draught of the river for navigation. On the important estuaries, such as that of the Chao Phrya river, a fleet of large dredgers using heavy equipment incessantly clear the river bed, keeping the river open to shipping traffic. See also sandon.

2. Thai. ‘Dugout boat’. Name for a dugout, any wooden boat cut from a tree trunk in one piece, often a canoe.

reua klong (เรือกลอง)

Thai. ‘Drum barge’. Escort barge used in the Royal Barge Procession, that accommodates six musicians, who sing the kaap he reua versed songs (fig.), and play the Javanese flute (fig.), the conch, and klong khaek drums (fig.), for one. There are currently two drum barges. One is named Reua Ih-Leuang (fig.), which sails in between, yet behind the Tiger Barges Reua Seua Kamron Sin (fig.) and Reua Seua Thayan Chon (fig.); the other is designated Reua Taeng Moh (fig.) and is the main music command boat that sails out in front of the King's Golden Swan Barge Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong (fig.). The oarsmen of these two barges wear a white jacket bordered with blue, a blue pahkaomah with white dots, blue trousers, and a blue brimless hat trimmed with gold and with earflaps (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua klong nouk (เรือกลองนอก)

Thai. ‘Outer drum barge’. Another name for Reua Ih-Leuang (fig.), the first of two drum barges used in the Royal Barge Procession. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua ko lae (เรือกอและ)

Thai. Name for small boats typified by their long projecting bowsprit and their colourful decorative paintings. They are commonly seen in the deep South of Thailand, especially in the province of Narathiwat.

Reua Krabi Prahp Meuang Maan (เรือกระบี่ปราบเมืองมาร)

Thai. ‘Barge of the monkey (krabi) that defeated the city of the arch-fiend (Maan)’. Name of an important escort barge in the Royal Barge Procession, which has the figurehead of Hanuman (fig.). This barge is 26.8 meters long, weighs 5.62 tons, and has a black hull. The crew consists of 36 oarsmen and 2 helmsmen (fig.), besides a flagman, an officer, 2 pole-bearers, etc. The oarsmen are dressed in pink trousers, a dark-blue to purplish shirt trimmed with gold, and a red Malabiang-helmet. The oars are silver with a red handle. The name of the boat refers to Hanuman's triumph over evil, when he defeated Totsakan and burned his city. It sails starboard in pair with Reua Krabi Rahn Ron Rahp (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Krabi Rahn Ron Rahp (เรือกระบี่ราญรอนราพณ์)

Thai. ‘Barge of the monkey (krabi) that fought the giant’. Name of an important escort barge in the Royal Barge Procession, which has the figurehead of Nilaphat (fig.). This barge is 26.8 meters long and has a black hull. There are 36 oarsmen, which are dressed in white trousers, a dark-blue to purplish shirt trimmed with gold, and a black Malabiang-helmet, and 2 helmsmen (fig.). The oars are silver with a red handle. The name of the boat refers to the fact that Nilaphat, together with Ongkhot, beheaded the yak or giant Vayupak, after the latter had captured Phra Ram and Phra Lak. This barge sails port side in pair with Reua Krabi Prahp Meuang Maan (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua krachaeng (เรือกระแชง)

Thai. A kind of wooden boat from the past which is shaped somewhat like half a walnut or watermelon. On the deck there is a shed in the form of a half cylinder under which the goods are stored, as well as an open shelter with a slightly bent roof, that is used as a cabin for the crew. It can be pushed by a pole or towed by a tugboat called reua yohng (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Reua Krut Heun Het (เรือครุฑเหินเห็จ)

Thai. Name for an important escort barge used in the Royal Barge Procession, which has the figurehead of a red-coloured Garuda placed over a small canon whilst holding a naga in each of its claws and hands (fig.). The original barge was built in the reign of Rama I, but was destroyed in WWII. The surviving bow and stern were used to built a new barge. The the current is barge is 27.5 meters long and weighs 7 tons. The outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm on a black lacquer undercoat, and the shelter at the centre of the barge has a double roof of which the first part is lower than the back part (fig.). This barge is manned by 34 rowers and 2 helmsmen (fig.). The oarsmen are dressed in pink trousers, a dark-blue to purplish shirt trimmed with gold, and a red Malabiang-helmet. The oars are silver with a red handle. Reua Krut Heun Het sails in pair with Reua Krut Tret Traichak (fig.), on the starboard or senior side of the drum barge Reua Klong Nai, whilst the latter sails on the port side of the drum barge. Sometimes transcribed Ruea Krut Hurn Het. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Krut Tret Traichak (เรือครุฑเตร็จไตรจักร)

Thai. Name for an important escort barge used in the Royal Barge Procession, which has the figurehead of a pink-coloured Garuda placed over a small canon whilst holding a naga in each of its claws and hands (fig.). The barge is 27.1 meters long and weighs 5.97 tons. The outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm on a black lacquer undercoat, and the shelter at the centre of the barge has a double roof of which the first part is lower than the back part. This barge is manned by 34 rowers and 2 helmsmen (fig.). The oarsmen are dressed in white trousers, a dark-blue to purplish jacket trimmed with gold, and a black Malabiang-helmet. The oars are silver with a red handle. Reua Krut Tret Traichak sails in pair with Reua Krut Heun Het (fig.), on the port side of the drum barge Reua Klong Nai, whilst the latter sails on the starboard or senior side of the drum barge. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua leuang yai (เรือเหลืองใหญ่)

Thai. ‘Big yellow boat’. Name for a kind of barge, similar to the Reua Dang (fig.) lesser escort barges, but with a far lower bow. It is used to train and coach new crew for the Royal Barge Procession. A similar training barge with a somewhat taller prow is called reua rung prasahn saai (เรือรุ้งประสานสาย).

reua mail (เรือเมล์)

Thai. ‘Mail boat’. Name for a kind of small boat, that is used as a commuter boat for short distances on canals and rivers, i.e. a kind of water taxi or water bus (fig.), similar to the Venetian vaporetto and sometimes incorrectly referred to as a packet boat, hence the Thinglish expression reua mail. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

reua mekala (เรือเมขลา)

Thai. ‘Lightning boat’, named after the goddess of lightning Mekala. It is a wooden packet boat dating from the beginning of the Ayutthaya period. Nowadays many are reconditioned to accommodate tourists for banquet cruises on the Chao Phraya river. See also rice barge.

reuan jam (เรือนจำ)

Thai for ‘prison’, which is run by the Department of Corrections (fig.). Thai prisons are very different from those in the West, with both individual cells (fig.) and community prison cells of 4 by 8 meters, which in some prisons may hold over 50 people, with only enough sleeping mats for about half that many prisoners, with the rest of them having to sleep on the bare floor. There are no beds nor pillows, and no air-condition. Being that overcrowded, prisoners cannot sleep on their back, but have to lie on their side, unless if they are able to ‘buy’ extra space. Cells are either made of a low, concrete wall, with prison bars on the upper part, or just bars and no wall, and each cell has one toilet, but no privacy. A typical day in prison starts at 6.30 am with a head count by the guards. Then the inmates are let out of the cells for a quick shower and then receive breakfast. Those who don't like to eat the the government food, may in some prisons be able to buy other food from places around the prison grounds, with coupons that are issued and valued per day, as prisoners are not allowed to touch money. During the week, most prisoner are made to work either in an internal factory, workshop or office. By 4 pm they are locked back in their cells and another head count is then done, and around 9 pm the lights are switched off. In the weekends there is no work, and no visitors are allowed. Cells have cell bosses and everyone in the cell has to take turns in standing guard for one hour during the night. Prisoners are are only allowed one visitor per day, for a maximum of 20 minutes. In their outward relations, when receiving visitors or when appearing in court, convicts are compelled to wear pyjama-like prison clothes, of a brownish to rusty-salmon colour. The first modern penitentiary in Thailand based on international standards was the Bangkok Remand Prison, which was built in 1892 by command of King Rama V, after a visit to a prison in Singapore. In popular speech, prisons are also referred to as kuk (คุก). See also Corrections Museum.

reuan kaew (เรือนแก้ว)

Thai. ‘Crystal cover’ or ‘gem structure’. A decorative frame which is sometimes  placed around a Buddha image.  At the bottom on each side  is a naga figure guarded by a yak (fig.). Usually translated as ‘crystal palace’.

reuan prasat (เรือนปราสาท)

Thai. ‘Ornamental palace’. A funeral float, consisting of a highly festooned cart, which is used to transport a corpse from the temple or home to the cremation pyre. This traditionally happens in a procession in which Buddhist monks lead whilst holding a sai sin connected to the coffin on the float (fig.), while important relatives and friends walk besides the monks, and others follow behind it. Reuan prasat are made of wood, paper and some other materials, and decorated with figures from Buddhist religion and mythology, such as thephanom (fig.) and nagas (fig.). The float is designed with the top spire able to fold back, allowing the cart to pass under electrical wires when on route, whilst usually also an aid walks along with a long stick to lift any wiring. In appearance, it is somewhat reminiscent of the rajarot (fig.), used as a funeral cart for royalty. The term is a combination of the words reuan, which translates as ‘house’ or ‘structure’, and prasat, which means ornamental construction with a needle-like spire’, but is usually translated as ‘castle’ or ‘palace’. it is mainly used in the countryside and less so in larger cities.

Reuan Song Thai (เรือนทรงไทย)

Thai. Term used for wooden houses built in traditional Thai style, used instead of or alongside the term Reuan Thai.

Reuan Thai (เรือนไทย)

Thai. ‘Thai House’. Architectural term used for wooden houses built in traditional Thai style. They are well adapted for tropical climate and usually raised on stilts. There are four main styles, one for each of the four areas of Thailand, i.e. Central, North, Northeast and South. Each style has its own characteristic features, but to outsiders they are most easily recognized from the design of the roof, which is distinctive for each of the styles and their corresponding areas. In addition, traditional houses in the hot plains of Central Thailand often have a large, centrally situated veranda, which out of the rainy season acts mostly as an extension of the inner living area. The roofs are decorated with an antefix, an upright ornament on each side of the lower edge of the roof and in Thai called ngao (fig.), which means ‘hook’. The Centre for Arts and Culture of the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok is housed in a traditional central-style Reuan Thai (fig.). Due to the cooler climate, northern traditional houses have smaller windows than those elsewhere, and often are barred with a series of vertical wooden planks across the window, that can be closed off by a similar set of planks in a movable frame, that are slid in front of the openings in order to shut the window at night, to prevent insects attracted by light in the house from  flying in. For strength the outer walls are in general built sloping outwards towards the roof, which at the ridge usually has a decorative ornament in the form of a Saint Andrew's Cross, i.e. X-shaped, and known as kalae (fig.). The roofs of northeastern traditional houses have an upward pointing wooden pole or pin at the ridge and sometimes also at the lower edge of the roof, where normally the antefix or ngao of central traditional houses is located, whilst southern traditional houses have a similar pole at the top of the gable, but with a decorative triangular pattern of carved wood on each side of the pole, i.e. between the top of the pole and the roof, and which is known to southern Muslims by the Yawi name boowa himoo tong (บูวะหิมูตง). In addition, the windows and doors have a fan-shaped opening over them for light and ventilation. Also called Reuan Song Thai. See also QUADCOPTER PICTURE.

Reuan Thai

Reua Phali Rang Thawihp (เรือพาลีรั้งทวีป)

Thai-Pali. ‘Boat of Phali who governs a continent’. Name of an escort barge that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It is 27.54 meters long and the bow has a figurehead that represents Bali (Phali), a dark green monkey (fig.) and the initial regent of Meuang Kheedkhin (ขีดขิน) in the epos Ramakien, until his brother Sukrihp usurped his throne. He stands over the barrel of a small cannon that obtrudes from a round hole in the boat's lower bow. During processions Phali also holds two red poles with golden-green pennants, one in each hand, and the barge will be positioned at the starboard side of the Reua Phra Thihnang Ananta Nagaraat or Ananta Nagaraat Royal Barge, whilst a barge named after his brother, i.e. Reua Sukrihp Khrong Meuang (fig.), will be on the opposite, port side. At its broadest point the barge is 1.99 meters wide and 0.59 meters deep, and it can take 34 rowers and two helmsmen (fig.). The outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm on a black lacquer undercoat. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua phi lohk (เรือผีหลอก)

Thai. ‘Frightening ghost boat’. Name for a flat bottomed paddle boat which can be either a dugout or a boat assembled from planks and used for freshwater fishing on rivers and canals. The sides of the boat are rather low, rising only just above the waterline. On one side of the boat, a board which is painted white, is attached in a sloping manner, leaning towards the water. On the other side of the boat a long net is stretched over the full length of the boat, going up about one meter from the side of the boat. It is used for fishing during the night. When the fish see the white board in the middle of the dark, they are frightened and will try to jump over it, but are stopped by the net on the other side and thus end up falling in the boat, an easy way of fishing. This type of boat can still be seen used today, in the amphur Ban Mih of Lopburi province and in the amphur Tahklih of Nakhon Sawan province.

Reua Phra Thihnang (เรือพระที่นั่ง)

Thai for Royal Barge.

Reua Phra Thihnang Ananta Nagaraat (เรือพระที่นั่งอนันตนาคราช)

Thai. ‘Ananta the Naga-king Royal Barge’. Name of one of the Royal Barges, with a prow in the form of Ananta, a seven-headed serpent and the king of the nagas or nagaraat (fig.). The figurehead is painted with gilded lacquer and ornamented with small mirrors, whilst the flanks of the outside hull are painted dark green. This barge measures 42.95 in length and at about two-thirds of its length towards the stern there is a small mondop-style ganya. During processions it is fitted with seven multi-layered umbrellas called chattra, i.e. four before the mondop-style shelter and three behind it. At its broadest point the barge is 2.95 meters wide and it has a hull-depth of 76 centimeters, with a draught of 31 centimeters. The crew comprises 54 rowers and 2 helmsmen (fig.). The present barge was built during the reign of King Rama VI as a replacement of the former barge built during the reign of King Rama IV. In 2000, a postage stamp was issued displaying this royal barge on the Chao Phraya River, in front of Wat Arun (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Phra Thihnang Anek Chaht Phuchong (เรือพระที่นั่งอเนกชาติภุชงค์)

Thai. ‘Many Phuchong-incarnations Royal Barge’. Name of the oldest of the Royal Barges, built during the reign of King Rama V. The prow has no figurehead (fig.), but is covered all over with a very intricate pattern of numerous ornamental naga (phuchong) figures that are carved into the bow, hence the name of this barge. The outside hull is painted pink. It measures about 45.5 meters in length, with at around two-thirds of its length towards the stern a ganya. During processions it is fitted with seven multi-layered umbrellas called chattra, i.e. four before the ganya and three behind it. At its broadest point this barge has a width of 3.15 meters. The crew encompasses 61 rowers, two helmsmen (fig.), a flagman, a signal-man, a chanter who sings during processions, and two officers fore and aft. In 2001, a postage stamp was issued displaying this royal barge on the Chao Phraya River, in front of Wat Arun (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Phra Thihnang Narai Song Suban (เรือพระที่นั่งนารายณ์ทรงสุบรรณ)

Thai. ‘Narai Mounted on (song) the Garuda (Suban) Royal Barge’. Name of the newest of the Royal Barges, built during the reign of King Rama IX, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne (fig.) and by the Fine Arts Department in cooperation with the Royal Thai Navy. The figurehead (fig.) is a replica of that of the former Royal Barge with the same name and built during the reigns of King Rama III and Rama IV. To differentiate, the new version is also called Reua Phra Thihnang Narai Song Suban Radjakaan Thih Kao (เรือพระที่นั่งนารายณ์ทรงสุบรรณ รัชกาลที่ ). The outside hull is painted red and the prow has a figurehead (fig.) of Vishnu (also known as Rama and Narai) standing on a red-coloured Garuda (fig.). The barge is 44.3 meters in length and at its broadest point it has a width of 3.20 meters. At about two-thirds of its length towards the stern a ganya. During processions it is fitted with seven multi-layered umbrellas called chattra, i.e. four before the ganya and three behind it. The crew comprises 50 rowers and 2 helmsmen (fig.). In 1996, a commemorative postage stamp was issued to mark the 60th anniversary on the throne of King Bhumipon Adunyadet, displaying this royal barge on the Chao Phraya River, in front of Wat Arun (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong (เรือพระที่นั่งสุพรรณหงส์)

Thai. ‘Golden Swan Royal Barge’. Name of one of the most prominent of Royal Barges (fig.). It was constructed during the reign of King Rama VI, and is a replication of Sri Suphanahong, a parallel but older version which was built in the reign of King Rama I and from which it derives its name. It is the King's personal barge, though nowadays Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn often takes his place during processions (fig.). The 44.7 meter craft was carved from a single trunk of teakwood and the prow is carved into a head of the Golden Swan named Suphannahong (fig.), i.e. suphan (‘golden’) and hong (‘swan’), and consists of gold lacquer ornamented with small mirrors. The outside hull is painted black and, like the front, the stern is elaborately decorated with gold lacquer. This barge has a hull-depth of 90 centimeters and a draught of 41 centimeters. At its broadest point the barge is 3.14 meters wide and at about little over the half of its length towards the stern there is a ganya (fig.). During processions it is fitted with seven multi-layered umbrellas called chattra, i.e. four before the ganya and three behind it, and a crystalline ball with a large creamy-white tassel is hung from the projecting front part of the prow, i.e. the tip of the swan's mouth (fig.), in addition to a huge garland that is put around the lower part of the bow, i.e. around the swan's neck. The crew comprises 50 rowers, 2 steersmen, a flag-bearer and 2 officers fore and aft. The paddles are gilded and the oarsmen use a stylized rowing motion to suggest a flight with wings. In English, known as Golden Swan Royal Barge or Suphanahongse Royal Barge (fig.). In 1997, a postage stamp was issued displaying this royal barge on the Chao Phraya River, in front of Wat Arun (fig.), a representation reminiscent of the logo of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (fig.), and to mark the King's Sixth Birthday Cycle Celebrations in 2000, this barge was painted on the body of Haripunchai, a Boeing 747-400 in the fleet of Thai Airways International, which also appears on a postage stamp issued in 2010 (fig.). This prominent barge is so popular that it is often copied in miniature replicas, often in precious metals and as elaborately crafted artifacts, and the ubosot of Wat Chalo in Nonthaburi is built on top of an enlarged concrete copy of the Golden Swan Royal Barge (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua phuang (เรือพ่วง)

Thai for a large river barge, a vessel without a motor which is towed by a tugboat called reua yohng (fig.). The term is reminiscent to that of the trailer of a lorry which in Thai is called rot phuang (fig.). Sometimes transcribed reua puang.

reua pokpaek (เรือป๊อกแป๊ก)

Thai name for a toy boat, made from tin, though usually referred to as reua sangkasih, i.e. ‘zinc boat’ (fig.).

reua pratun (เรือประทุน)

Thai. ‘Roofed boat’ or ‘boat with a top or cover’.

reua pratu nah (เรือประตูหน้า)

Thai. ‘Frontdoor boats’. Name for the leading escort barges, i.e. the first barges in the line-up in the Royal Barge Procession (fig.), are Reua Thong Bah Bin (fig.), i.e. the first escort barge that opens the procession on the port side, and Reua Thong Kwahn Fah (fig.), the first escort barge on starboard. Reua Thong Bah Bin is followed by Reua Seua Kamron Sin (fig.), whilst the latter is followed by Reua Seua Thayan Chon (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua rap song khahm fahk (เรือรับส่งข้ามฟาก)

Thai for ‘ferryboat’.

Reua Saeng (เรือแซง)

Name for lesser escort barges that accompany the Royal Barge Procession at the rear end of the flotilla. There are totally seven such barges, six that flank the last Royal Barges, i.e. Reua Phra Thihnang Narai Song Suban (fig.) and Phra Thihnang Anek Chaht Phuchong, and one that sails in between the last Reua Saeng on the port and starboard sides, closing the parade. The latter is preceded by the third Police Barge, that itself follows Phra Thihnang Anek Chaht Phuchong. Their role is similar to the Reua Dang shield barges, only their position and appearance is different. The outside hull, bow and stern are painted black, without any pattern, and they al bear their number in Thai, from one to seven, painted in white on their bow. The roof is red with a golden frame in the form of an elongated quadrangle. The oarsmen of the first six barges, that sail on the outside of the flotilla, wear a white jacket bordered with blue, a blue pahkaomah with white dots, blue trousers, and a blue brimless hat trimmed with gold and with earflaps (fig.), the same as the oarsmen of the drum barges Reua Ih-Leuang and Reua Taeng Moh. However the oarsmen of the seventh and last Reua Saeng, the black barge with the Thai number seven () painted in white on its bow, and which closes the convoy, wear a white jacket bordered with red and gold, a red pahkaomah, and a red Malabiang-helmet. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua sampan (เรือสำปั้น)

Chinese-Thai. Originally a small sailing boat used as coastal vessel in China, but in Thailand the popular name for a reua tae, a small rowing boat. Its name derives from Chinese, i.e. from the name of a small lifeboat that was kept on deck of a larger reua sampao and called either sampung (ซำปุ้ง) or saampaan (สามปาน), which besides a life boat also functioned as a paddle boat to go ashore whilst the ship was anchored in deeper coastal waters. It may have a bent roof in the form of half a cylinder. See also reua sampan jaang. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

reua sampan jaang (เรือสำปั้นจ้าง)

Chinese-Thai. A boat similar to a reua sampan but larger and with a roof to protect against the sun and rain. It used to be sculled like a gondola, from the back with one oar, but nowadays a small ‘longtail’ motor may be used. Its main function is to transport people. The word jaang means ‘to hire’, a reference to the fact that people pay for the service of using the boat. It may sometimes be referred to as reua pratun, meaning a ‘boat with a roof (or cover)’.

reua sampao (เรือสำเภา)

Thai name for a ‘junk’ or ‘argosy’. It can refer to any type of large merchant ship of the past, with one or more sails. The term is used for both Chinese and Western style boats of this type, but to indicate its origin the word jihn, meaning Chinese, is usually added when referring to Chinese junks, i.e. reua sampao jihn (เรือสำเภาจีน - fig.). In China, these boats (fig.) are symbols that bring good luck into the home and into the business, and thus popular artifacts, which are often made of expensive materials, such as jade. Besides this, the word sampao is used to define an aspirated letter P of the Thai alphabet which is called ‘po sampao’ ( - see Thai consonants). Since this consonant has an aspirated sound, sampao might also be transcribed samphao.

reua sangkasih (เรือสังกะสี)

Thai. ‘Zinc boat’. Name for a toy boat made from tin. READ ON.

Reua Seua Kamron Sin (เรือเสือคำรณสินธุ์)

Thai. Name of an escort barge (fig.) that accompanies the true Royal Barges and of which the hull is painted yellow with the black stripes of a tiger, while the prow is in the head of a tiger. On the bow, there are two flags with a blue field and a yellow tiger with black stripes, as well as a small canon. The stern has a yellow ground colour and a pale blue floral motif, a pattern that is repeated in the part between the bow and the hull. This barge is 22.2 meter long and sails in pair with the barge Reua Seua Thayan Chon (fig.). There are 26 oarsmen, dressed in a red uniform trimmed with gold, as well as 2 helmsmen (fig.), a flagman, and an officer (fig.). The oars are black. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Seua Thayan Chon (เรือเสือทยานชล)

Thai. Name of an escort barge (fig.) that accompanies the true Royal Barges and of which the hull is painted yellow with the black stripes of a tiger, whilst the prow is in the head of a tiger. On the bow, there are two flags with a blue field and a yellow tiger with black stripes, as well as a small canon. The stern has a yellow ground colour and a pale blue floral motif, a pattern that is repeated in the part between the bow and the hull. This barge is 22.2 meter long and sails in pair with the barge Reua Seua Kamron Sin (fig.). There are 26 oarsmen, dressed in a red uniform trimmed with gold, as well as 2 helmsmen (fig.), a flagman, and an officer. The oars are black. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Sukrihp Khrong Meuang (เรือสุครีพครองเมือง)

Thai. ‘Boat of Sukrihp who rules the city’. Name of an escort barge (fig.) that accompanies the true Royal Barges. It is 27.45 meters long and the bow has a figurehead that represents Sukrihp, a red monkey, a warrior of Rama, and the regent of Meuang Kheedkhin (ขีดขิน) in the epos Ramakien. He stands over the barrel of a small cannon that obtrudes from a round hole in the boat's lower bow. During processions Sukrihp also holds two red poles with golden-red pennants, one in each hand, and the barge will be positioned at the port side of the larger Reua Phra Thihnang Ananta Nagaraat or Ananta Nagaraat Royal Barge, whilst a barge named after his brother Bali (Phali - fig.), i.e. Reua Phali Rang Thawihp, will be on the opposite, starboard side. At its broadest point the barge is 1.39 meters wide and 0.59 meters deep, and it can take 34 rowers and two helmsmen (fig.). The outside hull is elaborately decorated with gilded lacquer, i.e. laai rod nahm on a black lacquer undercoat. The name of the boat refers to story that Sukrihp usurped the throne of his brother Phali. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua tae (เรือแตะ)

Thai. A small flat bottomed paddle boat, generally made from takian thong or teakwood. Its hold is somewhat angular, made up of five planks and can take 4-5 passengers. Its shape is slightly bent and it is typified by two bulwark planks above deck, one on each side. It is commonly used for fishing, to collect the garden produce and as a means of transportation around the village, but also to sell goods from on floating markets, especially on canals in Central Thailand and in particular on the Mae Khlong river. In that sense it is the counterpart of the slightly smaller reua jaew. It is also referred to as sampan or reua sampan.

Reua Taeng Moh (เรือแตงโม)

Thai. ‘Watermelon boat’. Name of one of the two drum barges, used in the Royal Barge Procession and known in Thai as reua klong. It is the main music command boat that sails out in front of the King's Golden Swan Barge Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong (fig.), and accommodates six musicians, who sing the kaap he reua versed songs (fig.), and play the Javanese flute (fig.), the conch, and klong khaek drums (fig.), for one. See also taeng moh and Reua Ih-Leuang. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Tamruat (เรือตำรวจ)

Thai. ‘Police Barge’. Name of each of the three polices escort barges in the Royal Barge Procession. The outside hull is painted black, without any pattern, and the bow is rather low. The paddles used are also black and the roof is red with a black frame in the form of an elongated quadrangle. In the procession, the first police barge is located at the rear of the outer drum barge or reua klong nouk Reua Ih-Leuang (fig.), whilst the second police barge sails behind it. The third one is at the rear of the convoy, before the Reua Saeng that closes the procession. The first police barge has the Thai number one () painted in white on its bow, the second the number two ( - fig.), and the latter has the Thai number three () painted on its bow. Police barges have a crew of 26 oarsmen, whom in the first two barges are dressed in vivid blue jackets, with a red pahkaomah and a red mongkon (fig.), whereas the oarsmen in the third and last police barge, wear a white jacket bordered with with red and gold, a red pahkaomah, and a red brimless hat trimmed with gold and with earflaps (fig.). See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Thong Bah Bin (เรือทองบ้าบิ่น)

Thai. Name of the first escort barge on the port side in the Royal Barge Procession, sailing in pair (fig.) with the Reua Thong Kwahn Fah (fig.), i.e. the first escort barge that opens the procession on starboard (fig.). The outside hull is painted black, without any pattern, and the bow and stern are gilded, and during ceremonies adorned with two creamy tassels, one on each side, and a golden pah thip-like piece of cloth in between (fig.). This barge is 32 meters long and has a crew of 42, that is 38 oarsmen, a flagman, 2 helmsmen (fig.), and one naval officer of the rank of lieutenant. The oarsmen wear a red uniform trimmed with gold, including a brimless hat with earflaps (fig.). The paddles used with this barge are black. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Reua Thong Kwahn Fah (เรือทองขวานฟ้า)

Thai. Name of the first escort barge on starboard in the Royal Barge Procession, sailing parallel (fig.) with the Reua Thong Bah Bin (fig.), i.e. the first escort barge that opens the procession on the port side. The outside hull is painted black, without any pattern, and the bow and stern are gilded. This barge is 32.23 meters long (fig.) and has a crew of 42, that is 38 oarsmen, a flagman, 2 helmsmen (fig.), and one naval officer of the rank of lieutenant. The oarsmen wear a red uniform trimmed with gold, including a brimless hat with earflaps (fig.). The paddles used with this barge are black. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

reua wetchaphah (เรือเวชพาหน์)

Thai. Medical carrier’. Name of a wooden motor boat, which was commissioned in 1955 by King Bhumiphon from his own private funds, in order to provide free medical services to his subjects who lived along waterways, and in those days had little to no access to roads or hospitals. The boat is 15.69 meters long, 3.81 meters wide and has two storeys, and can carry up to 30 passengers. It is powered by a 200 horsepower, 6-cylinder diesel engine and can make speeds of up to 12 knots per hour. The mobile medical unit was operated just once or twice a year by the Red Cross' Relief and Health Division, in addition to occasional emergency disaster relief missions, when first aid was offered. When it was decommissioned in 2007, it had carried out total of 137 missions in 18 provinces, and had aided hundreds of thousand of people. In 1995, the boat was depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its maiden mission in 1955, and a scale model of the boat is today found in the Miniature Boat Museum in Bua Khao Village in Bangkok (fig.). Even though today community hospitals and clinics exist nationwide, the Royal Navy continues to serve the people living on the waterfront, both in times of peace and in times of floods.

reua yahng (เรือยาง)

Thai. Rubber boat’. Term used for any type of inflatable boat, a type of boat is often used by Thai civil servants, e.g. port officials, the Navy and the Police.

reua yohng (เรือโยง)

Thai for ‘tugboat’. A small, powerful, inland boat for towing large barges called reua phuang (fig.). They can tow up to five large barges at a time and are a common sight on the Chao Phraya river, especially between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. On the stern it has a large, usually ornamented hook, to attach the ropes.

Reunification Palace

Vietnamese landmark building in Ho Chi Minh City. READ ON.

reusi (ฤาษี)

Thai. ‘Hermit’ or ‘recluse’. A sage or wise character in the Ramakien and other Thai folk tales, who has the capability to exhibit special magical powers. He usually lives in a cave as an ascetic or hermit and is depicted wearing tiger fur and usually with a white beard or moustache, though some have no facial hair at all (fig.). He is at times related to the Hindu god Vishnu being portrayed with multiple arms and heads and holding similar attributes (fig.) and as reusi nah seua, having the body of a man and the head of a tiger (fig.), thus referring to Vishnu's fourth avatara Narasingha. Occasionally a reusi can still be seen today (fig.). Hermits are also called munih and Phra Dabot.

reusi nah hua (ฤาษีหน้าวัว)

Thai. ‘Hermit with a bull's face’. A recluse with the head of a bull. Also known as reusi nah neua (ฤาษีหน้าเนื้อ).

reusi nah kwahng (ฤาษีหน้ากวาง)

Thai. ‘Hermit with a deer's face’. A recluse with the head of a deer. Also known as reusi nah mareuk (ฤาษีหน้ามฤค).

reusi nah mareuk (ฤาษีหน้ามฤค)

Thai. Another name for reusi nah kwahng.

reusi nah neua (ฤาษีหน้าเนื้อ)

Thai. Another name for reusi nah hua.

reusi nah seua (ฤาษีหน้าเสือ)

Thai. ‘Hermit with a tiger's face’. A recluse with the head of a tiger. This sage is depicted with the head of a tiger rather than with the usual tiger fur. Compare with Narasingha. See also Poo Chao Saming Phraay.

reusi phasom laew (ฤาษีผสมแล้ว)

Thai. Name of an ornamental bedding plant, commonly known as Coleus, Flame Nettle, Painted Leaves, and with the botanical name Solenostemon scutellarioides. It originates in the Old World and there are an estimated 150 species and hybrids. It has a colourful foliage (fig.), with usually succulent leaves, in purplish-red, pale-yellow and sometimes with some green colouring, and similar in form to those of the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). When in bloom, the Flame Nettle bears blue to white nettle-like flowers (fig.). Though with some features reminiscent to the Stinging Nettle, the plant is not placed in the same family, but belongs to the family Lamiaceae. Literally, the Thai name reusi phasom laew means ‘already mixed reusi (hermit)’.

Revenue Department

Government department under the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for inland tax collection, in particular personal income tax. READ ON.

Rhesus Macaque

See ling wok.

Rhinoceros Beetle

Beetle species of which the male has a long horn on its head. It is one of the strongest animals in the world and can lift up to 800 times its own weight. In Thailand they are kept as children's pets, held on a piece of sugarcane (fig.), its favourite food, as well as by adults, who use them in gambling fights in which two male beetles are placed opposite of each other on a piece of wood and have to try to eliminate the opponent by throwing it off or pushing it over a line, while being goaded by a rattle (fig.). This beetle belongs to the genus Dynastes and its scientific name is Eupatorus gracillicornis. In Thai they are called duang maprao, literally ‘coconut beetle’.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

A species of hornbill, with the scientific name Buceros rhinoceros, and found in Southeast Asia, from southern Thailand over the Malay Peninsula, to most of the Greater Sunda Islands. It is is one of the largest hornbills, measuring up to 122 centimeters, which is equal to the Great Hornbill (fig.). Its giant beak is white with yellow and orange sunburst colours towards the back and on the horn on top, which in some cases might be somewhat reminiscent of a lobster's claw (fig.). Like with the Great Hornbill, males have red eyes, whereas those of females are white. Rhinoceros Hornbill are long-lived, living to an age of up to 35 years. In Thai it is known as nok ngeuak hua raed.

rice

Edible crop cultivated and eaten principally in Asian countries. READ ON.

rice barge

A kind of wooden vessel, usually with a distinctive curved roof, that in the past was mainly used to transport rice, but also for other goods, such as cement (fig.). Similar versions date back to the beginning of the Ayutthaya Period and were called ‘reua mekala’ (fig.). Nowadays many are reconditioned to accommodate tourists for banquet cruises on the Chao Phraya river and the transportation of rice and other goods is now mostly done by large metal barges named reua phuang (fig.) which are towed by tugboats called reua yohng (fig.). Most of the traditional wooden barges (fig.), as well as many other boats (fig.), have a pair of forward looking, vigilant eyes painted on the prow, one on each side of the stem. They are believed to be a kind of amulet to protect them from misfortune or Evil Eye.

Rice-field Terrapin

Name for two attractive species of semi-aquatic turtles with the scientific designations Malayemys macrocephala and Malayemys subtrijuga. In English they are also known as the Malayan Snail-eating Terrapin, and in Thai as tao nah and tao sahm san, meaning ‘field turtle’ and ‘three-keeled turtle’ or ‘three-barred terrapin’ respectively, the latter name referring to the three strong keels or bars on this turtle's carapace, which is somewhat reminiscent of the upper shell of horseshoe crabs (fig.). Besides this feature, its reddish brown carapace also has a distinctive pale rim, that is somewhat notched, giving the false impression that the margin is serrated. It has a large, black head with pale, continuous stripes on the sides, above and below the eye, and stretching from the nose to the back of the neck, as well as a dotted line behind the eye. Malayemys macrocephala is found all over Thailand, whereas Malayemys subtrijuga occurs in the Mekhong Basin of Cambodia, Laos and southern Vietnam, and in Thailand mainly in Isaan. Both species were for a long time considered to be the same, but have recently been revalidated as two different species, hence their shared English and Thai designations. The difference between the two is most visible in the pale stripes on the head. The somewhat larger bodied Malayemys macrocephala has only two vertical lines under the nose, whereas the smaller Malayemys subtrijuga has more than two vertical lines, usually four or six, that run from the nose to the mouth (fig.). In the wild (fig.), both these lowland species inhabit densely vegetated, shallow, warm bodies of freshwater, such as rice paddies, where they feed primarily on aquatic snails and sporadically on small shrimps, whereas the larger females will also eat small mussels. Rice-field Terrapins were in the past widely caught and prepared for consumption. Once abundant, they are now threatened by habitat loss and overhunting, and since 1992 the Rice-field Terrapin is listed as an endangered species, protected by Thai law.

rice mill

Factory where rice is peeled, polished and sorted according to size and quality. In Thai rohng see khao.

rice paper

1. Paper made from milled rice, which is pounded, mixed with water and then steamed to create a soft dough (fig.), that is can be used as a wrapper for spring rolls, dumplings, etc. The dough can be dried into paper-like sheets for storage (fig.) and made soft again by dipping it into water or by steaming it. There exist several varieties. See also kra-yo.

2. Flexible and strong paper made from rice straw or chaff. It is typically used for painting and writing, especially in Chinese calligraphy.

Rice Weevil

See duang nguang khao.

Richard's Pipit

Common name for a species of medium-sized passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, with the scientific designation Anthus richardi. Though there is some variation between the different subspecies, this slender bird is overall brownish grey above and mostly pale below. There are dark streaks on the upperparts and breast while the belly and flanks are plain, as well as some bars on the wings. The face is strongly marked with pale lores and supercilium, and has a dark eye-stripe, moustache and malar stripe. This pipit has a long tail with white outer feathers, and a long dark bill, with a yellowish base to the lower mandible. Its legs are yellowish brown and it often stands in an rather upright pose. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

rickshaw

See saamloh.

Rig (ऋग्)

Sanskrit. The oldest and the longest of the four Vedas, which was roughly composed between 1500 and 1000 BC, and deals with general knowledge. It states that the Arian society was divided into four hierarchical classes, known as varna or ‘colours’ (i.e. castes), namely the Brahmans, the priests and learned class; Kshatriya, the royal or warrior class, including high officials; Vaishya, the class of merchants and landowners; and Shudra, the agricultural and serving class, as well as the class of craftsmen, while slaves were part of the dalit or ‘untouchables’. Also Rigveda.

Rigveda (ऋग्वेद)

Sanskrit. Also spelled Rig Veda and often referred to as just Rig.

rih rih khao sahn (รีรีข้าวสาร)

Thai. Name of a traditional Thai children's game, in which two players hold their hands together and lift their arms forming an arched doorway, whilst other players walk through the arch in a row, holding the waist of the person in front and singing a song which starts with the words rih rih khao sahn, hence the name of the game (fig.). On the last words of the song, i.e. phaan ao khon khaang lang wai phiang tua (พานเอาคนข้างหลังไว้เพียวตัว), which translates as ‘catch the person in the back’, the two players forming the arch, bring their arms down, thus locking the gate and blocking anyone in the back. The person who is locked down within the arch is either eliminated or punished by having to fulfill a certain behest. The game is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1999 to publicize the Bangkok 2000 World Youth Stamp Exhibition Stamp and the 13th Asian International Stamp Exhibition (fig.).

Ringlet Butterfly

Common name for a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae and with the scientific designation Ypthima multistriata. There are several subspecies which are listed according to their geographical appearance. Its underwings are whitish with brownish patterns of thin lines called strigae, and several orange-black ocelli, with either two pale blue spots at the centre of the ocellus of the forewing and on the last ocellus of the hindwing, and one pale blue spot at the centre of the other ocelli. The upper wings is similar, but with a dark brown strigae.

Ring-necked Parakeet

Another name for Rose-ringed Parakeet.

Ring-necked Pheasant

Collective name for a number of subspecies of the  Common Pheasant, a bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae, and with the scientific name Phasianus colchicus. Due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies, its features are variable. There are two main subspecies that occur as an introduced species in Myanmar, southern China and northern Vietnam, i.e. Phasianus colchicus takatsukasae (fig.) and Phasianus colchicus elegans. Whereas males of the subspecies Phasianus colchicus elegans have a chestnut body, with black streaks and a purple to bluish-green breast and neck, males of the variety Phasianus colchicus takatsukasae have copper-maroon breast and neck, a greenish head and a typifying white collar. The tail of both species is long and dark brown, and is barred with a lighter shade of brown. Females (fig.) of both species are buffish-brown with blackish markings above and pale buff with black scale-like markings below, with the female of Phasianus colchicus takatsukasae somewhat plainer below than Phasianus colchicus elegans.

Rishabh (ऋषभ)

Sanskrit. ‘Most excellent’. Name of Adinatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism. He is also known as Rishabh Dev.

Rishabh Dev (ऋषभदेव)

Sanskrit. ‘Most excellent deity’. Another designation for Rishabh, i.e. Adinatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism. The suffix dev refers to his status as a deva.

rishi (ऋषि)

Sanskrit. ‘Seer’, ‘singer of sacred verses’ or ‘inspired poet’. Hindu sage, ascetic, hermit or recluse, usually living in the Himalayas. In Hinduism generally a holy person who received the revelation of the Vedic hymns and often depicted as seated wearing a beard and a headdress made of bark. See also reusi.

River Heliodor

Common name for a species of damselfly, with the scientific name Libellago lineata. It belongs to the family Chlorocyphidae, commonly known as jewels and often nicknamed long-nosed damselflies, due to the noticeably tumid and projecting epistome, i.e. the area between the labrum (the upper lip of an insect mouth) and the epicranium (structures that cover the head), in front of the face, which resembles a nose. Also characteristically in this family is that the abdomen is shorter than wings. Males have a black tail-tip, wing-patches and underparts, and yellow markings on the upper body and head, and some deep yellowish-orange on the anterior part of the upper abdomen. Females are overall paler, and have more yellow colouring than males, including a yellow-black wing-spot. Besides the nominal race Libellago lineata lineata, there are at least three known subspecies, i.e. Libellago lineata andamanensis, Libellago lineata blanda, and Libellago lineata indica. In Thai it is referred to as malaeng poh khem tharah laai sen (แมลงปอเข็มธาราลายเส้น), which translates as ‘lined pattern stream-damselfly’.

River Lapwing

Common name for a species of medium-sized wading bird, with the scientific designation Vanellus duvaucelii and a close relative of the Red-wattled Lapwing (fig.). It is a resident breeder in South and Southeast Asia, from northeastern India to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. This species of lapwing is about 30 centimeters tall, has a brownish-grey back with black primaries, a white rump and white underparts, with a black patch on the belly, as well as a black tail, face, central throat, and crown, and greyish-black legs (fig.). In addition, it has a greyish-brown breast band, whereas the nape and sides of the neck are greyish-white. Adults of both sexes are similar, though males are somewhat larger than females. In Thai, the River Lapwing is known as nok kratae hahd (นกกระแตหาด), which can be translated as ‘beach lapwing’.

robber fly

See malaeng wan hua boob.

Robert Morant

An English teacher, educated at Winchester College and at New College in Oxford, who in in November 1886 was appointed as tutor to the royal family of Siam, especially to Crown Prince Wajirunhit (fig.). He also set up an educational plan for the whole country on behalf of King Chulalongkorn and created a set of postage stamps used as a teaching material to be affixed on the letters of the Rajakumaan School within the Royal Palace, when he taught the King's sons and daughters about postal communication and demonstrated them how to write letters to others in the Royal Palace. After his initiative, another set of local postage stamps in the Royal Palace emerged, i.e. the Royal Family Set, which has was printed in England, with each stamp showing a picture of a member of the Royal Family enclosed in an ornate frame, but not marked with numbers nor text (fig.). It is believed that this very rare set of stamps was also used as a teaching material in the Rajakumaan School. Robert Morant returned to England in August 1894. His full name and title is Sir Robert Laurie Morant.

Robot Building

Name for an award-winning office building in Bangkok's Bangrak district, which has the features of a giant robot. This 20 floor high-rise stands 83 meters tall and is located on South Sathorn Road. It was commissioned by the Bank of Asia and designed to reflect the modernization and computerization of banking. Construction was completed in 1986 and for the concept, the hired architect Sumet Chumsai Na Ayutthaya (สุเมธ ชุมสาย ณ อยุธยา) −who also designed the inside of the Planetarium of the Museum of Sciences (fig.)− was inspired by his son's toy robot. In Thai it is known as teuk hun yon.

Rochana (รจนา)

Daughter of king Samon who married Phra Sang in the Thai narrative Sangthong.

Rock Dove

See Rock Pigeon.

Rocket Festival

See Boon Bang Fai.

Rock Lobster

Common name for a kind of lobster family Palinuridae, that superficially resembles a true lobster, but lacks the large claws. The Rock Lobster instead has much longer, thick and spiny antennae. Hence, it is also known as the Spiny Lobster. In Thai, it is referred to as kung mangkon (กุ้งมังกร), i.e. ‘dragon lobster’. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Rock Pigeon

Name of the common pigeon found throughout most of Asia and Europe. They are pale grey with two black bars on each wing and purplish red legs and feet. Its head is dark bluish grey with an orange iris and a grey bill that has a pale mark near the nostrils. The neck and chest have a metallic green to reddish purple iridescence, whilst its tail-tip and wing tips are dark grey. It is also called Rock Dove and in Thai it is known as nok phiraab pah, which could be translated as ‘wild pigeon’ or ‘forest dove’.

rod nahm mon (รดน้ำมนต์)

Thai. ‘To pour, sprinkle or receive (fig.) water as a blessing or incantation (mon)’. Prior to its use, the water is blessed by a senior monk and wax from a candle is dripped into the blessed water, known as nahm mon (fig.), to symbolize Enlightenment. To hasten their merit, believers sometimes throw coins into the situla-like holy water vessel, as a kind of tamboon. Compare with the Sanskrit word abhisheka. See also kruad nahm, sek, kong hod and song nahm phra.

rohng bom yah soob (โรงบ่มยาสูบ)

Thai. ‘Tobacco curing barn’. Agricultural building used in the process of air-curing tobacco. They are found in many parts of Thailand, everywhere the crop is grown, especially in the northern provinces, such as Phrae. These tall, square, house-like structures, are typically made with bricks, have gabled roofs, and some system of ventilation. Inside they consist of a frame construction on which the tobacco leaves are hung to dry over a period of four to eight weeks. During the day the vents are opened, letting air in and allowing the tobacco leaves to shed water. This drying process, which is slowed down by the use of air to allow for a critical chemical break down to occur, is known as curing. Air-cured tobacco is low in sugar, giving the tobacco a light, sweet flavour. Also transcribed rong bom ya soop.

rohng lakhon haeng chaht (โรงละครแห่งชาติ)

Thai name for the National Theatre.

rohng loh phra burana thai (โรงหล่อพระบูรณะไทย)

Thai name for the Buranathai Buddha Image Foundry.

rohng phayaban chang khong moonlaniti pheuan chang (โรงพยาบาลช้างของมูลนิธิเพื่อนช้าง)

Thai. ‘Elephant hospital of the friends of the elephant foundation’. Name for an organization, known in English as Friends of the Asian Elephant, located in Lampang, adjacent to the Thai Elephants Conservation Centre, on the main road to Chiang Mai. The foundation, also referred to as FAE, actively supports legislative efforts to protect elephants and focuses its efforts on stopping the illegal cross-border trade in elephants, especially of calves. It lobbies the government to register all newborn calves born in captivity, in order to facilitate proper identification. The organization also operates a hospital facility, as well as a mobile clinic, that cares for sick, wounded, pregnant or frail elephants. The charity and made world news in 1999, when it provided the female elephant Motala (โม่ตาลา) from Tak province with a prosthetic limb. When feeding in the forest, the animal lost a foreleg when it stepped on a landmine, ten kilometers across the border into Burma. It took the heavily wounded animal three days to make the journey back into Thailand, and was brought to the hospital, where it arrived by car the same day. It is the second elephant in the world to have received a prosthesis.

rohng rian praisanih (โรงเรียนการไปรษณีย์)

Thai for ‘Postal School, also known as School of Postal Services.

rohng see khao (โรงสีข้าว)

Thai for rice mill. See also see. Also transcribed rong sih khaw, or similar.

Roi Et (ร้อยเอ็ด)

Thai. ‘Hundred-and-one’. Name of a province (map) and its capital city in Isaan, situated  512 kms Northeast of Bangkok with a population of around 34,000. It is not sure what the city name (101) refers to, but it is possibly derived from the fact that the ancient city had 11 city gates and was surrounded by 11 satellite states, eleven being pronounced ‘sip-et’ (10-1) in Thai, which over time evolved into 101. In the city centre is a large artificial lake with a small island. The town is famous for its silk and cotton industries whose products can be purchased at a low price and are of excellent quality. Places of interest include Somdet Phra Sri Nakarin Park (fig.), and the district Suwannaphum houses the ruins of an eleventh century Khmer temple, Ku Phra Khona. The province has seventeen amphur and three king amphur. See also Roi Et data file.

rok (รอก)

See look rok.

rom (ร่ม)

Thai for ‘parasol’ or ‘umbrella’. READ ON.

rom thong (ร่มทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden parasol’. Designation for a golden decorative parasol, of which the edge is often festooned with curved hanging chains of artificial dok rak flowers (fig.), sometimes with additional garlands of artificial flowers that hang at intervals. It is used in traditional or religious ceremonies and processions, especially in Northern Thailand, such as during Poi Sang Long (fig.), as well as a decorative item in interior design (fig.). When used decoratively, it may be called rom thong pradap (ร่มทองประดับ).

rong (rông)

Vietnamese-Bahnar term for a village communal house as built and used by the Bahnar people of Vietnam. All their villages have one and it stands out for its height. The village rong is the symbol of the strength and skill of the villagers.

rong ngeng (รองเง็ง)

Thai. A Thai adaptation of a Malaysian traditional folk dance of Portuguese origin which was customarily performed on auspicious days, in particular in the houses of nobility. Today it is carried out during local festivities such as weddings, ordinations, community festivals, etc. It is performed by Muslim people of southern Thailand, especially in the provinces Phuket, Phang Nga, Trang and Satun, and accompanied by music and lyrics, known as phleng tanyong or phleng tonyohng. Although initially no musical instruments were used, over time those were introduced and now include the violin and small klong ram manah drums, as part of the ensemble. Sometimes transliterated ronggeng.

roop kaak (รูปกาก)

Thai. Collective name for any of the comic Thai shadow play characters, which are used in nang thalung and also known as tua talok (fig.).

rose apple

See chom phu.

Rose Cactus

See Wax Rose.

roselle

Another name for the Hibiscus sabdariffa, in Thai known as krajiab daeng or simply krajiab.

Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth

Common name for a species of moth of the Lasiocampidae family, with the scientific designations Trabala vishnou, Gastropacha vishnou and Amydona prasina. READ ON.

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Name of a species of parakeet, with the binomial name Psittacula krameri. Both sexes (fig.) are similar to those of the Alexandrine Parakeet (fig.), but lack the red shoulder patch and measuring only 40 to 42 centimeters, they are also smaller. Males are mainly green with a pale bluish sheen on the nape, a dark red bill with a blackish lower mandible, a green abdomen, bluish-green tail feathers, and greyish legs. The wings are of a darker green, but not as dark as those of the Alexandrine Parakeet, and the underside of the wingtips are blackish dark (fig.). They have a thin black loral line, that stretches from their nostrils at top of their beak to their eyes and sometimes beyond. In addition, males have a thin, pitch-black line on the throat, as well as a pink nape band, with slight bluish-grey on the top, features absent in females (fig.), who instead have an indistinct dark green collar, no distinct loral line and shorter tail-streamers. Also known as Ring-necked Parakeet, and in Thai as nok kaew kho waen sih kulaab. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Rosy Starling

Common name for a species of bird in the starling family Sturnidae, with the scientific designations Pastor roseus and Sturnus roseus. It has a pinkish to rose-coloured body, with a black head, wings and tail, while the legs and bill are pale yellowish-orange. In winter, the plumage in males is rather dull, but in the breeding season, males become more glossy black and develop elongated head feathers that form a crest. The females are overall duller and have a shorter crest. Juveniles have a brownish plumage, lack the black colouring of their parents on the head and breast, and have a more bright yellowish bill. From a distance immature birds may be mistaken for a Brahminy Myna (fig.), a species of starling that may occur together (fig.). The Rosy Starling's breeding range stretches from easternmost Europe to southern Asia, and being migratory it travels in huge flocks to winter in the Indian subcontinent, where they then seem to outnumber the local species of starling. Breeding populations are nomadic and move according to the availability of their main food, i.e. grasshoppers and locusts. It is also commonly known as Rose-coloured Pastor, Rose-coloured Starling, and Rosy Pastor. In Thai, it is called nok king krohng see kulaab (นกกิ้งโครงสีกุหลาบ). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

rot (รถ)

Thai. General name for any wheeled vehicle, of which the type can be specified by adding a suffix, e.g. rot bantuk (truck), rot mah (horse cart), etc. It is related to the Sanskrit word ratha, meaning ‘chariot’.

rot bantuk (รถบรรทุก)

Thai for truck or lorry. When a lorry also tows a trailer it may also be called rot phuang.

rot duan (รถด่วน)

1. Thai. ‘Express wagon’. Name for an express train or speed train.

2. Thai. ‘Express wagon’. Nickname for the bamboo worm.

roti (โรตี)

1. Thai. A sweet pancake filled with different kinds of sweetmeats, depending on local varieties and place of origin. In Ayutthaya, it is called roti sai mai (silk thread roti) and consists of a thin pancake filled with candyfloss-like sugar fibres that come in different colours -but are of the same taste- and are rolled into the pancake. In Phitsanulok the pancake is filled with banana and is called roti kluay tahk ob nahm peung (roti with dried banana baked in honey) and in Nakhon Sawan it is named roti moh-ji (roti with sweets made of rice flower). A dish found nationwide is roti kluay, a pancake filled with slices of banana (fig.) which are topped with sweetened condensed milk, before being wrapped. The pancake is then cut in bite-size pieces which are traditionally eaten with a toothpick.

2. Thai-Malay-Indonesian. A savoury pancake or flat bread filled or topped with a -usually Indian- curry. There are many different kinds, depending on local varieties and place of origin. Among the many varieties in Thailand, the most common are roti mataba and roti kaeng.

3. Surinamese. A savoury dish of unrisen bread with meat and vegetables.

rot keng (รถเก๋ง)

Thai for a passenger car, a sedan.

rot kop (รถกบ)

Thai. ‘Frog car’. Name for a kind of public transportation, typically found in the town of Ayutthaya. It has the characteristics of both a saamloh and a songthaew, that is to say three wheels and two benches fitted lengthwise, respectively. The name derives from the front view of the vehicle, which resembles the head of a frog, called kop in Thai. This is even more so in older versions that have round headlights (fig.). Comically, kop also means ‘overfull’, thus frequently doing justice to its name, as it gets quickly overloaded or overcrowded, due to its rather small size.

rot kraba (รถกระบะ)

Thai for a pick-up, an open car or small truck. Pick-up trucks are very common nationwide, especially in rural areas. When a pick-up truck is modified with two benches it is called a songthaew (two rows), a vehicle commonly used as a taxi or method of public transportation (fig.).

rot mah (รถม้า)

Thai for a horse carriage or horse cart. They are a typical street scene of Lampang (fig.).

rot phuang (รถพ่วง)

Thai for ‘trailer’, a vehicle towed by another. The term is reminiscent to that of engineless river barges that are towed by a tugboat and which in Thai are called reua phuang (fig.). Sometimes transcribed rot puang.

rot saamloh (รถสามล้อ)

Thai for any push-bike or motorbike with three wheels. See also saamloh.

rot saamloh skailaeb (รถสามล้อสกายแล็บ)

Thai for a type of motorized rickshaw, which in Thai are collectively referred to as sahmloh. It consists of a motorbike, covered with a roof or not, and with an extended car-like part for passengers to be seated. In English, it is referred to as skylab tuktuk.

rot saamloh tihb (รถสามล้อถีบ)

Thai generic name for any pedal-driven, human-powered push-bike with three wheels. This may be a tricycle, trishaw, rickshaw or saamloh, a cargo bike or freight cycle, a pedicab, etc. The position of the driver's seat may be either in front of or behind the loading platform or passenger's seat (fig.). See also saamloh.

rot thaeksih (รถแท็กซี่)

General Thai term for any type of vehicle used as a taxi. In Bangkok, and to a lesser extend now also in some large provincial cities, a taxi would mostly be a sedan car with a taximeter. Besides this, especially in provincial cities, there are also taxis without a meter, where a fee is negotiated with the driver beforehand and the rate will vary depending on traffic and distance. During rush hour, the tariff will increase and even drivers of a taxi with taximeter may try to charge extra fees or refuse to take you, although they are legally required to go by the meter and are not allowed to refuse customers, but in practice this rule is at best wishful thinking. Taxis without a meter may also be vehicles other than a sedan car, with types ranging from saamloh and tuktuks, to motorbike taxis. During traffic congestions, the latter will usually be more expensive than taxis with a taximeter, but then time is money too. There are reportedly an estimated 240,000 taxis in Bangkok alone, with about half of them privately owned and the other half rented out to self-employed drivers, often seasonal labourers from Isaan, many of whom are poorly trained and may not know their way around. This in addition to the stress of the necessity to recuperate the daily rental fee and fuel cost, makes many a driver struggle to break even and a few will try to rip off any ignorant passengers, especially tourists. Heated arguments over taxi fares have been known to get out of hand rather quite often. The government has therefore recently opened a special phone number where customers can report their complaints, and the license number of the car is nowadays also noticeably attached inside the taxi, even with a Romanized letter in addition to the letter in Thai script. Officially, privately owned taxis used to be green-and-yellow, and rented taxis red-and-blue, though this has changed over time and now a wide variety of mostly brightly coloured taxis are out on the streets of Bangkok, whereas taximeters in Chiang Mai are blue-and-yellow. A painted text on the front doors will still tell you if it is a privately owned or public (i.e. rented) taxi. All licensed taxis have a yellow license plate with black letters and numbers, many of them beginning with the letter t (), i.e. the t for taxi. When a taxi is available, the driver switches on a red neon sign in front of the front passenger's seat, displaying the text wahng (ว่าง), which translates as available. Apart from a few parking spots at airports, Thailand has no taxi stands as is common in many western countries. Taxis therefore keep on circulating with traffic or try to find a spot in front of a hotel, and very often large numbers of them block the streets near popular entertainment venues. On a positive note, taxis are rather inexpensive and drivers often personalize their cab in a very unique way, displaying a collection of amulets or other knickknacks, or even turning their vehicle into a karaoke on wheels, fully equipped with multiple screens and microphones (fig.), and a chauffeur who is also the DJ, adding some sanook to the experience.

rot yon (รถยนต์)

Thai for a car with an engine, a car or motorcar, an automobile. If it is an enclosed motorcar with four or more seats it is also called rot keng. If it is a pick-up it is called rot kraba, if it is a pick-up with two benches it is called rot songthaew.

Rough-necked Monitor

A kind of monitor lizard of the genus Varanus rudicollis, in Thai known as hao chang, literally ‘barking elephant’. Its head is long, with the nostril being a horizontal slit, located closer to the eye than to the tip of the snout. It has enlarged, keeled scales around the neck (fig.), responsible for this species common name. It generally grows to a length of about 140 cm. The Rough-necked Monitor is a tree climber and lives in mangrove forests, as well as in primary and secondary rainforests. Its distribution ranges from Myanmar over Thailand, to Malaysia and some parts of Indonesia. It feeds on birds, fish, frogs, carrion and insects. Also called Rough Neck Monitor.

Rounded Pierrot

Name of a species of small butterfly, with the scientific designation Tarucus extricatus. It belongs to the family Lycaenidae, i.e. the family of Blues, and is very similar to the Rusty Pierrot (Tarucus nara - fig.), but with black markings on the underwings and black bands on the back of the otherwise white body, whereas in the latter those markings are rusty, dark brownish-black.

Rove Beetle

See duang kon kradok.

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

Name of a large sports field in Bangkok's Pathumwan District, which features a horse racetrack, tennis court, football field, golf course, badminton field, billiard room, ping-pong room, squash court, fitness centre, a chess room, and three Olympic-standard swimming pools. It is built on a plot of royal land and officially openend on 6 September 1901. The project was an initiative of Prince Thewawong Warohpakahn (เทวะวงศ์ วโรปการ), the 42nd child of King Mongkut, after officially accepting the proposal of the Englishman Franklin Hurst, who in 1890 had proposed to set up a horse racetrack and sports field in Bangkok. At the onset of aviation in Thailand, in the beginning of the 20th century, the racecourse's grounds, i.e. the central grass field, was used as a makeshift airfield named Sanam Bin Sra Pathum (fig.). The horse racetrack is still in use today, with thoroughbred races taking place every fortnight, as the venue alternates between the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the Royal Turf Club (fig.). In Thai, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club is known as Racha Krihtah Samohson (ราชกรีฑาสโมสร), which literally means the ‘Royal Athletics Club’. The club currently has around 12,500 members, who have exclusive rights to enjoy the sport facilities.

Royal Barge Procession

A ceremonial parade of the Royal Barges, held on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. A major procession currently involves 52 barges and proceeds from Dusit's Wasukri boat landing, where barges more or less line up between the Krung Thon Bridge (fig.) and the Rama VIII Bridge (fig.), from where they depart to Wat Arun (fig.) as the terminus. The procession only rarely takes place (fig.) on special events, and occasionally during the kathin phra racha thaan ceremony at the end of the rainy season. During the procession, the oarsmen keep the rhythm by the beating of klong khaek drums, the lifting and dropping of large upright bamboo poles decorated with 7 white tassels, and the sound of the pih chawah (fig.) and of a conch, as well as by a kind of versed songs referred to as kaap he reua (fig.), which was composed by Chao Fah Thammathibet in the late Ayutthaya Period. In Thai, the Royal Barge Procession is called Krabuan Phayuhayahtrah Chonlamahk or Phra Racha Phittih Krabuan Reua Phayuhayahtrah Chonlamahk. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Royal Barges

Ancient and fantastically ornamented boats, that were once used as war vessels (fig.). Nowadays, they are used only for royal and governmental functions during the Royal Barge Procession. Currently there are four Royal Barges, though there are many lesser barges that in English are often also referred to as royal barges, but which are actually escort barges, and shield barges for protection. The four true Royal Barges are Reua Phra Thihnang Ananta Nagaraat (fig.), Reua Phra Thihnang Anek Chaht Phuchong (fig.), Reua Phra Thihnang Narai Song Suban (fig.), and Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong (fig.), the largest and disputably also the most prominent one, which is well over 46 meters long and requires a rowing crew of fifty plus seven umbrella bearers, two helmsmen (fig.), two navigators, a flagman, a rhythm-keeper and a chanter. The latter is the King's personal barge used for the royal river procession during the kathin phra racha thaan ceremony at the end of the rainy season. All true Royal Barges are named with the prefix reua phra thihnang, which is the general Thai term for any Royal Barge, whereas the escort barges and lesser barges are generally referred to as reua phra racha phittih (เรือพระราชพิธี), i.e. ‘royal ceremonial boats’. The escort and lesser barges are divided into several groups, according to their rank, their position in the procession, and their function. The first group is divided according to their prow or figurehead. These include two Ekachai Barges, called Reua Ekachai Heun Haaw (fig.) and Reua Ekachai Laaw Thong (fig.), that each feature a horned makara figurehead (fig.). Then, there is the group of barges which have figureheads of an animal or of a creature from mythology. These include Krut Barges (fig.), of which there are two (fig.) that each feature a Garuda figurehead, i.e. Reua Krut Tret Traichak (fig.) and Reua Krut Heun Het (fig.); Krabi Barges, of which there are four that each feature a monkey-character from the Ramakien as a figurehead (fig.), including Reua Sukrihp Khrong Meuang (fig.), Reua Krabi Prahp Meuang Maan (fig.), Reua Krabi Rahn Ron Rahp (fig.), and Reua Phali Rang Thawihp; and Asura Barges of which there are two that each feature a half-bird, half-ogre figurehead, i.e. Reua Asuravayuphak and Reua Asurapaksi (fig.). There are also two Seua Barges, i.e. Reua Seua Kamron Sin (fig.) and Reua Seua Thayan Chon (fig.), which feature painted motifs of tigers on the bow, but they are listed separately as reua pratu nah (fig.), i.e. ‘front door boats’, together with two other barges, i.e. Reua Thong Kwahn Fah (fig.) and Reua Thong Bah Bin (fig.), that are the very first boats in the line-up of a procession, followed directly by the Seua Barges. These are in turn followed by a drum barge or reua klong called Reua Ih-Leuang (fig.), and two Police Barges or Reua Tamruat (fig.). From the first Drum Boat onward, the procession is flanked by 22 Reua Dang, or ‘Shield Barges’, 11 on each side (fig.). There is also a second drum barge called Reua Taeng Moh (fig.), which sails out in front of the King's Golden Swan Barge. At the back of the procession the protective role is fulfilled by yet another (third and last) Police Barge (fig.) and seven barges called Reua Saeng (fig.), which close the parade and all have an all-black hull. Many of the more important barges are on display at the Royal Barges Museum in Bangkok. See also PROCESSION LINE-UP.

Royal Barges Museum

Originally called the Royal Barge Dockyard, the museum was built during the reign of King Taksin as a dockyard for the royal barges and warships under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy. During WW II the dockyard was damaged and its upkeep was later transferred to the Fine Arts Department for the repair and restoration of all the barges which were registered as a national heritage. It was designated as part of the National Museum on 22 January 1974 and exhibits the most prominent royal barges as well as artifacts and accessories used in ceremonial parades with these vessels. See also Naval Museum.

Royal Dockyard Museum

Museum located along a dry-dock at the naval shipyard, within the compound of the Royal Thai Navy base in Thonburi. READ ON

Royal Elephant National Museum

A Bangkok museum in Dusit area, displaying attributes related to White Elephants and housed in the former royal elephant stables. There are two buildings, of which the oldest was erected in 1906 by king Rama V and now exhibits large tusks of White Elephants from various reigns, explanations on the different types of White Elephants, equipment for capturing elephants, an elephant molar, a statue of the elephant god Ganesha (fig.), pictures of methods to capture elephants, etc. The other building was constructed in 1927 by king Rama VII and now displays a large model of a white elephant (fig.), pictures of white elephants used in royal ceremonies, as well as the history of the museum. In Thai called Phiphithaphan Haeng Chaht Chang Ton (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติช้างต้น).

Royal Fighting Cock

See Yellow White-tail Fighting Cock.

Royal Hymn

See Phleng Sansaroen Phra Barami.

Royal Kathin Ceremony

See kathin phra racha thaan.

Royal Plaza

See Lahn Phra Rachawang Dusit.

Royal Regalia

See kakuttapan.

Royal Society

Name of the national academy of Thailand, i.e. the institute in charge of academic works of the Thai government. READ ON.

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

Museum in Bangkok, which was established in 1952, in order to collect, restore, preserve and exhibit all kinds of military aircraft, as well as aviation equipment, that were once used by the Royal Thai Air Force. It also has presentations on the history of Thai military aviation and on the wars in which the Royal Thai Air Force participated. The aircraft on display include some very unique models, such as a Nieuport 11 WW I trainer monoplane (fig.), a Breguet Type III biplane (fig.), an in Siam license-built French Breguet 14 B2 bomber and reconnaissance aircraft (fig.), a Thai-made Boriphat bomber aircraft (fig.), a Mitsubishi Ki-30 light bomber aircraft (fig.), a Republic F-84G Thunderjet turbojet fighter-bomber (fig.), a light supersonic Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter (fig.), the world's first Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter (fig.), an F-16A Fighting Falcon multirole fighter aircraft (fig.), and a Saab JAS 39 Gripen C multirole fighter aircraft (fig.). There are also numerous scale models, photos and paintings of aircraft, some of which were used on Thai postage stamps issued in 2012 as part of two series to commemorate the establishment of the Royal Thai Air Force (fig.), such as that of the Grumman F8F Bearcat (fig.), the Republic F-84G Thunderjet (fig.), and the North American F-86 Sabre (fig.) in the first series, and the Northrop F-5E Tiger II (fig.) and the F-16 Fighting Falcon (fig.) in the second series (fig.). There are also other paintings with depictions similar to those on the stamps, such as that of a Mitsubishi Ki-30 (fig.). There are also decommissioned aircraft once used to serve the King, such as the Bell UH-1N helicopter (fig.), a chopper popularly known as the Huey and used by the US Army in the Vietnam War (fig.) for troop transport, scouting missions, and as an ambulance (fig.), as well as scale models and photos of aircraft still in use, that are reserved to transport members of the royal family, such as the Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (fig.), a Boeing 737-800 (fig.), the Bell 412EP utility helicopter (fig.), and the Sikorsky S-92 (fig.). The latter four also appear on stamps in the second series issued in 2012. In Thai, the museum is called Phiphithaphan Kong Thap Ahkaht (พิพิธภัณฑ์กองทัพอากาศ), i.e. ‘Air Force Museum’.

Royal Thai Armed Forces

Under direct command of the Ministry of Defence, the Kingdom of Thailand has about 314,000 armed forces (fig.), consisting of both regular cadres and conscripts. .

Royal Thai Army Museum

Museum in Bangkok, located within the complex of the Thai Army's Headquarters (fig.) and the Armory of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. It opened to the public in 1996, to mark the Golden Jubilee of King Bhumiphon. The museum houses a Military History Model Room, which shows the history of military evolution, ancient weapons, and models of important events in the history of the Royal Thai Army; a Weapons Room, which features guns used by the army, from the early Rattanakosin Period up to the Vietnam War, and weapons seized from enemy forces; a Flag and Equipment Room, which displays battle flags, service manuals, and various kinds of military equipment and regalia; and a Uniforms and Insignia Room, that displays the evolution of uniforms from the Sukhothai Period to the present day, including insignia, decorations and medals. The museum is somewhat comparable to the National Memorial (fig.) in Pathum Thani, which also displays military uniforms from the Sukhothai Period to the present day (fig.). In Thai called Phiphithaphan Kong Thap Bok Chaleum Phra Kian (พิพิธภัณฑ์กองทัพบกเฉลิมพระเกียรติ), i.e. ‘Army Museum in Honour of the King’.

Royal Thai Police

Official name of the Thai Police Force, which has roughly 200,000 officers nationwide and in many divisions. READ ON.

Royal Thai Survey Department

Special branch of the Royal Thai Army that conducts land and aerial survey, geodesy and geophysics works in Thailand. READ ON.

Royal Turf Club

Name of a grandstand and horse racetrack in Bangkok, which was established by King Rama VI in 1916, after his father King Chulalongkorn had introduced horse racing to Thailand, after he had come back from his 1897 European tour. The name Royal Turf Club derives from the surface on which the races are run on, i.e. turf. The racetrack is still in use today (fig.), with thoroughbred races taking place every fortnight, as the venue alternates between the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (fig.) and the Royal Turf Club. The Royal Turf Club is located in the Dusit area, and is in Thai known as racha trinnamai samahkhom.

royal relaxation-position

An asana or position of the leg of some gods in Hinduism in which the right leg is bent with the foot standing flat on the ground and the other leg dangling. Sometimes the right arm rests with the elbow on the right knee.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony

An ancient brahman custom that in 1960 was reinstated by king Bhumipon and marks the beginning of the rice planting season. In Thailand, this annual ritual is performed in the second week of May on Sanam Luang in presence of the king or his envoy. Before the start of the ceremony several grains of rice are carefully selected, usually by the king himself (fig.). Royal oxen then symbolically pull a plough led by two brahmans who sprinkle the soil with holy water followed by two pairs of men holding a silver and golden bowl sowing the rice (fig.). The plough makes three circles and then the oxen are served seven banana leaf food baskets containing rice, corn, beans, sesame seeds, grass, water and liqueur, respectively. According to which basket the oxen eat from the future for the coming year is forecast by a soothsayer. After the ceremony onlookers often collect the grains of rice which they take home as lucky charms (fig.). It also refers to a scene in the life of the historical Buddha when he retreated to meditate under a tree during the Ploughing Ceremony at the age of seven and when he for the first time experienced the suffering of another being, i.e. a worm that was accidently cut in two by the ploughshare, and which initiated his search to end all suffering in the world. In Thai this day is called Wan Pheut Mongkon. See also raeknakwan.

Ruak (รวก)

Thai. Name of a river, that forms the natural border between Mae Sai in Chiang Rai Province and the town of Tachileik in Burma. It is named after a species of small bamboo. See also ruak.

ruak (รวก)

Thai name for a species of small bamboo. See also Ruak.

rubber

Tough elastic substance which is obtained from the latex of the rubber tree. Its name was bestowed by the British scientist Joseph Priestley after he discovered its ability to erase or ‘rub out’ pencil marks. READ ON.

rubber tree

Tropical tree yielding latex of the genus Hevea brasiliensis, classified under the family of Dipterocarpus alatus. Crude rubber is one of Thailand's main export products and is obtained by making diagonal cuts (fig.) in the trunk of a rubber tree causing it to ‘bleed’ (fig.), a process called ‘rubber tapping’. The tree bears fawn seed pods that consist of three circularly arranged compartments, that each contain a single auburn seed (fig.). Also called para rubber tree or latex tree and in Thailand ton yahng.

ruby

See thabthim.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird

Common name for a species of bird, with the scientific name Anthreptes singalensis and of which there are several subspecies. It belongs to the Nectariniidae family and is found in large parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, where it is known as nok kin plih kaem sih thabthim. It is about 10.5 to 11 centimeters tall and the male has bluish green upperparts, a yellow belly and vent, and an orangey to orange-rufous throat and breast, which is more sharply demarcated in the subspecies Anthreptes singalensis koratensis, i.e. ‘from Korat’. The cheeks of the male are dark ruby (fig.). Females (fig.) lack this ruby cheek patches and are greenish olive above (fig.). Juveniles are similar to females, but are yellower below. Its natural habitats are mangrove forests and broadleaved forests, to a height of about 1,370 meters. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Ruddy Shelduck

Common name for a 61 to 67 centimeter tall bird in the duck family Anatidae, with the scientific name Tadorna ferruginea. Adults are largely orange-rufous, with a creamy-buff head, white wings with black flight feathers (fig.), and a black bill, legs and webbed feet. Both sexes are similar, but females have a paler head with a whiter face and the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck, which is somewhat fainter or absent outside the breeding season. Juveniles are similar to females, but the head and underparts are duller and strongly washed greyish-brown (fig.). Mostly migratory, Ruddy Shelducks cover a wide range, from northwestern Africa and southeastern Europe, across Asia to Southeast Asia. In Thai, this duck is known as pet Pa-mah (เป็ดพม่า), meaning ‘Burmese duck’. See also Common Shelduck. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Rudra (रुद्र)

Sanskrit. ‘Howler’, ‘Wild One’ or ‘Terrible One’. Name of a Vedic deity whose many aspects are both benevolent and destructive, sometimes described as a Rigvedic storm god. He is chief of the Maruts and an earlier form of Shiva. He was born from between the eyes of Brahma and thus an abhava.

ruffled fan palm

Name of an ornamental fan palm reaching to 2.5 meters high. Its scientific name is Licuala grandis and in Thai it is called palm jihb, ‘crimped palm’.

Rufous-necked Hornbill

A species of hornbill with the scientific name Aceros nipalensis, found in parts of South and Southeast Asia, including Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, India, Myanmar, China (Yunnan), Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. With an average adult body size of about 117-120 centimeters, it rates among the largest of all hornbills, i.e. in the range of the Rhinoceros Hornbill (fig.) and the Great Hornbill (fig.). Males have a rufous neck, head and underparts, the latter sometimes with some dark patches on the belly and chest, whilst the upperside and wings are black, with white-tipped outer primaries. The tail is in part white, whereas the other, basal part, is black. The bill is pale yellowish-white, with vertical dark ridges (or sometimes a single dark patch) on the upper mandible, and almost no casque. It has blue orbital skin and a small gular pouch, which is red (or sometimes yellowish-orange, especially in birds with a a single dark patch on the upper mandible). Females are similar, but mostly black, with no rufous at all. In Thailand, it is found in the Northwest, specifically near the border with Burma, in an area that stretches from Tak to Mae Hong Son. In Thai, it is known as nok ngeuak kho daeng (นกเงือกคอแดง), i.e. ‘red-throated hornbill’.

Rufous Treepie

Common name for a species of bird in the crow family Corvidae, with the scientific designation Dendrocitta vagabunda. It has a mostly cinnamon body, with a dark brown to black head, a tawny-brown mantle, pale grey to white wing coverts, and black primaries. It has a long, black-tipped tail, which is grey above and white with black and rufous on the underside. The sexes are similar, yet there are several subspecies (fig.). The forms that occur in Thailand include Dendrocitta vagabunda saturatior, which is found in southern Thailand, Dendrocitta vagabunda kinneari, which is found in northwest Thailand, as well as in southern Myanmar, and Dendrocitta vagabunda sakeratensis, which occurs in eastern Thailand and Indochina. In Thai, it is generally known as nok kaling khiad. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Rui Shi (瑞狮)

Chinese. ‘Auspicious lions’. Decorative statues of two lions, always presented in pairs, that stand guard at building entrances, with the female on the left and the male on the right. They originally stood in front of Chinese imperial buildings such as palaces and temples, and are traditionally carved from expensive materials such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron. Although there are many variations, the male lion generally has his right paw on only a ball with a flower-like pattern, often shaped as a three-dimensional Flower of Life (fig.), whereas the female is usually in the company of a single cub (fig.), sometimes held under her left paw. In some styles each of the lions has a large ball in its partially opened mouth which is sized small enough to be rolled from one side to another within the lion's mouth, yet too large to be be removed. If so, it is believed to bring good luck to twirl the ball round before one steps into the building the lions are placed at. Rui Shi are sometimes referred to as Fu Shi and Imperial Guardian Lions, and considered to be the guardians of knowledge, which is represented in the ball they guard under their paw. See also Bi Xie (fig.). In Thai, they are referred to as Singtoh Jihn.

rukamoon (รุกขมูล)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘To take to or stay in the jungle’. It is said of monks when they take to the jungle to meditate or stay. They then sleep and meditate under a klot. See also wat pah and thudong.

Rukmini (रुक्मिणी)

The principal wife of Krishna. See also Lakshmi.

rung (รุ้ง)

Thai for ‘rainbow’. In Thai mythology the rainbow is known as Inthanu, based on Hindu tradition where it is called Indradhanus, meaning the bow of Indra, the god of heavens and weather. Nowadays, natural rainbows officially have seven colours, i.e. red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, but originally only five primary colours were named, not including orange and indigo. However, the range of colours in a rainbow expand on an either edge to include colours that are not visible with the human eye, and which are known as infrared on the red side and as ultraviolet on the violet side. Besides the arch of colours formed in the sky, the rainbow is also the worldwide symbol of the gay community, symbolizing diversity. The gay symbol uses only six colours, omitting indigo (fig.). As a flag, known as thong rung (ธงรุ้ง) in Thai, the six coloured stripes of the gay symbol are displayed with red on top or to the left, the same as the colours appear in a natural rainbow, but is often found used upside-down (fig.). In Chinese it has many names but is usually called cai hong (彩虹), a compound with cai (彩) meaning ‘(bright) colour’ or ‘variety’ and hong, which can also be pronounced jiang (虹) and meaning ‘rainbow’. In Chinese mythology, the rainbow is a slit in the wall of heaven sealed by the goddess Nuwa (女娲), the female creator of mankind, using stones of five different colours, and the Taoist child-deity Nezha (fig.), in some legends has the ability to spit rainbows. In the Bible, in the story described in Genesis 9:13-16, God refers to the rainbow as his sign to symbolize the covenant between himself and the earth, that never again the waters will become a flood to destroy all life on earth. Although not completely the same or in the same sequence, the seven colours of the rainbow are also reminiscent of the sih prajam wan, the system in Thailand in which each day of the week corresponds with a certain colour, i.e. (starting with Sunday) red, yellow, pink, green, orange, blue and purple (violet). Also named rung kin nahm (รุ้งกินน้ำ), literally the ‘spectrum that drinks water’ and saai rung (สายรุ้ง), meaning ‘river of colours’. See also Prasat Phanom Rung and POSTAGE STAMP.

Rusty-cheeked Hornbill

Common name for a species of hornbill (fig.), with the scientific names Ptilolaemus tickelli and Anorrhinus tickelli, and also commonly known as the Brown Hornbill or Tickell's Brown Hornbill. This medium-sized hornbill is about 60–65 cm in length and has dark chestnut upperparts and reddish-brown underparts, and a white tail tip, whilst males have brighter rufous or rusty-coloured cheeks and throat. It inhabits evergreen and deciduous forest, from the foothills to an altitude of around 1,500 meters, and in Thailand it occurs in the North and the East. The Austen's Brown Hornbill is sometimes listed as a subspecies of the Tickell's Brown Hornbill, which is also commonly referred to as just Brown Hornbill. In Thai, this bird is known as nok ngeuak sih nahm tahn (นกเงือกสีน้ำตาล), i.e. Brown Hornbill.

Rusty Pierrot

Name of a species of small butterfly, with the scientific designation Tarucus nara. It belongs to the family Lycaenidae, i.e. the family of Blues. The male has dark purplish-blue upperwings, whilst the female's upperwings are dark with bluish-white markings in a pattern that more or less correspondent to the rusty, dark brownish-black markings of the underwings. The markings of the underwings also include some bluish-grey ocelli. It has a white body, with rusty, dark brownish-black bands on the back. It is very similar to the Rounded Pierrot (Tarucus extricatus), but the latter has black markings on the underwings and black bands on the back of the otherwise white body. This butterfly is also known as Striped Pierrot.

ruyi (如意)

Chinese. ‘As you wish’. Name for an ancient scepter-like object, which shape is believed to have derived from that of the lotus flower (fig.), a sacred flower in both Buddhism and Hinduism, and which symbolizes Enlightenment. Some sources, however, assert that the object derived from a household backscratcher. Nonetheless, it became a symbol of power and was in the past used only by emperors and high ranking government officials, though it is also found in religious iconography, mainly as an attribute of Chinese deities, such as Budai (fig.), the gods Hok Lok Siw, etc. It is believed to enhance fortune and success from endeavours in about every field. It is usually made from valuable materials such as carved jade or brass, etc. and is sometimes decorated with auspicious figures from Chinese mythology, including Peaches of Immortality (fig.), bats, trigrams, etc. It is seen as a leading tool for business people and people in high placed jobs and in command over numerous subordinates. It today also exists as an amulet (fig.), carried around in briefcases or the pockets of business suits of high-level managers, company directors, etc.