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haan (ҹ)

Thai for goose, the large aquatic bird with webbed feet and a broad bill with knob, which flesh is often used as food. In Thai iconography, the mythological swan Hamsa, the mount of Brahma, is often depicted as a sacred goose or gander (fig.), its flight indicating the connection between the water-world and the heavens. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

haang hod (ҧδ)

Thai. Isaan name for an about 6 sok long, wooden, narrow and open receptacle (fig.), used to gather and pour perfumed rain water over the head, neck and back of Buddhist monks, in a promotion ceremony, known as kong hod. This ceremonial, adorned, trough-like receptacle is typically cut from tropical hardwood and made in the form of a naga, the protector of both the waters and Buddhism. The water runs through the channel of the receptacle, from the tail end down to the head of the naga, where the channel ends in a hole, under which the monks take place. In the Northeast, it is also known as haang song nahm (ҧç), haang lin (ҧԹ), and raang rod (ҧô), and in the North it is called hin hod nahm, or rod nahm (ô).

haang hong (ҧ˧)

1. Thai for hang hongse.

2. Thai. Swan's tail. An epithet for the hibiscus schizopetalus.

haang jorakae (ҧ)

Thai. Crocodile's tail. Thai name for a species of succulent plant with thick, lance-shaped leaves and with the botanical names Aloe vera and Aloe barbadensis. READ ON.

haang nok yoong farang (ҧ٧)

Thai. ‘Foreign peafowl tail’. A name for the Flame Tree, besides nok yoong farang.

haan hua laai (ҹ)

Thai. Bar-headed Goose.

Hadj (الحجّ)

Arabic. Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the third pillar of Islam, which every devout Muslim seeks to make at least once in his lifetime. After having made this pilgrimage, Muslim men are allowed to indicate this accomplishment by dyeing their hair orangey-red using henna (fig.), as Muslim men aren't allowed to dye their hair unless they use henna, or by wearing a white prayer cap called taqiyah (fig.).

hadsadie (หัสดี)

Thai. Elephant. See Asian Elephant. Also hadsadin.

hadsadin (หัสดิน)

Thai. Another name for hadsadie.

hadtie (หัตถี)

Thai. Another word for an elephant, as in yutthahadtie, war elephant. Compare with hadsadie.

haegun (แฮกึ้น)

Chinese-Thai. Name of a Chinese snack made from pure shrimp and similar to hoi jaw hong kong.

haemorrhagic fever

Name of an tropical fever, transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, in Thai known as yung laai bahn, if it is itself infected by the dengue virus. The disease is characterized by fever and severe headaches accompanied with a rash and in a progressed condition may cause bleeding from openings in the body. Its name is derived from the Greek words haima (blood) and rhegnumi (burst), due to ruptured blood vessels. In Thai, it is called khai leuad awk. Also spelled hemorrhagic fever and sometimes dengue hemorrhagic fever. See also malaria.

haew ()

Thai. Official and original name for the Chinese water chestnut (fig.), but since the name also means to be disappointed, it was almost jokingly changed to somwang, which literally means to live up to one's expectation.

Hahd Thai Meuang (Ҵͧ)

Thai. Thai Meuang Beach. Name of a sandy beach in Phang Nga Province, that is part of Khao Lam Pi─Hahd Thai Meuang National Park, covering an area of about 72 km². The beach is renowned as a nesting site for sea turtles, and where traditional conservation events are held, including the release of baby turtles back into the sea at specific times of the year. Additionally, the park rangers tasked with safeguarding the nesting ground and the baby turtles every night, in order to prevent hunters and wild animals from capturing them. The beachside promenade features a large statue of some Hawksbill Sea Turtles swimming out into the sea, leaving their eggs behind on the beach, conveying the message of the beach's significance. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (EN).

hahm samut (ห้ามสมุทร)

See pahng hahm samut.

hahm yaht (ห้ามญาติ)

See pahng hahm yaht.

Hai Chan Zi (海蟾子)

See Liu Hai.

Haimavati (हैमवति)

Sanskrit. Born from the Himalayas. One of the benevolent forms of Devi, Shiva's consort. She is also referred to as the daughter of Himavaan, in Thai called Himaphan.

Hairy Eggplant

See makheua poo.

Ha Jiang (哈将)

Chinese. Yawning General, Breathing General or Laughing General. Name of a muscular, fierce-looking guardian of the Buddha, often found as a door guardian at Mahayana Buddhist and Taoist temple entrances across Asia, including in China, Japan and Korea. He is typically paired with Heng Jiang (fig.), i.e. the Snorting General, who is usually placed to the opposite side of Ha Jiang, one facing the other. Both are said to be manifestations of the bodhisattva Vajrapani (fig.). In iconography, they are differentiated by the fact that General Ha is always depicted with is mouth open, while General Heng his mouth is closed. Together, they are in Chinese known as Heng Ha Er Jiang (哼哈二将), literally the  Two Generals Heng (Groaning) [and] Ha (Yawning), though in Japan they are referred to by the term Ni-Ou (仁王), which is generally transliterated Nio and translates as Benevolent Rulers. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

Hakka (客家)

1. Hakka-Chinese. Name of a subgroup of the Han Chinese people who live predominantly in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong (Kwangtung - 广东 - Spread East), Jiangxi (江西 - West [of the] River) and Fujian (福建 - Establish Happiness). Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic Chinese of which 16% are Hakka. Thaksin Shinawat (ѡԳ Թѵ), Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, as well as Abhisit Vetchachiva (Է ǪҪ), since 2005 the leader of the Democrat Party, are both prominent Hakka personalities. In Mandarin the Hakka are known as Ke Jia, meaning Home Visitor or Guest.

2. Hakka-Chinese. Name of one of the main branches of the Chinese language, spoken predominantly in southern China by the Hakka ethnic group and emigrants throughout the world, especially in East and Southeast Asia. In Thailand this dialect is spoken by 16% of the  ethnic Chinese. In Mandarin known as Ke Jia.

halawa ()

Burmese-Thai. A Thai Yai sweet from the province of Tak, cooked from rice flour, granulated sugar, coconut milk and tapioca, and topped with coconut cream. The word is derived from Burmese, which itself comes from the Arab words halva (حلوى) and halawa (حلاوة), meaning sweet, candy or confection and sweet or sweetness respectively, and refers to many types of dense, sweet, either flour, nut, butter or sesame based confections, served across the Middle East, Central and South Asia, amongst others.

half lotus position

Name for the asana or seated position in iconography, in which the right foot rests on the left thighbone and the left foot is placed under the right thigh. Buddha images with a bhumisparsa mudra in Thai style are usually seated in this pose, whilst Buddha images with the same mudra in Burmese style are usually seated in full lotus position (fig.). Sometimes also called yoga position. See also virasana (fig.).

Hall of Opium

Name of a museum and royal project of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation in Chiang Rai, near the Golden Triangle. READ ON.


Botanical generic term for salt-tolerant plants that grows in soil or waters of high salinity, such as those growing in saline or brackish environments, such as seashores, like mangroves, for example. The term etymologically derives from the Greek words halas (ἅλας), meaning salt, and phyton/futon (φυτόν), which translates as plant.

Hammerhead Worm

Common generic name for a genus of land flatworms. READ ON.


See ple yuan.

Hampi (ಹಂಪೆ, हम्पी)

Kannada-Hindi. An important Hindu centre founded in the 14th century which was for more than two hundred years the seat of the Vijayanagara Empire. Today vast ruins are still found on the right bank of the river Tungbhadra in South India.

Hamsa (हंस)

Sanskrit. A sacred swan, goose (haan) or gander (fig.), and the vahana of the Hindu god Brahma, and thus often identified with brahman, i.e. the supreme spirit. Its flight indicates the connection between the aquatic world and the heavens, and hence represents perfect union, balance and life, as well as a symbol for the escape from the cycle of samsara, and just as the swan lives on water without wetting its feathers, it symbolizes how one should live in this material world full of maya, without being spoiled by its illusionary nature. Etymologically, when inverted the name hamsa becomes saham, which in Sanskrit refers to the oneness of the created and the divine. The Hamsa is said to feed on pearls and milk, the latter which it purportedly acquires and transforms out of ordinary water. The goddess Sarasvati is occasionally represented in the company of one or more geese (fig.), sometimes described to be also her mount, as well as that of Varuna. In Pali, it is called hongse, which in Thai is pronounced hong. It is frequently seen in Buddhist iconography, especially in Myanmar, where it is known as hintha. It is typically represented with a kranok-shaped tail, from which the architectural term haang hong or hang hongse derives (fig.). Besides a long, rather slender bill, it also has two sets of tiny fangs along the side of the beak, one set near the base, the other located somewhere near the middle (fig.). See also Hamsa and jai, as well as THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16) and (17).

Hamsa (خمسة‎, חמסה)

Arabic-Hebrew. Name for a symbol consisting of a hand that contains the motif of an eye which is believed to ward off evil, or the evil eye, and used as amulet. By Muslims it is also known as the hand (or eye) of Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, and by Jews as the hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. Some associate the meaning of the five fingers to the five books of the Torah for Jews, or to the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunni Muslims (the Shi'ite sect submit to eight precepts). See also adrishti and Hamsa.

Handmaiden Moth

Common name for a species of Wasp Moth (fig.), known by several scientific designations, including Syntomoides imaon and Sphinx imaon, whereas the true wasp moth is known by the scientific names Syntomis huebneri and Amata huebneri (fig.). The Handmaiden Moth has a black and slender abdomen with two yellowish bands (fig.) and transparent wings with thick black edges along the veins that even fill some of the cells. There is also some yellowish colour near the head, including the collar. Also commonly known as Tiger Grass Borer.

hang hongse (ҧ˧)

Thai-Sanskrit. Tail of a hongse or swan's tail. The antefix on some Buddhist temples in Thailand generally at the lower end of a bai raka curling upward like an ornamental tail. Most temple roofs show a combination of a chofa and bai raka with a hang hongse (fig.). In Thai pronounced haang hong. Compare with naakbeuang (fig.).

hang pao ()

Thai for hong bao.

Hangshi (行什)

Chinese. Ranks tenth. Name of a sword-wielding, monkey-faced immortal guardian that wards off demons. He is an additional rooftop figure added to the generally maximum nine figures that make up the Chinese Imperial roof decorations (fig.) at the Emperor's Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City (fig.).

Ha Nhi

Name of an ethnic group of people, whose members live in the northern Vietnamese provinces of Lai Chau and Lao Cai. READ ON.

Han Hsiang Tzu (韩湘子)

Chinese. Name of one of the Eight Immortals (fig.), who was the nephew of Han Yu, a prominent poet and statesman of the Tang dynasty whom he tried to persuade to renounce his political career and pursue Tao instead. He has a magical flute that has the ability to give life and produces music that can make flowers bloom in the twinkling of an eye and soothe wild animals. In his effort to convince his uncle to abandon his life of officialdom and to study Tao, Han Hsiang Tzui performed some miracles, such as filling a goblet with excellent wine, pouring out cup after cup from a gourd without end, using the power of Tao, as well as predicting events that would occur in his uncle's life, all of which would later come true. His mount is a Common Crane or sometimes a buffalo (fig.). He is also known as Han Xiangzi and usually referred to as the Philosopher Han Hsiang, also transcribed Han Xiang. Being portrayed as a youthful boy playing a flute he is often reminiscent of some depictions of Krishna (fig.), who is a master of the bansuri, an northern Indian, bamboo flute. Compare his magical flute also with that of Phra Aphaimanih (fig.).


People and highland tribe in Yunnan, also known as Haoni or Aini. They are related to the Akha in Thailand and in other parts of Southeast Asia. The Hani traditionally were semi-nomadic and made a living from slash-and-burn agriculture, and were previously involved in the opium trade around the Golden Triangle. In China, they live mainly in southern Yunnan, between the Hong He and Mae Khong Rivers.

Hansawati (ဟံသာဝတဳ, ဟံသာဝတီ)

Mon-Burmese name for Hongsawadih, also transliterated Hanthavati.


See Hongsawadih.

Hanuman (नुमान्, หนุมาน)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. The son of Vayu, the god of wind, in Thai known as Sawaha and Phra Phai. He is the albino half-god monkey who assisted Rama in his battle against Ravana in the Indian epic Ramayana, as well as in the Thai Ramakien. He is depicted with a white complexion (fig.) and has a diamond in the middle of his palate. He usually wears a golden crown, known as kabang, except when he is depicted as ruler and wears a cone-shaped crown called chadah (fig.). He is the king of the monkeys and a general who has magical powers. When performing his miraculous powers, he is depicted in khon with a mask with four faces and referred to as Hanuman phlaengrit (fig.). When he is depicted with four arms, he is referred to as Hanuman sih kon (fig.). His yawn can produce moons and stars and he is able to enlarge himself, an ability called Hanuman minit kaay (fig.). His personal weapon is a diamond trident, which he uses to combat important adversaries, and his consort is a mermaid queen named Suphanamatcha (fig.), with whom he begot a son called Madchanu (fig.). In India, his weapon is a gada (fig.). He is also referred to as Wayubud, i.e. Son of Vayu. He is the counterpart of a black monkey called Nilaphat (fig.). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1) and (2).

2. Sanskrit-Thai. Monkey from East India.

3. Thai. Name of a small, ca. 25 km long river in eastern Thailand, that merges with the Phra Prong (лç) River and the Prajan Takhaam (Шѹ) River, to form the Prachinburi River.

Hanuman minit kaay (˹ҹԹԵ)

Thai term for Hanuman (fig.), the monkey-general, when he magically enlarges his body. In the Ramakien, he does this on several occasions, most famously in an effort to protect Phra Ram's (fig.) by hiding his pavilion in his mouth, when the latter had had a bad dream in which it was foretold that danger would come with the night, and again at the occasion when he uses his tail to form a bridge for his army to cross a river (fig.), during his search for the hermit Phra Chadil, who could show them the way to Longka, though in the Reamker, i.e. the Khmer version of the Ramayana, he is portrayed using his entire body (fig.). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Hanuman phlaengrit (˹ҹŧķ)

Thai term for Hanuman (fig.), the monkey-general, when he shows his miraculous powers. In khon (fig.), he is then represented by a dancer wearing a khon mask of Hanuman with four faces, i.e. his normal frontal face and three smaller faces at the back of his lower head. Similar representations also exist in other art forms, such as murals. See also Jaturamuk. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Hanuman sih kon (˹ҹ)

Thai term for Hanuman (fig.), the white-furred monkey-general, when he is depicted with four arms, usually holding a different attribute or weapon in each hand, often a sword, a trident, a conch and a chakra. In the reign of King Rama IV (fig.), when the predecessor of the Royal Thai Police was initially being established as an organizational structure, the seal or symbol of that initial police force featured an image of Hanuman sih kon. Also transliterated Hanuman si gorn, Hanuman see gon, or similar. See also Chaturbuja. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

hao chang (Ҫҧ)

Thai. Barking elephant. Name for the Rough-necked Monitor.

Happiness Ball

See Family Ball.

Hara (हर)

Sanskrit. A name for Shiva.


Name given to an early civilization that existed in the Indus valley between 2300 and 1750 BC, derived from its most important city Harappa (हड़प्पा). Other important settlements were Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan. Its most significant surviving artifacts include miniature stone sculptures and numerous terracotta and bronze figurines.


Women's lodgings in a Muslim residence.

Hari (हरि)

Sanskrit. A name for Vishnu.

Harihara (रिहर, หริหระ)

Sanskrit-Thai. A Hindu deity that derives its name and characteristics from both Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara), and is a combination of these two gods. Usually depicted with Vishnu's crown on one side of his head and Shiva's jata (plaited hair) on the other (fig.). He also holds the main attributes of both gods.

Haripunchai (หริภุญไชย)

1. Thai. Name of a Mon city in northern Thailand (now Lamphun), founded in 661 AD by Buddhist devotees. In 1281, it was conquered by King Mengrai and incorporated into the kingdom of Lan Na. The term hari is in this context said to be another word for sa-moh, i.e. a gall-nut or cherry plum, whereas the word punchai means kin (Թ) or the rajasap form for it, i.e. saweuy (), meaning  to eat. The name Haripunchai is thus understood to mean: sataanthi phraputthachao song prathab saweuy  samoh (ʶҹоطҷçзѺ), which freely translates as the place where the Buddha sat and ate a gall-nut, and goes back to an episode in the life of the Buddha. MORE ON THIS.

2. Thai. Influential art style between the 11th and 13th centuries AD, named after the Mon city Haripunchai in northern Thailand. Its characteristics are simple but elegant.

3. Thai. Name of a Boeing 747-400 in the fleet of Thai Airways International, which was given its name by King Bhumiphon. To mark the King's Sixth Birthday Cycle Celebrations in 2000, the aircraft had the Golden Swan Royal Barge, i.e. the King's personal barge, in Thai named Reua Phra Thihnang Suphanahong (fig.), painted on its body. Like this, it appears on the third of a set of four Thai postage stamps issued in 2010 on the occasion of the airline's 50th birthday anniversary (fig.).

Har-Mandir Saheb (ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ)

Punjabi term for the Golden Temple.


Keyboard instrument in which the notes are produced by air driven through metal reeds. The organ-like instrument is widely used in southern Asia, after missionaries in the middle of the 19th century introduced French-made hand-pumped harmoniums to India, from where it spread to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Today, it is used in many genres of Indian music, as well as in the Hindu and Sikh religions, whose followers use it to accompany their devotional songs.

Hatinh Langur

Common name for a species of Leaf Monkey with the scientific name Trachypithecus hatinhensis. READ ON.

haveli (हवेली)

Hindi. Term derived from a Persian-Arabic word that means enclosed place and which is used for a traditional Islamic-style private mansion, with an interior garden or courtyard, in India and Pakistan. Though in English literature, the Anglicized plural form havelis is often used, the correct Hindi plural form is actually haveliyaan (हवेलीयाँ). The term originated in Rajasthan, in the northern part of India, where the havelis (haveliyaan) are renowned for their decorative frescos, with images that depict stories from popular history and folklore, as well as scenes from religion (fig.). See MAP.

hawk moth

See mot yihaw.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Common name for a critically endangered species of sea turtle, with the scientific designation Eretmochelys imbricata. This turtle derives its common name from its sharply hooked, beak-like mouth (fig.), and is distinguished by its elongated, tapered head, and flippers that have two noticeable claws. Its carapace has serrated margins. Although this species is omnivorous, its most important food is sea sponges. Also Hawksbill Turtle. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (EN).

Hayagriva (हयग्रीव)

Sanskrit. Horse neck. Name for the horse-headed Hindu god of knowledge and wisdom, represented by a human body with the head of a horse. Though worshipped as a god in his own right, he is also considered to be an avatar of Vishnu, which is otherwise known as Vajimukha (fig.).

he (鹤)

Chinese for crane. The word is a homonym of he.

he (合)

Chinese. To combine, unite, join or to gather. The word is a homonym of he.

hed faang (紿ҧ)

Thai name for the paddy straw mushroom, a species of edible mushroom with the scientific name Volvariella volvacea. Its common English name drives from the fact that these mushrooms are grown on rice straw beds. They are cultivated throughout East and Southeast Asia, in subtropical climates with high annual rainfall, and used extensively in Thai cuisine. They are usually sold fresh and still immature, before the caps have opened, looking more like little balls than mushrooms, yet, when cut in half, one can see the mushroom-shape inside. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

hed hima ()

Thai. Snow fungus. Name for a species of white mushroom in the shimeji group, i.e. a group of edible mushrooms native to East Asia. They are also known in English as White Beech Mushroom, Snow-white Mushroom and White Clamshell Mushroom. They were developed in Japan from the Brown Beech Mushroom, which in Japan is known as Buna-shimeji, and were named Bunapi-shimeji.

hed hom ()

Thai. Fragrant mushroom. Name for the shiitake mushroom (fig.), an edible mushroom native to East Asia.

hed hoi nang rom khao (¹ҧ)

Thai. White shellfish oyster mushroom. Name for the edible White Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

hed hoo noo (เห็ดหูหนู)

1. Thai. Mouse-ear mushroom. Short name for a white, sponge-like mushroom, with the scientific name Tremella fuciformis, and in full called hed hoo noo khao, meaning white mouse-ear mushroom. It has a structure of ear-shaped frills. It is a type of jelly fungus and in English, it is known as Snow Fungus, White Fungus, White Jelly Mushroom and Silver tree-ear Fungus. It is used in Chinese cuisine.

2. Thai. Mouse-ear mushroom. Name for a species of fungus with a rubbery texture, commonly known by a numbert of names, including Wood Era, Jelly Ear, Jelly Fungus, Judas's Ear Fungus, and Jew's Ear, the latter being a translation from its scientific name Auricularia auricula-judae, which relates to the fact that it is suggestive of a human ear and grows on dead or elder trees, which is reminiscent of the apostle Judas, who hanged himself on an old tree. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

hed lin jeu daeng (เห็ดหลินจือแดง)

Thai-Chinese. Red lin jeu (lin zhi) mushroom. Name for the reishi mushroom, a high-priced, brownish-red, bracket fungus or shelf fungus, i.e. a mushroom with the scientific name Ganoderma lucidum. Dried and cut into slices it is used as a herb in Chinese traditional medicine (fig.). People in the Orient have used it for over 2,000 years to increase longevity and to boost the immune system, as well as for various other health stimulating effects. It reportedly also induces a non-narcotic feeling of well-being. It is traditionally used fresh or dried in teas and soups. The dried mushrooms are often bean-shaped and have a prepossessing, varnish-like appearance. Hence, they are sometimes used in dried flower and seedpod arrangements. Its inside has a somewhat woody structure. In China, this mushroom is called ling zhi, i.e. mushroom of immortality. Reishi mushrooms are not found in the wild in Thailand, but they somewhat similar in appearance to Turkey Tail mushrooms (fig.).

hed pao heua ()

Thai. Abalone mushroom. Name for the Abalone Mushroom (Pleurotus cystidiosus), which is edible and named after a kind of mollusc. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

hed pluak (紻ǡ)

Thai. Termite mushroom. Common Thai name for an edible species of wild mushroom, found near termite mounds and with the scientific designations Termitomyces albiceps and Termitomyces fuliginosus. It is claimed that eating this mushroom is beneficial for the brain and memory. In Thai, this mushroom is also known as hed kha kai (索), due to to the fact that it is an ingredient in the soup-like dish tom kha kai, and as hed kohn (⤹). The appellation termite mushroom derives from the fact that these wild mushrooms are a symbiotic fungi, which can only exist with the help of termites, as they sprout from the burrows created by winged termites, known in Thai as maeng mao (fig.), when they fly out to start a new colony, usually during rainfall or in the wet season.

heed sib song (յԺͧ)

See hihd sip song.

Hei Bai Wu Chang (黑白无常)

Chinese. ‘Black [and] White Impermanence. Name of a pair of Chinese Hell Guards. READ ON.

Hei Wu Chang (黑无常)

Chinese. ‘Black Impermanence. Name of a Chinese Hell Guard. READ ON.

Helianthus tuberosus

See kaen tawan.


Latin-English. Tropical plant with bracts in bright exotic colours enclosing the relatively small flowers. The bracts can be red, yellow or orange, or scarlet red with a yellow or green rim, or with bright red or bright yellow. The flowers occur both pendant and growing upward and the plant has long spoon shaped leaves with a length of up to 1.8 meter. Though many of the names and nicknames are often used interchangeably with other genera, or as a synonym, amongst the different species are Heliconia rostrata and Heliconia velutina (Fishtail Heliconia - fig.); Heliconia bihai (Large or Big Lobster Claw), Heliconia humilis (Firebird), Heliconia caribea and Heliconia collinsiana (Hanging Heliconia); Heliconia psittacorum (Parrot Flower), Heliconia stricta (Small Lobster Claw - fig.); Heliconia wagneriana (Rainbow Heliconia), etc.

Heliotrope Moth

Common name for a 2.5 centimeter sized tiger moth, with the scientific designation Utetheisa pulchelloides. READ ON.


See narok.

hell banknote

See ming bi.

Hellfire Pass Interpretive Centre

Since end 2018 the official name for the Hellfire Pass Memorial, in full referred to as Hellfire Pass Interpretive Centre and Memorial Walking Trail (fig.). In Thai, the new name is Soon Prawatisaht Chong Khao Khahd (ٹѵʵͧҢҴ), which translates Hellfire Pass Historical Centre. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Hellfire Pass Memorial

Memorial in Kanchanaburi built by the Australian Government's Department of Veteran's Affairs and dedicated to those Allied prisoners of war (POWs), Australian and other, as well as the Asian labourers who suffered and died in the Asia Pacific region during WW II, especially those working on the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The memorial features a museum and 4.5 kms of walking trail.  The conservation of this historic site is the result of a proposal to the Australian Government by Mr. Morris, a former Australian Corporal and POW who worked on the Thailand-Burma Railway during WWII. The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, in Thai known as Anuson Sathaan Chong Khao Khahd, was officially opened in April 1998. The name is derived from the Konyu Cutting, a place where POWs and Asian labourers worked punishing hours well into the night cutting a pass through earth and rock; the flickering bonfire light on the withered workers gave the place its name. The museum is situated around 80 kms northwest of Kanchanaburi town. In 2018, the museum received a complete overhaul and also the trail was refurbished with new pebbles on the bedding where the rail track once lay and new wide staircases and ramps that are leveled at intervals making the climb up less demanding, while also new interpretative panels have been provided at various locations of the walking trail. It reopened in late 2018 under the new name of Hellfire Pass Interpretive Centre and Memorial Walking Trail. See also Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Death Railway. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

hell money

See ming bi.

Helmeted Hornbill

Common name for a species of hornbill, with the scientific designation Rhinoplax vigil, and in Thai known as nok chon hin (Թ). It is mostly blackish with a  white belly, and legs, while the tail feathers are white with a black band near the tip. This species has a yellowish, rather high, but short casque, that runs from the forehead to halfway the bill, where it ends abruptly. It also has a bare, wrinkled throat patch, which is red in males and blue in females. This very large bird has a total length of around 170 centimetres, and occurs in the wild on the Malay Peninsula, from southern Thailand over mainland Malaysia, to the islands of Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sumatra, but is also very rare and listed as near-threatened, as it is hunted by the native people for its casque, which is used as a carving material referred to as hornbill ivory, whilst the tail feathers are used by some indigenous tribes to decorate headgear (fig.). This unique bird is said to show the features of some ancestral birds with dinosaurian characteristics, not found in other living birds.

Hemaraat (Ҫ)

Thai-Pali name of a mythological creature from Himaphan forest, that has the body of a lion and the head of either a swan, known in Thai as hong and in Sanskrit as hamsa, or as claimed by some, the head of a crocodile. The name Hemaraat is a mixture of the name Hema () and the word raat, the latter being a suffix meaning great, royal, regal, imperial and kingly, whereas Hema is said to be the name of yet another mythological creature in its own right, but which is not clearly identified. Perhaps the name is a corruption of Hima and short for Himaphan. If true, the name could mean King of Himaphan (forest), a likelihood if compared to other mythological animals that use the suffix -raat in their names, e.g. nagaraat, and the fact that the lion is often considered the king of the animals.


See ganchong.

Hem Wetchakon ( Ǫ)

Name of a 20th century Thai writer, painter and illustrator, who is best known for his illustrations on the covers of cheap pulp novels, which in turn have influenced many other Thai artists. READ ON.

heng (Χ)

Thai-Chinese. (Be) fortunate, lucky. Term to describe the custom of hitting products or goods for sale (or sometimes other things or people) with banknotes, usually received from the first sale of the day, known as kaai pradeum (), literally to sell to the first costumer of the day. It is done to invoke good luck in business and may also be performed after a very lucrative deal. It is often witnessed on markets.

Heng Jia (, )

Thai name the Thai name for the Magic Monkey or Monkey King from the story Journey to the West, who is also known as Sun Ngokong (ع˧ͤ), another Thai name that derives from Sun Wukong, its Chinese equivalent.

Heng Jiang (哼将)

Chinese. Groaning General or Snorting General. Name of a muscular, fierce-looking guardian of the Buddha, often found as a door guardian at Mahayana Buddhist and Taoist temple entrances across Asia, including in China, Japan and Korea. He is typically paired with Ha Jiang (fig.), i.e. the Yawning General, who is usually placed to the opposite side of Heng Jiang, one facing the other. Both are said to be manifestations of the bodhisattva Vajrapani (fig.). In iconography, they can be told apart by the fact that General Heng is always depicted with is mouth closed, while General Ha's mouth is open. Together, they are in Chinese known as Heng Ha Er Jiang (哼哈二将), literally the  Two Generals Heng (Groaning) [and] Ha (Yawning), though in Japan they are referred to by the term Ni-Ou (仁王), which is generally transliterated Nio and translates as Benevolent Rulers. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

Heng Ko (秡)

Thai-Chinese name of a Chinese performing art that came to Thailand about a century ago. READ ON.

hen kho kai thod (繢ʹ)

Thai. Fried chicken ligaments or fried chicken tendon. The full name for kho kai thod.


Name of a flowering plant with the botanical name Lawsonia inermis. From its tiny fruits a dye can be gained, which is also referred to as henna. READ ON.

Heortia vitessoides

Latin. Scientific designation for a moth, which is also known as Tyspana vitessoides. READ ON.

hera ()

Thai name for a dragon-like (fig.) mythological animal, which in architecture is often seen at the end of an arch. It has the body of a naga and its teeth meet its nostrils whilst often either another creature, a flower or flame-like motif emerges from its open mouth. See also Kraison Naga, a similar creature from Himaphan forest and compare with certain styles of Gajasingha (fig.). See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & PLACE NAMES.

Herapot (Ҿ)

Thai name for a magic and powerful arrow that occurs in the Ramakien. It is used as a weapon by the giant Banlaichak. See also Brahmastra.

he reua ()

Thai. Name for a song, which is sung while paddling a boat, in order to give rhythm to the crew. See also kaap he reua and Royal Barge Procession.


See the Thai term reusi, the Sanskrit rishi, the Burmese tapathi, and the Mon term ithi.

hermit crab

See poo se-shuan.

heroines of Phuket

The sisters Chan and Muk (fig.), officially known as Thep Krasatri and Sri Sunthon, who in 1785 safeguarded Phuket island against a Burmese invasion. Both women were born in Thalang as the daughters of the local governor Thongkham. When he died his post was taken by Phakphuthon, who was married to Chan and with the office of governor became a Phraya. However, in 1785 Phakphuthon suddenly died and before Bangkok could appoint a new governor, king Padung from Burma sent a fleet with an army of 3,000 men commanded by Yiwun to besiege the island. Without a ruler Chan and Muk took command and protected their city. After a battle of more than a month the Burmese troops were unsuccessful in conquering Thalang and when they started running out of supplies they retreated. For their courage both heroines were bestowed with the title of thao by King Rama I. According to a legend Chan and Muk ordered all women to cut their hair, dress in male clothes and make hit drums loudly, which gave Yiwun, the Burmese commander, the impression he was facing a superior number of troops and so called off the invasion. Such a strategy is known as the Beau Geste effect, and a similar tactic is also used by wolves to instigate uncertainty about the size of a pack.

Hevajra (Ѫ)

Tibetan-Thai. A protective god in Tantric Buddhism with the rank of a buddha. He has eight heads, sixteen arms, and two or four legs, and a third eye. In Cambodia and Thailand he is usually depicted in a dancing posture with his left leg crushing a demon and his right leg bent with the foot touching the left leg above the knee. See also Nataraja.

Hexarthrius parryi deyrollei

See duang kihm la-mang leuang.

hia ()

Thai name for a monitor lizard of the species Varanus salvator.

hia dam (´)

Thai. Black water lizard. A genus of monitor lizard with the English name Black Water Monitor (fig.).


Botanical name of a large genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants, woody shrubs and small trees with exquisite flowers. It belongs to the family Malvaceae and is native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The most commonly seen variety in Thailand is the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis or Chinese hibiscus and the Hibiscus schizopetalus or Japanese hibiscus, which is also known by its epithet Japanese lantern. A rather distinguished variety is the Hibiscus sabdariffa or roselle, of which a refreshing drink high in Vitamin C can be made by soaking its seed heads in boiling water. Depending on the variety it has different names in Thai, including chaba for the rosa-sinensis which has several different varieties, phu reua hong (˧), phu rahong (˧) or haang hong for the schizopetalus (fig.) and krajiab daeng for the sabdariffa (fig.). In the Ayutthaya Period any man or woman, who was caught in acts of infidelity or adultery, both that man or woman and his or her lover were put to shame by the plough, that is to say, both were tied to a yoke and made to plough paddy fields for three days. In this the woman was made to wear red hibiscus flowers behind both ears, as well as a garland of red hibiscus flowers on her head. Malaysian Borneo has taken the hibiscus as its symbol. The word hibiscus derives either from the Latin hibiscum or the Greek hibiskos (ιβίσκος), meaning marsh mallow and in English it is also known as rose mallow. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

hihd sip song (յԺͧ)

Thai. Customs or traditions of the twelve months. The word hihd is derived from jarihd which means custom or tradition, whereas sip song translates as twelve and refers to the twelve months of the year. It is the name used in Isaan for the twelve month cycle, in Thai known as praphenih sip song deuan, and in which traditionally a local festival or ceremony is celebrated usually on or around the day of the full moon. In Isaan these are boon khao kam, boon khaw jih, boon koon lahn, boon phrawet, boon song nahm, boon bang fai, boon sam-ha, boon khao pansa, boon khaw pradap din, boon khaw sahk, boon ouk pansa and boon kathin. Also transcribed heed sib song.

hijab (حجاب)

Arabic. Term for a cover, its root meaning to veil, cover, screen or to shelter, and it refers to the covering of both the head and body of Islamic women. In Islamic theology however, the word is given a much wider meaning and refers to modesty, privacy and morality, whereas the word for headscarf or veil used in the Koran, is khimar (fig.). Some women may extend the khimar and hijab with a niqab, a piece of cloth that also covers the face, often in addition to wearing gloves, thus completely covering the body (fig.). See also purdah.

Hijrah (هِجْرَة)

Arabic. Migration. The flight of the prophet Muhammad and the first Muslim community from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, the year from which the Muslim calendar is dated. Also transcribed Hijra.

Hill Grass Yellow

Common name for a species of small butterfly in the family Pieridae, with the scientific designation Eurema simulatrix tecmessa. It can best be identified by its yellow underside, where it characteristically has besides several brownish markings on the hindwings two cell spots, as well as a large, almost cleft, reddish-brown apical spot on the forewings. In Thai, this species is known as phi seua naen phu khao ().

Himalayan Bulbul

Common name for a species of bulbul in the family Pycnonotidae, with the scientific designation Pycnonotus leucogenys and found in southern Asia. It is easily recognized by its long brownish-grey recurved crest. In addition, this black-faced songbird has white ear-patches and a yellow vent (fig.). Otherwise, it has ashy grey upperparts, whilst the underparts are a lighter grey. In Thai, this bird is known as nok parod ngon kaem khao (ʹ˧͹), which translates as white-cheeked crested bulbul. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Himalayan Buzzard

See Common Buzzard.

Himalayan Flameback

Common name for a species of bird with the binomial name Dinopium shori and also commonly known as the Himalayan Goldenback. READ ON.

Himalayan Goral

Common name for a small ruminant, with the scientific name Naemorhedus goral. Both sexes have a grey or grey-brown coat, with tan lower legs, rough hairs and cylindrical, backward-curving horns, that can grow up to 18 centimeters in length. In addition, males have short manes on their necks. It is closely related to the Mainland Serow and has some subspecies. It was first discovered in the year 1825, in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, but its range once stretched far into the foothills of the Himalayas, with some individuals purportedly wandering as far South as Myanmar and northern Thailand. In 1973, the Thai Post issued a series of postage stamps with endangered and rare wild animals, including a stamp with illustrations of Himalayan Gorals (fig.). Also known as the Grey Goral.

Himalayan Griffon Vulture

Common name for an Old World vulture, with the scientific name Gyps himalayensis and belonging to the family Accipitridae. READ ON.

Himalayan Striped Squirrel

Name of a small squirrel with a body length of just 11 centimeters and an equally long tail. It has alternating cream and dark brown stripes on its back. These stripes are thick and bold and run from near the eye to the base of the tail, which is narrow and short-haired. The tips of its ears are white. It has the scientific name Tamiops macclellandi. It is also known as Burmese striped squirrel and in Thai called ka-len khon plaai hoo san (繢). It occurs from the Himalayas through northern Burma and southern China, to Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. In Thailand it ranges in the West, North and South, though there is a similar species, called ka-len khon plaai hoo yao (繢) and with the Latin name Tamiops rhodophii, which is found only in Isaan and has a slightly broader, outer cream stripe, on its back. Both species strongly resemble the darker and slightly larger Berdmore's Ground Squirrel (Menetes berdmorei), which in Thai is called kra-john (Ш͹), but which lacks the white ear tips, as well as the Northern Palm Squirrel, which is found in India and also has no white ear tufts (fig.). Its habitat consists of montane, forested areas usually above an altitude of 700 meters. Almost exclusively arboreal, it prefers big forests, fruit trees and coconut palms. Its dorsal striped pattern serves as an efficient camouflage on fissured tree trunks (fig.). Himalayan Striped Squirrels are very popular as pets (fig.).


The mountain range of the Himalayas. They are often mentioned in Buddhist stories as well as in the Ramayana and other texts. See MAP.

Himaphan (หิมพาน)

1. Thai. A mythical forest located in the Himalayas, below the heavens of the gods. It is often mentioned in Buddhist literature and inhabited by both real and mythical animals. Fabulous creatures include the Kinnara, Geson Singh, Sakun Kraison, Sang Praeng, Sing, Sakun Kraison, Kraison Paksah, Singha, Toh, Kraison Kaawih, Kraison Naga, Kraison Mangkon, Naga, Kunchon Warih, Warih Kunchon, Bantu Rajasih, and many more. Also called Himavat (Himawat), Himavan (Himawan), Himavah (Himawah), Himavaat (Himawaat), and Himavaan (Himawaan). Occasionally, either of these are spelled with a double m. See also POSTAGE STAMP, TRAVEL PICTURE (1) and (2), PANORAMA PICTURE, and WATCH VIDEO (1), (2), (3) and (4), and VIDEO (EN).

2. Thai. Name of the Thai god of Himaphan Forest, who is usually referred to as Phra Himaphan. When Phra Narai (fig.) incarnated as Phra Ram (fig.), Phra Himaphan took the avatar of Kohmut (fig.), in order to assist Rama in his battle against Totsakan (fig.).

himaphan (ҹ)

Shortened Thai name for cashew nuts and their tree of the genus Anacardium occidentale, which in full is called ma muang himaphan.

Himavah (หิมวา)

See Himaphan.

Himavaan (หิมวาน)

See Himaphan.

Himavan (หิมวัน, หิมวันต์)

See Himaphan.

Himavat (หิมวาต)

See Himaphan.

Hinayana (हीनयान)

Sanskrit. Lesser vehicle. A term used for Theravada Buddhism after the origin of Mahayana Buddhism, the greater vehicle. The Hinayana school of Buddhism is closest to the original teachings of the Buddha. At some point were several different sects of Hinayana Buddhism, but today only the Theravada school remains. It is practiced in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and uses Pali as its language.

hin bot yah (Թ)

Thai. Stone to ground medicine. A metate-like grinding slab or ground stone, i.e. a tool used by pharmacists and medical doctors of the past, to pulverize medicinal herbs. Though rare, it may still be used by present-day pharmacists that practice Chinese traditional medicine. It consists of a concave-shaped stone slab and a heavy, sometimes convex-shaped, stone roller. It is utilized in addition to a kreuang bot yah (fig.), which is used to cut the herbs, and a krok mortar and saak pestle (fig.), which are used to roughly crush the herbs a first time. The grinding slab is thus the last tool in an array of tools used to prepare herbal medicines, and is used to pulverize already cut and ground herbs into a much finer quality and usable size. It is sometimes found as an attribute with statues of doctors of the past (fig.), and in 1994 the tool was chosen to be on a set of three postage stamps commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Pharmacy in Thailand (fig.).

hing hoi ()

Thai. Firefly. Generic name for a type of winged beetle in the family Lampyridae. READ ON.

hing hoi chang (ªҧ)

Thai. Elephant fire beetle. Name for the net-winged beetle, a lightning bug of the genus Duliticola sp. and belonging to the family Lycidae. READ ON.


1. Follower of Hinduism.

2. Adjective meaning of Hindus or of Hinduism.


The main religion and social system in India. Followers, called Hindus, share a common belief in the law of karma, the transmigration of the soul, and the universal spirit or brahman. READ ON.

hin hod nahm (Թδ)

Northern Thai name for an about 6 sok long, wooden, narrow and open receptacle, used to gather and pour perfumed rain water over Buddha statues or over the head, neck and back of Buddhist monks, in a promotion ceremony, known as kong hod. This ceremonial, adorned, trough-like receptacle is typically cut from tropical hardwood and made in the form of a naga, the protector of both the waters and Buddhism (fig.). The water runs through the channel of the receptacle, from the tail end down to the head of the naga, where the channel ends in a hole, under which a Buddha statue is placed or a monk takes place. In the North it is also known as rod nahm (ô), and in Isaan it is called haang hod, haang song nahm (ҧç), haang lin (ҧԹ), and raang rod (ҧô). WATCH VIDEO.

Hin Sahm Wahn (Թ)

Thai. Three Whales Rock. Name of a group of three, bare, elongated, rock edges at Beung Kahn's Lion Mountain that in Thai is called Phu Singh, which especially when seen from above are reminiscent of a pod of three whales. READ ON.

hin sila kohn (ԹҤ͹)

Thai name for a kind of rock or stone that, as rumour has it, is found in river beds and in caves along the Mekhong River area. These rocks contain gemstones that are usually semi-translucent and known as phet phayanaag (fig.), which are believed to be sacred, posses mystical powers, and are said to protect their carrier from any peril of water. These generally prolate rounded gemstones are not embedded in the rocks but usually sit rather loosely in a cavity inside the rocks and may clatter when shaken. The naga-gems can be of any colour and in order to get to them the rocks need to be broken open with a hammer or stone pestle. When the crushed rocks are carefully scrutinized it seems that the area where the gems were buried the colour of the wall often differs from the rest, suggesting that the rocks have been manipulated and the gems have been inserted manually, and then closed-off with a different material. Some rocks also crumble so easily that it seems they rather resemble bricks and are more likely to have been artificially made from a material like or similar to clay.

hintha (ဟင်္သာ)

1. Burmese. A mythical bird in Myanmar, and the local equivalent of the Hamsa. This swan-like creature has been adopted as the symbol of the Mon people, who depict it on their flag (fig.), while two hintha birds, i.e. a female atop a male, is the symbol of Bago Region (fig.) and derives from a Buddhist legend in which the Buddha allegedly predicted the establishment of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom after he saw a female hintha bird sitting on the back of a male, some 1200 years earlier. The hintha is also used as the figurehead of the Karaweik, the ceremonial Pyigyimon royal barge (fig.), whilst a replica of this royal barge, known as the Hintha Barge (fig.), is used by the Intha people to transport the Hpaung Daw U Buddhas (fig.) during their annual procession on Inle Lake (fig.). Nearly all pagodas in Myanmar have a hintha pillar, i.e. a large freestanding column topped by a golden effigy of a hintha ‒usually made from gold-coloured tinplate‒ (fig.), erected at the base and adjacent to the main stupa. The hintha pillar is said to publicize peace, as this mythological bird is believed to be an earlier incarnation of the Buddha. In iconography, the hintha is often depicted with a ball hanging from its mouth, which might be a representation of both the sun and moon, that together are a symbol of Enlightenment (fig.); and sometimes with some object or some deity sitting on its back, e.g. a small chattra, as on the hintha pillar mentioned above; a smaller female hintha bird, as in the logo of Bago (fig.); a stupa, as in the shrine near the Mahazedi Pagoda in Bago (fig.); the Hindu goddess Sarasvati (fig.), etc. There is also a variant similar to a nok hadsadi (fig.), i.e. a mythical bird (nok) with the head of an elephant (hadsadi), in which a Hintha (fig.) is depicted with an elephant's head, and which could be referred to as Hintha-Hadsadi (fig.). See also opium weight, chintha and TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2) and (3).

2. Burmese name for the Brahminy Duck, i.e. the Ruddy Shelduck (fig.).

Hintha Barge

Name of a Karaweik-like replica of a royal barge in Myanmar, with the figurehead of a hintha bird (fig.). There are many replicas nationwide, some real boats with gold-coloured tinplate fashioned in the form of the hintha, others monuments made from brick or concrete (map - fig.), as well as from (or with) gold-coloured tinplate, and used purely as iconographical objects for cultural, religious or decorative purposes. Among the real vessels are those used by the Intha people to transport the Hpaung Daw U Buddhas (fig.) during the annual festival and procession on Inle Lake, i.e. four of the five Buddha images, as one always remains at the temple. During the festival, the barge is towed from to the villages and towns along the shores of the lake in a clockwise fashion, similar to a thaksinahwat. In 1965, the original barge capsized during a storm (fig.), causing the Buddha images to tumble into the lake. According to legend, one of the images could not be recovered, but on return to the monastery, the missing image was miraculously sitting in its place.

hin yam (ဟင်း ရမ်း)

Burmese. Name of an aquatic plant, with white cup-shaped flowers (fig.) that rise above the surface of water and elongated green leaves that float on the surface of the water, in a way somewhat reminiscent of water lilies (fig.), and are hence sometimes referred to as Burmese Lilies. In Myanmar, where this freshwater plant is endemic and found in shallow ponds and water basins, the flowers are gathered (fig.) and used in local cuisine.

Hiran (ѭ)

1. Thai. Silver, though it may in certain contexts also mean Gold. Name of an asoon or asura considered to be a guardian angel to several royals of the past, beginning with Prince Wachirawut (fig.) before he ascended the throne as King Rama VI, as well as to the present Princess Sirindhorn (fig.), a sister of King Rama X. The asure is usually referred to with the prefix Thao, and is also known as Thao Hiranhu (ѭ) and Thao Hiranpanasura, pronounced Hiranphanasoon (ѭ), and is depicted dressed in ancient robes and carrying a long walking stick. Compare with Hiranyak and Hiranyaksha. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

2. Thai. Name of an ancient Meuang in present-day Mae Sai District in Chiang Rai and formerly known as Vieng Phaan Kham (§ҹ).

Hiran Ngun Yahng (ѭԹҧ)

Thai. Name of an early northern Thai Meuang or Kingdom in present-day northern Thailand that existed from the 7th through 13th centuries AD and which was ruled by the kings of the Lawachakaraat Dynasty. It was originally centered on Hiran, formerly Vieng Phaan Kham (§ҹ), near today's Mae Sai District in Chiang Rai, yet in the 9th reign King Lao Khiang/Khriang (§/§) moved the royal court to Ngun Yahng (Թҧ), i.e. today's Chiang Saen, which at that time stretched through parts of modern Laos, north of Luang Prabang, i.e. Luang Phabang (ຫລວງພະບາງ - fig.), all the way  to Thaeng (ᶧ), i.e. modern Dien Bien Phu (Điện Biên Phủ - fig.) in Vietnam. In 638 AD, Lao Chong (Ǩ), a tribal chief in the area, gained the support of the King of Lavo, and became Hiran's first king. His dynasty ended in 1296, when King Mengrai (fig.), the son of the 24th Lawachakaraat King, Lao Meng (fig.), became the first ruler of the Lan Na Kingdom.

hiranyagarbha (हिरण्यगर्भ)

Sanskrit. Golden embryo, golden womb or golden egg, i.e. the Vedic uncreated, principle that underlies all creation, and which came out of the primal waters, as described in the Rigveda. First there was there was nothingness and darkness everywhere, and everything was in a state of sleep. Then Svayambhu, the Self-manifested Being arose and created the primordial waters into which he established the seed of creation. This seed turned into a golden egg, into which Svayambhu entered, and which then became known as Narayana (Vishnu), because it pervades the whole Universe. The golden egg brought all the gods as well as sacrifice with it, and the creator gods Vishvakarma, Prajapati and Brahma became associated with. In later myths it is also identified with Shiwa's cosmic dance, known as Nataraja (fig.) and which symbolizes creation, preservation and destruction at the same time. In China, a similar creation myth exists, featuring a black egg in which Pan Gu slept until he was born and started creation, using a chisel and hammer to  separate the top and bottom part of the egg, thus creating heaven and earth, as well as yin-yang. When Pan Gu died, his flesh became soil, his bones rock, his blood filled the rivers and seas. his limbs and body became the five major mountains in China, his hair became the stars, and from his sweat came the rain to nourish the land. His eyes became the sun and the moon, whilst from small creatures on his body humans were created. See also Egg of Brahma.

Hiranyak (ѹѡ)

Thai name for Hiranyaksha.

Hiranyakashipu (हिरण्‍यकशिपु)

Sanskrit. Golden-haired. Name of the brother of Hiranyaksha (fig.), whom was killed by the boar Varaha (fig.), the third avatar of Vishnu, for abducting the Earth and hiding it at the bottom of the cosmic ocean. Blaming Vishnu for his brother's death, Hiranyakashipu not only planned revenge, but also tried to prevent his son Prahlada, whose name means joy or happiness, from worshipping Vishnu. However, despite several warnings to his son, Prahlada continued his devotion to Vishnu and thus Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his son. But, the latter survived each attempt and was eventually saved by Vishnu, whilst Hiranyakashipu himself was killed by Narasimha (fig.), the fourth avatar of Vishnu, in the body of a man-lion (fig.).

Hiranyaksha (हिरण्‍याक्ष)

Sanskrit. Golden-eyed. Name of an asura or rakshasa, who was killed by the boar Varaha (fig.), the third avatar of Vishnu, for abducting the Earth and hiding it at the bottom of the cosmic ocean. Later, his brother Hiranyakashipu (fig.) would try to avenge him, but got himself killed by Narasimha, the fourth and next avatar of Vishnu, in the body of a man-lion (fig.). In Thailand, he is known as Hiranyak and −appearing in the stories that precedes the Ramakien he is also depicted in the murals of Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, in Bangkok (fig.). In the Thai dance drama named khon, he is depicted wearing a khon mask with a golden complexion (fig.). See also Hiran. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & PLACE NAMES.

hkray bain (ခရေပင်)

Burmese designation for the Star Flower Tree. The term is also used for a circular ornament with horizontal radiating beams (fig.), which is sometimes found just underneath the chattra or plih, i.e. the  multi-layered royal umbrella (fig.) atop a bell-shaped zedi, i.e. a pagoda enshrining sacred objects in Burma. Sometimes spelled hkray pain and also called hkya ra bain.

hkya ra bain (ချရားပင်)

Burmese. Another name for hkray bain. Also transliterated hkya ra pain. See Star Flower Tree.

Hmong (ม้ง)

Hill tribe people (fig.) in North Thailand (fig.), who are originally from Tibet or Mongolia and belong to the Sino-Tibetan language group of the Miao-Yao-Pateng family, which has several dialects. They established in Thailand more than a century ago and are now around 90,000 mainly divided in Blue Hmong (Hmong Njua - fig.) in the West and White Hmong (Hmong Doew) in the East of northern Thailand, and there are also Hmong in Vietnam (fig.). The women wear black jackets with an embroidered collar (fig.) and black puttees underneath a pleated batik skirt reaching to the knees, whilst the boys and men wear a short black waist-deep jacket with a double cuff, of which the outer one is usually a large embroidered flap. Their trouser are like a black pair of culottes. Also called Maew and in China (fig.) known as Miao. In Vietnam (fig.), the main subgroups are the Black Hmong (fig.) and Flower Hmong (fig.), as well as the Blue Hmong (fig.), Green Hmong (fig.), and some White Hmong (fig.). MORE ON THIS.

Hmong Doew

Miao. White Hmong. A subgroup of the Hmong. There are roughly 150,000 White Hmong living in southern China, and another estimated 500,000 in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam (fig.) combined. In Thailand, they live in the East of northern Thailand. They are called White Hmong because their women traditionally wore white dresses. The Hmong Doew are also known as Hmong Daw and Hmong Der. See also Hmong Njua. MORE ON THIS.

Hmong Lenh

Miao. Flower Hmong. A subgroup of the Hmong, living in the northern mountainous villages of Vietnam (fig.), and that emigrated directly from the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi. This group derives its name from the colourful dress worn by the women (fig.), which is made from a kind of fabric called flower cloth, because the fibers for weaving it are produced from plants. MORE ON THIS.

Hmong Njua

Miao. Green Hmong. A subgroup of the Hmong, in the West known as Blue Hmong (fig.). They are also known as Hmong Leng. See also Hmong Doew. MORE ON THIS.

Hnamadawgyi (နှမတော်ကြီး)

Burmese. Younger sister related to the older or Great younger sister, but usually referred to in English as Royal Sister. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. According to one legend, she was the sister of Maung Tint De (fig.), the extremely strong son of a blacksmith, whom later became the Burmese nat Min Mahagiri. The legend has it that she became a queen to the king of Tagaung, who used her to lure and then capture her brother, out of fear that he could usurp his throne. He was tied to a Michelia tree and burned alive. When she saw her brother being burned, she leapt into the fire, but only managed to save his head and died of her burns. Like her brother, she is sometimes referred to as Shwe Mje Hna, i.e. Gold Face’. The two of them eventually became the protector spirits of Pagan and their statues are  enshrined at Old Bagan's Tharabha Gate (fig.). See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.


Ho ()

Thai name for Chinese tribes from southern Yunnan and Guangxi, who formed warrior bandit groups, known as the Flag Gangs, that in 1865 invaded northern Vietnam, then known as Tonkin, and between 1865 and 1890 ravaged large areas of northern Laos, then a tributary state of Siam. There were several rivaling groups operation at the same time, each named after the colour of their command flags, i.e. the Yellow Flags, under the leadership of Huang Chung-ying; the Black Flags, consisting mainly of ethnic Zhuang from Guangxi and led by the Hakka Chinese Liu Yung-fu; and the later formed gangs of Red Flags and Striped Flags, that operated after 1872. In 1874, after the Flag Gangs had seized control of much of Laos, Chao Unkham, the ruling prince of Luang Prabang, sent urgent appeals for assistance to the Thai monarch, then Rama V. This resulted in the start of various Siamese military campaigns, commonly referred to as the Ho Wars. In the spring of 1875, Siamese forces crossed the Mekhong River at Nong Kai, in their first military mission, in which they advanced to capture the main Ho base, but the expedition failed since the Ho fled and withdrew into the mountains. When the Siamese left later that year, the Ho bandits just re-emerged and Laos again faced regular plundering attacks by the Flag Gangs. Confronted with this continuous menace, Chao Unkham in 1883, again appealed to Bangkok for assistance, resulting in a second Siamese military expedition. However, the expedition was unsuccessful due to inadequate planning, an outbreak of malaria and the fact that the dispatched army, which for the most part was composed of Isaan and Northern Thai levies, was utterly incompetent. As a result, the Siamese army withdrew across the Mekhong to Nong Kai. In February 1885, after the rainy season, a new attempt was made with combined Siamese and Laotian army forces, attacking a well-defended Ho stockade. However, despite the attacking force's courage and almost reckless indifference to injury, also this effort failed and the Siamese commander-in-chief, Phraya Raj, was wounded. Although the Governor of Yunnan had initially sent the Black Flags into Tonkin to harass the French, there was no direct indication of official Chinese involvement with the Ho being in Laos, and in the mid-1890s, a combination of Siamese and ultimately French pressure eventually forced the Ho to retreat back to China. Also transcribed Haw or How.

Hoa (Hoa)

Vietnamese. Name an ethnic minority group in Vietnam of Han Chinese descent, in Chinese referred to as Hua (華), with a total population of just under 750,000.


Art style from Champa in Vietnam, during the first half of the 9th century.

Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư, 華閭)

Vietnamese-Chinese. Name of the ancient capital, as well as the economic, political and cultural centre of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, then known as Dai Co Viet (Đại Cồ Việt). It was founded by Dinh Bo Lin, the first emperor of Vietnam, who reigned from 968 AD until his death in 979 AD. Hoa Lu is located south of the Red River Delta, in present-day Truong Yen (Trường Yên) district in Ninh Binh, a picturesque area of steep limestone formations, which is part of the Trang An eco-tourism area and since 2014 is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (fig.) under the name Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, which also includes Tam Coc (fig.) and Bich Dong (fig.), as well as Chua Bai Dinh (fig.). See MAP.

ho asaan (ҫҹ)

Thai for minaret.

Ho Chatchawaan Wiangchai (หอชัชวาลเวียงชัย)

Thai. Bright Victorious City Tower. Name of the iconic landmark observatory on top of Khao Wang, i.e. the Palace Mountain, in Phetchaburi, which is home to King Mongkut's former summer palace, known as Phra Nakhon Khiri (fig.), which loosely translates as City on the Mountain. See also POSTAGE STAMP and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Ho Chatchawaan Wiangchai

Hog Deer

Common name for a small deer with the binomial name Axis porcinus or Cervus porcinus (fig.). Its name is descriptive of the hog-like manner in which it runs, i.e. with its head hung low, in order to be able to duck under obstacles, instead of leaping over them like most other deer tend to do. When it runs, it holds its tail is upright (fig.), showing the white underside, so that others can easily follow, especially in the dark. Apart from the white undertail, their fur is overall brown, with some lighter shades of sand colour on the head. Hog Deer are mainly solitary, yet come together to mate around September-October and fawns are born about 8 months later, in the beginning of the Rainy Season. It is found in South and Southeast Asia, as well as in southern China. There are several subspecies including Axis porcinus annamiticus, which is found in Thailand and Indochina. In Thai, Hog Deer are called neua saai or simply saai, and tahmanae. In 1976, Hog Deer were depicted on a Thai postage stamp, as part of a series on wild animals (fig.).

Hog-nosed Bat

See kahng kahw kitti.

hoi (หอย)

1. Generic Thai name for any kind of mollusk, shell, shellfish, or gastropod, including the bivalve, clam, cockle, conch, mussel, oyster, scallop, and the snail. The Thai Post has issued some postage stamps that portray certain species of molluscs found in the seas around Thailand (fig.). Also transcribed hoy.

2. Thai-Sanskrit term for a monkey. Also transcribed hoy.

hoi jaw hong kong (หอยจ้อฮ่องกง)

Chinese-Thai. Name of a Chinese snack made from a mixture of crab meat and shrimp. Similar to haegun.

hoi muk (หอยมุก)

Thai name for mother-of-pearl. See also kreuang muk.

hoi nang rom (¹ҧ)

Thai generic name for any kind of oyster, alternatively called hoi ih-rom ().

hoi nguong chang (§ǧҧ)

Thai. Elephant-trunk mollusk. Name for the Chambered Nautilus.

hoi thod (·ʹ)

Thai. Fried mollusks. Name for a typical street food dish with egg and that originates from China and which in English is usually referred to as oyster omelet. READ ON.

Ho Kham Luang (ͤǧ)

Thai. Name for an authentic Lan Na-style building, situated as the main edifice along the central axis of Rachaphreuk Royal Park (fig.). It was constructed for the 2006 World Horticultural Exposition to honour Rama IX. Ho Kham Luang showcases the local Lan Na architectural style and reflects the belief that the King occupies a central place in the hearts of the Thai people. The building is two stories high, constructed with a combination of cement and timber, and topped with a pavilion. Its lower section serves as a versatile multipurpose area covering approximately 3,000 square meters. The architectural design draws inspiration from the historical Royal Palace of the Chiang Mai governor. Inside, it features artwork that highlights King Rama IX's contributions to agriculture during his reign. In 2024, Ho Kham Luang was selected as the site to enshrine relics, including those of the Buddha, the arahats, and the disciples of the Buddha, brought from India by the Thai government in honour of King Vajiralongkorn's 6th Cycle Birthday Anniversary on 28 July 2024. See also kham meuang.

Ho Kian Phum Rot Fai (õö)

Thai. Hall of credit to trains or prestigious train hall. A museum within Chatuchak Park, in Bangkok's Chatuchak district, housed in a former building of the State Railway of Thailand. The hangar was initially built to keep King Rama VII's royal trains and locomotives of historical significance. Later it was renovated and converted into the museum it is today, in order to display and preserve railway related objects and stories. It displays steam engines, a diesel locomotive, different train carriages, an electric tram, etc. In addition, it also houses old-timer cars, carts and other old vehicles, including the carcass of a Japanese airplane and an armoured patrol car from WWII, which association with trains derives from the Death Railway. Besides this the museum displays one of the last steam engines produced in the world, which was shipped to a sugar plantation in Hat Yai, but never used, due to its unusual gauge size, which was incompatible with the local railways. Also referred to as Train Museum, Thailand Railway Hall of Fame, Hall of Railway Heritage and Rail Museum Bangkok. See MAP.

Bangkok Train Museum

Hokkien (福建)

1. Hokkien-Chinese. Name of a Southern Min Chinese dialect from China's southern Fujian (Fu-jian) province and Taiwan, closely related to Tae Chew and spoken by many overseas ethnic Chinese throughout Southeast Asia, e.g. in Indonesia, Singapore (next to Mandarin and to some extend Tae Chew) and in Thailand (especially in Phuket and Songkhla, and next to several other Chinese dialects). Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic Chinese of which 7% are Hokkien. Also transcribed Hokkian and known in Mandarin as Fujian hua (福建话), literally a dialect of Fujian, a coastal province in southeastern China.

2. Hokkien-Chinese. Name of a group of ethnic Chinese people form southern Fujian of which there are well over half a million living in Thailand. In Hokkien dialect they are also called Hoklo (福佬), literally meaning a man who establishes happiness, but usually translated as Fujian man and written with characters that in Mandarin are pronounced fu lao, meaning good luck man. Seventy percent of the population in Taiwan are Hoklo, hence Taiwanese is often used interchangeably with Hoklo.

hok kwai (͡)

Northern Thai dialect for a wooden bell used to hang around the neck of domesticated buffaloes, known in Thai as kwai (fig.). The bell is cylindrical in shape, often made from bamboo, and is flanked by two wooden clappers, attached symmetrically on the outside. It has a warm, somewhat muffled sound. See also pok lok.

ho klong (หอกลอง)

Thai. The drum tower, nowadays typically in a temple or wat, but in the past also some towns or encampments had a drum tower. In temples, it is sometimes in combination with a ho rakhang (fig.) and in religious context, the drum is used to call the monks together for prayer and -at eleven o'clock in the morning- to indicate the beginning of the last hour in which they may have their last meal of the day, whereas is secular context, it was used to give the time and as an alarm and warning system for both internal threats, such as a fire or a revolt, and external dangers, such as an enemy attack. See also kong dap phleung and Rattanakosin Drum Tower.

Hok Lok Siw (ฮก ลก ซิ่ว, 福禄寿)

Thai-Tae Chew. Three Chinese gods who in art are usually depicted as a trio with long beards (fig.). They are generally known as Hok, Lok and Siw, Thai-Chinese names that represent Happiness, Wealth and Longevity respectively. In Mandarin, they are named Fu Lu Shou (fig.), in Vietnamese Phúc Lộc Thọ (fig.) and in English, they are sometimes referred to as the Three Star Gods, due to their correspondent stars in ancient Chinese astronomy. Unlike the order of their names, the god Lok (Lu) is traditionally placed in the centre and is easy recognizable by his distinctive headdress. In addition, he usually holds a ruyi (fig.). Siw (Shou), the god of longevity always carries a staff with a dragonhead and the Peach of Immortality in his hands, and has a semi-bald, oversized, abnormally high forehead. He is sometimes shown to carry a nahm tao bottle gourd. Hok (Fu) also wears a hat, but a smaller one, and carries an imperial scroll with him. In 2010, the trio is commemorated on a set of three postage stamps, one for each individual (fig.).

Holi (होली)

Sanskrit. Festival associated with the Hindu god Krishna, and celebrated mainly in India, but also in countries with a large Indian population. It is also known as the Festival of Colours and participants throw coloured powder, known as abir, and water at each other. It is celebrated at the end of winter, on the day of the last full moon of the Indian lunar month Phalguna, usually in February or March. Bhang kulfi is said to be a must-have dish for Holi.

ho mok ()

Thai. Name for a dish of steamed fish with curry paste, and topped with some coconut cream, slivers of very finely cut makrud leaf, a small piece of parsley, and a long thin slice of a red chili pepper. If served in the traditional way, it is put in a krathong, a small container made from banana leaves.

hom pah (ห่มผ้า)

1. Thai. To cover the shoulder or body with a piece of cloth.

2. Thai. The application of a saffron cloth to Buddha images (fig.), trees (fig.), phra chedi (fig.), or other sacred items or objects of veneration. It is usually applied to symbolically protect the object, either from desecration or from cold, which is why many temples will apply the cloth at the beginning of the cool season. The term may also be specified by appending a suffix of the object the cloth is applied to, i.e. hom pah phra, hom pah phra chedi, etc. See also pah phrae mongkon.

hohng (˧)

Thai. As a verb the word means to die an unnatural death, but as noun it means ghost or spirit, i.e. the ghost or spirit of someone who has died an unnatural death. Sometimes transcribed hong. See also Hohng Phraai.

Hohng Phraai (˧)

Thai. Name of a female spirit (hohng) in the story Khun Chang Khun Paen, which was invoked by Khun Paen's own ghost, a boy called Kumaanthong. Hohng Phraai is depicted on the third design of a set of four postage stamps (fig.) on the story, issued in 2011 to mark National Children's Day. Sometimes transcribed hong phraay. See also phi phraai.

ho naligah (͹ԡ)

Thai for clock tower. See also naligah and Royal Clock Tower.

hong (หงส์)

Thai name for a sacred swan, goose (haan) or gander (fig.), which in Hinduism is the vahana of the god Brahma, and which in Sanskrit is known as Hamsa and in Pali as hongse. In Buddhism, the Buddha himself was once born as a holy swan, who while in that chaht was governing 96,000 hong. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16) and (17).

hong bao (红包)

Chinese. Red package. Red packages or red envelopes are traditional monetary gifts in Chinese society which are given during festivals and on special occasions, such as new year, weddings, etc. The red colour symbolizes good luck and sometimes the envelopes bear the Chinese character Sang-i, meaning double happiness, especially if donated during weddings and usually printed in gold (fig.). The amount of money in the envelopes, also called lishi, should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals and considered bad luck. However, since the Chinese word for four (sì) is a homophone for to die (sĭ), any amount of cash with this number should also be avoided, whereas the number eight (bā) is associated with wealth and good fortune, and is therefore commonly found in the red envelopes. During Chinese New Year, hong bao are customarily given by the elderly who already have an income to the younger who don't yet work, but in some places it are the married that give to the unmarried, regardless of age. The tradition of the monetary envelopes goes back to when elderly Chinese would tie coins together with a red string for protection against sickness and injuries (fig.). These money strings, called yasui qian, were gradually replaced by red envelopes when printing presses became more widespread. The hong bao are today still referred to as yasui qian. Though the colour red symbolizes good luck, writing someone's name in red ink is considered bad luck, as in Thailand the name of a deceased person was in the past written in red on the coffin when it was stored -often for long periods to allow enough time for funeral preparations and relatives to attend- before being cremated, and in China death notices (obituaries) are traditionally written in red ink. Thus, to write someone's name in red indicates either that they have died or that they have been cut out of ones life. In Thai called hang pao.

Hong Kong Butterflyfish

Common name for a species of reef fish native to the Western Pacific Ocean and in Thailand commonly found around Koh Tao (fig.). It has the scientific designation Chaetodon wiebeli and is therefore also referred to as Weibel's Butterflyfish. It grows up to around 16 centimeters in length and is overall bright yellowish to orange in colour, with a broad black and a broad white band on the caudal fin, and similar facial markings. They often occur either in pairs and in large schools. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

Hong Men (红门)

Chinese. Red Gate or Red Door. Name for the red gateway doors used in imperial China. READ ON.

Hongsawadih (หงสาวดี)

Thai name for Pegu, i.e. modern-day Bago, the capital of the Mon before annexation by Burma. In Mon-Burmese, it is known as Hansawati, in Pali as Hamsavati, and in English it is usually referred to as Hanthawaddy. It is located in the region of the Irrawaddy Delta, and its name is a compound that derives from the hintha, of which a Buddhist legend stands at its origin, and the Irrawaddy River. According to the legend, the Buddha visited Lower Burma, where he saw a female hintha sitting on the back of a male, and foretold that the area would some 15 centuries later become the centre of a prosperous kingdom, a predicition believed to have materialized when two Mon princes, i.e. the brothers Thamala and Wimala, in 825 AD founded the town of Hanthawaddy, which derived its name from the two hintha birds and became the dominant kingdom that ruled Lower Burma from the 13th to the mid 16th century. Hence, its symbol became the double hintha, i.e. the sacred goose Hamsa (fig.). See also Pegu Medaw and Forty Years' War.


Pali. Swan. In Thailand a mythical swan often depicted in art (fig.) and architecture, such as in the middle of temple roofs in northern Thai style, as well as the antefix on some Buddhist temples, known as the hang hongse. In Thai pronounced hong, and if in gold hong thong. In Sanskrit Hamsa. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18) and (19).

hong thong (หงส์ͧ)

Thai. Golden swan. Another name for Suphanahongse, a golden hong. Wat Huai Leuk (Ѵ֡) in Prachuap Khirikhan's Thap Sakae (Ѻ) District, features a giant golden swan, known in Thai as hong thong yak (fig.), that stands along the side of the busy Phet Kasem (ྪ) Road, Thailand's longest highway that connects the capital with the South. Akin to many hong thong statues at temples, it reportedly initially had a bell hanging from its beak, but this was removed on the request of the local authorities as is was deemed a hazard for and because of the traffic rushing by underneath it and the aerodynamic turbulence this causes, for fear the bell might one day be blown off and fall onto the traffic below. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18) and (19).

hoo chalaam (หูฉลาม)

Thai term for shark fin. Although illegal in many countries it is considered a delicacy by some Chinese and can be found in a number of restaurants in Chinatown where it is made into shark fin soup, for one. Due to its uniqueness shark fins are sold rather expensive, with prices ranging between 30,000 to 50,000 baht for a single fin, depending on its size and quality, or up to 100 US$ for a single bowl of soup in a Hong Kong restaurant. The consumption of shark fin soup is however purely a fashion, as due to the cooking processes which includes drying and bleaching, all the taste and nutritional value is lost, so that the soup has to be flavoured with chicken broth or some other stock. Besides this sharks are often pulled from the water to have their fins sliced off whilst still alive and are then thrown back into the ocean to slowly die. All this has made many countries declare a ban on shark fins.

hook sword

See gou.

hoo kwahng (١ҧ)

Thai. Deer ears. Common Thai name for a tree with the botanical name Terminalia catappa and commonly referred to in English by a variety of names, including Sea Almond, Tropical Almond, as well as Indian, Singapore, Bengal or Malabar Almond. The Thai common name derives from the tree's leaves, which shape is reminiscent of the ears of deer, whilst the English common name derives from this tree's fruit, which resembles an almond (fig.) and is also edible. Fresh leaves are of a lemon green colour (fig.), but as they mature they turn dark green and after that even red (fig.). Though its origin is uncertain, the Sea Almond and is widely found throughout Southeast Asia. It grows to 35 metres tall, provides plenty of shade due to its dense foliage and the rather large leaves, and is in the wild usually found on beaches and near fresh water, since its fruits are buoyant and dispersed by water. When spread by humans, they are used ornamentally and can often be seen on the side of roadways, especially in Vietnam and in Thailand. Beside ornamental usage, this tree's wood is described as solid and with a high water resistance, and is reportedly used by Polynesians in the making of canoes.

Hoolock Gibbon

A kind of gibbon of which there are two known species, which were initially classified as one genus, but later placed in their own genus, i.e. the Western Hoolock Gibbon, with the scientific name Hoolock hoolock, found in Assam, Bangladesh and western Myanmar; and the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, with the scientific name Hoolock leuconedys, and found in eastern Myanmar and southern China (Yunnan). Nevertheless, both species are sometimes still referred to as one genus, with the scientific name Hybolates hoolock. Males (fig.) are mainly black, sometimes with a brown tinge, and with characteristic white eyebrows. In contrast, females (fig.) are pale brown, with darker fur at the belly, throat and sides of the head, white eyebrows and white rings around the eyes and around the mouth, giving them a mask-like face (fig.). They have a small throat sac and can produce a loud call similar to that of the White-handed Gibbon (fig.), but every now and then followed by a loud, almost human-like euh-sound.

hoo plah son (ٻҪ͹)

Thai Striped snakehead fins. Name for a plant with the botanical designation Acalypha wilkesiana and commonly known in English as Painted Copperleaf, Jacob's Coat and Beefsteak Plant. This shrubby plant with a compact foliage grows up to 5 meters tall and is typically used as an ornamental garden plant, as well as in shared edges. It has colourful curly leaves and small inconspicuous dark-red flowers, that are arranged in clusters on cylindrical catkin-like racemes of between 10 and 20 centimeters in length and partly hidden in the foliage. In Thai, it is sometimes referred to as hoo kratai, i.e. rabbit ears.


Name for a colourful resident bird with the binomial name Upupa epops, in the family Upupidae and with several subspecies (fig.), the one found in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, being Upupa epops longirostris. It is ochre to orange-brown, with a large, distinctive crest, reminiscent to that of certain woodpeckers, a slender downward-curved bill, and a black-and-white tail and wings (fig.). They typically nest in a hole in a tree or wall. Also known as Common Hoopoe and in Thai as nok karaang hua khwaan. Sometimes spelled Hoopoo.

ho phap (hộ pháp)

Vietnamese term for guardian, but also frequently used to refer to any of the dharmapala, as well as in front of the names of well-known protectors, such as Wei Tuo, who in Vietnamese is known as Ho Phap Vi Da (fig.). The term also means guardian of the doctrine and is as such used as a title for one of the top-ranking posts of the clergy, especially in Cao Dai, e.g. Ho Phap Pham Cong Tac (fig.), which is then usually translated as pope. Often the prefix Duc (Đức) is added to this, meaning Venerable.

Ho Phap Vi Da (Hộ Pháp Vi Đà)

Vietnamese. Dharmapala Vi Da, with Vi Da being the Vietnamese name for the general-bodhisattva, who in Chinese is known as Wei Tuo. See also ho phap.

Ho Phrathat Monthien (;иҵ)

Thai. Name of a group of buildings within the inner court of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, which play an important role in royal rituals and ceremonies.

Horadih (หรดี)

1. Thai. Southwest or southwestern. The wind direction guarded by the lokapala Nairitti. See also Udon, Isaan, Burapah, Ahkney, Thaksin Shinawatra (丘达新), Prajim and Phayap.

2. Thai name for the southwestern wind. Also known as phat taya.

ho rakhang (หอระฆัง)

Thai. The belfry in a wat. The bell is rang to call the monks and novices to the ubosot. Sometimes the belfry in a temple is combined with the ho klong, the drumtower (fig.). The drum however is beaten for other reasons, that is, either to call upon the laity to come and make merit (tamboon) in the temple on Buddhist holy days (Wan Phra), or in honor of the Buddha. But if both the drum and bell are beaten alternately, it is to tell the time. It is used in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism and can thus also be found in Chinese temples (fig.). The famous belfry of Wat Phra Kaew, i.e. the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (map - fig.), is depicted on a postage stamp issued in 1967 (fig.). See also rakhang.

hora-phaa (о)

Thai designation for a plant with the botanical name Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora, and commonly known in English as Thai Basil. See also kaphrao.

Ho Ratsadakon Phiphat (ɮҡþԾѲ)

Thai. Hall of Fiscal Prosperity. Name of a building within the compound of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, that dates back to the early Rattanakosin Period and today houses the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (fig.). READ ON.


Large bird with the scientific Latin name Rhyticeros plicatus. Of these birds, thirteen different species live in the woods of Thailand, i.e. the Great Hornbill (fig.), Bushy-crested Hornbill (fig.), Wreathed Hornbill (fig.), Rhinoceros Hornbill (fig.), Oriental Pied Hornbill (fig.), Plain-pouched Hornbill (fig.), Wrinkled Hornbill (fig.), Rufous-necked Hornbill (fig.), Tickell's Brown Hornbill or Rusty-cheeked Hornbill (fig.), the Austen's Brown Hornbill (which is sometimes listed as a subspecies of the Tickell's Brown Hornbill, whilst both are also commonly referred to as just Brown Hornbill), the White-crowned Hornbill (fig.), Helmeted Hornbill and Black Hornbill (fig.). Seven species of these are listed as endangered. They get their name from the horn or helmet on top of their beak. During the breeding season the female will stay in a nesting hole high up in a tree. The opening of the hole is largely closed with a mixture consisting of mud, food remains and droppings, with just a small opening kept to collect the food carried up by the male bird. The best place to see these birds is Khao Yai National Park. The bird can have a length of up to 130 cms and is sometimes called large hornbill, and by some Buddha bird, since its morning call will wake up the monks and gathers them for morning prayer. Its call, sounds like a repeated gok, gok, gok followed by a scream that sounds like gahang or gawa. In 1996, a set of four postage stamps was issued for the occasion of the Second International Asian Hornbill Workshop, displaying four different species of male and female hornbills (fig.). In Thai called nok ngeuak and nok hang.


See mah.

Horseradish Tree

See ma-rum.

Horseshoe Bat

Name for a large family of bats, with the scientific name Rhinolophidae. The name refers to a broad, horseshoe-shaped anterior nose-leaf, that characterizes these bats. Besides this they also possess a tall pointed posterior nose-leaf, large ears, and a medium-length tail, which is fully enclosed in the interfemoral membrane, i.e. the membrane that stretches between the legs of bats, used for flight, and in the case of insectivorous bats, also for catching prey. In Thai it is called kahng kahw mongkut, meaning Diadem Bat. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).

Horseshoe Crab

Name of a prehistoric arthropod with a stiff pointed tail and a carapace in the form of a horseshoe, hence its name. It belongs to the family of Limulidae and is related to the scorpion. Horseshoe Crabs feed mostly at night and burrow for worms and mollusks. They will, however, feed at any time and can go a year without eating. They  swim upside down (fig.) and can endure extreme temperatures and salinity. A horseshoe crab has ten eyes and can see UV light. Some extracts of its blue, copper-based blood, as well as from certain properties of its shell, are used medicine. In Thai, it is known by the generic name maengda thalae and there are worldwide just 4 genera, 2 of which are found in Thailand, i.e. the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) and the Indo-Pacific or Southern Horseshoe Crab (Tachypleus gigas), and a third one in East and Southeast Asia, i.e. the Chinese, Japanese or Tri-spine Horseshoe Crab (Tachypleus tridentatus). See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Horse Tamarind

See krathin.

Ho Hsien-ku (何仙姑)

Chinese. Name of the only female member of the Eight Immortals (fig.), often referred to as Immortal Woman He, a free translation of her name which may also be transcribed He Xiangu. She was born in Guangdong province as the daughter of a wealthy family. At the age of fourteen she made a vow to remain a virgin and a deity appeared to her in a dream. In order to become an immortal she was instructed to consume very fine powdered mica, a brilliant kind of mineral. She took the powder as ordered and gradually gave up taking ordinary food all together, surviving solely on mica crystals. She could walk so fast, that she seemed to be flying and often wandered in valleys to gather mountain fruits. Eventually she ascended to heaven and became an immortal. She is usually portrayed holding a long-stalked lotus flower, that has the power to improve one's mental and physical health. Her mount is a deer (fig.).

hot spring

See nahm phu ron.

ho trai ()

Thai. The library building or scripture hall in a wat containing the scripture cabinets that hold palm leaf Buddhist manuscripts called Traipitok, which are written on fragile bai lahn. In the past, it was generally built from wood and on poles in a pond or water basin (fig.), in order to protect them against fires, as well as to prevent crawling insects and termites from reaching the scriptures and damaging them (fig.). It is then also referred to as ho trai klahng nahm (áҧ). Occasionally, it is also referred to as pitokkhara (ԯ), which could be translated as basket dwelling i.e. manuscript building, with the word pitok literally meaning basket, but actually referring to any one of three parts of the Buddhist scriptures known collectively as Traipitok. Some are simple structures, others have been elaborately decorated (fig.). Sometimes referred to as ho phra trai (;) and ho phra traipitok (;ûԯ). See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

hou feng didongyi (候風地動儀)

Chinese. Apparatus to watch (or inquire after) the manner of earthquakes’. Name of the worlds first seismoscope, invented in 132 AD by Zhang Heng, and able to discern the cardinal direction of an earthquake up to over 500 kilometers away. It consists of a bronze, urn-shaped device with a pendulum inside, that would swing in the direction of where an earthquake took place and in doing so triggered a mechanism that released a bronze ball from the mouth of one of eight projections shaped as a dragon, dropping it into one of the eight cups below, that were shaped as bronze frogs seated on the floor around the urn and of which each represented a direction of an eight-pointed compass. The mouth of the frog into which the ball fell would then roughly indicate the direction of the earthquake and allowed for the authorities to quickly send in aid to the region affected.

House Crow

Common name for a bird in the crow family Corvidae, with the scientific name Corvus splendens, and of Asian origin. This 40 to 43 centimeters large bird is brownish-grey, with a glossy-black forehead, crown and throat, as well as black wings, tail and legs. There are several subspecies and the one found in Thailand has the Latin designation Corvus splendens insolens. It occurs in peninsular Thailand and is known in Thai as ih-kae, which is related to ih-kah, i.e. the Thai word for crow. The nominate race is found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

House Gecko

See jingjok.

House of Museums

Museum established by the Cultural Affairs Association to show how simple life was in days of yore. Although the edifice is not in the older style stepping inside takes you back into the past. The objects on display vary from old utensils and paraphernalia to sepia photographs and maps of Thailand from way back.

House of Opium

Museum  at the infamous Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, an area that got its name from the cultivation of opium. This small museum has a permanent exhibition and aims to educate about opium, portraying many aspects of the cultivation of opium, as well as its trade and use. Known in Thai as Ban Fin. The many objects on display include opium scales (fig.), opium-sets (fig.), opium pipes (fig.), opium weights (fig.), opium boxes (fig.), as well as didactic presentations (fig.). See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

House of Opium

House Sparrow

Common name for a 15 centimeter tall passerine bird, with the binomial name Passer domesticus (fig.). The subspecies that prevails in mainland Southeast Asia is known by the scientific name Passer domesticus indicus, and occurs from Myanmar in the West and Laos in the North, to Singapore in the South. Sparrows are social birds and for protection they often gather together in large numbers in order to increase their chances of spotting predators early and alert the rest of the flock. Adult males in breeding plumage (fig.) have a grey crown and rump, grayish-buff underparts, and white head-sides with a chestnut patch that runs from behind the eye to the sides of the nape, as well as a large black bib, i.e. a patch on the chin and breast. Furthermore, they have a black bill and a brown mantle, streaked with black, white and buff. Outside the breeding season, the crown of the male is browner, the mantle greyer, and the bill is more pale. In addition, the sides of the nape and crown are also paler, and the sides of the bib are streaked with white. Females (fig.) are non-descript and are overall paler, lacking the black and chestnut colours of the breeding male. Their bill is pale and they have a whitish supercilium (fig.). The legs and feet of both sexes are pinkish to grayish-beige. In Thai House Sparrows are commonly called nok krajok yai (Ш͡˭), meaning large sparrow. Confusingly, the Thai designation nok krajok baan (Ш͡ҹ), which literally translates as house sparrow, is used for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus - fig.). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES and WATCH VIDEO.

howdah (ʹ)

Thai name for the seat or saddle on an elephant's back (fig.), usually made from wood and sometimes covered with a hood (fig.). The howdah of a wealthy person is often made from precious materials, such as ivory. To cushion the weight of the howdah, prior to placing it onto the elephant's back, several layers of matting made from the bark of a tree, locally referred to as the red tree, are laid on first, followed by a thick bamboo mat. The howdah is then usually lowered onto the elephants' back from an elevated position using a pulley, which in Thai is called look rok (fig.). Howdah are commonly seen as interior decoration in e.g. hotel lobbies (fig.). Also transcribed hohdah, hawda, hoda or hodah.

Ho Woht 101 (Ǵ )

Thai. Roi Et Woht Tower. Name of a 101 meter high tower built in the form of a woht (fig.), an Isaan folk instrument. It opened in December 2020 as a new landmark in the city of Roi Et, and is also known by the names Roi Et (City View) Tower, 101 Tower, and simply Ho Woht. The tower is highly symbolic as it combines the province's name in its height, as Roi Et means 101, with its local symbol and OTOP product the woht. The interior of the building is decorated with depictions of local and contemporary stories, as well as with a crystal Lagerstroemia macrocarpa flower, the provincial flower, known in Thai as dok inthanin-bok (͡Թź). See also POSTAGE STAMPS and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Hpaung Daw U Buddhas

Name of five small, highly venerated Buddha images located in Myanmar's Hpaung Daw U Pagoda (fig.) in Shan State, and that are covered in gold leaf to the point that their original forms can hardly be distinguished. Although on occasion some of the gold is removed to reduce its mass, worshippers continue to apply new gold leaves in order to make merit, a practice reserved only for men though, as women are not allowed to go onto the shrine's platform. Once a year, during the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival, four of the five Buddha images (one always remains at the temple) are put on a karawak-like (fig.) barge, known as the Hintha Barge (fig.), in a procession around the lake (fig.), stopping at all the main villages and towns, allowing the locals to worship and make merit. Copies of the Hpaung Daw U Buddhas (fig.) can be found in Buddhist temple's in Thailand's Mae Hong Son province, which has a large population of Shan people. Also transcribed Paung Daw Oo Buddhas.

Hpaung Daw U Pagoda

1. Name of a Buddhist temple on Inle Lake in Myanmar's Shan State and that houses the Hpaung Daw U Buddhas (fig.) Also spelled Hpaung Taw Oo. See EXPLORER'S MAP and TRAVEL PICTURE.

2. Name of a Buddhist temple in Mandalay, located opposite of the western entrance corridor of the Mahamuni Buddha (fig.) temple complex. Its full name in Burmese is​ Law Ka Teu Kaung​ Hpaung Daw U​​ Myat Swa Phaya, which freely translates as Head of the World Great Buddha Pagoda. Also spelled Hpaung Taw Oo. See EXPLORER'S MAP and TRAVEL PICTURE.

hsei bo lei (ဆေးပေါ့လိပ်)

Burmese name for the cheroot-cigar.

hsiang chi (象棋)

See xiang qi.

hsien (仙, ¹)

Chinese-Thai. See xian.

Hsi Ling Shih (西陵氏)

See Xi Ling Shi.

hsun ok (ဆွမ်းအုပ်)

Burmese name for a conical, usually cone-shaped, tray-like food container with a stand (fig.), which used for offering food, especially to Buddhist monks. Pronunciation is rather suan ok. In Thailand, similar food containers are referred to as tiab.

hti (ထီး)

1. Burmese. An ornamental, ceremonial parasol in Myanmar, which is used both stationary, e.g. at Buddhist temples or festivals, and portably, e.g. in ceremonies and parades, and intended as an item of respect towards certain objects, such as Buddha images or other religious items, as well as towards revered people, such as monks. See also rom thong and chattra.

2. Burmese. An ornamental part in the form of a lacy umbrella crowning the spire of a Buddhist stupa in Myanmar, i.e. a tiered and ornamented finial. It usually also has a nga myat na, i.e. a flag-shaped ornament in English usually referred to as the vane (fig.). See also chattra and plih.

3. Burmese. Parasol which forms a part of the royal regalia of Myanmar, as well as a parasol designated and bestowed by the monarch on officials as insignia of rank.

4. Burmese. A miniature paper umbrellas used as offertory in Myanmar. The practice of using small paper parasols on offerings is also found in northern Thailand.

Htibyuhsaung (ထီးဖြူဆောင်း)

Burmese. Lord of the White Umbrella. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. In life, this spirit was the ca. 10-11th Century King Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu, the father of King Anawrahta (fig.), the founder of the Pagan Empire. Though having raised his two stepsons, Sokkate and Kyiso, as his own sons, when they reached manhood, they forced Kunhsaw to abdicate and become a recluse, with Kyiso taking over the throne. The deposed King Kunhsaw remained a recluse for over two decades. Then, in 1044, Kyiso' successor Sokkate took one of Kunhsaw's former consorts, namely the mother of Anawrahta, as his wife. This so angered Anawrahta, that he challenged and killed Sokkate in a duel. Anwarahta offered the throne back to Kunhsaw, but the latter refused and instead allowed Anawrahta to ascend the throne. Kunhsaw died four years after his son Anawrahta ascended the throne, in ca. 1048 AD. See also Pareinma Shin Mingaung and LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Htibyuhsaung Medaw (ထီးဖြူဆောင်း မယ်တော်)

Burmese. Royal Mother of the Lord of the White Umbrella or Royal Mother of Htibyuhsaung. Name of a female spirit that belongs to the official pantheon of 37 nats worshipped in Myanmar. During her life she was the mother of King Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu and thus also a grandmother of King Anawrahta, the founder of the Pagan Empire. She reportedly died of illness. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Htilominlo (ထီးလိုမင်းလို)

Burmese. Do You Want the Hti? or Appointed by the [Royal] Umbrella. A designation for the Pagan King Zeya Theinkha Uzana, also known as King Nadaungmya, after his father used his chattra, i.e. his royal umbrella, to determine who of his five sons was to become his successor to the throne, i.e. by holding the umbrella upright and letting go of it, thus allowing it fall over and proclaiming the heir to the throne to whomever the umbrella would point. In 1218 AD, King Zeya Theinkha Uzana had a temple constructed which is named Htilominlo Phaya. King Htilominlo reigned from 1211 to 1235 AD, and was succeeded by his son Kyaswa (fig.).

Htilominlo Phaya (ထီးလိုမင်းလိုဘုရား)

Burmese. Htilominlo Pagoda or Temple of the Appointment by [Royal] Umbrella. Name of a three-storey, 46 meter high, Buddhist temple in Bagan. READ ON.

hua chai poh wahn (ҹ)

Thai. Preserved East Asian white radish (hua chao thao), stir fried with sugar, salt and fish sauce. It may be eaten as a side dish, e.g. with khao chae (fig.), or mixed with egg and eaten as a dish in its own right, which is referred to as hua chai poh wahn phad khai (ҹѴ - fig.).

hua chai poh wahn

hua chao thao ()

Thai name for East Asian white radish, a vegetable with the scientific name Raphanus sativus longipinnatus and widely used in oriental cuisine for its mild flavour (fig.). It is often referred to by its Japanese name daikon, though it did not originate in Japan, yet it has the most varieties. In Thailand, it is also called hua phak kaad (ǼѡҴ) and phak kaad hua (ѡҴ). In the northern Thai village of Doi Mae Salong, in Chiang Rai province, members of the -largely Chinese- community slice-up the roots, hang them out to dry in the sun and wind, and then mix them with chilies and other local spices to make a crunchy, Chinese-style snack (fig.). See also hua chai poh wahn.

huad (หวด)

Thai. A basket used for steaming foodstuffs, such as glutinous rice, sesame, nuts, beans, etc. But more popular than anything else it is used for steaming glutinous rice (fig.) It is generally woven from thin bamboo strips. Its form is somewhat cone shaped with a tapering bottom and a wide mouth. Besides its use in cooking it is also used to be made into Phi Tah Khohn masks (fig.).

hua daeng (ᴧ)

Thai. Literally red cattle, i.e. red bull or red cow. Term used for the Banteng.

hua da jie (花大姐)

An informal Chinese term for ladybug, as well as one generic name for a kind of bug, which is found in China and specified as ban yi zha chan (fig.), with the scientific designation Lycorma delicatula. It is also called hua xi fu and is in English commonly referred to as Lycorma Planthopper.

Hua Ha ()

Thai-Tae Chew name of a statue or a portrait of a loving couple of Chinese Immortals (Xian), in which usually the man is depicted holding a lotus leaf and lotus flower, whilst the girl holds a rounded Chinese wedding box or basket (fig.), which sometimes is decorated with a stylized Chinese bat-symbol known as fu (fig.), and which may or may not be depicted open to release one or more bats (fig.), that represent good luck. The statue is said to promote love and amicable relations, and to bring harmony or reconciliation into households and work places, where it is erected. Occasionally, one of the characters seems to be either an effeminate boy or a girl, though it may also depict two male or two female figures, thus promoting love and amicable relations between friends of the same sex (fig.).

Hua Hin (หัวหิน)

Thai. Head of stone or rock head. Beach resort town in Prachuap Khirikhan province, 220 km from Bangkok. The town has a long white sandy beach lined with a range of accommodations, from bungalows to 5-star hotels and resorts. The beach with its tranquil atmosphere runs from a rocky headland (hua hin) which separates it from a tiny fishing pier and gently curves for some 3-4 km to the South, where it ends at the foot of Khao Takhiap, a hill with a large standing Buddha statue. From the hilltop a birds eye view of Hua Hin can be enjoyed, a delightful view, both at night and during the day. Its places of interest include its railway station, one of the nations oldest train stations with an unique architecture (fig.). Its most striking feature is the royal waiting room constructed in the jaturamuk style. Originally, during the reign of King Rama VI, it was part of the Sanam Chan Palace in Nakhon Pathom province. Later, in 1968, the room was relocated to Hua Hin to become the royal waiting room at the local trainstation. Another feature in Hua Hin is the Klai Kangwon Palace, the permanent summer palace of King Rama IX and which name in translation means far from worries. The palace consist of three Spanish style mansions facing the sea. It is constructed to the north of town under royal command of King Rama VII. Today it is the permanent summer residence of the king who often comes here to sail. It is open to the public but prior to a visit a permit must be obtained  from the Royal Household Office. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO (1), (2), (3) and (4).

hua khon (⢹)

Thai name for a kind of mask worn by khon dancers (fig.). There are several types, each usually representing a certain character from the Ramakien. They typically cover the entire head and their production has become an art form in its own right, resulting in the creation of detailed miniature masks (fig.), that are produced solely for collecting (fig.). They are made of wood and papier-mâché, which includes sah-paper, khoi-paper, and paper made from straw. The masks are initially shaped by pressing around 15 layers of paper over a soaped terracotta mould, sticking them together with a paste made of rice-flour. Then, each mask is further sculpted and covered with black lacquer, which is applied as a primer before being painted and covered with gold leaf. Next, each mask is finished with decorative lines and other ornaments according to its kind, using small pieces of coloured mirrors, kranok motifs, mother-of-pearl, cow-hide, etc. There are two styles of eyes that are characteristic of khon characters and thus of masks, especially with the demons or yak: the one is known as tah jorakae, i.e. crocodile eyes, and refers to eyes of which the lid partly covers the pupil (fig.); the other is known as tah phlohng i.e. wide open eyes, and refers to wide open eyes, with somewhat bulging eyeballs and of which the pupil is completely visible (fig.). Khon masks are an esteemed collector's item and the Kukrit Heritage Home in Bangkok houses a significant collection of hua khon masks (fig.), gathered by Kukrit Pramoht (fig.), a former Prime Minister of Thailand and founder of the Khon Thammasat Troupe (fig.). Khon masks have been publicized on Thai postage stamps on a number of occasions, i.e. in 1975 (fig.), in 1981 (fig.), and to commemorate the Thai Heritage Conservation Day in 2013 (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Hua Lampong Train Station

Name of Bangkok's Central Station, located at the far end of Rama IV Road in Pathum Wan District, at the terminus of the Bangkok Metro (fig.). It is operated by the State Railway of Thailand and was opened on 25 June 1916, during the reign of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), though its construction started in 1910, at the end of Rama V's reign. The station is named after a former field in this location, which had herds of cattle in it that went about noisily, and was hence called thung hua lampong (Ӿͧ), i.e. wild cattle field. The word thung (), which means field, was dropped and the word hua () changed into hua (), which means head, both literally and figuratively. During World War II, the Allies made an attempt to bomb the train station as it was used by the Japanese occupying forces to transport troops and war material, but they hit a nearby hotel instead. There have also been a number of accidents with trains jumping the tracks and crashing onto the platform, with the latest incident as recent as August 2010. In Thai known as satanee rot fai hua lamphong, also transcribed satanih rot fai hua lampohng (ʶҹö⾧). See also Ho Kian Phum Rot Fai (fig.) and Wat Hua Lampong (fig.), as well as POSTAGE STAMPS, THEMATIC STREET LIGHT, and MAP.

huan (ฮวน)

Thai-Chinese. A foreign person, from the viewpoint of a Chinese. Also huan nang.

Huang Di (黄帝)

Chinese name for the Yellow Emperor.

huan guan (宦官)

Chinese. Imperial government official. A term for a court eunuch in Imperial China.

huan nang (ฮวนนั้ง)

See huan.

Huan Xi Fo (歡喜佛)

Chinese. Happy Buddha. Popular name of a Buddhist figure who is also known by the Chinese name Budai (fig.). He is the interpretation of the bodhisattva Maitreya, the future buddha predicted to succeed the Sakyamuni Buddha. He is the god of happiness and wealth. His image is based on an unconventional Chinese monk who lived in the time of the Liang Dynasty and is usually depicted as a deity of satisfaction and abundance, often holding a cloth bag full with precious items or gold, and other attributes, such as a water jar, gold coins, a ruyi (fig.), a gold ingot, a pagoda, etc. He has integrated into Buddhist, Taoist and Shinto culture, and is commonly represented as an obese smiling or laughing figure, hence his nickname. It is believed that rubbing his belly brings forth happiness, wealth, good luck and prosperity. He is therefore often worshipped as an informal Chinese wealth god. Variously called Laughing Buddha, Smiling Buddha, Mi Le Fo, Fu Gui Fo (富贵佛 - fig.), and Hotei. In Thailand, he is often confused with Phra Sangkatjaai (fig.). See also Angaja and TRAVEL PICTURE.

hua plih (ǻ)

Thai. The edible inflorescence of a banana plant. This is stripped of its purple petals and sliced or shredded and to prevent it from rapidly turning dark it can be brushed with lemon juice. It is used to make a northern style squash soup, as an ingredient for a kind of salad (fig.) and especially, served fresh and sliced (fig.) with the dish phad thai. They are available on many fresh markets but can also be found canned or dried. Also called banana flower, flower-bud or flower-head, banana blossom, banana bud and banana inflorescence. Sometimes transcribed hua plee and also just plih.

hua xi fu (花媳妇)

Chinese. One generic name for a kind of bug, which is found in China and specified as ban yi zha chan (fig.), with the scientific designation Lycorma delicatula. It is a synonym for hua da jie and is in English referred to as Lycorma Planthopper.

Hue (Huế)

Vietnamese. From 1802 to 1945 AD, the political and imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty in Vietnam, that since the 17th century had dominated much of southern Vietnam and from 1802 onward, with the foundation of the Nguyen Dynasty by the Emperor Gia Long, took control over the whole of Vietnam. It is considered one of the cultural, religious and learning centres of Vietnam. The city's many historical monuments, such as the Citadel (map), still witness of this glorious past. The Citadel consists of a large, walled area on the North side of the Perfume River (map - fig.) and encloses the Imperial City which includes the Forbidden Purple City, a palace modeled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing (map - fig.) and once reserved for emperors, their concubines and those close enough to be granted access, the punishment for trespassing being death. Due to this, some of the names given to certain buildings and gates () within the stronghold (map - fig.) are coined on or inspired by those of it's Chinese counterpart. According to Chinese cosmology, the colour purple was a symbol of joy and happiness, as well as that of the polestar. The residence of the emperor, who was regarded as a Son of Heaven, was hence a purple city at the centre of the mortal world, and only the emperor could use the colour purple, hence the name Forbidden Purple City, in Chinese Zi Jin Cheng (紫禁城), which may also be interpreted as the Forbidden City of the Polestar. Within the compound of the Citadel, on the southeastern corner of the Imperial City, is the Hue War Museum (map - fig.). See also Huệ and PANORAMA PICTURE.

Hue (Huệ)

Vietnamese name for the Tuberose. See also Huế.

hu lu (葫芦)

Chinese name for a calabash, which in Thai is known as nahm tao. Also transcribed hoo loo and sometimes wu lou.

hulusi (葫芦丝)

Chinese. Name for the cucurbit flute, i.e. a kind of reed (lu) wind instrument made from a gourd (hu), that belongs to plant family Cucurbitaceae, hence the designation cucurbit. Combined the Chinese words hu lu translate as calabash, but separately they mean gourd and reed respectively, with the latter referring to two or three bamboo pipes that are attached to the gourd, of which one has finger holes and the other serve as drone-pipes. In addition, the Chinese name also includes the word si (丝), which means silk and refers to the instrument's sound, which is described to be as smooth as silk. The hulusi is somewhat reminiscent of the Indian pungi (fig.). Also transcribed hoo loo si. WATCH VIDEO.

Human Body Museum

A somewhat uneasy, disconcerting museum in Bangkok's Pathumwan District, that exhibits several dissected human bodies, body parts and internal organs, as well as human skeletons, from Japan. It is located at the Faculty of Medicine within the Chulalongkorn University (fig.), and is used as a scientific and didactic exhibition to educate medical students. The bodies and  body parts have been preserved by plastination, a technique which consists of replacing water, fluids and fat inside the body with resin and plastic, yielding specimens that retain most properties of the original sample, yet do not smell or decay. The corpse is first preserved in formalin, then placed in a bath of acetone at freezing temperatures, which draws all the water out of the body, after which it is moved to a bath of liquid polymer, including silicon rubber, polyester and resin epoxy. In the final phase, the curable polymer is hardened by vulcanization, using gas, heat and UV light. The museum officially opened its doors on 14 August 2012, and was at that time the eleventh of its kind in the world. In Thai, its is known as Phiphithaphan Rahngkaai Manut (ԾԸѳҧ) and in English it is officially referred to as Museum of Human Body. Its design and objectives are similar to those of the Congdon Anatomical Museum (fig.), which is a section of the Siriraj Hospital Museum. See MAP.

Hummingbird Fuchsia

Common name for a perennial plant, with a pink-and-purple hanging lantern-like flower, and with the botanical name Fuchsia magellanica. Known to be drought tolerant, it is also commonly known as Hardy Fuchsia.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Common name for a species of moth in the family Sphingidae, with the scientific designation Macroglossum stellatarum. READ ON.

Hummingbird Tree

Common name for a small tree, with the scientific name Sesbania grandiflora. Its white flowers, known in Thai as dok khae, are used in Thai and Asian cuisine, both cooked and raw. The crescent-shaped, flat, bean-like flower buds can frequently be seen for sale at fresh markets nationwide (fig.).

hundred-year egg

See khai yiew ma.

Hun Jamlong Meuang Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (蹨ͧͧا෾ҹ)

Thai for The Bangkok City Model.

hun krabok (หุ่นกระบอก)

Thai. A puppet theatre in which the puppets are manipulated from below, rather than with a string from above. The head and neck of the puppet is sculpted from wood, whilst the body is made from a short bamboo cylinder called krabok, which is covered with a shirt without sleeves and richly embroidered with brocade, akin to the costumes worn by dancers in khon.

hun lakon lek (หุ่นละครเล็ก)

Thai. A kind of puppet theatre usually performing scenes from the Ramakien and in which the puppets are manipulated from below, rather than with a string from above. The puppeteers are often experts in khon, combining the artistic performance skills of the classical dance theatre with the controlled moves of the puppets. This style of traditional Thai puppetry, derived from hun luang, originated at the court of Vice-king Krom Phra Rachawang Bowon Sathaan Mongkon Krom Phra Rachawang Bowon Wichaichaan (Phra Ong Chao Yod Yingyot), and was developed on the model of the Ramayana by Kru Krae Sapthawanit (fig.), a puppeteer from Ayutthaya, who first performed at Wang Woradit (fig.), the former residence of Prince Damrong Rachanuphaap. Hun lakon lek theatre was later popularized by a puppeteer from Nonthaburi (fig.), habitually referred to as Ajaan Sakhon Yangkhiawsot, who in 1985 founded the Joe Louis () Puppet Theatre, coined from his nickname Jo Liu ( ) and supported by Princess Galyani Watthana, who endorsed it to achieve Royal Patronage status and changed its name to Nataya Sala Hun Lakon Lek Theatre. The theatre is located at the Suan Lum Night Bazaar in Bangkok, opposite of Lumphini Park, which in Thai is known as Suan Lumphini. Also transcribed hun lakhon lek, and since its origin in the royal palace of the vice-king, also known as hun Wang Nah (ѧ˹), literally puppets of the Front Palace. See also wayang golek.

Hun Lek Khorat (หุ่นเหล็กโคราช)

Thai. Iron Doll(s) Khorat. Name of an art factory museum in Nakhon Ratchasima. READ ON.

hun luang (ǧ)

Thai. A kind of puppet theatre in the Ayutthaya Period, which usually performed during festivities and at funerals, but which after the death of King Rama V became obsolete. Today, only six puppets formerly used in hun luang performances still exist and are on display in the National Museum in Bangkok. It is some respect considered the predecessor of hun lakon lek.

huo long guo (火龙果)

Chinese name for the dragon fruit which in Thai is known as kaew mangkon.

Hup Pah Tahd (غҵҴ)

Thai. Name of a gorge-like limestone mountain pass, set in a piece of lush jungle with abundant flora and located in the amphur Lahn Sak (ลานสัก) in Uthai Thani Province. Green palm trees are often visible through the many cavities along its often cave-like path, creating an image of contrasting colours. Also transliterated Hub Pa Tad. See also POSTAGE STAMP and MAP.

Hu Ye (虎爷)

Chinese. Tiger Grandfather. Name of a guardian spirit in the form of a tiger, often found at Taoist temples and shrines. Worshipers revere the tiger spirit to curse spiritual enemies, and rituals include beating an effigy of a spiritual enemy in front of Hu Ye, as well as sacrificing offerings, such as meat, jin zhi, etc.

Hymenocallis caribaea

Latin name for spider lily.

hypostyle hall

An architectural term used to define a columned hall. It is often the outermost and most impressive part of a temple complex. Hypostyle literally means formed by (the basis of) columns.