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kaab (กาบ)

Thai name for large, sheath-like bracts or spathe (fig.) enveloping an inflorescence or drupe, as well as the husk-like outer layers of a plant which can be pealed from its soft, herbaceous stem, like that of the banana plant, for example. In Loei Province, the broad spathe of the coconut palm is used in the making of Phi Tah Khohn masks (fig.).

Kaaknasoon (กากนาสูร)

Thai. Name of a character from the Ramakien, a female giant belonging to the entourage of Totsakan, who instructed her to harm a reusi, who lived in the forest. She changed herself into a large crow (fig.) and flew to his hermitage, which she completely destroyed whilst ferociously pecking at the hermit. The hermit then went to see Totsarot and told him what had happened. Totsarot then sent Phra Ram and Phra Lak to help the hermit and when Kaaknasoon returned after seven days, she was shot and killed by an arrow. Her appearance is reminiscent of that of a European plague doctor, who wore a leather face mask with glass eye openings and an elongated beak-shaped nose which was filled with herbs, straw, and other aromatic items, which not only filtered the stench of the putrid air, but was a the time believed to also shield him from contracting the highly contagious disease. These medieval physicians likewise carried a stick, used to examine patients without the need to make direct contact with them. See also Kahkamukha. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES.

kaam (กาม)

Thai for kama and Kama, meaning ‘love’ or ‘desire’ and its personification, i.e. the god of love and desire, also known as Phra Kaam (fig.). Depending on the context, the word may also be translated as ‘sexual desire’, ‘sex’, ‘sensual’, ‘sensuous’ ,‘carnal’ and ‘erotic’.

kaan (คาน)

See mai kaan haab.

Kaanboon (การบุญ)

See Garnboon.

kaanboon (การบูร)

Thai for ‘camphor’, a sticky white or transparent substance with a strong, aromatic odour found in wood of the ton obcheuy yuan (ต้นอบเชยญวน) or ‘Annamese (Vietnamese) cinnamon tree’, with the botanical name Cinnamomum camphora and in English known as Camphor Laurel or Camphor Tree (fig.). It is widely used in Hindu religious ceremonies, as a fuel to light a holy flame. It is burned to bring about purity and since it burns cool without leaving an ash residue, it also symbolizes consciousness. Besides this, it is used for its scent and as an ingredient in mainly Indian cooking. One of Pathum Thani's OTOP products is kaanboon hom, i.e. ‘aromatic camphor’, a kind of herbal scent or perfume bag, often sold in the form of a small cotton doll, known as tukkatah kaanboon hom, ‘aromatic camphor dolls’.

kaan borijahk lohng sop (การบริจาคโลงศพ)

Thai for ‘coffin donation’.

kaan chai thuay dood leuad (การใช้ถ้วยดูดเลือด)

Thai. ‘To make use of cups to suck blood’. Designation for cupping or fire cupping, an acupressure technique used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Mandarin known as ba guan zi.

kaancheud mangkon (การเชิดมังกร)

Thai. ‘Manipulation of the dragon’. Name for the Chinese Dragon Dance (fig.).

kaancheud seua (การเชิดเสือ)

Thai. ‘Manipulation of the tiger’. Name for the Chinese Tiger Dance (fig.).

kaancheud singtoh (การเชิดสิงโต)

Thai. ‘Manipulation of the lion’. Name for the Chinese Lion Dance (fig.).

kaanchon kai (การชนไก่)

Thai. ‘Cock fighting’. Name of a brutal blood sport that, although illegal, banned or restricted in most countries, is still widely practiced in Thailand, as well as in many other countries of Southeast Asia. Cock fighting is a cruel ‘game’ in which fighting cocks, specially bred for aggressive behavior, are pitted against each other. The fights traditionally involve betting and often the birds are injected with stimulants to heighten their aggression and sometimes even fitted with metal spurs or razor-sharp blades. When a bird is down and wounded during a fight, it is often prone to choking in its own blood. To prevent asphyxiation its owner will suck the blood from its wounds and throat to clear the windpipe so that the bird can be re-pitted until it is incapable of being revived and a winner can be declared. Cock fights are animal cruelty for the purpose of amusement and greed, and whilst the winners scrape the pot, the loser ends up being served in one, or more likely is tossed onto a heap of other dead birds. Cock fights became a major concern for authorities during the outbreak of the deadly avian flu, as the sucking of blood from injured roosters could become a prime, potentially lethal, gateway for the spread of the H5N1 bird flu virus to humans. In September 2004 the virus killed at least one eighteen year old man who raised fighting cocks outside Bangkok. King Naresuan was a huge enthusiast of cock fighting and at shrines devoted to him one will generally find stone sculptures of cocks, often placed there as offerings (fig.). It is believed that King Naresuan used a Yellow White-tail Fighting Cock (fig.), a species known in Thai as Kai Chon Leuang Haang Khao and famous for its endurance in fighting, in a cock fighting game with the uparacha of Burma. WATCH VIDEO.

kaan fai fah nakhon luang (การไฟฟ้านครหลวง)

Thai. ‘Metropolitan Electricity Authority’. Name for the municipal electricity supply agency for the Bangkok metropolitan area. Electricity was introduced to Thailand by Chao Phraya Surasakmontri (สุรศักดิ์มนตรี) after this chargé d'affaires to France returned from Paris where he had been impressed by how the French capital was illuminated with electric light. Upon his return he tried, yet initially failed, to convince King Rama V, who had never experienced the benefits of electricity, of the importance of this new energy for the nation. Hence, he then persuaded the Queen to assists him and eventually the Grand Palace was decorated with lamps and illuminated on the occasion of the birthday of King Chulalongkorn, on 20 September 1884. After this, electricity soon became widely used in Bangkok and in 1894 a first electrical tramway was established (fig.), replacing trams drawn by horses, that were in use since 1887. The tram business was sold and ownership transferred several times, time and again changing its name, and eventually being named Thai Electricity Corporation Company Limited. When in 1950 the concession expired, the government took over operation, changed the name to Bangkok Electricity Authority, and placed it under the control of the Ministry if the Interior. On 1 August 1958, the current Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) was established, which gradually evolved from its many predecessors, while on 28 September 1960 the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), known in Thai as kaan fai fah suan phumiphaak (fig.), was established as the government department responsible for providing electricity (fig.) in 74 of the 77 provinces in Thailand, i.e. all except Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi. The emblem of the MEA is orange and consists of a circle with the silhouette of Phra Thihnang Anantasamahkom, i.e. the Ananta Samahkom Throne Hall (fig.), a landmark building in the capital, and four lightning bolts. See also POSTAGE STAMP and MAP.

kaan fai fah suan phumiphaak (การไฟฟ้าส่วนภูมิภาค)

Thai. ‘Provincial Electricity Authority’. Government department responsible for providing electricity in 74 of the 77 provinces in Thailand (fig.), i.e. all except Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi, which are served by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, known in Thai as kaan fai fah nakhon luang. See also POSTAGE STAMP and MAP.

kaang ha sih (ค่างห้าสี)

See Red-shanked Douc Langur.

kaangkaeng le (กางเกงเล)

Thai. ‘Sea trousers’. Name for the traditional Thai fisherman pants worn by the Chao Le, a lightweight and oversized pair of trousers, somewhere between a sarong and a pair of culottes. They are made very spacious and need to be wrapped around the waist and then tied with a string from the back, to form a belt. They are popular as casual wear at home and on the beach, and are usually made from cotton or rayon, one size fits all. Due to its wide trousers legs sometimes referred to as elephant leg pants. This kind of long baggy pants are also commonly worn in Myanmar, where they are known as Shan baun-bi, i.e. ‘Shan trousers’ (fig.).

kaangkok (คางคก)

Thai for ‘toad’.

kaangkok ban (คางคกบ้าน)

Thai. ‘House toad’. Name for the Common Asian Toad (fig.). Also transcribed kahngkok bahn and kaangkok baan.

kaangkok sawan (คางคกสวรรค์)

Thai. ‘Heavenly toad’. Name of an auspicious animal from Chinese mythology. READ ON.

kaang ngok (ค่างหงอก)

Thai. ‘Grey Langur’. A name for the Silvered Leaf Monkey, used alongside kaang thao.

kaang pla thod (ก้างปลาทอด)

Thai. ‘Fried fishbone’. Name for a snack consisting of deep fried fish bones, which can be dipped in either a sweet-and-sour nahm phrik sauce or a spicy nahm jim kai sauce. See also nang pla thod krob (fig.). It is a specialty from Ayutthaya.

kaang sahm sih (ค่างสามสี)

See Black-shanked Douc Langur.

kaang thao (ค่างเทา)

Thai. ‘Grey Langur’. A name for the Silvered Leaf Monkey, in addition to kaang ngok.

kaang waen thin neua (ค่างแว่นถิ่นเหนือ)

Thai. ‘Northern Spectacled Langur’. Designation for the Phayre's Leaf Monkey.

kaang waen thin tai (ค่างแว่นถิ่นใต้)

Thai. ‘Southern Spectacled Langur’. Name for the Dusky Leaf Monkey.

kaanhaam (คานหาม)

Thai. Name for a sedan chair or litter (fig.). Kaan means ‘to carry something (with both hands)’ and haam means ‘sedan chair’. Also saliang. See also palanquin, yahnamaht and yahnumaht.

kaan jad dokmai (การจัดดอกไม้)

Thai. ‘Flower arrangement’. This art form is very traditional, especially in the making of phuang malai, flower garlands (fig.) made from jasmine and other colorful flowers, including orchids. These are thread on a wire with a long needle. Also the arrangement of bouquets using tropical species is very popular. See also Pahk Khlong Talaat (fig.), fruit carving and kaan roy phuang malai.

kaan koh kong hin (การก่อกองหิน)

Thai term meaning ‘construction of rock piles’, which refers to the making of cairns (fig.). See kong hin.

kaan loh (การหล่อ)

Thai. ‘Casting’. A manufacturing process in which a metal, often a precious metal such as bronze or gold, is liquefied, cast into a mold and solidified again.

kaan loh phra (การหล่อพระ)

Thai. ‘Casting of Buddha images’. A manufacturing process in which liquid bronze is cast into a mold (fig.) and solidified into a Buddha image. First hot wax is poured into a mold, creating a wax image of the desired shape which, once dry and solid, is taken from the mold; then, some nails are inserted at certain points around the wax image, which is then covered with a mixture made of plaster, sand and water, and tied with a metal wire (fig.); this is done a second time and then the image is put into a kiln, in order to make the wax melt and create a hollow cavity of the desired shape, a technique known as lost wax; next, hot liquid bronze is cast into the cavity, replacing the wax; once solidified, the covering is smashed, revealing the bronze statue; the image is then polished and decorated, and lacquer is applied as a base colour, which is rubbed with sand paper to smoothen it; then it is painted with black lacquer and covered with gold leaf; finally it is polished one more last time. See also Buranathai Buddha Image Foundry (map - fig.).

kaan prakuat (การประกวด)

Thai for ‘competition’ or ‘contest’, usually referring to a beauty contest, with or without a catwalk. The word derives from prakuat, meaning ‘to compete’ or ‘to contend’. Vanity is a not insignificant facet of Thai youth culture and beauty contests are thus very popular, both with male, female and kathoey participants, though most foreign visitors would consider Thai beauty contests rather long-winded and boring. Participants usually compete for money prizes and are judged by a panel, though members of the audience most often also have a say. They can support their favourite candidate by buying him or her flowers. The more flowers a candidate receives, the more votes or points he or she will get from the panel in that particular category of the contest. Since there is no limit on the flowers one is allowed to buy or receive, participants will try to get as many supporters as possible to come and cheer on them.

kaan roy phuang malai (การร้อยพวงมาลัย)

Thai. ‘To string [flowers into] garlands’. Term for making flower garlands, a popular form of kaan jad dokmai, i.e. ‘flower arranging’. They are usually made from jasmine and other colorful flowers, including orchids. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

kaan sadaeng khuang fai (การแสดงควงไฟ)

Thai. ‘Fire spinning show’. Term for fire performances in which fire poi, a fire stick or a fire rope, i.e. a baton or stick, or a rope, usually with a handle on one end and a kind of weighted torch-like canister with a wicking material at the other end, is spun around at night, creating hoop-like displays of flames that lit up against the dark of night. In Thailand, these kind of fire performances are typically held on sandy beaches nationwide, especially on those of the more popular tourist islands. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.

kaan salak dun (การสลักดุน)

Thai. A metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented by hammering it on both sides. READ ON.

kaan seuksah (การศึกษา)

Thai for education.

kaan wian thian (การเวียนเทียน)

Thai. Name for a candlelight procession, in which people walk three times around a temple, an important shrine or a stupa, in a clockwise direction, an act also known as a thaksinahwat. The three circumnavigations represent the Triple Gem. See also thian pansa. WATCH VIDEO.

kaan yaay ton klah (การย้ายต้นกล้า)

Thai. ‘Paddy sprouts transplanting’. Abstract noun of yaay ton klah.

kaan ying thanoo (การยิงธนู)

Thai for ‘archery’, one of the main skills that kings and warriors of the past had to master, both as a weapon in combat and for hunting. READ ON.

kaap he reua (กาพย์เห่เรือ)

Thai term for any epic poetry in verse form, which makes use of tones as well as rhymes, but lacks any definite metrical scheme or cadence, and which in general consists of 8 to 14 verses. The most famous of its kind was composed by Chao Fah Thammathibet, the viceroy of Ayutthaya and the eldest son of Somdet Phra Chao Yoo Hua Borommakoht (1733-1758 AD), which is still sung today in the Royal Barge Procession (fig.), in order to give rhythm to the oarsmen. See also he reua.

kabang (กะบัง)

Thai name for a kind of crown-like headdress, somewhat reminiscent of a diadem, and worn by Thai classical dancers, as well as by certain monkeys and demons in the Ramakien. As such, it is the counterpart of the cone-shaped chadah (fig.). It is usually worn by less important characters, while the main characters by and large wear a chadah-style crown, though there are several exceptions, e.g. Hanuman (fig.), who most of the time is depicted wearing a kabang. When worn by monkeys, it is also referred to as kabang nah ling, whereas if worn by demons, it is called kabang nah yak. Also transcribed ka-bang. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES.

kabi (กบิ)

Thai-Pali word for ‘monkey’, akin to kabih, kapi, kabin (กบิล) and kabin (กบินทร์), and besides the similar terms ling and wahnon.

kabih (กบี่)

Thai-Pali word for ‘monkey’, akin to kabi, kapi, kabin (กบิล) and kabin (กบินทร์), and besides the similar terms ling and wahnon.

kabihthoot (กบี่ธุช)

A standard with a picture of Hanuman, which Rama used to lead his army of monkeys. Also transcribed kabeetut.

kabin (กบินทร์)

Thai-Pali. A compound term of kabi (กบิ), meaning ‘monkey’ and in (อินทร์), which besides being the name for Indra in certain contexts also means ‘patriarch’ or ‘general’. As such it is a synonym of phaya ling, which translates ‘monkey king’ or ‘monkey general’, which may refer to Hanuman. The term is also related to the words kabi, kapi and kabin (กบิล), the latter with a different Thai spelling, all of which mean ‘monkey’, and are used besides the terms ling and wahnon.

kabin (กบิล)

Thai-Pali word for ‘monkey’, akin to kabi, kapi and kabin (กบินทร์), the latter with a different Thai spelling, and besides the similar terms ling and wahnon.

Kabinburi (กบินทร์บุรี)

Thai. Name of a district of Prachinburi. It is a compound of kabin and buri, and means ‘City of the Monkey General’, meaning the town of Hanuman. The city dates back to the Ayutthaya Period and its city hall was previously located in Ban Hanuman (บ้านหนุมาน), i.e. the ‘House of Hanuman’, until it in 1906 was moved to Ban Pahk Nahm (บ้านปากน้ำ), i.e. the ‘House at the Mouth of the River’, the area where the Hanuman River and Phra Prong River merge into the Bang Pakong River (fig.).

Kabinlaphad (กบิลพัสดุ)

Thai for Kapilavatthu.

Kabin Maha Phrom (กบิลมหาพรหม)

Thai name of a deity who had his head cut off after losing a wager. Kabin Maha Phrom was the deity that looked after all important ceremonies in the lives of humans, until one day, a certain rich man who had no children asked the god Indra for help, who gave him a son. The boy, named Thammakumaan (ธรรมกุมาร), which can be translated as ‘Child of the Dhamma’ or ‘Righteous Prince’, was very gifted and even understood the language of the birds. He was given the same responsibilities over human ceremonies,  as Kabin Maha Phrom, exciting the jealousy of the latter. To stop the competition, the deity challenged the boy by giving him three riddles to solve, and made a bet with him, saying that if he knew the correct answers to the riddles within a week, the deity would cut off his own head, but if he couldn't give him the correct answers, he himself would be beheaded. Nearing the end of that week, Thammakumaan who still didn't know the correct answers, was resting underneath a tree. In the tree were some eagles, who were looking forward to soon be feasting on the flesh of the dead body of the boy who would fail to solve the riddles. Whilst relating the story of the wager between the god and the young man, the eagles revealed the right answers to those three riddles. being able to understand the language of the birds, Thammakumaan was now well informed and on the appointed day he gave the Kabin Maha Phrom the three right answers. The god hence lost the wager and cut off his own head, but since his head had intense heat, it would cause an inferno if it were to touch the earth, or parch the sea if it would fell into the sea, his head was deposited in a cave in the heavens. Every new year, i.e. on Songkraan Day, Nang Songkraan, i.e. one of the god's seven daughters in turn will carry her father's head in a parade. Though the seven daughters are often referred to as one, by the name Nang Songkraan, each one separately also has her own name, attributes, mount and other characteristic. Each one corresponds with a day of the week and in the annual parade, the one representing Miss Songkraan, i.e. will carry the head of Kabin Maha Phrom, will be in compliance with the day of the week on which the festival falls, and is hence different each year, thus taking turns in this role. The deity is usually referred to as Tao Kabin Maha Phrom and his name is often transliterated Kabil Maha Phrom. His name is similar to that of Phra Phrom, i.e. Brahma, and like Phra Phrom, Kabin Maha Phrom is also depicted with four faces. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Kabin Paksah (กบิลปักษา)

Thai-Pali. ‘Monkey-bird’. Name of a mythological creature from Himaphan, half-bird and half-monkey, i.e. the torso of a monkey (kabih) and the legs and tail of a bird (paksah). In addition it has a pair of small wings on its upper shoulders and is often depicted holding a staff. Here, kabin (กบิล) is in Thai spelled with the end consonant being an L (ล) which in Thai is at the end of a word or syllable always pronounced as N, but it is sometimes spelled differently, as in Kabinburi, where kabin, also meaning ‘monkey’, is spelled กบินทร์, which is a compound of kabi (กบิ), another synonym for ‘monkey’, with in (อินทร์), i.e. ‘patriarch’, and is then interpreted to be a synonym of phaya ling, which translates ‘monkey king’.

Kabuki (歌舞伎, かぶき)

Japanese. ‘The art of singing and dancing’. Name of a classical dance-drama from Japan in which the stage performers wear elaborate mask-like make-up known as kumadori (隈取) and which typically uses the colours white, red, blue, brown and black. Each of the colours expresses a certain trait of the character that is played. This form of Japanese folk drama started in the 17th century Edo Period and was founded by Izumo no Okuni (出雲阿国), a so-called miko (巫女) or Japanese shrine maiden, i.e. a young priestess who works at a Shinto shrine, and from where she got her name, as she worked at the Izumo-taisha (出雲大社), i.e. the Grand Shrine of Izumo, an old province of Japan. In this early period Kabuki's stage performers were all women and it was often performed in the in the red-light districts of Japan. It was also associated with prostitution, which stands at the origin of the term Prostitute Kabuki. The make-up used in Kabuki is often represented in decorative masks used for adornment. See also Chinese Opera and TRAVEL PICTURE.

kacchera (ਕਛੈਰਾ)

Punjabi. Name for the undergarment worn by Sikh devotees as one of the five articles of their faith. It is similar to boxer shorts, yet has to be made entirely from cotton, and thus has a drawstring at the waist rather than an elastic band to keep it in place. It is worn as a reminder that one should control ones kama, i.e. sexual desire or lust.

Kadru (कद्रू)

Sanskrit. Name of the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kasyapa and mother of the nagas in the Mahabharata, but in the Ramayana she is described as being the daughter of Kasyapa and Krodhavasa, who is also a daughter of Daksha.

kae (แกะ)

Thai for ‘sheep’, while a ‘goat’ is called phae.

kaeb moo (แคบหมู)

Thai for ‘pork cracklings’. Deep fried strings of pork rind, i.e. the tough outer layer of bacon. It is a crispy, popular snack, often served with other dishes, such as nahm phrik oung (fig.), and during khantoke dinners (fig.). It is an OTOP specialty from Phayao and is also widely made (fig.) and sold on the Kaad Thung Kwian (กาดทุ่งเกวียน) forest market of Lampang.

kaebon (แก้บน)

Thai. To fulfill a promise by making a votive offer, often in the form of a paid dance performance near an important shrine, where one earlier prayed or asked for a good result from an event or occasion. Alternatively, one can put up a set of miniature dancers known as tukkatah ram thai (fig.), that perform a more permanent dance performance called lakhon yok (fig.). Also transcribed gaebon. WATCH VIDEO.

kaek (แขก)

Thai. ‘Guest’ or ‘visitor’. Term used to refer to people of Indian descent (fig.), i.e. the indigenous people from the Indian Subcontinent, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. It may also be transcribed khaek or Kaek (Khaek), with a capital letter. See also farang.

kaen (แคน)

1. Thai. A bamboo mouth organ. A traditional Thai wind instrument with multiple pipes and a polyphonic sound, somewhat like that of an organ, and which is mostly played by the people of northeastern Thailand (fig.). It is made from the firm stems of reed (fig.) and usually left in its natural colour, although occasionally it may be dyed to make it look more attractive (fig.). It is held with both hands and played by blowing air into the mouthpiece (fig.), whilst alternately covering and uncovering small tone holes with the tips of ones fingers, to alter the pitch of the sound produced and which is proportional to each pipe's effective length. There is just one tone hole on each pipe, located just above the mouthpiece. An instrument representative of Isaan (map), it is often displayed in art of that region (fig.). Also transcribed khaen. See also gaeng.

2. Thai. Name in Isaan for the takian thong, a tree in English known by the name gagil and with the botanical name Hopea odorata.

kaeng (แกง)

Thai. Generic name for a variety of typically Thai, often soup-like, curries. It may be clear and thin, or spicy and thickened with coconut milk, depending on the variety, which is often specified by adding a suffix, e.g. kaeng phanaeng, kaeng khi lehk, kaeng khiao wahn, kaeng som, etc. To those different curries, meat, fish or seafood will be added, according to ones choice and liking, and to specify the dish more accurately, the Thai word for the kind of meat, fish or seafood used, will hence be added to the name of the curry. Many curries are typically eaten with some raw vegetables that are served on the side, such as yod krathin (fig.).

kaeng khiao wahn (แกงเขียวหวาน)

Thai. ‘Sweet green curry’. Name of a kind of curry (kaeng), made on the basis of green chili paste (fig.) and coconut milk, which is mixed with water and cooked in a wok, whilst adding other ingredients, such as a little palm sugar and fish sauce, meat or fish, crisp eggplant (makheua proh - fig.), pea or cluster eggplant (makheua phuang - fig.), kaffir lime leaves (makrud - fig.), Thai Basil (hora-phaa) leaves (fig.), and sliced red chili peppers.

kaeng khi lehk (แกงขี้เหล็ก)

Thai. Name of a kind of curry (kaeng) made with the young leaves and flowers of the khi lehk american, a kind of cassia tree also known as suwannaphreuk.

kaeng phanaeng (แกงแผนง)

Thai. Name of a kind of red curry (kaeng) with plenty of coconut milk, what makes it milder and thicker than regular red curries. It is made with little shreds of kaffir lime leaf, sliced red chilis and bite-size chunks of either beef, pork or chicken, naming the dish after the meet, e.g. kaeng phanaeng moo (pork) for the dish with pork, kaeng phanaeng kai (chicken) for the dish with chicken, etc.

kaeng som (แกงส้ม)

Thai. ‘Sour curry’ or ‘orange curry’. Name of a kind of thin, curry-like soup (kaeng), made of tamarind paste, which is orange in colour and somewhat sour in taste. This then forms the basis, in which other ingredients are added to form a dish, which is further named according to the ingredients that are added, e.g. kaeng som cha om kung (fig.).

kaeng som cha om kung (แกงส้มชะอมกุ้ง)

Thai. Name of a thin, curry-like soup (kaeng), known in Thai as kaeng som, made of tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar and lemon juice, and which is orange in colour and somewhat sour in taste. In it, thick, square-cut blocks of omelet mixed with young green Acacia leaves called cha om, are added (fig.), as well as kung, i.e. ‘shrimps’.

kaen tawan (แก่นตะวัน)

Thai. Name for the Jerusalem artichoke, the root of a kind of sunflower, with the botanical designation Helianthus tuberosus, and which is also commonly known as sunchoke and earth apple. It is cultivated for its edible tuber and in Thailand, where it is grown commercially in Khon Kaen and Phetchabun, the root is sliced and eaten raw as a herbal snack. The Jerusalem artichoke is not at all an artichoke and the name Jerusalem is a corruption that derives from the mispronunciation of girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, which literally means to turn (gira) to the sun (sole), the Italian equivalent for the Greek word heliotropio (ηλιοτρόπιο) from which the English term heliotrope derives, which describes the concept that members of the sunflower family always face the sun. They follow the course of the sun by turning their inflorescences towards the sun.

kae salak (แกะสลัก)

Thai term used for the art of making three-dimensional sculptures or relief forms, by either chiselling, carving, engraving, etching and sculpturing wood, stone or other materials, including even fruit and vegetables (see fruit carving). Other methods of producing statues or three-dimensional, such as casting or moulding, are called differently, i.e. for ‘casting’ the term loh (หล่อ) is used which is also slang for ‘male beauty’, and for ‘moulding’ the word pan (ปั้น) is utilized.

kae salak dun (แกะสลักดุน)

See kaan salak dun.

kae salak pak (แกะสลักผัก)

Thai. Carving of vegetables into sculptures following tradition. See also fruit carving.

kae salak ponlamai (แกะสลักผลไม้)

Thai. The artistic carving of fruit into sculptures or reliefs following tradition. See also fruit carving.

kaew (แก้ว)

Thai for ‘glass’, especially ‘cut glass’ or ‘crystal’, as distinguished from sheet glass, which is called krajok (กระจก). The term is also used as a designation for precious and exquisite things, such as gemstones, and often appears in names of places, places and temples, as in Wat Phra Kaew. Also transliterated kaeo.

kaew chao jom (แก้วเจ้าจอม)

Thai. ‘Crystal minor wife of a king (without his child)’. Name for a small tree with the botanical name Guaiacum officinale, commonly known as Roughbark Lignum-vitae. It originates from the East Indies and was introduced in Thailand by King Rama V, who brought it with him from Java after a visit to the island, and subsequently planted it in the Royal Palace's garden. Today the showy blue to bluish-white flower is the symbol of the Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University (มหาวิทยาลัยราชภัฏสวนสุนันทา) and is portrayed on a postage stamp issued in 2002 AD (fig.).

Kaew Jom Kaen (แก้วจอมแก่น)

Thai. ‘Crystal, [the] core leader’. Name of a book composed by Princess Sirindhorn under the pseudonym Waen Kaew (แว่นแก้ว), and in English referred to as ‘The Mischievous Kaew’ (fig.). The literary work is a youth book based on the princess' own experiences from her childhood. The main character of the book is a girl named Kaew (Crystal), who is also the core storyteller. Each chapter she tells about one of her adventures, describing both her mischief and her knowledge. She introduces her friends and nephews, and even gives recipes to make Thai desserts. When UNESCO in 2013 presented the honorary prize of World Book Capital 2013 to Bangkok as the 13th city in its capacity that was declared the metropolis of reading in order to encourage learning by books at an international level, the princess granted royal permission to print the cover of Kaew Jom Kaen on a commemorative postage stamp, issued to mark the event (fig.).

kaew mangkon (แก้วมังกร)

Thai name for the dragon fruit.

kaffir lime

See makrud.

kah (ก๋า)

Thai. Another name for wih.

Kahkamukha (काकमुख)

Sanskrit. ‘Crow-faced’, sometimes translated as ‘raven-faced’. A form of Mahakala (fig.) depicted with a black (kala) complexion, wings and the head of a crow. This form of Mahakala, i.e. the Hindu god of time and a form of Shiva as the personification of Kala in a terrible form, occurs especially in Tantric Buddhism and hence in the religious art of Tibet. The name is also transcribed Kakamukha and he is sometimes referred to as Kahkamukha Mahakala, or Kakamukha Mahakala. Compare with Kaaknasoon.

Kahn Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya (ก้าน พึ่งบุญ ณ อยุธยา)

Thai. True name of an early 20th century novelist, who wrote under the pseudonym Mai Meuang Deum. READ ON.

kahng kahw (ค้างคาว)

Thai name for ‘bat’. Literally kahng means ‘to be left dangling’ or ‘perching’ and kahw means ‘to stench’ or ‘stink’.

kahng kahw kitti (ค้างคาวกิตติ)

Thai. Name for the hog-nosed bat which is also known as the Bumblebee Bat, the world's smallest bat with the scientific name Craseonycteris thonglongyai. It has an adult body weighing only between 1.5 and 2.0 grams, and a wingspan of about 16 centimeters across. These rare bats are insectivores and are only found in Thailand and Myanmar, where they are known to live in just a few limestone caves in forested landscapes. It gets its name from Kitti Thonglongya (กิตติ ทองลงยา), a Thai scientist who in 1973 first listed this species which he discovered in a cave in the amphur Sai Yohk (ไทรโยค) in Kanchanaburi province. Before that time it was unknown to science. In 1986 it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's smallest known mammal.

kahng kahw mongkut (ค้างคาวมงกุฎ)

Thai.Diadem bat’. Thai term for Horseshoe Bat.

kahsahwapad (กาสวพัสตร์)

Pali-Thai. The robe of a Buddhist monk. See also traijiewon and pah kahsahwapad.

kahthah (คาถา)

Another transliteration for kata.

kahtiyaw (กาเตียว)

Thai. Northeastern Thai name for the krajiaw.

kai betong (ไก่เบตง)

Thai. A breed of domestic chicken, that originated from the langshan (แลงซาน) variety from China and was introduced to Thailand by Chinese immigrants. It is named after the place where it was first bred for consumption, i.e. the Amphur Betong in Yala Province. Adult males have a reddish-yellow plumage and females are whitish-yellow. Adult males have a reddish-yellow plumage and females are whitish-yellow. Both sexes have yellow legs and feet, and a single red comb. See also Bantam.

Kai Chao Liang (ไก่เจ้าเลี้ยง)

Thai. Literally ‘Ruler-bred Cock’, but usually translated as ‘Royal Fighting Cock’. Another name for the ‘Yellow White-tail Fighting Cock’, besides Kai Chon Leuang Haang Khao and Kai Chon Phra Naresuan.

Kai Chon Leuang Haang Khao (ไก่ชนเหลืองหางขาว)

Thai. ‘Yellow White-tail Fighting Cock’. A special breed of fighting cock, also known in Thai as Kai Chao Liang and Kai Chon Phra Naresuan.

Kai Chon Phra Naresuan (ไก่ชนพระนเรศวร)

Thai. ‘Phra Naresuan Fighting Cock’. Another name for the Yellow White-tail Fighting Cock’, in addition to Kai Chon Leuang Haang Khao and Kai Chao Liang.

kai dam tun yah jihn (ไก่ดำตุ๋นยาจีน)

Thai. ‘Chinese medicinal steamed black chicken’. Name of a dish prepared from an attractive Chinese breed of chicken with the binomial name Gallus Gallus Domesticus Brisson. It has a unique, fluffy plumage, which is usually white (fig.), but may also have other colours, including black. Its feathers are said to feel like silk and the animal is hence given the name Silkie (Silky). They are among the most docile of poultry and are considered ideal pets, as well as ornamental fowl. Unlike most other breeds, it has five toes (others usually have four), a black skin (fig.), black meat and bones (fig.), and is both eaten (in Thailand usually as a soup) and used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, for its high levels of carnosine, a natural anti-oxidant that has a number of beneficial properties, believed amongst others to improve muscle strength and alleviate the effects of ageing and diabetes. Though this substance is also commonly found in ordinary breeds of chicken, Silkies have proven to have twice as much of it. In Thailand, they are sold on markets, already slaughtered and plucked, and prepared in restaurants in Chinatown, as well as in places with large Chinese communities, such as Nakhon Sawan and Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai province. Also known as Black-Bone Silky Fowl.

kai fah (ไก่ฟ้า)

Thai. Literally ‘sky fowl’ or ‘blue fowl’. Though, used as a term, it translates as ‘pheasant’ and refers to fowls that are members of the family Phasianidae, which also includes birds other than pheasants, such as the Red Junglefowl, the Green Peafowl and the Indian Blue Peafowl, as well as several kinds of partridges and peacocks. In fact, the family Phasianidae recognizes only eight species of pheasant living in Thailand, i.e. the Silver Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Crested Firebak, Crestless Fireback, Kalij Pheasant, the Hume's Pheasant, the Malayan Peacock-pheasant, the Bar-tailed Pheasant, and the Grey Peacock-pheasant. Most of them belong to the genus Lophura, apart from the two Peacock-pheasants, that belong to the genus Polyplectron, and the rather rare Hume's Pheasant, which as only species belongs to the genus Syrmaticus.

kai fah lady (ไก่ฟ้าเลดี้)

Thai. ‘Lady fowl’. Name for the Lady Amherst's Pheasant, alongside kai fah lady amherst.

kai fah lady amherst (ไก่ฟ้าเลดี้แอมเฮิรสท์)

Thai. ‘Lady Amherst fowl’. Name for the Lady Amherst's Pheasant, alongside kai fah lady.

kai fah lang khaw (ไก่ฟ้าหลังขาว)

Thai. ‘White-backed fowl’. Name for the Silver Pheasant, alongside kai fah lang ngun.

kai fah lang ngun (ไก่ฟ้าหลังเงิน)

Thai. ‘Silver-backed fowl’. Name for the Silver Pheasant, alongside kai fah lang khaw.

kai fah lang thao (ไก่ฟ้าหลังเทา)

Thai. ‘Grey-backed fowl’. Name for the Kalij Pheasant.

kai fah phaya loh (ไก่ฟ้าพญาลอ)

Thai name for the Siamese Fireback.

kai fah sih thong (ไก่ฟ้าสีทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden-coloured fowl’. Name for the Golden Pheasant.

kai jae (ไก่แจ้)

Thai. ‘Dwarfed fowl’. Name for the Bantam.

kai juk (ไก่จุก)

Thai. ‘Tufted fowl’. Name for the Crested Partridge. See also juk.

Kailasa (कैलास)

Sanskrit. A mountain in the Himalayas, the dwelling place of Shiva and Parvati. In Thai Krailaat and in Sanskrit also called Kailash.

kainn pone pain (ကင်းပုံပင်)

Burmese name used for the snake cucumber, besides kainn pone thee.

kainn pone thee (ကင်းပုံသီး)

Burmese name used for the snake cucumber, besides kainn pone pain.

kai pah (ไก่ป่า)

Thai. ‘Forest  fowl’ or ‘wild fowl’. Name for the Red Junglefowl, a tropical bird with the scientific name Gallus gallus and a member of the Pheasant family, Phasianidae. Roosters are more brilliantly coloured that their tame relative, Gallus gallus domesticus, and can easily be distinguished by two white patches on either side of the head. It is native to Southern Asia, including Thailand. According to Dr. Tom Pizzari from the University of Oxford, chickens originated in Thailand and the Red Junglefowl is the wild ancestral population that produced all the different breeds of domestic chicken found worldwide. No wonder the first letter of the Thai alphabet (fig.) is called ko kai (ก.ไก่), which means chicken’, while the second letter is named kho khai (ข.ไข่), which means ‘egg’, thus also solving the question of whichever came first (fig.). Like many birds in the Pheasant family, males and females show very strong sexual dimorphism (fig.). Males are much larger with bright gold and bronze feathers and a tail composed of long, arching feathers that look black, but shimmer with metallic blue, purple and green in the light. It has a large red comb on the head and fleshy wattles near its throat. The female has a rather small comb and no fleshy wattles and her plumage is rather dull, designed for camouflage, as she alone looks after the eggs and chicks (fig.). Red junglefowls are herbivorous and insectivorous, feeding on worms, grass, corn, soybeans, and different kinds of grains found on the ground. See also kai fah and See also TRAVEL PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.

kai thong (ไก่ทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden fowl’ or ‘golden chicken’. Name of a kind herb of which the golden-brown hairs, that grow on this tuber-like plant's root, are used in traditional medicine to stop bleeding.

kajae (ກະແຈະ)

Lao for thanaka (fig.) or wood powder used as a traditional make-up.

kaki lima

Malay. ‘Five foot’. Architectural term for a covered pedestrian walkway in front of colonial-style buildings, often shophouses, in many old parts of cities and towns throughout Malaysia and Singapore, as well as in the old part of Phuket Town. The portico-like walkway is either sunken into the ground or elevated from the road, yet in either case leveled with the ground floor of a building, and provides a corridor to shield pedestrians from the sun and rain by the overhanging upper floors of that building. The name kaki lima derives from the fact that these walkways were initially about five foot wide, although many are now wider. Hence, the term is nowadays used generally for any type of veranda or corridor, regardless of its function or width. Since many hawkers use the walkways to to sell a local food, snacks and drinks, the term kaki lima is in Indonesia slang for food vendors, though it is asserted that the Indonesian term may also derive from the fact that originally those peddlers on the sides off the road had mobile push carts, and were referred to as kaki lima or ‘five footers‘, because of the two wheels, the back stand, and the two legs of the guy pushing it.

Kakku (ကက္ကူ)

Name of one of Asia's largest and most spectacular ancient monuments, and one of Myanmar's hidden gems, consisting of an 12th century AD historical Pa-oh site, with a collection of around 2,000 ancient stupas, tucked away in the scenic highlands some 50+ kilometers south of Taunggyi, Shan State’s thriving capital. The stupas in this remote location are packed closely together in ranks and while the main stupa stands about 40 meters tall, most are around 20 meters high. According to legend, the first stupas were built by King Alaungsithu (fig.), the 12th Century King of Bagan. Many stupas are richly decorated with religious and mythological sculptures and figures, and while those allegedly date to the 17-18th century, some of the other structures are clearly much older. In full its name is Mwe Taw Kakku (မွေတော်ကက္ကူ). See MAP.


Pali. A buddha of the past and a precursor of Sakyamuni, i.e. the historical Buddha. He was born in Khemavati, today's Gotihawa near Lumbini in southern Nepal as the son of a brahmin priest, who was a chaplain to the king of Khemavati. Like the historical Buddha, he was married and also had a son. According to legend, Kakusandha was 40 cubits (ca. 18.3 meters) tall, lived for 4,000 years until he renounced his worldly life, and died at the age of 40,000. He is one of the four giant standing buddha's in Ananda Phaya in Bagan, located at its North Gate, the others being Kassapa facing South (fig.), Konagamana facing East (fig.), and Gautama at the West Gate (fig.). Initially, this giant Kakusandha image purportedly had a large blue diamond in its forehead, which was stolen and later, in the 16th century, surfaced again in India, where it became known as the Hope Diamand. In Sanskrit, this buddha is known as Krakucchanda, in Thai he is called Kukasan (กกุสันธ) or Phra Kukasan Phutta Chao (พระกกุสันธพุทธเจ้า), and in Burmese Kakuthan (ကကုသန်).

kakuthaphan (กกุธภัณฑ์)

1. Thai. The Thai Royal Regalia (fig.), which consist of the Great Crown of Victory (fig.) or Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut (fig.), the Sword of State or Phra Saeng Khan Chai Sri (fig.), the Royal Sceptre or Tahnphrakon (fig.), the Golden Fan or Padwaanlawichanie and Yak's Tail (fig.), and the Golden Sandal or Chalong Phra Baht (fig.). In a ceremony on Coronation Day, which is held annually on May the fifth, these Five Insignia of Kingship are placed on the throne in Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall (fig.). In 1988, the Royal Regalia appeared on a set of postage stamps, issued to mark the Longest Reign Celebrations of King Rama IX (fig.). Also transcribed kakuttapan.

2. Thai. Royal insignia or emblem, as well as the regalia or royal signs of royal privilege. Also transcribed kakuttapan.

3. Thai. Name of Prince Siriraj Kakuthaphan (fig.), the 59 child of King Rama V.

Ka Kwe Bu Pe

Kayang name for a female dragon.

kala (कला)

1. Sanskrit. Term used to express time and energy, death and creation, as well as the destruction of the universe. Personified as Kala or Mahakala (fig.), the Hindu god of time and a form of Shiva, and as Kali or Mahakali, a form of his consort Devi. Both represent the terrifying destructive aspects of time, and it is Kala who orders Yama, the god of death, who will die. The Thai word for time (kaan, กาล) is derived from it. Pronunciation is ka-lah. See also Phra Kaan, golden parrot, and compare with kala.

2. In Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, term for kirtimukha. Pronunciation is ka-lah. Compare with kala.

kala (काला)

Sanskrit-Pali. ‘Black’. The name Kali is derived from it and it also occurs in the name Kalasin which means ‘black water’ or ‘black river’. Pronunciation is kah-lah. Compare with kala.

kalachakra (กาลจักร)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Wheel of time’ or ‘time-wheel’, a circular frame or disc associated with the dance of time and eternity performed by Shiva., as well as with the universe, as displayed in certain kilkhor or sand mandala from Tibet (fig.). See also Nataraja.


Sanskrit name for Kalewin.

kalae (กาแล)

Thai. V or X shaped, often flame like ornament at the top of traditional gabled roofs (fig.) in North Thailand. ‘Ka’ literally means to cross, and ‘lae’ means to look or to keep an eye on something. The origin is disputed, but possibly goes  back to the crossing of the slanting side beams at the ridge of gabled roofs (fig.), as can still be seen in simple huts today (fig.). However, the word ‘ka’, which may also be transliterated as ‘kah’, also means ‘crow’ (fig.), a possible reference to the chofa, that according to some represents a highly stylized form of the garuda or hamsa. Also transcribed galae. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

kala face

See kirtimukha.

kalaga (ကန့်လန့်ကာ)

Burmese. ‘Curtain’ or ‘screen’. A kind of appliqué tapestry, which is heavily embroidered with gold thread or filigree (fig.), and often decorated with small pieces of coloured glass and/or small mirrors. It is typically used as Burmese temple cloths and is usually made in relief using kapok as a filling. For the production of larger embroidery pieces, some collaboration is required. Whereas one or more workers sit on a makeshift scaffolding erected over the top, i.e. the front side of the cloth, thus creating the visible part, another team works from below, i.e. on the invisible back of the cloth, while laying on their backs. The workers on the scaffolding push the needle and thread through the fabric from above, passing it on to the aids below, who push it back up from below (fig.). Kalaga is in Burmese also referred to as shwe gyi do, which translates as gold thread embroidery’.

ka-lah (กะลา)

Thai for ‘coconut shell’. The term is used especially to refer to the hemispherical parts, after the hairy inner shell of a whole coconut has been split into two halves, with one half being somewhat pointed, the other with three distinctive germination pores at the base.

kalamae (กะละแม)

Thai. Name for a kind of Thai toffee made of sticky rice flour, coconut milk and sugar which is boiled and stirred (kuan) until it has turned sticky and dark. Although traditionally Thai, its name is derived from the French word caramel meaning ‘burnt sugar’. The Mon people, especially those from Samut Songkhram, have their own variety called kalamae raman, said to be the most delicious as it is made with plenty of coconut. It is wrapped in the dried, woody, bark-like spathes (bracts that envelop a flower-cluster) of the betel palm, called kahb (กาบ) mahk. It is sold either uncut or cut up together with the wrapper, in bite-size pieces. The wrapper is not edible. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

kalamplih (กล่ำปลี, กะหล่ำปลี)

Thai. Name for a kind of Thai cabbage of the genus Brassica, which is used as a leafy green vegetable. It has smooth leaves, that are packed rather compact together. There are two kinds, i.e. a round form and a pointed form. The latter is also referred to as kalamplih hua jai, with the word hua jai (หัวใจ) meaning ‘heart’ and referring to its shape. It is eaten fresh, usually sliced in small chunks, and served as a complimentary vegetable with certain dishes. Also transliterated galamplee.


Term from Cham religious architecture referring to a sanctuary in the form of a tower.

kalapaphreuk (กัลปพฤกษ์)

The official Thai name for the pink shower tree or pink cassia (fig.), a deciduous tree that grows up to 12 meters tall and has the scientific Latin name Cassia bakeriana. The name kalapaphreuk however, is often used generally to refer to all cassia trees with pink flowers, i.e. pink cassia trees. See also kalaphreuk.

kalaphreuk (กาฬพฤกษ์)

The official Thai name for the horse cassia, a kind of pink cassia (fig.), a deciduous medium sized tree that grows up to 20 meters tall and has the scientific Latin name Cassia grandis. See also kalapaphreuk.

kalasa (कलश)

1. A flask or water pot alleged to contain the amrita. It is one of the eight auspicious symbols or Ashtamangala and is frequently seen as one of the attributes of Padmapani, Kuan Yin, Maitreya, and Kubera. See also Treasure Vase, kundika, Suwanphingkhaan, and puranakata.

2. In Hindu and Buddhist architecture the term used for the peak that crowns a stupa.

Kalasin (กาฬสินธุ์)

Thai-Pali-Sanskrit. ‘Black water’ or ‘black river’. Name of a province (map), as well as its capital city, in Northeast Thailand, 519 kms Northeast of Bangkok. READ ON.

kaleb (กะเหล็บ)

Thai. Name of a type of basket, which is woven from bamboo and used by the men of the Lao Sohng minority people from Laos, as a container to store mahk (areca nuts - fig.) and bai chaphlu (betel leaves - fig.), i.e. two ingredients used in betel nut chewing (fig.), as well as gold ornaments. All these items are typically used as a dowry in their marriage rituals. This kind of basket is round and bulbous above and rectangular at the base. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Kalewin (กเลวิน)

The reusi who paid homage to the newborn prince Siddharta and to whom the infant showed his first miracle by placing himself on the turban of the sage. Other texts, however, mention a hermit with the name Asita. In Sanskrit Kaladevala.

Kali (काली)

1. Sanskrit. In Vedic times the name meant ‘the Black One’ and was associated with Agni, the god of fire, who had seven tongues with which he licked the offerings of butter. Of these seven tongues Kali was the black, terrifying tongue. See also kala.

2. Sanskrit. ‘Black goddess’. The horrifying form of Devi, the consort of Shiva. As a goddess of death (fig.), violence, and doomsday, she is one of the fiercest, strongest, and most complex deities in all of Hinduism, and she's is often depicted with a terrifying face with a protruding tongue (fig.) and tusks, and smeared with blood. If portrayed with multiple arms, typically ten, of which at least one holds a weapon and another sometimes the decapitated head of a giant dripping with blood, she is known as also Mahakali (fig.). Her ornaments include snakes, skulls, and figures of children. She is a form of Durga. See also kala.

3. Sanskrit. Fourth and last of the four yugas, and the present time cycle according to Indian cosmology. For more see Kali Yuga. Compare with kala.

Kalidasa (कालिदास)

Sanskrit. ‘Servant of Kali’. Name of a renowned poet in India (app. 550 AD) and author of the Sakuntala, a drama in Sanskrit which was translated into Thai by king Vajiravudh. By some called the Indian Shakespeare.

Kalij Pheasant

A species of pheasant with the scientific name Lophura leucomelanos, and found in South and Southeast Asia, especially in the foothills of the Himalayas, from northwestern India to western Thailand. This species is closely related to the Silver Pheasant (fig.) and has several subspecies, which can roughly be divided into two main groups, according to their geographical appearance. Besides the nominate race, the first group includes the subspecies Lophura hamiltoni, Lophura melanota, Lophura moffitti and Lophura lathami, which are found in the western and central part of its range, the second group includes the subspecies Lophura williamsi, Lophura oatesi, Lophura lineata and Lophura crawfurdi, which are found in the eastern central part of this bird's range. The males of the first group are glossy blue-black, with white to the rump or underparts in most subspecies, and similar to the Vietnamese Pheasant (fig.), the westernmost subspecies Lophura hamiltoni has a white crest, whereas that of all others is blue-black. The plumage of males in the second group is also glossy blue-black, but the tail and upperparts are white or very pale grey, with most feathers densely vermiculated with black. Females are brownish, with most feathers pale-edged, giving the plumage a scaly appearance (fig.), whilst in some subspecies the underparts are distinctly marked in whitish and black. In Thai, known as kai fah lang thao.

Kalika (कालिक, กาลิกะ)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Relating to time’, akin to the Thai word kaan (กาล). Name of one of the eighteen arahats, who is usually depicted sitting on an elephant whilst studying a scroll. Though some sources state that he formerly was a mahout, the elephant, an animal of immense strength, endurance and perseverance, is more likely an allegory for the power of Buddhism, whereas the scroll represents the sutra. In Chinese he is known as the luohan Qi Xiang (骑象, or in traditional Chinese: 騎象), literally ‘To Mount an Elephant’. In English he is referred to as the Elephant-Riding Lohan or the Dust Cleaning Arhat, indicating the dusty mind that needs to be cleaned and akin to Chudapanthaka, the Door Watching Arhat, who sweeps dusty floors as a cleaning meditation. In Thai his name is pronounced Galiga, but he is also called Kagkahti (คักขาทิ). In Vietnamese, he is called Ky Tuong La Han (fig.).

Kalitas (กาลิทัส)

Thai name for Kalikdasa.

Kaliya (कालिया)

The naga serpent king with five heads, which was subdued by Krishna when he was a mere child. It lived in a whirlpool of the river Yamuna (fig.), polluting the neighborhood with its poison, until it was removed by Krishna. This scene is often depicted in art as the young Krishna dancing on the head of the snake. See also Naak Galyah.

Kali Yuga (कलीयुग)

Sanskrit. The present era or time period and the most depraved of the four yugas, the cycles of creation. This cycle began in 3,102 BC and will last 432,000 years, according to Brahman beliefs.

Kali Yuk (กลียุค)

Thai name for Kali Yuga.

Kalki (कल्कि)

See Kalkin.

Kalkin (कल्किन्)

The tenth, still to appear avatara of Vishnu in the form of a white horse. Riding this horse he will destroy all evil with a blazing sword and restore the innocence in the world, at the end of the present Kali era. Vishnu also has another equine form known as Vajimukha, which is Sanskrit for ‘horse face’ (fig.). Also called Kalki.

ka-loong put (k'loong put)

Vietamnese. Name of a highland ethnic musical instrument made from hollow bamboo pipes, arranged horizontally and in increasing length, akin to a xylophone. The latter is in Vietnamese known as trung (t'rung) and the ka-loong put is also referred to as trung ka-loong put. The instrument is played by softly clapping the hands in front of the openings of the pipes on one side, making the wind blow through them and thus creating sound.

kalpa (कल्प)

Sanskrit. The duration of a cosmic period equaling 4,320,000,000 years for mortals, but just one day and night for Brahma.

Kalwar (กาลหว่าร์)

Thai name for ‘Calvary’, i.e. Golgotha, the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. A Portuguese 18th Century Roman Catholic Church in Bangkok is named Bot Kalwar, i.e. ‘Calvary Church’ (map). After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1767 AD, the Catholics had moved from the former Siamese capital to the western bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi, where they in 1770 AD built the Santa Cruz Church (map). The original building had a rather Chinese design and was nicknamed Kuti Jihn (กุฎีจีน), i.e. Chinese dwelling, and the community that grew around it became known by that name up to present. Yet, when in 1786 AD the Catholic Portuguese rejected French clergy, King Rama I granted them a plot of land on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River, where the Portuguese built a new church. This original building no longer exists and the present-day church in gothic-style architecture is in fact the third church building, that was constructed in the reign of King Rama V. This church is also known as Holy Rosary Church. WATCH VIDEO.

kalyanamandapa (कल्याणमण्डप)

Sanskrit. ‘Mondop of good fortune’ or ‘auspicious mondop’. A hypostyle hall used for the symbolic marriage of the temple deity.

kam (กรรม)

Thai for karma.

kama (काम)

Sanskrit. ‘Love’ or ‘desire’. In Hinduism, kama is personified by the god of love, that is to say Kama, and it is a theme often celebrated in Hindu art, such as in the Kamasutra, i.e. the sutra or ‘discourse’ on kama, and in the erotic sculpted bas-reliefs of the Hindu-Jain temples of Khajuraho in India. In Buddhism, kama refers to both the senses and visible phenomena.

Kama (काम)

Sanskrit. The Hindu god of love and desire, portrayed as the most handsome of all gods. He is the son of the goddess Sri. He is sometimes depicted with wings and carries a bow made of sugarcane, with a string of honeybees and arrows decorated with fragrant flowers. His mount is a parrot and the apsaras are his servants. He shoots his love arrows to humans in order to inspire romantic love and is the Hindu equivalent of Cupid. His consort or shakti is called Rati (fig.). He is also known as Madana, Manmatha and Kamadeva. In Thai called Phra Kaam. See also kama.

Kama on parrot

kamala (कमल)

Sanskrit. ‘Lotus flower’, i.e. a red lotus. Pink, white and blue lotuses are called differently, i.e. padma, pundarika, and utpala, respectively. The red lotus signifies the original nature and purity of the heart, and as such it is the lotus of love, passion, and compassion, as well as all other qualities of the heart. It is therefore also the flower of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

kamaloka (कामलोक)

Sanskrit-Pali. ‘Sensuous world’, i.e. the world of the five senses, which comprises the six lower celestial worlds, the human world (manussaloka) and the four lower worlds or apaya, i.e. the animal kingdom (tiracchahnayoni), the realm of ghosts (petaloka), the demon world (asuranikahya), and the hells (niraya/naraka). The term is a compound of the words kama and loka.

Kamboja (कम्बोज)

Name for a state in Cambodia, that existed between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, after the fall of Funan, and also known as Chenla. Kamboja derives from the Sanskrit name Kambuja.


Name of the ancient Khmer people. They are the supposed descendants of the Hindu sage Kambu Svayambhuva, their eponymous ancestor. An ancient legend tells that Shiva gave him the apsara Mera, a celestial nymph, as his bride. From their names the word Khmer is said to have derived, i.e. Kambu and Mera became Kamera, later to be pronounced Khmer. A royal lineage came forth from this couple and the name Kambuja means ‘born from Kambu’. In another legend, it is told that the father of Mera was a dragon king who ruled over a watery kingdom. When his daughter was to marry an Indian Brahmin named Kaundinya (another name for Kambu) and in need of a dowry, he drank all the water of his kingdom in order to provide his son-in-law with land. That land, is told, was named Kambuja. This is reminiscent  of a Thai legend in which a phayanaag, the chief of the nagas, drank all the water of the world to provide his son-in-law with land, but was ordered by Vishnu to return it all and was squeezed until he had expelled all the water he had consumed. These stories are perhaps inspired by Cambodia's Tonlé Sap (fig.), the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia (map - fig.), whose dimensions swell and shrink up to five times its original size, depending on the seasonal monsoons and the flow of the Tonlé Sap river that in the Southeast converges with the Mekhong river. In the rainy season, when the level of the Mekhong rises rapidly, it reverses the natural flow of the Tonlé Sap river, causing it to flow upstream, into the lake. Tonlé Sap has the highest concentration of freshwater fish in the world, thanks to the mineral rich sediment carried into the lake by the annual floods. The name Kambuja is still in use in Cambodia today. In Sanskrit known as Kamboja.

kammataan (กรรมฐาน)

Thai-Pali-Rajasap. Meditation in the Buddhist manner, leading to Enlightenment and tranquility of mind. See also Thai Forest Tradition.

kamnan (กำนัน)

Thai. An elected official who oversees the general welfare of the people in a tambon.

kamphaeng (กำแพง)

Thai for a ‘surrounding wall’ or a ‘fortification’. When built around a city or citadel, it is called kamphaeng meuang.

kamphaeng kaew (กำแพงแก้ว)

Thai. ‘Jewelled wall’. A decorated wall built in a temple or palace compound to separate a specially sacred area, as well as a parapet built around a monument.

Kamphaeng Phet (กำแพงเพชร)

Thai. ‘Jewelled wall’ or ‘diamond wall’. Historical capital of a contemporary province (map) of the same name in North Thailand. READ ON.

Kamphon Wacharaphon (กำพล วัชรพล)

Thai. Founder of the Thai Rath newspaper, who was praised by UNESCO for his work in education and promoting and developing journalism in Thailand. He was lauded by the organization as an individual of great importance for his establishment of the Thai Rath Vithaya School network and the Thai Rath Foundation. Kamphon devoted the last part of his life to promoting formal education for those in rural and remote areas of Thailand, building new schools, which now add up to over a hundred and with around 30,000 students. Originally from Samut Sakon, where he was born on Saturday 27 December 1919, he built the first school under his Thai Rath Vitaya school project in Lopburi, in 1969. He passed away on 21 February 1996 zt the age of 77 and is commemorated with a Thai postage stamp issued in 2019 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Also transliterated Kamphol Vacharaphol. See POSTAGE STAMP.

Kamphucha (กัมพูชา)

Thai name for Kambuja and for Cambodia.

kampie (คัมภีร์)

Thai. Something profound, sacred manuscripts, the bible. Also transliterated kampih, khampih, khamphi, or similar.

kampieweht (คัมภีร์เวท)

Thai name for the Vedas.

kampiewehttahng (คัมภีร์เวทางค์)

Thai name for Vedanga.

kan (กัณฑ์)

Thai. Classifier used to indicate the ‘number’ of ‘sermons’ (thet).

Kanaka Bharadvaja (कनकभारद्वाज, กนกภารัทวาช)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Golden Bharadvaja’. Name of one of the eighteen arahats, who was a Buddhist mendicant monk known for begging with his alms bowls and eyes upraised, accepting food without shame. This is contrary to normal practice, as monastic precepts prohibit monks to eyeball anyone at any given time and monks on bintabaat are instructed to submissively bow their heads toward the ground (fig.) when accepting food (fig.). He thus represents one who can receive gifts graciously. He is usually portrayed standing on one foot with one knee pulled up and both hands stretched out in the air, holding a small alms bowl. It is assumed that as joy descends from heaven, he raises the bowl to receive happiness. In Vietnam, where he is called Cu Bat La Han (Cử Bát La Hán), he is sometimes depicted seated on a fenghuang (fig.), i.e. a phoenix-like bird (fig.). In paintings he is sometimes pictured with a small disciple at his side. In Chinese, he is known as the luohan Tuo Bo (托钵, or in traditional Chinese: 托缽), literally ‘To Hold An Alms Bowl Up With The Palm’. In English, he is referred to as the Raised Bowl Lohan or Alms Holding Arhat. In Thai his name is pronounced Kanaka Pharathawat, but he is also known by the name Kaya Khaap Sulijarn (กะยะขาปสุลิจารย์). His Sanskrit name is in part similar to Bharadvaja and associated with the Bhardwaj or Bharadvaja Bird, i.e. a name used in India for the Greater Coucal (fig.). Sometimes Kanaka Paridhvaja.

Kanaka Vatsa (कनकवत्स, กนกวัจฉะ)

Sanskrit-Thai. ‘Golden Calf’. Name of one of the eighteen arahats, who was a well-known public speaker and debater of the Buddhist doctrines and famous for his sermons on happiness which he described as experienced through the five senses, in contract to bliss which defined he as joy not coming from the five senses, but from deep within, like a feeling in ones his heart and not being subject to changes on the outside, it could be sustained indefinitely. He often smiled during debates and is sometimes portrayed banging cymbals in joy. In Thai, his name is pronounced Kanakawatcha, but he is also known as Khayaket. In Chinese he is known as the luohan Xi Qing (喜庆, or in traditional Chinese: 喜慶), literally ‘To Be Happy and Celebrate’. In English, he is referred to as the Happy Lohan or Jolly Arhat. In Vietnam, he is called Khanh Hy La Han (Khánh Hỷ La Hán) and may be depicted seated on a hoofed mythical animal while holding a rice bowl (fig.). Also written Kanakavatsa.

Kanaung (ကနောင်)

Burmese. Name of a Prince of Burma. He was the younger brother of Mindon Min (fig.), with whom he on 11 July 1853 forced their half brother Pagan Min, the 9th King of the Konbaung Dynasty, to abdicate, making Mindon Min the new King and Kanaung the Heir Apparent. He is acclaimed for his attempts to modernize the country by sending scholars to Western countries and by founding an arms industry. However, his efforts were cut short when he was killed by his two nephews, sons of King Mindon Min, in an unsuccessful palace coup. His remains lie buried at Sanda Muni Phaya (fig.), a Buddhist temple at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Often referred to as Kanaung Mintha, i.e. ‘Prince Kanaung’.

Kanaung Mintha (ကနောင်မင်းသား)

Burmese for ‘Prince Kanaung’.

Kanchana Aranyawasi (กัญจนะ อรัญวาสี/อรัญญวาสี)

Thai. Name of a senior Buddhist monk of Wat Soong Men (วัดสูงเม่น), a forest temple in the northern Thai province of Phrae. READ ON.

Kanchanaburi (กาญจนบุรี)

Thai. ‘City of gold’. A provincial capital of app. 37,000 inhabitants in West Thailand, 128 kms from Bangkok. READ ON.

Kanchana Phisek (กาญจนาภิเษก)

Thai-rajasap for ‘Golden Jubilee’. Term often used when referring to structures built or projects initiated for the Golden Jubilee of the King, e.g. Kanchanaphisek Bridge (fig.) and Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse (fig.). Also transliterated Kanchanaphisek.

Kanchanaphisek Bridge

Name of a cable-stayed bridge over the Chao Phraya River in Samut Prakan Province, built as part of the Outer Ring Road project. It was opened to traffic on 15 November 2007 and consists of a two pylons, from which the suspension cables extend to the road surface, lifting the 500 meter long main span, the longest of its kind in the nation, more than 50 meters above sea level. The total length of the bridge is 951 meters, has six lanes and is 36.7 meters wide (fig.). In Thai, it is called Sapaan Kanchanaphisek (สะพานกาญจนาภิเษก), meaning ‘Golden Jubilee Bridge’, named after Highway 9, which is also called Thanon Kanchanaphisek, i.e. ‘Golden Jubilee Road’, and that runs over the bridge. The name was changed in 1996 from Highway 37, in honour of king Rama IX and to commemorate his Golden Jubilee on the throne that year. See MAP.

kandara (कन्दर्)

Sanskrit for ‘elephant goad’. See also kho chang.

Kaneht (คเณศ)

Thai name for Ganesha. Also Phra Kaneht.

kang (กัง)

A generic Thai name for macaque, though often specifically used for the Pig-tail Macaque, officially known as Southern Pig-tail Macaque and in Thai as ling hang san.

kang (กั้ง)

Thai generic name for ‘mantis shrimp’, a semi-large marine crustacean, which despite its designation, is not a shrimp. READ ON.

kanga (ਕੰਘਾ)

Punjabi. Name for a small wooden comb used and worn by the Sikh and one of their five articles of faith. It is used both to untangle their kesh, i.e. uncut hair, usually twice a day, and to keep the hair, which is eventually wrapped into a topknot on the head, tightly in place, after which it is covered by a scarf-like under-turban called patka and/or a turban known as a dastar or pagri. The kanga is a symbol of cleanliness and reminds Sikhs that their lives should be tidy and organized.

kang han nahm chai pattana (กังหันน้ำชัยพัฒนา)

Thai name for the chai pattana aerator (fig.), an invention of King Bhumipon Adunyadet used to increase the oxygen content of water. A sculpture of the device, officially referred to as Tribune Rama IX Waterworks, was raised in the King Rama IX Royal Park in Bangkok, on the occasion of the 80th birthday of this monarch. See MAP.

kanit (กนิษฐ)

A Thai term for ‘younger sister’ and a synonym for nong (น้อง). Also transliterated ganit. In Thai it is also spelled otherwise and then transliterated khanit.

kanitah (กนิษฐา)

A Thai term for ‘younger sister’ and a synonym for nong (น้อง). Also transliterated ganitah. In Thai it is also spelled otherwise and then transliterated khanitah.

Kanji (漢字)

Japanese. Literally ‘Han character’, i.e. the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese writing system, along with hiragana and katakana, as well as the Indo-Arabic numerals, and the occasional Romanization of Japanese words. It is believed that Chinese script first came to Japan on articles imported from China during the Han Dynasty, thus introducing the script when the Japanese language itself had no written form. Since 1946, a modified, simplified form of the Kanji script, called Shinjitai, i.e. literally ‘New character form’, was officially adopted. In comparison, Shinjitai relates to Kanji in a way similar as to what Simplified Chinese is against Traditional Chinese, yet is less extensive in its scope. See also Ateji.

Kan Khwan

Kayang. Name of a traditional religion as practiced by the Kayang (Kayan) people of Burma and Northern Thailand. Its doctrine asserts that the world was created by the eternal creator Phu Kabukathin assisted by two other deities, that is Ti who created the earth and La Taon who created man and the animals. Kan Khwan belief trusts that all components of the Universe are linked together by a giant spider's web, embracing the earth, the moon and all the stars. In the beginning the land of the earth was fluid, so, the god Phu Kabukathin planted a small post in the ground. As the post grew the earth also grew into seven outer and inner layers and it became firm. The post was named Kan Thein Bo, meaning ‘the means of formation of earth’ and is today an important part of their religious worship. Kan Khwan belief is in practice since the Kayang people emigrated from Mongolia during the Bronze Age.

Kannabhorn Bejaratana (กรรณาภรณ์ เพ็ชรรัตน์)

Thai. See Kannaphon Phetcharat.

Kannaphon Phetcharat (กรรณาภรณ์ เพ็ชรรัตน์)

Thai. Name of the daughter of Queen Sunandha Kumariratana (fig.) and King Chulalongkorn (fig.), born on 12 August 1878. The young princess drowned together with her mother on 31 May 1880, when the boat (fig.) they were traveling in on their way to the Royal Summer Palace (fig.) in Bang Pa-in got involved in an accident and capsized. Despite the presence of many onlookers, no one dare come to her rescue, as the law forbade commoners to touch any royal, even in order to save their lives. King Rama V had a memorial erected for them at the Bang Pa-In Palace (map - fig.). The name Phetcharat (เพ็ชรรัตน์) means ‘glass diamond’. The princess' full name is also transliterated Kannabhorn Bejaratana.

kannikah (กรรณิการ์)

Thai name for an up to 10 meter tall, perennial shrub or a small tree, with the botanical name Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, and commonly known as Night-flowering Jasmine or Night-blooming Jasmine. The fragrant flowers, that grow in clusters of two to seven, have five to eight white petals, that form a corolla with an orange-red centre. They open at dusk and close at dawn, hence the name Night-flowering Jasmine. The scientific Latin designation arbor-tristis means ‘sad tree’ and refers to the fact that the flowers lose their brightness during daytime, which led to the tree sometimes being nicknamed ‘tree of sorrow’. Its fruit consists of a heart-shaped to round capsule of about two centimeter in diameter, which is flat at the sides and has two swollen sections in the centre, each containing a single seed. This shrub is native to southern Asia, including Thailand, and appears in several Hindu myths. It also has several medicinal uses. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis is portrayed on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2002 AD (fig.).

kanok (กนก)

1. Thai-Sanskrit. ‘Gold’ or ‘golden’, as in ‘kanok nakhon’ (golden city).

2. Thai. A flame-like design consisting of double curves. See also kranok and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5).

Kantarat (กานตรัตน์)

Thai. Name of an 18 holes golf course, uniquely and seemingly out of place located in between two airstrips (fig.) at Don Meuang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok (fig.), i.e. in between the runway used by the Royal Thai Air Force and the one reserved for civil aviation. Though situated in a secured area and in a way —at least in part— on military domain, beside military personnel also civilians are welcomed here to play golf amidst the continues flow of air traffic and to the amazement of the many often flabbergasted passengers that land and take off from this airport, especially those who are confronted with this incongruous golf course for the first time. See MAP.

Kantarat Airfield Golf Course

Kanthaka (कण्टक)

Sanskrit. ‘Rebel’. The snow-white horse of prince Siddharta, born on the same day as its master. After carrying the prince away from the palace during the Great Departure, the horse died of sorrow. Also Kantaka. Compare with Balaha.

Kanthakumara (कण्टकुमार)

Sanskrit. ‘Rebel prince’. Son of Uma or Devi, the shakti or consort of Shiva. Also Subramaniam and in Thai usually called Phra Kanthakuman. Sometimes transcribed Kantakumara.

Kan Thein Bo

Kayang. ‘The means of formation of earth’. Name of a kind of totempole worshipped by the Kayang people of Burma and Northern Thailand. It is said that after the creation of the earth all land was fluid and Phu Kabukathin, the eternal creator, therefore planted a small post in the ground, enabling earth to grow and the land to become firm. This eventually enabled the Kayang people to settle down. Every year between March and April, the Kayang erect a new pole, if possible, made from the Eugenia, the first tree said to ever been created. The pole comprises of the sun, at its peak; the sanctuary, a place where the deities reside; and the streamer, a ladder that connects earth with heaven, with at the top a spider's web that humans need to pass to go to heaven. See also Kan Khwan.

kanthet (กัณฑ์เทศน์)

Thai. A chapter in the jataka. See also kan and thet.

kan thuay (คันทวย)

Thai term for an eave bracket.

kanun (ขนุน)

Thai name for the Artocarpus heterophyllus (fig.), a large fruit (fig.) and its tree, of the genus Artocarpus which also includes the breadfruit tree, and has the western nickname ‘jackfruit’. The fruits have a dark yellow and very sweet flesh (fig.) which sit like small bags around the thumb sized seeds in an enormous brown-green husk with short, hexagonal, blunt prickles. Jackfruit seeds are also be consumed and have certain health benefits. They are a rich source of dietary fiber and are said to give instant relief from indigestion and treat constipation. The Thai name for the tree is ton kanun and khanom met kanun, i.e. ‘jackfruit seeds’, is the name given to a traditional Thai candy (fig.). Its fruiting season is from January to May (fig.). In Vietnam, the wooden dolls (fig.) used in water puppetry (fig.) are typically carved from jackfruit wood.

kanun sampalo (ขนุนสำปะลอ)

Thai. See sake.

kanya (กัญญา)

See ganya.

kao (เก่า)

Thai for ‘old’ or ‘of long standing’, a word associated with the number nine, due to its similarity in pronunciation, although the word for ‘old’ has a low tone (เก่า), whereas the word for ‘nine’ has a falling tone (เก้า). Sometimes transcribed gao. See also boraan.

kao (เก้า)

Thai for nine’, considered a lucky number associated with long life, due to it similarity to the word for ‘old’. Though pronounced similarly, the word for ‘nine’ has a falling tone (เก้า), whereas the word for ‘old’ has a low tone (เก่า). Sometimes transcribed gao. See also Rama IX. Its Thai numeral is .

kao kih (เก๋ากี้/เก๋ากี่)

Thai name for the wolfberry or Chinese wolfberry, which is also known by a variety of other names, including the commercially used designation goji berry, i.e. the circa 2 centimeter-sized, orangey red, ellipsoid fruit of a plant with the botanical name Lycium chinense, or of the very closely related Lycium barbarum. The berries are prized for their highly nutrient and medicinal value. Though rarely found in fresh form outside of their production region, fresh they are used to make certain beverages, but in food they are generally used in dried form and their shape and structure to some extent resembles that of raisins. They are used in a variety of dishes, but are traditionally cooked first (fig.). They are sweet and, according to some, they also have a slightly nutty taste. In Thailand, they can be found in bulk on the markets of Bangkok's Chinatown. Sometimes transcribed kao kee and also known by the names huay kih (ฮ่วยกี้), and malet kao kih (เมล็ดเก๋ากี้) or met kao kih (เม็ดเก๋ากี้), i.e. goji seeds’ or ‘wolfberry seeds.

kaolad (เกาลัด)

Thai. ‘Chestnut’. Name of a glossy hard brown edible nut, i.e. the seed of a tree with the botanical name Castanea sativa. Chestnuts can be eaten raw, but in Thailand they are usually roasted and referred to as kaolad kua. They are roasted in a large wok filled with small pebbles or large grains of sand, measuring about 3-5 millimeters in size. When the sand heats up the pellets turn black and the chestnuts are added to it. Then, the content is stirred for 30 to 40 minutes to prevent the chestnuts from burning. Some vendors may add roasted sugar or roasted coffee beans to it for a better taste and aroma. Using the sand helps retain the heat for a long time which in turn aids in gradually detaching the flesh from the rind. The pebbles can be used for about a month after which they begin to fall apart and turn into powder. Roast chestnuts have an oily sweet taste and are considered a real delicacy. Freshly roasted chestnuts are widely sold along Yaowarat Road in Bangkok's Chinatown, where they are rather high-priced, though nowadays chestnuts are also widely for sale in supermarkets, imported in packed form, already roasted, peeled and ready to eat, and usually at a fraction of the price in Chinatown. Also transcribed gaolad.

Kao Suriya (เกาสุริยา)

In the Ramakien the wife of the mythological King Totsarot of Ayutthaya, and mother of Rama. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES, and MORE ON THIS.

kapala (कपाल)

Sanskrit. ‘Skull’, ‘cranium’, ‘cup’, or ‘alms bowl’. Name for a ritual bowl made from a human skull, and in iconography used as an attribute of several Hindu and Mahayana Buddhist deities, especially in Lamaism, Tantrism, and Vajrayana Buddhism. READ ON.

kaphrao (กะเพรา)

Thai name for a species of basil, with the scientific names Ocimum sanctum and Ocimum tenuiflorum. In English, it is known by the designations Tulsi and Holy Basil, the latter not to be confused with Thai Basil, which is a variety of Ocimum basilicum, known in Thai as hora-phaa (fig.). Yet another type of basil commonly found in Thailand is maenglak (แมงลัก), which is known in English as lemon basil (Ocimum citriodorum). Kraphao is an aromatic plant with hairy stems and slightly serrated leaves, about five centimeters long and strongly scented. Flowers are purplish and grow in elongate racemes. There are two main morphs of Ocimum sanctum, i.e. one with green leaves, the other with purplish leaves. The leaves are used in Thai cuisine, most commonly in a dish known as khao pad kaphrao kai (ข้าวผัดกะเพราไก่), i.e. ‘basil [leaves] fried [with] chicken [served over plain boiled] rice’. Usually pronounced kaphao, without the ‘r’.

kapi (กปิ)

Thai-Pali word for ‘monkey’, akin to kabih, kabi, kabin (กบิล) and kabin (กบินทร์), used besides the similar terms ling and wahnon.

kapi (กะปิ)

Thai. ‘Shrimp paste’. A salty paste made from pulverized marine shrimps that fermented in salt. It is used as an ingredient to flavour food, and is a main ingredient in a dish known as khao kluk kapi (fig.). It is thought by some that the name of Bangkapi, a district or khet in eastern Bangkok derives from this as a compound of bang (บาง), the  name commonly used for riverside settlements, and kapi, allegedly due to the local production thereof. However, some inhabitants of this district with a large Muslim community claim the name derives from the kapioh (fig.), the religious brimless hat worn by Muslims, as an abbreviated version of it.


Pali for Kapilavatthu.

Kapilavatthu (कपिलवस्तु)

Sanskrit. The empire in nowadays southern Nepal (formerly India) where king Suddhodana, the father of the historical Buddha ruled, and consequently the birthplace of prince Siddhartha. See also Lumbini. In Pali called Kapilavasthu and in Thai Kabinlaphad.

kapioh (กะปิเยาะห์)

Thai-Malayu. Name for a traditional kufi-like brimless hat worn by male Muslims in southern Thailand, especially in the deep southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, near the border with Malaysia, where it is called kopiah. They are either coloured, usually with a patterned design (fig.), or entirely white. Sometimes transcribed as kapiyo, kapio or kapiyoh. It is claimed by some that the name of Bangkapi, a district or khet in eastern Bangkok with a large Muslim community, derives from this religious hat, as a compound of bang (บาง), the  name commonly used for riverside settlements, and an abbreviated version of kapioh, i.e. kapi (กะปิ), though since kapi also means  ‘shrimp paste, others say the name is related to the local production of this important ingredient in khao kluk kapi (fig.). See also taqiyah.


Name of a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae. Its scientific name is Ceiba pentandra and previously it was separated in the family Bombacaceae. There are many different species and it is also known as ceiba, silk-cotton tree, Java cotton or Java kapok. In Thailand the tree is of a medium size and grows up to 15 meters but some species may grow as high as seventy meters tall with a very substantial trunk up to three meters in diameter and buttressed roots. Adult trees produce several hundred seed pods (fig.) which contain black seeds surrounded by a light, fluffy, cream-coloured fibre that is a mix of lignin and cellulose, and which is also called kapok. The fibre is buoyant, very resilient and resistant to water, but cannot be spun. Instead it is used as filling in mattresses, pillows, triangular floor pillows called mon khwahn, Burmese temple cloths with filigree and images in relief (fig.), cuddly toys and for insulation. It was previously much used in life jackets and similar appliances. But kapok is also highly flammable and villagers often utilize it as a fuel to ignite a ‘taban fai lighter (fig.). When still young the cucumber-like seed pods are soft and green and its flesh is edible (fig.), both fresh or as an ingredient of a Thai curry called kaeng or gaeng, but when they ripen the pods turn hard and light brown, and its flesh becomes fibre. The seeds produce a vegetable oil. Today kapok has largely been replaced by synthetic materials. In Thailand, Kapok Trees yield between February and April and are called ton nun.

kara (ਕੜਾ)

Punjabi. A round iron or steel bracelet worn by Sikh devotees at all times, as one of their five articles of faith, and as constant reminder that whatever a person does with his or her hands has to be truthful and worthy towards God, with the circular form of the bangle symbolizing God's eternity.

karahi (कड़ाही)

Name of a wok-like, yet deeper, circular, open cooking pan, used in India. It is also known by a variety of other names, including karai, kadai, etc.


Common name for a species of flowering shrub, with the botanical designation Carissa carandas, which produces berry-like fruits that are rich in iron and Vitamin C, and are said to have certain health benefits. They purportedly reduce blood sugar levels, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and prevent heart diseases. The shrub grows naturally in areas of the Indian subcontinent, including in lowland rain forests of Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, at the lower elevations of the Himalayas. In India, the berries are are commonly used as a condiment in pickles and spices. In Thai, known as manao mai ruh hoh, or simply manao hoh.

karaoke (カラオケ)

Japanese. ‘Empty orchestra’. Entertainment in nightclubs, bars, saloons, roadside shops, etc. Customers sing to a backing track whilst the song text appears on a video or computer screen. In Thailand this form of entertainment has become so popular causing the spread of so-called karaoke booths, solitary enclosures with a private coin-operated VCD player, microphone and screen where one chooses a listed song by typing in its code, jukebox-style (fig.). Karaoke-equipment can even be found in some Bangkok taxis allowing customers to spend their time in traffic jams in a relaxing manner.

karawak, karawake, karawek, karaweik (การเวก, ကရဝိက်)

1. Thai. A mythical creature half human and half bird. See also Garuda and Vayupak.

2. Thai name for a bird-of-paradise, in full called nok karawak. Its tail feathers are used on a certain royal hat, which is known as Phra Malah Sao Soong.

3. Thai. Common name for kradang nga ngaw (fig.).

4. Burmese. A mythical swan-like creature, supposedly with a melodious cry, which is used as a ceremonial royal barge in Myanmar. A replica of this Burmese royal barge known as the Hintha Barge (fig.) and with the figurehead of a hintha bird (fig.), is used by the Intha people to transport the Hpaung Daw U Buddhas (fig.) during their annual festival and procession on Inle Lake.


With around 265,000 the Karen are the largest hill tribe in Thailand. They have lived in the region for many centuries and are divided into several subgroups. In Thailand, the most numerous are the Sakoh (Sgaw), Pwo and Kayah, besides the Kayang and Paduang, both Long-neck Karen. The word ‘Karen’ is not known to the different subgroups themselves and the Thai call them Kariang and Nyang. The term is however generally used by anthropologists when referring to certain tribes who speak closely related tongues and who are not that related to the languages of other hill tribes. They are therefore placed in a separate category within the Tibeto-Burman family of the Sino-Tibetan language group. MORE ON THIS.

kare-sansui (枯山水)

Japanese. Term that refers to a Japanese rock garden, oftentimes also called a Zen garden. The term literally means ‘dried out mountains and rivers’ or ‘dry landscape’, whereas the Kanji character formation of kare (枯), could also bring to mind the picture of ‘old wood’ or ‘old trees’, i.e. petrified wood, as it consists of a compound made up of ki (木) and ko (古), meaning ‘wood’ or ‘tree’ and ‘old’ respectively. However, the etymology behind it is rather different, as this Kanji character derives from Chinese, where it is a compound of the words mu (木) and gu (古), also meaning ‘wood’ or ‘tree’, but is actually used as a pictophonetic pronounced ku, in which only mu suggest the meaning while gu determines but the sound. This type of stylized miniature landscaped garden is characteristically created using carefully composed arrangements of rocks and stones, moss and moss covered objects, pruned trees and bushes, gravel and sand, as well as water features. These gardens are said to date back to the Ashikaga Era, i.e. the Muromachi Period (1336—1573 AD), and were traditionally created at Zen temples, designed to stimulate meditation, as well as around Shinto shrines, and at palaces. They are typically intended to be seen from a single viewpoint outside the garden and a distinctive feature is the use of white sand or gravel, which symbolizes purity and is often raked to represent ripples in water, thus creating a river of white gravel or sand that represents a metaphorical journey through life. Also spelled karesansui. See also PANORAMA PICTURE, TRAVEL PICTURE (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5), and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Kariang (กะเหรี่ยง)

Thai name for Karen.

karin (करिन्)

Sanskrit for ‘elephant’. See Asian Elephant.

karma (कर्म)

Sanskrit. The law of cause and effect, in which one's present state is the result of actions from the past, either in this life or in former lives. Karma ends when one attains nirvana and the cycle of death and rebirth is broken. Karma is closely linked with samsara and transmigration. In Thai kam.

karoshi (過労死)

See gwarosa.

karry (กะหรี่)

1. Thai for curry.

2. Thai slang for a prostitute.

Karttikeya (कार्तिकेय)

The god of war, leader of Shiva's troops and usually considered to be the son of Shiva and Parvati. READ ON.

Karuppu (கருப்புசா)

Tamil. ‘Black’. Name of a Tamil deity, usually referred to as Karuppu Sami, with the word sami meaning ‘deity’ or ‘god’. According to legend, Rama had sent Sita to stay in the ashram of Valmiki, when she was pregnant with Rama's heir. While there, she gave birth to a son. Some days later, she left the ashram in order to do some chores and asked Valmiki to keep an eye on her child in the cradle. Whilst he was watching the infant he went into a deep meditation. When Sita returned and found Valmiki in meditation, she didn't want to disturb him and took her child. When Valmiki came out of his meditation, he found the child missing. So, he put some holy grass in the cradle and chanted a mantra that turned the grass into a real human child. When he later found out that Sita had already taken her child, he asked her to treat the newly made baby also as her own. When Sita returned to Rama, he was surprised to see her with two boys. Able to have only one heir, Rama wanted to test the purity of the boys. He lighted a bonfire and asked the boys to approach him by crossing the fire, saying that whoever was to be his heir would have to cross the fire unhurt. In obeying Rama, the boy made from grass got stuck in the middle of the fire and burnt his body, becoming very dark. Rama made the real son his heir, but also blessed the other boy by appointing him as his escort god, and named him Karuppu, but he also goes by a variety of aliases. In compliance with his name, he is usually (though not always - fig.) portrayed with a black, or alternatively, with a dusky or greyish-blue complexion, his hair plaited in a thick tuft (jata) that hangs over to one side, and three horizontal lines (tri-pundra) applied on his forehead. Besides this, he stands upright and wields a weapon with his right hand, in general a scimitar-like sword, whilst he leans on a mace (gada) with the other hand. His image is often found in Hindu temples, where he is usually called Sri Karuppana Swamy. As part of his worship he is offered holy ash and alcohol, and a lit cigar or cigarette is placed in his mouth. All those items relate to fire and refer to his ordeal in the flames. This deity is popular among the Tamil community of southern India, and shrines devoted to him are always found at the outskirts of their villages, as he is believed to be a warrior who masters all land and who prevents all evil from entering a boundary, and thus from entering the village, an idea which is reminiscent of the Akha spirit gates (fig.). He is often worshipped alongside Muneeswarar.

kasalong (กาสะลอง)

Thai name for the Indian Cork Tree, an evergreen tree with white, slaverform flowers. In Thai, it is also known as pihb.

kasalong kham (กาสะลองคำ)

Thai name for a tree with the botanical name Radermachera ignea, which in Thai is also known as pihb thong. This evergreen or semi-deciduous tree grows to a height of between 6 to 20 meters and blooms from January to May, displaying clusters of tubular, bright orange flowers with a sweet jasmine-like fragrance, that grow on old branches. It is the provincial tree of Chiang Rai province and is said to symbolize simplicity, endurance, advancement and peacefulness. It is sometimes referred to by the common name Tree Jasmine, a designation which is however also commonly used for the Indian Cork Tree, which in Thai is known by the names kasalong and pihb.

kasat (กษัตริย์)

Thai-rajasap meaning ‘king’, ‘raja’, ‘ruler’, ‘potentate’ and ‘monarch’. Its is an abbreviation of the Thai word kasatriya which itself is derived from the Hindi word Kshatriya.

kasatriya (กษัตริยา)

Thai-rajasap meaning ‘king’, ‘raja’, ‘ruler’, ‘potentate’ and ‘monarch’. Its is derived from the Hindi word Kshatriya. It is generally used abbreviated (kasat), whereas the full word appears only in compound words, called kham samaht.

Kasetsart (เกษตรศาสตร์)

Thai. ‘Agriculture’. Name of the first agricultural university and the third university in Thailand. READ ON.

kasin (กสิณ)

Thai. Meditation of the four elements, but in general also used as a term for any form of meditation, especially that of the ten kinds of reflection, which is divided into phutkasin (ภูตกสิณ), that focuses on the four elements, i.e. earth, water, fire, and wind; wankasin (วรรณกสิณ), which concentrates on the four colours, i.e. green, yellow, red and white; thought on light; and contemplation on space. MORE ON THIS.

Kashyapa (कश्यप)

See Kasyapa.


1. Pali. A buddha of the past, a precursor of the historical Buddha. He is the third of the five buddhas to spread Enlightenment in this world and one of the four buddha's in Ananda Phaya in Bagan, located at its South Gate, the others being Konagamana facing East (fig.), Kakusandha facing North (fig.), and Gautama at the West Gate (fig.). In Sanskrit he is known as Kasyapa, in Thai he is called Phra Kassap Phutta Chao (พระกัสสปพุทธเจ้า), and in Burmese Kathapa (ကဿပ).

2. Pali. The monk who succeeded the Buddha as leader of the Sangha. In mural paintings usually portrayed as an old man accompanied by the young monk Ananda, the Buddha's nephew and his most important disciple. Also Maha Kassapa.

Kasyapa (कश्यप)

1. Sanskrit. Name of a rishi who is the father of the devas, asuras, nagas and all humans. He has several consorts, i.e. the thirteen daughters of Daksha, with whom he had several offspring, e.g. Garuda and Aruna are his sons with his consort Vinata,  the apsaras are his children through Muni, the nagas are his sons from Kadru, Agni and the Adityas are his sons by his wife Aditi, etc. Also transcribed Kashyapa.

2. Sanskrit. Name of one of the candidates for inclusion as the 17th or 18th arahat, especially when referred to as Maha Kasyapa which is sometimes spelled Maha Kassapa. As Maha Kasyapa the name may also refer to one of the four initial arahats, whom the Buddha had asked to remain in the world to propagate the dhamma, one for each of the four directions of the compass.

3. Name of the monk who after the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana succeeded him as leader of the Sangha. He is one of the Ten Principal Disciples. Also Maha Kasyapa and Maha Kassapa.

4. Sanskrit. A buddha of the past (fig.), a precursor of the historical Buddha. In Pali, he is known as Kassapa (fig.).

kata (คาถา)

Thai term for a verse in Pali or the text of a thet or sermon, but also for an incantation or a (magic) spell. Pronounced kaathaa (kahthah).

katana (刀)

Japanese. Name for a Japanese sword, such as those worn by samurai in feudal Japan. READ ON.

katha (คทา)

Thai name for gada.

Kathavarayan (กัตตะวรายัน)

Name of a Indian-Tamil kind of nat, who according to legend was born from the rays that radiate from Shiva's third eye. The goddess Devi appointed Kathavarayan as watchman of a garden that she had created on the banks of the river Ganges. One day, Kathavarayan took away the dresses of women who came there to bathe, and thus he was cursed by Devi, declaring that he had to take birth seven times. In addition, he was convicted by the king to die on pointed stake for his offence. However, when he was about to die on the stake, Devi took pity on him and he got relieved from the curse. She then instructed him to sit on her northeastern side and bless all those who come to see her. As such, his image is often found near the entrance of Hindu-Tamil temples, such as Wat Sri Mariamman on Silom Road in Bangkok. This deity is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Chitirai, i.e. April-May, when his image is taken around the temple is a procession.

ka-thi (กะทิ)

Thai for ‘coconut milk’.

kathin (กฐิน)

Thai. The period of one month following the rainy season or ‘pansa’, when pious laymen bring gifts and robes to all the monks of a temple, usually in the month of November. For this ceremony people will collect money on a small leafless tree by going around or by placing it in their business or at the temple to which anyone can make a donation (tamboon) by attaching a banknote to its branches. On a certain day, or when the money tree (fig.) is considered full, it will be taken to the local local temple in a procession and offered to the monks, often together with monk's robes. During the kathin ceremony, temples  indicate their participation by placing vertical banners called thong kathin at the temple. The kathin tradition goes back to the assignment the Buddha gave to his first disciples to find their own robe, rather than buying one. He pointed to pieces of cloth hanging from tree branches in the forest, torn off from passer-by's clothes. These could easily be used to make a robe by stitching them together and then dying it. This is one reason why a needle is one of the things (borikaan) Buddhist monks are allowed to posses. See also kathin phra racha thaan, kathin luang, thod phah pah, kreuang kathin and krob trai. Also known as thod kathin. WATCH VIDEO.

kathin luang (กฐินหลวง)

See kathin phra racha thaan.

kathin phra racha thaan (กฐินพระราชทาน)

Thai. The kathin ceremony performed by the king or a state dignitary in name of and representing the king. Also kathin luang. See also Royal Barges.

kathoei (กะเทย)

See kathoey.

kathoy (กะเทย)

See kathoey.

kathoey (กะเทย)

Thai for transvestite. In Thailand the term refers usually to men who dress as girls or act girlish. In most large cities, many cabaret shows are performed by those so-called ‘lady boys’ and draw large crowds of curious tourists from all over the world (fig.). Kathoey shows are also very popular with Thai gays and most gay discos and pubs have lip-sync performances with guys in cross-dress doing their act. From a distance it is often hard to tell if the performer is a girl or a kathoey. Sometimes called the third gender and also transcribed kathoy, kathey, kathoi, kathoei, kathui and kathuy. The term is comparable with the Chinese expression nan se. See also look sawaat and phi seua kathoey.

kathputli (कथपुतली, कठपुतली)

Rajasthani-Hindi. ‘Puppet story’ or ‘wooden puppet’. An Indian form of marionette theatre from Rajasthan, which uses string-puppets made from mango wood and often without legs and feet, as the lower body is instead covered in long skirts. The arms are always stuffed with cloth for flexibility and to give them a natural, human-like appearance. The puppets have strings attached to the head, waist and hands, but not on the lower body. With animal puppets, such as camels and horses, usually only the neck is movable. Puppeteers are traditionally from the Bhatt community and the main puppeteer is called sutradhar. He is accompanied by a narrator-singer or bhagavat, drums, cymbals and the harmonium, as well as a reed-like bamboo instrument that emits a shrill sound and is used to attract attention (fig.). This performing art is believed to be more than two thousand years old and is said to be the most popular form of Indian puppetry. In the past, puppeteers used to travel from place to place and performed in villages to entertain the local people, narrating stories and folk tales of legendary heroes or historic events, though nowadays kathputli performances mostly find place at hotels to entertain tourists.

kathuy (กะเทย)

See kathoey.


Vietnamese-Laotian. Name of an ethnic minority group, that lives in Vietnam and Laos, and that has an estimated population of around 61,000. Their language belongs to the Mon-Khmer linguistic family. Their funeral traditions include the construction of small funeral huts in which the coffin is placed, and which are adorned with wooden carvings, oftentimes of animals, such as water buffaloes (fig.).

Kaunghmudaw Phaya (ကောင်းမှုတော်ဘုရား)

Burmese. ‘Royal Merit-making Pagoda’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Sagaing. READ ON.

kaupina (कौपीन)

Sanskrit. A kind of loincloth worn as underclothing by certain men in India. It consists of a rectangular piece of cloth, which is bound around the waist with a horizontal strap, cord, or even a chain (fig.). It somewhat resembles the Japanese fundoshi (), the string-like wrap as worn by sumo wrestlers, for one. It is the recommended undergarment for Brahmacharya, and is typically worn by Indian yogi (fig.), sadhu (fig.), brahman priests and novices (fig.), celibates, and other ascetics. It is even said that all great, realized masters wore but the kaupina. Also pronounced kaupin.

Kauravas (कौरव)

Descendants of the Lunar king Kuru, a royal family branch in the Indian epos Mahabharata. See also Pandava.

kaustubha (कौस्तुभ)

A magical gem that surfaced during the churning of the Ocean of Milk and is worn on the chest by both Vishnu and Krishna. WATCH VIDEO.

Kawila (กาวิละ)

Ruler of Lampang and Chiang Mai in the beginning of the Chakri dynasty. See Chao Kawila.

kay (เกย)

Thai. Name of a platform used to ascend or descend a riding animal, such as an elephant or a horse, as used in the past by royalty. The platform is permanent and can be either part of a building or freestanding, in which case it will also have a staircase. Also transcribed gay or qay, and perhaps etymologically related to the English word quay. A mounting platform for royalty which can be moved and hence is not permanent, nor part of a building and usually made of a lighter material, is called kaylah (เกยลา).

Kayah (คะย้า)

A subgroup of the Karen in Thailand.


1. Name of one of the subgroups of the Long-neck Karen, in Thai called Kayang.

2. Name of an indigenous tribe from the island of Borneo, categorized as a part of the Dayak people, to which also the Iban (fig.) belong.

Kayang (กะย้าง)

One of the subgroups of the Long-neck Karen in Thailand, originally from Burma. They live mainly in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai, close to the border with Myanmar. The name also refers to their language. Their women's traditional costume includes the wearing of brass coils. After 1000 AD the Kayang people dealt economically and socially with the neighbouring Shan and the women were often seduced by these outsiders. Then the Pwo from the Thaton region alerted the Kayang about atrocities the Burman people had inflicted upon them, so the Kayang started to look for a solution on how to avert these threats. Since they are descendants from Lan Nan Htu Su and Ka Kwe Bu Pe, they decided to institute a status symbol for their women. According to folklore, when the girls Mu Don and Mu Dan visited their grandmother, the lady dragon, they were presented with gold bars when they left. They then started to decorated themselves by winding gold coils around their wrists and necks. As gold was rare the need for brass arose. This was obtained by exchanging silver with the Shan traders, mainly provided by those of the Satoung village. Since 1070 AD the Kayang women have worn brass coils. There are several reasons for wearing them e.g. to avoid an unwelcome advances by the Shan and Burman chiefs; as cultural identity to distinguish themselves from other ethnic groups and to protect the women from intermingling with other races; and as a status symbol, as they are descendants of the mother dragon they adorn themselves in her likeness, with the idea that how longer the neck is, the more graceful the looks are. The Kayang Long-necks start wearing brass coils from the age of four. From then onward the rings are changed about twice until the age of fourteen, with loops being added to the spiral about every three years, as the girl grows and ages. Brass coils for adults usually consist of multiple parts that is, a main coil of 16-22 windings, with at the base a separate 5-6 coil winding, onto which a smaller coil of 62 mm diameter with 5 loops is attached perpendicularly, at the back (fig.). Each set of brass rings is made in one piece from a single brass rod and a total set of rings for adults can easily weigh up to 8 kilos, depending on the number of coils. The men prepare the brass rods but it are the women who fix the rings. Brass is a tough metal and the winding is done manually by any strong woman with exceptional talent, called a fixer. See also Kan Thein Bo and Kan Khwan. MORE ON THIS.

Kayaw (กะยาว)

A subgroup of the Karen hill tribe whose women are typified by their long earlobes. MORE ON THIS.

kayih (กาหยี)

Another Thai name for velvet tamarind, next to yih.

Keeled Box Turtle

Name of an Asian species of box turtle, with the scientific name Cuora mouhotii. It is found in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as in China and India. It is alternatively known as Pyxidea mouhotii. Keeled Box Turtles are characterized by a dorsally flattened, yellowish to reddish or dark brown carapace, which is strongly serrated at the back. It has three distinctive keels, i.e. one medial and two lateral keels. Its limbs are gray to dark brown or black, with the anterior surfaces of the forelegs being covered with large scales. The toes are only partially webbed. This species is largely terrestrial and only rarely enters water. It prefers moderately moist habitats with plenty of vegetation and ground litter for cover. In Thai it is called tao jan.

Keinnaya (ကိန္နရာ)

Burmese term for Kinnara, a mythical bird with human head and torso. In Myanmar, Buddhists believe that 4 of the 136 past animal lives of the Buddha, i.e. chaht that the Buddha embodied in the form of an animal, were Keinnaya, e.g. the Canda Jataka. It is also one of the 108 symbols on the Buddhapada, i.e. the footprint (fig.) or soles of the Buddha (fig.). The female form of a Keinnaya is called Keinnayi. The Keinnaya is the symbol of the Red Karen people.

Keinnayi (ကိန္နရီ)

Burmese. Female form of a Keinnaya.

kejih (เกจิ)

Thai term used for any Buddhist monk who is a pundit famous for magic spells.

Kek Lok Si (極樂寺)

Chinese-Hokkien. Name a Buddhist temple, in the Malaysian state of Penang. It covers an area of 120,000 square meters and is the largest Buddhist temple in the country, as well as a significant religious landmark for tourists from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Its name, Kek Lok Si, translates to ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ and symbolizes Sukhavati, i.e. ‘Place of Great Bliss’, sometimes translated as ‘Paradise’ or Pure Land’, of Mahayana Buddhism. The temple is situated on Ayer Itam (亚依淡), which in Malay literally means 'Black Water', yet is referred to as ‘Crane Hill’ as it resembles a flying crane, a name given to the site after the temple's construction, which took place between 1890 and 1930. It features a seven-story pagoda, known in Hokkien as Ban Hoat Thah (萬佛塔), which translates as ‘Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas’, which was commissioned by the Thai King Rama VI and houses 10,000 alabaster and bronze Buddha statues, as well as a Buddha statue donated by King Rama IX. The pagoda boasts a Chinese-style octagonal base, a middle tier inspired by Thai design, and crowned with a Burmese-style spiral dome. By intertwining these architectural elements from various cultures, it symbolizes the fusion of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. Due to its historical association with the Thai monarchs of the Chakri Dynasty, who all bear the crown title Rama, the pagoda is affectionately known as the  ‘Rama Pagoda’. In 2002, a 30.2 meter high bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, was erected. This focal point for devotees was later covered by an octagonal roof supported by 16 pillars. The temple's buildings are predominantly constructed with granite. The complex includes several prayer halls and pavilions, as well as a large pond in a landscaped natural setting, including a charming mini cascading waterfall, which is the home of over 500 turtles. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (EN).


A spherical drinking vessel, usually with a bulbous spout.

kendo (剣道)

Japanese. Way of the sword. Name of a modern Japanese fighting sport and martial art, which uses bamboo swords known as shinai (竹刀), both for practice and competition. Participants wear protective gear called bogu (fig.), which literally means armour and that is also known as kendogu, i.e. kendo equipment. This protective gear consists of a mask and breastplate, similar to those used by a catcher in baseball, though the kendo mask also hood-like helmet and shoulder protectors attached to it, making it somewhat reminiscent of a coal hood or the monastic hood worn by Christian monks. In addition, the combatants wear gauntlet-like hand and forearm protectors, as well as a skirt-like leg and groin protector.

keng (เก้ง)

Thai for Barking Deer.

keng (เก๋ง)

1. Thai generic term for any type of cottage, cabin, shack, hut or pavilion.

2. Thai term for rain visors made of bamboo, wood, canvas or metal, as well as the hood or roof of a boat, cart, wagon or car, i.e. a sedan.

3. Thai. Architectural term for an edifice with a Chinese-style roof, which typically has upward curved corners, a feature related to feng shui, in which it is believed that curved lines ward off evil spirits, whilst straight lines are said to attract evil. Also called keng jihn (เก๋งจีน).

Keng Buppha Praphat (เก๋งบุปผาประพาส)

Thai. Name of a pavilion in the European Gingerbread-style, known in Thai as reuan khanompang khing, and located within the compound of the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace in Ayutthaya (fig.), in the middle of a garden beside a pond in the inner palace area and built with the purpose for viewing flowers. It was completed on 16 June 1885, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. See TRAVEL PICTURE and EXPLORER'S MAP.

kes (केश)

Sanskrit-Hindi word for hair and which may also be transliterated kesh, especially when referring to the practice of having uncut hair. Also transliterated keza.

kesh (केस)

Hindi term for uncut hair. The practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. With the Sikh, the long hair is knotted on top of their head and usually held in place with a comb known as a kanga. Both the kesh and kanga are worn by Sikh devotees as part of the five articles of their faith. The topknot is covered by a turban known as dastar or pagri, or by a scarf-like kind of under-turban called a patka (fig.). Also transliterated kesha or keza and also spelled kes.

Ketu (केतु, เกตุ)

1. Sanskrit-Thai. The lower part of Rahu that represents his tail and is considered the personification of comets and meteorites, whilst the upper part of Rahu travels through the universe in a chariot pulled by eight black horses. The demon Rahu was cut in two by Vishnu using his chakra for secretly lining up among the gods and receiving a portion of the amrita. Ketu is one of the nine gods worshipped in the phra prajam wan system of the Hindus, lined up in the northwestern corner, facing South. The Rahu name also appears in the Buddhist Phra prajam wan geut system as the pahng pah leh laai Buddha pose, corresponding with Wednesday after sunset.

2. Sanskrit-Thai. Name of the planet Neptune.

ketumala (เกตุมาลา)

Thai name for the raised skull or ushnisha (fig.), i.e. the protuberance normally found on the head of a Buddha image, as one of the marks of an enlightened being in Buddhist iconography, and which in Thailand is usually topped bylotus bud (fig.) or a flame called rasmie, that emerges from this bump, as a symbol of Enlightenment. A certain style of Buddha images cast by order of King Mongkhut, that is Rama IV (fig.), were cast without the raised skull, as prototypes of Buddhist art in the royal style of that era, including Phra Angkhirot, Phra Nirantarai (พระนิรันตราย), and Phra Samphutthasiri (พระสัมพุทธสิริ).

Ketumati (เกตุมดี)

Thai-Sanskrit. The earthly paradise that the bodhisattva Maitreya will preside over when he descends from Tushita heaven as the future Buddha. It is often referred to as the Pure Land and the name is sometimes translated as ‘endowed with brightness’.

Keua Nah (กือนา)

Name of the eight king of the Mengrai Dynasty ruling the ninth reign of the northern kingdom of Lan Na from 1355 to 1385. READ ON.

keub (คืบ)

Thai. Ancient Thai unit of linear measure. In the past it represented 12 inches (30.48 centimeters), but nowadays it is fixed at 25 centimeters.

keun thao thang sih (ขึ้นท้าวทั้งสี่)

Thai. ‘Offering to all four’. A ceremony in North Thailand in which six baskets with food are offered to the protecting gods of a certain place. Firstly, these are for the four lokapalas from Buddhism, who guard the four directions; but additionally, also for Indra, ruler of the Tavatimsa Heaven and in Hindu cosmology a lokapala himself; as well as for Phra Mae Thoranee, the goddess of the Earth. Despite the name ‘offering to all four’, actually six baskets are used, thus offering both horizontally, i.e. to the protectors of each directions of the compass, and vertically, i.e. to the rulers of Heaven and Earth. Also transliterated kheun thao thang sih.

keyuradhara (केयूरधरा)

Sanskrit term for a ring or bracelet worn around the biceps on the upper arm. It may be worn as a charm and is hence reminiscent of the Thai prachiad (fig.). However, if the ring or bracelet is made of gold, then either the Sanskrit term rukmaggada or kajcanaggadin will be used.

kha (ข่า)

1. Thai name for the blue or ‘Thai’ ginger, a rhizome with culinary and medicinal uses either of the genus Alpinia or of a type known as krachai in Thai. There are four species, i.e. the greater galangal (Alpinia galanga), which is a main ingredient in the dish tom kha kai (fig.); lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum); krachai or fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata - fig.); and krachai dam or sand ginger (Kaempferia galanga - fig.). The rhizomes of the genus Alpinia are typified by their light colour and pale purple-rose stems. Also called galanga, galangal and galingale.

2. A hill tribe of the Mon-Khmer race living in the North of Thailand and the Shan States. Another tribe with the same name belongs to the Malay race.

khaet (ខេត្ត)

Khmer. Term used for a province in Cambodia and related to the Thai word khet, meaning ‘domain’ or ‘zone’.

Khaay Phetcharat (ค่ายเพชรรัชต์)

Thai. ‘Phetcharat Camp’. Name of a scouting campground in Saraburi, a province in Central Thailand. The camp, situated on a 125 rai domain, i.e. 20 hectares, has the capacity to host up to 1,000 Scouts. The camp is built from natural materials, like teakwood and stones gathered from the surrounding mountains and is dedicated to the youngsters and children participating in Scout programs of the various provinces of Thailand, who come here to learn about nature and to practice physical activities, such as sports and exercises. On the wall behind a podium in an open-door hall on the compound is a portrait of Robert Baden-Powell, the British Lieutenant-General, who founded the World-wide Scout Movement. To its left is a portrait of King Wachirawut (fig.), i.e. Rama VI, who in 1911 established the Thai Scouting organization, locally known as look seua (fig.), i.e. the ‘Tiger Cubs’, hence the many tiger statues on the compound. In the centre top of the wall is an emblem that consists of a royal crown with the Thai text Khaay Phetcharat and with the subtitle Nai Phra Upatham (ในพระอุปถัมภ์), i.e. ‘Under Royal Patronage’. On 6 May 1911, King Rama VI Initially founded the Wild Tiger Corps, in order to train government officials, as well as civilians on military drills, with the conviction that such a training would instill a sense of discipline and loyalty to the country, the monarchy and religion. Yet, after less than 2 months, the organization was on 1 July 1911 transformed into the Thai scouting organization, which is officially known as Kha-na Look Seua Haeng Chaht, i.e. the ‘National Scout Organization of Thailand’. The camp's name Phetcharat (เพชรรัชต์) means ‘Someone who has money and diamonds’. This richness is locally depicted in the many gilded thematic street lanterns across the compound that show a horse pulling a wagon with treasure (fig.) in the form of Chinese gold ingots (fig.) and coins. Near the entrance of the camp is also a huge statue of Budai (fig.), an informal Taoist-Chinese wealth god, also known as Mi Le Fo (fig.) or the Smiling Buddha, who is said to disperse wealth from a large purse in the form of a cloth sack or bag, that is filled with precious items, yet never empties. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT and WATCH VIDEO.

khai jab san (ไข้จับสั่น)

Thai. ‘Shivering fever’. A name for malaria. Also khai pah.

khai khao (ไข่ข้าว)

Thai. ‘Egg rice’. Name of a dish consisting of a fertilized egg with a nearly full-developed embryo inside which is boiled alive and then eaten. Originally from China, where they are called maodan (毛蛋) or ‘furry eggs’, they are popular all over Southeast Asia and in the Philippines it is a national dish called balut. In Vietnam, they are referred to as trung vit lon (trứng vịt lộn) or hot vit lon (hột vịt lộn), and in Cambodia as pong tia kohn.

khai khem (ไข่เค็ม)

Thai for ‘salted egg’. Also called khai phok, literally ‘daubed egg’, i.e. daubed in salt. It can either refer to an egg preserved in saline water, or to an egg daubed in ashes or in a mixture of chaff and (iodized) salt. Usually ducks' eggs are used. Occasionally called khai phok khem.

khai khem din so phong (ไข่เค็มดินสอพอง)

Thai. ‘Marl salted egg’. A salted egg produced by coating it with a mixture of marl (soil of clay and lime), water and salt, and preserving it for a certain period of time. This kind of egg is a well-known souvenir of Lopburi. See also khai khem.

khai leuad awk (ไข้เลือดออก)

Thai. ‘Bleeding fever’. Thai name for haemorrhagic fever.

khai look kheuy (ไข่ลูกเขย)

Thai. ‘Son-in-law eggs’. Name of a dish of hard boiled eggs, cut in half and fried in oil until they are golden brown and blistered. They are served in a sweet, syrup-like sauce, made of tamarind paste, soft brown or palm sugar, a little fish sauce and lime juice, mixed with topped fried onion, dried red chilies and chopped coriander leaves. In English usually referred to as deep fried boiled eggs.

khai mot daeng (ไข่มดแดง)

Thai. ‘Eggs of red ants’. Pupated larvae of Weaver Ants, in Thai known as red ants. These white, roughly one centimeter long larva are found in the ants nests (fig.), high up in the trees (fig.). The local population of Isaan and North Thailand consider them a real delicacy. Uprooting these nests is not easy, due to the painful but harmless bite of the red ants.

khai muk (ไข่มุก)

Thai for ‘pearl’ or ‘pearly egg’. READ ON.

khai nok kra-tha (ไข่นกกระทา)

Thai. ‘Quail's egg’. Eggs of a small bird in the pheasant family, with the scientific name Coturnix coturnix. These small eggs are considered a delicacy and widely sold on markets as a snack, either hardboiled or as tiny eggs sunny-side up. As such, they are typically served with soy sauce. Another popular snack consists of hardboiled quail's eggs wrapped in wonton, known in Thai as kiyaw, and deep-fried until crisp (fig.). Quail's eggs are also typically sold in small baskets or nets at hot springs, to allow visitors to boil them naturally in the wells (fig.), when picnicking. In sushi, they are sometimes used raw.

khai pah (ไข้ป่า)

Thai. ‘Jungle fever’. A name for malaria. Also khai jab san.

khai phalo (ไข่พะโล้)

Thai. Name for a dish of eggs boiled hard in soy sauce, making the outside of the egg white turn brownish-beige. This dish is actually named after a dish of pork stewed in a kind of gravy, which besides the meat juices and soy sauce, also contains a powder called phong phalo (ผงพะโล้), which is made from coriander seeds (fig.), cinnamon (fig.), pepper (fig.), cardamom (fig.), and star anis (fig.). The dish is typically eaten with large, block-like pieces of stewed pork, known as three-leveled pork, referring to the different levels of meet and fat, but also with chicken drumsticks and pieces of fried tofu. This kind of eggs are also commonly served with the dish khao kha moo bohraan (fig.). In English, it is referred to as soy egg and sometimes as ramen egg, after the Japanese noodle dish ramen (拉麺) that is served with a boiled soy egg.

khai phalo

khai phok (ไข่พอก)

Thai. ‘Daubed egg’. Another name for khai khem. The term may refer to khai khem phok din, meaning ‘salted egg daubed with soil’, i.e. marl (soil of clay and lime), as in khai khem din so phong, or to khai phok khem, when daubed in ashes or in a mixture of chaff and (iodized) salt.

khai ping (ไข่ปิ้ง)

Thai. ‘Toasted egg’ or ‘baked egg’. Name for a chicken egg in its shell, skewered on a thin wooden stick and roasted over a charcoal fire. Prior to grilling the egg, kreuang prung, such as pepper and soy sauce are injected, and mixed with the yolk and egg white, blending them together, so it seems as if it is an ordinary boiled egg without egg yolk.

khai sah (ไข้ส่า)

Thai for dengue fever.

khai samphao (ไข่สำเภา)

Thai. ‘Samphao egg’ or ‘Chinese junk egg’. Another name for khai yiew mah.

khai yad sai (ไข่ยัดไส้)

Thai. ‘Stuffed egg’. Name of a dish that consists of a lightly cooked omelet, that is folded into a square and filled with minced meat mixed with some other ingredients. READ ON.

khai yiew mah (ไข่เยี่ยวม้า)

Thai. ‘Horse urine egg’. Name of a preserved egg, usually a duck's egg, prepared by soaking it in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice straw for several weeks to months, depending on the method of processing. Sometimes, the eggs are coated with rice chaff (fig.), in order to prevent them from sticking to one another. The process turns the yolk into a dark greyish green to black colour, whereas the egg white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly (fig.). The transforming agent is alkaline and after the process is completed the egg will have a strong odor of sulfur and ammonia. In English, it has several names, including century egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg or simply preserved egg. The Thai name refers to an old myth that claims century eggs once were prepared by soaking eggs in horse urine, but this is not plausible. The myth may have arisen due to the ammonia smell that sometimes is released during certain production processes. Century eggs originally came from China, where they are called either pidan (皮蛋), meaning ‘leather egg’ or ‘skin egg’, or sonhuadan (松花蛋), what translates as ‘pine-patterned egg’. The origin of the latter is not clear. It might be due to either a snow crystal or pine branch-like pattern near the surface of the albumen with some century eggs, or due to the fact that the eggs in China were originally preserved in large ceramic pots with patterns of pine trees. Since the Chinese first came to Thailand often in junks, the egg is in Thai also called khai samphao, meaning ‘Chinese junk egg’. Today, China is the world's largest producer of century eggs. It is popular all over Southeast Asia and in Vietnam, where it is called hot vit bach tao (hột vịt bắc thảo) or trung vit bach tao (trứng vịt bắc thảo), century eggs are often sold still covered in the black ash used to salt them, thus assuring customers that they were made using the traditional method (fig.). In Thailand, century eggs are nowadays usually not longer made in the traditional way, but by using a newer method that achieves the same results and in which the eggs are soaked in a mixture of brine, calcium hydroxide and sodium carbonate for about ten days, after which they are wrapped in plastic and left to age for several weeks. On Thai markets, these century eggs are easy recognizable by their pink coloured egg shells, used to distinguish them from other duck eggs, such as ordinary duck eggs and salted duck eggs, which are left in their natural colour (fig.). See also Burmese jelly egg.

Khajon Jaratwong (ขจรจรัสวงษ์)

Thai. Name of a Siamese prince of the Rattanakosin Period, with the title of momchao. READ ON.

kha khoo (ขาคู่)

Thai. Term for a classic Thai-style design of inward curved furniture legs, typically used in cabinets, coffee tables, chairs, etc. The design is influenced by traditional Chinese art-styles and was commonly used in so-called opium beds, a kind of large coffee table on  which one would lay when smoking opium.

khakkhara (खक्खर)

Sanskrit. Name for a ringed staff held by certain arahats, monks and bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. It is meant to inform people of their presence through the jingling sound caused by the rings and in order to seek alms, as well as to warn small and crawling creatures of their approach, so as to avoid stepping on them. By announcing their arrival in this way they avoid speak unnecessarily. It is also used by Shaolin warrior monks (fig.) as a weapon and in prayer, e.g. by the abbot of a Chinese temple usually wields the staff during grand ceremonies, striking the ground three times to symbolize the breaking of ignorance. The khakkhara consist of a usually thin, wooden staff capped with metal loops and rings which are either four, six or twelve in number, indicating the Four Noble Truths, the Six Paramitas or the Twelve Nidanas, respectively. Occasionally, the rings may be double (fig.). The bodhisattva Ksitigarbha (fig.) is usually depicted carrying a khakkhara, which he also uses to force open the gates of hell, and the arahat Chudapanthaka (fig.) was given one by the Buddha, to stop him from knocking on doors when begging for alms. In Chinese called xi zhang (锡杖), literally ‘thin cane’ or ‘thin walking stick’, but also ‘bestowing staff’. It is sometimes referred to as a Buddhist beggar's staff.

Kham Hai Kaan Chao Krung Kao (คำให้การชาวกรุงเก่า)

Thai. ‘Word (or Testimony) given by the People of the Ancient City’. A chronicle in the archives of Thai history, which dates from the Ayutthaya Period and records the kingdom's inception up to its destruction by the Burmese in 1767 AD. It is an important book on the history of Thailand and was assumed by Prince Damrong Rachanuphaap, the Father of Thai history, to be the source for the story Khun Chang Khun Paen (fig.).

Kham Chanoht (คำชะโนด)

Thai. Name of a forest temple in Udonthani, and a place of pilgrimage and worship, which is believed to be located at the palace of the Phayanagaraat (fig.), i.e. the Naga King, known as Chao Poo Sri Sutho Nagaraat (fig.), and his Naga Queen called Chao Yah Sri Patum Mah Naki (fig.). It is also known as Wat Pah Kham Chanot, Meuang Chanot or Wang Nakarin Kham Chanot. It is idyllically located in the middle of a field surrounded by water, inside a ca. 200 meters wide grove of Taraw Palms (fig.), which in Thai are called ton chanoht, hence the name of this forest temple. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2), and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

khamin (ขมิ้น)

1. Thai term used for both ‘Curcuma’ and ‘turmeric’, the first one (Curcuma) actually being a genus in the plant family Zingiberaceae, which contains species such as turmeric and Siam Tulip, the latter (turmeric) being a species with the botanical name Curcuma longa, within the genus Curcuma.

2. Name of a limestone cave in Tai Rom Yen, a circa 425 km² National Park in Surat Thani, known in Thai as Tham Khamin (fig.).

kham meuang (คำเมือง)

Thai. Northern Thai dialect. Typical is the slow rhythm of its speech, much slower than the other three main dialects in Thailand.

kham samaht (คำสมาส)

Thai term for a compound word or a combination of words.

Khamu (ຂະມຸ)

Laotian for Khmu.

khan (ขรรค์)

Thai. A kris-like dagger (fig.), one of the regalia of kingship. Also Phra Khan and Phra Saeng Khan Chai Sri (fig.).

khan (ขัน)

Thai. A bowl, cup or basin possibly placed on a pedestal called phaan (fig.), like a betel-set. See also khantoke.

kha-nah (คะน้า)

Thai name for Chinese broccoli, a leaf vegetable in the family Brassica, with the scientific name Brassica alboglabra, i.e. Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra. It has long, thick stems and leathery, bluish-green leaves. It is very similar to another member of the Brassica family, i.e. Brassica campestris, that is commonly known in Thai as phak kwahng tung, but which additionally has yellow flowers (fig.). Also known as kai lan and Chinese kale.

Kha-na Look Seua Haeng Chaht (คณะลูกเสือแห่งชาติ)

Thai. ‘National Scout Organization of Thailand’. Usually referred to by the abbreviated term look seua.

khan dong (khăn đóng)

Vietnamese. Term for a turban, which in Vietnam is tidily wrapped and worn by boys and men (fig.) as part of the traditional ao gam (fig.) or ceremonial dress (fig.). In English usually referred to as Vietnamese turban.

khanit (ขนิษฐ)

A Thai term for ‘younger brother or sister’ and a synonym for nong (น้อง). In Thai it is also spelled otherwise and then transliterated kanit or ganit.

khanitah (ขนิษฐา)

A Thai term for ‘younger brother or sister’ and a synonym for nong (น้อง). In Thai it is also spelled otherwise and then transliterated kanitah.

khan kaew (ขันแก้ว)

Thai. ‘Crystal bowl’ or ‘glass bowl’. Name for a wooden, usually triangular, phaan-like tray on a pedestal that consists of three legs, and which is generally decorated with paintings or carved figures, not seldom of nagas. It is used in Buddhist temples as a vessel to present religious offerings such as flowers, known as kreuang bucha. The triangular shape represent the Trairat or Triple Gem. Occasionally, the tray may also be round in shape and the triangular form is therefore also be referred to as khan kaew thang sahm (ขันแก้วทั้งสาม), to specifically identify the triangular variety.

khanmahk (ขันหมาก)

Thai name for a betel-set.

khanom (ขนม)

Thai. General name for sweets and sweetmeats. The term is both used generally, and as a prefix with other names to define the type. Thailand has a large variety of sweetmeats, many made on basis of rice flour, coconut and sugar. In the past sweets were only made on special days and occasions, either as part of merit making or tamboon, during festivals or when receiving important guests. The making, eating  and offering of sweets is still a common custom during certain festivals today, e.g. krayahsaad which is eaten during the saad festival, in Isaan locals offer sweets to each other during phen time on the day of boon khaw sahk, during boon khaw pradap din when sweets are offere to both deceased and living family members, etc. Thai sweets are often painstakingly and elaborately prepared in order to make their appearance as attractive as their taste. About the origin of the word khanom opinions are divided. Some believe the word has derived from khao nom (ข้าวนม), i.e. ‘rice’ and ‘milk’, the main ingredients of many sweets in India. However, most Thai sweets don't have an Indian origin and use rice and coconut milk as a basis, rather than milk, and in Thai, coconut milk is called ka-thi, not nom. Others therefore believe the word is a Thai-Khmer compound of either khao (ข้าว) or khao (เข้า) and nom. Both Thai words khao have a falling tone, thus making the spelling unsure, but the first word khao means ‘rice’ and the latter ‘to enter’ or ‘to add’. The word nom is Khmer and means ‘food prepared with dough’ and ‘cake’. This would be consistent with the word for bread which is khanompang in Thai and nompang in Khmer.

khanom a-lua (ขนมอาลัว)

Thai. Name for a traditional sweet made of coconut milk, all purpose flour, mung bean flour and sugar. The texture of this jelly sugar candy is a little hard and dry on the outside but soft, moist and tender on the inside, whereas they are usually dyed with various pastel colours and shaped as little whipped cream cones. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom bah (ขนมบ้า)

Thai. Name of a snack or candy that is crafted from glutinous rice flour, which is kneaded until it reaches a moldable consistency. The dough is then shaped into round pieces, flattened thinly, and cooked. After folding, the dough is left to rest before being fried in oil until cooked through. Once cooked, it is set aside to cool, after which sesame seeds are sprinkled onto it. Khanom bah resembles sabah, i.e. the large shinny seeds of the sea bean, which kids use to play tossing games (fig.). This snack is one of five snacks used as a traditional offering to monks during the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, i.e. an autumnal religious festival known in Thai as Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, in which ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured, and in which the khanom bah symbolizes sabah seeds for the deceased to play a tossing game. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom beuang (ขนมเบื้อง)

Thai. Name for a very ancient sweet which original recipe came from India and was brought to Thailand by Indian brahmins in the Sukhothai period. It consists of a small crispy pancake made from ground green gram or mung bean flour, baked onto a hot plate and finished with various toppings, such as whipped cream made from coconut juice and sugar; golden threads made of either duck egg yolk (light orange) or of minced shrimps mixed with a saffron (dark orange) colouring agent; long scraps of shredded coconut (almost ripe) and some coriander. When ready they are folded. It has been around for more than 2,000 years making it the oldest known sweet in existence. An ancient legend tells the story of Gosiya, a contemporary of the Buddha. He was a very rich but stingy man who loved eating khanom beuang pancakes. To avoid having to share them with anyone he told his wife to make the sweets upstairs, away from public eyes, so he could eat all by himself. When the Buddha found out about the man's behaviour he sent Mogallana to visit Gosiya during his bintabaat alms round and told him to beg for khanom beuang as an alms offering. Gosiya, although unwillingly, couldn't decently refuse the monks request thus came up with the idea to offer only a very small pancake. However, each time his wife put the dough onto the baking plate it miraculously swell until it had the size of the hot plate itself. After several attempts to make just a small khanom beuang, he gave up his efforts and eventually became a generous man. Also transcribed khanom bueng, khanom bueng and khanom beuang.

khanom chan (ขนมชั้น)

Thai. ‘Steamed layer candy’. Name for a kind of ancient traditional dessert made in layers, usually nine, as this is an auspicious number, and is steamed similar to dumplings. It is also often made in the shape of a flower, akin to khanom cho muang (fig.), though whereas the latter have a pinkish, violet, purple or lilac hue, khanom chan can be of any colour. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

khanom cho muang (ขนมช่อม่วง)

Thai. ‘Purple bouquet candy’. Name for a kind of ancient traditional dessert, which is less familiar to the younger generation in Thailand. It is consists of steamed dumplings that are fashioned as flowers and that have a pale to dark violet, purple or lilac hue, or a comparable tinge. It is reminiscent of khanom chan (fig.), an ancient Thai traditional dessert made in layers and resembling flowers, as well as of the Vietnamese dish banh bao banh vac, known in English as White Rose Dumplings (fig.), a culinary specialty and signature dish from Hoi An. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

khanom dara thong (ขนมดาราทอง)

Thai. ‘Gold Star Candy’. Name for a kind of traditional dessert, that consists of jasmine scented gold dough balls with sugar-coated and dry-fried watermelon seeds. It is also known as khanom jah mongkut (fig.). They resemble small stars (dara) or crowns (mongkut). See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

khanom dih sam (ขนมดีซำ)

Thai name for a snack that is crafted from a blend of rice flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, and salt. The dough is kneaded and left to rest for three hours, then vegetable oil is incorporated. Small portions of dough are shaped into balls and placed on oiled banana leaves to prevent sticking. A hole is pressed into the center of each ball, and they are then fried in oil until golden brown. Finally, they are drained in a colander. This snack is one of five snacks used as a traditional offering to monks during the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, i.e. an autumnal religious festival known in Thai as Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, in which ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured, and in which khanom dih sam represents a pawn or money given to the deceased to serve as a resource to facilitate their time in hell. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom gui chai (ขนมกุยช่าย)

Thai. Name for a type of steamed dumpling, filled with a mixture of chopped Chinese leek flowers (fig.) and any kind of cooked meat as a matter of choice. READ ON.

khanom hin fon thong (ขนมหินฝนทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden rain candy stone’. Name for a traditional Thai dessert that Siamese soldiers in the past used to take with them to the front as an easy bite-sized snack and as part of their food supplies. It is made from flour, roasted beans or roasted rice, depending on preference, which has been mixed with coconut milk and sugar that has been simmered, and that is next molded into a solid lump similar to a stone or pebble, and decorated with a tiny piece of gold leaf.

khanom jahk (ขนมจาก)

Thai. Name for a sweet made from the flesh of a young coconut, mixed with pounded lotus seeds (fig.), beans and taro (fig.). It is named after the leaf of the nipa palm (fig.), called bai jahk (fig.) in Thai, where it is wrapped and baked in. Also khanom jaak.

khanom jah mongkut (ขนมจ่ามงกุฏ)

Thai. ‘Master's crown candy’. Name of a small cake-like candy made of wheat flour, a chicken egg, egg yolk, sugar, the thickest part of coconut milk and watermelon seeds. Its bottom resembles a miniature tart which is filled with an orange coloured candy made of egg yolk, sugar and coconut cream and which is flanked by peeled watermelon seeds. They resemble small crowns (mongkut) or stars (dara) and are hence also known as khanom dara thong (fig.). Also spelt khanom ja mongkut. See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

khanom jihb (ขนมจีบ)

Thai. Savoury sweetmeats made of thin sheets of rice or wheat dough enclosing minced meat and steamed in small round bamboo baskets called kheng (fig.). The dough wrapping is usually either light green or beige and they come in a variety of different tastes, including pork, crab and shrimp mincemeat. Some varieties are topped with a small piece of carrot as garnishing. Also khanom jeeb.

khanom jihn (ขนมจีน)

Thai. ‘Chinese  pastry’. Noodles made from rice flour, produced by pressing rice flower paste through a sieve, into boiling water. Khanom jihn is served mixed or topped with curry or condiments. When mixed with bean curry it is called khanom jihn nahm phrik (a spicy-sweet peanut-like sauce), if mixed with a catfish curry it is called khanom jihn kaeng plah dook (catfish curry), if topped with meat curry it is called khanom jihn kaeng neua (meat curry), if mixed with a fish soup it is called khanom jihn nahm yah (herbal sauce), when eaten with a curry seasoned with dried dok ngiaw flowers (fig.) it is called khanom jihn nahm ngiaw, and when eaten with powdered shrimps and pineapple slices, coconut and krathiam (garlic) it is called khanom jihn sao nahm (stirred juice). The dish is especially popular in Southern Thailand where it developed its own culinary genre.  In Isaan called khao pun and in the North known as khanom sen. Also transcribed kanom jihn, khanom jin, khanom chin, or similar.

khanom khai hia (ขนมไข่เหี้ย)

Thai. ‘Monitor lizard egg sweets’. A sweet snack of small balls rolled from a dough made from sticky rice flour mixed with a paste of sweet potatoes, and with a filling of salted green beans. The balls are then fried in oil until golden brown and crispy. hen done they can be coated sugar, or for those who don't like them too sweet, they can be sprinkled with seeds instead, such as sago or sesame, which is done before being fried, so they stick to the dough. This snack originates from the beginning of the Rattanakosin Period and was formerly known as khanom khai hong, i.e. hamsa egg sweets’. Also spelled khanom kai hia.

khanom khai nok kratah (ขนมไข่นกกระทา)

Thai. ‘Partridge egg sweets’. Name for a snack similar to khanom khai tao but somewhat larger and made with sweet potato instead of tapioca. WATCH VIDEO.

khanom khai pla (ขนมไข่ปลา)

Thai. ‘Fish egg candy’. Name for a traditional dessert or snack made of rice flour mixed with toddy palm and shredded coconut. This snack is one of five snacks used as a traditional offering to monks during the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, i.e. an autumnal religious festival known in Thai as Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, in which ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured, and in which the khanom khai pla, or alternatively khanom kong, represents a piece of jewelry, elevating the appearance of the deceased in hell to a more dignified state. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom khai tao (ขนมไข่เต่า)

Thai. ‘Turtle egg sweets’. A sweet snack of small balls rolled from a dough made from tapioca flour mixed with self-rising baking powder, undiluted coconut milk, egg yolk, sugar and salt, and fried in oil until golden brown and crispy. Due to the added self-rising flour the small fritter-like balls are rather light and frothy, somewhat resembling Dutch and Belgian oil balls (oliebol/smoutebol) but rounder and smaller. They have the shape and size reminiscent of turtle eggs, hence the name. They are on occasion served with cinnamon sugar. Besides this, there is also a slightly larger variety, which is made from sweet potato and called khanom khai nok kratah, and if also coated with light or a mixture of light and dark sesame seeds (fig.) they are called khanom nga. They are often sold together with khanom khai tao and regularly referred to by the same name. Sometimes transcribed khanom kai tao. See also ma tuan and pah thong goh. WATCH VIDEO.

khanom kha kai (ขนมขาไก่)

Thai. ‘Chicken leg candy’. Name for a Thai kind of snack that consists of rather hard, orangey coloured, elongated cookies, that are made with bread flour and powdered cream cheese, fried in oil, and have a spicy to salty taste. The name kha kai is also used for breadsticks, also known as grissini. To distinguish the candy from grissini, one can either refer to the candy's distinctive color, namely orange, known as sih som in Thai, or alternatively append the term khanom pihb, which alludes to the tin canister called pihb (fig.), that is traditionally used to store candy in bulk. In English, referred to as biscuit sticks.

khanom kliaw (ขนมเกลียว)

Thai. ‘Whorled sweets’, ‘coiled sweets’ or  ‘plied sweets’. A glacé, bread-like snack, made from wheat flour and egg, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The obtained dough is twisted it into a helix-shape, which is fried until crispy and then coated with sugar and sometimes with seeds or pieces of preserved fruit, etc. It has a sweet taste and originates from Sukhothai, where it is widely available. Also transcribed khanom kliao, or similiar.

khanom koh (ขนมโก๋)

Thai-Chinese name for a kind of candy, made mainly from sticky rice powder and sugar, and a typical Chinese wedding candy. They are made either plain or with a filling, usually a sweet bean paste. Often, they are made into a round, disk-like shape, with a relief imprinted on the top, or into a specific form, such as fish, a Chinese symbol for ‘excess’ or ‘surplus’. Originally it is white (fig.), but sometimes a colour is added. Often the used food colouring is red, the colour associated with Chinese weddings and a symbol for wealth, good luck, beauty and purity, but which makes the outcome rather pinkish. There is also a softer variant known as khanom koh oun (ขนมโก๋อ่อน), which is usually filled with a paste of beans (fig.).

khanom kong (ขนมกง)

Thai. ‘Wheel sweets’. A kind of traditional sweet from the central to southern regions of Thailand and in English is usually referred to as cartwheel candy, as it is fashioned in the form of a circle with a cross. It is made from a dough that consists of a mixture of sticky rice flour and wheat flour which is fried in vegetable oil. Due to its distinctive form, which resembles the dhammachakka, i.e. the Buddhist Wheel of Law (fig.), this candy takes an important place in certain Buddhist festivals and ceremonies, such as the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, i.e. an autumnal religious festival known in Thai as Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, in which ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured, and in which the snack represents a piece of jewelry, elevating the appearance of the deceased in hell to a more dignified state, as well as in wedding ceremonies, where it is given to newly wed couples as a kind of ancestral ornament, in order to whish them good luck, progress and growth, i.e. going forward just like the Buddhist Wheel of Law keeps on turning, spreading the dhamma endlessly. This type of candy is depicted on a postage stamp issued in 2018 as part of a set of six stamps on traditional Thai sweets. See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

khanom krachao sida (ขนมกระเช้าสีดา)

Thai. ‘Sida's basket candy’. A kind of Thai sweet consisting of small basket-shaped tarts filled with pastel-coloured, shredded coconut. The name derives from an episode in the Ramakien story in which Sida, when was abducted by Totsakan to be taken to Langka, dropped the basket that she was carrying in the forest, where it overgrew with vines. See also POSTAGE STAMP and LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & PLACE NAMES.

khanom krok (ขนมครก)

Thai. ‘Mortar sweets’. A kind of Thai sweetmeat consisting of tiny bowl-shaped pancakes. They are made on a specially designed griddle with small curved-in cavities, comparable to a wafer iron but with round hollow spaces and without a lid. They are prepared from sticky rice flour, sugar and coconut milk. When ready they are usually topped with some chopped spring onion. In English sometimes referred to as coconut-rice pancakes (fig.) and in Thai also called khanom krok boraan. The Thai word krok means ‘mortar’ and refers to the fact that the sticky rice needs to be ground in a mortar in order to make it into flour, whilst the word boraan literally means ‘ancient’, but could in this context be translated as ‘after the old fashion’ or ‘in the old manner’. Also khanom krok. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom lah (ขนมลา)

Thai. Name of a traditional snack of Nakhon Sri Thammarat that is made from rice flour, tapiaca starch and liquid palm sugar, mixed with egg yolk and run though a kind of makeshift strainer that was formerly made from a coconut shell with holes punched in it, thus creating thins strands that are scattered on the surface of a wok by moving the strainer over its surface, creating a orangey mesh-like pattern. After briefly being fried the now dry mesh is gathered from the wok by rolling it onto a bar or tube, creating rolls ready for consumption. Whereas the name khanom is a generic for sweets and sweetmeats, lah derives from ka-lah, i.e. coconut shell’ and refers to the fact that originally a coconut shell with holes was used as a strainer. Khanom lah is one of five snacks used as a traditional offering to monks during Sart (สารท), i.e. an autumnal religious festival during the tenth lunar month when ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured and in which khanom lah is produced in large sheets that represents the offerings of clothes to the spirits of the dead, reminiscent of —and almost simultaneous to— kathin, the period of one month following the rainy season or ‘pansa’, when pious laymen donate robes to the monks. The large sheets of khanom lah offered in the Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, i.e. the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, are typically rolled into the shape of  tall cones. Also transliterated khanom la. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom look chub (ขนมลูกชุบ)

Thai. Marzipan-like sweets (khanom) made from a paste of steamed green beans mixed with thick coconut milk, sugar and water moulded into miniature tropical fruits or vegetables (fig.) and coated with a thin layer of jelly, applied by dipping (chub). These gracefully created sweets can be found on food markets as well as at buffets in hotels and restaurants, as a dessert. The term look is a classifier for fruits and vegetables, used in Thai language to express a unity or quantity.

khanom met kanun (ขนมเม็ดขนุน)

Thai. ‘Jackfruit seed candy’. A kind of khanom thai, i.e. golden bean paste and egg yolk-based sweets, in the form of jackfruit seeds (fig.). See also kanun and POSTAGE STAMPS.

khanom moji (ขนมโมจิ)

Thai-Japanese. A Japanese-style sweet, known as mochi, similar to khanom pia (fig.) and made from a dough of steamed, pounded sticky rice and cane sugar, filled with a paste, usually of beans. It was first introduced into Thailand by Thai people who brought the sweet back from Japan as a souvenir or present for relatives, after visiting the country. When production in Thailand began, its taste was adapted to fit Thai tastes. It is a specialty from Nakhon Sawan, where Thai production first started, about 20 years ago. In English, it is called mochi, which is the same as the Japanese name mochi (餅), and which refers to the fact that it is made from glutinous sticky rice, which is also known as mochi rice. One remarkable kind of mochi, which looks like a large drop of water, is called Mizu Mochi, literally ‘Water Mochi’, yet it is usually referred to as Raindrop Cake (fig.). See also mooncake.

khanom nga (ขนมงา)

Thai. ‘Sesame candy’. A kind of sweet consisting of crispy balls rolled from a dough made from tapioca flour and self-rising baking powder, and coated with light or a mixture of light and dark sesame seeds. Due to the expansion of the dough, the pastry is hollow on the inside, and this cavity is filled with a sweet bean paste, akin to that used in khanom look chub, hence they are also known as khanom nga sai tua (ขนมงาไส้ถั่ว), i.e. ‘sesame candy filled with beans’. They are often sold together with khanom khai tao (fig.) and sometimes confusingly referred to by the same name. In English, they are called sesame balls or sesame seed balls, a name which is also used for an outwardly similar looking Chinese candy called ma tuan (fig.).

khanom nuad mangkon (ขนมหนวดมังกร)

Thai. ‘Dragon beard candy’. A kind of handmade traditional Chinese nougat-like candy, made using a 2000-year old technique first introduced to the imperial court in ancient China, in which a skilled candy-maker (fig.) repeatedly stretches a small mass made of boiled sugar, maltose and some vinegar, until several thousand fine strands are formed, which are then trimmed in dry-fried glutinous rice flour to prevent excess glueyness, and coiled into a cocoon-like sweet. Alternatively, the strands of sugar may be wrapped around finely chopped, lightly roasted coconut, peanuts or sesame seeds. Dragon beard candy has a delicate crispness, and melts on the tongue, but is best consumed within an hour after production, as after a while it loses its fine texture and starts to become sticky. In Chinese, it is called yin si tang (银丝糖), which can be translated as ‘silver silken candy’, ‘silver strings sweets’ or ‘silver fine threads candy’ and in English it is sometimes referred to as Chinese cotton candy.

khanom pahk moh (ขนมปากหม้อ)

Thai. ‘Pot-mouth candy’. General name for a kind of sweets (fig.), that consist of a soft, often coloured dough, made from sticky rice flour stiffened with starch, and which is used as a wrapper for certain types of filling, usually a mixture of grated coconut, finely chopped peanuts and minced meat, with salt and sugar. The dough is steamed on a piece of cloth spanned over the mouth of a large pot and covered by a cone-shaped lid, similar to the process of making tapioca balls (fig.). Once the dough has stiffened enough, the filling is added and the dough wrapped around it. It is typically served with lettuce leaves and prik khee noo chilies, and usually sprinkled with fried garlic or sometimes with sesame seeds and a little coconut milk, known in Thai as nahm ka-thi. This snack or desert is also referred to as khao kriyab khanom pahk moh (ข้าวเกรียบขนมปากหม้อ), i.e. ‘pot-mouth crispy rice candy ’.

khanompang (ขนมปัง)

Thai for ‘bread’. Compare with the Khmer word nompang.

khanompang cham (ขนมปังฉ่ำ)

Thai. ‘Moist bread’ or ‘succulent bread’. Name of a Thai snack that consist of a soft yet crispy, sweet, buttery, toast-like cuboid chunk of bread, usually served on a skewer and drizzled with a sauce of choice, such as chocolate or caramel. Its is made from a loaf of bread of which the crusty edges have been removed, cut into large cuboid chunks which are covered with butter mixed with sugar and then toasted on a baking plate until crisp. WATCH VIDEO.

khanompang nah moo (ขนมปังหน้าหมู)

Thai. ‘Bread topped with pork’. Name for snack that consists of small, square, bite-sized slices of bread, topped with minced pork and fried in oil until crispy, becoming a kind of golden-brown mini-toasts covered with meatloaf. Prior to being spread on the bread, the minced pork is mixed with garlic, coriander and eggs, and seasoned with soy sauce. They are typically eaten with a sweet dip, which is made by boiling a mixture of vinegar, sugar and a little fish sauce, which is then cooled down and either mixed with slices of fresh cucumber and red shallots, or with finely chopped coriander and thinly sliced prik khee noo chilies (fig.).

khanom phong (ขนมพอง)

Thai name for a snack made from sticky rice which is prepared by first steaming the rice until cooked. Subsequently, the cooked rice is placed into prepared molds of various shapes and left to dry under the sun. Once dried, the rice is fried in very hot oil until it puffs up into light, airy snacks. This snack is one of five snacks used as a traditional offering to monks during the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, i.e. an autumnal religious festival known in Thai as Praphenih Sart Deuan Sip, in which ancestors and deceased relatives are honoured, and in which the khanom phong snack of puffed rice symbolizes a raft for the deceased, which serves as a vessel to traverse the stream of suffering, sin, or karma. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom pia (ขนมเปี๊ยะ)

Thai. A kind of light pastry cake filled with a paste, most often of beans, but also other fillings, such as a durian paste (fig.) or minced pork are sometimes used. The top is coated with egg yolk, making it typically darker than the rest of the cake, and often bears the stamp of a Chinese character, printed on it in red. Some varieties may have extra toppings, such as sugar or sesame seeds. In English, it is usually referred to as Chinese cake or Chinese puff. It is typically offered to monks on bintabaat at the end of the rainy season, during owk pansa. Also transcribed khanom piya. See also khanom moji and mooncake.

khanom piak poon (ขนมเปียกปูน)

Thai. Name of a kind of jelly pudding, also referred to as glutinous rice cakes, topped with some grated coconut. It is made from rice flour mixed with arrowroot or tapioca starch, lime juice, palm sugar and concentrated pandan juice. There are two kinds, i.e. a green variety and a black type which is the basically same but made black with toasted coconut husks.

khanom sakoo (ขนมสาคู)

Thai. Generic name for any snack or dessert made with sago. There are several kinds, and the most commonly found desserts include khanom sakoo sai moo (tapioca balls - fig.) and khanom sakoo piak (tapioca pudding - fig.). Also spelled khanom saku.

khanom sakoo piak (ขนมสาคูเปียก)

Thai. ‘Wet sago-dessert’. Name for a watery, pudding-like dessert, usually referred to as tapioca pudding. There are several types, each named after the main ingredient it is served with, e.g. khanom sakoo piak maphrao aun (ขนมสาคูเปียกมะพร้าวอ่อน) for tapioca pudding with young coconut, khanom sakoo piak met bua (สาคูเปียกเม็ดบัว) for tapioca pudding with lotus seeds (fig.), khanom sakoo piak khao poht (ขนมสาคูเปียกข้าวโพด) for tapioca pudding with corn, etc. The dish is sometimes made with coconut milk and according to ones taste and liking, some may add syrup or liquid palm sugar and crushed ice to it. Also spelled khanom saku piyak.

khanom sakoo sai moo (ขนมสาคูไส้หมู)

Thai. ‘Sago-snack filled with pork’. See tapioca balls.

khanom saneh jan (ขนมเสน่ห์จันทน์)

Thai. Name for an old kind of sweet, which loosely translates as ‘charming sandalwood candy’. READ ON.

khanom sen (ขนมเส้น)

Northern Thai name for khanom jihn. Also transcribed khanom sen, or similar.

khanom tahn (ขนมตาล)

Thai. A kind of cake made from banana, coconut milk, rice flour, yeast, and palm sugar, and topped with shredded coconut. It usually served in small cups made from a banana leave. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom ta-koh (ขนมตะโก้)

Thai. Name of a pudding-like dessert made from flour, sugar, coconut milk and other flavouring ingredients, as well as an ingredient of choice, such as corn kernels, taro, brown beans, Chinese water chestnuts (haew - fig.), Job's tears seeds (look deuay - fig.), etc.. It is typically served in cups made from pandan leaves and topped with either a decorative item, such as flower petals, or a component used in the desert representative of the ingredient of choice. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom thai (ขนมไทย)

Thai. A kind of orange coloured sweetmeat made of egg yolk, sugar and rice flour. It is traditionally eaten on special occasions and ceremonies. There are many kinds, each known by its specific name e.g. khanom foi thong (ขนมฝอยทอง), i.e. ‘shredded or fluffy golden sweets’, also nicknamed ‘angel hair’ which is considered auspicious and often served in local ceremonies, although it is not a typical Thai desert, but came from the half-Portuguese half-Japanese female royal chef in the Ayutthaya period who introduced these sweet golden strands at the court; khanom thong yib, meaning ‘picked gold sweet’; khanom met kanun, that is ‘jackfruit seed sweet’, khanom thong yod, which translates as ‘gold drop candy’ and khanom thong phlu, i.e. ‘rocket gold sweet’. This kind of sweet can be soft or crunchy and if crunchy, the word krob (กรอบ), meaning ‘crispy’, is added to the name. Thong means ‘gold’ and refers to its orange colour. Also khanom Thai.

khanom thang thong (ขนมถังทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden Tank Candy’. Name for a kind of traditional street food dessert that consists of a type of pancake made from rice flour, coconut and sugar, and which originally is topped with sweet shredded coconut, though nowadays also other toppings may be used.

khanom thong ek (ขนมทองเอก)

Thai. ‘Prime Gold Candy’. Name for a kind of traditional dessert, that consists of dumplings made with wheat flour and egg yolk, and topped with a small peace of real gold leaf. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

khanom thong muan (ขนมทองม้วน)

Thai. A traditional sweetmeat made of flour, coconut milk and egg. They are baked on a waffle iron-like hot plate (fig.) and resemble small pancakes, made into rolls (muan). There are two kinds, i.e. soft or ‘fresh’ ones called khanom thong muan sod (สด) and crispy ones called khanom thong muan krob (กรอบ - fig.). Both types are dotted with black sesame seeds. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom thong yod (ขนมทองหยอด)

Thai. ‘Gold drop candy’. See thong yod.

khanom thuay foo (ขนมถ้วยฟู)

Thai. ‘Spungy Cup Candy’. Name for a kind of (mini) rice flour muffins, usually referred to in English as steamed cup cake. Also transliterated khanom thuai fu. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

khanom tom (ขนมต้ม)

Thai. Name of a dessert or snack of small coconut ball dumplings, that consist of a soft dough made from glutinous rice flour and filled with a stir-fried coconut filling mixed with sugar that is boiled and afterward covered with shredded coconut. Sometimes a colouring agent is added to the dough. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khanom wahn (ขนมหวาน)

Thai. Literally ‘sweet candy’, but rather and in general used as the generic term for any ‘dessert’.

khanom wai phrajan (ขนมไหว้พระจันทร์)

Thai. Literally ‘moon revering candy’. Name used for a Chinese-style pastry commonly referred to as mooncake.

khanom wun krob (ขนมวุ้นกรอบ)

Thai. ‘Crispy jelly candy’. Name of a traditional Thai dessert or candy that consists of sweet cube-shaped crispy jellies in various colours, crunchy on the outside and soft on the insides. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khantoke (ขันโตก)

Thai. A small round floor table (toke) in Lan Na, usually made from rattan and sometimes painted with lacquer, on which a typical northern Thai meal is served in a set of small bowls (khan). The diners sit on the floor around the table and share a number of dishes. Also khantohk. WATCH VIDEO.

khantohk (ขันโตก)

See khantoke.

khao (ขาว)

Thai word for ‘white’. Probably etymologically related to khao, the Thai word for ‘rice’. It has a rising tone.

khao (ข้าว)

Thai for ‘rice’, though the term is also used for other cereals, such as ‘grain’, and in general for ‘food’ as a whole, as in the expression kin khao (กินข้าว), i.e. ‘to eat’, literally ‘to eat [rice/food]’. The word has a falling tone. See also rice.

khao (เขา)

1. Thai-Phasa Klahng for ‘mountain’ or ‘hill’. The word has a rising tone and is comparable to the name phanom used in Isaan, the designation doi used in northern Thailand, and the term khiri used mostly in southern Thailand.

2. Thai for ‘horn’ or ‘horns’.

3. Thai for ‘dove’.

4. Thai for the pronouns ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’, and ‘them’.

khao (เข้า)

Thai for ‘to enter’, ‘to come/go inside’, or ‘to add’. The word has a falling tone.

khao chae (ข้าวแช่)

Thai. ‘Soaked rice’. Name of a traditional dish from the central region. It consists of boiled jasmine rice soaked and served in iced water, which is scented with flower leaves, and eaten with assorted side dishes, typically including fried shrimp-paste balls similar to look chin kung thod or kung ra-beud (fig.), deep fried fine threads of meat, hua chai poh wahn (fig.), and various fresh vegetables, such as wild ginger, raw mango, cucumber, green shallots and red chilies. Initially, khao chae was a dish that the Mon people, who also call it peung sangkraan (เปิงสังกรานต์), used to offer to the monks in ceremonies during the Songkraan festival. In the reign of Rama V, it was introduced to the court by palace officials, who offered it the king. After the king's death, the dish became familiar and widespread with commoners, who initially called it khao chae chao wang (ข้าวแช่ชาววัง), literally ‘soaked rice of the court attendants’ or ‘soaked rice of the court people’. The dish is typically served during the hot season and eaten only for lunch or in the afternoon.

khao din (เขาดิน)

Thai. ‘Earthen hill’ or ‘dirt hill’. Short for khao din wa-nah.

khao din wa-nah (เขาดินวนา)

Thai. ‘Earthen forest hill’. Popular name used by the locals to refer to Bangkok's zoo, officially known as Suan Sat Dusit, i.e. Dusit Zoo. Often abbreviated khao din.

Khao Fachi (เขาฝ่าชี)

Thai. ‘Mountain Pleasing to Upasikas’. Name of a mountain in Ranong Province with a viewpoint that offers clear and stunning views of the sea and surrounding area, making it an ideal spot for watching the sunrise and sunset. WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2), and VIDEO (E).

khao fahng (ข้าวฟ่าง)

Thai for millet or sorghum, a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain. It is a tropical cereal plant bearing small nutritious seeds that pop like corn when roasted. Some kinds are used as fodder plants or pasture, since it belongs to the family of grasses. It is somewhat similar to look deuay.

khao ho bai bua (ข้าวห่อใบบัว)

Thai. ‘Rice wrapped in lotus leaf’. Name of a traditional dish of cooked or fried rice mixed with some ingredients, wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed in a bamboo basked called a kheng, thus transferring the fragrance of the leaf onto the rice, giving it its special aroma. Ingredients can vary and besides some spices often include shrimps, shredded pork, sliced sweet Chinese sausage and a shiitake mushroom. Sometimes also cooked lotus seeds (fig.) are added.

khao kha moo bohraan (ข้าวขาหมูโบราณ)

Thai. ‘Rice with pork leg in the old style’. A dish consisting of stewed pork leg, khai phalo (fig.), i.e. a sliced up egg boiled hard in soy sauce, and some steamed vegetables served over rice. This dish is usually sold at roadside food stalls, front-home shops and in the coupon-style mass restaurants of large shopping malls. It has though a very high calorie value.

Khao Khanaab Nahm (เขาขนาบน้ำ)

Thai. ‘Mountains Flanked by Water’. Name of two mountains that are roughly a hundred meters tall, separated by the Krabi River and located at the mouth of the river and the entrance to Krabi town. The twin mountains, located in a dense mangrove forest, are home to some amazing caves worth exploring. In the main cave, some human skeletons have been found. They are presumed to belong to some early dwellers, who settled in the area and perished in the cave when they were cut off by an inundation. The cave today displays some of edifices of earlier cave dwellers, as well as some human bones. The eye catcher in the cave is the huge skull and bones of a giant human or yak, whose remains are entwined by the skeleton of a large serpent, said to be that of a phayanaag, i.e. the mythological ‘King of Snakes’. The mountains are regarded as a landmark and symbol of Krabi, and the natural gateway to the city. The mountain on the eastern side of the river can only be reached by boat. See also EXPLORER'S MAP, TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2), and WATCH VIDEO.

Khao Khlang Nok (เขาคลังนอ)

Thai name of an important ancient site at Sri Thep Historical Park in Phetchabun Province, dating from the 13 to 14th centuries. Originally, it was a large religious complex, yet today only its square base remains, which measures  circa 64 by 64 meters, with stairs that ascend to the top from all four directions. The structure stands around 20 meters tall from its base to the apex and is divided into two main levels, each about 5 meters in height. Encircling it in each cardinal direction are some smaller stupas symbolizing cosmic beliefs and reflecting architectural influences from southern India and Central Java akin to Indonesia's Borobudur. It has been suggested that it originally consisted of a three-level structure and may have served for ritualistic and navigational purposes. It was restored in 2012 and on 19 September 2023, UNESCO designated the ancient city of Sri Thep as a World Cultural Heritage Site, making it the 4th site in Thailand to receive this honour and the 7th World Heritage Site in the country. Its official designation is The Ancient Town of Sri Thep and its Associated Dvaravati Monuments. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

khao klong (ข้าวกล้อง)

Thai term for milled but unpolished rice, also referred to as half-milled rice. It is an OTOP product from Prachuap Khirikhan, for one. See also khao som meua.

khao kluk kapi (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ)

Thai. A dish of rice mixed with shrimp paste (fig.), known in Thai as kapi, and typically served with shredded omelet, dried or fried shrimps, slices of fried Chinese sausage (kun chiang), thinly sliced sour mango (ma muang man) or grated papaya, sweet pork (wok-fried pork seasoned with fish sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar), dried chilies, chopped red onion or shallots, chopped long beans, and a wedge of lime, though also other ingredients may variably be used. In Englsih, this dish may be referred to as rice seasoned with shrimp paste, or simply as shrimp paste rice (fig.). Also transliterated khao khluk kapi.

khao kluk kapi

khao kon thod (ข้าวก้อนทอด)

Thai. ‘Fried rice ball’. A kind of food made from boiled rice mixed with egg, garlic, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, light soy sauce and sometimes with a little minced pork and some pulverized parsley stems, moulded into balls and are coated with a layer of finely crushed breadcrumbs before being deep-fried, thus creating a golden, crunchy outer layer. They are a specialty from Isaan and are typically eaten with naem, slightly fermented, salted pork (fig.), as an ingredient in a dish called yam naem (fig.). Their size is generally slightly smaller than that of a tennis ball. Also called kluk khao thod, with the word kluk meaning ‘to mix’ or ‘to roll’.

khao kriyab (ข้าวเกรียบ)

Thai. ‘Crispy rice cracker’. Umbrella term for any type of cracker, a deep fried snack by some better known by to the Indonesian name krupuk and made from starch, typically tapioca or rice flour, mixed with water, at times some spices, and usually flavoured with powdered shrimps or prawns, in which case it is referred to as prawn cracker, in Indonesian called krupuk udang and in Thai khao kriyab kung (ข้าวเกรียบกุ้ง). Prior to frying, the mixture is rolled out, steamed, sliced and sun-dried. Crispy crackers are commonly served as a starter in Myanmar, while waiting for the main dishes to arrive. Compare with thua nao.

khao kriyab waw (ข้าวเกรียบว่าว)

Thai. Thin slices of rice flour crisped over an open fire (fig.), often using a tao tahn. The ingredients for this fragile, round crackers include pounded sticky rice and oyster sauce. Usually also some sugar is added. Though, there are several varieties and they are generally referred to as just khao kriyab (fig.). In the past it used to be a kind of snack or khanom, that was only found during certain boon festivals, especially boon phrawet, or in the cold season, after the rice harvest. Due to this association with the past, it is by many youngsters seen as a rather ancient snack. In Isaan it is called khao pohng (ข้าวโป่ง), i.e. ‘inflated rice’ or ‘blistered rice’, or khao khiyab (ข้าวเขียบ); in the North it is named khao khuab (ข้าววบ), khao phong (ข้าวพอง) or khao pong (ข้าวปอง) -which derives from pohng (โป่ง) or pong (ป่อง)- and also means ‘inflated rice’ or ‘blistered rice’; and in the South it is known as kriyab niauw (เกรียบเหนียว), referring to khao niauw, i.e. sticky rice. The name waw is derived from its flat form and light weigth, which is reminiscent of a traditional Thai kite (fig.), called waw in Thai. Compare with thua nao.

khao kung krob (ข้าวกุ้งกรอบ)

Thai. Name for a crispy dish made with rice and shrimps, mixed together and then deep-fried. It is a local specialty from Uthai Thani.

khao lahm (ข้าวหลาม)

Thai. Sticky rice or khao niauw grilled in a bamboo cylinder called krabok. The sticky rice is mixed with sweet coconut milk and other ingredients, such as corn, Thai custard, beans, etc. It is eaten by hand after the cylinder is peeled opened like a banana (fig.), and is ideal to take as a snack on hikes or, as is often seen upcountry, when going to work in the fields. In Chonburi province is a rural highway named Khao Lahm, and in Bangkok is a street that bears this name. Also transcribed khao laam, khaw lahm and khao lam. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

Khao Lak–Lam Ru (เขาหลัก-ลำรู่)

Thai. Name of a National Park in Phang Nga Province, that covers an area of about 125 km².

khao man kai (ข้าวมันไก่)

Thai. ‘Chicken oily rice’. A dish of chicken over rice cooked with coconut milk. In English, it is referred to as Hainanese Chicken Rice, and is said to be a specialty introduced to Singapore by immigrants from Hainan Island, off the coast of China, though their own invention and not ready available in their home country and hence also called Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice. In Thailand, it is traditionally served with some sliced cucumber, a soup made from chicken broth and parsley, to which sometimes also chicken liver and coagulated blood are added, as well as with a spicy sauce made from ingredients, that include prik khee noo chilies, ginger and garlic. It is typically found at markets and roadside restaurants.

khao mao (ข้าวเม่า)

Thai. Shredded rice grain. Nearly mature rice which is harvested just before it has fully ripened. It can be made of either glutinous or non-glutinous rice and eaten uncooked as well as prepared. First the rice is soaked in water to loosen the husk, then it is roasted (kua) and pounded until it is flat. After this it is winnowed to remove the husks and dust. Its natural colour is grey to light green, but often its colour is made more attractive bright green by mixing the rice with some fresh leaves of a tree called ton kahm pu (ต้นก้ามปู) whilst it is being pounded, although nowadays more often a green colouring matter is used instead. When popped it is called khao mao rahng (ข้าวเม่าราง - fig.) which can be mixed with Thai herbs or spices and is then also known as khao kua ob samunphrai, i.e. ‘popped (kua) and roasted (ob) herbal (samunphrai) rice (khao)’. Herbs may include fried onion, peanuts, dried chilis and dried makrud leaves (fig.). When fried and mixed with bean curds and dried prawns it is called khao mao mih (ข้าวเม่าหมี่) and fresh it is called khao mao sot (ข้าวเม่าสด - fig.). Another variety is khao mao krayahsaad (ข้าวเม่ากระยาสาตร - fig.) which is caramelised with sugar and usually mixed with other ingredients, especially seeds and nuts like the krayahsaad sweetmeat (fig.). Glutinous khao mao finely ground into a powder and mixed with sugar and grated coconut is used to make a candy known as khanom khao mao (fig.), as well as a wrapper for a snack of deep-fried banana called gluay khao mao thod (fig.).

khao mo (เขามอ)

Thai-Khmer. ‘Small Rocky Mountain’. Name for an artificial miniature hill. There are two types of khao mo. One is a small-sized and potted, i.e. a form of miniature garden with a miniature hill of rocks and stones, arranged in potted plants, in the same category as penjing, i.e. ‘miniature landscape’ (fig.) and bonsai, which means ‘potted plant’ (fig.). The other is large-sized, i.e. built on the ground or in the middle of a pond, and consists of a structure of genuine or replica rocks and stones, piled on top of another to form a miniature hill, with coves and nooks (fig.), and sometimes with waterfalls and caves. This second type of khao mo is designed to decorate monasteries and royal palaces, a garden architecture that dates back to the Ayutthaya Period. Whereas the Thai word khao means ‘hill’ or ‘mountain’, and mo can be translated as ‘small hill’, the term mo is actually said to derive from the Khmer word t’mor, which means ‘rock’. A popular khao mo in Bangkok is that of Wat Prayun Wongsahwaht (fig.) in Thonburi, adjacent to the main entrance of this Buddhist temple, and part of it. It is built in the middle of a pond filled with turtles and fish, and surrounded by a rock garden and a number of miniature chedis and stupas, cathedrals, pavilions, and rare plants. In the evening, it is illuminated with both large spots and countless tiny Christmas or LED lights.

khao mok kai (ข้าวหมกไก่)

Thai. Name for a dish known in English as chicken biryani, that originated in Persia, i.e. present-day Iran, and which in Thailand is made almost exclusively by the Muslim population. It consists of steamed rice, sometimes mixed with raisins and sliced toasted almonds, which is fried, mixed and seasoned with a sauce made from curry powder and some other herbs, such as ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, clove, star anise (fig.), coriander seeds (fig.), black pepper (fig.), fennel seeds, and black cardamom (fig.), and then topped with fried red onion slices and with fried or marinated chicken, which are prepared separately. The dish is usually also eaten with some fresh vegetables, such as sliced cucumber and spring onion.

khao moo kaolih (ข้าวหมูเกาหลี)

Thai. ‘Korean pork rice’. Name of a dish that consists of chunks of pork, as well as cabbage, stir fried separately in a wok. It is served over steamed rice and optionally with some slices of cucumber and topped with a fried egg. It is usually served with a small bowl of broth-like soup, often with some phak chih, i.e. coriander, and a piece of cooked fak, i.e. winter melon (fig.). Also referred to as khao nah moo kaolih (ข้าวหน้าหมูเกาหลี), i.e. ‘rice topped with Korean pork’.

khao neung (ข้าวนึ่ง)

1. Thai. ‘Steamed rice’. Name of a dish which is prepared by soaking hulled rice in water, dry it and then steam it. It may be mixed with steamed, crumbled fish and is usually served with fresh bai chaphlu, chilies and slices of an Isaan style sausage.

2. Thai. ‘Parboiled rice’. Name for rice that has been boiled in the husk, thus improving its nutritional value. After this the rice is polished by hand to remove the bran layer. The word parboil is a compound of partially and boil, meaning ‘to boil until partly cooked’.

khao niauw (ข้าวเหนียว)

Thai. ‘Sticky rice’. Name for glutinous rice, a variety of rice which is soaked in water and then steamed in a huad (fig.) placed over a boiler, rather than cooked, and eaten with the fingers. It is usually served in a small basket made of bamboo and called aeb (fig.), kong khao or kratib (fig.). It is especially popular in Isaan and Northern Thailand, and has many different applications, e.g. khao niauw moon, sticky rice mixed with coconut cream eaten as a desert with barracuda mango, a sweet and soft kind of mango with yellow flesh; grilled in a bamboo cylinder a snack known as khao lahm; ground and made into a kind of rice cracker, stuffed with sweet or savory fillings and wrapped in leaves, used as the basis for brewing sato, fried rice balls (fig.), khao kriyab waw (fig.), etc. Also referred to as as sweet rice, waxy rice (fig.), botan rice, mochi or moji rice (as in khanom moji), and pearl rice. Often transcribed khao neaw or khaw niao.

khao niauw chup khai thod (ข้าวเหนียวชุปไข่ทอด)

Thai snack of glutinous rice, i.e. sticky rice, which is steamed and then made into a ball, put on a stick and dipped in egg yolk, and then grilled over a charcoal fire.

khao niauw moon (ข้าวเหนียวมูน)

Thai. ‘To mix sticky rice with coconut cream’. Name of a kind of desert consisting of glutinous rice (khao niauw) mixed with palm sugar and coconut cream, and served either with barracuda mango, a sweet and soft kind of mango with yellow flesh, or durian. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Khao No–Khao Kaew (เขาหน่อ-เขาแก้ว)

Thai. ‘Offshoot Mountain—Crystal Mountain’ or ‘Spire Mountain—Glass Mountain’. Name of a twin karst or limestone mountain in Nakhon Sawan province. The mountains are home to a large troop of wild Crab-eating Macaques, i.e. Long-tailed Macaques, known in Thai as ling sahaem. Also transliterated Khao No–Khao Kaeo. See also TRAVEL PICTURE, PANORAMA PICTURE, MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

khao pansa (เข้าพรรษา)

Thai. ‘Entering the rainy season’. The beginning of the rainy season in Thailand. It is the start of a three month period when Buddhist monks retire to their temples to study and meditate, and in which they refrain from travelling. At the start of this festival people perform a thaksinahwat (fig.) in the temple and young men and boys are ordained as monks or novices for a short period of time. Other lay people hold celebrations in and around the temple and many make vows they will try to keep during this period, such as –temporary– refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. The period starts with the casting, procession and offering of large thian pansa candles (fig.), usually in the middle or at the end of July, and marks the start of the Buddhist Lent, that ends about three months later with ouk pansa, literally ‘exiting the rainy season’. Also transcribed khaw pansa/phansa. See also Wax Candle Festival.

khao phad (ข้าวผัด)

Thai term, usually translated as ‘fried rice’. Whereas khao literally means rice, the word phad should actually be understood as ‘to mix food in a wok with a little oil’, i.e. ‘to stir fry’. The main ingredients are cooked rice, an egg, sliced onion, finely chopped garlic and ditto spring onions, and optionally some chopped tomato. When meat or other constituents are added the Thai word for that ingredient or supplement is then also added at the end, e.g. khao phad kai (ข้าวผัดไก่) for ‘fried rice with chicken’, khao phad moo (ข้าวผัดหมู) for ‘fried rice with pork’, khao phad poo (ข้าวผัดปู) for ‘fried rice with crab’, khao phad talae (ข้าวผัดทะเล) for ‘fried rice with seafood’, khao phad kung (ข้าวผัดกุ้ง) for ‘fried rice with prawns’, etc. On request a fried egg (khai dao) can also be ordered with it which is served on top and the dish is then referred to as khao phad khai dao (ข้าวผัดไข่ดาว). Khao phad is typically served with some sliced cucumber, green onions and half a lime to squeeze on top, and sometimes with lettuce and some slices of tomato as well. Also transcribed khao pad, khaw phad, khaw pad, khaw phat, khaw pat, khao phat and khao pat, or a similar variety.

Khao Phaeng Mah (เขาแผงม้า)

Thai. ‘Horse Stall Mountain’. Name of a hilly area in Wang Nahm Khiauw district of Nakhon Ratchasima province, which is well-known for its krathing viewpoint. Here, on a small hill, Wildlife Fund Thailand offers a Gaur-watching programme, within the scope of its wildlife conservation activities. From this hill, some large herds of Gaurs (fig.) can be observed in the wild, especially when they come out in the open to graze on plants and grasses in the surrounding fields, typically between 6.00 and 8.00 AM and 4.00 to 6.00 PM. This particular spot is also excellent to observe other animals that live in this area.

Khao Phra Wihaan (เขาพระวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Temple mountain’ or ‘sanctuary on the mountain’. A Khmer temple built between the 9th and 12th centuries AD, during the Angkorian Period. It is considered to be one of the most spectacular sites of the ancient Khmer Empire and was constructed over a period of nearly 300 years. It straddles the border with Thailand, near the present day Thai province of Sri Saket, where the temple's two satellite stupas known as Prasat Santhop are located (map), and Cambodia, with its entrance clearly on Thai soil, while the main complex is on Cambodian territory, in the khaet Preah Vihear. This has caused a long standing dispute about its ownership, until the International Court in Den Haag in 1962 eventually allocated it to Cambodia, where it is known as Prasat Preah Vihear. However, the dispute flared up again in July 2008 after the site was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site, angering envious Thai nationalists. Tensions escalated into a military confrontation with both sides accusing each other of violating ones autonomy. The complex lies at 657 meters above sea level in a sandstone mountain range but ends abruptly on an overhanging cliff. Because of this the temple can only be entered from the North, on Thai territory. Nearby is Pha Mo Ih-Daeng (ผามออีแดง), a viewpoint (map - fig.) from where one has a panoramic view of the Cambodian landscape below, as well as of the Khao Phra Wihaan temple complex in the distance. Pha Mo Ih-Daeng, sometimes transcribed Pha Mor E-Daeng or Phah Mo-I-Daeng, means ‘red small hill cliff’, and from its top, a staircase leads down to bas-relief carvings located at the mountain's side, which is part of the Dangrek mountain range. It features three figures wearing Khmer costumes and seated in the lalitasana pose, and probably dates back to the mid-11th century (map - fig.). Both the temple, Pha Mo Ih-Daeng and the surrounding area on Thai territory are part of Khao Phra Wihaan National Park, which covers an area of about 130 km², partly stretching into Ubon Ratchathani Province. Also transcribed Khao Phra Viharn. See MAP.

Khao Phutthong (เขาพุทธทอง)

Thai. ‘Golden Buddha Hill’. Name of an arboretum established in 1980 AD, at the main shrine of Suan Mokkha Phalarahm, in Chaiya district of Surat Thani province, which has a garden ubosot that is used as a meditation centre by followers of Phuttathaat, i.e. Buddhadasa Bhikku. In full it is known as Suan Rukkhachaht Khao Phutthong. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

khao pun (ข้าวปุ้น)

Name used in Isaan for khanom jihn.

Khao Sahm Muk (เขาสามมุข)

Thai. ‘Three Porches Mountain’ or ‘Hillock of the Three Porticos’. Name of a small coastal mountain in v province, located on a spit of land, roughly in between Bang Saen Beach (fig.) and Ang Sila fishing village. It offers a panoramic view over both those areas and features on the provincial coat of arms (fig.). The seashore hillock has a sala with a statue of the goddess Chao Mae Sahm Muk, of whom it is believed that she protects seafaring fishermen, as well as the local population. Khao Sahm Muk is occupied by large groups of Crab-eating Macaques, that live here in the wild. See MAP.

Khao Sahm Roi Yot (เขาสามร้อยยอด)

Thai. ‘Three Hundred Mountain Peaks’. A National Park (map) in Prachuap Khirikhan, which covers an area of about 98 km². It is located along the shoreline of the Gulf of Thailand and is home to Tham Phraya Nakhon, a cave (fig.) which houses a royal pavilion (fig.) known by the names Phra Thihnang Khoo Ha Khareuhaat and Phra Thihnang Khoo Ha Sawan, and which features on the provincial emblem of Prachuap Khirikhan (fig.). See MAP.

khao san (ข้าวสาร)

Thai for ‘polished rice’. Khao San Road, a famous tourist hub in Bangkok's subdistrict Banglamphoo, is named after it. This walking street has a daily market and many shops that stay open until late. The area is very popular with backpackers and has a rather hippie-like atmosphere. There is a wide variety of pubs and bars, as well as low-budget hotels and guesthouses. It is one of the few places in Thailand where one can watch street performances. The street and the adjacent area has a nice mixture of visitors, including tourists and expats, as well as many Thai people. Pronunciation khaw saan and sometimes transcribed khao sarn or khao sahn. See MAP.

khao soi (ข้าวซอย)

Thai. Name of a northern Thai dish of thin flat egg noodles that are poured with a curry-like broth served with chicken, beef or pork and topped with the same noodles fried crisp, some small red onion slivers and cuts of pickled Chinese lettuce. Fresh lemon and nahm phrik phao, a sauce of dried chilies fried in oil (fig.) are used to spice up the dish. In the northern Thai town of Chiang Mai is a restaurant called Mae Sai (แม่สาย), named after the northernmost town of Thailand in Chiang Rai Province, which has earned itself a Michelin Star preparing and serving this typical northern noodle dish. WATCH VIDEO.

Khao Sok (เขาสก)

Thai. Name of a mountain, as well as of a National Park in Surat Thani Province, which covers an area of about 738 km². READ ON.

khao som meua (ข้าวซ้อมมือ)

Thai. ‘Hand-polished rice’. Coarse rice, also referred to as half-milled rice. It is an OTOP product from Roi Et, for one. See also khao klong.

khao tok (ข้าวตอก)

Thai. ‘Popped rice’. Puffed rice, in Southeast Asian tradition, typically obtained by heating the rice kernels in a large wok mixed with some fine sand, usually from a nearby river. READ ON.

khao too (ข้าวตู)

Thai. Abbreviation for khao too maprao oun. Also spelled khaw tuh.

khao too maprao oun (ข้าวตูมะพร้าวอ่อน)

Thai. Name for a kind of sticky candy or sweetmeat (khanom), in English referred to as granulated rice balls or granulated rice cakes. It is made ​​of sundried cooked rice, which is pounded and then stirred over a soft fire, adding water, coconut sugar, coconut milk, grated coconut meat, and some scraped flesh and juice of a young coconut (maprao oun). The mixture is then made fragrant with a thian ob, sometimes using jasmine or ylang ylang. The soft paste is then rolled into elongated balls, similar in shape to khai mot daeng (fig.), or alternatively pressed into rounded moulds, to make small, disc-like cakes, that are similar in shape and size to hockey pucks. Also called khao too.

Khao Yai (เขาใหญ่)

1. Thai. ‘Big Mountain’. Name of Thailand's oldest national park, established on 18 September 1962 and covering an area of 2,168 km². It is situated largely in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima, but also includes parts of Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok and Prachinburi. The park's altitude ranges from 400 to 1,000 meter above sea level and consists of evergreen forests and grasslands. There are around 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds and 67 species of mammals, including the Asian Elephant (fig.), tiger, Asian Black Bear (fig.), Gaur (fig.), Barking Deer (fig.) gibbon, etc. There are also several waterfalls, including the three level nahm tok Haew Narok (เหวนรก), the biggest in the park of which the name means the ‘abyss of hell’ (map - fig.) and which appears on a Thai definitive postage stamp issued in 2008 (fig.), Haew Suwat (เหวสุวัต), a 25 meter high cascade (map - fig.), and Sarika. Haew Narok is nicknamed Susaan Chang Pah (สุสานช้างป่า), i.e. Wild Elephant's Graveyard, as sadly, many wild elephants have died here after falling into the waterfall, that seems to live up to its name. On 5 October 2019, eleven wild elephants died here, all believed to belong to the same herd, and making it one of the biggest losses of wild elephants living in National Parks in Thailand on record. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO (1), (2) and (3).

2. Thai. ‘Large Mountain’. Name of a male spirit or protector deity with the title Chao Pho (เจ้าพ่อ), who is venerated on Koh Si Chang, where he has a shrine on the slope of Mount Phra Chulachomklao (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURE and MAP.

3. Thai. ‘Large Mountain’. Name of a tambon in Cha-am (ชะอำ) District, Phetchaburi.

khao yam (ข้าวยํา)

Thai. ‘Rice salad’. A southern dish consisting of cooked dry rice, served with some pounded dry shrimps, roasted shreds of coconut, pound roasted prik kee noo chilies and some fresh vegetables, that include sprouted soybeans, finely shredded young makrud (kaffir lime - fig.) leaves, thinly cut takrai (lemongrass - fig.), sliced tua fak yao (Chinese long bean - fig.), as well as finely sliced mango and some manao (lemon) on the side, and most importantly, a sauce called nahm budu or nahm kheuy. It is typically eaten as breakfast by pouring the sauce over the ingredients, which are then tossed as a salad,  squeezing the lemon over it. It is often sold on markets and at simple food stalls.

Khawih–Honwichai (คาวี-หลวิชัย)

Thai. Name of a Thai folktale about the friendship between a tiger cub and a calf, that were changed into humans by a reusi (hermit), in order that their friendship could last forever without becoming hazardous. The calf was named Khawih (Khawee) and tiger cub was named Honwichai. The boys were then asked to stay with the hermit until they reached adulthood, so that they would be able to study. As they grew up and the time came for them to leave, the hermit changed their clothes into those similar to princes and gave them sacred knives in which he enclosed their hearts, so that they could not be killed. The story is also referred to with the names in the opposite order, i.e. Honwichai-Khawih, and often transliterated differently, e.g. Khawee-Honwichai, Kawih-Holwichai, Kawee-Honwichai, etc. In 1999, a scene of the folktale was depicted on a Thai postage stamp (fig.).

Khawin (คาวิน)

Thai. Name of a hermit, who appears in the epic Ramakien, where he cast a spell that anything thrown in the water would immediately sink to the bottom, in order to avoid anyone from building a road for the monkey army of