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paang (ปาง)

See pahng.

Pacific Reef Egret

Common name for a large wading bird, with the binomial designation Egretta sacra. READ ON.

pad (พัด)

Thai. ‘Fan’. Of old an utensil of the Far East. See also punka.

pad bai kapho (พัดใบกะพ้อ)

Thai. A small, round to heart or lotus-shaped fan, with a short handle, and woven from the dried leaves of the fan palm. READ ON.

pad bai laan (พัดใบลาน)

Thai. Fan made of the leaf of a species of palm called Corypha lecontei, which is similar to the sugar palm or ton taan. In China, similar palm-fans known as bajiao shan, are often exquisitely decorated with typical Chinese patterns and designs, and used as decorative items (fig.). It is an attribute of Phra Malai and Shin Thiwali.

pa daek (ປາແດກ)

Lao for pla daek.

pad daam jiw (พัดด้ามจิ้ว)

Thai. A folding fan (fig.). Traditionally made in Chiang Mai in North Thailand and usually painted with scenes of Thai landscapes or ornamental motifs. The folding fan originated in Japan in the 8th century and was taken to China in the 9th century by a Japanese monk who had brought some folding fans to China as an offer to the Emperor. See also fan.


Name for rice in the husk, before threshing it, as well as for a field where rice is grown.

Paddyfield Pipit

Common name for a small passerine bird in the pipits and wagtail family Motacillidae, and with the scientific designation Anthus rufulus. READ ON.

pad lek (พัดเหล็ก)

Thai for ‘iron fan’. See tessen.

padma (पद्म)

Sanskrit. ‘Lotus flower’, i.e. a pink lotus. White, red and blue lotuses are called differently, i.e. pundarika, kamala, and utpala, respectively. In general, the lotus is a symbol in Indian culture associated with purity, creativity and fertility, and the padma or pink lotus is generally reserved for the highest deities and the Buddha himself. In Buddhism, it is a symbol of Enlightenment. In iconography the lotus is often used as a pedestal for Buddha images or a base for Hindu deities. See also pathum and Padma.

Padma (पद्म)

Sanskrit. Another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, in her form as ‘mother of the earth’. See also padma.

Padmapani (पद्मपाणि)

Sanskrit. ‘Lotus in the hand’. The bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in his appearance as creator, depicted with many small figures that emerge from his body and represent all beings, gods, and buddhas over whom he has the power to create. See also Radiating Avalokitesvara.

Padmasambhava (पद्मसम्भव)

Sanskrit. Name of a deity considered to be an emanation of the Amitabha Buddha and worshiped in Vajrayana Buddhism and Lamaism. He is also known as Guru Rinpoche, among many other appellations.

padmasana (पद्मसन)

Sanskrit. ‘Lotus throne’. The seated pose of a divinity (asana) with crossed legs forming a circular space resembling an open lotus. See also pathum and padma.

Padong (ปะด่อง)

One of the subgroups of the Longneck Karen in Thailand, originally from Burma. They live principally in the province of Mae Hong Son.

padwaanlawichanih (พัดวาลวีชนี)

Thai. ‘Royal Fan and Yak's Tail’ or ‘Royal Fan and Fly Whisk’. Part of the Thai royal regalia or kakuttapan. These are symbolic items that the king uses to ward off any peril that may befall his people. During the reign of king Rama I the fly whisk was made from yak hair, but this was changed during the reign of king Mongkut (Rama IV), replacing it with the tail-hair of a White Elephant, a tradition that still lasts today.

pad yot (พัดยศ)

Thai. ‘Fan of rank’. A kind of fan attached to a stick and used in certain religious and in royal ceremonies. READ ON.

Pae Kong (แป๊ะกง)

Thai-Chinese. Another name for the Tae Chew deity Peung Thao Kong (fig.).

pae kuay (แป๊ะกวย, แปะก๊วย)

Thai-Chinese name for the Ginkgo biloba (fig.), as well as for it seed, i.e. a kind of a semi-large bean with a hard nut-like shell (fig.). When peeled it is of a yellowish colour and used in soups as well as in rice dishes. In English the seeds are known as ginkgo nuts, after the tree they grow on. This tree, which is found in China, is a unique species of tree, with no close living relatives and thus classified as a single species in its own family, i.e. Ginkgoaceae. Ginkgo nuts are often seen for sale in bulk on markets around Bangkok's Chinatown. Also spelt pae guay.

paeng dinsoh phong (á»é§´Ô¹Ê;ͧ)

Thai. Name for marl powder, a type of powder that is made from limestone which is fired into a white clay and then dissolved in water and filtered to create a fine powder. When mixed with water, it becomes a cream-like consistency that can be applied to the face and body (fig.). It is used during Songkraan as a long-standing tradition to show respect to elders and for fun during the water festival. Dinsoh phong also has skin-nourishing properties and provides a cooling effect, making it a refreshing relief during Thai new year, which coincides with the peak of Thailand's hot season. During Songkraan, marl is typically sold in dried form shaped into small rosette-like swirls or rocks (fig.).

paengman (แป้งมัน)

Thai name for tapioca starch, starch of the cassava.

pae riyan (แปะเหรียญ)

Thai. ‘To paste coins’ or ‘to stick coins’. Name for a kind of tradition or form of tamboon in which worshippers or visitors to certain places of worship, leave or stick coins onto an object of reverence (fig.), such as a Buddha image (fig.), or an object in its vicinity. Also transliterated pè rian or similar.

Paet Riw (แปดริ้ว)

Thai. ‘Eight lines’ or ‘eight stripes’. A nickname for Chachengsao (fig.), that derives from a story which relates that the city's river (fig.) once teemed with giant snake-head fish that needed up to eight cuts (paet riw - fig.) on each side, to make it into sun-dried fish.

paga (ਪੱਗ)

Punjabi name for the Hindi term pagri, meaning ‘turban’.

Pagan (ပုဂံ)

1. For 230 years the capital of Burma and the city of Burma's Golden Era, between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. Its earliest edifice dates from the late ninth century and it was probably founded in 849 AD by the Burmese who lived on the irrigated rice lands of the Mandalay region (fig.), after the collapse of the earlier Pyu Period. The city was eventually abandoned subsequent to the invasion of Kublai Khan in 1287, and in 1297, the remaining regime was toppled by the three brothers who co-founded the Myinsaing Kingdom. There are still around 2,217 pagodas among the remains of another 2,000 temple ruins, as well as the Bagan Archaeological Museum (map - fig.). Originally, the walled city had twelve gates, but the western and northern parts of the city wall were washed away by the Irrawaddy River (fig.) and the Tharabha Gate, i.e. the main gate of the east wall, is today the only near-intact gate of the old city (map - fig.). Among the more important monuments and places of interest are Alodawpyi Phaya (map - fig.), Ananda Phaya (map - fig.), Buphaya (map - fig.), Dhammayangyi Phaya (map - fig.), Dhammayazika Phaya (map - fig.), Gu Byauk Gyi Zedi Myinkaba (map - fig.), Gu Byauk Gyi Zedi Wetkyi-in (map - fig.), Htilominlo Phaya (map - fig.), Kyaukgu Umin (map - fig.), Lawkananda Zedi (map - fig.), Maha Bodhi Phaya (map - fig.), Mahazedi Pagoda (map - fig.), Mahuna Phaya (map - fig.), Myazedi Phaya (map - fig.), Nan Phaya Kyaung (map - fig.), Nathlaung Kyaung (map - fig.), Ngakywenadaung (map - fig.), Kyauk Sa Ga Gyi Phaya (map - fig.), Phaya Thonzu (map - fig.), Pitaka Taik (map - fig.), Pottery Hill (map - fig.), Pya Tha Gyi Phaya (map - fig.), Sabbannu Phaya which is also known as Thatbyinnyu Phaya (map - fig.) and its Tally Temple (map - fig.), Shwegugyi Phaya (map - fig.), Shwezigon Phaya, Bagan (map - fig.), Sulamani Phaya (map - fig.), Tantkyitaung Zedi (map - fig.), Gawdawpalin Phaya (map - fig.), Thambula Temple (map - fig.), Mingala Zedi (fig.), Tabatkya Zedi (map - fig.), Shwesandaw Phaya (map - fig.) and Tuyintaung Zedi (map - fig.). See also Pegu and Hongsawadih. See MAP.

2. Art style from the period and region of Pagan, and amply on display at the Bagan Archaeological Museum in Old Bagan (map - fig.).

3. Name of the 9th King of the Konbaung Dynasty of Burma, who reigned from 17 November 1846 to 18 February 1853, when he was forced to abdicate by his half brothers Mindon Min (fig.) and Kanaung (fig.), in favour of the former. To avoid confusion with the Burmese capital described above, he is usually referred to as Pagan Min (ပုဂံမင်း), i.e. ‘King Pagan’.

Pagan Min (ပုဂံမင်း)

Burmese for ‘King Pagan’.


1. A temple, religious or sacred tower, usually in a tapering shape and consisting of several stories, and found in Burma, China, Vietnam (fig.), Korea and Japan. Its form is often octagonal, which corresponds to the Eightfold Path in Buddhism, and it usually has an odd number of stories, as this corresponds with the yang principle of the yin-yang concept, i.e. the bright aspect, which relates to Enlightenment and thus in turn also to heaven. Similar to and sometimes used as a translation for the Thai word chedi, along with the word stupa. It may also refer to an idol found in such a temple or tower. In Thai known as tha.

2. Idol found in such a temple.

3. In Vietnam, a temple in Mahayana Buddhism.

4. In Myanmar, term used generally to refer to a temple and its compound, that is any temple, whether it has an actual pagoda, i.e. a sacred tower (zedi or stupa), or not. In this manner it is similar as described above, i.e. an idol found in a temple. In Burmese referred to as Phaya.

pagri (पगड़ी)

Hindi. ‘Turban’. Name of a shawl-like piece of cloth, that is worn as a kind of headwear, manually wound around the top of the head of men in India. READ ON.

pah chok (ผ้าจก)

Thai. Name for a kind of traditional cloth (fig.) from Central Thailand, which is produced by using the chok weaving technique (fig.). It is typically woven from silk or cotton, or from a combination of both. Also transcribed phah jok.

pah gohng gahng (ป่าโกงกาง)

Thai name for mangrove woods.

pah hahd siao (ผ้าหาดเสี้ยว)

Thai. Name for a kind of fabric with different patterns, woven with the use of a supplementary weft technique. It is a product from Sri Satchanalai, where it is traditionally woven by the Thai Phuan.

pah kahsahwapad (ผ้ากาสาวพัสตร์)

Thai. The saffron −or alternatively, ochre to brown− coloured robe for Buddhist monks. Within the temple compound this robe covers only one shoulder, but when monks go outside they usually cover themselves completely (fig.). When working (fig.) they wear a lighter shirt called angsa (fig.). In both Buddhism and Hinduism, saffron and ochre are colours that symbolize renunciation. Also kahsahwapad. See also traijiewon.

pahkaomah (ผ้าขาวม้า)

Thai. Multi-functional loincloth usually worn around the waist by farmers (fig.), when not used. It serves as a sarong, a loincloth for bathing in the open or as a headscarf but may also be applied as an improvised bag and sometimes even to cook food in.

pah khit (ผ้าขิต)

Thai. ‘Khit cloth’. Name for an ancient type of hand-woven cloth (fig.), which is produced in certain areas of Isaan. It typically uses geometric patterns in contrasting colors, usually a darker pattern over a light background, often with the colours red, purple and dark green. Formerly this style of cloth was used in the traditional household dress of the area, like shoulder cloths, but also to make pillows that are generally known as mon khit, etc. In the past it was customary for Isaan girls to learn to weave khit cloth before getting married. There are about 72 different patterns, each with its own specific designation. In 2004, some of those patterns (fig.) were publicized on a set of four Thai postage stamps (fig.).

Pahk Khlong Talaat (ปากคลองตลาด)

Thai. ‘Canal Mouth Market’ or ‘Market at the Mouth of the Canal’. Name of the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok. READ ON.

pahk nahm (ปากน้ำ)

1. Thai. ‘Water mouth’. Designation for the estuary of a river, as well as the end or confluence of any other waterway, such as a canal, etc. Sometimes transliterated Paknam, as in Paknam Incident.

2. Thai. Nickname for the city of Samut Prakan, which is located at the estuary of the Chao Phraya River. Sometimes transliterated Paknam, as in Paknam Incident.

3. Thai. Name of a tambon in the amphur Sawankhalok, in the province of Sukhothai (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

pah krahb (ผ้ากราบ)

Thai. ‘Prostrating cloth’. A piece of cloth placed in front of an altar or Buddha image for resting one's hands and head while praying. This 25 by 50 centimetre yellow cloth is mainly used by -especially newly ordained- monks and novices and is often seen attached to their traijiewon.

pah mai saket (ผ้าไหมสาเกต)

Thai name for an ancient pattern on silk cloth from Roi Et, made (fig.) with the matmi thechnique (fig.). It is mainly pinkish to violet in colour and has a very detailed pattern, using colours that usually include white and gold. Also transcribed pha mai saket and sometimes called pah mai laai saket.

pah leh laai (ป่าเลไลย์)

See Parileyyaka and pahng pah leh laai.

pahng (ปาง)

Thai. The attitude, position, pose or style of a Buddha image, e.g. as used in the Phra prajam wan system. Also paang and similar to the term tha, yet the latter is more frequently used to indicate the attitude or pose in traditional dance.

pahng bamphen thukkarakiriyah (ปางบำเพ็ญทุกรกิริยา)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘The pose of practicing suffering’ or ‘the attitude of observing mortification’. A style of Buddha image in the attitude of mortification (fig.). READ ON.

pahng chan samoh (ปางฉันสมอ)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of eating the gall-nut fruit’. Buddha image seated in the half lotus position with his left hand in his lap and with his right hand placing the gall-nut fruit (samoh) in his mouth to eat (chan). The Buddha sits enjoying happiness under a tree during the seventh week after his Enlightenment when in the morning Indra offers him the samoh, the medicinal fruit of the gall-nut tree, a tree of the genus Terminalia. An alternative pose referring to the same narrative is called pahng rab (phon) samoh and shows the Buddha accepting the fruit with his right hand. Also pahng chan phon samoh.

pahng hahm phra kaen jan (ปางห้ามพระแก่นจันทน์)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of stopping the sandalwood Buddha image’. Buddha image in a standing pose with a abhaya mudra corresponding to Monday in the Phra prajam wan system. In this pose the left hand is raised with the palm forward as if making a stopping sign and it refers to a scene when the Buddha returned from Tavatimsa heaven. When the Buddha was away king Udayana had a sandalwood replica made of him which he erected in a large hall in Sravasti. On his return this Buddha image greeted the Buddha in a miraculous manner, but the Buddha stopped this by raising his left hand ordering the image back to its place to enable it to serve as an example for the making of other images after his death. A variation of this is the abhaya mudra with the right hand raised, known as pahng hahm yaht. Only in Thailand there exists yet another variation in which the Buddha has two hands raised in front of him with the palm forward (fig.), known as the pose of ‘calming the waters’, in Thai pahng hahm samut.

pahng hahm samut (ปางห้ามสมุทร)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of stopping the ocean’ or ‘calming the waters’. Buddha image in a standing pose with an abhaya mudra performed with two hands, a pose found only in Thailand. This pose correspond with Monday in the Phra prajam wan system and refers to an episode where the Buddha calmed the flood waters of the Nairanjana River, a tributary of the Ganges in North India. See also pahng hahm yaht and pahng hahm phra kaen jan.

pahng hahm yaht (ปางห้ามญาติ)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of stopping the relatives’ or ‘calming the relatives’. Buddha image in a standing pose with an abhaya mudra corresponding to Monday in the Phra prajam wan system. In this pose the right hand is raised with the palm forward, as making a stopping sign. It refers to an episode where the Buddha  returning from Tavatimsa heaven after an absence of three months stopped a quarrel among his relatives over the rights for water of a river flowing through their land. He arbitrated between blood relatives, of both his father and mother, forcing them to make a compromise and share the water. See also pahng hahm phra kaen jan and pahng hahm samut.

pahng hyieb lohk (»Ò§àËÂÕºâÅ¡)

Thai. ‘Posture of stepping on the world’. Name of a rather unique and rare Buddha image in a standing pose with one foot on a globe, stepping on the world, subduing it.

pahng kho fon (ปางขอฝน)

Thai. ‘Position of requesting for rain’. Buddha image in a seated or standing pose in which the right hand is held forward on chest level with the finger tips pointing forward or upward and the left hand is bent in front of the waist with the palm upward as if forming a bowl. This pose is related to the pahng song nahm pose and refers to a scene in which the Buddha calls for rain after a long period of drought. In some images the head of the Buddha is lifted upward, as if looking at the sky in anticipation of the coming rain (fig.). See also gandharattha.

pahng leelah (ปางลีลา)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Attitude of the gracefully procession. Thai designation for a walking Buddha. Also spelled paang lihlaa. See also Leelah.

pahng nahg prok (ปางนาคปรก)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of the overspreading naga’. Buddha image seated in meditation on the coiled body of the naga Muchalinda that uses its head as a cover against rain. This pose refers to a scene during the sixth week after Siddhartha's Enlightenment, when the naga king protected the Buddha, who was in deep meditation under a Taengwood Tree, against heavy rainfall by making a shelter with his multi-headed hood and lifted him above the flood waters by coiling its body under him. According to some old texts it coiled its body around the Buddha (fig.). This pose corresponds with Saturday in the Phra prajam wan system. Occasionally represented with the Buddha seated in a bhumisparsa pose (fig.), a pose often found in Myanmar (fig.), where the overspreading naga is also found depicted over a standing Buddha (fig.). Besides this, it may also refers to Vishnu, of whom the Buddha is an avatar, and who is also often represented seated (fig.) or reclining on the giant snake Ananta, e.g. Anantasayin (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

pahng pah leh laai (ปางป่าเลไลย์)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of Parileyyaka (pah leh laai) [forest]’. Buddha image in a pose seated in western style with a monkey and an elephant in the front. This image corresponds with Wednesday during night-time in the Phra prajam wan system. The pose refers to a scene in Kausambi during the tenth year after the Buddha's Enlightenment, when the disciples were quarreling amongst themselves causing the Buddha to retire in the forest, searching for calm. A monkey then brought him honey to eat and an elephant, water to lessen his thirst. This pose is also called Rahu (compare with Rahu in the Indian Phra prajam wan system - fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

pahng pathom thetsanah (»Ò§»°Áà·È¹Ò)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of the first sermon’. Name for Buddha image in a seated pose, that symbolizes the Buddha's first public discourse of his doctrine which was given to five ascetics at Mrigadava, a deer park in Sarnath, edifying the panjawakkih, in iconography depicted with a mudra or gesture known as dhammachakka and vitarka. The largest Buddhs statue in the world portrayed in this position is situated in a giant hall at Wat Phraphuttha Saengtham in Saraburi (fig.). WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

pahng peut lohk (ปางเปิดโลก)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of opening the world’. Buddha image in a standing pose, with the arms pendent alongside his body, the forearms lifted slightly outwards and the palms turned forwards. READ ON.

pahng phijahranah chara tham (ปางพิจารณาชราธรรม)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of meditating on the dhamma of aging’. Buddha image seated in the half lotus position, with both hands resting on the knees, the palms down. In English it is usually called the Consider the Great Truth pose, but also referred to as the pose of Considering Old Age. The pose relates to the final year of his life, when the Buddha stopped at a place near Vulture's Peak, known as Veluvana. Aged eighty and seriously ill, the Buddha preached to his disciple Ananda on physical decay, explaining him the Law (Dhamma) of Old Age, i.e. that sickness, old age and death are inevitable to all creatures, describing his body as an old cart which must be repaired with bamboo, and bundled up with narrow strips of leather. The pose is confusingly similar to pahng rab matoop yaht, in which a Buddha image seated in the half lotus position, has both hands resting on the knees, the palms up.

pahng plong kammatahn (ปางปลงกรรมฐาน)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of meditating (kammataan) on the cremation or disposal of [a corpse] (plong)’. Buddha image in a standing pose with a walking stick hanging from his left hand and his right arm pointing downward, the hand slightly forward as if making a gesture, although the positions of the right hand and arm may vary slightly, and sometimes he is holding the walking stick with his left hand (fig.), rather than letting it hang from the hand. It refers to the scene in which the Buddha meditates beside the corpse of a girl in Sawatthi on the nature of phenomenal existence and its cessation. Afterwards he took the girl's shroud and made it into a monastic robe thus symbolizing the transience of life.

pahng prathan phon (ปางประทานพร)

Thai. ‘Position of giving a blessing’ or ‘blessing pose’. Buddha image, usually seated in western style, with one hand held up the thumb and index finger touching or nearly touching, while the other arm is held down with hand palm up and the elbow in L-shape, a pose somewhat similar to certain depictions of the varada mudra (fig.). A famous Buddha image in this pose is known as Luang Pho Prathan Phon (map - fig.), and is found in many places around the nation, such as at the Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom and at Wat Phanan Choeng in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya. Occasionally, Buddha statues in the blessing pose may be seated in the lotus position, such as the Maha Pathimakorn (ÁËÒ»¯ÔÁÒ¡Ã) Buddha statue at Wat Phrathat Doi Saket in Chiang Mai.

pahng prathap yeun (ปางประทับยืน)

Thai. ‘Position of standing at ease’. Buddha image in a standing pose with both arms hanging  passively alongside the body and the eyes downcast. In this pose the Buddha stands quietly before commencing his duties thus reflecting his complete awareness of what he is doing.

pahng proht Alavaka yak (ปางโปรดอาฬาวกยักษ์)

Thai. ‘Position of preaching to the yak Alavaka’. Buddha image in a seated pose, with the left hand on his lap and the right hand raised in front of the chest with the fingers folded, as in the preaching manner. It is the Buddha image worshipped by people that are born in the year of the rat.

pahng proht sat (ปางโปรดสัตว์)

Thai. ‘Position of preaching to living creatures’. Buddha image as the guardian of animals, in a standing pose with the right hand raised and palm forward, similar to the abhaya mudra, whilst the other hand is raised and stretched outward with the palm up (fig.). The pose refers to a scene in the life of the Buddha when he stayed in a mango grove near the city of Nalantha (นาลันทา) and told Asiphanthabut (อสิพันธบุตร)), a local headman, that he always extends loving-kindness to all living creatures and taught the dhamma thoroughly, without any prejudice to any human being, including people from other religions.

pahng rab matoop yaht (ปางรับมธุปยาส)

Thai. ‘Position of accepting rice porridge’. Fame for the pose of a Buddha image seated in the half lotus position, with both hands resting on the knees, the palms up. It refers to the episode in the Buddha's life before his Enlightenment, when he accepted milk-rice or rice porridge from a young, rich and beautiful milkmaid named Sujata. The pose is confusingly similar to pahng phijahranah chara tham, in which a Buddha image seated in the half lotus position, has both hands resting on the knees, the palms down.

pahng rab samoh (ปางรับสมอ)

Thai. ‘Position of accepting the gall-nut fruit’. Buddha image seated in the half lotus position with his left hand in his lap and his right arm extended to accept (rab) the gall-nut fruit (samoh). The Buddha sits enjoying happiness under a tree during the seventh week after his Enlightenment when in the morning Indra offers him the samoh, the medicinal fruit of the gall-nut tree, a tree of the genus Terminalia. An alternative pose referring to the same narrative is called pahng chan (phon) samoh and shows the Buddha placing the fruit in his mouth with his right hand. Also pahng rab phon samoh.

pahng ram peung (ปางรำพึง)

Thai. ‘Position of reflecting or thinking in retrospect’. Buddha image in a standing pose with both hands crossed over the chest, meaning ‘contemplation’, ‘consideration’ or ‘retrospective thinking’. This pose refers to a scene in which the Buddha contemplates the subtle nature of dhamma and ponders on how to reveal this to mankind. This happened after the visit of the two merchants Tapussa and Bhalika came to pay their respects. The Buddha considered that his teachings may be understood better by some than by others. He compared this with the image of lotus flowers, of which some are already flourishing above the water while others are still below the surface awaiting their bloom. The pose of this image corresponds with Friday in the Phra prajam wan system. A variety exists in which both hands are crossed over the belly rather than over the chest (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

pahng saiyaat (ปางไสยาสน์)

Thai. ‘Position of sleeping or reclining’. Buddha image in a reclining pose. READ ON.

pahng samahti (ปางสมาธิ)

Thai. ‘Position of meditation’. Buddha image in the seated pose of concentration or meditation, similar to the dhyani mudra. It refers to a higher form of meditation and corresponds with Thursday in the Phra prajam wan system, associated with teachers, lawyers and judges. See also samaddhi.

pahng song nahm (ปางสรงน้ำ)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of having a bath’. Buddha image in a standing pose with a bathing cloth over the left shoulder and the right hand in front of the chest, as if throwing rain water over himself. The left arm hangs passively alongside the body. This pose refers to a scene that happened in Kosala district at Sravasti, in India. After receiving many meagre meals in his alms bowl during a protracted period of drought the Buddha pitied the population and asked his disciples for a bathing cloth near a lotus pond in the garden of Jetavana. When he started to walk in the direction of the pond it began raining and the Buddha washed himself with rainwater. See also pahng kho fon.

pahng tawaai naet (ปางถวายเนตร)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of dedicating (tawaai) [with] the eyes’. Buddha image in a standing pose with the arms crossed in front of the waist, the right hand resting on the left. It refers to a scene just after the Buddha's Enlightenment when he, according to legend, admired the bodhi tree in gratitude for a whole week without even blinking his eyes (naet). During  this event the Buddha was in a state of bliss in which he realized the triviality of all foregoing in his life and contemplated on the suffering of all living things, including the bodhi tree. This image corresponds with Sunday in the Phra prajam wan system and its name may also be translated as ‘the open-eyed posture’. It is also known as the ‘position of standing in pensive thought’.

pahng thukkarakiriyah (ปางทุกรกิริยา)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of mortification’ or ‘attitude of suffering’. A bearded Buddha image in a seated, meditation pose with a thin, emaciated body (fig.). The image refers to a scene in which Siddhartha and the panjawakkih practiced extreme asceticism for six years in a place near the village of Uruvela. He tried to bring his body and passions into subjection by self-denial but his extreme mortification almost resulted in his death, following the idea of Mahavira, who taught that anyone who overcame his desires would be prepared to fast to death (fig.), hence he consumed just one grain of rice per day, until Suchada eventually offered him a bowl of milk-rice porridge, thus ending his six years of asceticism. Afer this, he concluded that there is a middle path between austerity and worldliness and abandoned his mortification. Also called pahng bamphen thukkarakiriyah.

pahng um baat (ปางอุ้มบาตร)

Thai-Rajasap. ‘Position of carrying the alms bowl (baat)’. Buddha image in a standing pose holding an alms bowl with both hands. This image corresponds with Wednesday during daytime in the Phra prajam wan system. This pose refers to the first morning in Kapilavasthu on the Buddha's first visit to his father's palace. In the early morning he went to beg for food among the subjects of his father since nobody had actually invited him for breakfast, although they had received him the night before and had prepared breakfast. Tradition however does not allow mendicant monks to ask for food but eat whatever they are offered by believers.

pah nung (ผ้านุ่ง)

Thai. To wear a cloth as a lower garment. Name for a traditional sarong-like garment for both women and men, especially in the past. READ ON.

pah phrae mongkhon (ผ้าแพรมงคล)

Thai name for a piece of ‘silk’ cloth in several different colours used in elemental worship and tied around objects, either to worship or for protection, such as the bow of a boat or a tree, the latter two often in order to worship or appease naang mai, i.e. female spirits that inhabit trees. In spite of its name this cloth is usually not made of silk (phrae) but is rather of a synthetic fabric. See also hom pah and TRAVEL PICTURE.

pah prachiad (ผ้าประเจียด)

Thai. Piece of cloth with yan numbers and sacred script, used as a charm to make someone invulnerable. Often red but appears also in others colours. Also known as pah yan. See also prachiad. They are often placed above door lintels to bless anyone entering or leaving the house. In Nepal and Tibet, similar pieces of cloth are used as prayer flags. They are put out in the open and the wind will send the prayers written on them out in the world, a principle similar to the Tibetan prayer wheel.

pah sompak (ผ้าสมปัก)

Thai name for a kind of royal sarong-like garment, similar to the traditional pah nung, but of a high, brocade-like quality and given to the nobles according to their position. READ ON.

pah thip (ผ้าทิพย์)

Thai. ‘Celestial or heavenly cloth’. Ornament or decorated piece of cloth hanging in front of a pedestal. It is part of the pedestal and made from the same material. Usually with seated Buddha images or other seated deities.

pah thong goh (ปาท่องโก๋)

Thai-Chinese. Name of a wok-fried pastry which, prior to consumption, is usually dipped in soya milk (nahm tao hoo), sweet and sour milk, or coffee. When fried the dough becomes of a golden colour and swells into a quaint curved x-shape. Sometimes translated as Chinese donut. WATCH VIDEO.

pah tihn jok (ผ้าตีนจก)

Thai. Piece of cloth with a decorative pattern, woven with silk and used as part of skirt-like dress. The pattern often has embroidery, made with golden or silver braid or tinsel in the form of a thread, which is woven with intervals, resembling falling rain. Also transcribed pha teen chok, or similar. See also pah nung.

pahtimohk (ปาติโมกข์)

Thai. The code of 227 precepts for a Buddhist monk. See also Buddhist precepts.

pahto (ပုထိုး)

Burmese. Architectural term used for a stupa with a vaulted base, as found in early Bagan style temples, especially so-called gu or cave temples, such as Pahtothamya Gu Phaya (fig.). It is pronounced pahtu or pahtoe, rather than patho, what the given transliteration suggests.

Pahtothamya Gu Phaya (ပုထိုးသားများဂူဘုရား)

Burmese. Name of a temple in Old Bagan. READ ON.

pah wai (ผ้าไหว้)

Thai. Cloth or clothes offered by a groom to his parents in law, after a wedding ceremony.

pah yan (ผ้ายันต์)

See pah prachiad.

pah yok (ผ้ายก)

Thai name for brocade.

pai (ไพ)

Thai. An obsolete coin equal to three satang.

paifang (牌坊)

Chinese. ‘Memorial archway’ or ‘signboard archway’. Name of a traditional Chinese-style architectural edifice in the form of a decorated archway. READ ON.

paijayon (ไพชยนต์)

Thai. Name for Indra's abode, banner and vehicle.

Painted Bronzeback

Another designation for the Common Bronzeback.

Painted Copperleaf

See hoo plah son.

Painted Jezebel

Common name for a medium-sized butterfly, with the binomial name Delias hyparete. READ ON.

Painted Stork

Common name for a large wading bird, with the scientific designation Mycteria leucocephala. READ ON.

pa-kahrang (ปะการัง)

Thai generic designation for ‘coral’, i.e. both solitary and colonial marine invertebrates that develop from coelenterate organisms and consist of a deposit of calcium carbonate, with the coelenterate animal producing a calcareous skeleton and polyps. Over time the coral develop into coral rocks and coral islands, thus creating a coral reef. There are many different kinds, each with its own varieties, including Sea Whips or Sea Fans (fig.), Brain Corals (fig.), Flower Pot Corals (fig.), Mushroom Corals (fig.), Flower Corals (fig.), Bubble Corals (fig.), Common Lettuce Corals, etc.

pa-kahrang dokmai (ปะการังดอกไม้)

Thai name for Wonder Coral. It is a compound of pa-kahrang and dokmai, and can thus be translated as ‘flower coral’.

pak kae salak (ผักแกะสลัก)

Thai. The culinary art of sculpturing vegetables into shapes and reliefs, usually in order to adorn banquets. It is related to fruit carving, which is known in Thai as ponlamai kae salak (fig.), though both arts are similar and their terms are often used interchangeably, and they are very often practiced together (fig.). Most commonly, larger-sized vegetables are used, such as pumpkins, East Asian white radishes (fig.), and carrots. Besides being merely decorative, the carved vegetables may in certain cases also have a practical use, e.g. a carved pumpkin, that is hollowed out and used as a bowl to serve food (fig.). Also transcribed phak gae salak. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Paknam Incident

A military engagement that took place during the Franco-Siamese War near Samut Prakan, and is named after this city located at the estuary of the Chao Phraya River. READ ON.

pak pao (ปักเป้า)

1. Thai. A ‘female’ kite that fights the chula (fig.), the ‘male’ kite, during kite contests. The aim is to try and eliminate each others kite in the air. The pak pao has a diamond shape. See also kite flying fights.

2. Thai for ‘globe fish’, ‘balloon fish’ or ‘puffer’ of the genus Tetraodon.

paksah (ปักษา)

Thai-Pali for ‘bird’, particularly used in literature, next to paksi and paksin, all with the same meaning. Mythological compound creatures with some features of a bird, often carry one of the above designations in their name, e.g. Kabin Paksah, Kraison Paksah, Asurapaksi, Theppaksi, etc.

paksi (ปักษี)

Thai-Pali for ‘bird’. Also transcribed paksih or paksee. See also paksah.

paksin (ปักษิน)

Thai-Pali for ‘bird’. See also paksah.

pak tob chawa (ผักตบชวา)

Thai for water hyacinth.

Pak Thong Chai (ปักธงชัย)

Thai. ‘Victory Flag Planting’. Name of an annual tradition in the amphur Nakhon Thai (นครไทย) in Phitsanulok, which is hence also known as the Nakhon Thai Flag Flying Festival. On the waxing moon of the 14th of the 12th month, usually around November, the district organizes a big fair to celebrate and display the unity of its people, who will parade specially made flags through the village and then hike up Khao Chang Luang Mountain where they will plant them on the summit. This is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2018 to promote tourism in Phitsanulok (fig.).

Pala (पाल)

1. Dynasty that ruled over the Bihar and Bengal regions in northern India, between the 8th and 12th centuries AD.

2. Name given to an art form between the 8th and 12th centuries AD from the North Indian empire of Bihar and Bengal.

paladkik (ปลัดขิก)

See pladkik.

pa-ladkik (ปลัดขิก)

See pladkik.


Indian style sedan chair with a hood and concealing curtains. Also yahnamaht and yahnumaht. See also saliang and kaanhaam.

Pale-chinned Flycatcher

Common name for a kind of Flycatcher, with the scientific designation Cyornis poliogenys and a common resident in Nepal, below altitudes of 455 meters. It is about 18 centimeters large and has a greyish head and a well-defined pale creamy throat. The breast is creamy-orange and at the flanks, these colours merge with the whitish belly. Its upperparts are grey, which is darker on the sides.

Pale Grass Blue

Common name for a very small, about 26 to 30 millimeter-sized butterfly. READ ON.

Pale Orb Weaver

Common name for a small spider, with the scientific designation Araneus mitificus and which is found in many countries of South, East, and Southeast Asia. READ ON.


An ancient language derived from Vedic Sanskrit and used in the sacred texts of Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism, contrary to Sanskrit  which is used in Mahayana Buddhism. Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravada Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha's speech. Closely related to Sanskrit, both languages are sometimes used interchangeably between these religious sects. Pali texts were originally recorded in Sinhala, the official script of Sri Lanka, as well as in other scripts, such as Khmer and Burmese. Later also Mongolian, Thai and Devanagari, through to a Romanized form, have been used.


1. A sacred image upon which protective and supernatural powers are bestowed.

2. Rare white metallic element used as a catalyst and in jewellery.

Pallas's Squirrel

Another name for the Mountain Red-bellied Squirrel.


A Hindu dynasty in Southeast India that flourished between the 4th and 8th centuries AD usually classified as post Gupta, from the 6th to 8th century AD, a significant period in art history.

palm hahng mah jing jok (ปาล์มหางหมาจิ้งจอก)

Thai for Foxtail Palm.

Palong (ปะหล่อง, ပလောင်)

Name of a hill tribe people in Thailand, that originally come from Burma's Shan State (fig.). READ ON.

Pa-mah (พม่า)

Thai name for Burma, which derives from Bamar, i.e. the name of the dominant ethnic group in Myanmar, which is Thai is similarly known as Chao Pa-mah.

Panaspati (पनस्पति)

Sanskrit. ‘Lord of the jungle’ or ‘lord of the wilderness’. A form of Shiva who offers protection against the dangers and demons of the jungle. The term also refers to either a composite winged animal head or a mythical animal that combines the body of Nondi (Shiva's bull), the wings of Hamsa (Brahma's swan) and the head of the Garuda (Vishnu's vehicle), sometimes assumed to be the same as Brahmanaspati. In Thailand, as well as in Mon Dvaravati art, it is occasionally depicted as the vehicle of the Buddha and referred to as Phra Phanatsabodih, which translates as ‘King of the Forest’ or ‘Lord of the Jungle’. Sometimes equated with kala, kala face or kirtimukha.

Panax pseudoginseng

Latin. Scientific name for ginseng.

pan chang (盘长)

Chinese name for the Chinese Knot.


Large, bear-like, black and white mammals native to China and Tibet. READ ON.


Common name for Pandanus ordorus.


English-Latin. Large genus of trees with around 600 species, found from East Africa to Australasia and the Pacific. READ ON.

Pandava (पाण्डव)

The tribe who fought with the Kauravas in the battle at Kuruksthera. Their leader was Pandu and his descendants are hence known as the Pandavas. Whereas Pandu remained childless, he was given an offspring through his wives and the gods. The names of the Pandavas are Yudhishthira, Bhima, and Arjuna, who were begot by Kunti (कुन्ती) with Dharma (also known as Yama), Vayu, and Indra, respectively, and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, who were born from Madri (माद्री) with the Ashwin Twins. All five brothers were married to the same woman, i.e. Draupadi (द्रौपदी), with whom each had a son of his own. See also Bhima Swarga.

pandita (पण्डित)

Sanskrit. ‘Learned’ or ‘literate’, against apandita (अपण्डित), which means ‘unlearned’ or ‘illiterate’. The original usage of the word refers to a Hindu, usually a Brahman priest, who has memorized a substantial portion of the Vedas, together with the corresponding rhythms for chanting them. Over time its usage changed, first referring to scholars and learned or wise men, especially those skilled in Sanskrit, Hindu law, religion, philosophy or even music, and today the word has become an honorary title conferred on experts with special knowledge of or skill in any subject or field. Both the English word pundit and the Thai word bandit are derived from it. See also Vithura Chadok.

Pandu (पाण्डु)

Sanskrit. ‘Whitish’. King of Hastinapur and leader of the Pandava tribe. He had two wives, i.e. Madri (माद्री), a princess of Madra (माद्र) Kingdom, and Kunti (कुन्ती). One day, he accidently shot a sage with an arrow while hunting in the forest, having mistaken him for a deer. Hence, he was cursed with a spell that prevented him of making love to his wives, save he would die. Remaining childless, Kunti begot three sons by the gods, i.e. with Yama, Vayu, and Indra, while Madri bore a twin son from the physicians to the gods, i.e. the Ashwin twins, the sons of Ashwini. Whereas the gods were the actual fathers of Pandu's offspring, Pandu is recognized as the earthly father of his sons, who are together known as the Pandavas.

pangkaan tang phra prajam wan (ผังการตั้งพระประจำวัน)

Thai. Plan used in the Hindu Phra prajam wan system indicating the order and direction of the different gods, including Rahu and Ketu. The system sometimes follows the navagrahas or nine planets and may hence be different from temple to temple. The position of the statues will therefore be made clear with a map or plan.


Generic common name of a –usually– nocturnal, scaly mammal, of the genus Manis, of which there exist several species, with four of them found in South, East and Southeast Asia, i.e. the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica - fig.), also known as the Malayan Pangolin or Javan Pangolin; the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla); the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata); and the Philippine Pangolin (Manis culionensis), which is also known as Palawan Pangolin or Malintong. Both the Sunda Pangolin and the Malayan Pangolin are endangered species (fig.), especially due to a high demand from China, where their scales are used in Chinese traditional medicine, notwithstanding that it is today totally illegal and despite all the scientific evidence that these scales have no therapeutic value whatsoever. Due to their many scales, pangolins have often been compared to walking pine cones or artichokes. When it sleeps or feels threatened it curls up into a ball. This state of defense has led to its common name, which is said to derive from the Malay word pengguling, a term used for things that can be rolled up. Pangolins feed on ants and in order to do so, they have extremely long and sticky tongues, as well as strong claws that help them to remove bark or break into termite mounds, etc.

Pangpond (ปังปอนด์)

Thai. Name of a popular Thai cartoon character, which was invented and created by Pakdih Saenthawihsuk (ภักดี แสนทวีสุข). He is presented as an ordinary boy, with large round eyes and 3 strands of hair on his head, and always wears blue shorts and a wine red T-shirt with a large white Thai letter P () on it, i.e. the first letter of his name. He has a lively imagination and a hyperactive personality. His curiosity often gets him into trouble, but he always finds a way out. He owns a dog called Big (บิ๊ก) and has a girlfriend named Na-moh (นะโม). In 1989, he first appeared in the Thai comic weekly Maha Sanook, but now is published in his own comic book. Since 2002, he also features in animated 3D comic movies and in 2003, Pangpond was chosen as the mascot on a set of four postage stamps issued to mark the Thai National Children's Day (fig.).

Pan Gu (盘古)

Chinese. Name of the first living being and creator of all in Chinese mythology, who slept in a black egg until he was born and started creation. READ ON.

panhtain ngo (ပန်းထိမ်ငို)

Burmese for ‘Weeping Goldsmith.

panjanatie (ปัญจนที)

Sanskrit-Thai. The five great rivers of India. See also Sapta Sindhava.

panjawakkih (ปัญจวัคคีย์)

Sanskrit-Thai. The five ascetics to whom the Buddha gave his first sermon (fig.) and who eventually became his disciples. The head of these five ascetics was Ajnata Kaundinya. He was ordained a Buddhist monk by the Buddha and hence became the first ever monk in Buddhism. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2) and (3).

pansa, phansa (พรรษา)

1. Thai-Pali. ‘Rainy season’. Period from June to October that coincides with Buddhist Lent when the monks retreat in their temples to study and meditate, and refrain from traveling to prevent destroying young vegetation and new life that blooms in this period. According to tradition many young boys are ordained as novices (naen) or monks (phra) for the duration of this period. See also khao pansa and owk pansa. Similar term for the seasonal wet monsoon include phansa reudoo (พรรษฤดู) and phansakaan (พรรษากาล), but is also known by other terms, such as reudoo fon and nah fon.

2. Thai-Rajasap. ‘Year’ or ‘age’. Respectful term used when speaking to or of royalty and monks, in order to indicate age.

pan saai lohk (ปั้นทรายโลก)

Thai. ‘World sand sculpting’. Name of an international art form, that consists of making sculptures from sand and which in Thailand is practiced especially in Chachengsao, where the sculptures usually represent characters and themes from Buddhism and the Ramakien, as well as from Thai folklore. Sand sculptures are also on display at Bangkok's Buddhist Art Garden House, which is known in Thai as Ban Suan Phuttasin (fig.).

panta (พันตา)

Thai. ‘Thousand eyes’. A name for the god Indra. Also transliterated Phan Tah.

Panthaka (पन्थक, ปันถกะ)

Sanskrit-Thai. Name of one of the eighteen arahats, and the elderly brother of Chudapanthaka. READ ON.

panwatsa (พันวรรษา)

Thai. A king who lives for a thousand years, like the king from the story Khun Chang Khun Paen. See also Somdet Phra Pan Pie Luang. Also transliterated Phanwatsah.

Panya Nanthaphikku (ปัญญา นันทภิกขุ)

Thai. ‘Monk with the Wisdom of Ananda’. Designation of a Buddhist monk (Phra pikku) from Pattalung Province. READ ON.

Pa-oh (ပအိုဝ့်)

Burmese. Name of an ethnic group in Myanmar, which are also known as Taungthu and Black Karen. READ ON.

Paowanasoon (เปาวนาสูร)

Thai. Name of an important yak character from the Ramakien, who is fighting on the side of Totsakan. READ ON.


A small kind of tree with the scientific name Carica papaja that grows to a height of 7.5 meters. The unripe fruits are used as the main ingredient in the popular Thai dish somtam. When ripe the fruits turn orange and resemble the honey melon. Also called melon tree, pawpaw and in Thai malako.

Papaver somniferum

Latin. ‘Sleep-inducing poppy’. A 50 to 150 centimeter tall plant in the botanical family Papaveraceae, from which opium and morphine are extracted. Each plant normally yields 3 to 8 opium pods (fig.) and its flowers may vary in colour from white-pink to red-purple. In Thai known as ton fin.

paper mulberry tree

A deciduous tree with the scientific name Broussonetia papyrifera, which bark is used to make paper. In Thai, it is commonly known as ton sah, ton poh sah and ton poh krasah. See also mulberry and White Mulberry.

Paphiopedilum concolor

Latin-botanical name for a species of terrestrial orchid of the genus Paphiopedilum, endemic to southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. READ ON.

Paphiopedilum exul

Latin-botanical name for a rare species of terrestrial orchid of the genus Paphiopedilum, endemic to Peninsular Thailand. READ ON.

Paphiopedilum sukhakulii

Latin-botanical name for a species of terrestrial orchid of the genus Paphiopedilum, endemic to Isaan. READ ON.

Paphiopedilum villosum

Latin-botanical name for a species of terrestrial orchid of the genus Paphiopedilum, endemic to northeastern India, southern China, Myanmar and Thailand. READ ON.

Papyrus Sedge

See kok ih-yipt.

Parable of the Snake, Elephant and Fox

An ancient Buddhist tale and jataka with a moral teaching on how pride, anger and greed will lead to an untimely death. When an elephant one day stopped with its foot on a hole in which a snake had made its nest, it was arrogant and didn't want to move on the snake's request, saying that since it was the largest of all animals in the forest it didn't had to take orders from any other animals. Hence, the venomous snake became angry and bit the elephant in its leg. The giant died and fell over crushing the snake in the process, thus both were killed. A fox that passed by saw the dead elephant and wanted to eat it, but since it couldn't bite through the thick skin, it entered the corpse though its anus. Once inside, the ravenous fox ate so much that it became too fat to exit the corpse and thus also died inside the elephant. As such, arrogance, rage and greediness led to their premature demise. The story is depicted on one of the 550 glazed terracotta tiles on Shwezigon Phaya (fig.) in Bagan.

Parakeet Flower

See Heliconia.

Paramanuchit Chinorot (ปรมานุชิตชิโนรส)

Thai. Name of the 28th son of King Rama I. READ ON.

param phao sop (ปะรำเผาศพ)

Thai. ‘Body cremation pavilion’. Thai term for a crematorium. Also tee plong sop and Phra Meru (Phra Mehn). WATCH VIDEO.

Parasa Moth

Name of a species of slug moth in the family Limacodidae. There are several subspecies, of which Parasa repanda, with the Thai name mot non nahm sen khob khao (มอธหนอนหนามเส้นขอบขาว), Parasa pseudo repanda, and Parasa lepida are among the ones found in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Parasurama (परशुराम)

Name of the sixth avatara of Vishnu, described as a descendant of Brahma and apprentice of Shiva. His attributes includes an axe, which he received after undertaking terrible penance to please Shiva, who in turn taught him the martial arts, making him master of all divine weapons. He is also one of the Seven Immortals of Hinduism, referred to in Sanskrit as Chiranjivi. Also transcribed Parasu-Rama and Parashurama.

Pareinma Shin Mingaung (ပရိမ္မရှင် မင်းခေါင်)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar. During his life, he was the 11th Century AD King Kyiso of Pagan, and brother of King Anawrahta (fig.). He was the usurper who together with his brother Sokkate forced their stepfather, the 10-11th Century King Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu, i.e. the later nat Htibyuhsaung, to abdicate and become a recluse. Later, Kyiso was accidentally killed by a hunter's arrow while hunting for deer. After which his brother Sokkate became king for a while, until he was killed in a duel by Anawrahta for making his mother one of his consorts. See also LIST OF BURMESE NATS.

Pariah Kite

Common name for a bird of prey, with the scientific name Milvus migrans govinda, i.e. a subspecies of the Black Kite. READ ON.

parian (เปรียญ)

Thai. A graduate in theology.

parihataka (परिहाटक)

Sanskrit term for a ring worn around the arm or leg. See also keyuradhara.


Pali. Forest near Kausambi where two conversions took place. The first in the seventh year after the Buddha's Enlightenment, concerning the yaksha Avalaka, a tyrannous monster of immense powers who terrorized an entire city, and four years later, the conversion of the bandit Angulimala (fig.), the delinquent son of a brahmin who entered into the service of an evil master. It is also the forest to which the Buddha retired on his own to find rest and where he enjoyed the company of a lone elephant and a monkey, of whom he received miraculous assistance, a scene often portrayed in iconography and called pahng pah leh laai (fig.). In Thai usually called pah leh laai’, but also ‘pah li laaika’, ‘pah li laaik’, ‘pah leh laaik’, ‘pah pah li laaik’ (pah li laaik forest), and ‘pah pah leh laai’ (pah leh laai forest). The name Parileyyaka is derived from the name of the elephant who waited on the Buddha.

parinippahn (ปรินิพพาน, परिनिब्बाण)

Thai-Pali. Term for a state of complete bliss. With regards to the Buddha, oblivious to worldly things, i.e. when he passed away (fig.). See also Mahaparinirvana.

parinirvana (परनिर्वाणि)

Sanskrit. In Buddhism the final nirvana after death, when all rebirths cease. The Buddha reached parinirvana in 483 BC at Kusinagara in India, after he had gathered all his disciples to hear his final sermon. After the Buddha's demise, the Parinirvana Temple (fig.) was built at this place in order to commemorate the event, and Kusinagara became an important place of worship for Buddhist pilgrims along the so-called Buddha Trail in northern India and southern Nepal. See also Mahaparinirvana.

Parinirvana Temple replica

parinyah (ปริญญา)

Thai for an academic degree. See also education.

parinyah aek (ปริญญาเอก)

Thai for a doctor's degree or doctorate. See also education.

parinyah toh (ปริญญาโท)

Thai for a master's degree. See also education.

parinyah trih (ปริญญาตรี)

Thai for a bachelor's degree. See also education.

Paris Peacock

Name of a large species of swallowtail butterfly, with the scientific name Papilio paris. READ ON.

Parkia Tree

See sa-to.

Parrot and Palm Garden

Name for a bird sanctuary in Chachengsao's Bang Talaat (บางตลาด) district, said to be the biggest parrot farm in Thailand. It consists of a large domain set in a lush green natural environment, with many species of parrots (fig.) and palms. Besides the over 2,000 species of parrots, including some 80 rare breeds, there are also other animals, such as waterfowl, goats and deer. The Parrot and Palm Garden is known in Thai as Suan Palm Farm Nok. See MAP.

Parvati (पार्वती)

Sanskrit. ‘Daughter of the mountain’. The shakti of Shiva in a serene form (fig.) and mother of Ganesha (fig.). She is considered to be the Hindu goddess of marriage (fig.), harmony, love, fertility, beauty, children, and devotion. During Hindu weddings (fig.) and as part of the bridal jewellery, the bride typically wears a nose chain (fig.), known in Hindi as naak shrinkhala, in honour of Parvati. Also known as Uma and Devi.

pasa (पाश)

Sanskrit. ‘Lasso’. An attribute of several Hindu and Mahayana Buddhist deities, including Mahakala (fig.), Ganesha (fig.), who uses it to combat lust and desire, and also of the tantric deity Ushnishavijaya (fig.), as well as of Phra Kaan Chai Sri, the deity responsible for sending the souls of sinners to hell. In Thai called buangbaat.

Pa Sak (ป่าสัก)

Thai. Literally ‘Teak Forest’. Name of a river that originates in the Phetchabun Mountain Range (fig.) of Dahn Saai (ด่านซ้าย), a district of Loei province famous for the annual Phi Tah Khohn festival (fig.). It then flows through the provinces of Lopburi and Saraburi, and merges with the Lopburi River northeast of Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya. The latter in turn joins the Chao Phraya River near the Pom Phet city fortifications (fig.), which empties in the Gulf of Thailand (fig.) near Samut Prakan. Sometimes transliterated Pah Sak or Pasak. WATCH VIDEO.


A kind of very fine cashmere wool, which is gained from a special breed of mountain goat known as Changthangi or Pashmina Goat, which is indigenous to the Himalayas, where it dwells at high altitudes. Typical products manufactured from this very soft wool are shawls. The ultra-fine cashmere fibers are purportedly several times finer than human hair, and the best quality is allegedly gained from the goat's chin and neck. Though there are blends of cashmere wool with other materials, such as silk, the quality of all cashmere (usually labeled 100% pashmina) is reportedly far superior.

Pashupati (पशुपति)

Sanskrit. Shiva as the ‘Lord of wild animals’ or ‘lord of creatures’. In South India this form of Shiva is represented with four arms, with one hand in a blessing pose, the second opened to accepting an offer, the third holding an axe, and the fourth with a small deer leaping from it.


Name of a plant of which worldwide around 500 species exist. Most passionflowers are vines and grow in both the cooler mountains and the much hotter climate of the tropical rain forest. Passionflowers have a wide variety of colourful flowers (fig.), often perfumed and with additional sweet nectar glands on leaves, petioles and sometimes bracts. Its fruits contain a juice with an unique aromatic taste and smell. In Thai called katakrok (กะทกรก), a name with a double usage, notably for the Passiflora caerulea or Passiflora edulis (fig.), as well as for the Olax scandens, a species of plant belonging to another family. See also passionfruit, Bush Passionfruit and Leopard Lacewing.


Tropical fruit belonging to a plant in the family of passionflowers and with the botanical name Passiflora eduli (fig.), which in Thailand is mainly cultivated in the North and Northeast. Immature fruits have a thick, bright green skin, with small light yellow to white spots, but when ripe the skin turns reddish brown. Their shape is somewhat reminiscent of that of certain tomatoes. Inside its thick rind, the passionfruit has multiple, dark-coloured seeds, that are covered with a rather slimy fruit of flesh (fig.). When still immature it is best eaten with a teaspoon and its sweet-and-sour taste perks up by adding a little salt. Its fruiting season is from September to November. In Thai called sawarot. See also Bush Passionfruit and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

pata (पट)

Sanskrit. ‘Piece of cloth’. A commemorative plaque or tablet made from earthenware, stone or metal, bearing the depiction of a deity. The name derives from earlier Buddhist cloth paintings. See also votive tablet.

patak (ปฏัก)

Thai name for a kind of goad, a long spiked stick (fig.) used for urging cattle or elephants forward. It is akin to the shorter kho chang, the elephant hook used my mahouts (fig.).

Pata Zoo

Name of a privately owned animal zoo in Bangkok, located on the top two floors, i.e. the sixth and seventh floors, of the Pata Department Store on Phra Pinklao Road. READ ON.

Pathein (ပုသိမ်ထီး)

Burmese name for small hand-painted parasols and umbrellas, with a bamboo framework, which is named after its place of origin, i.e. Pathein, a district of Ayeyawady in Myanmar. It is an attribute of U Shwe Yo (fig.). See also rom and hti, as well as TRAVEL PHOTOS (1), (2) and (3).

Pathet Lao (ປະເທດລາວ)

Laotian. Full Lao name for Laos.

Pathology and Forensic Museum

See Siriraj Hospital Museum.

pathom (ปฐม)

Thai term meaning ‘firstor primary’.

pathum (ปทุม)

Thai. Collective name for both the lotus and water lily. See also padma.

pathum unnahlohm (ปทุมอุณาโลม)

Thai. Name for the royal emblem of King Rama I, which consists of an unnahlohm, i.e. an auspicious emblematic sign used in Buddhism and similar to the yan sign (fig.), over a background shaped in the form of a stylized lotus, a flower known as pathum.

pathumah (ปทุมา)

Thai name for the Siam Tulip (fig.). Also transcribed pathummah. Compare with pathum.

pathummah (ปทุมา)

An alternative spelling for pathumah.

Pathum Tham Thada (ปทุมธรรมธาดา)

Thai-Pali. ‘Holder of the Dharma Lotus’. Name of a Buddhist monk in the reign of King Mongkut (fig.). In 1857 AD, the King invited this monk of Laotian descent and with the title of Phra Kruh, who at that time lived at Wat Bowonniwet Wihaan Rachaworawihaan (fig.), to become the first abbot of the then newly constructed temple Wat Pathum Wanaraam Ratchaworawihaan (fig.). He is nicknamed Kam (ก่ำ).

Pathum Thani (ปทุมธานี)

Thai. ‘Lotus City’. Capital of a province (map) of the same name in Central Thailand. READ ON.


Pali. To go against the current. Term used to describe the event in the Buddha's life, where he floated a bowl upstream, against the current of the river Nairanjana, in order to affirm his thought, i.e. if he was to gain Enlightenment. This episode is often explained as an allegory, which signifies that the Buddha's knowledge and teaching went against all the teachings of his day. Also spelled Patisothagami.

patjai sih (ปัจจัย )

Thai. ‘Four factors’. Term from Thai Buddhism which teaches that four things are absolutely necessary for human life, namely food, clothing, shelter, and medicine, and that if humans have all four of these qualities, it is considered sufficient for daily life.

Patjim (ปัจจิม)

See Prajim.


Term that derives from the Punjabi paga and which refers to an under-turban, i.e. a scarf-like single piece of cloth of about one square meter, used by Sikh boys to wrap their kesh, i.e. uncut hair, which is knotted on top of their head. The cloth, sometimes referred to as a child's turban, is tied over both the topknot and the head. It may also be worn by adult Sikh men beneath their turban, usually in contrasting colours, or when playing sports. See also dastar and pagri.

Patpong (พัฒน์พงษ์)

Thai-Chinese. A famous entertainment district in Bangkok's Bangrak area, named after the Chinese Patpongpanit family that owns much of the quarter's property. Immigrants from Hainan, they purchased the land in the post-bellum years of WWII, when it was little more than an undeveloped plot of land on the outskirts of the city. Situated on the periphery of today's Sathorn's business district, between Silom and Suriwong road, Patpong has become a redlight district consisting of two alleys (Soi Patpong I and Soi Patpong II) with lots of nightclubs, go-go bars and a busy night bazaar. The area is frequented by mostly foreign tourists. Also transcribed Pat Pong, Phatphong and Phat Phong.

Pattalung (พัทลุง)

Thai. ‘City of Elephants’. Capital of a province as well as the name of the province itself, on the east coast of the southern Thai peninsula 840 kms from Bangkok. READ ON.

Pattani (ปัตตานี)

Capital of a province (map) of the same name situated on the east coast of the Thai peninsula in South Thailand. READ ON.

pattasihma (พัทธสีมา)

Thai. The territory or grounds belonging to a wat or temple, usually demarcated by Thai Buddhist flags called thong thammachak (fig.), often alternately with Thai National flags, known as thong chaht.

Pattaya (พัทยา)

Thai. Popular seaside resort (map) on the East coast of Thailand, in the province of Chonburi (map). Its name is possibly derived from ‘thap phaya’, the army (thap) of a phaya, referring to the troops of general Taksin (later king Taksin) that were stationed in the area (fig.).  However, other sources claim that the name comes from the southwest wind which in Thai is spelled slightly differently and named phat taya. Each year on April 19th it celebrates the Pattaya Festival, a local extension and climax of the nationwide Songkraan Festival. Also transcribed Phattaya. See also MAP, TRAVEL PICTURE (1), (2) and (3), and WATCH VIDEO.

Pattaya Festival

Annual festival in Pattaya on 19 April, usually celebrated as a kind of local extension and climax of the nationwide Songkraan Festival.

pattisangkhon (ปฏิสังขรณ์)

Thai. To restore old temples, Buddha images (fig.) and palaces.

Paung Daw Oo Buddhas

See Hpaung Daw U Buddhas.


A nickname for papaya.


The well-known round juicy fruit with downy yellowish and pink skin, which is in China regarded as a symbol of longevity. The peach tree tends to flower quite early in spring, producing pinkish flowers, which are abundantly spread over its branches (fig.). Peach blossoms are considered so pretty that they frequently occur as a subject in Chinese paintings and art. See Peach of Immortality.

Peach of Immortality

In China, the peach (fig.) is a symbol of longevity. Xi Wangmu (fig.), Queen Mother of the West and mother of the Jade Emperor, has a magical tree that bears peaches of immortality. Whoever eats from them will attain everlasting life. READ ON.


Common name for a kind of large, pheasant-like bird, of which males have bright and colourful feathers. READ ON.

Peacock Pansy

Common name for a nymphalid butterfly found in South and Southeast Asia, and with the scientific name Junonia almana. On the upperside, its wings are rich orange-yellow, with buff outer margins. On the upper margin of the forewings there are short perpendicular bars, with lateral jet-black marginal lines. Both the fore- and hindwings have large ocelli, the ones on the forewings brownish and white-centred, with an outer black-buff ring, the ones on the hindwings dark orange, with a black-white outer ring and a white centre as well as a larger, off-centre black spot. On the underside, the wings are ochreous brown, with the same pattern as above, but much paler. The antennae are dark brown with brownish-orange tips, whereas the head is orange-brown, and the thorax and abdomen are blackish, with orange-brown furry colouring. In Thai, this species is known as phi seua phaensih mayura (ผีเสื้อแพนซีมยุรา). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

pea eggplant

See makheua phuang.

peanut plant

See thua lisong.

Peanut Worm

Common name for a species of unsegmented marine worm, with the scientific designation Sipunculus nudus. READ ON.


See khai muk.

pedah (पेड़ा)

A kind of spiced biscuit from India, made from sweetened khoa (fig.) with flavourings, such as saffron and cardamom (fig.), and formed into balls or thick disc-like chunks. This sweet is originally from of Uttara Phrathet, i.e. Uttar Pradesh. Also transcribed peda and pedha.

Ped Bluesman

Ped Bluesman, a rising blues guitarist and singer from Hua Hin, who usually performs in venues across Bangkok and with his band called Ped's Band (formerly known as Hoochie Coochie Band) mostly covers songs of famous blues artists, such as BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, the Allman Brothers Band, Muddy Waters, etc.

Pegu (ပဲခူး)

State and Kingdom of the Mon before annexation by Burma. READ ON.

Pegu Medaw (ပဲခူးမယ်တော်)

Burmese. ‘Royal Mother Pegu’. Name of a nat, whom previously was a female buffalo, who is said to have raised a prince who got lost in the wilderness. READ ON.

Peking Opera

A form of traditional Chinese theatre, that surfaced at the end of the 18th century AD. READ ON.


Name of an indigenous people of Borneo, and their language. READ ON.

peng (เป้ง)

Thai for opium weight.

Penh (ពេញ)

Khmer. Name of a wealthy lady, who is associated with the name of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, as she had a temple built on a 27 meter tall hill, called phnom in Khmer, in order to house a piece of wood from a candlenut tree which she in 1372 AD had found floating in the Tonlé Sap River (fig.) and that contained images of four buddha's, as well as an image of Vishnu. The compound name of this venerated height, located in the present capital, and of the lady who built the temple on its summit was in 1434 AD chosen to be the name for the city when it was founded. Today the lady Penh has a personal shrine (map - fig.) at this temple, which is known as Wat Phnom (map - fig.), as well as a bronze statue adjacent to the temple's compound.

penjing (盆景)

Chinese. ‘Miniature landscape’. Chinese term for the art of tray scenery, the growing of miniature trees in trays (fig.), usually better known by its Japanese name bonsai (fig.). In Thai, it is known as khao mo, i.e. a form of a miniature garden arrangement with rocks and stones in potted plants. See also topiary (fig.).


See Asiatic Pennywort.

Pensajuba (ပဉ္စရူပ)

Burmese. Name of a composite animal from Burmese mythology. READ ON.


Generic name for plants in the genus Paeonia. READ ON.

pepper tree

See prik thai.


A fruit from China with the scientific name Diospyros kaki. READ ON.

pet daeng (เป็ดแดง)

Thai. ‘Red duck’. Name for the Lesser Whistling Duck.

petrified wood

Name for a rare form of fossilization in which wood or an entire tree has been turned completely into stone, due to an underground process known as petrifaction, in which all the organic materials are being replaced with minerals (i.e. permineralization), whilst the original structure of the wood is being retained. A collection of this kind of fossilized wood can be observed at the Northeastern Museum of Petrified Wood and Mineral Resources, located in the Isaan province of Nakhon Ratchasima. In Thai petrified wood is known as saak deuk dam ban mai klai pen hin (ซากดึกดำบรรพ์ไม้กลายเป็นหิน) or simply mai klai pen hin (ไม้กลายเป็นหิน).

Peung Thao Kong (ปึงเถ่ากง)

Thai-Chinese name of a Tae Chew deity who is also known as Pae Kong (fig.). Places where he is worshipped are known as Sahn Peung Thao Kong (fig.), and he is worshipped as the protection god for places, locations and dwellings, especially with regards to a neighbourhood, a community or a village, whereas to protect and maintain the place of residence concerning ones land, home or house, the deity to be worshipped is Di Zhuia (fig.), i.e. the Tae Chew equivalent of the Thai chao thih, the animist guardian spirit of the land, in Chinese referred to as Tu Di Gong and in Vietnamese known as Tho Cong (fig.). A small altar dedicated to Di Zhuia may also be found in the Sahn Peung Thao Kong.


Name of a versatile metal alloy primarily composed of tin along with elements like antimony, copper, bismuth, and occasionally silver, which has been utilized for centuries across various applications. Its composition enhances properties such as strength, malleability, and appearance. Recognized for its malleability, pewter can be intricately shaped and crafted, historically employed in the creation of household items, decorative objects, and jewelry. Although other materials have replaced it for functional purposes, pewter persists in artisanal crafts and decorative arts due to its distinctive aesthetic and traditional charm. Malaysia is renowned for its pewter industry, with notable companies like Royal Selangor leading the field. Pewter crafting in Malaysia dates back to the colonial era when British settlers introduced the craft. Today, Malaysian pewter artisans blend traditional techniques with modern designs, creating a range of products such as tableware, decorative items, and souvenirs. Royal Selangor, established in 1885, is particularly famous for its high-quality pewter products, which are sought after both domestically and internationally.

phaak (พาก)

Northern Thai term for tawak.

phaan (พาน)

1. Thai. A usually golden or silver tray, cup, or bowl (khan) with a base or pedestal. It is often lotus-shaped and used as a platter, especially for presenting gifts to royalty or monks, or to donate offerings to a temple.

2. Thai. Name of a Phraya, who was governor of Nakhon Sri Wichai, i.e. presentday Nakhon Chai Sri (นครชัยศรี) district in Nakhon Pathom, and whom ordered the capture of a clever wild elephant with a nice character, which he wanted to make into his war elephant. Initially it could avoid being caught, but due to the ingenuity of three hunters, known as Saam Phraan, who dug a large pit on the path that the wild elephant regularly traveled on, it was eventually captured.

phaang pha theed (ผางผะทีด)

Thai. Northern dialect. Earthen oil lamp in northern Thai style. Its appearance differs according to the craftsmanship of the maker and age, and some are reminiscent of the dipa used in India (fig.). It is used to enlighten the environment as well as an offering, similar to a lantern or censer, by lighting it and place it decoratively in a temple or at any place of worship during important religious holidays or festivals. Besides this it is also used in daily life as replacement for an ordinary lamp, to illuminate darkness during the night. To kindle a phaang pha theed, a coiled-up, cotton cord is placed in the base of the lamp, as a wick, and lubricated with coconut oil, sesame oil, groundnut oil or tallow. Sometimes called or transcribed phaang pha teed, phaang pra theeb, phaang pra theet, phaang pha theet, phaang pha teeb or phaang pra theep. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

phaap sih sathon saeng bon phah kammayih (ภาพสีสะท้อนแสงบนผ้ากำมะหยี่)

Thai. Name for a style of painting, using fluorescent paint on black velvet, usually with a mixture of bright green, orange, yellow and blue, though sometimes only one colour is used. It is typically sold as souvenirs on street markets and classic themes include picturesque landscapes, Thai village life, and elephants, and to a lesser extend also figures from Thai or oriental mythology. These kind of paintings are surely not for everyone's taste, though they are regularly found in local style pubs and restaurants, usually under a black light (UV light) to intensify the fluorescent effects of the paint.

phab phiab (พับเพียบ)

Thai. ‘To fold full-fledged’. Term for a pose in which one sits in a traditional Thai style, typically on the floor, with the legs folded back to one side, the feet pointing backwards, a pose often seen in Buddhist temples, where it is considered highly ill-mannered to point the feet, the lowest and thus considered the least respectful part of the body, towards the principal Buddha image. While seated on the floor in Buddhist temples, ones feet should therefore always point away from the main Buddha image. The position is a variant of another sitting pose known as phanaeng choeng, which means ‘to sit cross-legged’ and which is typically used when seated in meditation (fig.).

Pha Daeng Nang Ai (ผาแดง นางไอ่)

Name of an epic folktale from Isaan, though thought to have originated in neighbouring Laos. READ ON.

Phad Jahmon (พัดจามร)

Thai. ‘Fly-whisk Fan’. Name of a kind of kreuang khwaen, i.e. net or frame-like, stringed flower arrangements, that are used as a decoration to suspend at windows, doorways, gables, etc. This specific type is knitted in the form of a traditional fan that itself is shaped as a closed lotus bud. Though its bases is made with jasmine buds (fig.) and white dok rak (fig.), for the remainder it typically uses flowers with bright colours. This type of flower decoration is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2005 (fig.). It is also referred to as Phad Thai (พัดไทย), i.e. ‘Thai Fan’, not to be confused with the dish phad thai (ผัดไทย), which is spelled with pho pheung (), instead of with pho phaan (พ).

phad thai (ผัดไทย)

Thai. Name of a popular dish made from flat rice noodles stirred in a wok (phad) with other ingredients. To begin with the wok is heated up adding cooking oil, an egg that needs to be scrambled with a fork and some chicken broth to soften the noodles which are put in next. Then soybeans are added, followed by dried shrimps, slivers of carrot, green shallots leaves, ground peanuts, tamarind sauce, small cubes of fried tofu and some ginger. The dish is usually served with a whole fresh shallot and a slice of a banana plant's flower bud (fig.).

phad phrik thai dam (ผัดพริกไทยดำ)

Thai. Name of a dish with chunks of meet, chicken or fish, stir fried in a wok (phad), with black (dam) pepper (phrik thai), fish sauce, oyster sauce, and some other ingredients, typically also including sliced onion and bell peppers, and served over rice. According to the choice of meet used, it is referred to by first mentioning the name of the meet, e.g. moo phad phrik thai dam when pork is used, pla phad phrik thai dam if fish is used, etc.

phae (แพะ)

Thai for ‘goat’, while a ‘sheep’ is called kae. The goat, or alternatively the sheep (fig.), is the eight animal sign of the Chinese zodiac (fig.). People born in the Year of the Goat are said to be pretty calm individuals and nurturers, that enjoy taking care of other people. The goat features on many a Thai postage stamp, including the Songkraan Day Postage Stamp, issued in 1991 (fig.), and the Zodiac Year of the Goat Postage Stamp, issued in 2003 (fig.). In Vietnam, the Arahat Khan Mon La Han, one of the Eighteen Arahats (fig.), who is otherwise known as Chudapanthaka (fig.), may be depicted riding a goat (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

Phae Meuang Phi (แพะเมืองผี)

Thai. ‘Ghost Land Grove’, sometimes translated as ‘Mysterious Land Grove’. Name of a 167 rai or 66 acres forest park, in Thai called wanna uthayaan, located in Phrae province. The area consists of cliffs and columns, formed by subsidence and erosion of the soil, leaving the crust of harder cements in stunning shapes, some resembling giant mushrooms. According to legend, in the past no human nor animal dared to pass through the area, as it was considered a land of ghosts (phi). Though, one day a villager did pass by and discovered this natural treasure and in 1981 the area was declared a national park. Today, the park features a walking trail and several viewpoints (fig.). Phae Meuang Phi is somewhat similar to the Lalu soil formations in Sa Kaeo (fig.). See MAP.

phaen duang (แผ่นดวง)

Thai. ‘Astrological sheet’. Name for a small gold coloured metal sheet with astrological yan signs distributed at temples or at certain ceremonies and intended to enhance good fortune. One has to write ones name and date of birth on it (using a metal pin or nail) and then deposit it in a large box in the temple. Afterward they are melted and the cast into a Buddha image, thus allowing everyone to contribute in the making of a new Buddha image. Also known as phaen duang yan maha pohkkasap, what translates as ‘astrological yan sheet for great wealth’ and if without the astrological signs also referred to as phaen thong kham.

phaen kra-yo (แผ่นกระยอ)

Thai. ‘Kra-yo sheet’. Name for rice wrappers, very thin sheets of a dough-like pastry, which are used as wrappers for fresh spring rolls, known in Thai as popiya sod (fig.) or popiya Vietnam. The sheets are created by daubing the liquid mixture onto a piece of linen cloth, which is stretched over a steaming kettle filled with boiling water and covered off by a coin-shaped lid, allowing the dough to become solid without drying out. After this short process, the soft sheets are carefully taken off with a very thin spatula (fig.) and sun-dried on large, grid-like frames made from bamboo (fig.). The sheets are round and thin, and look somewhat like pancakes, though almost transparent and white in colour.

phaen thong kham (แผ่นทองคำ)

Thai. ‘Gold sheet’. Name for a small gold coloured metal sheet distributed at temples or at certain ceremonies and intended to enhance good fortune. One has to write ones name and date of birth on it (using a metal pin or nail) and then deposit it in a large box in the temple. Sometimes the metal sheets have the shape of the leaves of a bodhi tree (fig.) and are symbolically hung on a imitation tree at the temple. Afterward they are melted and the cast into the image of an idol or a Buddha image, thus allowing everyone to contribute in its making as a form of tamboon. See also phaen duang.

phaet sawan (แพทย์สวรรค์)

Thai. Physician of heaven’. A designation of Thanwantari, one of the avatars of Phra Narai, who is considered to be a health deity.

Pha Fang Daeng (¼Ò½Ñè§á´§)

Thai. Red Cliffs’. Name of reddish-brown cliffs and rock formations situated along the coast in the southernmost extremities of Prachuap Khirikhan Province, on the western seashore of the Gulf of Thailand. It has a beach which is only accessible during low tide. Located just off the coast and visible from the beach is Koh Talu (à¡ÒзÐÅØ), a small island with an arched rock formation and a beautiful seabed rich in corals and colourful fish. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (E).

phah pah (ผ้าป่า)

Thai. The robes offered to monks during a thod phah pah ceremony. See also phum phah pah.

phah thung (ผ้าถุง)

Thai. A simple sarong-like skirt somewhat like a tube skirt.

Phahurat Manihmai (พาหุรัดมณีมัย)

Thai. The first daughter (fig.) of King Chulalongkorn with his consort Queen Saowapha Phongsri. She was born on 19 December 1878, at Phra Rachawang in Bangkok, but with poor health throughout her childhood, the princess died at the untimely age of eight, on 27 August 1887. She is portrayed on one of a rare set of unmarked postage stamps of the Royal Family issued in circa 1893 (fig.).

phai (ไผ่)

Thai name for bamboo. Also mai phai.

phailin (ä¾ÅÔ¹)

Thai for ‘sapphire‘, a precious gemstone known for its stunning blue color, although it can occur in various other colours as well, such as pink, yellow, green, and purple. Sapphires are valued for their exceptional hardness, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, just below diamonds. This durability and their prized captivating beauty make them ideal for use in jewellery. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

phai nahm tao (ไผ่น้ำเต้า)

Thai. ‘Calabash bamboo’. Name for Bambusa ventricosa, a species of bamboo with bulbous culms (fig.), that won it the nickname Buddha's Belly Bamboo, referring to the obese Chinese Smiling Buddha (fig.), rather than the historical Buddha. This type of bamboo is native to Guangdong province in China, but is widely cultivated in subtropical regions around the world for its ornamental features, for which it is also used in bonsai. The Thai designation is also based on the stem's bulbous shape, which is considered as redolent of a bottle gourd, called nahm tao in Thai. In Vietnamese, it is known as trúc đùi gà (fig.).

Phairoht Thanomwong (ไพโรจน์ ถนอมวงษ์)

Thai. Name of the founder of Ban Hun Lek (fig.), an art project in which he transforms discarded parts of machines, trucks and cars into imitations of robot-like figures, both in human and animal-like form, as well as into futuristic mock vehicles. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

phakah krong (ผกากรอง)

Thai generic name of a flowering plant, with the botanical name Lantana camara, and found in many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. It produces clusters of small flowers with salver-form corollas, which vary in colour depending on the subspecies. The existing array includes the Pink Caprice Lantana, with pink to lilac and white flowers, each with a yellow core; the Spanish Flag, with red and yellow flowers (fig.), like the colours of the national flag of Spain; Cloth of Gold, with clusters of yellow flowers (fig.); Lantana camara blanca, with white flowers with a yellow centre; etc. In the wild, this species is very invasive, but it is also often found as an ornamental plant in gardens, and its flowers are highly favoured by a variety of butterflies.

phak bung (ผักบุ้ง)

Thai for morning glory, swamp cabbage and water spinach, i.e. a vine-like plant (fig.), that grows plentifully in usually shallow, standing water, such as ponds, ditches and roadside canals. READ ON.

phak bung fai daeng (ผักบุ้งไฟแดง)

Thai. ‘Red fire water spinach’. See phak bung.

phak bung farang (ผักบุ้งฝรั่ง)

See phak bung.

phak bung loi fah (ผักบุ้งลอยฟ้า)

Thai. ‘Sky-floating water spinach’. The morning glory flying vegetable. See phak bung.

phak chih (ผักชี)

Thai for ‘coriander’, an aromatic plant which seeds, known in Thai as malet phak chih (fig.), are used in cuisine for flavouring.

phak kahd khao (ผักกาดขาว)

Thai. A Chinese cabbage, with the scientific name Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis, and in English known as napa cabbage or celery cabbage, yet it is in general simply referred to as Chinese cabbage, although that name is also used for many other varieties. It is widely used in East Asian cuisine. The somewhat rutted, elongated leaves, which are light green with white petioles, sit tightly packed together in the cylindrical head, with the tip of the leaves growing toward each other. In Mandarin, it is called da bai cai (大白菜), which means ‘large white vegetable’, a term used to differentiate it from certain types of phak kwahng tung, which are called bai cai (白菜) or xiao bai cai (小白菜), which means ‘white vegetable’ and ‘small white vegetable’ respectively.

phak kahd khao plih (ผักกาดขาวปลี)

Thai. A Chinese cabbage, similar to phak kahd khao, but of a darker green colour, softer and less rutted leaves, that are packed less compact together, and with the tip of the leaves growing outward, rather than toward each other. Despite these differences, it also is commonly referred to as napa cabbage and generally as Chinese cabbage, but has also been given the name Won Bok. It scientific designation is Brassica rapa, subsp. pekinensis, var. cephalata.

phak kahd khao kwahng tung (ผักกาดขาวกวางตุ้ง)

Thai. A Chinese cabbage, with the scientific name Brassica chinensis. It has broad green leaves and white petioles or stems, and is also known as snow cabbage, bok choy (บอกฉ่อย), and in Thai additionally as phak choy (ผักฉ่อย). There is smaller version of the same vegetable, which is referred to as Shanghai bok choy, baby bok choy or mini bok choy, and in Thai also as baby phak choy (เบบี้ผักฉ่อย) or mini phak choy (มินิผักฉ่อย). This smaller version is simply less-mature and the stems are pale green. In Mandarin, it is called bai cai (白菜), or xiao bai cai (小白菜), which means ‘white vegetable’ and ‘small white vegetable’ respectively, with the latter term being used to differentiate it from phak kahd khao, which is called da bai cai (大白菜), meaning ‘large white vegetable’. See also phak kwahng tung.

phak kahd kiyaw kwahng tung (ผักกาดเขียวกวางตุ้ง)

Thai. A Chinese cabbage, with the scientific name Brassica chinensis, with broad green leaves and green petioles. In Mandarin, it is called bai cai (白菜), or xiao bai cai (小白菜), which means ‘white vegetable’ and ‘small white vegetable’ respectively, with the latter term being used to differentiate it from phak kahd khao, which is called da bai cai (大白菜), meaning ‘large white vegetable’. See also phak kwahng tung.

phak kwahng tung (ผักกวางตุ้ง)

Thai. ‘Guangdong (Kwangtung) vegetable’, usually referred to as Cantonese vegetable. READ ON.

phak salad kos (ผักสลัดคอส)

Thai name for Romaine Lettuce or Cos Lettuce, a kind of lettuce that is tolerant of heat, which sets it apart from most other lettuces. It has the botanical name Lactuca sativa var. longifolia, referring to its long, sturdy leaves, that sit on thick, firm ribs. In the West, it is best known for its use as the main ingredient in Caesar salads. In Thailand, it is eaten fresh in salads, and an ingredient in certain dishes, such as phad phrik kaeng (ผัดพริกแกง), kaeng jeud (แกงจืด), and phad phak ruam mit (ผัดผักรวมมิตร). In addition, it is sometimes used as a replacement for kha-nah, as well as different types of phak kwahng tung.

phak siang farang (ผักเสี้ยนฝรั่ง)

Thai. ‘Foreign thorny plant’. Plant with spider-shaped, white to pink-purple flowers (fig.), native to southern South America and with the botanical name Cleome hassleriana. It is an annual plant that grows to a height of 1,5 meter and has spirally arranged palmate leaves. The flowers have four petals and six long stamens. In Thailand it is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant (fig.). In English, it is known as Spider Flower and Spider Plant. See also Spider Lily (fig.).

phak thod yod (ผักทอดยอด)

Thai. ‘Peak fried vegetable’. An additional name for phak bung, when stir-fried (thod) over a gas flame turned all the way up to its highest point (yod).

Pha Lak Pha Lam (ພະລັກພະລາມ)

Laotian. Name of the local adaptation in Laos of the Indian epic Ramayana. READ ON.

Pha Lam Sadok (ຊາດົກ)

Laotian. The ‘Chadok of Phra Ram or the ‘Jataka of Rama. Name in Laos of the local version of the Indian epic Ramayana, i.e. the Laotian counterpart of the Thai Ramakien, and also known locally as Pha Lak Pha Lam. Pronounced Pha Laam Sadok and sometimes transcribed Pha Lam Xadok.

Phali (พาลี)

See Bali.

phanaeng choeng (แพนงเชิง)

Thai term that means ‘to sit cross-legged’. The pose is typically used when seated, usually on the floor, in meditation (fig.) and is thus represented in most sitting Buddha images (fig.), a style referred to as lotus position. See also phab phiab and Wat Phanan Choeng.

Pha Nahm Tok (ผาน้ำตก)

Thai. Waterfall Cliff’. Name of the third level in the series of seven falls of the Erawan Waterfall (fig.) at Erawan National Park (fig.) in Kanchanaburi Province. See MAP.

phanak phing (พนักพิง)

Thai for a ‘backrest’, the squab of a seat, like those typically used by monks in Buddhist temples and which are commonly shaped in the form of a bai sema (fig.). See also tammaht  and reua khem.

Phan But Sri Thep (พันบุตรศรีเทพ)

Thai. The name and title of a lower palace official with the duty of guarding the outer image hall. The title is one rank below that of Khun Chinnarat. The title literally translates as ‘thousand children of angels’.

Phan Dinh Phung (Phan Đình Phùng)

Vietnamese. Name of a revolutionary who led rebel armies against French colonial forces in Vietnam in the 19th century. READ ON.

phang (พัง)

Thai for a female elephant (fig.). See also Asian Elephant, phlaay and sihdoh.

Phang Nga (พังงา)  

Thai. Name of a river, a provincial capital, as well as of a province on the west coast of the South Thai peninsula, along the Andaman Sea. READ ON.

phangphon (พังพอน)

Thai for ‘mongoose’.

phaniad (เพนียด)

Thai. ‘Elephant kraal’. A stockade or palisade formerly used to round-up wild elephants (fig.). It consists of a huge fence of wooden -usually teak- logs planted in the ground at an angle to keep the elephants in. There is an elephant kraal still in existence today, in Ayutthaya. Chang beer, one of the main brands of beer in Thailand, of which the name means elephant, has designed the entrance gates of its breweries in Ayutthaya and in  Kamphaeng Phet (fig.) in the form of an elephant kraal. See MAP (AYU) and MAP (KAM).

phanom (พนม)

1. Thai-Khmer. ‘Mountain’. A term that derives from the Khmer word phnom and which in Thailand is often used as part of a name for a temple, sanctuary or sacred place, typically located on a hill, as in Prasat Phanom Rung, as well as in Thai place names, e.g. Nakhon Phanom and Wat Phrathat Phanom Woramahawihaan (fig.). The Phasa Isaan term is comparable to the general Thai term khao, the name khiri used in southern Thailand, and the designation doi used in northern Thailand.

2. Thai. Term for things that have the shaped or are made to look like of a phum (fig.) or lotus bud (fig.), such as raising both hands palm to palm (fig.), as in the traditional wai (fig.). As such it is also a synonym for thephanom (fig.) and phranommeua (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

phanom mahk (พนมหมาก)

Thai. ‘Betel mountain’. Architectural term, used for a cone-shaped decorative element, reminiscent of the egg or pear-shaped betel arrangement known as phum mahk (fig.), as well as of the tallest container of a betel-set (fig.), hence the name. They are typically used in pairs and are often found at the entrance of a sanctuary or at the foot of an altar, etc. They are often, though not always, made in (or with elements of) a golden or silver colour and are typically placed on a phaan, which in turn may be standing on a cushion. Smaller versions, folded from a banana-leaf and topped with a small flower or some other ornament, are referred to as krathong dokmai (fig.) and are typically used to accompany toob thian phae offerings (fig.). See also phanom and mahk.

Phanon Mareuk (พานรมฤค)

Thai. Mythological animal from the Ramakien, living in the Himaphan forest. It is half monkey (phanon) and half deer (mareuk), with the agility of a deer and the power to run faster than any normal deer, but able to fully utilize its functional monkey hands for grabbing objects and feeding. It also has an exceptional sense of hearing and, like most monkeys prefers eating bananas and coconuts. In art it is usually depicted with a greenish complexion. See also Singh Phanon.

Phan Reuang (พันเรือง)

Thai. Name of one of the eleven heroic leaders who in 1767, at the end of the Ayutthaya period, fought the invading Burmese in defence of the Bang Rajan camp in Singburi. READ ON.

Phan Thai Nora Singh (พันท้ายนรสิงห์)

Name of the coxswain (phan thai), who in the Ayutthaya Period was in charge of the navigation of the Ekkachai (เอกชัย) Royal Barge. READ ON.

Phanthumatiraat (¾Ñ¹¸ØÁеÔÃÒª, ¾Ñ¹¸ØÁµÔÃÒª)

Thai. Name of a legendary king who appears in the northern Thai legend of Sih Hoo Hah Tah (fig.), a local mythological creature with four ears and five eyes, that eats red-hot charcoal, which it defecates as pure gold. In the local legend of Chiang Rai, this ruler gives his royal daughter Simah (สีมา) in marriage to Ai Thuk Khata (อ้ายทุกคตะ), the owner of this gold-producing creature, whom as his son-in-law also succeeded Phanthumatiraat after his death. He has a statue at Wat Phrathat Doi Khao Kwai Kaew, a hilltop temple in Chiang Rai associated with the legend. This king of mythology is in Thai usually referred to with the royal prefix phaya or thao.

phanuat (ผนวช)

Thai-rajasap. ‘To ordain’, ‘to tonsure’ or ‘enter the Buddhist priesthood’. See also buat, buatnaag, banpacha and upasombot.

Phanurangsih Sawaangwong (ภาณุรังษี สว่างวงศ์)

See Bhanurangsi Savangwongse.

Phap Van (Pháp Vân)

Vietnamese. Vietnamese-Buddhist goddess of the clouds. READ ON.

phasa (ภาษา)

Thai for ‘language’.

phasa bai (ÀÒÉÒãºé)

Thai for ‘sign language’, a form of non-verbal communication that uses manual expression, such as hand shapes, but also facial expressions, and body language, in order to convey information and express thoughts. It is a means of communication primarily used by deaf and hearing-impaired individuals, but may also be used others in different contexts, such as for example military sign language or international sign language that is generally understood by common people. While there may be some international signs or gestures used in specific contexts, sign language is not universal, and different countries and regions often have their own distinct sign languages. It is also known as phasa meuh, literally ‘hand language’. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Phasa Isaan (ภาษาอีสาน)

Thai. ‘Northeastern Thai’. Dialect spoken in Isaan or Northeast Thailand, a region more or less coinciding with the Korat Plateau covering an area from Nakhon Ratchasima to the borders of Laos and Cambodia. See also Phasa Thong Thin. Also called Phasa Thai-Lao and Phasa Lao.

Phasa Klahng (ภาษากลาง)

Thai. ‘Central Thai’. The language spoken in Central Thailand as well as the official vernacular used in all other parts of Thailand.

phasa meuh (ÀÒÉÒÁ×Í)

Thai. ‘Hand language’. Another term used for phasa bai, i.e. ‘sign language’. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Phasa Neua (ภาษาเหนือ)

Thai. ‘Northern Thai’. Dialect spoken in North Thailand, from Tak to the borders with Burma and Laos. See also Phasa Thong Thin. Also kham meuang and Phasa Phaak Neua.

Phasa Pak Tai (ภาษาปักษ์ใต้)

Thai. ‘Southern Thai’. Dialect spoken in South Thailand, from Chumphon to the border of Malaysia. See also Phasa Thong Thin.

Phasa Phaak Neua (ภาษาภาคเหนือ)

See phasa neua.

Phasa Pheun Meuang (ภาษาพื้นเมือง)

Thai. ‘Native language’. A term used for ‘dialects’. See Phasa Thong Thin.

Phasa Sanskrit (ภาษาสันสกฤต)

Thai for Sanskrit.

Phasa Thai (ภาษาไทย)

The Thai language, Thai. The official language of Thailand and mother tongue of the Thai people. It belongs to the Tai group of the Tai-Kadai language family which are thought to have originated in what is now southern China and probably linked to the Austroasiatic, Austronesian or Sino-Tibetan language families. Thai is, like Chinese, a tonal and analytic language with a complex orthography, relational markers and a distinctive phonology. Thai linguists recognize four dialects of which Central Thai is considered the official vernacular. The other dialects are Northern Thai, Northeastern Thai, and Southern Thai. See also Phasa Thong Thin. MORE ON THIS.

Phasa Thong Thin (ภาษาท้องถิ่น)

Thai. ‘Dialect’. In Thailand linguists recognize four dialects of which Central Thai (Phasa Klahng) is considered the official vernacular. The remaining three dialects are Northern Thai (Phasa Neua or kham meuang), Northeastern Thai (Phasa Isaan), and Southern Thai (Phasa Pak Tai). They are spoken in the areas that more or less coincide with the accepted partition of the country in regions (fig.), with East and West Thailand included with Central Thailand. All dialects belong to the Thai-Kadai language group and are strongly related to Laotian, Northern Thai, and Thai Lu, languages spoken in Laos; Shan and North Thai, spoken in North Myanmar; Nung and Tho, spoken in Northwest Vietnam; Ahom, spoken in Assam; and Zhuang and Thai Lu, spoken in parts of South China.

phasom set (ผสมเสร็จ)

Thai. ‘Mixed [and] done’ or ‘completely mixed’. Name for the Asian Tapir. In short also called som set, which could be translated as ‘done well matched’. It is also known by the shortened name somset (สมเสร็จ).

Phatcharakitiyapha (พัชรกิติยาภา)

Thai. Daughter of Crown Prince and Maha Vajiralongkorn, i.e. the later King Rama X, and Princess Sohmsawalih, and the first granddaughter of King Bhumipon Adunyadet and Queen Sirikit Kitthiyagon. She was born on Thursday 7 December 1978. She graduated as a Doctor in the Science of Law at Cornell University in the United States of America, and in 2012, she was commemorated on a Thai postage stamp in her function as chairperson of the United Nations' 21st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (fig.). Her personal flag consists of an orange field, i.e. the colour that correspondents with her birthday according to the sih prajam wan system, with the initials Ph. () in orange and Ph. () in yellow, bordered with white (fig.). Her name is often transliterated Bajrakitiyabha.

Phat Phong (พัฒน์พงษ์)

See Patpong.

Phattaya (พัทยา)

See Pattaya.

phat taya (พัทธยา)

Thai. The southwest wind. See also Pattaya.


See Constantine Phaulkon.

Phawanaphirat (ภาวนาภิรัต)

Thai-Pali. Name of a 20th century senior with the title Phra Kruh and who is also known as Luang Poo Thim Isarikoh (ทิม อิสริโก). He was born in Rayong on 16 June 1879, in the reign of King Rama V, and passed away on 16 October 1975, aged 96. He was the abbot of Wat Lahaanrai (วัดละหารไร่) and is known for introducing the amulet Phra Kring Chinabanchorn (ชินบัญชร). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

phaya (พญา)

Thai for ‘king’ or ‘potentate’. Compare with the Burmese term Phaya.

Phaya (ဘုရား)

Burmese for ‘Buddha’ or ‘Buddha image’, as well as for ‘god’, stupa’ or ‘pagoda’. The term can also be used as a respectful way to address monks, royalty, or deity. Hence, the word is similar in use to the Thai word Phra and is likely linguistically related to the Thai word phaya. However, though here the spelling phaya is used, it is often transliterated bhurarr, whereas its pronunciation sounds rather like bhuya or phuya. Note that in the official transliteration system an end -r is added to indicate a long sound and that the Burmese letter for -r is also used for an -y, as in yaksha which is also known as raksha.

Phayak Kraison (พยัคฆ์ไกรสร)

Thai-Pali name of a mythological creature from Himaphan forest, that has the body of a lion and the head, and often the stripes, of a Bengal tiger. Sometimes transcribed Payak Kraisorn.

phaya krarok dam (พญากระรอกดำ)

Thai. ‘Black squirrel king’. Name for the Black Giant Squirrel.

phayanaag (พญานาค)

Thai. ‘King of snakes’ or ‘snake king’, or literally naga-king, i.e. a mythological figure represented as half-human half-serpent, as according to legend he can transform into a human during waxing moon and transform back into a serpent on the waning moon, and believed to be a form of Indra. Also referred to as phayanagaraat, i.e. ‘royal king of snakes’ (fig.). See also Nakarin, Kham Chanoht, phaya and naag. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

phayanagaraat (พญานาคราช)

Thai. ‘Royal king of snakes’ or ‘royal snake king’, or literally ‘royal naga-king, i.e. a mythological figure often represented as half-human half-serpent, and believed to be a form of Indra. Also referred to as phayanaag, i.e. ‘king of snakes’ (fig.). He is often depicted with a goatee and his attributes can be a number of things, including a vajra; a green gemstone, referring to his role as guardian of minerals and gems; a sword; and a conch. See also Nakarin, Kham Chanoht, phaya, naag, and raat, as well as phet phayanaag. See also TRAVEL PICTURE.

Phayao (พะเยา)

Thai. Name of a Thai province (map) and its capital city, situated in Northern Thailand. READ ON.

Phayap (พายัพ)

The Northwest of Thailand. Generally understood to be the West of North Thailand (the province of Mae Hong Son), rather than the North of West Thailand (the province of Kanchanaburi). It is the direction of the compass guarded by the lokapala Vayu. See also Udon, Isaan, Taksin, Ahkney, Horadih, Prajim and Burapah.

Phaya Ruang (พญาร่วง)

Thai. Name often used for King Ramkhamhaeng, besides Phra Ruang. Also transliterated Phaya Ruwang

Phaya Sri Mukda Mahamuni Nihl Palanakaraat (พญาศรีมุกดามหามุนีนีลปาลนาคราช)

Thai. Mukda[han]'s Green Royal Mahamuni-protecting Nagaraat’. Name of a giant statue of a 120 meter long naga or phayanagaraat, located on Mount Manorom (มโนรมย์), a hilltop in Mukdahan and home to the Buddhist temple Wat Roi Phraphutthabaht Phu Manorom (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3) and (4), and WATCH VDO.

Phayathai (พญาไท)

1. Thai. Name of a khet in Bangkok. Also spelled Phaya Thai and Phyathai.

2. Thai. Name of a former palace, located in Bangkok, which was built in 1909 by King Chulalongkorn, in order to do some farming and to organize the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. After his death in 1910, it served as a residence for Queen Saowapha, his consort and the mother of King Rama VI. The complex consists of several buildings and halls, including Phimaan Chakri (พิมานจักรี), Sri Sut Niwaht (ศรีสุทธนิวาส), Udom Wanaphon (อุดมวนาภรณ์), the separate Thewarat Sapharom hall (เทวราชสภารมย์), etc. Today, the complex belongs to the Ministry of Defence and is part of the military Phra Mongkutklao Hospital, which is named after the sixth monarch from the Chakri Dynasty. Also spelled Phyathai and Phaya Thai. See MAP.

Phaya Thani (พญาตานี)

Thai. Name of a cannon with a length of 3 wah (6 meters) which stands in front of the Thai Ministry of Defence in Bangkok. This large cannon was confiscated by royal troops after the 1785 rebellion of Pattani against Rattanakosin, and offered to King Rama I.

Phaya Thonzu (ဘုရားသုံးဆူ)

Burmese. ‘Three Deities’ or ‘Three Pagodas, and sometimes translated as Temple of Three Buddhas. Name of a Buddhist temple in Bagan. READ ON.

Phayre's Langur

See Phayre's Leaf Monkey.

Phayre's Leaf Monkey

Common name for a species of Leaf Monkey with the scientific name Trachypithecus phayrei and found in South, East and Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Also called Presbytis phayrei and Phayre's Langur, named after and commemorating Sir Arthur Phayre, a naturalist and the first Commissioner of British Burma. They have grey fur, a dark face with white circles around the eyes and white skin at the mouth, and a long tail. It is similar to the Dusky Leaf Monkey (fig.), but has a lighter fur. Like other Leaf Monkeys, Phayre's Leaf Monkeys are herbivorous, feeding primarily on leaves, fruits and buds, and hence spend most of their lives in the canopy of trees. In Thai it is called kaang waen thin neua. See also Grey Langur (fig.), i.e. a species of Leaf Monkey previously considered a subspecies of the Phayre's Langur.

pha-yoon (พะยูน)

Thai term for ‘dugong’.

Phayu (ผายู)

Thai. Name of the seventh King of Lan Na, who reigned between 1337 and 1355 AD. READ ON.

phayu (พายุ)

Thai for ‘storm’, a word that derives from Vayu (fig.), the name of the Vedic god of the wind and air. See also phayuhayahtrah and nahm thuam.

phayuhayahtrah (พยุหยาตรา)

Thai-rajasap term that derives from Pali and means ‘to march or move in force’, and of a king ‘to proceed in state’ or ‘to move [an army]’. The term is used in the Royal Barge Procession, for one. See also phayu.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Common name for a wader, with the scientific designation Hydrophasianus chirurgus. Both sexes are similar, but with a body size of up to 31 centimeter females are larger than males, which grow up to around 27 centimeter. In the breeding season its body is blackish-brown, with white head and foreneck, and a yellowish-buff hindneck. In the middle of the neck, along both sides, runs a black line that divides the colours of the fore and hindneck, and which converge on top of the crown. The short wings are mostly white, and it has a long, blackish tail. The non-breeding plumage, this bird has a white body with dark brown upperparts. The long, blackish tail has disappeared and the black line that runs along both sides of the neck has expanded in width and length, and instead of converging on top of the crown, it now leads to a black eyestripe above, whereas below it now converges, creating a black breastband. The crown is black, the hindneck is a darker yellowish-buff and now extends into a supercilium. The head underneath the black eyestripe, as well as the foreneck are white. Like many waders, it has long legs, toes, and nails, allowing this bird to walk on floating water foliage. They are good swimmers and divers. Their favorite foods are insects, small water animals and water plants. They can be found in swamps or lakes in most parts of the Thailand, except in the West. In Thai, the Pheasant-tailed Jacana is called nok ih-jaew (นกอีแจว). In 1997, this bird was depicted on the first stamp of a set of four Thai postage stamps featuring waterfowl (fig.). See also VIDEO, WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2), and TRAVEL PHOTOS.

pheh-kah (เพกา)

Thai name for the Indian Trumpet Tree.

phen (เพล)

Thai for the hour between eleven and twelve in the morning, when Buddhist monks and novices have their last meal of the day.

pherie (เภรี)

Thai. A kind of drum, more specifically a war drum.

phet (เพชร)

Thai for ‘diamond’. It often appears as a prefix to names and compound word, and besides its literal meaning it is also quite often used figuratively to symbolize strength or richness, or as a synonym of wichian, and thus in turn as another description for wachira (fig.), the sceptre and ancient royal symbol of power, absolute truth and indestructibility, which in Sanskrit called vajra (fig.).

Phetburi (เพชรบุรี)

Another pronunciation for Phetchaburi.

Phetchabun (เพชรบูรณ์)

Thai. ‘Full Diamond’. Province (map) and its capital city of the same name in North Thailand. READ ON.

Phetchaburi (เพชรบุรี)

Thai. Capital city of the jangwat Phetchaburi, as well as a province (map) of the same name, located on the Gulf of Thailand. READ ON.

Phetcharatana Rachasuda (เพชรรัตนราชสุดา)

Thai. Name of the daughter and only child of King Rama VI. READ ON.

phet phayanaag (เพชรพญานาค)

Thai. Naga-gems’. Name of colourful gemstones that have very little worth in gemology, but in Thailand have value as a sacred object, and are named for the phayanaag (fig.) or phayanagaraat (fig.), who —as the king of snakes or naga-king— is considered the guardian of minerals and gems. They are also sometimes referred to as naga eyes and power stones. These gems are found inside stones that are known as hin sila kohn (fig.) and which are allegedly found in many river beds and in caves along the Mekhong River area. These stones or small rocks need to be crushed and opened with a hammer in order to get to the semi-translucent prolate rounded naga-gem which can be of any colour and sits loosely in a cavity in the stone's core and clatters when shaken. They are believed to be sacred, to posses mystical powers, and are said to protect their carrier from any peril of water. They come in a variety of colours and the more rare are the amber, black, green and blue ones, which may cost up to a tenfold the price of stones in another colour. The translucent amber stones are alleged to occur naturally and can be found along the banks of the Mekhong River in the area of Mukdahan. When jewelers put the naga-gems to the test by probing them with the thermoelectric probe tip of a professional gemstone tester, the results on the indicator are the same as they would be if one would be testing glass or plastic.

pheuak (เผือก)

1. Thai for the taro plant, a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and thought to have originated in the Indo-Malayan region. It belongs to the Araceae family, which members are in Thai generally referred to as known bon. It has a tuberous root, which is used as a vegetable and a ingredient in other food, e.g. as an ice cream flavor, for one. There are several species, but the most common cultivated species is known by the botanical name Colocasia esculenta, and also has several varieties. Its bulbous root with a brownish pink colour is reminiscent of a White Elephant, which in Thai is accordingly called Chang Pheuak (fig.). Above the ground, the taro plant has a strong stem with a single green, rather large, heart-shaped leaf, which like the leaf of the lotus plant, repels water. Its surface is covered with tiny, microscopic structures, that hold aloft any droplets of water that fall onto it, keeping the surface almost entirely dry, yet carrying away all the dust and bacteria. These leaves are in fact self-cleaning and its surface structure has been imitated in certain technical applications. In horizontal growing leaves, up to 2 percent of the water that falls on the surface may remain there and are drawn together. The stagnant drops of rainwater that gather on the leaves are a convenient drinking source for birds and insects (fig.).

2. Thai term used for albinism, especially used with albino animals, as in chang pheuak, kwai pheuak, ngu hao pheuak, Thai names for a White Elephant (fig.), albino water buffalo and an albino Monocellate Cobra (fig.), respectively.

3. Thai term used for leucism, a condition at first sight similar to and often confused with albinism, but which is characterized by reduced pigmentation (fig.). The main difference is that albinos typically have red eyes, due to the underlying blood vessels showing through, whereas leucistic animals have normally coloured eyes. The condition can also be partial and is as such referred to by the term pied, i.e. particoloured, which in animals is often black and white, e.g. Pied Imperial-pigeon (fig.).

pheung (ผึ้ง)

Thai for bee.

phi (ผี)

Thai for ‘ghost’, ‘spirit’, ‘spook’, ‘devil’, ‘jinn’, ‘genie’, ‘demon’ and ‘apparition’.

Phian Akkadhammo (เพี้ยน อัคคธัมโม)

Thai. Name of a revered monk and cleric teacher with the title of Luang Pho. Born in 1926, he was ordained on 4 August 1976 at the age of 41, and passed away on  16 November 2017, aged 91. He was a former abbot of Wat Kreun Kathin in Lopburi. On 5 December 2005, on the occasion of the Birthday Anniversary of King Bhumipon Adunyadet, Luang Pho Phian was conferred the name and honorary title of Phra Kruh Wimon Samanawat and received the certificate of appreciation that comes with it on 17 December 2005, at Wat Rai Khing (วัดไร่ขิง) in Nakhon Pathom.

Phiang Din (à¾Õ§´Ô¹)

Thai. ‘Only Soil’ or ‘Just Earth’. Name of a small yet picturesque waterfall in Loei province, in the vicinity of Suan Hin Pha Ngam (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Phi Boong Tao (ผีบุ้งเต้า)

Thai. ‘Ghostly gourd mask’. Name of a mask made from a calabash. READ ON.

Phibun Songkram (พิบูล สงคราม)

Field Marshall and Prime Minister during WW II. READ ON.

Phichai Dahb Hak (พิชัยดาบหัก)

Thai. ‘Victory with a broken sword’ or ‘victory by slashing swords’. Nickname of a local hero from Uttaradit. Born in 1741 AD at Ban Huay Kha and named simply Joy (จ้อย), he later in life was renamed Thong Dih (ทองดี) and became Phraya, a military leader and influential partner of Phraya Tak, the later king Taksin. In 1773 AD, Posupala (Bo Supia), the Burmese Commander-in-Chief, led his troops from Vientiane to capture Phichai, a local city South of Uttaradit. Consequently, Chao Phraya Surasih (สุรสีห์) and Phraya Thong Dih led the Siamese troops to defend the city against the enemy. In the courageous hand-to-hand fight that followed at Wat Aka, Phraya Thong Dih used dual swords as his weapons, and is said to have fought the enemy by slashing the two swords so hard, that one of them actually broke (fig.). In spite of this, he kept fighting vigorously, until he and his men drove the enemy away and succeeded in averting the Burmese invasion. Following the event, he was honoured with the name Phichai Dahb Hak, after the broken sword and the city he had defended. His statue and a small memorial museum in front of Uttaradit's Provincial Hall commemorate this local hero (map - fig.).

Phichaiyaht (พิไชยญาติ)

Thai. Name of a Chao Phraya who was a member of the influential Bunnag family and who served under several Chakri kings, from Rama I to Rama IV. READ ON.

Phichit (พิจิตร)

Thai. Beautiful city’. Name of a jangwat, i.e. a Thai province and its provincial capital city (map) of the same name in North Thailand, situated 344 kilometeres to the North of Bangkok. READ ON.

Phichitmaan (พิชิตมาร)

Thai. ‘Conqueror of Mara’ or ‘conqueror of demons’. A name for the Buddha.


See Phra Phikhanesawora.

phikun (พิกุล)

Thai name for the Star Flower Tree.

Philatelic Museum

Museum on the 2nd floor of Bangkok's northern Metropolitan Postal Bureau, in Saphan Kwai district. READ ON.

Philippine Violet

Common name for a perennial shrubbery plant, with the botanical name Barleria lupulina. It grows up to 90 centimeter tall and is popular for its medicinal value. The root has anti-inflammatory qualities and is used for treatment of insect bites, especially those from centipedes, whereas the leaves are used fresh to treat herpes simplex. It has reddish-purple branches, narrow, purplish dark green leaves, and tubular, bright yellow flowers, that bloom in clusters from a purplish-brown strobilus (fig.). Also commonly known as Hophead and Porcupine Flower, and in Thai called salet phang phon (เสลดพังพอน).

Phimai (พิมาย)

1. See Prasat Hin Phimai.

2. A small city situated about 60 kms Northeast of Nakhon Ratchasima in the vicinity of the remains of Prasat Hin Phimai (fig.).

phiman (พิมาน)

Thai term for the dwelling place of an angel or deity or a ‘celestial residence’. The word is used as part of compound names for a number of royal palaces in Thailand, e.g. Boromphiman Palace in Bangkok (fig.) and Varophat Phiman (วโรภาษพิมาน) in Ayutthaya's Bang Pa-in (fig.). Also transliterated phimaan.

phin (พิณ)

 Thai. Name a traditional, three-stringed, plucked instrument, that originated in Isaan, and which is also found in neighbouring Laos. It has a pear-shaped body and a neck, that typically ends in an upward bent headstock, which is usually shaped in the form of kanok-flame or a naga-head. The neck has a fingerboard over which the three metal strings run, which are usually plucked using a pick. This lute-like instrument is somewhat reminiscent of the four-stringed krajab pih (fig.) and it features in the logo of the Revenue Department (fig.).

Phiphek (พิเภก)

Character from the Ramakien. He was the chief astrologer from Longka and a younger brother of Totsakan, his parents being Thao Lastian (ลัสเตียน), i.e. Asuraphong (อสุรพงศ์), and Nang Ratchada (รัชฎา). He was driven from the city and thus offered his allegiance to Phra Ram (fig.). After the latter eventually defeated Totsakan, he appointed Phiphek as the king of Longka. He is portrayed with a green complexion (fig.), eyes of which the upper eyelid partly covers the eyeball and which are known as tah jorakae (fig.), and characteristically wears a golden crown with a bulbous tip, that is usually decorated with pieces of blue mirrored glass. Hence, he is very similar to Mahothon, another demon character from the Ramakien, who also has a green complexion and equally wears a golden crown with a bulbous tip, but which has a somewhat shorter and more bulging point, and which is decorated with pieces of dark green mirrored glass (fig.). In addition, the later has wide open eyes called tah phlohng (fig.), rather than tah jorakae. In the Ramayana, Phiphek is known as Vibhishana or Bibhishan.

Phi Phi Islands

Name of an archipelago of six isles, including the well-known Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le, i.e. the two foremost islands. READ ON.

phiphithaphan (พิพิธภัณฑ์)

Thai for ‘museum’.

Phiphithaphan Hahng Khai Yah Berlin (พิพิธภัณฑ์ห้างขายยาเบอร์ลิน)

Thai name for the Berlin Pharmaceutical Museum.

Phiphithaphan Meuang Nakhon Thai (¾Ô¾Ô¸Àѳ±ìàÁ×ͧ¹¤Ãä·Â)

Thai. A museum in Nakhon Thai District of Phitsanulok that displays objects, equipment and weaponry from the reign of Poh Khun Sri Intaratit (fig.), the first ruler of the Kingdom of Sukhothai who liberated the Thai people of the yoke of the Khmer and reigned from 1238 to circa 1270 AD.

Phiphithaphan Silpa Thai Ruam Samai (พิพิธภัณฑ์ศิลปะไทยร่วมสมัย)

Thai name for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Phiphithaphan Thepsri Yantra (¾Ô¾Ô¸Àѳ±ìà·¾ÈÃÕÂѹµÃÒ)

Thai. Name for a museum in Nakhon Pathom that displays a mixture of colourful, both large and smaller to life-sized statues of deities and characters form various eastern religions, most notably from Hinduism and in specific from the Hindu god Ganesha, to whom a single hall alone dedicated to this elephant-headed deity features 33 large statues in various poses and colours, and with a variety of attributes and sometimes a vahana or consort. The museum has both an indoor and outdoor section with a courtyard where a brahmin priest performs rites and blessings. Besides characters from religion it also has a small Thai history section, some Khon masks, i.e. traditional dance masks, and a garden with a pond, an artificial cave and a waterfall. Besides the omnipresent Ganesha, characters on display, include —yet, are not limited to— Shiva (fig.); Brahma (fig.); Vishnu (fig.); Krishna (fig.); Lakshmi (fig.); Uma (fig.); Radha (fig.); Sri Mariamman or Kali (fig. ); Mahakali (fig.); Rahu (fig.), a legless demon, who as the god of darkness is offered black flowers; Garuda (fig.); Skanda or Karttikeya (fig.); the four guardian gods or lokapala Vaisravana, Virudhaka, Dhritarashtra, and Virupaksa; various reusi or hermits (fig.); Buddha images, and some Chinese Taoist deities, etc. There is a room dedicated to the half-human half-serpent Nagaraat (fig.), as well as a separate air-conditioned room with wax images of famous Buddhist monks known as Luang Pho and Luang Poo. Many of the characters in the museum are displayed with the typical attributes ascribed to them, whereas the Hindu deities may additionally be depicted on or with an animal that represents their mount, whilst some may be in the presence of their shakti, i.e. a consort. To a certain extent resembling a temple, the museum has provided for visitors to worship and place offerings that can be obtained at the museum's entrance. WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Phiphithaphan Waht Witthayawat (พิพิธภัณฑ์วาจวิทยาวัฑฒน์)

Thai name for the Museum of Dentistry.

Phiphithaphan Witthayahsaht Lae Thong Fah Jamlong (พิพิธภัณฑ์วิทยาศาสตร์และท้องฟ้าจำลอง)

Thai name for the Museum of Sciences and Planetarium.

phiphop (พิภพ)

Thai for ‘world’ or ‘earth’. Also lohk.

phi phraai (ผีพราย)

Thai. Name of a very violent class of demons, primarily believed to be a kind of water ghosts or water spirits. See also Hohng Phraai.

phi pop (ผีปอบ)

Thai. Name of a kind of a demon-like cannibalistic folk ghost or ghoul found only in Isaan. It is said to eat only human organs and never gets full or satisfied. It is believed that the spirits of those who become such a ghoul are usually from people who in life practiced occultism and were unable to follow its strict rules, violating certain prohibited laws, such as using black magic and sorcery to hurt others. For their frequent evil deeds they are punished by the spirit of the teacher of the occult by being turned into such a ghoul. These type of ghouls are said to be intangible ghosts that will possess the body of a sleeping person, whose liver, kidney and stomach they will eat whilst their victim is asleep. Those who are eaten will hence die without any external wounds, as if they are just sleeping, a phenomenon known as laai tai (äËŵÒÂ), and which translates as ‘death flow’. If in an Isaan village several such suspicious deaths occur, when villagers have died for unknown reasons, the village will perform a ghoul exorcism ceremony, i.e. a kind of ghost hunt. In the eviction ceremony, locally known as siang khong (เซียงข้อง), the villagers use forked sticks to chase the ghouls that reside in various places. When they are able to capture the phi pop ghosts, they are locked inside an earthen jar and burned. The jar will then be closed off with a white cotton pah yan cloth on which in black some sacred yan writings are scrabbled, and buried somewhere outside the village. Sometimes a cut off section of a bamboo stem called a bong is used to confine the ghosts (fig.).

Phirap (พิราพ)

Thai. Name of an asura or yak in the story Ramakien, who is described as very powerful and mischievous. He was expelled by Idsuan and condemned to live only at Mount Atsakhan, where he later created his own garden and planted a fruit tree known as Pawatong. One day, when Phirat was absent, Rama (fig.), Phra Lak (fig.), and Sida entered his garden to rest and picked some fruit from the tree. Upon discovering this, Phirap's servants tried to expel the trio, but Rama put up a fight and killed many of the servants. When Phirap returned and discovered what had happened, he became very angry, but upon seeing the beauty of Sida, he immediately fell in love. Using a magic spell, Phirap then created a darkness, which he used as a cover to abduct Sida. However, Rama shot an arrow to lift the darkness, and subsequently shot and killed Phirap, with a powerful arrow called Phrommat, thus freeing Sida in the process. Phirap is often referred to as Phra Phirap, whilst his name should be pronounced Phiraap. In khon, he is usually portrayed with a deep purple complexion and wearing a golden crown with upward, elongated and pointed ear-covers, though he may also be depicted wearing a kabang (fig.), i.e. a diadem-like crown (fig.). He is also known as Phairaap (ไภราพ), and in the past as Phairawa (ไภรวะ) or Pharahwa (ไภราวะ). See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS.

Phisadet Ratchani (ภีศเดช รัชนี)

Thai. Name of a prince of the late Rattanakosin Period, who was born on 1 January 1920 as the son of Prince Phitayalongkorn. READ ON.

phisamon (พิสมร)

Thai for ‘amulet’.

phi seua (ผีเสื้อ)

1. Thai for ‘butterfly’. Many species are endemic to Thailand, both daytime and nocturnal butterflies (fig.). Nocturnal butterflies or moths are called phi seua klahng keun in Thai, which can be translated as ‘night butterfly’ or ‘moth’. See also phi seua kathoey and THEMATIC STREET LIGHT.

2. Thai. ‘Butterfly’. Architectural term for a triangular decorative element on a roof corner, usually with temple buildings. Its symmetric design is reminiscent of a butterfly, hence the name.

3. Thai term for an ‘ogre’, a class of male and female demons, as in phi seua samut. They are usually depicted holding, swaying or carrying a club, in Thai known as a krabong.

phi seua jon kah laai jud (ผีเสื้อจรกาลายจุด)

Thai name for the Spotted Black Crow.

phi seua kathoey (ผีเสื้อกะเทย)

Thai name for gynandromorphic butterflies, i.e. butterflies of any given species that have characteristics of both the male and the female. READ ON.

phi seua klahng keun (ผีเสื้อกลางคืน)

Thai for ‘moth’, literally it translates ‘night butterfly’. Thailand has many species of moth, including some very large ones, such as the Giant Uranid Moth and the Atlas Moth. Many moths have interesting wing markings, such as eyespots, known as ocelli, reminiscent of owl's eyes, whilst other species are masters in camouflage, camouflaging themselves to look like a dead leaf, or by curling up to resemble a twig. Some smaller moths camouflage as bird droppings and yet others have an upward bent abdomen (fig.).

phi seua klahng keun kahng kahw pak tai (ผีเสื้อกลางคืนค้างคาวปักษ์ใต้)

Thai. ‘Southern bat moth’. Name for the Giant Uranid Moth, species Lyssa menoetius. It is closely related to the phi seua klahng keun kahng kahw thammada. See also kahng kahw and phi seua.

phi seua klahng keun kahng kahw thammada (ผีเสื้อกลางคืนค้างคาวธรรมดา)

Thai. ‘Common bat moth’. Name for the Giant Uranid Moth, species Lyssa zampa. It is closely related to the phi seua klahng keun kahng kahw pak tai. See also kahng kahw and phi seua.

phi seua muan waan (ผีเสื้อมวนหวาน)

Thai. ‘Queasy-sweet moth’. Name for any of the species of Fruit-piercing Moth.

phi seua non jo mai (ผีเสื้อหนอนเจาะไม้)

Thai. ‘Moth (phi seua) of tree-boring larvae (non)’. Generic name for moths  of the family Cossidae, such as Xyleutes persona (fig.), Xyleutes strix, Zeuzera pyrina (fig.), etc. Members of this family are commonly known as carpenter moths or goat moths. The first designation refers to the fact that the larvae of most species are tree borers that infest wood, in some species taking up to three years to mature, whereas the latter name refers to the fact that they often have an unpleasant smell. The Thai word phi seua literally means ‘butterfly’, but the term is also generally used for moths, which specifically are called phi seua klahng keun, i.e. ‘night butterfly’.

phi seua non kah fahk thammada (ผีเสื้อหนอนกาฝากธรรมดา)

Thai. ‘Common parasite-worm butterfly’. Name for the Painted Jezebel.

phi seua non khao sahn laai seua (ผีเสื้อหนอนข้าวสารลายเสือ)

Thai. ‘Rice caterpillar tiger butterfly’. Name for the ‘Common tiger’, a butterfly with the scientific name Danaus genutia, which is commonly found throughout South and Southeast Asia, from India and Sri Lanka, to Indonesia and Australia. Its wings, with a span of 75-95 mm, have an orange to reddish-brown background colour, with darkened veins that are marked with broad black bands, and black margins with two rows of small white spots. Its body is black with white dots. Males have a prominent black-and-white spot on the underside of the hindwing. There are several subspecies. Also called Striped Tiger.

phi seua sahyan sih tahn thammada (ผีเสื้อสายัณห์สีตาลธรรมดา)

Thai. ‘Common brown evening butterfly’. Name for the Common Evening Brown.

phi seua samut (ผีเสื้อสมุทร)

Thai. ‘Marine butterfly’. A class of demons living in water. READ ON.

phi seua saphai fah (ผีเสื้อสะพายฟ้า)

Thai. ‘Pale blue sling bag butterfly’. Thai designation for the Common Bluebottle.

phi seua yah (ผีเสื้อหญ้า)

Thai. ‘Grass butterfly’. Name for any of the species of Wasp Moths.

phi seua yak (ผีเสื้อยักษ์)

Thai. ‘Giant butterfly’. Name for the Atlas Moth (fig.).

phisiw (พีซิว)

Thai-Tae Chew name for Bi Xie.

Phi Tah Khohn (ผีตาโขน)

Thai. ‘Ghostly vision masked dance performance’. Annual festival in Dahn Saai, in Loei province. READ ON.

Phi Tong Leuang (ผีตองเหลือง)

Thai. ‘Ghosts of the Yellow Leaves’. Local nickname for the Mlabri people, because due to their speedy nomadic lifestyle, in which they never tend to stay in any given place for very long and thus inhabit simple bamboo huts thatched with leaves (fig.), it is said that they abandon their dwellings as soon as the leaves turn yellow. See also phi and tong.

Phitayalahp Phrithiyakorn (พิทยาลาภ พฤฒิยากร)

Thai. Name of a prince of the Rattanakosin Period, who was born on 7 November 1885 as Prince Thaniniwat Sonakun, a grandson of King Rama IV, his father being the 62nd child of King Mongkut. He was a minister of justice, with the title of Krom Meuan, and President of the Privy Council, succeeding Prince Rangsit Prayoonsak (fig.) at his death in 1951 and substituting as Regent for King Rama IX during the latter's royal visit to Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines in 1963. Prince Phitayalahp Phrithiyakorn passed away on 8 September 1974, aged 88. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Phitayalongkorn (พิทยาลงกรณ์)

Thai. Name of a prince of the Rattanakosin Period, who was a philosopher and had the title of Krom Meuan. The prince was born on 10 January 1876 AD, as the son of Phra Ong Chao Yod Yingyot (พระองค์เจ้ายอดยิ่งยศ), who in the reign of his cousin King Rama V was Uparacha or Vice King of Siam and as the eldest son of Phra Pinklao, and thus a nephew to King Mongkut, held the title of Front Palace. He was one of the most respected poets of the Rattanakosin era and wrote under the pseudonym NMS (นมส). He resided in Wang Pramuan in khwaeng Silom, in Bangkok's khet Bangrak. His eldest daughter was Princess Wiphawadi Rangsit, who inherited his gift for writing. Prince Phitayalongkorn passed away on 23 July 1945 from a cerebral hemorrhage, aged 68. He is known as the Father of Cooperatives in Thailand. See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

Phitsanulok (พิษณุโลก)

1. Thai. ‘World of Vishnu’. A province (map) and its capital city of the same name in North Thailand. READ ON.

2. According to ancient sources, the original name of Angkor Wat. Due to the lack of a v-sound in the Thai language (see Thai Alphabet), the name Phitsanu became a cognate for the name Witsanu, which has a common etymological origin. In early recordings, Angkor Wat was referred to as Phreah Pisnulok or Phra Phitsanulok, i.e. the ‘World of Vishnu’ (Vishnu-loka) and the name Angkor Wat, in Khmer actually Angkor Vat and in Thai Nakhon Wat, meaning Capital Temple’, ‘Temple City’ or ‘City of Temples’, only became a popular designation later on, after its rediscovery and popularization in the West, in the mid-19th century. The names Phreah Pisnulok and Vishnuloka are also reminiscent of Paramavishnuloka, the posthumous title and deified name of Suryavarman II, the founder of Angkor Wat.

phittih (พิธี)

Thai for ‘ceremony’.

Phittih Kohnjuk (พิธีโกนจุก)

Thai. ‘Tonsure Ceremony’. A ritual ceremony in which a small tuft of hair, called juk by the local population, is cut off and shaved (kohn) when the boys reach the age of 11 or 13. Since 12 is a pair number and considered to bring bad luck the ceremony will not be performed at that age. The growing of the tuft of hair goes back on a centuries old belief that it should prevent children from becoming chronically ill. The ceremony is reminiscent of the buat ceremony, which is performed on a person entering the priesthood. The ceremony is generally regarded as a coming of age and in the past, this tradition was also upheld by royalty. At the time of a royal tonsure, a young prince destined for the throne would also be formally invested. This Tonsure Ceremony and Investiture, an elaborate form of the Thai topknot-cutting ceremony, is reserved for royalty of phra ong chao (¾ÃÐͧ¤ìà¨éÒ) rank and above, and is in Thai known as Phra Racha Phittih Sokan (¾ÃÐÃÒª¾Ô¸Õâʡѹµì). In Japan, the topknot of a sumo wrestler is cut off in a hair cutting ceremony upon retirement, thus transforming the wrestler back to civilian status. Also spelt Pittih Kohnjuk. Compare with Phittih Tham Khwan Deuan.

Phittih Phrom Nahm Mon Sop (พิธีพรมน้ำมนต์ศพ)

Thai. ‘Corpse holy water sprinkling ceremony’. A ritual performed by a monk during a funeral ceremony, in which a deceased is sprinkled with nahm mon, i.e. holy water. See also rod nahm mon and Luang Poo Tai Hong Kong.

Phittih Sabaan Tong (พิธีสาบานธง)

Thai for Trooping the Colour.

Phittih Suansanam Thahaan Rachawanlop (พิธีสวนสนามทหารราชวัลลภ)

Thai for the annual Military Parade of the Royal Guards, in English often referred to as Trooping the Colour.

Phittih Tham Khwan Deuan (พิธีทำขวัญเดือน)

See Tham Khwan Deuan.

phlaay (พลาย)

Thai for male elephant (fig.). See also Asian Elephant, phang and sihdoh.

Phlaay Chumphon (พลายชุมพล)

1. Thai. Name of a character in the story Khun Chang Khun Paen, i.e. a child of Khun Paen with Nang Kaew Kiriyah (นางแก้วกิริยา), i.e. a daughter of the Phraya of Sukhothai and Nang Phen Chan (นางเพ็ญจันทร์). The HTMS Phlaay Chumphon, a submarine of the type Madchanu once used by the Royal Thai Navy (fig.), was named after this character.

2. Thai. Name of a submarine, usually referred to as the HTMS Phlaay Chumphon, i.e. a U-boat of the type Madchanu that was once used by the Royal Thai Navy (fig.), and which is named after a character from the story Khun Chang Khun Paen.

phlab (พลับ)

Thai for persimmon. Also called phlab jien, maphlab and takoh.

phlab jihn (พลับจีน)

A Thai name for persimmon.

phlabphlah (พลับพลา)

Thai. The temporary quarters for a king, i.e. a royal pavilion. It is build especially for the king when he has to attend, overlook, or take part in a ceremony, and whereas some pavilions may afterwards be dismantled, as is the case with royal funerals held at Sanam Luang (map- fig.), some are conserved in their original place, e.g. Rajakit Winitchai (map - fig.), while others have been relocated (map - fig.).

phlab phleung teen pet (ลับพลึงตีนเป็ด)

Thai. ‘Duckfeet lily’. Thai name for the spider lily.

Phleng Chaht Thai (เพลงชาติไทย)

Thai. ‘Thai National Anthem’. READ ON.

Phleng Kiat Tamruat Khong Thai (เพลงเกียรติตำรวจของไทย)

Thai. ‘Song of the honour of the Thai Police’. READ ON.

Phleng Sansaroen Phra Barami (เพลงสรรเสริญพระบารมี)

Thai-rajasap. ‘Song of praise to the grandeur’. The Royal Hymn of Thailand. READ ON.

phleng tanyong (เพลงตันหยง)

Thai. Name for the music and lyrics that accompanies the Muslim traditional rong ngeng folk dances of southern Thailand. Although it initially consisted of only vocals, an ensemble is nowadays composed of a violin and one or more small drums known as klong ram manah. Also called phleng tonyohng.

phleng tonyohng (เพลงตนโหยง)

Thai. Another name for phleng tanyong.

phluang (พลวง)

Thai name for dipterocarpus.

phnom (ភ្នំ)

Khmer. ‘Hill’ or ‘mountain’. The term often occurs as part of a name for a temple, sanctuary or sacred place located on a hill or mountain. As such, it stands at the origin of the name of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, which derives from a small hill or phnom onto which summit a wealthy lady, called Penh (fig.), had a temple built, i.e. Wat Phnom (fig.), in which she placed a piece of wood from a candlenut tree with images of four buddha's as well as an image of Vishnu, that she in 1372 AD had found floating in the Tonlé Sap River (fig.). In Thai, the term is pronounced phanom and equally used in names for temples or sanctuaries, as in Prasat Phanom Rung.

Phnom Penh (ភ្នំពេញ)

Khmer. ‘Hill of Penh’ or ‘Penh Mountain’. Name of the capital of Cambodia, which derives from a 27 meter tall hill, called phnom in Khmer, and a wealthy lady, called Penh (map - fig.). The latter had a temple built on the summit, i.e. Wat Phnom (map - fig.), of this hill in order to house a piece of wood from a candlenut tree which she in 1372 AD had found floating in the Tonlé Sap River (fig.) and that contained images of four buddha's, as well as an image of Vishnu. The compound name of this venerated height and of the lady who built the temple on its summit was in 1434 AD chosen to be the name for the city when it was founded. Statues of lady Penh can today be found in and around Wat Phnom.


Name often used in English to refer to a Chinese mythical bird which is actually called fenghuang (fig.) in Chinese. It is often depicted together with a dragon (fig.), which is the symbol of the Emperor, and as such is the phoenix a representation of the Empress (fig.). In addition, it symbolizes peace and nobleness.

phohng phaang (โพงพาง)

Thai. ‘Ghost-like’. Name of a traditional Thai children's game, in which one player is blindfolded and made to turn around three times. He is further referred to as the fish. The others hold hands and walk around him starting a question and answer rhyme, chanting: Catch me if you can; the fish swims by, the fish is blind; catch me dead or alive; what will it be, a dead or a live fish?’. If the answer is a dead fish’, the other children can move around freely when the blindfolded player comes around to chase them, but if it answers, a live fish, then everyone else must freeze, and when caught, the fish must guess who the person is and if he guesses right he will be replaced by that unlucky person. In English, a equivalent of this game is known as Blind Man's Buff. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

phom (พ้อม)

Thai. Large, round, cylindrical basket, used for storing unhusked rice or unthreshed paddy. It is woven from thin bamboo strips and patched with earth. It is usually about 120 centimeters wide and either of a similar height or somewhat higher. It is typically kept in a shack with an elevated floor made from bamboo, adjacent or close to the house. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

phong choorot (ผงชูรส)

Thai name for monosodium glutamate (MSG).

phop (ภพ)

Thai-Sanskrit word for ‘world’ or ‘earth’, used besides the more common word lohk. Also phiphop.

photduang (พดด้วง)

Thai. A former currency in Siam, which –due to its specific shape is known as bullet money. READ ON.

photisat (โพธิสัตว์)

Thai for bodhisattva.

Photiyaan (โพธิญาณ)

Thai for Bodhiyan.

phoykuan (โพยก๊วน)

Thai. Bill of exchange, especially the one circulating among Chinese businessmen in the Far East. See also pih and photduang.

Phra (พระ)

1. Thai. ‘Holy’ or ‘sacred’. Term used to express respect and used as a prefix before the names of kings or things associated with the monarchy or royalty, gods and objects of veneration, including Buddha images, e.g. Phra Chao Naresuan, King Naresuan; Phra Rachawang, royal palace; Phra Chedi, a stupa or chedi; etc. Generally used without changing the meaning of a word. It is related to the words Brahman and phreah, as well as with the Burmese term Phaya.

2. Thai. A clergyman, monk or Buddhist priest, e.g. Phrasong and  Phrasong Ong Chao. Also used for a saint or hermit.

3. Thai. A non-hereditary title or bandasak  immediately below a Phrya and above a Luang.

4. Thai. The protagonist or hero in a story, e.g. Phra Narai and Phra Sang.

Phra Ajaan Man (พระอาจารย์มั่น)

Thai. ‘Determined Teacher Monk’. Popular name for Man Phoorithattoh (fig.), with the titles Phra and Ajaan.

phraam (พราหมณ์)

1. Thai for brahman.

2. Thai. A kind of mango.

Phra Ahtit (พระอาทิตย์)

Thai name for the sun god, as well as the god of Sunday. He drives a chariot pulled by seven horses, or alternatively, a rajarot (fig.) pulled by a single mythological lion called singh (fig.), and is the lokapala of the Southwest. He, together with the moon god Chandra, discovered the deceit of the demon Rahu when the amrita was distributed. He is also known by the name Nairitti (fig.) and in Sanskrit he is called Surya. His charioteer who drives him across the sky is called Aruna. In the Ramakien, he is requested to slow down the seven horses that pull his chariot, in order to gain time when Phra Lak (fig.) was struck unconscious by the magical Mokhasak spear, thus allowing Hanuman (fig.) enough time to collect the required herbs to break the spell. See also thep prajam wan.

Phra Angkahn (พระอังคาร)

1. Thai. The god of war and the god of Tuesday. His mount is a buffalo. In a later incarnation, he was born as the monkey-warrior Wisantrahwih (fig.). Also transcribed Phra Angkarn. See also thep prajam wan.

2.  Thai-Rajasap. The ashes of royalty. Also transcribed Phra Angkarn.

Phra Anyah Kohnthanya (พระอัญญาโกณฑัญญะ)

Thai name for Ajnata Kaundinya.

Phra Aphaimanih (พระอภัยมณี)

A Thai epic story in verse written by Sunthorn Phu. READ ON.