Friday, February 21, 2014

Glitzy Taxi

If there's two things that most Thais love, it's glitz and glam. From ostentatious jewelry to flamboyant costumes to crystal chandeliers, many people in this culture are attracted to all things sparkly. Even the driver of this taxi likes to be flashy. He personally glued rows of dark blue and clear crystals onto his steering wheel to add a little bling. Even the Toyota logo twinkles in the sunlight. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love the Buddha

Happy Makha Bucha-tines Day! Not only is Valentine's Day being celebrated in Thailand today, it's also Makha Bucha Day, an important Buddhist festival that venerates the Buddha's teachings. The occasion is observed in Thailand every year on the full moon day of the third month in the lunar calendar, and this year it just so happens to fall on Valentine's Day. In a place that likes to mix and match various styles and beliefs from different cultures and religions, the combination of a Buddhist holiday with one that has Christian roots is perfectly acceptable here and is even embraced by many. Today, Thais can love the Buddha even more than usual.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Turning Japanese

Thais are obsessed with all things Japanese these days. Ramen noodle shops can be found in every mall, some street vendors now sell sushi, middle-aged ladies wear Hello Kitty accessories, Japanimation dubbed in Thai is regularly shown on TV, Japanese-style goods are available at 60 baht stores, and Pok√©mon characters, including Pikachu, decorate Bangkok taxis.