Welcome to November! It’s Back-to-School Time in Thailand!

It’s November and, in Thailand, that means the second term of the school year starts tomorrow — at least in the majority of government-operated schools in Phuket. I had a relatively relaxing October, teaching a few business classes on the weekends and a lot of downtime in between (as deputy head teacher for a large language school and teaching agency, I do still have to … Continue reading Welcome to November! It’s Back-to-School Time in Thailand!

National Stamp Collecting Month: Cinderellas, Seals, Fantasies & the Craziness of Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival

Stamp collectors collect (or accumulate) all manner of postally-related objects, not all of which were intended for the delivery of mail. Long considered “album weeds”, cinderella stamps saw their peak popularity in the 1930s and 1940s and remain an interesting sideline to philately. The term is a very broad one, covering all manner of items intended to have the appearance of a stamp but not … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Cinderellas, Seals, Fantasies & the Craziness of Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival

Chulalongkorn Day 2018 / 2561 วันปิยมหาราช

Today — October 23 — is the national holiday of Wan Piya Maharat (วันปิยมหาราช) or Chulalongkorn Day. It marks the anniversary of the death of King Chulalongkorn, known in the West as King Rama V, the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri. His full name as king was Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poraminthra Maha Chulalongkorn Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua (พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาจุฬาลงกรณ์ พระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) but … Continue reading Chulalongkorn Day 2018 / 2561 วันปิยมหาราช

World Teachers’ Day: Education in Thailand

October 5 is annually marked as World Teachers’ Day, proclaimed by UNESCO in 1994 to mark the anniversary of a 1966 conference in conjunction with the International Labor Organization (ILO). The celebration was the subject of a previous article A Stamp A Day article in 2016. I had planned to put together an article today focusing on using stamps as an educational tool, something I’ve … Continue reading World Teachers’ Day: Education in Thailand

International Literacy Day

September 8 was declared International Literacy Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on October 26, 1966, at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General conference. It was celebrated for the first time in 1967. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Celebrations take place in several countries. Literacy is traditionally meant as the ability to … Continue reading International Literacy Day

Queen Sirikit, the Mother of all Thai People

Her Majesty Queen Mother Sirikit of Thailand (สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ,  Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat) celebrates her 85th birthday today, having been born on August 12, 1932, in the Pathum Wan (ปทุมวัน) District of Bangkok. First declared by the Thai government in 1976, the official name of the holiday celebrating the Queen’s birthday is Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borom Rachininat … Continue reading Queen Sirikit, the Mother of all Thai People

Captain Francis Light and the Early Years of Penang

On August 11, 1786, Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company established the British Settlement of Prince of Wales Island which later became the Colony of Penang in what is now Malaysia. The capital of the colony —George Town — was the first British colony in Southeast Asia. Captain Light had previously tried to convince the East India Company to establish a settlement on Phuket … Continue reading Captain Francis Light and the Early Years of Penang

Water Transport in Thailand

Thailand has a huge variety of watercraft with boats of all sizes, shapes and colors navigating the Kingdom’s many internal waterways, coastlines, and surrounding seas. As of 2011, there were 2,485 miles (3,999 km) of principal waterways, of which 2300 miles (3,701 km) had navigable depths of 0.9 m or more throughout the year. There are numerous minor waterways navigable by shallow-draft native craft, such … Continue reading Water Transport in Thailand