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Thailand, which has successfully become
the lingua franca of all Thai and non-Thai
ethnic groups in the kingdom.
All Thai dialects are members of the Thai
half of the Thai-Kadai family of languages.
As such, theyre closely related to languages
spoken in Laos (Lao, northern Thai, Thai
L), northern Myanmar (Shan, northern
Thai), northwestern Vietnam (Nung, Tho),
Assam (Ahom) and pockets of south China
(Zhuang, Thai L). Modern Thai linguists
recognise four basic dialects within Thai-
land: Central Thai (spoken as a first dialect
through central Thailand and throughout
the country as a second dialect), Northern
Thai (spoken from Tak Province north to
the Myanmar border), Northeastern Thai
(northeastern provinces towards the Lao
and Cambodian borders), and Southern
Thai (from Chumphon Province south to
the Malaysian border). There are also a
number of Thai minority dialects such as
those spoken by the Phu Thai, Thai Dam,
Thai Daeng, Phu Noi, Phuan and other
tribal Thai groups, most of whom reside in
the north and northeast.
Like most languages, Thai distinguishes be-
tween polite and informal vocabulary, so
that thaan, for example, is a more polite
everyday word for eat than kin, and sis
for head is more polite than ha. When
given a choice, its better to use the polite
terms, since these are less likely to lead to
unconscious offence.
The Thai script, a fairly recent development
in comparison with the spoken language,
consists of 44 consonants (but only 21 sep-
arate sounds) and 48 vowel and diphthong
possibilities (32 separate signs). Though
learning the alphabet is not difficult, the
writing system itself is fairly complex, so
unless youre planning a lengthy stay in
Thailand it should perhaps be foregone in
favour of actually learning to speak the lan-
guage. The names of major places included
in this book are given in both Thai and
Learning some Thai is indispensable for
travel in the kingdom; naturally, the more
you pick up, the closer you get to Thailands
culture and people. There are so few foreign-
ers who speak Thai in Thailand that it
doesnt take much to impress most Thais
with a few words in their own language.
Your first attempts to speak Thai will
probably meet with mixed success, but keep
trying. Listen closely to the way the Thais
themselves use the various tones youll
catch on quickly. Dont let laughter at your
linguistic forays discourage you; this appar-
ent amusement is really an expression of ap-
preciation. Travellers are particularly urged
to make the effort to meet Thai college and
university students. Thai students are, by
and large, eager to meet visitors from other
countries. They will often know some Eng-
lish, so communication isnt as difficult as it
may be with shop owners, civil servants etc,
and theyre generally willing to teach you
useful Thai words and phrases.
Thailands official language is effectively
the dialect spoken and written in central
Dialects 781
Vocabulary Differences 781
Script 781
Tones 782
Pronunciation 782
Transliteration 783
Accommodation 783
Conversation & Essentials 784
Directions 784
Health 785
Emergencies 786
Language Difficulties 786
Numbers 786
Paperwork 787
Shopping & Services 787
Time & Dates 788
Transport 788
Travel with Children 789
Lonely Planet Publications
Roman script, so that you can at least read
the names of destinations at a pinch, or
point to them if necessary.
In Thai the meaning of a single syllable may
be altered by means of different tones in
standard Central Thai there are five: low
tone, level or mid tone, falling tone, high
tone and rising tone. For example, depend-
ing on the tone, the syllable mai can mean
new, burn, wood, not? or not; ponder
the phrase mi mi mi mi mi (New
wood doesnt burn, does it?) and you begin
to appreciate the importance of tones in
spoken Thai. This makes it a rather tricky
language to learn at first, especially for
those of us unaccustomed to the concept of
tones. Even when we know what the cor-
rect tone in Thai should be, our tendency
to denote emotion, verbal stress, the inter-
rogative etc through tone modulation often
interferes with producing the correct tone.
Therefore the first rule in learning to speak
Thai is to divorce emotions from your
speech, at least until youve learned the
Thai way to express them without changing
essential tone value.
The following is visual representation in
chart form to show relative tone values:
Below is a brief attempt to explain the
tones. The only way to really understand
the differences is by listening to a native or
fluent non-native speaker. The range of all
five tones is relative to each speakers vocal
range so there is no fixed pitch intrinsic to
the language.
low tone flat like the mid tone, but pronounced at the
relative bottom of ones vocal range. It is low, level and
with no inflection, eg bat (baht the Thai currency).
level or mid tone pronounced flat, at the relative
middle of the speakers vocal range, eg dii (good); no tone
mark is used.
falling tone sounds as if you are emphasising a word,
or calling someones name from afar, eg mi (no/not).
high tone usually the most difficult for Westerners. It
is pronounced near the relative top of the vocal range, as
level as possible, eg ma (horse).
rising tone sounds like the inflection used by English
speakers to imply a question Yes?, eg sam (three).
The following is a guide to the phonetic
system thats been used for the words and
phrases in this chapter (and throughout the
rest of the book when transcribing directly
from Thai). Its based on the Royal Thai
General System (RTGS). The dots indicate
syllable breaks within words.
The majority of consonants correspond
closely to their English counterparts. Here
are a few exceptions:
k as the k in skin; similar to the g
in good, but unaspirated (ie with no
accompanying puff of air); similar to
English g but unvoiced (ie with no
vibration in the vocal chords)
p as the p in stopper, unvoiced and
unaspirated (not like the p in put);
actually sounds closer to an English
b, its voiced equivalent
t as the t in forty, unaspirated;
similar to d but unvoiced
kh as the k in kite, aspirated (ie with
an audible puff of air)
ph as the p in pie, aspirated (not to be
confused with the ph in phone)
th as the t in tie, aspirated
ng as the nging in singing; can occur
as an initial consonant (practise by
saying singing without the si)
r similar to the r in run but flapped
(ie the tongue touches palate); in
everyday speech often pronounced
like l
i as the i in it
ii as the ee in feet
ai as the i in pipe
aa as the a in father
a half as long as aa, as the a in
ae as the a in bat or tab
e as the e in hen
eh as the ai in air
oe as the er in fern (without the r
u as the u in put
uu as the oo in food
eu as the u in fur (without the r
ao as the ow in now
aw as the aw in jaw or prawn
o as the o in bone
oh as the o in toe
eua a combination of eu and a
ia as ee-ya, or as the ie in French
ua as the our in tour
uay sounds like oo-way
iu as the ew in new
iaw as the io in Rio
aew like the a in cat followed by a short
u as in put
ehw as air-ooh
awy as the oi in coin
Writing Thai in Roman script is a perennial
problem no wholly satisfactory system
has yet been devised to assure both consist-
ency and readability. The Thai government
uses the RTGS of transcription for official
government documents in English and for
most highway signs. However, local varia-
tions crop up on hotel signs, city street
signs, menus and so on in such a way that
visitors often become confused. Added to
this is the fact that even the government
system has its flaws.
Generally, names in this book follow the
most common practice or simply copy their
Roman script name, no matter what devi-
ous process was used in its transliteration!
When this transliteration is markedly dif-
ferent from actual pronunciation, the
pronunci ation is included (according to the
system outlined in this chapter) in paren-
theses after the transliteration. Where no
Roman model was available, names have
been transliterated phonetically, directly
from Thai.
Im looking for a ...
phm/dchn kamlang ha ...
ban phk/ ..
kt ho (guest house) ......
rohng raem ...
youth hostel
ban yaowchon ....
Where is a cheap hotel?
rohng raem thi raakhaa thuk yu thi ni
What is the address?
thi yu keu arai
Could you write the address, please?
khan thi yu hi di mi
Do you have any rooms available?
mii hwng wang mi?
Id like (a) ...
twng kaan ...
tiang nawn .....
single room
hwng daw ....
double room
hwng khu .
room with two beds
hwng thi mii .........
tiang swng tua
room with a bathroom
hwng thi mii ....
hwng nm
ordinary room (with fan)
hwng thamm .r..
daa (mii pt lom) ....
to share a dorm
phk nai hw phk .`..
How much is it ...? ... tho rai? ....`
per night kheun l ..
per person khon l ..
May I see the room?
duu hwng di mi
Where is the bathroom?
hwng nm yu thi ni
Im/Were leaving today.
chn/phak rao j wk wan ni
Low Mid Falling High Rising
782 LANGUAGE Tones l one l y pl a ne t . c om l one l y pl a ne t . c om LANGUAGE Tr ans l i t er at i on 783
toilet hwng sam ....
room hwng .
hot rwn .
cold yen ..
bath/shower ap nm .
towel pha cht tua ....
When being polite, the speaker ends his or
her sentence with khrp (for men) or kh
(for women). It is the gender of the speaker
that is being expressed here; it is also the
common way to answer yes to a question
or show agreement.
swtdii (khrp/kh) ....
laa kwn ...
chi `
mi chi `.`
krnaa ..
Thank you.
khwp khun .
Thats fine. (Youre
mi pen rai/yindii `...`..
Excuse me.
khw -phai .
Sorry. (forgive me)
khw thht
How are you?
sabai dii ru? ..
Im fine, thanks.
sabai dii ..
Whats your name?
khun chu rai? .`
My name is ...
phm chu ... (men) ....
dchn chu ... (women) ......
Where are you from?
maa jak ni ..`.
Im from ...
maa jak ... .....
See you soon.
daw joe kan n .......
I like ...
chwp ... ...
I dont like ...
mi chwp ... `....
Just a minute.
raw daw ...
I/me (for men)
phm .
I/me (for women)
dchn ...
I/me (informal, men and women)
chn ..
you (for peers)
khun .
Do you have ...?
mii ... mi?/... mii mi? ....`.....`.
(I) would like ... (+ verb)
yak j ... ....
(I) would like ... (+ noun)
yak di ... .`....
Where is (the)...?
... yu thi ni? ...`.
(Go) Straight ahead.
trong pai ..`
Turn left.
law sai ...
Turn right.
law khwa ....
at the corner
trong mum ....
at the traffic lights
trong fai daeng ..`...
khang lng
.. Entrance
.. Exit
...... Information
.. Open
. Closed
. Prohibited
.... Rooms Available
...... Full/No Vacancies
..... Police Station
.. Toilets
. Women
in front of trong na ...
far klai `..
near kli `..
not far mi klai `.`..
opposite trong kham ...
left sai
right khwa .
beach chaai hat .
bridge sphaan ..
canal khlawng ..
castle praasat .
church bht ..
countryside chonnbt .
hill kho .
island kw ..
lake thleh sap ...
market talat ...
mountain phuu kho ..
museum phphtthphan r..-
old city meuang ko .....
paddy (field) (thng) naa ..
palace wang ..
pond nwng/beung ...
river me nm ...
sea thleh ..
temple wt ..
tower hw
town meuang ...
track thaang .
village (mu) ban ..
waterfall nm tk ...
I need a (doctor).
twng kaan (mw) ....
mw fan ..
rohng phyaabaan ..
ran khi yaa .
Im ill.
chn pay .. .
It hurts here.
jp trong ne ....
Im pregnant.
tng khan lew ......
I feel nauseous.
rusuk khlun si ....`.
I have a fever.
pen khi ..`
I have diarrhoea.
thwng sa ...
Im ...
phm/dchn ...
pen hut ...
pen rhk bao wan .....
pen rhk lom ba mu .....
Im allergic to ...
phm/dchn phe
yaa ptchiiwan _..
yaa etsaphairin ..`.
yaa phensinlin .....
phung .
tha lsng .....
yaa kha chua ..
yaa ke pat ....
thng yaang anaamai .....
kaan khum kamnet ......
mosquito coil
yaa kan yung bep jt .....
mosquito repellent
yaa kan yung ...
yaa ke pat ....
sunblock cream
khriim kan det ......
thaem-phawn ...
784 LANGUAGE Conver s at i on & Es s ent i al s l one l y pl a ne t . c om l one l y pl a ne t . c om LANGUAGE Heal t h 785
chay day! ...
Theres been an accident.
mii bttht ....
Im lost.
chn lng thaang .....
Go away!
pai s! `
yt! .
Call ...!
rak ... nwy ......
a doctor mw .
the police tamrat ..
Do you speak English?
khun phut phaasa angkrt di mi
Does anyone here speak English?
thi ni mii khrai bang thi phut phaasa angkrt di mi
. . ` . .. ..`. `.
How do you say ... in Thai?
... wa yang rai phaasa thai
... ..`.`
What do you call this in Thai?
ni phaasa thai rak wa rai?
What does ... mean?
... plae wa -rai
... ...`
Do you understand?
kho jai mi?
A little.
nt nwy
I understand.
kho jai
I dont understand.
mi kho jai
Please write it down.
krnaa khan hi nwy
Can you show me (on the map)?
hi duu (nai phen thi) di mi
0 sun ..
1 nung ..
2 swng ..
3 sam ..
4 si .
5 ha
6 hk .
7 jt ..
8 pet ..
9 ko ..
10 sp .
11 sp-t ...
12 sp-swng ...
13 sp-sam ...
14 sp-si ..
15 sp-ha .
16 sp-hk ..
17 sp-jt ...
18 sp-pet ...
19 sp-ko ...
20 yi-sp .
21 yi-sp-t ...
22 yi-sp-swng ...
30 sam-sp ...
40 si-sp ..
50 ha-sp .
60 hk-sp ..
70 jt-sp ...
80 pet-sp ...
90 ko-sp ...
100 nung rwy ..
200 swng rwy ..
300 sam rwy ..
1000 nung phan ...
2000 swng phan ...
10,000 nung mun ....
100,000 nung sen .....
one million nung lan ....
one billion phan lan ...
name chu
nationality snchat ..
date of birth ket wan thi .....
place of birth ket thi ...
sex (gender) phht ..
passport nngsu doen . .. .. .
thaang .
visa wiisa .
Id like to buy ...
yak j su ... ....
How much?
tho ra? .`
How much is this?
ni tho rai?/ki bat? ..`.
How much is it?
tho rai .`
I dont like it.
mi chwp `.
May I look at it?
duu di mi .`.`.
Im just looking.
duu che che ...
Its cheap.
raakhaa thuk ..
Its too expensive.
phaeng koen pai .....`
Ill take it.
ao .
Can you reduce the price a little?
lt raakhaa nwy di mi
Can you come down just a little more?
lt raakhaa ik ntnung di mi
Do you have something cheaper?
mii thuk kwa ni mi
Can you lower it more?
lt ik di mi
How about ... baht?
... bat di mi
I wont give more than ... baht.
j hi mi koen ... bat
Do you accept ...?
rp ... mi ...`.
credit cards
bt khrehdt ....
travellers cheques
chk doen thaang .....
more ik .
more mak khun ...
less nwy long ...
smaller lk kwa .....
bigger yi kwa `..
too expensive phaeng pai ..`
inexpensive thuk ..
Im looking for ...
phm/dchn ha ... .......
a bank
thnaakhaan r.
the church
bht khrt ....
the city centre
jai klaang meuang `......
the ... embassy
sthan thut ... .......
the market
talat ...
the museum
phphtthphan r..-
the post office
praisnii `.
a public toilet
hwng nm ...r.
a restaurant
ran aahan .
the telephone centre
sun thohrsp ...
the tourist office
smnk ngaan ........
thwng thaw
I want to change ...
twng kaan lek ... .........
ngoen ...
travellers cheques
chk doen thaang .....
786 LANGUAGE Emer genc i es l one l y pl a ne t . c om l one l y pl a ne t . c om LANGUAGE Paper wor k 787
Can I/we change money here?
lek ngoen thi ni di mi
What time does it open?
ran pet ki mohng
What time does it close?
ran pt ki mohng
What time is it?
ki mohng lew? ......
Its (8 oclock).
pet mohng lew .......
When? meuarai ..`
today wan ni ...
tomorrow phrng ni ..
yesterday mua waan ....
Monday wan jan ...
Tuesday wan angkhaan ...
Wednesday wan pht ..r
Thursday wan phruht ...
Friday wan sk ....
Saturday wan so ....
Sunday wan aatht ...
January mkaraakhom ...
February kumphaaphan ....r
March miinaakhom ...
April mehsayon ...
May phrutsphaakhom ..
June mthnaayon ....
July karkkadaakhom .._.
August snghakhom ...
September kanyaayon ...
October tlaakhom ...
November phrutsjkaayon ...
December thanwaakhom r...
Public Transport
What time does the ... leave?
... j wk ki mohng
What time does the ... arrive?
... j thung ki mohng
boat reua .
bus rt meh/ ....
rt bt ..
bus (city) rt meh ....
bus (intercity) rt thua ..
plane khruang bin ...
train rt fai .`
Id like ...
phm/dchn yak di ...
a one-way ticket
ta thaw diaw .......
a return ticket
ta pai klp ..`..
two tickets
ta swng bai ....`
1st class
chn nung ...
2nd class
chn swng ...
Id like a ticket.
yak di ta
I want to go to ...
yak j pai ...
The train has been cancelled.
rt fai thuk yk lek lew
The train has been delayed.
rt fai j cha wehlaa
sanam bin ....
bus station
sathanii khn sng ......
bus stop
pai rt meh ....
taxi stand
thi jwt rt thek-si ....
train station
sathanii rt fai ....`
platform number
chaanchaalaa thi ..
ticket office
tu khi ta ...
taaraang wehlaa .....
the first
thi rek ..
the last
st thai ..
Private Transport
Id like to hire a/an ...
phm/d-chn yak cho ...
rt yon ...
rt foh wiin ...
rt mawtoesai ....`
rt jkkyaan ...
`. Give Way
... Detour
.. No Entry
... No Overtaking
.. No Parking
.. Entrance
.... Keep Clear
......... Toll
.. Danger
.. Slow Down
.... One Way
.. Exit
Is this the road to ...?
thaang ni pai ... mi
Wheres a service station?
pm nm man yu thi ni
Please fill it up.
khw toem hi tem
Id like (30) litres.
ao (sam sp) lt
nm man soh-la
unleaded petrol
nm man ri san tka
Can I park here?
jwt thi ni di mi
How long can I park here?
jwt thi ni di naan thorai
Where do I pay?
jai ngoen thi ni
I need a mechanic.
twng kaan chang
The car/motorbike has broken down (at ...)
rt/mawtoesai sa thi ...
The car/motorbike wont start.
rt/mawtoesai satat mi tt
I have a flat tyre.
yaang baen
Ive run out of petrol.
mt nm man
Ive had an accident.
mii pttht
Is there a/an ...
mii ... mi ....`.
I need a/an ...
twng kaan ... ......
baby change room
hwng plan pha dk
car baby seat
bw nng nai rt smrp dk
child-minding service
bawrkaan lang dk
788 LANGUAGE Ti me & Dat es l one l y pl a ne t . c om l one l y pl a ne t . c om LANGUAGE Tr avel wi t h Chi l dr en 789
childrens menu
raai kaan ahhan smrp dk
(disposable) nappies/diapers
pha wm (bep chi lew tng)
. .`....
formula (milk)
nom phng smrp dk
(English-speaking) babysitter
phi lang dk (thi phut phaasa angkrt di)
...... ....`.
ko i sung
rt khn dk
Do you mind if I breastfeed here?
j rangkat mi tha hi nom luk thi ni
Are children allowed?
dk nyht kho mi
Also available from Lonely Planet:
Thai Phrasebook
790 LANGUAGE Tr avel wi t h Chi l dr en l one l y pl a ne t . c om
This glossary includes Thai, Pali (P) and
Sanskrit (S) words and terms frequently
used in this guidebook. For definitions of
food and drink terms, see p83 .
aahaan food
aahaan pa jungle food, usually referring to dishes
made with wild game
ajahn (aajaan) respectful title for teacher; from the
Sanskrit term acarya
amphoe district, the next subdivision down from
province; also written amphur
amphoe meuang provincial capital
ao bay or gulf
AUA American University Alumni
bat a unit of weight equal to 15g; rounded bowl used
by monks for receiving food alms
baht (bat) the Thai unit of currency
bai sii sacred thread used by monks or shamans in
certain religious ceremonies
ban (ban) house or village
bw nam rwn hot springs
benjarong traditional five-coloured Thai ceramics
BKS Baw Khaw Saw (Thai acronym for the Transport
BMA Bangkok Metropolitan Authority
bodhisattva (S) in Theravada Buddhism, the term used
to refer to the Buddha during the period before he became
the Buddha, including his previous lives
bt central sanctuary in a Thai temple used for official
business of the Order (Pali: sangha) of monks, such as
ordinations; from the Pali term uposatha; see also
Brahman pertaining to Brahmanism, an ancient
religious tradition in India and the predecessor of
Hinduism; not to be confused with Brahmin, the priestly
class in Indias caste system
BTS Bangkok Transit System (Skytrain); Thai: rt fai fa
CAT Communications Authority of Thailand
chao leh sea gypsies; also chao nam
chao naa farmer
chedi stupa
CPT Communist Party of Thailand
doi (dawy) the word for mountain in the northern
farng Western, a Westerner
gopura (S) entrance pavilion in traditional Hindu
temple architecture, often seen in Angkor-period temple
hat (hat) beach; also chaihat
haw phii spirit shrine
haw trai a Tripitaka (Buddhist scripture) hall
hwng room; see also hong
hwng thaew two- or three-storey shophouses
arranged side-by-side along a city street
hin stone
hong (hwng) room; in southern Thailand this refers to
semi-submerged island caves
Isan (saan) general term used for northeastern
jo meuang political office in traditional Thai societies
throughout Southeast Asia; literally principality chief
jataka (P) (chaadk) stories of the Buddhas previous
jiin Chinese
jiin haw Yunnanese
kthoey lady boys, transvestites and transsexuals
khaen reed instrument common in northeastern Thailand
khao hill or mountain
kho rice
khlong (khlawng) canal
khohn masked dance-drama based on stories from the
khon saan the people of northeastern Thailand
KMT Kuomintang
KNU Karen National Union
ko (kw) island; also koh
krbi-krbawng a traditional Thai martial art
employing short swords and staves
ku small chedi that is partially hollow and open
kay heng Chinese-style work shirt
kt meditation hut; a monks dwelling
laem cape
lk meuang city pillar, isthmus
lkhon classical Thai dance-drama
lo khao white spirit, an often homemade brew
lo thuan homemade (ie illegal) liquor
lk little, small (in size); see also noi
l-keh Thai folk dance-drama
loi krathong (lawy krthong) the ceremony celebrated
on the full moon of the end of the rainy season
792 G L O S S A R Y G L O S S A R Y 793
longyi Burmese sarong
luk thng Thai country music
me chii Thai Buddhist nun
me nam river
Mahanikai the larger of the two sects of Theravada
Buddhism in Thailand
mahathat (mhaa that) common name for temples
containing Buddha relics; from the Sanskrit-Pali term
mlaeng thp collages made from metallic,
multicoloured beetle wings
mnohraa southern Thailands most popular
traditional dance-drama
masjid (mtsyt) a mosque
mt-mi technique of tie-dyeing silk or cotton threads
and then weaving them into complex patterns, similar
to Indonesian ikat; the term also refers to the patterns
mw hwm see sua mw hwm
mw lam an Isan musical tradition
mawn khwaan wedge-shaped pillow popular in
northern and northeastern Thailand
metta (P) (mt-taa) Buddhist practice of loving-
meuang city or principality
mondp small square, spired building in a wat; from
Sanskrit mandapa
MRTA Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority
muay thai Thai boxing
nam water
nam tk waterfall
naga (P/S) (nak) a mythical serpentlike being with
magical powers
nkhon city; from the Sanskrit-Pali nagara
nang Thai shadow play
nua north
ngaan thtskaan festival
nirvana (S) (Pali: nibbana, Thai: np-phaan) in Buddhist
teachings, the state of enlightenment; escape from the
realm of rebirth
noen hill
noi (nwy) little, small (amount); also noy; see also lk
nok (nwk) outside; outer
paa-t batik
pk ti southern Thailand
pha mt-mi thick cotton or silk fabric woven from
tie-dyed threads
phakhama piece of cotton cloth worn as a
wraparound by men
phasn same as above for women
phansaa rains retreat or Buddhist Lent; a period of
three months during the rainy season that is traditionally a
time of stricter moral observance for monks and Buddhist
lay followers
phr phim magical charm amulets
phii ghost, spirit
phks a Buddhist monk; from the Sanskrit bhikshu,
Pali bhikkhu
phin small, three-stringed lute played with a large
phleng khorat Khorat folk song
phleng phua chii-wt songs for life, modern Thai
folk music
phr an honorific term used for monks, nobility and
Buddha images
phr khruang amulets of monks, Buddhas or deities
worn around the neck for spiritual protection; also called
phr phim
phr phuum earth spirits
phuu khao mountain
phu yi ban village chief
pi-phat classical Thai orchestra
PLAT Peoples Liberation Army of Thailand
ponglang (ponglaang) northeastern Thai marimba
(percussion instrument) made of short logs
prang (praang) Khmer-style tower on temples
prasada blessed food offered to Hindu or Sikh temple
prasat (praasat) small ornate building with a cruciform
ground plan and needlelike spire, used for religious
purposes, located on wat grounds; any of a number of
different kinds of hall or residence with religious or royal
PULO Pattani United Liberation Organisation
ri an area of land measurement equal to 1600 sq
reua haang yao long-tailed boat
reuan thaew longhouse
reusii an ascetic, hermit or sage (Hindi: rishi)
rt fai fa Skytrain
rt fai ti din subway, Metro
rt prp aakat air-con vehicle
rt thammdaa ordinary bus (non air-con) or ordinary
train (not rapid or express)
rt thua tour bus
salaa open-sided, covered meeting hall or resting
place; from Portuguese term sala, literally room
samlw (also written samlor) three-wheeled pedicab;
see also tk-tk
samnk song monastic centre
samnk wptsnaa meditation centre
samsara (P) in Buddhist teachings, the realm of rebirth
and delusion
stang A Thai unit of currency; 100 stang equals
1 baht
swngthew (literally two rows) common name for
small pick-up trucks with two benches in the back, used as
buses/taxis; also written songthaew
smaa boundary stones used to consecrate ground used
for monastic ordinations
serow Asian mountain goat
sua mw hwm blue cotton farmers shirt
soi (sawy) lane or small street
Songkran (songkraan) Thai New Year, held in mid-April
SRT State Railway of Thailand
stupa conical Buddhist monument used to inter sacred
Buddhist objects
suan aahaan outdoor restaurant with any bit of
foliage nearby; literally food garden
s-saan cemetery
ti south
tlat nam floating market
tambon precinct, next subdivision below amphoe; also
written tambol
TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand
tha (tha) pier, landing
that four-sided, curvilinear Buddhist reliquary,
common in northeastern Thailand; also that
that krduk bone reliquary, a small stupa
containing remains of a Buddhist devotee
THAI Thai Airways International
thm cave
tham bun to make merit
thammjk Buddhist wheel of law; from the Pali
Thammayut one of the two sects of Theravada
Buddhism in Thailand; founded by King Rama IV while he
was still a monk
thm reusii hermit cave
thnon street
thtsbaan a division in towns or cities much like
thdong a series of 13 ascetic practices, for example
eating one meal a day, living at the foot of a tree,
undertaken by Buddhist monks; a monk who undertakes
such practices; a period of wandering on foot from place to
place undertaken by monks
trwk alley; also trok
trimurti collocation of the three principal Hindu
deities, Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu
Tripitaka (S) Theravada Buddhist scriptures; (Pali:
tk-tk motorised samlw
tsnt flame-shaped head ornament on a Buddha
Vipassana (wptsnaa) Buddhist insight meditation
wi palms-together Thai greeting
wan phr Buddhist holy days, falling on the days of the
main phases of the moon (full, new and half ) each month
wang palace
wat temple-monastery; from the Pali term avasa
meaning monks dwelling
wt pa forest monastery
wthntham culture
whan any large hall in a Thai temple, but not the bt;
from the Sanskrit term vihara, meaning dwelling; also
wihan or viharn
yam shoulder bag
yi big
Yawi the traditional language of Java, Sumatra and
the Malay Peninsula, widely spoken in the most southern
provinces of Thailand; the written form uses the classic
Arabic script plus five additional letters
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