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At the time of writing, international travel has been brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have had to cancel holidays to Thailand, but there are still ways you can experience Bangkok, Thai cuisine, the Thai people and the fantastic Thai culture.
Thailand is one of the most fascinating places in Southeast Asia and there is a reason it is known as the “Land of Smiles”. In this article we share ideas on how you can discover more about Thai culture from the comfort of your own home.
There are endless books on Thailand and Thai culture, but here are a few ideas.
By Philip Cornwel-Smith
This great book provides unique insight into Thai culture and delves beyond the traditional Thai icons to reveal the casual, everyday expressions of Thainess that so delight and puzzle. From floral truck bolts and taxi altars to buffalo cart furniture and drinks in a bag. Learn about attitudes to public displays of affection, religion, ladyboys, and a lot more.
by Joe Cummings
This is the first illustrated book in English to trace the history and origins of the Tai hand-inked tattoo tradition. While Thailand remains the centre of the cultural form’s conservation and development, similar traditions exist today in Cambodia, Laos and parts of Vietnam, China and Burma.
Random Thainess used to run regular talks on Thai Culture but went into hibernation. It has now come back to life by posting daily photos on Facebook to provoke thoughts about “Thainess” More is coming soon.
(Disclaimer: The Founder of Expique is also a Co-Founder of Random Thainess)
Candid is a group of people from different countries, coming together to experience new cultures, foods, people, etc. It was set up by a Thai student and her friend who were studying in Poland. Most videos are about them exploring Thai cultures, but recently they have expanded to other cultures.
The classic movie people always thing about when they thing of Thailand is “The King and I” but we are sure many Thais would debate as to whether it truly reflects Thai Culture.
A good place to start would be watching the movies of one of Thailand’s most famous ghost stories “Pee Mak Phrakanong”. This is one of the most successful Thai movies of all times.
Here is a great article that lists some of the best Thai movies on NetFlix.
Of course, there are many Hollywood movies that feature Thailand and while you will get a sense of the culture, we will not comment on whether it portrays Thailand and the culture in the best way. Such films include The Beach and The Hangover Part 2.
Food is a critical part of the Thai culture so if you learn about Thai food you by default can start to experience the culture. There are many great ways to learn to cook Thai food, either online or via cookbooks.
In the age of COVID-19, companies around the world have been experimenting with virtual Tours and Experiences. Some people love them and even believe they are a big opportunity even when tourism starts to return to normal.
Some of the best collections of virtual tours and experiences come from the likes of AirBNB who launched their Online Experiences.
At Expique we have been experimenting with our “Bringing Bangkok To You” video series on Facebook and have lauched weekly Facebook Lives where we address different aspects of Thai culture and Bangkok each week. For the latest details follow us on Facebook,
At Expique our mission is to help people discover the real Bangkok (and beyond) and the local cultures. We do this through a combination of offering our own award winning tours and through producing informative content.
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