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Loy Krathong In Laos

Loy Krathong In Laos

Reasserting a Tai Cultural Heritage

Every November at full moon people gather by stretches of open water throughout Thailand to celebrate Loy Krathong. Small but elaborate lotus-shaped creations bearing traditional offerings of flowers, incense, candles and a coin are floated in countless numbers on streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and even the open sea to reverence and pay homage to Mae Khongkha, the goddess of rivers and waters. Each tiny float also carries with it the dreams and aspirations of the sender.

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Languid Lamphun

Languid Lamphun

Exploring Northern Thailand’s Oldest City

The quiet, provincial town of Lamphun just 26 kilometres south of Chiang Mai, is generally promoted as an enjoyable side trip from the northern capital. A combination of tranquil, lotus-filled moats, some of the most distinguished religious buildings in Thailand, and the story of Queen Chamadevi, combine to attract Thai and overseas visitors alike.

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A Season In Mae Hong Son

A Season In Mae Hong Son

Thailand’s "Valley Beyond The Clouds"

Nowadays it may be difficult to believe, but Siamese officials once dreaded being sent to work in Mae Hong Son, the Kingdom’s most distant - and until recently most inaccessible - province. On consideration, however, past fears of being sent to "Thailand’s Siberia" are easier to understand. Hidden in a long and narrow valley several mountain ranges beyond Chiang Mai, the region had few attractions and numerous afflictions - endemic malaria, banditry and a plethora of troublesome spirits, to name but a few.

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Golden Lanterns Of Chiang Mai

Golden Lanterns Of Chiang Mai

Celebrating The Age-Old Yee Peng Festival of Northern Thailand

Yee Peng is a northern Thai term signifying the full moon of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. In Chiang Mai, Yee Peng is celebrated as a religious holiday. Throughout the region temples are full as people make merit, whilst monks give special sermons and recite religious texts. Traditionally, scrolls illustrating these texts were hung outside the temples to help explain the monks’ readings, and in some small villages of the north this custom is still followed.

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Pondicherry

Pondicherry

Where India Meets France

For most people, images of European imperialism in South Asia are inextricably bound up with the poetry of Kipling and the pomp of the British Raj. Yet few people, by contrast, are familiar with the former French Indian Territories, administered from the sleepy colonial enclave of Pondicherry until their return to India in 1954.

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Thailand’s Tempting Regional Cuisines

Thailand’s Tempting Regional Cuisines

Central Thai Food is Justly Celebrated World-Wide - But The Kingdom’s Less Well-Known Regional Cuisines Are Equally Delicious!

Just thirty years ago Thai cuisine was relatively unknown beyond the frontiers of the Kingdom and a few small ethnic enclaves, such as the Thai district of Los Angeles. The past two decades have seen a dramatic change, with Thai restaurants springing up all over the world, from Paris to Sydney, Seoul to Johannesburg. Thai has become the ‘in’ cuisine, as much on account of its healthy, low cholesterol and low fat content as for its spicy taste and elegant presentation.

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Cultural Riches Of Lampang

Cultural Riches Of Lampang

Northern Thailand’s Historic Second City

Lampang is the second city of the Khon Muang or Northern Thai people, being, after Chiang Mai, the largest, richest and most populous city of the north. Isolated from Lamphun and Chiang Mai to the west by the Doi Khun Tan mountains, from Phayao to the east by the massive bulk of Doi Bussaracum, and from Phrae to the south-east by the Doi Khun Kiat range, the valley of Lampang is broad and fertile. As a consequence, Lampang—valley, city and people—has developed a distinctive style and culture of its own.

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Timur’s Legacy

Timur’s Legacy

The Architecture Of Samarkand

Timur, better known in the West as Tamerlane from his nickname Timur-i-leng or “Timur the Lame”, was the last of the great nomadic warriors to sweep out of Central Asia and shake the world. As befits a man styled “World Conqueror”, we know a lot about him - and not all of it good. In 1336, at Shakhrisabz in present-day Uzbekistan, the wife of a minor chief of the Mongol Barlas clan gave birth to a son with blood-filled palms, a sure omen that the infant was predestined to cause the death of many.

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