Thai yoga massage_vs

What is Thai Yoga Massage?

You might have heard about Thai massage a lot of times. But what about Thai yoga massage? What is this about and is it possible to combine yoga and massage? Previously, also on the massage topic, we have discussed Swedish vs Thai massage topic. Learn more about Thai yoga massage in this article.

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What is Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage_forms

Thai yoga massage, as the name suggests, incorporates deep stretching and movements that resemble those in yoga practice. The names “Thai yoga massage” and “Thai massage” are often used interchangeably. When Thai massage schools or practitioners want to emphasize the relationship between the massage technique and yoga practice, they often use the name “Thai yoga massage” instead of simply “Thai massage”. However, to the mass customers like us, normally we only hear the name “Thai massage”. 

The origin of “Yoga” massage name

The close association between Thai massage and Yoga is because the massage is a complementary practice to Indian yoga asana. Indian yoga asana has similar principles of alignment and focus on the energetic as well as the physical body. This is also why the massage itself is often called “Thai yoga massage”.  Moreover, during the massage, the therapist will put you in positions that may push your flexibility limits. This is why it is sometimes called yoga for lazy people.

Thai yoga massage_origin

Things you should know about before doing the massage

There are a few common elements in all Thai massage: 

  • Stretches
  • Traction
  • Joint movement
  • Acupressure

During the session, the therapist will utilize their hands, fingers, elbows, feet and also full body weight to put pressure on your body and move your body around. The therapist will also use their “relaxed” full body weight on you, and such movement can prompt you to do deep, slow breathing.

How long the session lasts? Typically between one to three hours, but there are some sessions that last as long as 6 hours. 

As this massage involves a lot of deep stretching and movements, you should inform your therapist of any pre-existing conditions or injuries that you have. This is to avoid further damage on your body.  

At the end of the session, normally guests leave tip for the therapist. You can give whichever amount that you like. 

Where to do this massage in Thailand?

There are many options to do Thai massage in Thailand. If you are visiting Thailand, we suggest you go to Google Map and check the review and photos of the place to avoid dodgy places.

Some recommendations:
Arima Onsen in the middle of Bangkok
Divana Spa in the middle of Bangkok
– A luxurious massage/spa experience in Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
– A relaxing getaway with Thai massage at Anantara Chiang Rai

Should you try Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage is a popular massage technique in Thailand loved by many. If you are into deep stretching, are not pregnant, and do not have a pre-existing injury, you should try this massage for sure! Try with the 1-hour session first just for the experience in case you are not sure. In Thailand spa or massage centers, usually there are multiple types of therapy/massage available. If this massage is too intense for you, you can opt for other massages that are more relaxing. For example, rather than opting for a full-body Thai yoga massage, you might want to just do a Thai foot massage. We have written about Thai foot massage and its benefits, so check out that post too!

Thailand coins_featured

Thailand Coins: Its Look, Variety and Values

Thailand is famous for its markets, small street vendors and local travel scenes. While the country is digitizing rapidly, cash is still king for the majority of small vendors. If you are planning to travel to Thailand, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with local currency ahead of time. Also related to payments, we also covered a topic on how to transfer your money to Thailand in another post. Learn more about Thailand coins, their appearances and value in this article!

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Value range

Thailand predominantly uses 8 types of coins which range from 10 satang (0.1 baht or ~0.003 USD) to 10 baht (~0.3USD). In Thailand, 1 baht consists of 100 satang, putting it in dollar terms this is similar to 1 dollar containing 100 cents.

Here is a list of Thailand coins and their values (from largest to smallest)

  • 10 baht coin
  • 5 baht coin
  • 2 baht coin
  • 1 baht coin
  • 50 satang coin
  • 25 satang coin
  • 10 satang coin

Almost all transactions you make in Thailand are rounded up to the nearest 0 decimal places or whole numbers. This is why you will not encounter satang coins very often. However since the smallest bank note in Thailand is 20, you will likely end up with a bag of 1 to 10 baht coins during your travel! Your next question might be: how can you tell these coins apart? First all coins are labelled by number. Secondly they all have different shapes and colors. We will go into more details in the following sections.

Thailand silver coins

Thailand coins_silver coin

In general, silver coins represent whole baht coins including 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht. The only exception is the 10 baht coin, where the silver 10 baht coin has a golden section in the middle – making it the biggest and thickest Thailand coin.

The 5 baht coin is roundish but its design will make the coin look nonagon. The 2 baht coin is the newest and rarest among common coins in Thailand. The government issued the 2 baht coin in 2005, making it the newest coin among the rest. The 1 baht coin is the smallest, round shaped silver Thailand coin. 

Thailand gold coins/copper coins

Thailand cents or satang coins are generally gold or copper in color. Although some satang coins are meant to be yellow gold, as the coin gets older, the color might dim. Hence, they may appear darker yellow instead. Satang coins include 50, 25 and 10 satang coins. All coins are round in shape with 10 satang coins being the smallest.

Older Thailand coins

The history of these coins dates back to 1857 when Queen Victoria of England gave a small coining machine to King Rama the 4th. Following that, the first series of flat “Siamese” coins were then produced in 1860. 

More on the history of Thailand coins here.

Is it still relevant in Thailand?

The use of Thailand coins is getting less frequent these days but it does not mean they are obsolete. These coins are still popular among vendors in rural areas or smaller cities in Thailand. Therefore, understanding these coins is important so that you know how to use them for transactions while you are in Thailand.

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Swedish vs Thai massage_featured

Swedish vs Thai massage: similarities and differences

If you are traveling in Southeast Asia, getting a massage and spa treatment is almost a must. It is nice and relaxing. The price point is also very attractive, especially if you are coming from the US or Europe. However, Southeast Asia is not the only region known for massage. In fact, Swedish massage is famous as well. We also covered the topic of Thai foot massage in another article. Learn more about Swedish vs Thai massage in this article.

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What is Thai massage?

Swedish vs Thai massage_Thai massage

Thai massage is like a blend of massage, stretching and yoga. The Thai massage therapist will perform Thai massage on the customer as the customer lie down on a mat or on the floor. During Thai massage, the customer does not need to take off their clothes. It is a wholesome experience doing Thai massage as it includes abdominal and breath work, deep tissue massage and application of pressure at specific points on the body. It is often dubbed as “lazy man’s yoga” because the customer can just relax and the therapist will guide the customer to do certain body movements. There are any benefits to Thai massage including improvements on psychological and physical ailments like stress and chronic pain. A lot of athletes and fitness sports professionals choose Thia massage as one of their recovery methods.

Differences between Swedish and Thai massage

There are some aspects from both types of massage that we can compare and contrast.

Dress

In Thai massage, the customer can wear their clothes and perhaps change to a loose-fitting clothing to assist the Thai massage body movements. Thai massage does not involve application of oil on the body so there is no need to remove the clothing. On the other hand, Swedish massage requires the massage recipient to remove their clothing. This is because the Swedish massage involves oil or lotion applied to the customer lying down with face down on a massage table.

Techniques used

Thai massage uses acupuncture points to apply pressure on certain parts of the body that can help to alleviate certain physical ailments or help the body to get into deep relaxation mode. Sometimes the masseuse will stand or walk on the back of the customer as well. It often involves many body parts of the masseuse – not only hand and arms but also legs. On the other hand, Swedish massage is often called soft massage or deep tissue massage. It typically involves rubbing and stroking using hands, forearms, fists and elbows. Swedish massage does not involve legs or other body parts unlike Thai massage.

Positions

In Thai massage, that is often called “lazy man’s yoga”, the customer will lie on the floor or mat and the masseuse will move the body parts around. This is to help stretch the body and apply pressure on certain points on the body. On the other hand, in Swedish massage, the customer can just lie down on the massage bed with head down.

Benefits

Thai massage helps to relax the body and also at the same time energizes it. Since the body is not static during the massage, the Thai massage process helps the body to stretch and pressure on acupuncture points helps to release tensions. Overall the Thai massage helps to enhance the energy flow in the body. Therefore, it has more “healing” effect on the body and many athletes use this massage for their body recovery post intense exercise. Swedish massage, on the other hand, focuses more on relaxation. The use of massage oil also has some aromatherapy aspect to it. The long strokes and rubbing techniques helps to relieve stress and pain on the body.

Massage options besides Swedish and Thai massage

Thailand, as a holiday and relaxation destination, does not only offer Thai massage. There are plenty of other massage types available in Thailand. You can also try Swedish massage while in Thailand. For example, Quan Spa in Bangkok also offer both Swedish and Thai massage.

Other massage options that you can choose from in Thailand: 

  • Warm oil / aromatherapy massage
  • Herbal massage
  • Foot massage
  • Other classics like shoulder massage, facial etc.

Personally we have tried a combination of aromatherapy massage and Thai massage too. It was at Thann Sanctuary Spa in Sukhumvit 24. Thann is a renowned Thai aromatherapy products brand and the spa uses Thann’s own aromatherapy product during the massage. For aromatherapy oil massage, you need to wash your body after and they also provide Thann body wash products in the shower. It was a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience during our holiday in Bangkok. 

Which one is better: Swedish vs Thai massage?

The answer depends on what you are looking for. Some people might think that Thai massage is too intense. In fact, it is intense to the point that pregnant women in their first trimester are not advised to do it. If you want to just relax and doze off during your massage, you can do Swedish massage. But if you feel tired from exercise or stiff body and want to relax while at the same time feeling energized, go for Thai massage. Thai massage is more dynamic than Swedish massage and you need to “participate” in the movement as guided by the masseuse.

If you are in Thailand and want to have a more relaxing massage, Swedish massage is not the only option. You have other massage options besides Thai massage while in Thailand. We highly recommend aromatherapy and foot massage after a long day exploring the city!

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Thai foot massage_featured

Thai Foot Massage and Its Benefits

Thai massage is popular among local and foreign visitors alike. While Thai massage in general is a full body massage, you can easily find foot massage parlours in Thailand even along street. Previously we have covered Thai massage in another article and its comparison with Swedish massage. Now, learn more about Thai foot massage and whether you want to give it a try in this article.

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What is Thai foot massage?

What is Thai foot massage

Thai foot massage, just like Thai massage, focuses a lot on the acupuncture points. You can just sit down on a comfortable chair or sofa at the massage parlor. Then they will clean your foot with exfoliating soap and scrub, which also can help to relax the muscle. Having said that, we recommend you wear shorts when you are going for a foot massage. Otherwise, you will need to change to loose pants provided by the parlor. 

After applying massage oil to the foot and pressing the acupuncture points on the foot, the therapist might continue massaging the calf and also lower thigh area as well. Acupuncture points on the foot have connections with other body parts. Therefore, when these points are pressed, other body parts can benefit from this. After the therapist finishes with the foot/leg, they often continue massaging your hands/arms and also shoulder and head. 

Benefits of this massage

Convenience

Other types of Thai massage often involve full body treatment, or even usage of oil/aroma therapy. These will require you to sit/lay down or even change your cloth. Because of this reason, it may not be very convenient. Thai foot massage, however, only requires you to sit down – you can read a book, play with your phone or fall asleep it’s totally up to you! 

Price

The price for this massage may vary from as cheap as THB200 on the street side to THB500+ in established resorts & spas.

Time

Thai foot massage typically only requires 30 to 60 minutes/session. If this is too short for you, you can combine foot massage with other types of massage like head & shoulder or palm. Both massage types are convenient as they will not require you to change clothes.

Health benefits

There are plenty of health benefits from this massage which we will discuss in the next section.

Thai foot massage health benefits

Thai foot massage has a lot of health benefits

First, Thai foot massage helps to enhance the function of muscles, tendons, and joints. The foot is a heavily used body part and it supports the full weight of the body. Hence, relaxing this part of the body can enhance body movement.

Secondly, it relieves stress and helps to relax mentally. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the soles of the feet have nerve connections to the brain. Some people have improved their migraine through foot massages. Since it relaxes the mind, this massage can also help you to sleep better at night. 

Thirdly, it helps to restore balance in the body system and also enhances blood circulation. Massage in general helps stimulate blood and lymph flow to the muscles in the feet. As the nerve center is located on the feet, this results in better function of the internal organs.

Fourth, your experienced Thai foot massage masseuse would be able to tell which body organ of yours is not functioning properly from pressing points on the soles of your feet. From there, if you need further examination with your doctor, you can take the necessary action.

Lastly, foot massage can complement other treatments that you undergo. For example, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and musculoskeletal diseases patients are often encouraged to do Thai foot massages. This is because Thai foot massage enhances circulation in the body and also muscle relaxation. This might enhance the benefit of conventional medical treatment and quicken the recovery of the patients with these diseases.

Where can you go for this massage?

Thai foot massage_street side

There are many places where you can do Thai foot massage.

First option is street side. Many popular walking streets like Khaosan road often have street side vendors that provide foot massage. These are perfect for your tired foot after a long walk. If you go to a touristy sides of Bangkok it might be a bit more expensive compared to when you go to more local-oriented places. 

The second option is dedicated spa and wellness centers. There are many standalone spas and wellness centers in Thailand. For example in Bangkok, the most famous ones are Thann Sanctuary Spa and Oasis Spa

The third option (if you are a tourist) is your hotel. Many resorts and hotels have their own spa centers and they must have professional masseuses who can do Thai foot massages for you. For example, when we stayed in Hansar Hotel or Emporium Suites, both have their own dedicated spas. Some hotels like Vala Hua Hin also have massage services, but they provide it in-room. You can read up more about our experience with massage in Vala Hua Hin. 

Should you do Thai foot massage?

Yes! Not only that it is relaxing, it is also healthy and convenient. You can just go to a nearby massage parlor and sit down on a sofa and they can start with the massage straight away. We easily fall asleep on our sofa while doing the massage as it is very relaxing. 

If you have an existing medical condition, you can always check with your doctor if it is safe for you. But in general, it is not as intense as Thai massage so we do not worry too much about it. 

If you are visiting Thailand as a tourist, there are usually plenty of Thai foot massage places near the hotel area. Ask your receptionist about reputable ones near you. 

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transportation in Thailand_three wheeler_tuk tuk

Tuk Tuk Thailand: try the Three-Wheeler transport

Tuk Tuk Thailand or three wheeler bicycle is probably one of the most recognizable transportation modes in Thailand among visitors and tourists. Learn more about Tuk Tuk as well as where to take Tuk Tuk. Also, we will cover tips and other things to look out for when taking such transportation in Thailand!

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Three wheeler in Thailand

Tuk Tuk Thailand_history

The first version of Tuk Tuk or three-wheeler in Thailand date back to the early 20th century. The earliest version of the three-wheeler started out as a single-seater attached to a bicycle. Almost 30 years later Tuk Tuk became a motor vehicle that developed into a three-wheeler with a roof that you see in Thailand today. Some Tuk Tuk today has evolved into a 4 wheeler, almost like an open-air minivan. The three-wheeler can comfortably fit 2-3 passengers. However, you may sometimes see Thai students seating 5-6 pax in 1 Tuk Tuk. Certainly, this brings safety into question, more on this below.

Where and when to take three wheeler

Tuk Tuk Thailand_three wheeler transport

Tuk Tuk (and its cousin) can most commonly be found in cities that are popular among tourists. Hence, you will definitely find Tuk Tuk in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Hua Hin. 

When to take Tuk Tuk? 

If you are in Thailand, it might be a good idea to take Tuk Tuk at least once to enjoy the experience. This is because a Tuk Tuk ride will allow you to fully soak in the breeze (and sometimes pollution too) and the city’s vibe/buzzes. Having said that, Tuk Tuk is great for short-distance travel as they share the mobility of motorcycles but with added comfort.

However, Tuk Tuk might not be the best everyday transport option. Why? First of all, most Tuk Tuk has no air-conditioning. So if you are taking a ride through the city center, this will mean heat and pollution. Secondly, Tuk Tuk has fewer safety measures when compared to taking a car. This is because Tuk Tuk has no seat belt, which means added risk in case of an accident. Lastly, the price is not cheap. We will cover more of this in the next section.

How much is the three wheeler transport?

So how much is Tuk Tuk in Thailand? It really depends since often time they run on the rider’s quote and not meter. A ride on Tuk Tuk can cost anywhere from THB100 to THB500+ depending on the distance. However, one thing that you really need to watch out for when taking a Tuk Tuk is 1) you need to agree on pricing first before you get on 2) the price is likely overstated, especially if you are a tourist. 

Your best bet is to take out an app like Grab to check pricing beforehand. So that if the Tuk Tuk’s rider is quoting a similar price (or only slightly higher), then you know you are getting a decent deal. Some popular Tuk Tuk spots may also have pricing list available and this helps to prevent any scam.

How much is tuk tuk in Thailand

Are there Electric Tuk Tuk in Thailand?

Grab launched an electric Tuk Tuk service in Chiang Mai back in 2019. That year, Grab partnered with the government and private sector to establish Chiang Mai Smart Mobility Alliance Network. The aim of the network is to reduce the use of private vehicles in Chiang Mai by 35% in 5 years’ time and eventually reduce pollution in the city. This electrification of Tuk Tuk in Chiang Mai will also help to reduce the carbon footprint in the city. 

Electric Tuk Tuk driver-partner of Grab will be able to easily leverage Grab’s electronic booking app to get customers. At the same time, these drivers will be able to enjoy cost savings of fuel compared to their LPG counterparts.

Alternative to Tuk Tuk Thailand

Apart from Tuk Tuk or three wheeler, you can also utilize other transportation methods like taxi, grab taxi, BTS or motorcycle. We have a dedicated article covering transportation mode in Thailand.

Should you use Tuk Tuk as your mode of transport?

Personally, we think you can try it once when you just arrive in Thailand. This is purely for the experience. Other than that, if you are cost-conscious, Tuk Tuk in Thailand can actually be costly. You might get a better deal by just taking Grab/Taxi, or even the train (BTS or underground train). Moreover, if you go with family and kids, Tuk Tuk rides do not have proper safety measures. You might have better peace of mind if you take taxi/Grab.

Those who go to Thailand often usually do not take Tuk Tuk to move around the city. 

However, the move towards the electrification of Tuk Tuk is promising. With the lower cost of fuel, we hope that the cost savings can be passed on to passengers as well!

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Thailand vs Vietnam_featured

Thailand vs Vietnam: Similarities and Differences

As travel is starting again, many are looking for a getaway spot in Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam are both great and popular destinations. If you are not Southeast Asia native, you might not know the difference in Thailand vs Vietnam each offers. Learn more about the two countries, their similarities and differences before deciding your trip!

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Thailand vs Vietnam: Location

Thailand vs Vietnam_locations

Thailand and Vietnam are neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. In fact, a flight from Bangkok to major cities in Vietnam like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh takes less than two hours! Both countries have a fair share of mountain ranges as well as coastal areas.

The key difference between Thailand vs. Vietnam is A) their neighboring countries and B) latitude

A) Thailand is connected to Myanmar at the west, Laos at the east, Cambodia in the southeast, and Malaysia at the south. Whereas, Vietnam is connected to China in the north, Cambodia and Laos in the west. Vietnam faces the South China Sea at its east. 

B) Vietnam stretches further north connecting to southern China hence slightly cooler weather in Northern Vietnam. During winter, the winter wind blows from China blow directly into the northern part of Vietnam. On the other hand, Thailand is lower in latitude and therefore it has warmer weather.

Thailand vs Vietnam: Vacation Style

Both countries have bountiful nature of mountains and seas so you can enjoy mountain ranges, beach and islands. However, Thailand has slightly more developed large cities like Bangkok where you can find a lot of shopping malls, skyscrapers, and transportation modes like underground and BTS trains. Having said that, Vietnam is developing rapidly and it will certainly catch up soon!

Thai vs Vietnamese: Language

Thai and Vietnamese language have similarities but there are more differences between the two. Both languages are tonal and the characters will indicate the tones. Both Thai and Vietnamese languages are also phonetic, meaning you can look at the words and pronounce them directly.

There are 5 tones in the Thai language whereas in Vietnamese there are 6. The Thai language is part of the Tai language family, which originates from an area at the border between Vietnam and China. On the other hand, the Vietnamese language is part of Austro-Asiatic language family. That means it comes from similar roots as Khmer in Cambodia and several other languages spoken by minority groups in the surrounding regions.

There are different external influences for each language. The Thai language is influenced by the Sanskrit language whereas the Vietnamese language is influenced by French and Chinese.

Make sure to check out more info on Thai language in our other dedicated post

Thai vs Vietnamese: Food and Beverages

Thai and Vietnamese food are similar in terms of the herbs and raw vegetables that they serve with their dishes. Both dishes use a lot of basil and lime in their cooking. Also, fresh vegetables at the side or as part of the food are also common. Other than that, fish sauce as part of the seasoning is commonplace. 

However, in general Vietnamese food is lighter in taste and texture compared to Thai food. Thai food is also generally more greasy and makes use of ingredients with heavy taste and texture like coconut milk. For food with gravy/soup, Vietnamese food typically has clear soup whereas Thai food has both. There is more stir frying involved in Thai cuisine compared to Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine on the other hand has a lot more fresh vegetables in their dishes / salads. 

In terms of beverages, there are less popular Vietnamese drinks compared to Thai drinks that people know globally. Thai drinks that are popular among the general crowd include Thai milk tea, butterfly pea tea drinks, and also to a smaller extent Thai coffee. The most popular Vietnamese drink that most people know is Vietnamese coffee (drip coffee). We have a more detailed discussion on the differences between Thai vs Vietnamese coffee in our dedicated article. 

Thailand vs Vietnamese: which one should you visit?

It depends. If you are into a mix of metropolitan city and nature side experiences, Thailand might be your pick. Bangkok as the capital of Thailand is very developed and it is easy to move around in the city with the BTS/underground MRT infrastructure. You can go to the outskirt area or even nearby beach/mountain area for a weekend trip too. 

We have been from northern to southern Vietnam and loved every bit of it, however, the big cities in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are still not as developed as Bangkok. If you do not mind the slight inconvenience (e.g. taking a cab or Uber everywhere rather than taking the train), you can visit Ho Chi Minh (HCMC) or Hanoi and famous nature spots like Ha Long Bay too!

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Thailand legalize marijuana_plant

When will Thailand legalize marijuana for general usage?

In the past article, we have talked about Thailand’s marijuana laws and their limitations. There have been some developments in Thailand marijuana scene in the past few years. Some observations include more people growing marijuana in the country as well as marijuana-themed menus are introduced in some cafes and restaurants.

This article will look into the timeline, 2022 development, and prospects of Thailand legalizing marijuana.

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Timeline of Thailand's progress in legalizing marijuana

  • 1979: Thailand passed Narcotics Act AD 1979 to replace the original Narcotics Act AD 1922 and Marijuana Act AD 1943. Cannabis fell into the category of a type 5 Narcotics (i.e. illegal) 
  • 2019: Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) in 2019 to allow the usage of cannabis for research and medical purposes
  • 2020: FDA announced that cannabis leaf, root, and CBD produced by certified sources are exempted from being part of type 5 Narcotics 
  • 2021: 100+ locations (government agencies and state-registered agricultural communities) have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA
  • 2021: Restaurants and cafes are incorporating certified parts of cannabis into their menus
  • 2022: January 2022 – the Thai government has annouced a plan to remove cannabis from its drug list. This move, once formalized, will allow households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use at home
  • 2022: May 2022 – the government has announced an update which is expected to take effect in June 2022. The update will allow households in Thailand to register to grow cannabis at home through Plook Ganja mobile application
  • 2023: Another amendment of the Narcotics Act might take place in 2023

Growing marijuana in Thailand

There are now more than 100 companies and state-registered agricultural communities that have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA throughout Thailand. Registered households can grow up to 6 cannabis plants while registered companies operate on a larger scale.

In this example, the company is growing almost 1,000 plants. The FDA keeps track of approved locations, and you can see that households and companies are growing cannabis throughout Thailand.

Thailand legalize marijuana_planting locations

The Thai government announced a new project in August 2021 to dedicate 10,000 rai (16 square kilometers) of land area for herb plantation development. The project however, also includes plantation of cannabis and hemp. This project will be developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor located in Chonburi, Rayong and Chasengsao (3 Eastern province in Thailand).

Furthermore, the Thai government has announced a plan to exclude cannabis from its drug list in 2021, allowing households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect.

Thailand legalizing marijuana for the F&B

The FDA is reporting over 5,000 patients who received cannabis as part of their medical treatment each month. However, the general population can only legally consume cannabis at restaurants and cafes that incorporate certified cannabis into their menu.

We are starting to see new cafés that specialize in cannabis and CBS menu like GTG Café. 

Most recently, COCA, a long-standing Thai restaurant brand (since 1957), also introduced a Cannabis menu under “Coca feel good”. In this menu, they incorporate cannabis into main dishes, soups, and desserts (reviews and photos in Thai).

Thailand legalize marijuana_Coca menu

Photo and review from Spoonwalk.

What’s the prospect of Thailand legalize marijuana for more usages?

The answer is we are still unclear on this. Thailand is still very strict and far away from countries like the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana law. There are, however, interests from both the private and public sectors on this.  It would be exciting to see the developments in the coming years ahead of, hopefully, another revision to the Narcotics Act in 2023.

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Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_comparison

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: similarities and differences

If you are a fan of Thai food, you would probably have tried Pad Thai. “Pad” means “stir fry” in the Thai language, so as you can guess there is a lot of other delicious stir-fried food apart from Pad Thai.  For stir-fried noodles alone, Thailand has many other delicious dishes like Pad Kee Mao (which translates to drunken noodles) and Pad See Ew. However, you may not know which one you will like more or which one would be to your liking. Learn more about the similarities and differences between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew with us in this post!

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Similarities between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew

Let’s start with the similarities between the two, and there are only a few of them. Like Pad Thai, both Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew are stir-fried noodles where the dish typically consists of noodles, vegetables, and some protein.

Both recipes of Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew contain a good degree of flexibility when it comes to noodle type, vegetables, and protein sources. For example, you can find both dishes with large noodles, rice noodles, vermicelli noodles, Mama instant noodles or even spaghetti. 

You can also freely choose the source of protein like pork, chicken or seafood. Seafood Pad Kee Mao however is quite common and you should give it try!

Differences between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew

There are a few similarities between Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew. On the other hand, there are many differences that set the two stir-fried noodles apart.

Visual differences

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_drunken noodles

The first is on the visual aspect. If you put the two dishes side by side you will notice that Pad Kee Mao contains a variety of ingredients and herbs. In contrast to that, Pad See Ew appears simpler and it has a striking feature of dark-colored noodle.

The sauce

The next question might be, why Pad See Ew look darker? The answers lie with this dish’s name. In Thai, “see ew” means soy sauce. So the second difference is the sauce. And there is your answer, Pad See Ew makes use of both dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce which turn the color of stir-fried noodles dark brown. Pad Kee Mao on the other hand does not make use of any soy sauce, instead, it uses oyster sauce. 

Key ingredients

The third difference is the key ingredients and herbs. It is established that many types of noodles and protein sources can be used in these dishes. However, there are ingredients and herbs that simply are irreplaceable. Pad Kee Mao has garlic, kaffir lime leaves, fingerroots, fresh peppercorn, fresh chili, and Thai basil leaves as the key herbs. After being exposed to hot oil, these herbs give out a strong aroma, making Pad Kee Mao a truly fragrant dish. While Pad See Ew key ingredients might be pale in comparison to Pad Kee Mao, it also makes use of garlic and another unique ingredient which is an egg.

The taste

Last but not least, the taste. Based on what you have seen so far, you can already guess that Pad Kee Mao has a stronger taste and is more fragrant. Pad See Ew on the other hand has milder taste but it can still be seasoned with chili flakes and vinegars to enhance the flavour. Otherwise Pad See Ew prominent taste is only sweet. 

Is Pad Kee Mao spicy?

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_is pad kee mao spicy

Yes, Pad Kee Mao tends to be spicy, especially if you order it in Thailand. Pad Kee Mao mostly draws its spiciness from fresh chili. However, if you ever chew on other herbs like kaffir lime leaves, fingerroots, or fresh peppercorn – you will also realize that these herbs are “spicy”. They are spicy in a slightly different way than fresh chili. If you are not a fan of spice, avoid chewing on these. You can also reduce spiciness level by reducing the amount chili or opt to swab fresh chili out for dried ones to reduce “hotness” of the dish.

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: which one should you try?

We personally prefer dishes with a stronger taste with lots of herbs and spices. Pad Kee Mao is right up our alley because of this. However, if you haven’t tried both, we will always recommend trying both. Keep in mind though, that if you really aren’t into spices, you may find Pad Kee Mao spicy so Pad See Ew might be better for you. 

One other thing to note – when you are in Thailand, the Pad Kee Mao will taste much better than what you find outside Thailand. The reason is, that Thailand is a land of spices and herbs therefore vendors can go all out when they make the dish. If you want to try your first Pad Kee Mao, do it when you visit Thailand!

Now that you know the difference between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew – take a step further and learn more about Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao! or Pad Thai vs Lo Mein!

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Thai-sausage_How-to-enjoy-Sai-Ua

Thai Sausage: grilled northern Isaan & Sai Ua sausages

Thai sausage is one of our favorite Thai dishes. If you are a fan of western sausages then you may want to give Thai sausages a try. The taste and texture of these sausages are unique. They are traditionally home industry and there are a few special regions in Thailand famous for them. Previously we have covered our other favorite Thai dishes: Tom Yum noodles, Som Tum, and Boat Noodles. Now we will cover Northern Thai sausage in this article.

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Isaan sausage vs. Sai Ua sausage

thai sausage_issan vs sai ua

There are two types of Northern style traditional Thai grilled sausage that is famous across the country.

First, Isaan sausage aka Sai Krok Isaan is one of the most famous foods from the Isaan region (North-Eastern part of Thailand). Other than the sausage, this region also prides itself on Som Tum, sticky rice, and Jim Jum hotpot. This Thai sausage is a fermented sausage, made primarily of pork and rice. Since it undergoes fermentation, it is no surprise that it tastes a bit sour. Sai Krok Isaan sausage normally goes really well with raw cabbage, sliced raw ginger and chilli padi / bird’s eye chilli. Having said that, you can enjoy this sausage as a snack, or as a full dish with sticky rice to go with the sausage. Isaan-style sausage is popular among the Thai population and you will find this Northern style traditional Thai grilled sausage being grilled and sold along the streets all across Thailand.

On the other hand, Sai Ua sausage which is the native sausage of Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand is a more herby, richer in spices kind of sausage. It is one of the most flavourful Thai sausages out there. The pork is mixed with aromatic curry mix and then grilled. You can enjoy this Thai sausage with sticky rice, fresh vegetables, crispy pork, or chili paste. Traditionally it is homemade food, but as it grows in popularity across Thailand, it is available in shops as well.

Thai sausage recipe: Isaan style

Isaan-style sausage is made from two primary ingredients, pork, and rice. However, these are mixed with garlic, salt, and pepper before fermentation. For every 500g of pork, you will need ¾ cup of rice, 1 head of garlic, and seasonings such as pepper, salt, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. In some variations, Isaan-style sausage also has glass noodles in the mix (which then you can reduce the amount of rice).

As we mentioned previously, Isaan-style sausage is a fermented type, and the duration of fermentation determines the level of sourness. For example, if you grill the sausage immediately after they are made, there will not be any sour taste but if you leave them to ferment for a few days then you can expect your traditional Thai grilled sausage will be sour.

Thai sausage recipe: Sai Ua style

Sai Ua is a more complicated sausage when compared to Isaan sausages. While Sai Ua is made mostly from pork, making one will require many more ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves, coriander, lemongrass, shallots, spring onion, fresh turmeric, dried chili, garlic, and other seasonings such as soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce. 

While Sai Ua is popular and is preferred outside of its home region like Northern Thailand – great-tasting Sai Ua is relatively harder to find than Isaan sausage due to more complicated recipes. 

How to enjoy Thai sausages

Thai-sausage_How-to-enjoy-Sai-Ua

Both types of Northern style Thai grilled sausages such as Issan sausage and Sai Ua taste great by themselves, however, due to their strong taste – pairing them with some fresh vegetables, relish or sticky rice can help to elevate the taste.

Isaan-style sausages taste great with raw cabbage, fresh ginger, and fresh chili to add some spiciness. Sai Ua on the other hand which has a stronger spicy taste goes well with fresh green vegetables/corianders, ginger, chili, and peanuts.

Some Thais also pair Sai Ua with crispy pork and a special Northern chili paste called “nam prik num”.

Should you try Northern Thai sausages?

Yes, Northern Thai sausages are one of our favorite snacks/dishes! We generally love the spicy/herby Northern Thai food. Eating these sausages accompanied by vegetables/rice on the side seems like a simple dish, however, due to the richness in flavor and taste, it is very satisfying. We highly recommend you to try these sausages out the next time you visit Thailand!

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Thai Constellation Monstera

Thai Constellation Monstera: Price and Variant Comparison

Home gardening has been booming since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reuters reported a 270% jump in seed demand at the peak of the pandemic. But what we found even more intriguing is news like a pot of plant being sold for THB1.4m (~US$42,000) in Thailand. Such a staggering amount is sufficient to purchase a car or to use as a down payment for a house! We are not plant or garden experts but learn more about what makes the Thai Constellation Monstera special with us! We will also cover the its price, along with other variations for monstera.

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About This Popular Plant

Thai Constellation Monstera

The Thai Constellation Monstera is a plant from the monstera deliciosa family. It is well known for its large, green marbled leaves with cream/yellow color spread. The plant can grow both outdoors or indoors as a houseplant or natural decoration to your home. This plant can grow to 1 or several meters high under optimal conditions. Keep in mind this possibility if you are looking to keep it indoors. The feature that makes this plant unique is the cream/yellow spread across its marbled green leaves. This sets the Thai Constellation Monstera apart from its peers like Monstera Albo, Aurea, or Mint.

Thai Constellation Monstera vs. Monstera Albo

Monstera Albo draws its name from albo, which means white in latin. As the name suggests, Monstera Albo has white color contrast to the marbled green leaves. The white/green pattern can appear in half-and-half proportion or spread throughout the leaves. One key difference between the Thai Constellation Monstera and albo would be the Thai constellation’s creamy yellow color and Albo white color. The half and half patterns are also not commonly found in the former.

Thai Constellation Monstera vs. Monstera Mint

Thai Constellation Monstera vs Mint

Monstera Mint is a rare find among monstera. Its unique feature is represented as a mixture between green, yellow and white colors that result in light green color leaves. Leaf pattern and color of Monstera Mint tend to be unique, even on the same tree/plant. Due to its rarity, Monstera Mint is the most expensive monstera within our comparisons. 

Cost: Thai Constellation Monstera price

In Thailand, the starting price for this plant starts at around ~THB4,000 (US$120). This seemingly affordable starting price can scale up really quickly depending on the color and spread patterns. In comparison, the starting price for Monstera Albo is around ~THB8,000 – double of Thai Constellation Monstera. Lastly, our most expensive monstera is Monstera Mint, which is hard to find. Due to its rarity, it has a starting price at around THB500,000 (US$15,000). Some vendors will scale their price up depending on the number of leaves with unique color/pattern. In the news that we cited above, the Monstera Mint plant was sold at a staggering price of US$42,000!

Should you get one for your home or garden?

Gardening is a relaxing hobby and monstera is a gorgeous-looking plant that can decorate your home really nicely. Hopefully, now you understand better about Thai Constellation Monstera price, the comparison with Monstera Albo and Monstera Mint – in case you want to purchase one for your house.

We got to see some friends with green thumbs who have monstera in their house, and these plants are indeed a nice addition to the house decor. However, since collecting rare monstera may be expensive, you can opt to grow any monstera plant or more practical plants. Personally, at this point in our lives where we value practicality the most, we opt to grow Thai herbs like basil which also comes in handy in the kitchen. 

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