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Thailand 2022



The Naga serpentine stairway to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, near Chang Mai in northern Thailand, is renowned for its intricate beauty, and the temple at the top attracts visitors all year round. Among those there to celebrate the arrival of the western new year, three local girls—dressed in traditional Hmong finery—pause part-way up the staircase, absorbed in a game. The Hmong are one the hill tribes of the Thai highlands, and many Hmong now live in and around Chang Mai.

Gary T. Bank © 2019
PCV Kenya 1995–1997
English Education

Kingdom of Thailand
Prathet Thai
Southeastern Asia

Area 198K mi2; 513K km2

Arable 31%

Population 69M (348/mi²; 135/km²)

Gov’t Constitutional monarchy

Capital Bangkok (10.5M)

GCP/Capita $18,460

Unemployment 1%

In Poverty 7%

Infant Mortality 7/1K live births (168th)

Life expectancy 77 yrs

Children Aged <15 Yrs 16% of pop

Median Age 39 yrs

Literacy 93%

Languages Thai (official), Burmese, Malay, other; English is a secondary language of the elite

Religions Buddhist 95%, Muslim 4%, Christian 1%

Health 4% of GDP

Education 4% of GDP (95th)

Military 1% of GDP (94th)

Labor Force Agriculture 32%, industry 17%, services 51%

PCVs 1962–present/2020 CURRENT: 0  TTD: 5,507

Adult Books

Arid Dreams
By Duanwad Pimwana [Dư̄anwāt Phimwanā]; translated from the Thai by Mui Poopoksakul

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: The Feminist Press (2019)
ISBN-10: 978-1936932563; 978-1936932566

Thirteen short stories, originally published in Thai between 1995 and 2014, show villagers, prostitutes, and everyday urban workers coming to terms with the incompatibility between their aspirations and dreams and their drudgery-filled lives. According to the publisher, “With curious wit, this collection offers revelatory insight and subtle critique, exploring class, gender, and disenchantment in a changing country.”

A social realist exploration from Thailand's preeminent contemporary woman writer: “each of her stories poses its own moral challenge, pleasurable and unsettling at once.” (

Kids' Books

Mela and the Elephant
By Dow Phumiruk, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Format: Unpaged; color illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-58536-528-9
Age Range: 4-8 years
Publisher: Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

A fable told about Mela, who finds herself lost in the jungle. Animals she meets along take the rewards she offers to help her, but they don’t do their part; except for the elephant she finally meets.


Film: Death of the Sound Man
Genre: Short
Director: Sorayos Prapapan
Country: Thailand, Myanmar
Release Date: 31 August 2017 (Italy)
Language: Thai
Run Time: 16 minutes
Color: Color

Summary: Two sound recordists let their imaginations loose to find satisfying sounds for a film project. But will their voices ever be acknowledged?

IMDB user review: It may be hard to appreciate this film for its true splendour, specially for those who always expect direct narrative cinema in every film they watch. But bear with it, the effort pays up. This is a film about filmmaking, but more precisely, this is a masterclass on cinema itself. It has long been known in the artistic world that observation is permeated with ideology, and that the form of any artistic object is in itself a manifestation of the creator's ideology. Somehow, most of cinema's audiences seem to have missed this, and experience cinema as an objective representation of the world. This film is a funny, intelligent, and nuanced reminder that there is no such thing as 'objective representation'. Form is content, never forget. Nowadays, when the audiovisual image is king among all, this film is as relevant as it gets. Man, this film should be mandatory in every highschool around the globe. It is worldwide available on Vimeo.


Thai Piphat Orchestra – Siam Society

A piphat is a kind of ensemble in the classical music of Thailand, which features wind and percussion instruments. ... It is considered the primary form of ensemble for the interpretation of the most sacred and “high-class” compositions of the Thai classical repertoire, including the Buddhist invocation entitled sathukan as well as the suites called phleng rueang. It is also used to accompany traditional Thai theatrical and dance forms, including khon (masked dance-drama), lakhon (classical dance), and shadow puppet theater.

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