Culture & Way of Life
In the past Thai people settled down and established their communities along the rivers. Rivers and canals were the main channel for trading and transportation. The way of life of Thais is, therefore, deeply influenced by the rivers. A few floating markets which still survive today are the heritage of such old way of life. Traditional fairs and events, in the same way, reflect the influence of the rivers upon people’s lives. The well-known Loy Krathong festival held annually in November when the river fills its banks is an example. Through Loy Krathong festival, Thai people thank and pay their respect to river and its sacred spirit for feeding them all year long.
Season is another factor that influences Thai way of life. In Songkran festival, people splash water to each other for spiritual purification. The instant result, however, is the relief from the heat of Thailand’s mid summer.
Almost all Thai traditional events have to do with Buddhism. This is because Buddhism was the most influential factor for Thais in the past. Buddhism which has grown and stayed with Thai society for a very long time is not only the dogma or the spiritual relief for the people but also the root upon which Thai way of living was built.
A boat trip along the Chao Phraya river and Bangkok Noi Canal are recommended for experiencing the Thai traditional way of life.
|Bangkok: Cruise along the Chao Phraya River|
In the past, Bangkokians usually settled by the Chao Phraya River (River of Kings) and gradually spread into the core of the country.
|Bangkok Noi Canal|
Canals, referred to "khlong" in Thai, have always been vital forms of communication. When the capital of Thailand was moved to Bangkok in 1782 (the beginning of the Rattanakosin period), the capital was laced with canals