Calendar

Dec
25
Tue
2018
Christmas Day
Dec 25 all-day

WANTED: Santa Claus! Find out why we really celebrate Christmas today.

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Khao Lak Christmas

Christmas is a great time to visit Khao Lak, and Thailand in general. This is without a doubt the busiest time of the year in Khao Lak so make sure you book everything in advance. Thailand always manage to do a great job of adopting foreign festivals and allowing us to enjoy our favourite holidays with sea, sand and sunshine. Thai’s may love to help us get the most out of our holidays, but they don’t always know all of the history and customs associated with it. So here is a quick guide to explain the traditions of this depraved Pagan festival now known as Christmas.

Why do we celebrate on 25th December?

December 25th can represent only one thing; Ritual Human Sacrifice. The Roman Pagan holiday called Saturnalia was celebrated between 17th – 25th December. During this week, authorities selected an innocent victim to represent the enemies of the Roman people. This victim would be forced into one final week of hedonism. They would undergo a week of indulgence in physical pleasures. The festival would then conclude, December 25th, with their brutal sacrifice. Happy Christmas!

Carol Singing and Gingerbread men

What do you think of when you imagine Carol singers? If it is public indecency, then you would be correct. In the pre christian Roman era, this was a time for getting drunk and stumbling from house to house, singing completely naked though the streets. Devouring biscuits in the shape of a human body represented their sexual inhibitions. O’ Come all Ye Faithful!Carol singing at ChristmasPhoto by: Kevin Dooley License: CC BY 2.0

The Christmas Tree, Presents and Mistletoe

The Christmas tree tradition comes from the worshipping of Forest gods. Giving presents dates back to Roman Emperors making the most despised citizens bring offerings during Saturnalia in an attempt to redeem themselves. Mistletoe has been used in mythology to make poisoned arrows in wars between Norse Gods. It was also used by Druids to murder their human sacrifices. The act of kissing under mistletoe is a combination of Pagan sexual freedom with reference to Druid Sacrifices. Its the most wonderful time… of the year!Kissing under the mistletoe at ChristmasPhoto by: Chris Hsia License: CC BY-ND 2.0

Santa Claus

The St. Nicholas story originates from a Bishop in Turkey. The story changed as it moved through Italy, Germany and up to Celtic Pagans. His story merged with that of Woden (father of Thor) and this is where he grew his big white beard. His name Santa Claus come from the Dutch for Saint Nicholas. Dr. Clement Moore gave him his 8 flying reindeer in a poem in 1822. However, he was still depicted differently in different countries. For his Red outfit and obesity problems we can thank Coca Cola. In 1931 they turned Santa Claus into the internationally recognisable sell out we see today. Ho! Ho! Ho!Santa Claus the Sell Out on ChristmasPhoto by: Mike Mozart License: CC BY-ND 2.0

A Merry Thailand Christmas

So, if anyone ever tells you that you have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, it is probably because they don’t actually know it themselves. In these modern times maybe we should celebrate Christmas in a way that feels most important to us. In Thailand, Christmas is not about religion. It is about family, relaxation, good food and good company. Maybe it is a good idea to forget the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas and just enjoy the quality time we can spend with (or temporarily escaping from) our loved ones!

Wanted: Santa Claus on Christmas Day

Title Image by: Kevin Dooley License: CC BY 2.0[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Dec
31
Mon
2018
New Years Eve
Dec 31 all-day

Book in advance! This is the best & busiest time of year in Khao Lak!

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New Year in Khao Lak

If you are planning to come to Khao Lak for Christmas and New Years Eve then book a long way in advance. This is the busiest week of the year. Whatever activities you would like to do will also need to be booked in advance. If you want to go Scuba Diving, have a big Gala Dinner or even just get a Taxi, book it! If you need any advice or help with bookings then please feel free to contact us. But here are a couple of options for New Years Eve…

Photo by: John Shedrick License: CC BY 2.0

Party

Khao Lak is not a big Party town like Phuket. It is a much more relaxed environment suitable for families and couples just looking for a break from the rat race. However, there are a few good party places to go for New Years Eve. Happy Snapper Bar in Khao Lak will be one of the busiest and it is always a good atmosphere with a live band and friendly staff. Beach Bar in Bang Niang is the closest you can get to a Koh Phang Ngan Beach party with louder dance music and plenty of merry drunk people. The Beach is also a good place to see any fireworks from any of the beach resorts.

Scuba Diving

There are still lots of day trips running to the Similan and Surin Islands around New Years Eve, but the best way to do it is on a Liveaboard. Most boats moor up around Island 4 or Island 8 in the Similan Islands. Most also have fireworks displays and lanterns. To be on a boat in the middle of beautiful tropical Islands for New Years Eve is a truly memorable experience. ALL Liveaboards in the Khao Lak area get fully booked very quickly. Book a long time in advance to secure your place for New Years Eve Scuba Diving.

Or just relax…

One of the main reasons people choose Khao Lak is to escape the New Years Eve drunken masses & loud dance music. Spending the day relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean is a refreshing way to enjoy New Years.Khao Lak Beach on New Years Eve Photo by: Raymond Bosma License: CC BY-ND 2.0

There are plenty of activities to do around Khao Lak’s National Parks, Waterfalls, mountains and beaches. Then take things easy with your family at one of Khao Lak’s many beautiful restaurants in the evening. New Years Eve doesn’t have to be so loud!

New Years Eve Fireworks

Title Photo by: Jeff Golden License: CC BY-SA 2.0

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Feb
5
Tue
2019
Chinese New Year
Feb 5 all-day

Happy Chinese New Year! 2016 marks the Year of the Monkey.

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Chinese new year

February 8th 2016 marks the Year of the Monkey. Chinese new year in not a public holiday in Khao Lak but there are still plenty of celebrations around if you know where to look. Khao Lak can also be very busy, as many Chinese tourists come to celebrate the Lunar New year in Thailand.

 

There are quite a lot of Chinese-Thai residents in the Phang Nga and Phuket area. Chinese entrepreneurs arrived here in the 19th Century and started the Tin Mining boom. If you like Scuba Diving you can see a Dive Site of an old Tin Mining vessel called the Boon Sung Wreck. Chinese ancestors are still living here today meaning the surrounding area of Khao Lak is one of the best places in Thailand to witness the festivities of Chinese New Year.Chinese New Year Celebrations Photo by: IQRemix License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Where to go

It may be possible to see firecrackers all around town for Chinese New Year, but the best places to go and soak up the atmosphere is around the Chinese temples. The nearest Chinese Temple to Khao Lak is on the Khuek Khak beach road. It is only small but it is located in a very friendly Thai residential area and is a great place to experience the local culture and take some photos. If you want to travel a bit further then the Old Town and Chinese Temple in Takuapa will be a great place to visit with many more food stalls and celebrations. There is a another Chinese temple down south in Thai Muang. 

All the above are interesting places to visit. But, if you have the time, one of the best place to go in all of the South of Thailand is Phuket town. The Chinese-Thai population is much larger, the ancestry more apparent and the festivals are bigger.  The festivals and shows in Phuket town will usually start a few days before the New Year and it is well worth the visit.

2016: Year of the Monkey

Chinese New Year Zodiac of the Monkey

Photo by: Alice-Astro License: CC BY-SA 3.0

If you were born in 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956 (keep subtracting 12, etc.) then this is your Chinese New year! However, your origin of life year (year of your birth sign), is actually believed to be your most unlucky. So take extra care this year!

The good news is, as a monkey, you are intelligent and very sociable. A fan of practical jokes and mischief. Some people might find this annoying but your intentions are always good and light hearted. You learn quickly and you should trust your inquisitive nature. You should not allow your good ideas to pass by and embrace your more opportunist and ambitious side.

Whatever your Zodiac sign is, its still a fascinating time of year. Khao Lak holidays are not just about Sun, Sea and Sand. There are many festivals and cultural events you can take part in all through the year. For any further advice or information please contact us or take a look at all our Holidays & Festivals Calendar category.

Chinese new year calendar

Title Image by: Jakub Hałun License: CC BY-SA 4.0

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Feb
19
Tue
2019
Makha Bucha Day @ Khuek Khak Temple
Feb 19 all-day

A National Holiday commemorating the very 1st sermon performed by the Buddha.

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Makha Bucha Day

February 22nd 2016 marks Makha Bucha (Magha Puja) day in Thailand. It is a National Holiday for Thai Buddhists to perform merit making actions at their local temple. No alcohol can be served on this day and all bars should be closed.

‘Makha’ is the Thai word for the 3rd Lunar month. ‘Bucha’ means ‘To Honour’. This day celebrates the first sermon the Buddha gave to his disciples and represents the heart of buddhism. The date of the holiday changes every year, as it always falls on the full moon of the third lunar month of the Thai Calendar. The aim of this festival is to not do any wrong doings and to purify yourself.Buddhist Monk procession at Makha Bucha Photo by: John Shedrick License: CC BY 2.0

Where to go

You can visit any Buddhist temple to witness the Makha Bucha processions. If you are in Khao Lak, the nearest and most tourist friendly temple, is the Khuek Khak Temple. If you head down here in the evening you can see or even take part in the ‘Wian Thian’ procession. This roughly translates as the circling candle procession.

How to take part in Makha Bucha

Buddhist Monks and lay people all hold flowers, incense and a lighted candle. They proceed to walk in a clockwise circle around the ordination hall three times, thus representing honour to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. If you visit the temple you can just observe or take part. As this is a day for merit-making, you should find that many Thai people will be happy to help you.

The National holiday is only one day but for many buddhists the occasion lasts for several days. It is a time to stick to the five precepts of Buddhism and a time for meditation and reflection.

Title Image by: Spirit-Fire License: CC BY 2.0

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Apr
8
Mon
2019
Chakri Day
Apr 8 all-day

วันจักรี – 

Paying respect to the nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty.

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How will it affect you?

Chakri Day is a national holiday either celebrated on the 6th of April or the following Monday if it falls on a weekend. Government offices, schools and banks will be closed, but for all tourist businesses things will be running as usual. Alcohol sales are not prohibited.

What is Chakri Day?

If you have spent even a single day in Thailand you will probably soon realise how well revered the King of Thailand is. There are images and tributes to him in every house, every business building and just about anywhere you care to look. If you go to the cinema, make sure you stand up for the National anthem! This respect for the King of Thailand goes back a long way. The current king of Thailand is the ninth in the Chakri Dynasty and today is a day to remember them all.

The nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty, Thailand

The nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty

The Chakri Dynasty emblem, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty emblem, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty was founded by King Rama I in 1782 and the capital of Siam shifted to Krung Thep (modern day Bangkok). King Rama I was a military leader and before the founding of the dynasty he held the position of civil chancellor, referred to at the time as the ‘Chakri’. After founding the Dynasty he took this name with him.

The Chakri emblem is formed of two intertwined weapons, the Chakra (discus) and the Trisula (trident). The word Chakri derives from Sanskrit and means the ‘Wielder of the discus’. The Trident at the centre of the Chakri Dynasty emblem was the weapon of choice for the God Narayana, of which the Thai sovereign is meant to be an incarnation.

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Oct
3
Thu
2019
Autumn Festival ‘Sart Thai’ @ Wat Bang Niang
Oct 3 @ 12:00 – Oct 12 @ 23:30

สารทไทย 3-12 ตุลาคม 58 ที่วัด พนัสนิคม บางเนียง –

Celebrating the blooming rice fields, there will be lots of food, shopping, games & shows

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Scroll down for all the details…

รายละเอียดงานมีดังนี้

 

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3 ต.ค. ถลางแดนซ์ ดาวแดนใต้

4 ต.ค. ซุปเปอร์จาง

5 ต.ค. วงรจนา

6-7 ต.ค. วงสโนไวท์

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8 ต.ค. รำวงย้อนยุคทะเลใต้

9-10 ต.ค. นกกุสุมา

11 ต.ค. วงพาโล

12 ต.ค. อ๊อฟอาร์สยาม

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มีภาพยนต์ทุกคืน

 เทศกาลทำบุญในวันสิ้นเดือน 10 โดยนำพืชพรรณธัญญาหารแรกเก็บเกี่ยวที่ได้มาปรุงเป็นข้าวทิพย์ และข้าวมธุปายาสถวายพระสงฆ์ จะตรงกับวันแรม 15 ค่ำ เดือน 10 ของทุกปี ซึ่งมักจะเริ่มประมาณ ปลายเดือนกันยายนถึงเดือนตุลาคม ประเพณีสารทเดือนสิบ เป็นการลำรึกถึง พระพุธศาสนา ผู้มีอุปการะคุณ ผู้ล่วงลับไปแล้ว และถนุบำรุงศาสนาและประเพณีไทย ทั้งนี้ประเพณีสารเดือนสิบจะเป็นการกระทำโดยขอขมา แด่ประแม่ โพสพโดยเชื่อว่าเป็น เทวดาผู้รักษา ปกครองดูแลพืชพรรณธัญญาหาร ข้าว ปลา โดยชาวบ้านส่วนมากแล้วหลังจากเสร็จพิธีทางศาสนาที่วัดแล้ว ก็จะนำห่อข้าว ห่อน้ำ ไปถวายแก่พระแม่โพสพที่ ท้องไร้ท้องนา ตามความเชื่อของแต่ละคน

Sart Thai

‘Sart Thai’ Festival is originally an Animistic festival, now adopted by Thai Buddhists. The animism aspect refers to the general attribution of a soul to animals and planys. ‘Sart’ derives from a Pali word for season, more specifically autumn. It refers to the days before harvest when the rice grains begin to droop and bloom before they reach full size. The actual harvest is celebrated in November with Loy Krathong Festival.

festival-banner

Observance

Sart Thai is observed in the middle of the traditional Thai Year (Song Kran in April is Thai New Year). Sart Thai falls on the 15th day of the waning moon in the 10th Lunar month. As it is based on the Lunar calendar, the date changes every year. As per usual, it is a time for making merit. Thai Buddhist celebrate Sart Thai by honoring the sprits of the season and also remembering their loved ones that have passed away. Sart Thai’s biggest celebrations are in  Nakhon Si Thammarat but have many celebrations all round the country.

Bang Niang Temple

In the Khao Lak area the celebrations will be taking place at Bang Niang Temple. You can’t miss it, there are flags all around town showing you the way. Head down there any evening to join in the party! The temple has large grounds where they have set up many market stalls. You will be able to buy great food, (not so great) clothing & play the different fair games to win prizes. There are many completely new experiences for you here if it is your first time in Thailand. Lots of market stalls to browse though and new foods to try. Don miss the opportunity to try some of the deep fried, salty insects…

Insects at Sart Thai Festival Photo by: Paul Arps License: CC BY 2.0

The Shows

Every night there will be a show for Sart Thai. There are shows and concerts every night so you can experience a little bit of Local culture. If you can only go one night then probably the most interesting night is on the 8th. This is a bit more interactive. You can get involved with the dancing or just witness everybody else getting involved. Great opportunity for photos.

Rice bloom at Autumn Festival

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Dec
10
Tue
2019
Constitution Day @ khao lak
Dec 10 all-day

A National Holiday marking the end of absolute monarchy and start of constitutional democracy.

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Constitution day 2015

Constitution Day is a National holiday in Thailand. 10th December 1932 marks the end of an absolute monarchy and the start of a constitutional democracy. This essentially means the power belongs to the people of Thailand. However, this still seems to be a work in progress. Since 1932 there have been twenty newly written constitutions or charters. Thats approximately one every 4 years. Below you can see King Prajadhipok (Rama IV) signing the first constitution on 10th December 1932.King Prajadhipok signs the first constitution on Constitution Day, 10th December 1932 Photo: Public Domain

Constitution Day in 2015 is quite a strange event as Thailand doesn’t really have a constitution that they like at the moment. In September 2015 a new charter was rejected. Now it is not expected for there to be democratic elections until some time in 2017. So what does this means for Constitution day? I’m not sure. If you would like to know about Thailand’s current constitution, then for the next few years you need to be looking at the News rather than the History books.

Thailand's Flag

Title Image by: Brandon Fick License: CC BY 2.0

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Apr
8
Wed
2020
Chakri Day
Apr 8 all-day

วันจักรี – 

Paying respect to the nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty.

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How will it affect you?

Chakri Day is a national holiday either celebrated on the 6th of April or the following Monday if it falls on a weekend. Government offices, schools and banks will be closed, but for all tourist businesses things will be running as usual. Alcohol sales are not prohibited.

What is Chakri Day?

If you have spent even a single day in Thailand you will probably soon realise how well revered the King of Thailand is. There are images and tributes to him in every house, every business building and just about anywhere you care to look. If you go to the cinema, make sure you stand up for the National anthem! This respect for the King of Thailand goes back a long way. The current king of Thailand is the ninth in the Chakri Dynasty and today is a day to remember them all.

The nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty, Thailand

The nine kings of the Chakri Dynasty, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty

The Chakri Dynasty emblem, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty emblem, Thailand

The Chakri Dynasty was founded by King Rama I in 1782 and the capital of Siam shifted to Krung Thep (modern day Bangkok). King Rama I was a military leader and before the founding of the dynasty he held the position of civil chancellor, referred to at the time as the ‘Chakri’. After founding the Dynasty he took this name with him.

The Chakri emblem is formed of two intertwined weapons, the Chakra (discus) and the Trisula (trident). The word Chakri derives from Sanskrit and means the ‘Wielder of the discus’. The Trident at the centre of the Chakri Dynasty emblem was the weapon of choice for the God Narayana, of which the Thai sovereign is meant to be an incarnation.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Oct
3
Sat
2020
Autumn Festival ‘Sart Thai’ @ Wat Bang Niang
Oct 3 @ 12:00 – Oct 12 @ 23:30

สารทไทย 3-12 ตุลาคม 58 ที่วัด พนัสนิคม บางเนียง –

Celebrating the blooming rice fields, there will be lots of food, shopping, games & shows

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Scroll down for all the details…

รายละเอียดงานมีดังนี้

 

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3 ต.ค. ถลางแดนซ์ ดาวแดนใต้

4 ต.ค. ซุปเปอร์จาง

5 ต.ค. วงรจนา

6-7 ต.ค. วงสโนไวท์

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

8 ต.ค. รำวงย้อนยุคทะเลใต้

9-10 ต.ค. นกกุสุมา

11 ต.ค. วงพาโล

12 ต.ค. อ๊อฟอาร์สยาม

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มีภาพยนต์ทุกคืน

 เทศกาลทำบุญในวันสิ้นเดือน 10 โดยนำพืชพรรณธัญญาหารแรกเก็บเกี่ยวที่ได้มาปรุงเป็นข้าวทิพย์ และข้าวมธุปายาสถวายพระสงฆ์ จะตรงกับวันแรม 15 ค่ำ เดือน 10 ของทุกปี ซึ่งมักจะเริ่มประมาณ ปลายเดือนกันยายนถึงเดือนตุลาคม ประเพณีสารทเดือนสิบ เป็นการลำรึกถึง พระพุธศาสนา ผู้มีอุปการะคุณ ผู้ล่วงลับไปแล้ว และถนุบำรุงศาสนาและประเพณีไทย ทั้งนี้ประเพณีสารเดือนสิบจะเป็นการกระทำโดยขอขมา แด่ประแม่ โพสพโดยเชื่อว่าเป็น เทวดาผู้รักษา ปกครองดูแลพืชพรรณธัญญาหาร ข้าว ปลา โดยชาวบ้านส่วนมากแล้วหลังจากเสร็จพิธีทางศาสนาที่วัดแล้ว ก็จะนำห่อข้าว ห่อน้ำ ไปถวายแก่พระแม่โพสพที่ ท้องไร้ท้องนา ตามความเชื่อของแต่ละคน

Sart Thai

‘Sart Thai’ Festival is originally an Animistic festival, now adopted by Thai Buddhists. The animism aspect refers to the general attribution of a soul to animals and planys. ‘Sart’ derives from a Pali word for season, more specifically autumn. It refers to the days before harvest when the rice grains begin to droop and bloom before they reach full size. The actual harvest is celebrated in November with Loy Krathong Festival.

festival-banner

Observance

Sart Thai is observed in the middle of the traditional Thai Year (Song Kran in April is Thai New Year). Sart Thai falls on the 15th day of the waning moon in the 10th Lunar month. As it is based on the Lunar calendar, the date changes every year. As per usual, it is a time for making merit. Thai Buddhist celebrate Sart Thai by honoring the sprits of the season and also remembering their loved ones that have passed away. Sart Thai’s biggest celebrations are in  Nakhon Si Thammarat but have many celebrations all round the country.

Bang Niang Temple

In the Khao Lak area the celebrations will be taking place at Bang Niang Temple. You can’t miss it, there are flags all around town showing you the way. Head down there any evening to join in the party! The temple has large grounds where they have set up many market stalls. You will be able to buy great food, (not so great) clothing & play the different fair games to win prizes. There are many completely new experiences for you here if it is your first time in Thailand. Lots of market stalls to browse though and new foods to try. Don miss the opportunity to try some of the deep fried, salty insects…

Insects at Sart Thai Festival Photo by: Paul Arps License: CC BY 2.0

The Shows

Every night there will be a show for Sart Thai. There are shows and concerts every night so you can experience a little bit of Local culture. If you can only go one night then probably the most interesting night is on the 8th. This is a bit more interactive. You can get involved with the dancing or just witness everybody else getting involved. Great opportunity for photos.

Rice bloom at Autumn Festival

Photo by: Khedara License: CC BY 2.0[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Dec
10
Thu
2020
Constitution Day @ khao lak
Dec 10 all-day

A National Holiday marking the end of absolute monarchy and start of constitutional democracy.

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Constitution day 2015

Constitution Day is a National holiday in Thailand. 10th December 1932 marks the end of an absolute monarchy and the start of a constitutional democracy. This essentially means the power belongs to the people of Thailand. However, this still seems to be a work in progress. Since 1932 there have been twenty newly written constitutions or charters. Thats approximately one every 4 years. Below you can see King Prajadhipok (Rama IV) signing the first constitution on 10th December 1932.King Prajadhipok signs the first constitution on Constitution Day, 10th December 1932 Photo: Public Domain

Constitution Day in 2015 is quite a strange event as Thailand doesn’t really have a constitution that they like at the moment. In September 2015 a new charter was rejected. Now it is not expected for there to be democratic elections until some time in 2017. So what does this means for Constitution day? I’m not sure. If you would like to know about Thailand’s current constitution, then for the next few years you need to be looking at the News rather than the History books.

Thailand's Flag

Title Image by: Brandon Fick License: CC BY 2.0

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