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  • OPINION

    Deliver us from apathy

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 10/12/2018

    » It became the talk of the town when social-media posts last week unveiled a sign saying: "Using the postal service of Thailand Post means repaying the debts of gratitude that you owe to your country". The message led to widespread negative criticism. Many people were upset and complained the state enterprise should not have demanded people's gratefulness when it offers a poor service.

  • THAILAND

    A royal agricultural legacy

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 25/10/2018

    » Although King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away two years ago, he left behind priceless legacies from his more than 4,000 royal projects nationwide. One of his major initiatives is soil aggravation, which won a patent from the Department of Intellectual Property in 2007. Anyone wishing to learn about this royal brainchild can visit Pikun Thong Development Study Centre in Muang Narathiwat, where acidic peat soil was improved with the king's help.

  • LIFE

    A caravan of friendship

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 09/08/2018

    » Travelling in a four-wheel-drive on a 2,700km route from Myanmar's old capital of Yangon through Thailand via the Dawei-Kanchanaburi border sounds tough for many. Yet, it was considered a small adventure for some 80 Myanmar and Thai people who recently took part in the "Myanmar Tourism Marketing-Tourism Authority of Thailand Heritage Trail Tourism Cross-Border Rally" because most of them love challenges.

  • OPINION

    Construction destruction

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 09/07/2018

    » Problems commonly faced by Bangkokians living in small alleys in Bangkok include the lack of footpaths, danger and vibration caused by running lorries and big buses, and the mushrooming of high-rise buildings. To me and my relatives, we encounter most of these problems.

  • OPINION

    Empathy and difficult choices

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 17/04/2017

    » That skinny woman clad in a sari carrying an infant in her arms waited for me in front of the bus door. A few small children wearing dirty torn clothes gathered around my legs looking up at me. Like robots, they repeatedly uttered words "Sawasdee, Maharanee [meaning a queen]. Khob khun kha", begging me to give them money. These sights and sounds were common at all pilgrimage sites in India I visited recently. Initially, I felt pity for them until I asked the guide and friends if I should give them money. They warned me against more beggars' arrivals.

  • TRAVEL

    A royal legacy

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 09/02/2017

    » Forty years ago, a five-year-old me was in a jeep that zigzagged past mountains, slopes and lush valleys to Angkhang Mountain, about 1,400m above sea level, in Chiang Mai's Fang district. At that time, many parts of the mountain were full of opium farms. Thousands of red, pink and white poppies were in full bloom and attracted tourists who enjoyed taking photographs and bought dried opium poppies as souvenirs.

  • TRAVEL

    The art of the craft

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 06/10/2016

    » When it comes to cultural attractions relating to Her Majesty the Queen's royal projects, the Support Foundation's Bang Sai Handicraft Centre in Bang Sai district, Ayutthaya province, may first come to many people's minds. However, the nearby Si Bua Thong Handicraft Centre in Ang Thong province is also worth a visit because you will be able to see the embroidery of khon mask dance costumes, the production of the rare pha yok (traditional silk brocades) and khon masks for the annual Royal Khon Performance there.

  • TRAVEL

    Fertile merit-making

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 07/01/2016

    » It is rare to be able to witness several major rituals at one place in one day. Fortunately, the ongoing Jim Thompson Farm tour in Nakhon Ratchasima makes it possible by simulating six rice-related ceremonies of northeastern people under the concept of "Mang Moon Bun Khao". In Isan dialect, "Mang Moon Bun Khao" reflects cultural diversity and fertility of the rice culture in the Northeast, or Isan. It reflects the close ties between rice and the local way of life, as seen in the "Heet Sibsong", or a year-long series of merit-making traditions and beliefs.

  • OPINION

    Debunking myth, retelling history

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 28/10/2015

    » History or patriotic myth? When I first heard of a new book, The Thai History, I thought of nothing but another government effort to build a sense of nationalism among Thais. The 208-page book was written by the Fine Arts Department and launched last Thursday at the National Book Fair.

  • LIFE

    Her ribbons of love wind around your heart

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 12/08/2015

    » To celebrate Mother's Day today, Life talks to three brave mums whose strength was the powerful driving force behind their children

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