Connect with us

Thailand

Around 100 foreigners allegedly scammed by housing project company

Caitlin Ashworth

Published 

 on 

Around 100 foreigners allegedly scammed by housing project company | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DSI

A housing project in the central province Phetchaburi is under fire after it allegedly defrauded around 100 foreigners with damages totalling 2 billion baht. The housing project allegedly issued illegal land documents and lured in foreign buyers, primarily from the United Kingdom and Russia, advertising the project on websites marketed toward those overseas.

Most of the land title deeds for the Phetchaburi Park Project were allegedly for land in a national forest reserve. After an inspection by local officials, the land documents were reportedly revoked. Around 100 foreigners, who all had paid in full to buy land and houses in the project, lost a total of 2 billion baht.

A petition was filed with the Department of Special Investigation, calling on the department to investigate the alleged fraud. President of the Stop Global Warming Association, Srisuwan Janya, filed the petition with Rusan Ataev, from Russia, and Marcos Hurst, from the United Kingdom, who were both claiming damages.

Sirsuwan says 99% of the land title deeds under the Phetchaburi Park Project were inside a national forest reserve, adding that the documents were illegally issued. Local officials reviewed the housing project in July 2020 and reported to the Royal Forest Department that most of the land under the project was in the national forest reserve. The land documents were then revoked.

Hurst claims he purchased a block of land from the housing project for 3 million baht, but later learned foreigners cannot purchase land in Thailand. The company closed down and the man says he was unable to claim payment for the damages.

Hurst lives in Pattaya and has been in Thailand for the past 10 years. He saw an advertisement for the housing project 6 years ago, adding that it was marketed toward foreigners. Since he had owned a condominium unit, Hurst says he assumed he could buy land in Thailand.

Sirsuwan says the company ran other projects in Pattaya and Phuket marketing toward expats in Thailand. He says 98% of the company’s shares were held by British and Russian nationals while the rest were held by Thais.

The DSI director general Korawat Panprapakorn says the department may accept it as a special case, adding that his official will check with Royal Forestry and Land departments to find out if the land documents were illegally issued.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Geoff

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Shall I say it, or will you?

  2. Avatar

    Gosport

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Foreign folks are cheated by foreign folks. Poor Thai takes the blame. Thais are not capable playing big.

  3. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    “Hurst claims he purchased a block of land from the housing project for 3 million baht, but later learned foreigners cannot purchase land in Thailand.”

    Not much sympathy from me. Before investing anything in a foreign country…due diligence.

    • Avatar

      Reverend H. Goatboy

      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      hurst also claims to have lived in thailand for 10 years, so I find it difficult to believe his ignorance.

    • Avatar

      BS

      Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      Russians – they dont know anything about the world and are not interested so let them have it the hard way..

  4. Avatar

    Robert Elliott

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    It doesnt require much due diligance its common knowledge that foreigners cant own land in Thailand. There is a sucker born every minute.

  5. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Welcome to the Land of Scams.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    “… it allegedly defrauded around 100 foreigners with damages totalling 2 billion baht.”

    So they paid 20 million each without checking the title deeds? Except Hurst, who only paid 3 million?

  7. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    The customers have allegedly paid 100 percent cash up front for the land and the houses to be built on it before a single brick was laid!
    They have also clearly done zero due diligence?strange?

  8. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    How can you live in Thailand for 10 years and never know foreigners can’t own land? It’s not like it’s a hidden secret. Clearly all of them did no due diligence done before hand. I get it’s easy to get cheated in Thailand, heck you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a scammer. However, if there is country where it’s advisable to hire a lawyer before committing money to a business venture, it’s Thailand. No one deserves to be cheated, but this guy gets pretty close to that line.

    • Avatar

      sam charles

      Friday, February 5, 2021 at 6:54 am

      Very well written, 100% true

      • Avatar

        P D N

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 2:47 am

        Not ALL lawyers are the real thing in Thailand, several years ago a Scotish conman (among others) was doing the rounds. Check out investigative journalist Andrew Drummond for the details of what lies in wait for the unwary/stupid/gullible.

    • Avatar

      Devin

      Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      How can you live in Thailand for 10 years and never know foreigners can’t own land?

      Especially when you have been working as a real estate agent in Pattaya for years. A statement like that will not instill much confidence with your clients.

  9. Avatar

    James R

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:09 am

    It seems to me so many foreigners live who live in Thailand do not actually learn from being there.

    They seem to hang around with other such foreigners in places like Pattaya where real Thai life does not exist, they do not integrate, they do not learn the language and instead live in the plastic land of farangs, many of them are married to ex bar girls where 99% of them are from Issan and thus do not have the education or brains to guide their farang partners to what are the right or wrong things to consider while living in Thailand.

    It is their own fault.

    There are many large property developers in Thailand who are trustworthy and have been around for decades, so do research before buying.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:48 am

      100% correct! Only buy a condo and only buy from a big developer with a long, successful track record!

  10. Avatar

    James Pate

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:58 am

    All those foreign “shareholders” have left Thailand, moved on to a new scam, changed their names and dyed their hair by now. These fools won’t get back 1 satang. A few petty officials may eventually be punished, but that’s all.

    • Avatar

      Robert Elliot

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      No official will be punished. In Thailand when foreigners ripoff other foreigners nothing happens

  11. Avatar

    chupapi

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 6:57 am

    seriously, you live here from 10 years and you dont know the basics law about land ownership? i visit thailand from 2014 and well before arriving the first time i informed myself about what i can and cannot do or possess here. no, dear, you deserve to be scammed.

  12. Avatar

    Giovanni Riccella

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 9:19 am

    My question is this….How in the bloody hell, do you live in Pattaya, Thailand and NOT KNOW how foreign ownership works? Are you an IDIOT? If you LIVE in Thailand, or any other foreign country, then maybe you should make an effort to know the laws, especially when investing.

    • Avatar

      Ray

      Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:58 pm

      It doesn’t surprise me at all. Each time I visit LOS I am amazed to see these high number of retirees who look like they are plucked from the outback or badlands 40 years ago and dropped 4 decades fast forward in the middle of the street. By their hair style, clothes and forlorn look you can tell immediately how disconnected they are. I can’t help thinking they are probably outcasts in their home country.

  13. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 10:21 am

    There must have been Thai lawyers involved.
    Nobody would pay anything without a Thai lawyer stating it was all legal, and correct.
    In Thailand, buy beer, food, hotels rooms, and lady drinks. Pay cash, and count your change-twice.
    No banks accounts, no buying houses for a bar girl, and you might not be scammed, but there is still a chance

  14. Avatar

    Tony

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    No problem. I have a friend of a friend who’s friend can do for and then when things go wrong that friend of a friend cant find he move away, Where ?Don’t know Sorry.

  15. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    ASSUME = ASS U ME

  16. Avatar

    Mike Houston

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve only visited Thailand and I knew that you couldn’t buy land. How could he have lived there for 10 years and also have bought property and didn’t know that fact? I call BS or complete stupidity. A fool and his money are soon parted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Opinion

Americans tend to misuse the Buddha image, but a Florida nightclub takes it too far – OPINION

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Americans tend to misuse the Buddha image, but a Florida nightclub takes it too far – OPINION | The Thaiger
Photo by Tangra Club

Americans tend to misuse the Buddha image, but a nightclub in Tampa, Florida has taken it too far by placing a giant Buddha statue at its rooftop bar, allowing drunk people to sit and pose for photos, and even jump off on the statue. Businesses play an important role in society, and when they misuse a religious figure or image that is highly respected in other countries, it can lead to widespread ignorance and misconception.

If you’ve been in Bangkok, you’ve likely seen some of the billboards by the Knowing Buddha Organisation put up to educate foreign tourists that Buddha is not for decoration and tattoos of the Buddha are extremely inappropriate. Some tourists in other Southeast Asian countries have faced arrest and deportation for having a Buddha tattoo, unaware it is illegal and extremely inappropriate to have the Buddha image on their body. Knowing Buddha says “the world has gone too far in using Buddha images wrongly, with lack of consideration.”

The Tampa nightclub is just adding to the misconception and leading to more cultural unawareness. Go go dancers posed in front of the Buddha in a photo posted on the club’s Instragram page. One woman at the club sat on the Buddha as she chugged a bottle of what appears to be champagne. Another woman posted a photo of her basically in her underwear sitting on the Buddha statue and wrote the caption “Pray to your goddess.”

Americans tend to misuse the Buddha image, but a Florida nightclub takes it too far - OPINION | News by The Thaiger

Tangra Club is in Ybor City, a historic Cuban district in Tampa known for its wild and eclectic nightlife. It’s got just about everything for everyone – numerous drag shows, both male and female go go dancers, dive bars, raves, craft beer bars, Cuban cigar lounges, a Coyote Ugly bar, night clubs with music of all the popular genres, even a fetish club.

Right in the beating heart of all the madness is Tangra Club with a giant, sparkling statue of Buddha sitting in the meditation pose at the club’s “Paradise Rooftop Bar.” If you want to talk about misuse, well that’s it.

The “Super Bowl streaker” even hit up the club the other week and jumped off the Buddha before taking off his shirt, revealing the same pink one-piece he wore when he ran nearly-naked across the football field, interrupting the Super Bowl game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The #SuperBowlStreaker back it again at the Bucs private celebration party 🤦🏻‍♂️😂

Posted by Tangra Nightclub on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Buddha looks like it’s become a logo for the club. They even put an eye patch and Mardi Gras beads on a graphic of the Buddha with pirate ships in the background on a promotional post for its after party for Gasparilla Pirate Festival, an annual parade and reenactment of the pirate invasion by local legend Jose Gaspar. Basically a pirate-themed Mardi Gras. The caption said “Our Buddha is Gaspy ready…Are you?” One commenter even asked “Do you have a name for your Buddha?”

Americans tend to misuse the Buddha image, but a Florida nightclub takes it too far - OPINION | News by The Thaiger

Instagram

On the club’s website, it says the Tangra’s “multi million dollar renovation will feature pieces & furnishings made #EXCLUSIVELY for Tangra Nightclub by European artists, architects and craftsmen.”

If the Buddha statue was done by a highly paid artist, you would think at least one person would have done a little research… like a quick Google search. Instead they’re just cashing in on a trend they don’t seem to understand. And in America, Buddha is in fashion.

For the American “millennial hippie” (that’s what I’m calling them), Buddhism seems to be based on meditation and opening the “third eye.” And a lot of Americans don’t even get into Buddhism until they’ve tripped on acid a dozen times and decided to start on some psychedelic path to what they think is “enlightenment.” There’s even Buddha ecstasy pills and Buddha LSD blotter sheets. (Google it.) Take what you want from other religions when exploring your spirituality, but don’t put Buddha on a blotter sheet.

Americans who are into “Buddhism” often say they’re “spiritual, but not religious” and that Buddhism is actually a “philosophy, not a religion.” (I guess that’s why no one cares about breaking the no drugs and alcohol rule.) An associate professor for religious studies heard the same thing and wrote an article about it for the website The Conversation called “Why so many Americans think Buddhism is just a philosophy.”

Other Beat poets, hippies and, later, New Age DIY self-helpers have also paradoxically mistaken Buddhism for a kind of self-indulgent narcissism, despite its teachings of selflessness and compassion. Still others have commercially exploited its exotic appeal to sell everything from “Zen tea” to “Lucky Buddha Beer,” which is particularly ironic given Buddhism’s traditional proscription against alcohol and other intoxicants.

With the lack of travel over the past year due to the pandemic, it’s likely that the cultural divide will only grow. Based on the Tangra Club’s Instagram, it looks like they’re only adding to cultural ignorance among Americans.

Want to know what’s considered respectful? Visit knowingbuddha.org.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer and editor at The Thaiger. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect the views of The Thaiger staff.

Got a Thailand-related topic you feel strongly about? Submit a story to editor@thethaiger.com. In the subject of the email, please write “OPINION: (suggested headline).”

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Food Scene

Bring on the heat… here’s our list of the spiciest Thai food

Avatar

Published

on

By

Bring on the heat… here’s our list of the spiciest Thai food | The Thaiger
Photo via Pixelbay

Thai food is raved about as one the best cuisines in the world… and the spiciest. The small red and green Thai chillies are typically what gives the dishes that extra kick, while dried chilli flakes and chilli paste, known as nam prik pao, are often served on the side to make the dishes even spicier.

While some foreigners come to Thailand with a palate prepared for spicy food, others can’t handle the heat and Thais will typically lessen the spice level for visitors, calling it “phet farang,” a more mild spice level for foreigners. Some restaurants and street food vendors may ask “Gin phet dai mai?” meaning “Can you eat spicy food?” For yes, say “dai,” and for no, say “mai dai.”

The spice level for many dishes can be vary depending on the number of chilli peppers. Many spicy Thai dishes come with a side of cucumbers and other herbs and fresh vegetables to help bring down the heat.

1.Kaeng tai pla – Thai southern-style curry with fish entrails

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Wikimedia Commons

Even some Thais don’t try this dish, so be warned. Kaeng Tai Pla is one of the most well-known local dishes in the south of Thailand and one of the spiciest Thai meals.

Kaeng Tai Pla is known for its combination of salty, hot and spicy flavors. The main ingredient is the fish entrails that are fermented with salt for around a month before it’s cooked. A special chilli paste is made specifically for the dish from garlic, shallots, white peppers, black peppers, dried chillies, kaffir lime vest, lemongrass and turmeric. The curry is typically served with a side of rice or rice noodles as well as a large plate of fresh vegetables to help with the heat.

2. Kaeng pa – Thai curry with vegetables

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Kaeng pa, which means “jungle curry,” is a watery, hot and flavourful curry. There’s no coconut milk added to cool it down, so be warned. It’s one of Thailand’s spiciest curries. It’s made with kaffir lime peel and leaves, lemongrass, green peppercorns, galangal, garlic and chilli. Traditional Kaeng pa was made with wild boar, but today, the curry is typically made with pork, chicken or fish.

3. Tom yum – Classic hot and sour soup

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Flickr

Tom Yum is one of the most well known Thai foods. The spicy soup, known for its herbal flavors, is made from lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, tamarind, chillis, mushrooms and coriander. It’s typically made with shrimp or a large prawn (tom yum goong), but can also be made with chicken (tom yum gai.) Coconut milk is often added to the soup, which lowers the level of spiciness and sweetens the flavour. To make it extra spicy, ask for the clear tom yum without coconut milk called tom yum nam sai.

4. Leng sab – Sour and Spicy Pork Neck Bone Soup

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Flickr

Leng Sab is a simple, but spicy dish and is very popular among Thais. It has a similar taste to Tom Yum, but has a sharper tanginess and a unique aroma from the green chillis. The dish is usually served hot with a large piece of well-boiled, soft pork neck in a flavorful broth. Lime juice and green chillies are added in to give a tanginess and heat. It’s garnished with coriander and spring onions. It’s typically served with a side of rice.

5. Kua kling – Stir-fried meat with curry paste

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Pixabay

Kua Kling is a famous stir-fried dish from Southern Thailand. Typically made with minced pork, Kua Kling has salty and spicy flavours as well as aromatic notes of various herbs and spices. It’s less spicy than Kaeng Tai Pla, but still extremely spicy. The dish can be served with rice and fresh vegetables like cucumber, Thai eggplant and other greens to help with the heat.

6. Kaeng som – Spicy and sour yellow curry soup

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Wikimedia Commons

Kaeng Som, which translates to “orange curry,” is a southern-style curry known for its salty, sour and spicy tastes. It’s made from a combination of herbs and spices, and seasoned with shrimp paste, salt and lime juice. People usually add fish as well as bamboo and coconut shoots to the curry. Sides of a Thai-style omelet and a deep fried fish go well with the curry.

7. Som tum – Green papaya salad

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Pixabay

Som tum is one of the most famous Thai foods and is a “must try” dish when visiting Thailand. Som tum is made from shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, asparagus beans, lime, dried shrimp, chilli peppers, palm sugar and fish sauce.

Typically, a som tum vendor will ask how many chillies you’d like. “Mai sai prik” means “no chilli,” but let’s be honest, som tum without chilli is not real som tum. Around 3 or 4 chillies is normal, but very spicy. Some add 10 or more chillies. The salad goes well with sticky rice and grilled chicken, known in Thai as “gai yang.”

There’s also other variations of som tum, such as som tum pon la mai which is a fruit verison of the recipe with apple, tomato and corn in the same spicy seasoning as the original. There’s also som tum pu pla ra which has raw crab and fermented fish sauce.

8. Phad kaphrao – Stir-fried meat with chilli and holy basil

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Flickr

Phad kaphrao is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand. The simple stir-fried dish is made with meat, typically chicken or pork, with chilli, garlic and holy basil. Some pad kaphrao dishes are made with shrimp, squid or crispy pork. It’s served with a side of steamed rice, which helps to minimize the heat. It also pairs well with a fried egg, or “khai dao” in Thai.

9. Phad chaa talay – Stir-fried spicy seafood

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Flickr

Phad chaa talay is packed with a variety of herbs and spices, giving it a unique flavour combination, and of course, heat. This spicy dish is made with a variety of seafood like squid and prawns cooked with chilli, kaffir lime leaves, green peppercorn and fingerroot. The dish is sometimes made with pork, chicken or fish. It’s usually eaten with a side of rice.

10. Khai phad khamin – Stir-fried spicy chicken with turmeric

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Khai phad khamin is a spicy dish with rich flavours of Thai herbs and spices. Turmeric is the dish a bold yellow. A paste for the dish is made with turmeric, garlic and black pepper. It’s garnished with chillies and kaffir lime leaves. While it’s not as spicy as some Thai dishes, the turmeric and black pepper are sure to make you sweat.

11. Tom sab kradook on – Spicy and sour soup with pork cartilage

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Tom sab kradook is based with the same ingredients as tom yum (lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilli and coriander) but is added with deep-fried dry chilli. It has the spicy and sour taste of tom yum with a smokiness from the deep-fried chillies. Pork cartilage is a popular meat for the dish. The soup is normally accompanied with rice.

12. Gung kua phrik klua – Stir-fried spicy shrimp with chillies and salt

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Gung kau phrik klua is a simple dish often offered at Thai restaurants. It’s stir-fried shrimp with 2 main seasonings: chilli and salt. A pinch of pepper and some fish sauce are also added to enhance the natural sweetness of the shrimp. It goes nicely with a bowl of rice.

13. Nua phad phet bai yee ra – Stir-fried beef with red curry and tree basil

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Nua phad phet bai yee ra is stir-fried beef cooked in a thick paste, which is made with the same ingredients as red curry: shallot, galanga, lemongrass, kaffir lime zest, dried chilli, white pepper, coriander seeds, cumin and garlic. It’s topped with tree basil and pair nicely with rice.

14. Nam phrik kapi – Shrimp paste chilli dip

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Nam phrik kapi is the staple chilli dip of Central Thailand. The dip is a savoury combination of salty, tangy and spicy. Shrimp paste gives the dominant salty favour. Chillies, garlic, shallot, lime juice and palm sugar are mixed in. The dip is typically served with deep-fried mackerel, steamed vegetables and rice.

15. Pad phrik khing – Stir-fried dry curry with long green beans and meat

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Wikimedia Commons

Pad phrik khing is a more mild spice level than some of Thailand’s spiciest dishes. The stir-fried dish can be made with different kinds of meat, like seafood, pork or chicken as well as green beans. Red curry paste, ginger and kaffir lime leaves make up a unique flavour. A salted egg goes well with the dish.

16. Mu phad phrik phao – Stir-fried pork with roasted chilli paste

Bring on the heat... here's our list of the spiciest Thai food | News by The Thaiger

Mu phad phrik phao is stir-fried pork with roasted chilli paste, which gives the dish a hint of sweetness and sourness. Sweet basil is often added. Some use other types of meat like chicken, crispy pork or fish. It’s best with a bowl of rice.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Why Thai locals make homes for the spirits

Avatar

Published

on

Why Thai locals make homes for the spirits | The Thaiger
Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Spirits are everywhere in Thailand. That’s what many locals believe. Spirits are said to inhabit the miniature, temple-like structures, known as spirit houses, which are placed outside nearly every Thai home, plantation, hotel and even between Bangkok’s high-rise buildings. Flowers, bright red soda and other offerings for the spirits are routinely placed on the dollhouse-sized structures as a form of respect to the spirit world as well as to bring luck and to ward off evil.

The shrines are also known as “phi” houses, “phi” meaning spirit, as well as “san phra phum” in Thai, meaning “house of the guardian spirit.” While many visitors attribute the tiny, intricately detailed houses to Buddhism, they were actually are born out of Animism, the practice of believing that objects, places and creature have a spirit. Thai culture fuses both Buddhism and Animism together. For many Thais, almost everything possesses a spiritual essence.

Going along with Animism, the spirit houses fulfill a purpose: to hold a spirit. Many Thais are wildly superstitious and believe that paying respect and acknowledging spirits bring them good luck while also warding off the bad. The houses are built to hold the spirits of the homes or businesses, with Thais believing that if you don’t appease the spirits, they can cause bad things to happen.

Assembling a phi house is not an easy process as it is surrounded by traditions and ceremonies, right down to its chosen colour. A Buddhist ceremony is held when a phi house is set to be installed, where first, a monk or fortune teller, will perform a reading of an astrological chart. That reading will yield which colour the house should be painted. Then, a 2 metre hole will be dug out, in which owners put amulets, money, and colourful stones in the bottom of the hole. The monk will bless the site where the new spirit house will stand and incense will be lit to get rid of any bad energy.

The phi house’s location is also important and carefully decided, with most being placed in front of a tree, preferably an old one. But, that’s not all. The house should also not be located to the left of a door, and should not face a toilet or a road, or soi, as it is called in Thai.

The houses are placed on either 1 or 4 concrete pillars. Those houses set upon 4 pillars are designated for either the spirit or the ghost of the land, which can bring good or bad luck to its inhabitants. Those standing on 1 pillar are set higher from the ground and feature 2 statues: an old woman and an old man, which symbolise the owner’s ancestors. These houses will also have another phi house where an angel can be found inside holding a sword and money. These are called Saan Pha Phum, with the angel being held responsible for protecting the owners of the land as well as bringing fortune and good luck.

Outside the houses, food and drinks can be found as offerings to the spirits. Common foods include bananas, coconuts, desserts and rice. Any offering of sweet foods or drinks is attributed to the spirits having a sweet tooth. And, for drinks, you may notice that most drinks placed outside the houses are red in colour and look like strawberry Fanta. That’s because they are, indeed, the sweet red soda.

It’s not by mistake that the soda resembles blood as it is meant to do just that. In earlier times, animal sacrifices were commonplace in shrine rituals, but King Rama I made the practice illegal. Now, during bigger phi house ceremonies, animals are not sacrificed, but a pig’s head has come to replace the previous ritual. After celebrating the installation of a spirit house, people then consume the pig head.

Why are animal sacrifices part of the spirit house blessings? The answer lies within the meaning of blood in Thai culture. For blood is synonymous with life. It is also believed that it can bring good fortune as well as keeping the land fertile for crops. So, live animals were traditionally given as gifts to the gods.

As with all traditions, modernisation has occurred, especially with the materials that comprise the spirit houses. In older times, they were handmade of wood. In some smaller villages, these original types of houses can still be seen. Now, spirit houses are made of metal and concrete as special shops have made the houses in bulk. The houses can be seen in all different sizes, with most government institutions and shopping centres having quite large ones, while poorer familial dwellings feature smaller ones.

To pay respect to a phi house, many people burn 9 incense sticks while praying for good luck. The number 9 is considered lucky in Thailand. If invited to stay overnight at a Thai home, it is customary to ask the spirits for sweet dreams and a blessing in the form of a prayer. And, it doesn’t hurt to keep any perceived bad luck out by stopping by to say hello to the ghosts that occupy the land, reminding them that you are staying only temporarily. Heeding to this advice could help you avoid what could happen if you ignore the potentially ominous presence that Thais believe occupies the beautifully detailed houses that are not adorning the property by mistake.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism4 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending