Karaoke is also a favourite pass time and the local people enjoy their nights out with music, good food and a few drinks (especially local beer – not bad at all – and also whiskey) and the best way to experience this is to go out with Thai people to fully appreciate this local revelry.
Then there is the Thai kickboxing on Saturdays. There is a boxing ring in Lamai and it is surrounded with lady bars. If you ask any tourist who has visited the island, they will immediately recognise the blaring sound coming from pick up trucks. “Lady and gentlemen… Tonight, tonight… get your seat earlier, get your seat earlier… the champ of the champ, the best of the best… Never to be disappointed!” This is also a chance for the locals to have a good time (even doing the not so legal betting…).
One thing I do want to mention, is my struggle with the Thai dates. The numbering of the years being the first point. We are officially now in 2053 and sometimes it is very difficult to work out the ages of people and cars or motorbikes or when the fair starts or ends.
Here is just some more information to totally confuse you if you are like me:
The Thai lunar calendar is Thailand’s version of the Buddhist calendar used in the southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Burma. Based on the third-century Surya Siddhante Hindu calendar, these combine lunar and solar calendars for a nominal year of 12 months. An extra day or an extra 30-day month is intercalated at regular intervals; Thai, Lao, and Cambodian versions do not add an extra day to years already with an extra month. Months in the Thai calendar are defined by lunar cycles. Successive months (or lunations) are numbered from 1 to 12 within the Thai year. Two successive lunations take slightly more than 59 days. The Thai lunar calendar approximates this interval with normal-month pairs of 29 and 30 day months: 29 if an odd-numbered month 30 if an even-numbered month.. A 29-day lunation is called a hollow month ; a 30-day lunation is called a full month. To keep the beginning of the month in sync with the new moon, from time to time either a normally hollow Month takes an extra day, or an extra full Month follows normal.
– The first month, begins the cycle of counting the months anew, most frequently in December, but does not signify the beginning of a new year.
– The second month, is an even-numbered full month that is 30 days long.
– Months three though six, use the modern way to read numbers as do all remaining months. Months 3–6, as they alternate odd and even are alternately 29-day hollow months or 30 day full months.
– Month seven, a hollow month, is normally 29 days long in years of 354 days, but adds an extra day when required for 355-day-long extra-day years .
– The eighth month, is a 30 day full month. The last four months, complete the lunar cycle.
So I beg off you to try and understand which Thai date and year we are experiencing today… If you know, please let me know too!
Later in the month, we are heading for Songkran – Thai New Year – and there is much to tell about this big festival. So watch out for this update as long as you do not expect me to give the dates in Thai. Enjoy your month and I will enjoy my ‘whatever month’ 2053.