Local Thai Experiences

Drinking can be for survival or fun. However, the drinking culture in Thai is unique in that a traveler mustn’t miss out. In Thailand, you will experience drinking cost-effective beers called Chang or Leo, fermented rice liquor, lime juice, Thai iced coffee, or just a cold cocktail to ensure your day is fun.

If you plan to visit Thailand, read on for some basic information on finding the best drinks and places to enjoy your drinks.

Popular Thai Drinks

Most countries have unique drinks as part of their culture. In Thailand, drinking together is a way to bond and make friends for fun.

Beers are prevalent, with the most pervasive brand being inexpensive. Remarkably, you can pass the long tropical nights enjoying either craft or industrial beers. However, if you are looking for something more robust, a cocktail special by Thai culture would do magic. Also, during the day, you should keep your body hydrated and your taste buds excited by enjoying fruit juice or Thai iced coffee.

Thai Drinking Etiquette

As mentioned earlier, drinking in Thailand is different from many cultures. Apart from the various drinks, the etiquette also differs.

When you are with your friends out drinking, it is always a nice gesture in Thai to pour a drink to someone. Also, when you are making a toast, it is always best to start toasting to the older people first, then the others following.

Better yet, as the host, you should sit in the middle of the table and not the head. Amazingly even though it rarely happens, older people should settle most of the bill, if not all.

Unlike the western countries where people drink first then eat later, Thai people love to eat first. They will keep eating small amounts of food throughout the night to avoid getting very drunk.

Drinking Culture in Thai

Thai people love to enjoy themselves at the bar even though the drinking culture is somewhat different.

In Thailand, people drinking try not to be loud or lose control. This way, they will thoroughly enjoy themselves while maintaining a relaxed environment. The drunken behavior of shouting, fighting, or even harassing people is unacceptable because they term drinking a happy and social moment with friends.

The most common areas for Thai people to enjoy their drinks are bars, karaoke bars, or nightclubs. However, they maintain their groups while in these public places while dancing around the table.

Conversely, saying ‘cheers’ in Thai is possible in different ways, for instance, ‘chon!’ meaning ‘touch your glasses.’ Also,’ Mote gaow’ is a way of asking people to finish their drinks while ‘chok dee’ and ‘chai yo’ is saying either good luck or success.

What You Should Know About Drinking In Thailand

Globally, Thailand is the biggest consumer of alcohol, with beer being the first, followed by whiskey. On the other hand, wine is becoming popular after the doctors recommended the king to take a few glasses of red wine daily for heart problems.

Ideally, if you are a fan of liquor Sangam (40%) is also known as whiskey even though it is brewed from sugarcane and fermented in oak barrels. Besides, many drinks, alcohol or not, are from plants and herbs. Getting the liquid from plants is by crushing, boiling, or squeezing.

It would also be best to drink the juice immediately you make it, especially from carrot, lemongrass, tamarind, tiger herb, roselle, ginger, and even chrysanthemum.

Ultimately, after spending your calm and sunny day at the beach, a cold drink would do you great. Also, it would be best to try different Thai drinks for pleasure exploring.

Thai Music and Music Scene

When you visit a new country, it is easy to get distracted by the natural scenery, food, and fashion statement. Thailand is no exception to this as most people often visit it for the tasty food and sunny beaches.

Even in the bars and clubs relaxing, you would hardly hear any Thai music as indie music, and covers of popular songs are always on repeat. However, Thai has a great musical tradition that is diverse and interesting, and worth exploring. Remarkably, Thai music also inspires countries like India, Cambodia, and even China.

Let’s see below some of the popular music genres in Thailand.

Classical Music

This genre developed in the royal courts. An opera was a type in this genre that was a favorite for the royals and other people who loved listening to it in the courtyards.

While classical music may be from Indian practice, it is unique to Thailand, impacting several other cultures, including Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.

In classical music, the composer remained anonymous even though recognition was a significant concern. Besides, Thai classical music is similar to Indonesian Gamelan.

Phleng Luk Thung

Also called luk thung, its literal meaning is ‘song of a child of the fields.’ This genre is popular among Thai rural living.

The songs in this genre address the hardships of the farmers, romantic love and social activities. Usually, the tempo is slower than other genres, and the people sing in Thai, Lao, and Isan dialects.

While some people argue that this is a folk song, this genre is new and developed in the mid20th century. Famous artists in this genre are Plan Prodan, Waiphot Phetsuphan, and Pumpuang Duangjan.

Moreover, other people who wanted to engage in luk thung combined it with other music from Asia and Latin America. Still, other artists also included electronic instruments together with their vocals.

Mor Lam

Similar to luk thung in describing village life, this genre originated from Laos. Also, it is among the dominant folks of Thailand. Better yet, it uses a slow tempo but mainly focuses on unrestricted love.

The artists sing in Lao, Thai, and Isan dialects and are known as molam. In the civil war times, the USIS used the molam singers to spread fake news among the rural population, hence Mor Lam’s name.

Beginning in 1985 and becoming popular in Thailand, this style also currently uses upbeat and western instruments. The famous artists of this genre are Pornsak Songsang, Jintara Poonlarp, and Banyen Rakgaen.

Music Festivals in Thailand

With traditional music, there must be music festivals as well. Thailand hosts some fantastic music festivals that tourists ensure they experience one if not all. For instance;

Hua Hin Jazz Festival

Since 2001, this Jazz festival has become a platform to showcase Thai talent. As a two-day festival, it occurs in June every year. If you combine this festival with delicious Thai meals, rest assured of a perfect 2-day experience of your life. Besides, famous artists also come to play.

Wonderfruit

This is one 4-day festival you shouldn’t miss as it is a combination of art and music held in Pattaya. Usually, the prime focus is to promote responsible ways of having fun. Therefore, mark your calendars for four days on music stimulation and artistic pleasure.

Waterzonic

Just as its name suggests, this is all about the water craze of fun and music. Being among the most famous music festivals in Thailand, it attracts many people worldwide in November every year since it started in 2014. Besides, it boasts of hosting some incredible giants in the Thai music industry, such as Mike, Dmitri Vegas, Orjan Nilsen, and Afrojack.

Generally, combine your focus with exploring the attraction in Thai together with the Thail music for an exceptional experience in your travel.

Japanese Music and Music Scene

Nearly everything about Japan is fascinating. Apart from the food, geography, and history, the country’s unique take on pop culture is an effective magnet to tourists.

Aside from the laws against dancing, below are some more interesting facts on Japan you should know. This is not just for people planning to travel but also for the interest of personal knowledge.

Presence of Music CDs

Even with the plenty of things, the tourists should try to experience in Japan; still, the love of CDs by Japanese is fascinating above all. With today’s technology and the use of the internet, people are live streaming and downloading movies and songs online, making CDs nothing but a memory.

However, this is not the case in Japan, as it totaled up to 85% of all music sales. What’s a mystery is that Tokyo is the futuristic techno-hub globally but still uses CD as the primary method of music consumption.

Ban on Selling CD under $25

In most countries, you are likely to find a CD dumped somewhere, contrary to Japan since it is against the law to throw CDs. This law, known as Saihan System, is effective in numerous copyrighted materials such as CDs.

Formed in 1953, the Saihan system permits owners of the content to determine the least selling price of recently released or re-released products. While some people may consider $25 as slightly steep, there are also CD renting services that the enforcers of copyrights agree with.

Dancing Was Illegal

Until two years ago, the country removed its ban against dancing. Nearly 70 years ago, this law was a move by the government after World War 2, which was purposely to stop prostitution.

When this Fueiho Law was active, only the venues with a license to dance were allowed. However, many people gained the strength to oppose this impossible-to-maintain law hence the breaking free of dancing in Japan.

Tokyo Holds the Best Sound Systems Globally

Audiophiles have become popular in Japan because a slight appreciation wildly turns into an obsession. With countless bars, cafés, and all-sized clubs all often congested into the same block, Tokyo is the destination for music fans who heighten their fandom to greater heights.

As a visitor who wants to experience this current obsession, the VENT nightclub in Shibuya is the place to go. This is because the sound system mainly works with the venue’s room audibility to suppress echo.

Idol Metal

The eccentric blend of thrash metal and fantastic, sickening sweet pop is a genuine and popular genre in Japan. Babymetal is the most famed group worldwide. Presented by three teenage vocalists, Babymetal has visited international destinations and bringing the genre to a broader mainstream.

 Another notable performance in the Idol Metal genre is Ladybaby which formerly featured two seeking Japanese models and a cross-dressing Australian wrestler.

Consists Of the Largest Pop Group

AKB48 originates from the geek fandom mecca of Akihabara as literally the world’s biggest pop group. ‘AKB’ is the acronym for Akihabara, and presently the band comprises a rotational cast of above 130 members.

Created as a manageable girl band by renowned producer Yasushi Akimoto, the group has its theatre in Akihabara. In their theatre, they perform night by night, offering fans an excellent opportunity to see the idols live. However, if you miss out on tickets to watch them in action due to the group’s popularity, you can still buy from the AKB48-themed café close to the Akihabara station.

Traveling to a new destination requires you to break away from the norm and experience a unique sensation to take home with. And what better way to enjoy your travel if not through music and learning more about it?

Local Chinese Experiences

When you step off the plane in China, ensure you are there for fun and knowledge. China is packed with diverse activities to experience; hence, there is no need to miss out.

However, while there are numerous things to do and places to go, only time can be limited. Therefore, to guarantee that you will have a blast visit, below highlights the best local experiences. This way, you will save time to spend on unique and worthwhile things.

Read on.

Experience the Chinese Tea

Without a doubt, Chinese tea is an essential component of their culture. Therefore, you should not present yourself in a clueless manner when you want to know more about it.

The best way to experience Chinese tea would be to start building a rapport with the locals. First, it would be best to identify a specific type of tea as your favorite flavor. Then, it would help if you told the locals, especially the older adults about it, which will make them welcome you and teach you more.

Well, you will learn of a different type and method of making tea for your friends when you get back home.

Watch Beijing Opera Performance

The Beijing opera is famous for many things like the costumes and masks worn by the performance, not to mention the unique music style.

As a renowned Chinese form of art, it drew the influence from like arts and performances from other cities of China. It all came together in the capital of Beijing, and since then, it has become a permanent mark of Chinese culture.

Since it is widespread, it’s not a must to visit Beijing to watch the opera performance.

Selfies at Tiananmen Square with Mao

Another fantastic thing to do in China is hanging around Tiananmen Square and taking lots of selfies with the giant and iconic portrait of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong was the founder of the People’s Republic of China.

It is important to note that the entrance of this iconic monument and the surrounding area is entirely free. However, it will cost some amount of money to view inside the Forbidden Palace and other attractions.

Go To the Great Wall

In your bucket list, you need to tick off visiting the Great Wall. Even though it is a top-rated tourist attraction, it also offers a perfect camping and adventure hiking environment.

Because it is popular, it can get very crowded like every day. Therefore, it would be best to avoid the Badaling section of the wall and visit Jiankou, Huanghuacheng, and Mutianyu sections. These sections are less crowded and offer better and authentic experiences.

 Climb around the Avatar Mountains

The first national park in china is the Zhangjiajie in Hunan province, offering extraordinary scenery. Apart from being utterly stunning by nature, its beautiful vertical mountains functioned as the motivation for the movie’s floating mountains in “Avatar.”

As a result of erosion, these several-hundred-foot-tall pillars are undeniably spectacular. It would be best if you ride up the side of either of them in the sheerest elevator in the world as you walk along the sky on the lengthiest global glass bridge.

Moreover, it is a vast national park with every part being magnificent. Better yet, you could spend some days walking outside the major tourist attractions.

Experience Shaolin Kung Fu

For both Buddhists and non-Buddhists, Shaolin Monastery in Dengfeng is a popular place to visit. As the origin of the Buddhists, this temple holds an essential part of Chinese history.

Among the most exciting aspects of this temple are the martial arts practiced by the monks. Over the years, this activity has become popular and earned the term “Shaolin Kung Fu.”

Without a doubt, China is a large country with a lot to see and do.

Chinese Music and Music Scene

Chinese people have been making music familiar to their compound cultural needs in China’s long history. In the growing process, Chinese music has profoundly influenced neighboring regions and absorbed musical features from them.

Let’s explore this musical history and growth, tools and genres, regional variations, and modern Chinese music.

Read on.

History

Music started in China in the 1000s from archaeological sites in Henan, revealing bone flutes from 8,000 years, and clay music tools in Xi’an from 6,000 years.

Yay or elegant music is ceremonial music from the Zhou Dynasty in the10th to 7th century BC. This music embraced music as a stellar display of sounds present in nature and combined into the yin and yang.

Still, according to the Zhou, ‘correct’ music consisted of instruments combining the five essential components of nature; fire, water, air, earth, and space to bring harmony to nature.

Style of Chinese Music

Typically, Chinese music can fall into different categories, but the main ones are opera and folk. Even though these genres tend to sound majorly different from western music, Chinese and western music have a similarity of evoking culture and focus on instruments.

Similarly, Chinese opera is the same as western opera because it’s majorly fixated on vocalization with light instrumental garnish. Generally, the voice is still the main element through the main style, and the sound of Chinese opera is very different.

Neither genres are prevalent today and only present in the selected society. Nonetheless, Chinese opera is still active across the country even though it doesn’t attract an extensive listenership as contemporary music.

Conversely, folk music is still prevalent on occasions like weddings, funerals, and special concerts. Better yet, you will likely hear it from the elderly homes but rarely in the modern music frequency.

Initially, Chinese music created a soothing effect on society and made people live harmoniously by reducing fights and increasing obedience. Therefore, the music is not for dancing or moving in any way; hence there is less focus on the beat.

Instead, it has a flawless, constant nature, effortlessly flowing from sound to sound without abrupt breaks in the beat and usually hastening near the end. Also, there have been parallels from Chinese music to the water in mountain brooks which slowly grows larger and faster while flowing downstream.

Chinese Musical Instruments

China, Orchestra, Music, Chinese, Naxi Orchestra

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/china-orchestra-music-chinese-694601/

For many people unaware of Chinese music, one of the more fascinating aspects is the wide selection of exceptional instruments. Most traditional Chinese music instruments are only present in Asian music, making them unique to China.

Moreover, the shape and method of several instruments are different from anything available in Western culture. This is also the same as the complex sounds they create, as they are impossible to imitate on Western instruments. This means that experiencing the world of traditional Chinese music is the same as experiencing a different musical world.

Among the most ancient Chinese musical instruments are the Bamboo pipes and the qin. These Musical instruments feature eight different categories called “bayin.” Traditional music in China is usually performed on solo instruments or in small clusters of stringed instruments, other cymbals and flutes, drums, and gongs. Typically, the division of tools is from their structure material, for instance, animal skins, bamboo, gourd, wood, silk, clay, metal, and stone.

Furthermore, the performance of Chinese music is on the pentatonic scale or five tones, unlike Western music, which is seven tomes or Heptatonic. This is a significant difference between Western and Eastern music, giving Eastern music a unique, high-pitched sound. Also, Chinese orchestras mostly use woodwinds, bowed strings, percussions, and plucked/struck strings.

When you visit china, ensure you experience this unique musical culture that will leave you a permanent memory.

Indian Music and Music Scene

For such a long time, Bollywood and cricket ruled the entertainment industry in India. However, Indian music includes several genres, numerous varieties, and forms like classical music, folk or Bollywood, pop, and rock. This music has a history across several ages and produced over numerous geo-locations covering the sub-continent. Music in India started as part of socio-religious life.

Moreover, the East and West always exchanged skills and even knowledge in culture, art, and technology. Therefore, it is not surprising that a country like India embraces the drastic change in the global music scene with an open heart. Hence, this change has pushed the Indie music scene forward.

Indie Music in India

Indie or independent is the term used for freelance musicians who produce original music without the help ofrenowned labels. For indie music, it is artistry before the commercial gain of music.

But in India, mainstream film music won for a long time just because indie music lacked a significant audience. However, when bands began to cover popular international songs, the momentum started rising for indie music. Subsequently, in the 2000s, these artists engaged in different styles, languages, and sounds to produce original music.

Remarkably, they used tools like social media to promote their live performances. This way, the exposure of Indian youth to diverse talents is gaining important platforms and audiences to perform.

Besides, every good thing gains challenges along the way. Indie music in India is also facing challenges for the artists to grow and become established. They face a lack of financial support: Labels guarantee to gain profits and promote songs for the artists. However, they are not open to signing independent artists.

 But still, famous indie artists like Thaikkudam Bridge, Raghu Dixit, Nucleya, and many others have had their breakthroughs in the country.

What Is Causing The Shift?

The main reason for the growth of indie music is technology. With the increased use of the internet and thrive in technologies and platforms like Spotify and Jio Saavan, the spread continues to intensify.

With social media, there’s no more gap as now the artists can reach a global audience. Better yet, even the cost of recording and distributing has reduced thanks to the technology advancements significantly.

The change of attitude among the audience is also another reason for the significant shift. There is a generation gap in indie music in the country. For some time, music was only for financially stable people. Hence it was not among the most critical career paths for many youths, considering the economic status in India.

Because independent music beats the odds against the mainstream culture, artists were still not sure of taking this route. However, with more indie artists becoming famous as time passed, it is noticeable that the music scene in India is growing even more.

Unbelievably, the COVID-19 pandemic is also a significant contributor to the growth of indie music. This is because the artists were continuously creating and distributing original music even though the situation was unstable.

Besides, all an indie artist needs are great software on the computer, a mic, and a room to produce the songs. So, staying at home was not a hindrance to their creativity in making more music for their audience. Also, the pandemic had the film industry halted; hence Bollywood music was also down, not dominating the charts as usual.

Future for the Industry

The good thing is that indie music is growing and changing the music scene in India. This is because there’s a growing liking to non-film music, giving indie artists a better chance to reach higher heights.

Nonetheless, Bollywood is still here to stay, not losing all the importance in the music industry. Some people will still prefer this type as it’s always been what they know; even if there will be fewer listeners.

Most definitely, there’s significant hope for the emergence of more artists in the Indian music industry dominating the present indie music scene.

Local Indian Experiences

With 1.3 billion people and over 7 million tourists annually, India is among the most popular countries in the world. Better yet, it offers over 800 dialects which also qualify it to among the most varied countries.

It’s also a country with so much more to offer than just amazing foods and spiritual enlightenment. Besides the Kerala backwaters, Rajasthan deserts, and Tamil Nadu’s temples, there is an endless list of experiences to enjoy in India.

Read on.

Cricket Obsession

After leaving India, the British left two lifetime legacies; cricket and railway. Cricket in India is not just a mention of the winning sport in the country, but it’s a way of life. Indians enjoy cricket across different classes, ages, sex and even admiring cricketers as gods.

Remarkably, it holds the best cricket team worldly for many generations, now winning nearly all major leagues. For this reason, apart from players earning from the winnings, even the locals get into betting. This way, they make money when their teams win with speculated scores.

So, if you want to feel like a part of India, do your research on cricket and join a friendly group watching a match. While I was there, I placed bet’s on cricket matches on one of India’s largest cricket exchanges. It definitely made the game and camaraderie with fellow viewers much more enhanced.

Barbers

A simple haircut in India is not so simple after all. First, barbers will use their scissors to cut eyebrows, nostrils, and even tufts of ear hair.

Subsequently, after shaving, the customer is wiped using wet wipes and towels. Next, the barber starts a deep and firm massage on the head, neck, and shoulders. This massage involves facial slapping and pounding on the skull, known as ‘champi.’

However, be warned that their signature massage move is the swift neck crack which can be shocking for first-timers.

Festivals

Due to India’s several diverse cultures and religions, a week can hardly pass without a celebration.

Because of their noticeable generosity, Indians are always glad to invite neighbors, friends, and even travelers they just met. Because you are likely to get an invite on your tour in India, remember to carry a change of clothes for the festivities like setting off fireworks in Diwali, being soaked in colored water in Holi, and sharing mutton in Eid.

Gesturing

With 800 dialects, head-shaking and wrist-flicking are the most common means of communication as a significant part of Indian makeup.

For instance, in South India, pointing your thumb towards the mouth can mean ‘have you eaten?’ or’ What do you want?’

Also, Indians shake their heads from right to left to mean that they agree and follow what you are saying, while everyone takes that as a sign of disagreeing with the speaker.

Food

India has addictive foods that can make you worry less about your waistline. From kebabs, Makhan fish, steaming chicken, sweet or sour bhel puri, and even food from the roadsides are delicious and satisfying.

Better yet, you can have one of the locals show you how to make your favorites so that you can go home with a new and unique skill.

Old-World Train Travel

Remarkably, the Indian railways are 168 years old, traveling 67,956km with 20 million passengers daily.

This railway has trains moving through cities, villages, coastlines, and even mountains. Both the speed and commuter trains work together to ensure steady transportation of Indians and travelers of all classes and groups. Preferably, visitors should try the Duronto trains that provide a better way to view the city.

Traditional Games

Without a doubt, Indian culture and history consist of many sports and games. However, the internet era is taking over the playing platforms of children; hence many kids hardly go out to play. As a result, they get health issues and complications from lack of physical activities.

Nonetheless, games like Kabbadi, Pallanguzi, Lippa, and Gilli-danda would make kids jump out to play with their friends. Still, you will find some places with kids engaging in a few of these games and would be happy to teach the visitors’ kids.