Asanha Bucha Day

Asanha Bucha Day

Author: Josh @ Asia backpackers

Discover Thailand with Thailand Discovery

A celebration of an event that took place over 2,500 years ago and has been celebrated by Buddhists ever since

When:  July 19th 2016
Where: Nationwide

Asanha Bucha Day


Asanha Bucha Day is an annual Theravada Buddhist festival, (sometimes referred to as “Buddha’s Birthday”), which takes place during first full moon of the 8th lunar month (Typically July) according to the Thai lunar calendar. The significance of the full moon and Buddhism dates back to the birth of Buddha himself, who was born during a full moon. The event is one of the Kingdoms most important days of the year, celebrating as it does the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set out to his five former associates the doctrine that had come to him following his enlightenment. This first pivotal sermon, often referred to as “setting into motion the wheel of dharma,” is the teaching which is encapsulated for Buddhists in the four noble truths: there is suffering (dukkha); suffering is caused by craving (tanha); there is a state (nirvana) beyond suffering and craving; and finally, the way to nirvana is via the eightfold path. All the various schools and traditions of Buddhism revolve around the central doctrine of the four noble truths.


Asanha Bucha Day. This first sermon, which is known as ‘Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion’ was given some 2,500 years ago, at the Deer Park in Sarnath City, located 13 kilometers north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. Asanha Bucha (อาสาฬหบูชา) is the Thai version of Asalha Puja; it takes place during first full moon of the 8th lunar month according to the Thai lunar calendar. The significance of the full moon and Buddhism dates back to the birth of Buddha himself, who was born during a full moon. If you look hard enough you will see the symbols of deer and wheels through-out the Kingdom and more so in its temples and shrines.


The Buddha said, “I teach one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering,” which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism.


Asanha Bucha Day

Celebrations for the day

As with almost all Buddhist religious festivals in Thailand the day is a time for the Thai people to participate in a variety of Buddhist activities at their local  ‘Wat’ (temple); mainly merit-making ceremonies. It is here they will offer food and alms to monks, give donations, listen to sermons, and observe the Five Precepts or the Eight Precepts. Some practice meditation and may join others in the practice of renunciation, by wearing white robes and staying inside the temple and abstaining from eating meat and drinking alcohol to try to have their mind purified. In the evening of the Asanha Bucha Day the believers join the Candle Light Procession, the “Wian Tian”, where people will walk three times around a Temple in a clockwise direction, carrying a lighted candle, Joss sticks and flowers which will later be given as an offering.

Asanha Bucha Day

Wan Khao Phansa

The day following Asanha Bucha is another significant spiritual day which celebrates Wan Khao Phansa, sometimes referred to as Buddhist Lent Day (พรรษา ‘Phansa’ or วรรษา ‘Watsa’). The day is the start of the three-month annual retreat, which takes place during the wet season, and is observed by all Theravada Buddhist practitioners (90% of Thai’s are Buddhists).  Also known as “Lent Commencement Day” or Vassa, both literally mean “rains retreat”. The day marks the beginning of the Buddhist Lent and where all Buddhist monks retreat to the temples. It is an auspicious time for Buddhist ordinations as it marks a period of spiritual renewal and is a time devoted to study and meditation. Buddhist monks remain within the temple grounds and do not venture out for a period of three months starting from this day.


Asanha Bucha Day

Asanha Bucha Day

Posted in Bangkok, Thailand festivals. Comments Off on Asanha Bucha Day

Thailand’s Candle Festivals

Thailand info Thailand’s Candle Festivals

Author: Josh @ Asia Backpackers.

Thailand info Discover Thailand with Thailand Discovery

The Significance of Candles

Thailand’s Candle Festivals 2015Thailand’s Candle Festivals. Candles make up an important part of most Thai merit making and no more so on Asanha Bucha Day and the start of the Buddhist Lent period, both typically held in July each year,  this is also the traditional time for preparation for the rainy season. Merit making at this time of year comes with donating items for the personal use of the monks at local temple, these same monks who in turn will not leave the temples during this 3 months of Lent, these gifts include such things as clothes, food and candles.

This form of ‘merit making’ was and is still the core event of many village celebrations during Asanha Bucha Day, when the giving of candles and their use in the evening Candle Light Procession, the Wian Tian; where people will walk three times around a Temple in a clockwise direction, carrying a lighted candle, has formed the bases of these now major events.

Candle festivals take place right across North East Thailand, almost exclusively in July each year, prior to the 3 month Buddhist lent. It is believed the modern candle festivities have been taking place annually  for over 120 years.


History of Thailand’s Candle Festivals

During the reign of Rama V, in late 1893 the King appointed, Prince Sappasittiprasong, as the High Commissioner of the then fragmented regions of what we now call Isan, It was during this time the King was attempting to further increase the Siamese influence in the area and break the feudal system that then prevailed.

Candle Festivals in Thailand

The young Prince made his home and the centre of the then Lao Kao Circle in the town of Ubon Ratchathani. During his time he witnessed the many injuries and deaths, villagers suffered during the traditional rocket festival (Bun Bang Fai) and so decided to replace the dangerous black powder festival with today’s candle festival.

Where communities once competed for the biggest rocket (these festivals still survive today in the Isan region see more) many now compete in building and presenting the most elaborate of candle sculptures. This later tradition normally runs for two days of festivities and include a variety of traditional dancers, musicians and colourful parades, displaying these, at times huge and always marvellously carved works of art on elaborately decorated floats.

The building of the wax sculpture starts around three months prior to the festival. A Candle float can cost as much as THB 300,000, the province at times will help with a grant, while the rest of the money comes from donations from the participating villagers.


Listed below are a number of these festivals. The highlighted province will direct you to the relevant page on Wikipedia which in turn will provide directions and details on other things to do and see in the area…


Thailand’s Candle Festivals 

International Wax Sculpture and Candle Procession Festival

Thailand’s Candle Festivals 2015.When:  19 & 20th July 2016

Where: Thung Si Mueang Ubon Ratchathani

Being the oldest festival of its kind this event can still call its self the biggest in Thailand. Giant candles, with their main bodies made of wood or plaster are coated with Wax and then crafted by artists from Bulgaria, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States of America, to compete for the best in the festival.

On Asanha Bucha day, (19th July 2016) the candles are taken to Thung Si Mueang, a park in the middle of the city, where they are decorated and then exhibited in the evening. On the same evening, there are a number of small processions with lighted candles at several temples.

The Main procession takes place on the morning of Vassa (Buddhist Lent Day: 20th July 2016). The candles are paraded through the city centre on floats, accompanied by dancers and musicians in traditional clothing.


Thailand’s Candle Festivals. Korat Candle Festival

Thailand’s Candle Festivals 2016When: 19 – 21st July 2016

Where: The Tao Suranaree Monument, Nakhon Ratchasima.

The festival is a wonderful display of exquisitely carved at times massive candles that depict the story of the Lord Buddha, the royal projects in honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the many historical attractions of Nakhon Ratchasima.


Candle Procession and Elephant Back Merit Making

Thailand’s Candle Festivals Candle Procession and Elephant Back Merit MakingWhen:
July 2016 (Exact dates not known)

Where: The Monument of Phaya Surin Phakdi Sri Narong Changwang, Surin

Surin Candle Festival: Surin is possibly best known in Thailand as the home of elephants and the event boasts a procession of nearly 100 of these elaborately-decorated animals, carrying some of the town’s most highly-revered monks in a unique and memorable merit-making ceremony. The parade also includes exquisitely carved candles from 12 famous temples from within the province along with over 100 Surin-style folk dancers and musicians.


Thailand’s Candle Festivals. Nakhon Phanom Candle Festival

Candle festivals nakhon phanom

When: 20-21 July 2016
Where: Wat Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom

This mass merit-making ceremony, is centered around the highly-respected Phra That Phanom, (a 53-meter-tall, square-shaped pagoda and the most important Buddhist site in the province), it is a time to enjoy  local Thai classical dance and music and to pay homage to the pagoda. Visitors can take part in “Wien Thien” or the ritual of walking with lighted candles in hand around a chedi as a form of meditation to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and his teachings.


 Pansa Candles Procession Festival

 Thailand’s Candle Festivals 2016When: 20 – 21st July 2016

 Where: Suphanburi

The official opening ceremony will take place from 08:00 am. on the  20th July, with a spectacular parade of exquisitely-carved candles accompanied by traditional performances of local ethnic groups. There are also presentations and exhibitions of cultural heritages and tourist attractions from all 10 districts of Suphanburi.

The event is to highlight the unique diversity of the province from its religious culture, the way of life of its many tribal people and to expose the uniqueness of its ancient places. The many carved candles floats take part in a contests for the best in class. Along-side the festival, there will be a host of impressive cultural performances in both music and dance featuring the local diversity.




 Aquatic Phansa Festival

Thailand’s Candle Festivals Aquatic Phansa Festival
When: 19th July 2016

Where: Khlong Lad Chado, Phak Hai District. Phra Nakho Ayutthaya

This festival marks Vessa (Buddhist Lent: 20th July 2016) in a unique way with a long and colourful procession of boats carrying candles to the temple. There are also several other activities that reflect the local way of life the people at the canal-side village of Lat Chado.

Also known as the Lad Chado Candle Floating Festival this annual event takes place on the waters of Lad Chado Canal. Visitors get to experience the local people’s way of life living alongside the canal, fishing, farming and many other activities. There will also be the Baan Suan Rim Klong beauty pageant, local sports games, Lad Chado people’s way of life photography exhibition and a floating market.


 Pattaya Candle Festival

When: July 2016 (Exact dates not known)

Where: Beach Road Pattaya


The candle processions starts from Central Beach Road to the Walking Street and features a candle carving competition and candle floating competition. With the candles reflecting the local and traditional lifestyle of Pattaya.



  Suphan Buri Candle Festival

Thailand’s Candle Festivals Suphan Buri Candle Festival


When: July 2016 (Exact dates not known)

Where: Wat Pa Lelai Woravihara. Suphan Buri

Surphan Buri presents the spectacular procession of candles around the province’s main town featuring local folk performances, a candle procession competition and candle floating decoration competition. Watch out for some of the candles which can surprise you in other ways……..


Thailand’s Candle Festivals. Roi et Candle Festival

roi et candle festival

When: 19th July 2016

Where: Somdech Phra Srinakarindra Park

Organised annually on Asalha Puja Day at the Somdech Phra Srinakarindra Park, in the hert of the city. Each temple will beautifully decorate their individually designed candle floats with colourful flowers and that offset the beautifully intricate wax carvings, and then parade them all along the main road via the market to the cruciform pavilion in the Park, escorted by local people dressed in traditional clothing and yet more dancing to traditional folk music. There will also be contests featuring the best floats and cultural performances. See more You Tube


In addition to each of the events detailed above, all the festivals will include a vast array of booths and stalls selling all manner of local handicrafts and local food plus a fair share of games and demonstrations to enjoy.


Candle festival in July Thailand




candlefestivalInternational-Wax-Candle-Festival-and-Wax-Candle-Procession-1-200x300Khao-Phansa-Surin-200x300koratThe-Candle-Festival-Ubon-RatchathaniThe Candle Festival, Ubon Ratchathani

Posted in Thailand, Thailand festivals. Comments Off on Thailand’s Candle Festivals

A bug’s life in Thailand

A bug’s life in Thailand. like many countries throughout the world and particularly in SE Asia has a long history of eating insects, known as “entomophagy.”

Source: A bug’s life in Thailand

Posted in Thailand Travel. Comments Off on A bug’s life in Thailand

A bug’s life in Thailand

A bug’s life in Thailand

Author: Josh@Asia Backpackers

Discover Thailand with Thailand Discovery

A bug’s life in Thailand. Thailand, like many countries throughout the world and particularly in SE Asia has a long history of eating insects, known as “entomophagy.” But while many of other countries have seen a decline in insect-eaters—due in no small part to increased western influences including the rise of junk food and fast food outlets —Thailand’s consumption of creepy crawlies has actually grown and diversified beyond historical levels; with “more than 20,000 insect farming enterprises … registered in the country.” Thai farmers are now seen as being at the cutting edge of this industry, which is slowly being seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional animal live stocking and already constitutes a multi-million-dollar frontier of farming in the Kingdom.

A bug's life in Thailand

There are over 1,000 species of insects known to be eaten in 80% of the world’s nations. These include 235 types of butterflies and moths, 344 species of beetles, 313 species of ants, bees and wasps, 239 species of grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches, 39 species of termites, as well as 20 species of dragonflies, among others.

In Thailand grasshoppers, weaver ants, giant water bugs and bamboo caterpillars are the most popular wild edible insects consumed. Grasshoppers are collected in the wild, but mainly imported from Cambodia; weaver ants and bamboo caterpillars are harvested in the wild seasonally. See below for more on these critters.


A bug’s life in Thailand. Bugs in food in the West

A bug's life in Thailand

While the west may still turn its nose up at the thought of digging into a bowl of bugs they may be surprised to know that in practice, it is not possible to eliminate pest insects from the human food chain. Insects are present in many foods, especially grains. Food laws in many countries do not prohibit insect parts in food, but rather, they limit the quantity. People in rice-eating regions, for example, typically ingest significant numbers of rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) larvae, and this has been suggested as an important source of vitamins.

The Food and Agricultural Organization specifies that: Wheat flour shall be free from abnormal flavours, odours, and living insects. Wheat flour shall be free from filth (impurities of animal origin, including dead insects) in amounts which may represent a hazard to human health.

While according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s – The Food Defect Action Levels booklet. Contamination on the average of less than 150 insect fragments per 100 grams of wheat flour poses no health hazard.

Other example of the maximum permissible levels of insect contamination in food products for humans, contamination below which level, poses no health hazard, are:

Product Type of insect contamination Impermissible Level
Canned sweet corn Insect larvae (corn ear worms or corn borers) 2 or more 3 mm or longer larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin fragments, the aggregate length of insects or insect parts exceeds 12 mm in 24 pounds
Canned citrus fruit juices Insects and insect eggs 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml
Wheat flour Insect filth Average of 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
Frozen broccoli Insects and mites Average of 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams
Hops Insects Average of more than 2,500 aphids per 10 grams
Ground thyme Insect filth Average of 925 or more insect fragments per 10 grams
Ground nutmeg Insect filth Average of 100 or more insect fragments per 10 grams
Chocolate Insect filth Average of 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
Noodles Insect filth Average of 225 or more insect fragments per 225 gram
Peanut butter Insect filth Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams

A bug’s life in Thailand. Bamboo Caterpillars

A bug's life in Thailand

Omphisa fuscidentalis, the bamboo borer, Known in Thai as rod fai duan or ‘the express train’ is a moth of the Crambidae family. Its habitat is the bamboo groves and forest of northern Thailand

While the adult moth only lives for two months: July and August, in its larvae state it lives for 45-60 days and in its dormant state a further 8 months. The pupal phase takes 46 to 60 days and falls in June and July. When they hatch they are a pale brown in colour and covered in long hair and turn white within 3 days.

Farming techniques

The larvae is collected as food by Thai people mainly while the larva is in its dormant state and when they congregate in one single central cavity within the bamboo. The best time for collecting them is around January to April, generally the infested bamboo is stronger than the non-infested, because the wood cells are small and dense, making them stronger and heavier than normal bamboo, this makes them ideal for bamboo handicrafts and construction poles.

About 26% of their body weight is protein, and 51% fat. The name in Thai cuisine for this delicacy is “bamboo worm” (non mai phai, Thai: หนอนไม้ไผ่), but due to its appearance, it is commonly called rot duan (Thai: รถด่วน), meaning “express train”. Most often it is eaten deep-fried, but the little critters can be eaten raw.

Bamboo caterpillars are one of the most popular edible insects and the selling price is still quite high compared to other edible species. They can be found in shops, packaged in both uncooked frozen packs and ready-to-eat boxes (deep fried beforehand) and street vendors.


A bug’s life in Thailand. Weaver ants

A bug's life in Thailand

Oecophylla smaragdina; known locally as ‘red’ ants or mod-daeng and are a popular delicacy. The ant workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk. Many ant colonies can be found on a single tree. Weaver ants are mostly found in the northeast of the Kingdom and have for eons been intertwined with the way of life of people of the region, with traditional local folk songs and dances telling stories of red ant egg and their harvest.

Red ant eggs, or khai mod-daeng are popular food across the Kingdom, while Pupae and adults are also eaten. The most popular dishes, particularly in the northeast, are omelet mixed with red ant eggs and Thai red ant egg salad (yum khai mod-daeng). In the south they have their own sweet tasting dish Boiled Ant Eggs in Coconut Milk, known as Tom Kati Kai Mod Daeng

Farming techniques

Weaver ants are traditionally harvested from trees in the wild. However, more and more farmers breed and maintain weaver ant colonies in their own mango trees. While farmers can earn a decent income from farming these insects the short harvest period means the practice is still a side line to traditional farm income from rice or cassava production.

The ant colonies can be maintained and expanded if their host trees are protected from ground based predators and have good access to water, they can easily be fed on normal food scraps. To help the ant’s further ant highways are installed amongst the trees, these also help conserve the insect’s energy and promote multiple nests. These highways in the sky are made from any type of rope, excluding plastic and rattan cane.

Collecting season for weaver ants usually occurs once a year during the dry season between February and May. During this period the arboreal nests of the weaver ants are full of eggs, larvae and pupae. In Phetchabun Province, the season occurs from January to May and three crops are obtained annually.

Harvesting involves the use of a long bamboo pole, to which a bag or basket is attached to one end while the end held by the farmer is coated with rice or tapioca flour to prevent the ants from biting the collector. A hole is poked into the nest and it is shaken so the larvae and pupae fall down into the bag, the bag is then poured onto a plate or container, which has a branch in it allowing the adults to return to their nests.

Population & Sustainability 

Weaver ants are very popular and consumer demand is higher than the natural supply. According to some reports, the number of non-farmed weaver ants has been declining and they are more difficult to find in the wild. Decreasing populations have a negative impact on ecological systems because ants are predators and perform many ecological roles that are beneficial to humans, including the suppression of pest populations. Weaver ants were first used for biological control of citrus pests in China, and are used today in mango and cashew plantations in Australia and Thailand.


A bug’s life in Thailand. Giant Water Bug

A bug's life in Thailand


Lethocerus indicus: known in Thailand as ‘malaeng da na’ or ‘meng da’; Thai: แมงดา. Sometimes mistakenly thought by westerners as a cockroach. The giant water bug is native to Southeast Asia and can grow to a length of 5 inches. It is a popular edible insect and is consumed across Thailand, where the whole bug, excluding the wings are eaten. It can be grilled or fried or used as an extract in sauces to make Nam Phrik Mangda, a type of chili sauce and another popular Thai sauces Nam Pla Mang Da.  Usually the male is preferred as it is only he that has a scent gland that can produce a strong distinctive smell.

Similar to a praying mantis, the giant water bug snatches its prey with its front legs; it then injects it with a powerful toxin which breaks down the internal mass of its victim.

These giant bugs have been known to prey on animals far larger than themselves, including fish, lizards and snakes, link to a BBC article about a giant water bug devouring a turtle.

Giant water bugs can and will bite people, they are said to deliver a painful burning pain when they bite.

Farming techniques

Giant water bugs live in still water, swamps and rice paddies. During the rainy season (May to August) attracted by light they come out of the water to breed. One common method for catching them in a field is to set up a blue neon light with a long bamboo pole 2-3 metres high. A water container is placed on the ground to collect the bugs that fall down. Fishing nets are also used to harvest them from swamps and ponds.

Commercial farming is quite difficult and laborious because this species is predatory and cannibalistic especially when its habitat is overcrowded.

Population & Sustainability 

Giant water bugs are predatory insects and usually sensitive to changes to their surroundings. Although the giant water bug is a very popular edible insect among Thai people, population of species is declining due to environmental and habitat changes and pollution. Large numbers of giant water bugs are bought from neighbouring countries like Cambodia and Myanmar.

Due to high demand in the market, the price is high and increasing year by year. In recent years one male can cost between THB10-15. Females are cheaper and sold at THB8-10 each. Recently giant water bugs have been sold in frozen 10-bug packages in wholesale chain supermarkets throughout the country.



A bug's life in Thailand


Many species of Orthoptera or grasshoppers are edible, with many of them still unknown and as yet unidentified or recorded.  In Thailand while all of them are pests of economic crops such as maize and rice, today they have become one of the most popular edible insects especially since control efforts have in the main been unsuccessful

Farming techniques

Grasshoppers are collected in paddy or maize fields by using a net, a piece of cloth or by hand at night or in the early morning as low temperatures make them inactive. Before eating these ravenous pests, you must first remove the intestines this is easily done by twisting the precooked (deep-frying is a popular way to cook them) whole insect head and withdrawing it along with the attached intestines, you should also remove both the wings and lower legs, there you have you are good to go! Deep-frying is a popular way to cook them.

Grasshoppers are one of the most popular edible insects eaten by Thai people, but commercial farming is still not a viable option due to the fact that it has almost a year-long life cycle and still requires its natural food for feeding.

Population & Sustainability 

Wild collection of grasshoppers is rarely witnessed in Thailand. Most edible grasshoppers sold in Thai markets come from Cambodia. Approximately 170 tones of grasshoppers are imported annually for retail at Rong Kluea market at the Cambodia border in Sa Kaeo Province (Ratanachan 2009).


A bug's life in Thailand


And so there you have it while those in the west may still turn their nose up at the Thai love of all things edible, possibly with the world needing to feed an ever increasing population we may all be tucking into a bowl of bugs sooner than you think?

A bug’s life in Thailand.

Author: Josh@Asia Backpackers

Bites and stings in Thailand

Bites and stings in Thailand. One of the nastiest experiences is waking up with lumps and bumps that are not all down to the wild life. Bugs

Source: Bites and stings in Thailand

Posted in Thailand Travel. Comments Off on Bites and stings in Thailand

Bites and stings in Thailand

Bites and stings in Thailand

Author: Josh Peatfield from Asia Backpackers

Discover Thailand with Thailand Discovery

Bites and stings in Thailand. For those of us that like to travel each day brings a new experience with some not as memorable as others.

Following the sun around the planet is what so many of us dream about and what a few of us more lucky (or is that determined) ones get to do, that said the warmth and humidity comes hand in hand with its own set of problems, one of the nastiest is waking up with lumps and bumps that are not all down to the local booze but to the wild life.

Here is my simple guide to what can leave you with an unpleasant memory of your days travelling, on the bright side you do get the opportunity to post something that does not involve you holding another bottle of beer, or lazing on a beach.

Red Ants

Bites and stings in Thailand weaver-red-ant

While Red ants and their eggs are prized trophies in a number of Thai dishes such as Larb Mote Daeng and while some farmers even use them as a natural form of pest control, red weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are territorial and aggressive and see humans as simply encroaching on their patch. If they manage to bite you it is rarely once as their amazing communication system can quickly gather a whole army to deal with your intrusion. These unforgiving pests have both a dedicated alkaloid venom-injecting sting, as well as mandibles for biting. Their sting can be painful and leaves an itchy red rash too many can result in an allergic reaction, leading to hives and difficulty in breathing. For dealing with these pests click here


Bites and stings in Thailand mosquito

The most common and most irritating biting insects around are without doubt these miniature vampires, but did you know?

Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts needed to suck blood. They use the blood not for their own food but as a source of protein for their eggs.

A mosquito can smell you at 20 to 35 meters.

Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are also attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals).

Male mosquitoes live for approx.  Ten days; most females live six to eight weeks. Some females hibernate and can live up to six months.

Simple prevention is the best cure and by taking these steps you can cut down on these little blood suckers dinning out on you:

  • Use a DEET-containing insect repellent on exposed skin
  • Sleep under a mosquito net, ideally impregnated with permethrin
  • Choose accommodation with screens and fans
  • Impregnate clothing with permethrin in high-risk areas
  • Wear long sleeves and trousers in light colours
  • Apply sunscreen before you apply repellent
  • Spray your room with insect repellent before going out

Read more including natural treatments that can be found everywhere, who is more at risk, plus a range of other facts: Bites and stings in Thailand


Bites and stings in Thailand fed-tick

Bites and stings in Thailand 1Ticks are normally contracted when walking in rural areas. They are commonly found behind the ears, on the belly and in armpits. If you’ve been bitten by a tick make sure to remove the tick’s head and mouth completely and cleanse the area, if a rash develops at the site of the bite or elsewhere, along with fever or muscle aches, see a doctor and get tested for Lyme disease. Doxycycline prevents tick-borne diseases.





Bites and stings in Thailand leechesNormally only found in humid rain forests, Leeches have been used in medicine for over 2,500 years. They were more popular in earlier times because it was widely thought that most diseases were caused by an excess of blood. The good news about these segmented worms is they do not transmit disease; the bad news is while their bites are often itchy for weeks afterwards the continued scratching can lead to infection. Applying an iodine-based antiseptic to the bite will help prevent infection.




Bites and stings in Thailand scorpians

Scorpions are found through-out Thailand, (and not just being sold by street vendors), they range in colour from grey to brown and black, while their sting can be painful (it is comparable to that of a bee or wasp sting), the vast majority of serious medical problems and deaths result from an allergic reaction. This happens in certain people whose immune systems are overly sensitive (or allergic) to the venom. First aid for scorpion stings is generally based on the use of strong analgesia

The Giant Centipede

Bites and stings in Thailand Ethmostigmus_rubripes

The fearsome looking giant centipede, (Ethmostigmus rubripes) is the largest Asian centipede, with a Head and body length 7.5 to over 16 cm (6 14 in). The body is long and flattened. Coloration is dark or greenish-brown to orange or orange-yellow with black bands; with yellow legs and antennae.

This giant can be found in both dry and moist habitats, usually in sheltered places such as under logs, leaf litter, and under rocks, they are solitary, nocturnal predators. These beasts have modified claws called forcipules which curve around its head and can deliver venom into its prey. The venom is toxic to both mammals and insects. It can cause severe pain in humans which can last for several days; this can be relieved somewhat by the application of icepacks. Some people report “intense pain”, while others claim it is no worse than a wasp sting. Bites and stings in Thailand

Asian Giant Hornet

Bites and stings in Thailand Asian Giant Hornet

Hornets are well renowned for their aggression when provoked, hornets grow to huge proportions in Eastern Asia incl. Thailand, with a body length of 45 mm (2 in), a wingspan of about 75 mm (3 in), and worse of all a stinger of 6 mm (0.24 in) which injects a large amount of potent venom, similar to many bee and wasp venom’s, that can damage tissue.  The venom can be lethal even to people who are not allergic if the dose is sufficient i.e. if multiple stings are received; it is not believed a single wasp can inject a lethal dose. However, if the victim is allergic to the venom, this can greatly increases the risk of death.

Each year in Japan, the human death toll caused by Asian giant hornet stings is around 30 to 40. While the advice in China is that if you are stung more than 10 times you should seek medical help, and you will need emergency treatment for more than 30 stings. The stings can cause renal failure. Stings by Asian giant hornets killed 41 people and injured more than 1,600 people in Shaanxi Province, China in 2013. Bites and stings in Thailand.

Paper Wasps

Bites and stings in Thailand paper wasp

At first glance you might mistake Paper Wasps for a small hornet, as they too are yellow and black/brown in colour but they only grow to a meager 0.7 – 1.0 inch (1.8 – 2.5 cm) and are not intensively predatory like their distant cousins, plus while the Asian giant Hornet almost exclusively inhabit subterranean nests, and is both a bee assassin plus a cannibal, this smaller wasp gathers fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. Paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests


Bee and wasp stings mainly cause problems for people who are allergic to them. Anyone with a serious allergy should carry an injection of adrenaline (e.g. an EpiPen) for emergencies. For others, pain is the main problem – apply ice to the sting and take painkillers.

Bed Bugs

Bites and stings in Thailand

Human bed bugs change shape and color as they feed. Photos courtesy Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects  that feed exclusively on bloodCimex lectularius, the common bed bug, is the best known as it prefers to feed on human blood, while others specialize on dining on other animals, e.g., bat bugs, such as Cimex pipistrelli (Europe) The name “bed bug” derives from the preferred habitat of: warm houses and especially near or inside beds and bedding or other sleeping areas. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. They are considerate blood suckers as usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.

A number of adverse health effects may result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Bed bugs are not known to transmit any pathogens as disease vectors.

Bedbug bites commonly resemble other insect bites, including mosquito bites. They typically involve a raised, reddish bump but can also appear as a blister. Bedbug bites are very difficult to distinguish from other insect bites; even a clinical physician cannot usually diagnose bites simply by looking at them.

  • Bedbugs do, however, have a unique bite pattern. Although some bites may appear alone, most bites occur in a row of three to five bites (termed “breakfast, lunch, and dinner”) or in a cluster of red bumps rash called bedbug dermatitis). The bites often appear in a zigzag formation, but may appear in a straight line if the bugs bite you in the morning, why I have no idea.
  • Bites tend to occur on exposed areas of the body, such as the neck, face, feet, and arms. In contrast to mosquito bites, bedbug bites rarely occur on the back of the knees or in the folds of the skin.
  • The bumps or the rash typically resolve themselves within one two weeks. However, although an individual bite or set of bites may heal, if you have not eradicated the problem through pest extermination, then you may continue to get bitten. As long as there are bedbugs, they will dine on you.

bed bugs

Bedbug bites usually do not require any treatment. If you develop itching of the skin around the site of the bite, you can use an over-the-counter antihistamine pill or cream such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Some individuals may also experience relief from the itching by applying a hot washcloth directly to the affected area.

And so there you have it a whole host of critters that can leave you feeling used and abused, while the majority of their bites and stings are not life threatening do try to avoid scratching the affected area, as this can cause skin breakdown and a subsequent secondary bacterial skin infection and try not to forget Prevention is the best form of Protection.

More from Asia Backpackers here 

Thais abroad from Minburi to New Jersey

Thais abroad from Minburi to New Jersey. Thai people who have made the move from Thailand to live in other countries around the world.

Source: Thais abroad from Minburi to New Jersey

Posted in Thailand Travel. Comments Off on Thais abroad from Minburi to New Jersey
%d bloggers like this: