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Thailand does Valentine’s like nowhere else

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Valentine’s Day is not native to Thailand but the Thai people have taken to it in a big way. You’ll find all the traditional activities but also others that are likely unique to this country.

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Thailand does Valentine’s like nowhere else

Valentine’s Day is not native to Thailand but the Thai people have taken to it in a big way. You’ll find all the traditional lover’s dinners, fancy gifts and festive parties, but you also find activities that are likely unique to this country.

Marriage in an adventure. It can be like an escape from pirates. Pa Ngam photos by Thanarak Khoonton.

Marriage is an adventure and this is particularly true for six newly-wed tourist couples on their honeymoon at the Pa Ngam Mountain Lodge in Prachinburi. They are competing in a series of adrenalin-pumping activities which include an escape from bloodthirsty pirates, a “flight” high above the jungle and a mad dash away from a boulder made of flowers.

It be a carefree flight above the jungle.

It can be a life or death run from danger.

At Pattaya’s Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum, things are a bit more relaxed as 34 couples attempt to break the world-record for non-stop (or almost non-stop) hugging. The current record is 25 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds, incidentally.

Only 26 hours of this and we'll have a new world-record hugging champion. APICHIT JINAKUL

Finally, you can always get married. Valentine’s Day and the Buddhist Makha Bucha Day are both on Feb 14, so all government offices would normally be closed. But Valentine's Day is popular every year and many couples register their marriage on that day.

City clerk Ninnart Chalitanon said offices in nine districts would remain open for marriage services, seven of them at district offices – Lak Si, Bang Kae, Chatuchak, Bangkok Noi, Pom Prab Sattuphai, Samphan Thawong and Huay Khwang.

The other two districts, Phasi Charoen and Bang Rak, will provide the service at Seacon Square (Bang Kae) and the CAT Telecom Building on Charoen Krung road (Bang Rak).

Bang Rak district has already accepted reservations, and a total of 183 couples have filed their registration applications. Couples who register their marriage in this district qualify to join a lucky draw for one of nine gold marriage certificates.  Bang Rak is especially popular because it can be translated as Village of Love.

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Vocabulary:

adrenaline : a substance produced in the body when you are excited, afraid or angry. It makes the heart beat faster and increases your energy and ability to move quickly - อะดรีนาลิน, ฮอร์โมนเนื้อในต่อมหมวกไต

adventure : an unusual, exciting and possibly dangerous activity such as a journey or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity - การผจญภัย

bloodthirsty (adj): wanting to kill or wound; enjoying seeing or hearing about killing and violence - กระหายเลือด,เป็นฆาตกรรม,โหดร้าย

boulder (noun): a very large rock which has been shaped by water or the weather - หินขนาดใหญ่เปลี่ยนเป็นรูปร่างต่างๆ เพราะน้ำ/อากาศ

carefree : having no worries or responsibilities - ที่ไร้กังวล, ที่ไม่มีความกังวลใจ

certificate : an official document or record stating that particular facts are true - หนังสือรับรอง

couple : two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship - คุ่รัก

dash (noun): an act of going somewhere suddenly and/or quickly; a very fast run - การเคลื่อนที่ไปอย่างรวดเร็ว, การพุ่งไปข้างหน้า

draw : a way of choosing something such as a name or number by chance - การจับฉลาก

festive : connected with a festival or celebration - รื่นเริง, เกี่ยวกับเทศกาล

hug : the action of putting your arms round someone to show your love or friendship - การกอด

incidentally : used for adding related but less important information to what has just been said or for suddenly introducing a new subject - อีกประการหนึ่ง

mad (adj): (informal) crazy; uncontrolled; tending to behave in a strange way that might indicate mental problems - บ้า, อย่างเสียสติ

museum : a building where objects of historical, scientific or artistic interest are kept - พิพิธภัณฑ์

native : existing naturally in a place - ตามธรรมชาติ

pirate : someone who attacks ships while they are sailing to steal things from them or to hold them in return for money - โจรสลัด

popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

qualify (verb): to have what is needed to receive something or do something - เหมาะสม, มีคุณสมบัติเหมาะสม

register : to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc - ลงทะเบียน

reservation (noun): an arrangement to get something in the future; an arrangement for a seat on a plane or train, a room in a hotel, a ticket for a seat at a sports match, etc. to be kept for you - การจอง

traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา

unique : being the only one of its kind - ซึ่งเป็นหนึ่งเดียว

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