Monthly Archives: December 2010

Thai Tone Rules


I found this workbook from Ajarn Uan, Walaiporn Tantitkanangkul, the most helpful when it comes to tackling the tone rules in Thai.

Download “reading sound in Thai” PDF file.

Credit: The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London


The More Important Thai Alphabets


Just a friendly reminder, this is for non commercial use only. If you plan to use my material, please reference me.

Remembering Thai alphabets can be overwhelming, but if you wish to be an independent Thai learner, you will have to get it done in the beginning. In order to ease your pain, here is a list of the important alphabets. The alphabets that are not mentioned here are often found in common names, which you focus on when you reach the intermediate level.

How to use this list:

  • Draw the Thai alphabets in your notebook. Always start with drawing the loop.
  • -AW represents the sound that Thai pronounce after the initial sound
  • Besides remembering the initial sound, it is important to remember the final sound as well. For example: in the word อาหาร which means food, it is read อ (a) -า (aa) ห (h) -า (aa) ร (n because the consonant Raw Rua occurs at the final position of the sound so it creates the sound n instead of r). The word food is then read aa-haan.
Gaw Gai (chicken) Kaw Kai (egg) Kaw Kwaii (buffalo) Ngaw Ngoo (snake) Jaw Jaan 


Initial g/ final k k/k k/k Ng/ng j/t
Chaw Ching 


Chaw Chang (elephant) Saw So 


Yaw Ying 

(puuying -woman)

Naw Nen (young monk)
ch/t ch/t s/t y/n n/n
Daw Dek (child) Dtaw Dtao (turtle) Taw Tung (sack/bag) Taw Ta-haan (solider) Taw Tong (flag)
d/t dt/t t/t t/t t/t
Naw Noo (mouse) Baw Baimai (leaf) Bpaw Bplaa (fish) Paw Pung (bee) Faw Faa (wall)
n/n b/p bp/p p/p f/p
Paw Paan(tray) Faw Fun (tooth) Maw Maa(horse) Yaw Yuk (giant) Raw rua (boat)
p/p f/p m/m y/n r/n
Law Ling (monkey) Waw Wan (ring) Saw Sua (tiger) Haw heep (chest) Aw Aang (basin)
l/n w/w s/t h/doesn’t come at the end) Read like a vowel

New York Thai Restaurant Reviews


Reigning as the most authentic Thai food in the New York City area is Sripraphai in Woodside, NY. However, many newcomers and old-timers are thriving in NY area as well.

Here is a list of noteworthy AUTHENTIC Thai restaurants in NYC.

31 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 420-7500

Neighborhood: Flatiron

Great Pad Thai, Great Staff– I am a fan! 

I have always liked food at Rhong Tiam since the first one opened near NYU library. Though my life does not allow me to venture to its several locations in the city before they open this location, food at Rhong Tiam ranks pretty high on my Thai standard. The Thai food there is cooked as a hotel-style in Bangkok as the name suggests the word Rhong Tiam means hotel. There is a certain nostalgia when you mention the word to a Thai person also; it is not just hotel where you go to stay, but it is a place where good food is served after you just come back from a long journey. I can almost picture myself as a well traveled Chinese warrior stopping by for a quick bite.

Though the new menu for this location adds several items that caters to the health-conscious crowd, they still have the Thai popular selections. The Pad Thai was brown and only slightly sweet as it should be. It seems that the place open late so I can’t wait to go back to check it out.

Check out New York Times Review of the restaurant

Wondee Siam II

813 9th Ave
(between 53rd St & 54th St)
New York, NY 10019

(917) 286-1726

First of all, it is difficult to come by any authentic Thai restaurant in Manhattan area. Not that I have anything against Thai/Asian fusion food with a beautiful decor , but hey I am Thai so I search for food that reminds me of the motherland. Wondee Siam II does a wonderful job in satisfying my craving when I am in the city. Ask for the secret Thai menu if you can read Thai and you should find items that are really authentic including some Northern and Northeastern Thai dishes that you don’t normally find in other places. If you feel adventurous, try asking the waitress to spice up your Thai food (the only way it should be eaten). I tried ground chicken stir fry with basil, topped with fried egg (Khao Pad Kra Phao Gai)and my childhood memories came flashing back. I think the majority of food I tried here has been cooked according to Bangkok standard and the service is prompt so I highly recommend this place.

Leng Authentic Thai

33-09 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106
Neighborhood: Astoria

(718) 956-7117

Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodle) here is beyond my fantasy. First of all, I live in the opposite side of Queens but I am willing to drive half an hour to go pick up the food from here. I normally ask them to cook it really spicy that my predicament will be that the food hurts so good but I cannot stop myself from eating it. The ambiance is serene that I just want to lounge there for hours. If you go during the day, the relaxing ambiance reminds me of being back working on my translating jobs while sipping a cup of coffee in Chiang Mai, Thaiand. The plus size of this restaurant is its generous portion. Of all my time living in the US, this restaurant gives me the most amount of food. It seems that typical Thai restaurants seem to charge you American price while giving you Thai portion. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and check this place out.

Photo Credit: mackarus on

To be continued…