The Thai version of Hanuman originally came from the Hindu legend of a white monkey-man. He had a half-monkey half-fish son with the mermaid Suvannamaccha. He can grow or shrink in size. To protect Thai royalty from enemies, he once grew large enough to fit the entire palace in his mouth for safety.



Nature spirits originating from Hindu mythology. They are usually friendly, unless you make them mad. These days you can see them standing at attention as temple guardians in Thailand.



Originally from Hindu mythology, Garuda is a man-like bird. He is the national symbol of Thailand, featured on the royal coat of arms, and is often seen fighting two Naga. Naga learned that if they swallow huge rocks, they would be too heavy for Garuda to carry.



Giant dragon-like creatures who live in the Mekong River. In fall they shoot fireballs into the sky. Naga is often seen fighting Garuda. This fight originated in a poem where the two creatures represented a conflict between Laos and Thailand, the Naga standing for Laos.



A mythical form of a lion, they are temple guardians. Not much is known about them except the most famous beer in Thailand features them (along with Garuda) on the label.



Half woman and half bird, she can fly from the human world to worlds of myth. The most famous Kinnari is Manora, who escaped a sacrifice by using her wings to fly from captivity.



The Thai version of the Hindu creature Airavata. It’s a three-headed elephant king and can create clouds. He sucks up water from the Underworld, then sprays it into the sky, linking both worlds. Today he can be seen at many Thai temples, usually close to the sky.

Mae Nak


The most famous Thai ghost of all. A beautiful young lady from Phra Khanong, she died during childbirth and when her husband went off to war. In her undying love, she follows him everywhere with their child.



A ghost that mainly haunts rural areas of Thailand. He rides on a “sak tam khao,” a wooden pestle used to crush rice. He ties “kradong,” rice sieves, on his forearms to allow him to fly.

Nang Tani


A young woman ghost who haunts banana trees, usually during the full moon. She can float just above the ground and wears traditional Thai clothing. She is usually a friendly ghost, but may be harmful to men who disrepect women.



If you are evil in life, you may be reborn as a phret. They are always hungry with long, skinny limbs, and eat their own blood and puss. They usually won’t harm the living, but hang around them to seek forgiveness.



A female ghost who is seen as a floating head with entrails hanging from her neck. She was a Khmer princess who was burned to death. As she was dying, a sorceress cast a spell to save her, but most of her body had already burned off.



A very friendly octopus first seen in 2555. According the legend, a Thai woman would use a bird to send her husband chilies in the US. One trip the bird got tired and dropped the chilies in the ocean, where Apinya found it and used it to make a delicious Thai chili sauce.