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Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Asia, Photo of the Week, Photos, Thailand

Photo of the Week: The Spirits in Trees – Thailand in Colour

Photo of the Week: The Spirits in Trees – Thailand in Colour

I passed this tree while in Erawan Falls, Thailand. Trees all over Thailand are wrapped in colourful clothes. Yes they are beautiful to look at, but what is the deeper meaning; what do they signify? Phi Ton Mai (ผีต้นไม้) means “ghost that resides in a tree”. Trees are wrapped in multi-coloured silk ties to distinguish which trees are inhabited by spirits and to work as offerings to the spirits. The more colourful the tree, with the most silks, represent the power of the spirit within. There are two types of spirits that inhabit trees; benevolent and malevolent. The ghosts or spirits will be warned before the tree is cut down so that the spirit may find another home.

Different types of trees have different types of spirits. Banana trees are female spirits while Hopea trees are male spirits. And how adorable a Koman Thong (กุมารทอง) is the name for a baby spirit. A Phi Pop (ผีปอบ) is the name for an evil spirit.

Now you can understand the deeper meaning behind the colourful wrapped trees you see in Thailand



  1. Missy’s Tree of the Week – Friday 2nd November 2012 « Missy Tree - [...] at a really cool travel blog created by a gal named Chrystal. You can find her interesting blog here.…