Thai Village Life and the Eyes of March

I was enjoying an afternoon drink at my local working men’s club here in the UK when it got to the time of day when I usually telephone Wonderful Wi. It was one in the afternoon UK time and seven hours forward in Thailand. The conversation followed a fairly normal routine but all of a sudden it was turned on its head by Wilai and aided by her use of Tinglish, that lovely mix of Thai and English language rolled into one.

“Hus…band. I have news from village. Something happen.”

“What’s happened?”

“Have eyes come from the sky.”

“Eyes from the sky! I don’t understand.”

“Eyes. Same you put Jack Daniel. Same you put drink to make yen (cold).”

“Eyes…you mean ice.”

“Yes. Eyes from the sky. Same rain but eyes.”

“You mean hailstones. Ice from the sky.”

“Yes… eyes. Me and cousin go outside, pick up eyes and put glass. Taste aloi (nice).”

Having got the gist of the conversation I was amazed that hailstones had fallen in Thailand. I know of reports about snow in Thailand, that happened in Chiang Rai way back in 1955 but I’d never seen or heard of hailstones in the Land of Smiles. Wilai then said she’d seen hail once before and that was over 20 years ago.

Thailand does sometimes get cold in its winter months, but now, the latter part of March, the weather is warming up for the hot season and hailstones seem a really strange weather condition to me. Have any of you seen hailstones fall in Thailand before because I haven’t despite spending a lot of time in Thailand over the years.

I’m very interested to know your thoughts and experiences on hailstones in Thailand.

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Crossed Wires


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

10 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I’ve lived in several countries when unusual weather occurred (usually snow) but I don’t recall hearing about hail in Thailand at this time of year. December / January is thinly possible but by March it’s getting way hotter. It must have surprised the locals to no end!

  2. Martyn says:

    Catherine – I was very surprised when I eventually got to the crux of the matter and realised Wi was on about hailstones. However there’s no doubt about it, hail did fall. Very strange.

    I’m not sure what time of day the storm occurred, I forgot to ask but will do so today and update in the comment box. Here’s good old Sticky Wiki’s page on hail.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Wow, I didn’t know Thailand could have hailstones, being a tropical country. And since it’s going summer, it’s quite odd to have these kinds of “phenomena”. Were they big hailstones?

  4. Martyn says:

    Cheryl – I didn’t ask what size the hailstones were although Wilai referred to them as the same as crushed ice used in iced coffee. Whether that was an explanation for the stones or their size I don’t know. I will ask today.

  5. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I googled and it does indeed hail in March… and more is on the way apparently.

    QUOTE: During 23-26 March 2012, the moderate high pressure area will cover upper Thailand which hot weather occurs and causes summer thunderstorm, such as, thundershower, gusty winds and hail first in the Northeast of Thailand and then the rest regions.

  6. Martyn says:

    Catherine, thanks for the update which confirms to me that hail really did fall in Udon Thani. Not that I had any doubts about Wi’s word because she was rather excited about the incident. It just seemed very unusual weather conditions which needed photos too prove hail really did fall in balmy Thailand. I wish I had been there because I’d have got some lovely pictures.

    A big thank you.

  7. Catherine says:

    Martyn, you might want to warn Wi to stay inside next time as hail can pack quite a wallop!

    Check this out:

    PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 19 March 2012 (NNT) – Several provinces across Thailand have been facing severe tropical storms, damaging houses and infrastructures.

    The Prachuap Khiri Khan Governor is inspecting the area in Hua Hin district after a hail storm has damaged over 100 houses. Roof tiles are found scattered on the ground as a result of the storm. Some billboards and trees have collapsed over electrical poles and telephone lines.

    The province and its officials are urgently assessing the damage to request an assistance budget for residents and reconstruction of their houses and public utilities.

    Surat Thani province also has experienced a similar incident in which electrical poles and trees fell all over the roads, some of which have been blocking traffic. A tropical storm had hit the province for several hours, damaging over 30 houses and 300 rai of para rubber plantations.

  8. Martyn says:

    Catherine, I know from my own experience that hailstones (is it hailstones or hail stones) can carry quite a punch. A cold, stinging punch. I’ll be phoning Wi later and will pass on your concern.

    It would seem the storm in Wilai’s village was mild compared to what some parts of Thailand has had. Wi said the hail came down for one or two minutes then stopped.

    How the world’s weather is changing. Global warming for sure.

  9. malcolm says:

    Martyn, right here in Wang Pho 4 years ago in March we had a huge hail storm and we got about 2 inches of Ice all over the ground , and the worse part was that it knocked all the mangos off the trees in our area it was bad and a few folks had their roofs damaged and some even had some windows broken , we had lots of trees around us so no damage except all the managos gone yes with the hot weather and a all of a sudden cooling off it can hail anywhere in the world. Oh yes a few used car dealers had hail damage to their cars too.

  10. Martyn says:

    Malcolm – Thanks for relating your own personal experience of hail storms in Thailand. Yours sounds like it was quite a nasty one. Especially for the car dealers.

    I’m still amazed ice can fall out of the sky in Thailand. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

    Best wishes.

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