Traveling around countries where English is not spoken, you often see various signs, information pamphlets and menus employing some interesting uses of the English language. Sometimes silly, sometimes poetic, sometimes confusing and sometimes downright nonsense – funny English signs in Asia rarely fail to amuse.
My favorite menu item that I’ve seen so far was for ‘beaked beams’ as part of an English Breakfast in Pai, Thailand. I don’t know why I didn’t get picture of it, but it’s been stuck in my head ever since and now pay better attention when something catches my eye.
Here’s a sampler of sorts of the signs I’ve caught throughout Southeast Asia and India.
At a walk up, fast food burger joint throughout Chiang Mai. They can’t be serious…right?
They’re going for a cleaner, greener Penang in Malaysia…but don’t forget your gas mask.
Um, well, this room was in Vang Vieng, Laos so…yeah.
Taken somewhere in the middle of India. I’m not sure if…well, I just not sure about this one.
Apparently. Winnie the Pooh made this sign for ‘Hunny’.
Seen during the Thai Loy Krathong festival, I don’t know if this sign speaks more to Thais not wanting to cause confrontation, or the fact that you can often find a way to get out of trouble here. ‘Please don’t do this – but if you do, don’t worry, you’ll be alright.’
And last but not least – one of my favorites found in the Nimmanhaemin area of Chiang Mai where a new wine bar seems to be popping up every day. The thing that made the sign even better is that the place is called ‘I’m Chair Bistro and Wine Bar’. I’m. Chair.
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
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‘Violators will be fine’
I know right…
Oh my the sheet issue…at least they are telling you up front.
Meaning they’ve had issues in the past :0 classy place, classy place…
My favorite so far is a sign outside a massage parlor in Bangkok advertising a “FOOT AROMA MASSAGE”. Uh, no thanks.
Ha! There are a couple sketchy massage signs up in Chiang Mai too!
This made me Raugh out roud…
I love this and have collected my own assortment over the years, though done nothing with it! I must post some of them one day 🙂 I love the “violators will be fine” – thank goodness, I may have obeyed the rules otherwise!
“Violators will be fine” – They got sooooo close, but….
Hahaha! This is a great collection. Like Ian above me, I too have a collection like this that needs to be revisited.
I think we should pool resources and make a coffee table book 😉 Sell it at Urban Outfitters, gold.
Ha, I love it when the whole point is basically just to have ANY English words in the sign or business for the “cool factor”. I mean, I’m. Chair. Periods are cool I guess?
I think I shall adopt “keep enjoy and drink wine” as my new mantra.
Right?? Sounds like it could solve all of life’s problems…
Both Hillarious and interesting! Thanks for sharing. Some visual guidance indeed.
I have a never-ending supply of these living in Asia!
17 Comments on Say What?? Funny English Signs in Asia