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?
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.
New places are always calling my name...
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