What is the meaning of Lanna Thai?

We don’t get asked often as most people just think Lanna is the name of the owner thus Lanna Thai Massage This is not even close. Although Lak being a typical Thai won’t correct anyone who calls her Lanna feeling it impolite to correct your customers.

So here is a bit of a Thai History lesson you may find interesting.

King Mangrai, in the early 1200’s, developed a unified kingdom and allied with the neighboring Phayao Kingdom. Phayao is where Lak is from. King Mangrai and his second son, Grama, expanded the kingdom into what is modern Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai Phayao Nan and some areas of modern day Myanmar and Laos.

This became known as Lan Na or the Lanna Kingdom which translated from ancient Pai, an off shoot of Sanskrit, into “Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields” and also known as LannaThai. from the 13th to 18th centuries Lannathai was considered, along with Burma, Tibet, Cambodia, Laos, Champa (Southern Vietnam), Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. With this brought Indian influences in Medicine, Yoga and healing.

The Northern Thai people, or Tai Yuan, were known as the “people of the (cultivated) land” and are the majority population of eight provinces in northern Thailand, principally in the area of the former kingdom of Lanna. They have their own language of Northern Thai which they share with large areas of Laos. Although the Central Thai is the official language of Thailand Northern Thai is very commonly spoken in homes and markets. As soon as anyone realizes you speak Northern the conversation goes into that dialect. Northern Thai (Lanna, Kam Meuang, or Thai Yuan), is spoken by over 6 million in the formerly independent kingdom of Lanna (Chiang Mai).

So there you have it Lanna Thai is a region, a people, a language and a meaning. The Lanna Thai in our name refers to the region of Thai massage and the authentic northern-style also known as Buntautuk style or Old Medicine Hospital.

Some people claim there are two styles in Thailand: Northern style and Southern. But there are many differing styles of Thai massage all based around a central core idea but distinctly different, if you know them well, and often intermingled and mixed together depending on the masseuse and the client. You may be on the beach in Koh Samui but you may be getting a massage learned in the North, South, Issan or Bangkok.

At Lanna Thai we use only Northern Thai massage which is tailored to each individual client.

BTW – in Thailand everyone has a name and a nickname often kids go through their entire school life not knowing their friend’s name. Lakkhana’s nickname is “Goy” but in Canada we just call her Lak or Luk.

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