Interesting Facts about Thailand

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Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. It borders Myanmar to the north, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the east, Malaysia to the south, and with 1,650 kilometers of coastline along the Gulf of Thailand, where it meets with the Andaman Sea.

Thailand is a strange, beautiful, and odd country. If you don’t believe us, keep reading because we are going to show you 20 of the “most” interesting facts about Thailand.

1. Thailand is Renowned for its Delicious Food

Thailand is Renowned for its Delicious Food

Thai food is well known around the world for its delicious flavors and variety of herbs and spices used to create each dish! The most popular dishes include Pad Thai (a stir-fried noodle dish made with tamarind sauce), Tom Yum Goong (a spicy seafood soup), Som Tam (green papaya salad), and many more!

2. Thailand is home to the Largest Buddhist Temple in the World

Thailand is home to the Largest Buddhist Temple in the World

The Wat Phra Kaeo is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and was built in 1785 during the reign of King Rama I. It houses a 21-meter tall gilded statue of Buddha. [1]

3. Thailand Houses Some of World’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Thailand Houses Some of World’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Some of Thailand’s best-known beaches include Pattaya, Ko Samui, and Phuket, but there are many more where you can relax in beautiful surroundings without paying through the nose for sun cream and cocktails – such as Koh Lipe in southern Thailand or Koh Kood in Trat province on the Gulf Coast.

If you’re after something a little less touristy, try the islands off Koh Samui or Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand – they’re still very popular but have fewer visitors than other beach destinations like Phuket or Ko Phi Phi Le (aka “James Bond Island”).

4. The Thai People Are a Mixture of Different Races and Cultures

The Thai People Are a Mixture of Different Races and Cultures

The majority of the population comprises ethnic Thais, who are related to the Khmer and Lao peoples. A large minority of Thai people have Chinese ancestry, and there are also many Malay Muslims in southern Thailand.

5. Sacrifices Made while Making “Bridge over the River Kwai”

Sacrifices Made while Making “Bridge over the River Kwai”

The Bridge over the River Kwai is a famous landmark in Thailand. It was featured in the 1957 film “The Bridge over the River Kwai” and more recently in the 2000 film “The Beach,” based on the novel by Alex Garland. It is located near Kanchanaburi and is a part of the Burma-Siam railway. Around 80,000 to 100,000 people died in its construction. [2]

6. The National Symbol of Thailand

The National Symbol of Thailand

The national symbol of Thailand is the Garuda (bird-like creature), which appears as an ornament on many Thai coins, banknotes, official seals, and insignia of state agencies. It is also portrayed in literature, art, and architecture throughout the country.

7. The Introduction of Buddhism in Thailand

The Introduction of Buddhism in Thailand

Buddhism was first introduced to Thailand by King Asoka in Patalilbutta City in the 3rd century BC. King Asoka sent monks out of the country to learn about and teach others about Buddha’s teachings. While other monks were learning and teaching, two monks stayed behind in Thailand to continue Asoka’s mission. [3]

8. Thailand is also known as “The Land of Smiles.”

Thailand is also known as “The Land of Smiles.”

Thailand is the land of smiles because its people are very friendly and welcoming. It is also known as the land of smiles because it has a distinct culture and traditions that make it unique from other countries in Southeast Asia. [4]

9. The Most Important Buddhist Holiday

The Most Important Buddhist Holiday

The most important Buddhist holiday is Visakha Bucha Day. In Thailand, Visakha Bucha Day is celebrated with religious observances and festivities. On this day, three important incidents occurred during the lifetime of Buddha. [5]

10. The Longest River in Thailand

The Longest River in Thailand

The longest river in Thailand is the Mae Klong River which runs for 280 kilometers from the central plains up to Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand before flowing into the Gulf of Thailand at Sattahip District near Pattaya City, Chonburi Province.

The Mae Klong River joins with other rivers at several points along its length to form a large delta where it empties into the Gulf of Thailand at Bang Po Beach on Rayong Province’s coast. The mouth of this river was once an important commercial port city called Ban Pong (“River Bank”).

11. You cannot drive in Thailand without a Shirt – It is Illegal

You cannot drive in Thailand without a Shirt – It is Illegal

In Thailand, it is not legal to drive without wearing a shirt. If you are caught driving without one, you will be fined, and your car will be impounded! [6]

12. In Thai, There is Only One Word for “Yes” And “No”

In Thai, There is Only One Word for “Yes” And “No”

We have two words for yes and no in English: Yes and No (with capitals). In Thai, however, there is only one word for both – ครับ /krap/. It roughly translates as “Ok” or “No worries!” but is used more often than not as a polite way of saying “Yes” or “No.”

13. Muay Thai is the National Sport of Thailand

Muay Thai is the National Sport of Thailand

Muay Thai, also known as kickboxing or boxing with fists and feet, is Thailand’s national sport. The young men of Siam, now Thailand, practiced Muay Thai for self-defense, exercise, and discipline. These young men created large armies to protect their kingdom. King Narai, the Great of Siam, promoted Muay Thai as a national sport around the 1660s; today, it remains one of the country’s most popular sports. [7]

14. The King of Thailand Is Considered To Be a God by Many Thais

The King of Thailand Is Considered To Be a God by Many Thais

The King of Thailand doesn’t actually have much power anymore — but he’s still treated like a god by his people. If you want to see him, you need an appointment (and no, you can’t just show up at his palace). You also have to bow down when meeting him face-to-face (and if you don’t bow correctly, he might kick you out!).

15. The Name “Thailand”

The Name “Thailand”

The name “Thailand” comes from the word “Siam,” which was the colonial name for the country until 1939. Siam was ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties in its early days, including the Sukhothai Kingdom (1238-1438) and Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351-1767). The modern history of Thailand began with King Chulalongkorn (‘Rama V’), who unified Siam under one kingdom in 1868 after beating back French forces at Paknam in 1883.

16. Bangkok’s Real Name

Bangkok’s Real Name

Bangkok’s real name is the longest of any city in the world: Krung Thep Maha Nakorn Arun Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayutthaya Mahidol Pop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchawiwet Makhasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. [8]

17. It is Illegal to Step on Thai Currency

It is Illegal to Step on Thai Currency

According to national law, it is illegal to step on a baht. The king’s portrait or a royal family member appears on all Thai currency, so stepping on one can be disrespectful. Therefore, it is illegal to do so. [9]

18. Thailand Doesn’t Have an Official Religion

Thailand Doesn’t Have an Official Religion

Although Buddhism is not the country’s official religion, the king must be Buddhist. In fact, about 95% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist.

19. The Thailand Flag

The Thailand Flag

The Thailand flag has three colors, each representing something. Red represents the people and their sacrifices for the country, white represents religion and spiritual traditions, and blue represents monarchy and the royal family.

20. Each Thai Baht is Unique

Each Thai Baht is Unique

Thai baht is made of special cotton, which makes it more durable than other currencies. Each Thai note has a different texture and thickness, so if one is held by a person who cannot see, they can still tell them apart by feeling. [10]

21. Back then, All the Thai Males Were Required To Become Buddhist Monks

All thai males were required to become buddhist monks

In the past, young men in Thailand (including royalty) were required to become Buddhist monks before they turned 20. However, this practice is no longer observed.

Conclusion

Thailand is very diverse; however, not many people are aware of how diverse it really is. It’s a country with so much to offer, and we wanted to share that diversity with you by providing 20 interesting facts about Thailand that you might not have known.

References

  1. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/a-brief-history-of-wat-phra-kaew-in-bangkok/
  2. https://www.timetravelturtle.com/death-railway-burma-thailand/
  3. https://maytermthailand.org/2011/04/30/history-of-buddhism-in-thailand-by-rob-caesar-and-jane-dahle/
  4. https://www.impactgrouphr.com/insights/thailand-the-land-of-the-smiles
  5. https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/national-holidays-in-thailand-2020
  6. https://milta.co/2017/03/24/in-thailand-its-illegal-to-drive-shirtless
  7. https://thailandinsider.com/the-history-of-thailands-national-sport-muay-thai
  8. https://www.thaizer.com/bangkok-city-of-angels/
  9. https://www.workandvolunteer.com/10-things-you-should-know-before-travelling-to-thailand
  10. https://www.ceifx.com/news/4-Unusual-Facts-about-the-Thailand-Baht 

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