By Jeff Jenkins
The best part about tourism is that there are multiple ways to do it—and knowing about your destination is always the first step.
So before you book that plane to Bangkok, why don’t you check the following interesting facts about Thailand? There’s bound to be at least one you don’t know about!
1- Thailand’s name derives from the word Thai, meaning “free man”.
2- Fittingly enough, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that could never be colonized by Europeans.
3- While it has had its fair share of names, during a long part of its history Thailand was better known as Siam.
4- Brothers Chang and Eng Bunker became the most well-known case of conjoined twins in the 19th century, originating the term “Siamese twins”.
5- The beloved Siamese cat breed originates from Thailand, where they are called wichen-maat.
6- Buddhism is the country’s most popular religion, with over 95% of the population practicing it.
7- Thailand houses the world’s largest gold Buddha statue, Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, or simply “Golden Buddha”.
8- Thailand is the home of the world’s smallest mammal, the bumblebee bat.
9- Boys used to be required to serve as Buddhist monks for a certain time before turning 20.
10- Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, but its full ceremonial name is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasi.
11- Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as King Bhumibol the Great or Rama IX, reigned Thailand for 70 years and 126 days until his death on 13 October 2016. His reign was the second-longest of all times, only after Louis XIV of France.
12- Buddhist temples are called Watin Thai, and there are over 40,000 all over Thailand. Most of them are open for tourists and are worth checking out!
13- Songkran is a national holiday in Thailand with a long tradition. It’s celebrated by performing massive water fights all over the country, and tourists can join in!
14- While visiting Thailand, you can get a Sak yant tattoo by Buddhist monks. They are said to be blessed tattoos that bring good luck and protect against death and ill.
15- The most iconic animal in Thailand is the elephant, and it is its national animal.
16- The typical Thai greeting is the wai. Put your palms together and raise them up, while lowering your head, as if bowing.
17- In Thailand, it’s considered rude to touch someone’s head, including patting or ruffling someone’s head, so try to avoid it!
18- Wat Saen Suk is a Buddhist temple with a garden that replicates Naraka—the Buddhist hell. It’s pure nightmare fuel, but it’s a highly popular tourist spot.
19- Thailand is the world’s biggest exporter or durian, a delicious yet very pungent fruit, said to smell like rotting onions and the world’s sweatiest socks. Each May, the Chanthaburi province celebrates an annual durian festival.
20- The King and I (in every adaptation) is forbidden in Thailand due to the disrespectful portrayal of King Mongkut, so it’s better not to mention it!
Amazing Thailand by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Thailandby E. Jane Keyes, Charles F. Keyes & James A. Hafner.
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