Currency : Baht (THB)
Climate: Tropical wet/Dry savannah
Population: 67 million
Industry: Agriculture and Tourism
Borders: Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia
Thailand is really a land of surprise. Beaches, jungles, cities, spices – this kingdom of intrigue offers endless explorations into culture, nature and history. However, besides being a dream laid-back holiday destination, Thailand is also a place for studying and getting ready for a promising career. There are many accredited programs in arts, business, education, economics, engineering, social sciences and a variety of others for you to choose from at an affordable price. Thailand is located in Southeast Asia. The capital of Bangkok is an ultra-modern city that rises over quiet canal-type communities and the temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew (the Emerald Buddha). Adjacent beach resorts include the popular and busy Pattaya, crowded Phuket, quiet Koh Samui and the stylish Hua Hin. The official language of the country is Thai and the monarch is King Vajiralongkorn (the previous king Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away in 2016). The Thai people are some of the friendliest you’ll meet, the Thai food is world famous for good reason and Bangkok has one of the best gay scenes not only in Asia, but in our opinion, in the world. The country experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996. It ranks third in quality of life among the ten ASEAN countries. Here are some interesting facts about Thailand to get to know the country better.
Land of the free
Before Thailand was known as such, it went by a different name – SIAM. To understand the name Thailand, it must first be broken into its two constituent parts. Whilst “land” is easy to understand, the “Thai” part takes a little more explains. Not only does it mean “free”, Tai is also an ethnic group in the country, giving the word Thailanda double meaning of both “Land of the Free” and “Land of the Thai People”. Why ―Land of Free?‖ Because through diplomacy the former Kings of Thailand managed to keep Thailand from being colonized by the superpowers then. France, Britain, Portugal, Netherlands were all in the land claiming days and all countries were taken except Thailand which remained free and independent. Thai means free, as in independent. It was once an uncolonised nation, unlike the other SE Asian countries. Because in Thai the name means “land of the free”. According the Khun Borom mythology, the Tai people were saved from a great flood. It is from this mythology the word “Tai” and “Lao” came from. Because these people were saved by a god names Thaen, the people called themselves “Tai”, which indicate them as the people of Thaen.
Thailand was never colonized
Many believe that Thailand simply rolled over and allied with the Japanese when they were knocking at the door. Even going so far as to declare war on the Uk and America. So was Thailand allied with the Japanese, the Japanese certainly treated the Thais as if they were a conquered nation. Many more Thais died building the infamous railway than the allied POWs. The historic Western-style buildings you see around Bangkok’s Old Town were built by King Rama V in efforts to save Siam from colonization by modernizing the kingdom. By cooperating with the British and French, (including making aforementioned land concessions) he helped save the country from invasion.
Thailand has three seasons
Thailand has three “seasons” – wet, cool and hot. Typically, 6 months of rain, 3 months of dry, cool temps and 3 months of heat are seen annually. The cool season is generally from November to February. In Bangkok this means it might get as cold as 60F at the coldest point of the night, but more likely 65F. In the day it might average around, say, 75F. Sometimes maybe as low as 70F and higher up to 85F. The winter months are Thailand’s most pleasant season. Thai summers aren’t for the faint of heart! Little rainfall, high humidity, and temperatures that can reach 40 °C characterize this season. Even at night, there isn’t much respite from the heat. The hottest place in June, is the island of Koh Samui, but Phuket is a bit cooler, however, and the rains there could be more. The rainy season- wet season, is from May to October. The rainy season isn’t non-stop rain, however. Usually it’ll only rain about once a day for a few hours, and that’s it. And this will happen generally every day for the entire season. If you live outside of inner Bangkok you’ll likely experience flash floods of about a foot or so in the roads, but it’ll quickly drain away.
The world’s smallest mammal, Kitti’s hog-nosed bat
The Kuhn Kitty bat is also called Bumblebee bat or Kitty’s hog-nosed bat because of its typical appearance. It is world smallest bat, weighs less than two grams and is just 3 centimeters long. In 1973 the Thai biologist Mr. Kitty Thonglongya discovered this special species of bat in the caves of Thailand. He was working together with his British colleague John Hill when Thonglongya suddenly died. Hill decided to name the newly discovered animal after his friend by calling it the ‘Kuhn Kitty bat’ (which means sir Kitty in Thai). They have reddish/brown or grey upper parts with their underside being pale in colour. They have dark coloured relatively wide wings with long tips that enables them to hover. Their nose is pig-like, they have small eyes and relatively large ears.
Thailand is the world’s most heavily Buddhist country
About 93.6 percent of all the people in Thailand are Buddhists (nearly all of them Theravada Buddhists). You will see Wats (Buddhist temples) and saffron robed monks everywhere. About 4.6 percent of the population is Muslim. They are mostly Malays who live in southern Thailand but there are also some in the north and other parts of Thailand. Buddhism is the Thailand religion responsible for the majority of the country’s spectacular temples, with Buddhist temples renowned for their tall domes, golden statues, unique architecture and amazing detail.
Low cost of life
A land with paradisical islands, beautiful people, and a laid-back, cheap lifestyle. The living standard and cost of living in Thailand is unparalleled, which is why tons of expats settle in the sun-kissed kingdom. Thailand has undergone rapid development in recent decades, spurred partly by its tourism industry. Cost of living varies greatly in Thailand’s different regions. As the capital and center of economic activity, Bangkok is naturally the most expensive part of the country. The low cost is one of the main advantages of travelling and living in Thailand. A small furnished studio apartment with free WIFI plus utility bills can cost you as little as $300 per month.
Thailand is a very friendly place
Thais are some of the nicest people in the world. They’re always happy, always smiling, extremely polite, and always helpful. They’ll help you out if you’re in trouble and help translate for you if you can’t speak Thai. They also treat you well, and whenever when you come back here, the local shop owners whose stores I frequent greet me with a warm smile and big hug. Thais have amazing memories — once a friend, always a friend. Also Thailand is famous for its nightlife culture that you can see in almost every city and destination. Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui are the best destinations to enjoy nightlife fun.
Most visited city – Bangkok
Bangkok attracted 20.05 million international tourists in 2017, making it the world’s most visited city, according to Mastercard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index. The Thai capital beat London (19.83 million), Paris (17.44 million), Dubai (15.79 million) and Singapore (13.91 million). For the third year running, Bangkok is the most popular city for international travelers, thanks in large part to its appealing mix of historical sites and modern hot spots: the gilded Grand Palace complex, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, the canals and alleys filled with street food vendors—and that’s just the start. Bangkok also topped the list of total nights stayed with 87.6 million nights, showing that visitors to Asia-Pacific destinations are travelling for longer periods. In 2016, visitors to the region stayed for 1,768.7 million nights, compared with 1,023.1 million nights in 2009, representing an 8.1 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
The edible insect trade has taken off in Thailand in recent years and the country is now Southeast Asia’s largest importer of insects. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the Rong Klua market annually imports 800 tons of edible insects from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and China, and 270 tons of silkworm pupae from China. While it may still seem exotic, if not outright repulsive, to many in the Western world, the FAO points out that insects have long been an integral part of human diets in nearly 100 countries, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with more than 1,600 species consumed. Some insects are also quite nutritious. Crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, which is approximately half the protein contained in beef and chicken. Giant water beetles are even better, with 19.8 grams of protein per 100 grams.
In Thailand, you can’t leave home without underwear
It’s illegal in Thailand to leave the house without any underwear on. To avoid any awkward conversations back home about why you got in trouble over this, make sure you pack enough underwear to last for your whole trip. Also it’s It is illegal to drive a motorised vehicle bare-chested It is illegal to use a durian fruit as a weapon and a fine will be levied determined by how many thorns strike the victim.
Monkey buffet festival Thailand
The Monkey Buffet Festival kicks off with an opening ceremony that includes performances by dancers in monkey costumes. When the monkeys arrive, hosts remove sheets from the banquet tables, revealing decorative spreads of vibrantly hued fruits and vegetables. The macaques jump across tables and climb towering pyramids of watermelon, durian, lettuce, pineapple, and more, indulging in the nearly two tons of offerings. The Monkey Festival draws in 1,000’s of sightseers every year, significantly more than the assessed 3,000 wild monkeys however this mix of man and gorilla makes for a humorous day. The nearby draftsman of this celebration Khon Kitwattananusont tries every year to exceed the earlier year’s merriments and has in the past opened the celebration by parachuting into the grounds dressed as a monkey. The monkey buffet festival is a celebration that takes place in Thailand and it´s held every November 25th. Interestingly, this is due to an ancient folklore that tells the story of Hanuman, a Hindu monkey deity who is believed to rescue a bride from a ten-headed demon. It was said that Hanuman discovered Lopburi, and these monkeys, the ones residing in Lopburi receiving a grand feast every year, are his descendants.
Paying respect to the royal family
In Thailand the royal family is adored and deeply respected by its citizens and it is strictly against the law to criticise any member of the monarchy. The country has the lèse majesté law, which means that any disrespectful acts that are performed toward the king, queen or royal heirs are punished with imprisonment for treason. The popular Hollywood film, ‘The King and I’ was even banned from Thai cinemas as it was deemed to be derogatory to the king. Mother’s and Father’s Day in Thailand are also celebrations for the king and queen rather than for one’s one mother and father and is celebrated nation-wide by the Thai people. Lastly, in the capital of Bangkok the overhead walkways and the monorail will simple come to a complete halt if any royal personage is passing beneath the platform. This is because no layman should ever pass above the head of royalty. People from across the country continue to visit the Grand Palace’s Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall to pay respects before the Royal Urn of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej today, with latest figure showing over 10 million people have visited.
Red Bull was born in Thailand
The product is called Krating Daeng, which was introduced to Thailand in 1976 by the ethnic Chinese entrepreneur Chaleo Yoovidhya and later transformed for the international market into Red Bull, now the world’s leading energy drink. The target sales group include shift workers, truck drivers and other blue-collar workers, for the purpose of helping them stay awake when they stay up all night long. Red Bull has created 12 billionaires, including Austrian marketing guru Dietrich Mateschitz, and the 11 Thai heirs of his late partner, Chaleo Yoovidhya. Red Bull is now sold in 70 countries throughout the world.
The longest city name in the world
Here is Bangkok’s full name: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasi. We think we’ll just stick with Bangkok! The name means : The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world carved with nine precious gems, happy city, rich within the enormous Royal Palace similar to the heavenly kingdom ,realm of the reincarnated god, a city offered to Indra and built by Vishnukarn.
Thailand is the land of white elephants
Thailand is called the country of white elephants due to the large population of white elephants found within the country. Elephants have played an important part in Thailand’s history and today the Thai elephant (chang Thai,) remains as an enduring symbol of Thailand. In the year 1900, the number of elephants in Thailand was estimated to be around 100,000, but just over a century later, that figure had been dramatically reduced to around 3,000 – 4,000 with almost half of that number domesticated and the remainder living wild in National Parks. A white elephant is not literally white in color. It is an albino of the same species. Its skin may be reddish or pink and it may have certain visible features (such as fair eyelashes and toenails and light-colored hair) or other discernible ones (such as sweet-smelling feces). Such features must be ascertained by Brahman ritual specialists of the royal court in Bangkok. White elephants are few in number at any one time and are kept in special royal enclosures overseen by Brahman ritual specialists and their mahouts (elephant keeper).