Thailand, the land of wonder, under the skirt and otherwise! Thailand is known for it’s many curiosities, it’s beauty and it’s culture, a lot of which can only be truly appreciated in person. On the other hand there are lots of little facts you might not know about yet. In this post you will see some things you know but I’ll sure there’ll be plenty you didn’t.
1. Thailand has never been colonised by a European power. No other Southeast Asian country can claim this.
2. The people of Thailand take it’s monarchy very seriously. It is illegal to step on any Thai currency as they carry an image of the King, it is also illegal to criticise the monarchy.
3. Thailand claims to have no official religion but over 90% of the population practices Theravada Bubbhism.
4. The world’s hottest city, by average, is Bangkok.
5. What is considered the world’s smallest mammal, the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, is found in Thailand. It weights just two grams and also goes by the name ‘bumblebee bat’ or ‘bumble bat’.
6. The world’s longest city name goes to Bangkok, with it’s original name being 176 characters long. Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit can be quite the mouthful so most as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, or Krung Thep for short.
7. Thailand is believed to be the home to 200,000 millionaires ($) with 95 percent living in Bangkok.
8. An unusual world record was held by Thailand between 2010 and 2011 for the most washed plates in a line. There were 10,488 plates.
9. Some might think it’s strange to have a law against using a fruit as a weapon. However in Thailand using a durain fruit as a weapon is against the law, for good reason too! The durian fruit can grow as large as 30cm long, 15 cm in diameter and typically weighs 2 to 7 lbs and is covered in a hard thorn coated husk.
10. Thailand likes to do things big, as evidenced by their list of records for the world’s largest golden buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge and the worlds tallest hotel, and many others, some of which are dotted throughout this post.
11. A puurrticularly interesting tale from Thailand is the one of two rare diamond-eyed cats, Phet and Ploy, who were married in a lavish $16,241 Thai wedding in 1996, the most expensive pet wedding in the world.
12. Thailand is the home of a curious little creature, the mudskipper fish that is able to walk on land and climb trees.
13. Siamese cats are native to Thailand.
14. Today there are about 5,000 elephants in Thailand with less than half of them wild. A century ago there were more than 100,000 elephants in Thailand with 20,000 untamed. (Be sure to read our post on why you shouldn’t ride elephants in Thailand!)
15. If you think that Queen Elizabeth II (of England) is a ripe old bird, then you’ll be surprised to know that the worlds longest reigning monarch goes to Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej who became King Rama IX in 1946.
16. Not only is King Rama IX a long serving king, he is also a pretty cool dude. He holds a degree in engineering from Switzerland, he owns a patent on a form of cloud seeding, he plays sax and he even composed Thailand’s national anthem.
17. Prostitution is technically illegal in Thailand, though it’s rarely enforced.
18. An amazing 1/10th of all animal species live in Thailand, including 10% of the worlds bird species.
19. Known as the father of Thai scientists is King Mongkut. Don’t recognise the name? The King and I (both Hollywood and Broadway) is a story based on the Siamese ruler and a teacher named Anna Leonowens. The film shows the king as being sheltered and uncultured, an insult especially when you realise that King Mongkut is believed to be the first Asian ruler to speak, read and write English fluently. In reality he is considered highly intelligent, cultured and well read.
20. In 2008 Bangkok was ranked the best city in the world according to Travel and Leisure Magazine!