Millions of travelers flock to Thailand every year, to witness some of the best beaches in the world, some of the friendliest locals, and relish delectable Thai Cuisines. The land of smiles is a favorite destination when it comes to seasoned travelers. No matter if you have ever been to Thailand in past, or if Thailand is on your bucket list, or if you have an upcoming plan to visit this beautiful country, there are some facts that you haven’t heard of and would love to know about this place.
In this blog we have listed some of the most interesting and fun facts about Thailand that you can use in trivia nights, or pick some of them in a discussion about Thailand with your friends and family.
1 – Thailand was formerly known as Siam
Originally the name of Thailand was Siam until the year if 1939, when it was changed to Thailand. But again between the years of 1945 and 1949 it was changed to Siam, until finally the name of the country became Thailand.
2 – The name of Thailand translates into ‘Land of the Free’ in local language
The name for Thailand in the Thai language is Prathet Thai, which translates into ‘Land of the Free’. The reason behind keeping this name was that Thailand was never colonized by European countries, as opposed to most of their neighboring countries.
3 – ‘Siamese Twins’ term came from Thailand
The medical term Siamese Twins was originated in Thailand when it was still known as Siam. It was inspired by two Thai twin brothers Chang and Eng Bunker, who were joined by their chest. Over a period of time, the term Siamese Twins got replaced by ‘conjoined twins’.
4 – People of Thailand use the Thai Lunar Calendar
People in Thailand use the Thai Lunar Calendar, which is different from the Georgian Calendar. Their dates are determined as per the Buddhist Era. In comparison to the most of the world they are living 543 years in the future. If it is 2024 in rest of the world, then in Thailand it will be 2567. Although you can use the Georgian calendar dates in the official documents.
5 – The local name for Bangkok is the longest name for any city in the world
For rest of the world the capital city of Thailand is known by the name of Bangkok. But for the Thai people, it is known by the name of Krung Thep. But that name is also the shortened version of the real name of Bangkok, which goes by the name of, “Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit”. Officially it is the longest name of any city in the world. The name translates into English as, ‘City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, Magnificent City of the 9 Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s Behest.’.
6 – Siamese cats are native to Thailand
Siamese Cats are originally and native of Thailand. They are known for their blue eyes, and fine fur coat. They were regarded as the Royal pets in the Kingdom of Siam. Their significance is deeply rooted in the Thai Society and they are known to bring good fortune to the families that pet them.
7 – Thai National Anthem is played twice a day on Television, Radio, and Public Places
Thai People have a tradition of playing the National Anthem twice a day. Every day at 8 o Clock in morning and at 6 o Clock in the evening the National Anthem is broadcasted on television, and radios. It is also played at public places such as schools, train stations, and markets. Thai people observe silence in these moments to listen to the Anthem, before they head for their normal business.
8 – Around 17 percent of the Thai Population lives alone in Bangkok
It is estimated that around 70 Million people live in Thailand. Of the total, 75% of the population is Thai, 14% is Chinese, and the rest 11% of the population is comprised of different nationalities. Out of this entire 70 Million, around 12 Million people live in Bangkok alone. It is estimated that there are around 330 Thai people living in per square mile of the country.
9 – Red Bull was originally a local drink of Thailand
Red Bull was originally created in Thailand in the year of 1976. Initially it was marketed to the blue collared people under the name of Krating Daeng. The Austrian Businessman Dietrich Mateschtiz stumbled upon this drink to cure his jet lag. He collaborated with the Thai version owner and later on marketed it as Red Bull in entire world. In present times, the Red Bull which is sold in the rest of the world is carbonated as opposed to the one which is sold in Thailand.
10 – Local beer of Thailand costs similar to a bottle of packaged water
In Thailand tap water is not considered to deem fit for drinking, but the local beer is. The reason behind is the high alcoholic content in the beer that kills most of the germs and bacteria. The cost of Local Thai Beer is almost equal to the bottled water which also makes it a popular beverage in the country.
11 – Alike Britain, people of Thailand also love their Royal family
Thailand shares something with the British people that they too have deep respect for the monarchy of the country. In Thailand you will find the pictures of the Royal family all across the country, which shows how deeply penetrated their influence is in the Thai culture. In Thailand you are not supposed to frown the Royal Family or crack jokes about them. This could also lead you to imprisonment. It is also interesting to note that Thai people celebrate Mothers Day on the Queen’s birthday and they celebrate Fathers Day on King’s Birthday. Such is their adoration for the monarch.
12 – Bangkok was once known as the Venice of the East
In earlier times Bangkok was also known as the Venice of the East. Just like Venice, the city of Bangkok was also built on canals or locally known as khlongs. In earlier times these canals were used as the main source of travel and transportation in the country. In present times most of these canals are filled, but you will still find few of them in the outskirts of the city.
13 – Going out from home in underwear is illegal in Thailand
This might sound strange but yes it is illegal to go out from your house without wearing underwear. Thai people are really quite cautious about personal hygiene.
14 – Colors of Thai flag have individual significance
Thai flag is comprised of three colors which are red, blue and white. They hold individual significance. Red stands of people, nation and the land. Blue stands for the monarchy which is still prevalent in Thailand. White stands for the purity of Buddhism, the religion which is followed by more than 90% of the Thai people.
15 – Bangkok receives more visitors than New York or London
Thailand is visited by millions of people from all across the world. But most of them land here to visit Bangkok. Yes Bangkok holds the title of being the most popular tourist destination of the world by exceeding the number of visitors coming to New York and London.
16 – Rice is the most important food in diet of Thai People
Rice is the most important part of the meals in Thailand right from breakfast to making of desserts. Rice is so deeply penetrated in the Thai food culture that the Thai version of ‘I am Hungry’ translates into, ‘I want to eat rice’. Thailand is also the world’s second largest exporter of rice. The popular Jasmine Rice is native to Thailand and enjoyed by people all across the world.
17 – The biggest Chinatown of the world is in Bangkok
Bangkok has the biggest Chinatown in the world. If you happen to visit this beautiful city then a trip to its Chinatown is a must. It is a haven for Chinese street food and you will find lit neon lights all along the way.
18 – World’s largest golden statue of Lord Buddha is in Thailand
Thailand is also home to the world’s largest golden statue of Lord Buddha. The 15 feet tall Buddha statue of Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon is something you must see once in your lifetime if you are keen about the Buddhist religion. Over the centuries the temple has been plundered many a times, but this statue was saved for being covered in stucco. The golden statue is worth millions of dollars and has an impressive weight of over 5 tons.
19 – Everyone in Thailand has a nickname
Having nicknames is very popular in Thai culture. Thai people will have a official name, and also a nickname which is given to them by their parents at the time of their birth. Thai parents will always choose a nickname that has a deeper significance and which sounds good in foreign languages. Some of the popular nicknames of Thai people are Benz, Bank, Chompoo, and Nan.
20 – Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand
The national sport of Thailand is Muay Thai which is a form of boxing. It is also called as ‘The art of Eight Limbs’, because of the usage of shins, elbows, knees and fists in the sport. Muay Thai is not just the national sports for namesake but it is also enjoyed greatly by the locals.
21 – Thai coins are inscribed with images of temples located in Bangkok
Thai coins are embossed with pictures of the Thai Temples that all are located in Bangkok. The coin of 1 baht has the picture of Wat Phra Kaew. The coin of 2 baht has the picture of Wat Saket. The coin of 5 baht has the picture of Wat Benjamabophit. The coin of 10 baht has the picture of Wat Arun. This shows a lot about the Thai Culture’s inclination towards its religious heritage.
22 – It is illegal to step on the currency notes of Thailand because they have images of King
In Thailand it is illegal to step on the bank notes of the country as they have picture of their King. Stepping on bank notes is considered highly disrespectful in Thai Culture as feet are the lowest part of the body.
23 – In Thailand everyone serves as a Monk for a short duration
In Buddhist culture it is a tradition of becoming a monk by all people before they turn 20 years old. The typical duration of serving as a monk in Thailand is around 3 months. Thailand is also home to two Buddhist Universities that are attended by several thousand students. It is estimated that there are around 35,000 temples in Thailand which shows a lot about the importance of religion in their culture.
24 – Thailand has a place which is ruled by Macaque Monkeys
In Thailand you must also visit the Lopbur, which is probably the only place in this world which is ruled by macaque monkeys. The place is also known to host the Monkey Banquet Festival which is held in the region’s Pra Prang Sam Yot temple. During this banquet festival, monkeys feast on rice, fruits, sausages, and ice cream. The locals hold this festival to thank the monkeys from, bring the tourists, and for the good fortune they will get for respecting the furry friends.
25 – Thai people believe in Ghosts
Thai people believe in the existence of ghosts. It is the part of their culture and their day to day lives. Thai homes and business places will always have a Spirit House or a shrine where they will pray and make offerings to please the spirits. It is believed that whistling can call the spirits to your place.
To travel Thailand is to awaken your soul!