The main reason why many tourists are attracted to visit Thailand is because of its natural beauty and it is situated in a location blessed with tropical climate. The whole country offers wondrous views you would surely enjoy that are brought by the majestic mountains and diverse presence of plant and animal species. Every year, millions of foreigners are booking their flights to Thailand because many are craving to taste the local cuisine, and try the tour packages that would make them explore every beautiful corner of this country. Despite the modern technology adapted by the locals, they are still preserving their culture and religious practices, making the country more attractive.
Important and Interesting Facts about Thailand
- It’s a country at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
- Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous country
- Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996, becoming a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy.
- Among the ten ASEAN countries, Thailand ranks second in quality of life and the country’s HDI had been rated as ‘high’. Its large population and growing economic influence have made it a middle power in the region and around the world.
- The Chao Phraya and the Mekong River are the sustainable resource of rural Thailand. Industrial scale production of crops use both rivers and their tributaries.
- The Andaman Sea is regarded as Thailand’s most precious natural resource as it hosts the most popular and luxurious resorts in Asia. Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang and their lush islands all lay along the coasts of the Andaman Sea and despite the 2004 Tsunami, they continue to be and ever more so, the playground of the rich and elite of Asia and the world.
- Park archipelago in southern Thailand. One of Tarutao’s greatest attraction is its wildlife: sea turtles, whales, monitor lizards, crab-eating macaques, mouse deer and more all call the island and its surrounding waters home. Compared to other Andaman islands the waters of Ko Tarutao are to murky to snorkel, but for most, the unspoilt beaches, waterfalls, great hiking and views more than compensate for this.
- Ayuthaya was founded in 1350 AD by King U Thong as the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become one of the largest cities in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants
- Located near the border with Cambodia, Ko Chang is the second largest island in Thailand and the biggest in the Ko Chang Marine Park archipelago. Ko Chang is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands with several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs, rainforests and long white sandy beaches. The island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including birds, snakes, deer and a number of elephants.
- The construction of the Grand Palace started in 1782 when the capital of Siam was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. The palace served as the residence of the Kings of Thailand until the mysterious death of King Ananda Mahidol in 1946. His brother King Bhumibol Adulyadej who succeeded him moved permanently to the Chitralada Palace. The Grand Palace covers a wide range of architectural styles, ranging from a pure Ayutthayan style of the temples to a blend of Thai and Western for later structures.
- The Similan Islands in the western Andaman Sea are considered the best dive destination in Thailand. The archipelago consist of 9 islands covered in tropical jungle with white sandy beaches. The views under the water surface are even more impressive. There are 2 different kind of dive spots around the Similan Islands.
Cool and Funny Facts about Thailand
- The full spelling of its capital, Bangkok, was clearly finalised before the days of Twitter. It is known to Thais as Krung Thep Maha Nakho, but its full ceremonial name is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit (a Tweet-busting 169 characters).
- It is the world’s most visited city, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index, ahead of London. It will welcome 16 million international arrivals this year.
- Kitti’s hog-nosed bat – thought to be the world’s smallest mammal – is found in Thailand. It weights just two grams.
- According to the World Economic Forum, Thailand is the 13th friendliest country in the world. Iceland is the friendliest.
- One of the country’s most unusual festivals is the annual Monkey Buffet, held in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province. More than 600 monkeys are invited to feast on over two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, ice cream and other treats. The locals see it as a thank you to the monkeys which inhabit the village and bring thousands of tourists there each year.
- Another is the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival. The event, a version of the Taoist Nine Emperor Gods Festival, involves much gruesome self-mutilation.
- Thailand is home to the world’s ninth tallest statue, The Great Buddha of Thailand, at the Wat Muang Monastery in Ang Thong province. It also has the world’s highest stupa – Phra Pathom Chedi at 127 metres. The country’s tallest building is the Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok – it is the world’s 80th tallest at 304 metres.
- Thailand has won just seven gold medals at the Olympic Games – three in weightlifting and four in boxing. Muay Thai boxing is the national sport. It is known as “the art of eight limbs” as it uses punches, kicks, elbows and knees.
- Elephant polo is another popular pastime. The King’s Cup is one of the key events in the sport’s calendar – the beach resort of Hua Hin is one of three host venues (the others are in Sri Lanka and Nepal).
- Thailand is the only country in south-east Asia that hasn’t been colonised by Europeans.
- It is strictly against the law to criticise the monarchy.
- Parts of Thailand are off-limits to British travellers. The Foreign Office advises against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area, on the Thai-Cambodian border, “due to the presence of troops in the area and the risk of outbreaks of fighting”. It also advises against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border, due to the threat of terrorism.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Thailand
- The Thais first began settling their present homeland in the 6th century, and by the end of the 13th century ruled most of the western portion. During the next 400 years, they fought sporadically with the Cambodians to the east and the Burmese to the west.
- Formerly called Siam, Thailand has never experienced foreign colonization. The British gained a colonial foothold in the region in 1824, but by 1896 an Anglo-French accord guaranteed the independence of Thailand. A coup in 1932 demoted the monarchy to titular status and established representative government with universal suffrage.
- At the outbreak of World War II, Japanese forces attacked Thailand. After five hours of token resistance Thailand yielded to Japan on Dec. 8, 1941, subsequently becoming a staging area for the Japanese campaign against Malaya. Following the demise of a pro-Japanese puppet government in July 1944, Thailand repudiated the declaration of war it had been forced to make in 1942 against Britain and the U.S.
- By the late 1960s the nation’s problems largely stemmed from conflicts brewing in neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam. Although Thailand had received $2 billion in U.S. economic and military aid since 1950 and had sent troops (paid by the U.S.) to Vietnam while permitting U.S. bomber bases on its territory, the collapse of South Vietnam and Cambodia in spring 1975 brought rapid changes in the country’s diplomatic posture. At the Thai government’s insistence, the U.S. agreed to withdraw all 23,000 U.S. military personnel remaining in Thailand by March 1976.
- The 2004 Tsunami, referred to as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami or the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, was one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. It was triggered by an undersea earthquake with an estimated magnitude of between 9.1 to 9.3, making it the third most powerful quake ever recorded.The tsunami hit Thailand’s southwestern coast along the Andaman Sea, causing death and destruction from the northern border with Burma to the southern border with Malaysia. The hardest hit areas in terms of loss of life and property destruction were in Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi, not just because of their location, but because they were the most developed and the most densely populated areas along the coast.
- Rice is the staple food at every meal for most people. All food is brought to the table at once rather than being served in courses. A meal will include rice, dishes with gravy, side dishes, soup, and a salad. Whereas in central and southern Thailand polished white rice is eaten, in the north and northeast people eat glutinous or sticky rice. Fish and shellfish are popular. Curries are eaten throughout the country, but there are regional varieties
- The Thai and other Buddhists follow the widespread Buddhist custom of not touching a person on the head, which is considered the highest part of the body. Patting a child on the head is thought to be dangerous to the well-being of the child. A person should not point the feet at anyone or at an image of Buddha. Footwear is removed when entering temple complexes, and it is polite to remove footwear when entering a house. Buddhist monks are not supposed to come into contact with women.
- About eighty-five percent of the people are Theravada Buddhists, and the monarch must be a Buddhist. Virtually all Tai-speaking peoples are Theravada Buddhists, as are members of many of the ethnic minorities. The Buddhism of Central Tais often is referred to as Lankavamsa, reflecting its origins in Sri Lanka. Thai Buddhism, however, is a syncretic religion that borrows from earlier animistic beliefs, Hinduism, and Christianity. A noticeable manifestation of animism in Thai Buddhism are the spirit houses associated with almost all houses and buildings.
- Support for the arts comes from both the public and private sectors. The Department of Fine Arts underwrites programs throughout the country, and there a national theater. Silpakorn University is the main public educational institution for the arts, and there is a national College of Dance and Music.
- Chong kraben (Thai: โจงกระเบน Thai pronunciation: [tɕoːŋ.kràʔ.beːn]) is a lower-body, wrap-around cloth. Unlike the typical pha nung, it resembles pants more than skirts. It is a rectangular piece of cloth measuring 3 meters long and one meter wide. It is worn by wrapping around the waist, stretching it away from the body, twisting the ends together then pulling the twisted fabric between the legs and tucking it in the back of the waist.
- Khon is the most stylised form of Thai dance. It is performed by dancers who mime the action while the story is being told/sung by a chorus in the background. Dancers wear elaborate costumes and masks to portray different characters. Khon characters include demons, monkeys, humans and celestial beings. The dance may require agility and muscular exertion.
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