50 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Thailand | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The population of Thailand is about 67 million. Thailand is made up of approximately 1,430 islands.
- Thailand’s name in the Thai language is Prathet Thai, which means “Land of the Free.” It is the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonized by a European nation.
- Thailand shares a border with four countries: Myanmar (formerly Burma) to the north and west, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south.
- Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and is also called the ‘Venice of the East’ due to its large number on canals. However, as Bangkok grew larger, most canals were filled and paved. It is the world’s most visited city ahead of London having 16 million international visitors per year.
- The longest name of the city in the world is the full name of Bangkok (169 Characters). 1 in 10 Thais live in Bangkok city. Khao San Road is the liveliest and busiest tourist area in Bangkok.
- The highest elevation in Thailand is Doi Inthanon at 8,514 feet (2,595 m) .
Flora & Fauna
- One-tenth of all animal species on Earth live in Thailand.
- The world’s smallest mammal, the Craseonycteris thonglongyai (the bumble bat), is found in Thailand. Amazingly it just weights two grams.
- More than 1,500 species of orchids grow wild in Thai forests. Thailand is the world’s number one orchid exporter. Orchid is also the national flower of Thailand.
- Thailand is home to what may be the world’s longest snake, the reticulated python. The largest one ever found stretched over 33 feet (10 m) from end to end.
- Thailand is home to the world’s longest poisonous snake, the king cobra. The cobra can reach more than 18 feet long, and one bite from it can kill an elephant.
- The largest living lizard is native to Thailand. The monitor lizard can grow as long as 7 feet.
- Swiftlet nests are made from strands of saliva from the male swiftlet bird. Swiftlet nests collected from Thai caves can fetch more than $900 per pound. It is one of the world’s most coveted and expensive food items.
- The Mekong River, which forms part of Thailand’s eastern border, supports more than 1,300 species of fish. It holds some of the world’s largest freshwater fish, including a giant catfish which can reach nearly 10 feet long and weigh as much as 660 lbs.
- Thailand houses the world’s largest fish, the 12-meter Rhincodon typus, otherwise known as the whale shark.
- One of Thailand’s most curious creatures is the mudskipper, which is a fish that is capable of walking on land and climbing trees. It uses its fins to “walk” and can absorb oxygen through its skin and lining in its mouth. It spends most of its time out of the water, eating the algae in tidal pools.
- A century ago, more than 100,000 elephants lived in Thailand, with about 20,000 of them untamed. Now, there are about 5,000, with less than half of them wild.
- Thailand has a long history of monarchy for centuries from 13 th century. Current Chakri Dynasty was created in 1782.
- Thailand’s and the world’s longest reigning monarch is Bhumibol Adulyadej, who became King Rama IX in June 1946. He was born in the U.S. in 1927 when his father was studying medicine at Harvard. He owns a patent on a form of cloud seeding and holds a degree in engineering from Switzerland. He also plays the sax and composed Thailand’s national anthem.
Places / Architecture
- Thailand is home to the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel.
- Don Mueang International Airport sports the tallest control tower in the world, measuring 132.2m (434ft)
- Thailand is home to the world’s 9 th tallest statue, the Great Buddha of Thailand, at the Wat Muang Monastery in Ang Thong province which is also the world’s highest stupa , Phra Pathom Chedi at 127 metres.
- The town of Kanchanburi is home to the famous “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, part of the Burma-Siam railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people died in the course of the railway project.
- Thailand is truly a land of temples. There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand.
People Customs & Culture
- In the past, all Thai young men including the kings became Buddhist monks for at least a short period of time before their 20th birthday.
- 75 % percent of the people in Thailand are Thai and 14% are Chinese.
- The Thai alphabet has 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
- Buddhism is Thailand’s largest religion with approximately 94.6% of the population practicing the religion. Muslims make up 4.6%, Christians 0.7%.
- A nuclear family in Thailand is rare because most people live in large extended families.
- In Thailand, the head is the most important part of the body. No one must ever touch another person, even a child, on the head. Thais always try to keep their heads lower than the head of any person who is older or more important, to show respect.
- Traditionally in Thailand, feet are considered lowly. A person must never sit with their feet pointing to a statue in a temple or at some other person. Feet must always be tucked underneath the body.
- Over 300,000 Thai have settled in North America with the largest communities along the West Coast while over 10,000 Americans live in Thailand.
- 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 tons 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.
- The Ramakien is the national epic narrative of Thailand which has influenced everyday Thai life for hundreds of years. The story is actually the Thai version of Ramayana, a poem first told in India 3,000 year ago.
- Prostitution is technically illegal in Thailand, but the law is very rarely enforced and trade flourishes. Sex workers are estimated to be up to 1 million.
- Thailand currently has the highest prevalence of HIV in Asia.
- Traffic police in Bangkok wear facemasks because of dangerous levels of air pollution. More than 20% of Bangkok’s police have some form of lung disease.
- In 1996, two rare “diamond-eyed cats,” Phet and Ploy, were married in a lavish $16,241 Thai wedding, the most expensive pet wedding in the world.
- The world’s largest Christmas log cake was made in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 25, 1997. The cake weighed 5,071 lbs. and reached 27′ 6″. It was later cut into 19, 212 portions
- Thailand set the record for the longest catwalk on April 9, 2010. The catwalk was 1,584 meters long and was part of the Pattaya International Fashion Week.
- Sometimes the Sky Train will stop for no apparent reason. When any member of the Royal family travels downtown, the trains will stop in a position so that it is not above the Royal. Essentially your head can not be directly above theirs. That goes for walking on the overhead passes too.
- Thailand is constitutional monarchy like England. It is strictly against the law to criticize the monarchy.
- The Garuda (a creature from the Hindu religion) is a national and royal symbol of Thailand.
- It is illegal to drive shirtless in Thailand. It is also illegal to leave the house without underwear on.
- Each year, more than 10 million foreign tourists visit Thailand. Thailand has also attracted many expatriates from developed countries.
- Thailand is the world’s largest producer of tin. It is also the world’s largest exporter of rice.
- In 1999, a group of 282 skydivers set the record for the largest number of skydivers in a free-fall formation above Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. They held the link for 7.11 seconds.
- Medicine man Hoo Sateow from Thailand has the world’s documented longest hair at 16’ 11″ long.
- The brothers who gave the world the term “Siamese twins” were born in 1811 in a village near Bangkok. The twins Eng and Chang were joined at the chest and left Thailand for the U.S when they were 17 years old. Each brother married, and between them they had 22 children. In 1873, Eng caught pneumonia and died. Chang died a few hours later.
- Tiger Woods is the son of an American father and a Thai mother.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team