A country of incredible beauty and rich history, Thailand boasts stunning beaches and verdant jungle landscapes. Its warm, crystal blue waters beckon swimmers and surfers, and the carefree Thailand culture and sanuk lifestyle make everyday a fun adventure. Sanuk refers to the Thai concept of pursuing pleasure and satisfaction in all that you do. It infuses the culture with an unmatched warmth and hospitality.
Want to learn more interesting facts about Thailand? Let’s see how many of these you already know…
1. The Country of Many Islands
Thailand is comprised of about 1,430 islands, which prove tempting getaways. In fact, some visitors have made it a travel pursuit to check out as many Thai islands as they can in search of their ultimate paradise. The Thai word for island is “koh,” hence names like Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phangan.
2. The Land of Smiles
When it comes to fun facts about Thailand, this one will make you smile. Literally. The people of Thailand grin so much that their nation has earned the nickname “the Land of Smiles.” While the title was dreamed up to promote Thailand’s tourism industry, it proves accurate. The Thai people are helpful, courteous, and kind. So, go prepared to smile back!
3. Party Like a Monkey?
Every November, the city of Lopburi in central Thailand goes to the monkeys. Residents host a feast at the 13th-century Phra Prang Sam Yot Temple specifically for 3,000 long-tailed macaque monkeys. The Monkey Buffet Festival includes live performances and dances. Locals decorate long tables with red tablecloths and 4,000 kilograms of colorful fruit and food for the monkeys. The festival draws 10,000 visitors each year and represents a “thank you” from locals to the monkeys for their help in bringing in tourists.
4. The Land of the Free
Unlike its Southeast Asian neighbors, Thailand was never colonized by a European nation. While Burma and Malaysia fell into British hands and Cambodia and Laos into French ones, Thailand relied on strategic negotiations and selectively ceded territories to maintain its independence. Known as “Prathet Thai” in the Thai language, this translates as “the Land of the Free.”
5. The Land of the Large
Thailand could also be called “the Land of the Large.” Why? For one, it’s home to the largest golden Buddha statue in the world, the Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, weighing 5.5 tons. It hosts one of the world’s tallest hotels, the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, measuring 1,014 feet tall. It boasts one of the largest restaurants in the world, the Royal Dragon Restaurant, with a seating capacity of 5,000. But the cool facts about Thailand don’t stop there. Thailand’s also home to the biggest crocodile farm in the world, the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo.
6. The Land of the Small
While Thailand claims some of the biggest things in the world including the world’s largest fish, the 40-foot-long Rhincodon typus or whale shark, it also saves a little room for some of the smallest. The bumble bat or Craseonycteris thonglongyai is the smallest mammal in the world. Measuring just over an inch long with a wingspan of less than 7 inches, as its name suggests, it’s not much bigger than a bumblebee. It makes its home in Thailand along with one-tenth of all the animal species inhabiting the Earth.
7. “We Are Siamese If You Please…”
Remember the Siamese cats who wreaked havoc on Lady’s house in the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp? They may not have gotten much right in the movie, but they proved correct about one thing. Siamese cats are, indeed, native to Thailand (formerly known as Siam). Known as wichen-maator “moon diamonds,” there once were 23 breeds in Siam. Six have survived into the present. According to Thai custom, giving a pair of Si Sawat cats, a type of Siamese cat, to a bride will bless her marriage with good luck.
8. The Land of the Orchids
Thailand has many different titles including “the Land of the Orchids.” It boasts at least 1,300 different tropical orchid species. Thai nurseries cultivate millions of orchids for export each year. In 2014, Thailand’s export revenue from tropical orchids hit $33.47 billion, making it the top exporter of orchids around the world.
Interesting Facts About Thailand
Did any of these interesting facts about Thailand surprise you? Are you ready for your own adventure to “the Land of Smiles”? Check out our Thailand & Cambodia Family Adventure, a culturally rich, kid-friendly way to visit some of the most extraordinary destinations in Asia.
At Our Whole Village, we create transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for curious families just like yours.