In Thai language which is Prathet Thai, Thailand directly translates to ‘Land of the Free’.
Thailand was once known as the Kingdom of Siam and is the country where Siamese cats originated from. The Thai people are intrigued by these cats and there is even a 14th- century poetry book that tells about how there used to be 23 different types of Siamese cats, nowadays there are only six. On a wedding note, it is considered to be a gesture of good luck to gift a bride with a pair of Siamese cats on her wedding day.
The swiftlet bird in Thailand creates one the most expensive and desired delicacies. Found and harvested in caves, the sea-salt briny flavour of the nests are made from the strands of saliva from the male swiftlet. The nest are charged at more than USD 900 per pound, and according to traditional Chinese medicine, have an extensive list of health benefits for those who can afford the salty dish.
Monkeying Around – In Thailand in November there is an annual Lopburi Monkey Banquet that is hosted in front of Pra Prang Sam Yot temple in the province of Lopburi. The locals invite over 600 monkeys to feast on a buffet of rice, tropical fruits, salad, grilled sausages and even ice-cream. The festival is hosted out of the belief that good luck will follow from treating the furry creatures with respect.
Not only is the Thai capital Thailand’s largest city but one-tenth of the entire Thai population live in Bangkok. Made up of Pali and Sanskrit root words, Bangkok’s ceremonial name is, ‘Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.’ The name means, ‘City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra‘s behest.’
Thailand is home to the fascinating blind, waterfall climbing cavefish, also known as the Cryptotora thamicola, The fish uses its two front and two back fins to propel itself up waterfalls.
The orchid is Thailand’s national flower, and with 1,500 different orchid species growing wild in Thailand’s forests and jungles, it is also the world’s largest exporter of the flower. Around 45% of Thailand’s orchids are exported out of the country and the rest are sold to locals on the domestic market. It is not uncommon to see orchids growing on the side of the road as they are so abundant.
There are 1,430 islands in Thailand, 35,000 temples and nearly 67 million people comprise of Thailand’s population. Each year around 6 million tourists visit the country and there are 11 million non-resident visitors who visit Bangkok each year.
The popular energy drink, Red Bull was born in Thailand. It was based on Krating Daeng, a sweet, uncarbonated energy drink that was sold throughout the country from 1976. Later in 1987, an Austrian entrepreneur named Dietrich Mateschitz modified the ingredients to better suit Western tastes and thus, Red Bull was born.
Thailand is sometimes known as the “land of smiles” because the people of Thailand seem to be always ready with a smile. The people of Thailand are a peace-loving culture, desiring harmony over conflict.
Thailand was named the world’s hottest city. With temperatures soring it is a must visit for those who like the weather hot and the drinks cold.
Thailand has more than 5,000 elephants (though more than half are domesticated). Over a hundred years ago, though, there used to be about 100,000 with about one fifth of them wild.