Thailand is one of the most famed and visited Southeast Asian countries. It has the warmest locals, charming ever culture, wonderful architecture, breathtaking nature, unspoiled islands and beaches, mouth-watering foods, and most importantly, the hassle-free travel and Thailand visa procedures. Apart from these, there are some amazing and interesting things to know about Thailand – some of which you’ll be aware and some not. So come test your knowledge about Thailand by taking a look at these surprising facts about the country.
- Thailand is the ‘Land of the Free’
In Thai language, Thailand is known as Prathep Thai. And it absolutely lives up to its literal meaning, ‘Land of the Free.’ After all, it holds the distinction of being the only country in the Southeast Asia that was never occupied by the European colonial powers.
- The official name of Thailand’s capital city is the longest of its kind
Thailand is famous all over for its largest as well as the vibrant capital city, Bangkok. But did you know that the official name of its capital city is the world’s longest city name? So get ready to give your tongue a twist or exercise; the official name of Bangkok is, ‘Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.’
This comprises Pali and Sanskrit words and is translated in English as the city of angels, the glorious city, the abode of the Emerald Buddha, the invincible city of Lord Indra (unlike Ayutthaya), the world’s imposing capital blessed with nine precious gems, the cheerful city with an enormous Royal Palace which resembles the heavenly abode reigned by the reincarnated god.”
- Find the world’s largest and smallest creature in Thailand
Yes, Thailand bags this rare credit of being the country that inhabits both the largest and smallest creature in the world. Growing to a length of up to just 33 centimetres and weighing not more than two grams, the Bumblebee Bat is the world’s smallest mammal and you can find them in Thailand’s Sai Yok National Park at Kanchanaburi Province. Speaking of the largest creatures, you’ll not only find the biggest fish (white shark) in the sea but also the largest of its kind lizard, known as Monitor Lizard (growing up to seven feet).
- Siamese cats are actually from Thailand
Siamese cats are captivating for its distinctive charm and sleek appearance. It’s one of the world’s oldest cat breeds and more fascinatingly, it’s believed to have been originated in Thailand, back in the 14th century. This is also found mentioned in an ancient Thai manuscript. Many interesting beliefs revolve around this type of cat. For instance, its considered auspicious to gift a Siamese cat to the brides.
- Thailand has only a fraction of forest than it had a century ago
Any people travelling to Thailand instantly fall for its lush yet supremely appealing landscape with verdant jungles, laid-back islands, and other natural formations such as mountains, waterfalls, natural hot springs, striking valleys etc. However, the sad reality is that the country, especially in its northern part, was once completely blanketed with dense forests and trees. In fact, what now left is just a quarter of than it did over a hundred years ago. But the good news is that the logging activities are now completely banned in the country.
- There is a festival dedicated to monkeys
One of the main reasons that make Thailand really unique is its weird beliefs and alluring festivals including the monkey buffet festival. It takes place annually in the province of Lophuri, also known as the land of monkeys, with thousands of long-tailed macaques. Interestingly, they are considered the descendants of Lord Hanuman. As indicative of its name, the festival’s major highlight is a sumptuous feast arranged for its revered residents, wherein they are allowed to devour on endless pounds of food including fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, desserts etc. Placed about 150 kilometers from the capital city of Bangkok, it’s held at a ruined Khmer shrine whose origin traces back to the 10th century.
- Thailand has a type of fish which can walk on land
Thailand is home to some rare and endangered wildlife and underworld species, and one of the most fascinating among them is the Cryptotora Thamicola. This is an amphibious fish which however is unlike any other fish species. With four legs, it’s not only able to swim out of water and walk like any other ordinary four-legged animal, but also come with the ability to climb the sheer rock surfaces along the waterfalls. This is probably the reason it’s also known as the Waterfall Climbing Cavefish. Interestingly, this fish is blind and mostly found in the caves across Northern Island.
From boasting one of the world’s longest-reigning monarchs to being the land of over 35,000 shrines, there are more such interesting facts about Thailand. So how many of these amazing Thailand facts are you already aware of? Let us know in the comment section below.