Thailand

Thailand

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Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It’s known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of WatArun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (WatPhraKaew). Nearby beach resorts include bustling Pattaya and fashionable Hua Hin.Thailand is also known for its friendly people, elephants, and for having the yoga-like Thai massage, delicious food like pad thai, som tum and mango sticky rice, as well as tuk-tuks, floating markets and full moon parties.

Interesting Facts:

  • Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized by an European country. In fact, in the Thai language, the name of the country is Prathet Thai which means “land of the free.” Very fitting!
  • Thailand is where you’ll find both the smallest and the largest creatures. The smallest mammal in the world, the bumblebee bat, calls Thailand home. You can also find the largest fish, the whale shark, in Thai waters.
  • Males were all Buddhist monks for a while. There was a time when all young men in Thailand (including royalty) were required to become Buddhist monks–even if only for a short period of time–before they turned 20. This practice is not observed as it used to be these days, however. You’re lucky that you know Bangkok as “Bangkok.”  What does that name mean? It 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 loves its King, and shows great respect for the monarchy. The well-known Hollywood movie “The King and I” was never shown in Thai theaters because it was considered to be derogatory to the King. How serious are they about their King? Thailand has the lese majeste rule, meaning that if you commit disrespectful acts toward the King, you could be imprisoned for treason.
  • There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand. Thailand is truly a land of temples. Visiting them requires modest clothing, meaning no shorts or sleeveless shirts.
  • Showing respect for another person’s head is imperative in Thailand. The head is considered to be the most important part of the body, and so Thai culture forbids touching anyone on the head (even a child). Should you meet someone who is older or more important than you, it is best to lower your head in deference to show proper respect.