Experiences - Asia

Little Known Facts About Thailand

The country of Thailand has long captivated travellers with its colourful folklore and stupendous statues. It has sated their hunger for exotic food and gone above and beyond to enchant them with its graceful dance forms.

But there are several secrets that few know about this enigmatic country. For instance, did you know that it is the only country to have escaped colonization by a European nation? Or that it is home to more than 1,500 species of orchids? Thailand is full of little quirks and magnificence that will have you gasping, laughing and even clapping a hand to your mouth. Here’s a gander at five little known facts about Thailand.

bangkok

Photo courtesy of torbus used under the Creative Commons Licence

Little known facts about Thailand:

1. The city with the longest name in the world

Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, has the longest name in the world. With an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, Bangkok’s full name is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahitarayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Nopparat Ratchthani Buriram Udomratchanivet Mahasatan Amon Pimets Avatan Sathit Sakkathttiyya Vitsanukam Prasit. When translated, 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.”

2. Serious monkey business

Located in the city of Surat, is the Thani Monkey College which not only teaches monkeys to entertain tourists, but also to pluck as many as 1,000 coconuts from palm trees.

monkey coconut

Photo courtesy of Colin and Sarah Northway used under the Creative Commons Licence

3. Tricky tongue twister

The Thai language is tricky to learn. This is of little wonder as the Thai alphabet is one of the most complex in the world. It is said to be superior to almost all existing alphabets, with an astounding level of complexity and size second only to the Khmer alphabet used in Cambodia. The Thai alphabet has 32 vowels and 44 consonants.

4. Record seating restaurant

Thailand’s affinity for the Guinness Book of Records is in no way fading, as it has another entry in the Book – that of being home to the largest restaurant in Bangkok. The Royal Dragon Restaurant, can simultaneously serve as many as 5,000 people.

5. Watch your step

Feet are considered lowly in Thailand. They are said to symbolise an attachment to the ground, a cause for great human suffering. As such, feet are expected to be tucked underneath one’s body, and never pointed to a statue in a temple.

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