Some lesser known facts about the land of smiles
Ok so let’s start with the nation’s capital.
Bangkok is known to the people of Thailand by several names with many referring to it as Krung Thep Maha Nakho, however its full ceremonial name is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahitharayutthaya Udomratchaniwermahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit, which as you can probably tell is a bit of a mouthful at a whopping 169 characters long, and if spoken is usually sung.
Elephant polo is a real sport. That right just like the British version where people ride horses and knock balls about the place with long mallets on a stick Thailand have their own version riding elephants. The King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament takes place annually and is one of the key events in the nation’s sporting calendar.
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country to never have been colonized by Europeans. At some point over the years all of Thailand’s neighbours were colonized by either British or French forces, however the two colonists thought it best to have some neutral ground between their colonies and opted to keep Thailand as such ground.
Thailand used to be known by a different name which was Siam. Following events that unfurled in World War II the Siamese constituent assembly voted in favour of changing the name of the county to Thailand on July 20, 1948 and came into effect on May 11, 1949.
Thai people consider feet unclean and should never touch them. For Thai people a person’s feet are considered spiritually and symbolically not clean, as such do not be surprised if people act very unfavourably if you point your feet in their direction or place them on the backs of seats when on a bus for example.
Many Thai people strongly believe in Ghosts. That’s right if something goes bump in the night it might be a ghost as according to much of the Thai population ghosts are real and many Thais make offerings to the spirits to keep them happy especially if they buy a new home. Once moving in it is quite common to build a small spirit house for the ghost of the house to move into. If you stay at a believer’s home you might be expected to make a small offering and ask permission from the spirit to spend the night in their house. Of course every families beliefs might not be the same but next time you get woken up in the night just remember it might be the ghost of the house.
Thailand has one of the strictest punishments in the world for drug traffickers as they still use the death penalty. So if you were considering “Breaking Bad” Thailand might not be the best place to do so as you might find yourself sitting on death row. Minor drug related offenses are also carry serious jail time so best to stay well clear.
Thailand was the venue of the world’s most expensive cat wedding. Yeah you read that correctly one pet owner shelled out an eye watering $28,000 (933,500 baht) for their cats Phet and Ploy to tie the not with the cat groom arriving in a Rolls-Royce and the feline bride showing up in a helicopter to a wedding ceremony attended by 500 guests
Well there you have it how many of these facts did you already know?