Thailand, otherwise known as the ‘Land of Smiles,’ is full of surprises, including these facts that you probably wouldn’t know without visiting.
Thailand is one of the popular tourist destinations in the world that the pandemic hit hard. The country went from receiving more than 30 million visitors yearly before the pandemic to 6.7 million visitors in 2020, and less than 150,000 visitors from January to October 2021. With the world opening up once again, the country is sure to regain much of its glory as tourists look forward to spending some time in those ever-busy streets. But before heading there, here are some things about the pleasurable Asian country that might seem new to you.
10 Thai Mango Is Delicious
Street food is not the only delicious thing in Thailand, the mango is too. This makes the country a paradise for lovers of the fruit as it is also produced in abundance. In the Thai language, mango is known as “Mamuang ” and it is the most popular fruit in the country. Different types of yellow/green fruit can be seen displayed on the streets. They are usually eaten raw but can also be used to make some delicious mango dishes and mango salads as well. It is most common to see mangoes in abundance between March and June since this is the season when mango trees bear fruit.
9 The Real Name Of Bangkok Is Hilariously Long
Bangkok is the nickname while the real name of the city is – Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. Phew! Good luck saying that. The Wikipedia audio for the name pronunciation is 14 seconds long. Imagine if there was no nickname and then one had to tell somebody about the city using the real name. The world would be in the sixties by now! To avoid having people use all their breath pronouncing the real name, it was shortened to Krung Thep but Bangkok still sounds easier to the rest of the world. The name holds a Guinness World Record anyway; for being the longest name of a place.
8 Muay Thai Is The Country’s National Sport
Muay Thai is one of the deadliest martial art forms in the world which has its origin in Thailand. It is the country’s national sport and the people love it so don’t go looking for trouble to avoid those devastating kicks because many of them know a few things about their national sport. There are lots of strictly Muay Thai gyms in the country and it’s definitely worth visiting even if it’s just to discover how the style practiced here differs from the ones practiced around the world.
7 National Elephant Day
The Thai Elephant is said to have contributed greatly throughout the history of Thailand in events such as royal parades, war, and logging. For these contributions, it has been declared the national animal of Thailand, and March 13 has been named national elephant day to celebrate them.
6 Intolerance For Making Jokes About The King
Thailand has a king and loves the ruler so it is best for travelers to refrain from saying anything about the ruler, especially not in public, to avoid being harassed by the locals. The royal family is held in high esteem by the Thai people as its members are considered to be divine so it is important to respect the culture and refrain from saying a word relating to that topic. In 2007, YouTube was blocked for 5 months in the country after a video was posted displaying the king’s face being painted.
5 The Traffic In Thailand Is Insane
Thailand is one of the countries in the world with the most severe traffic. Bangkok in particular is one of the worst places in the country to drive a vehicle. Even though the millions of visitors flocking into the country each year might contribute to this jam, there’s no denying that the country has got some bad roads or a total lack of them. The lack of public transport is also another contributing factor to this problem. Getting to places on vehicles can be frustrating. Even little vehicles like tuk-tuks and motorbikes simply do not solve the problem. The traffic rules and road signs don’t even apply to many motorcyclists as they ignore them, thereby making the roads even more dangerous and unpredictable. Extreme caution is required in these places in order not to hit or get hit by a random vehicle that might just pop out of nowhere.
4 Weather In Thailand Gets Excessive
When it rains in Thailand, it gets excessive and the all-year hot temperature may become oppressive and uncomfortable. Bangkok – the capital city is one of the hottest cities in the world by average annual temperature with up to 276 days at 320C or above. During the rainy season from May to October, it rains almost every day, mostly in the evenings. While it rains more during the rainy season, the dry season can also come with unexpected wet days.
3 Thai People Do Not Care Much About Personal Space
In the western world, most people consider it inappropriate for someone to get too close but Thailand presents a whole new culture of personal space infringement. Usually, Thai people like getting close to each other so get ready to be less than an arm’s length from people.
2 It Is Also Known As The Land Of Smiles
In a country where smiles flash frequently on faces, it is not surprising why Thailand is also referred to as – The land of smiles. Seriously Thai people smile a lot, it almost feels like they are being tickled all the time. And not just empty flickering smiles but genuine ones that reach the eyes. Most locals and street vendors will meet visitors with smiles and then try to serve them in any way they can.
1 Thai People Rarely Say “No”
Thai people are so lovely, they do not like to disappoint people. Even when they disagree, one would rarely hear a negative response from Thai people; instead, they would rather reply with the nearest word – “Mai chai” which means “not yes.” For foreigners, it is important to take note of their body language when (or if) they say “Yes” because it might mean “no.” In some cases, rather than saying an outright “no,” an explanation about why they cannot comply will follow a “Yes” so the listener gets the message.
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