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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Some Interesting Facts about Thailand - What Makes it Such a Popular Country?
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Some Interesting Facts about Thailand - What Makes it Such a Popular Country?

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in the world; having jungles, beautiful beaches and consisting of 1,430 islands! Here are 9 more interesting facts about this land.

1

"Prathet Thai" is the official name of Thailand in the Thai language

It translates into "the land of the free". This is because it is the only Southeast Asian country to have never been colonized by a European country.

2

The capital Bangkok has the longest city name in the world

Though it's referred to as Bangkok, the shorter version of the local name is 'Krungthep' which translates into "city of angels". What is the full version, you ask? It's Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. If you want to impress the locals, you're welcome to learn how to say it!

3

The national flower is the orchid

Aptly, Thailand has about 1,500 species of orchids growing in the wild forests. It is no surprise that, therefore, they are the world's largest orchid explorers.

4

It is one of the most frequently visited countries in the world

There are approximately 45 million people that visit every year! However, Thailand is quite ambitious and is working on improving the figures more!

5

Some of the streets now were once rivers and canals!

There was a time when Thailand was known as the "Venice of the East". However, to accommodate the many buildings we have at present, most canals had to be filled in and turned to streets. The Chao Phraya river, however, remains as one of the beautiful assets to the otherwise concrete city. It is also functional and runs a ferry, which is a good way to explore the river if you are interested, or if you just want to avoid the traffic on the streets. Due to its picturesque and central location, there is bound to be a luxury Bangkok hotel scattered along its river banks. For example, some hotels like Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort and others, have accommodation overlooking the calm river, making you feel like you're far away from a city.

6

A foodie's dream

It goes without saying that Thai food is one of the most flavorful cuisines in the world. Their food that has the ideal mix of spicy, sour and sweet is an explosion of flavour and makes other food you've ever eaten, taste so bland! The street food, in particular, is exceptional and quite interesting; from the normal BBQ skewers to the adventurous fried crickets and insets, they've got it all! Don't worry if you can't handle the spice or the insects; there are plenty of options with mild flavours as well!

7

No country celebrates the New Year quite like Thailand!

Songkran, which is the Thai New Year, falls around the 12th-15th of April and is quite the wild festival! The popular way to celebrate is with water. You'll see everyone, toddlers to elders, who engage in water fights, which is said to wash away the sins of yesteryear and prepare you for the dawn of the New Year. One should definitely visit Thailand during these times to experience the full-fledged culture and traditions of the country.

8

There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Dong Phayayen- Khao Yai Forest complex, Thungyai- Huai Khaeng wildlife sanctuary and Ban Chiang which is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.

9

They give a buffet to the monkeys!

The annual Monkey Buffet, hosted in a temple in Lopburi, is a festival where more than 500 monkeys are invited for a feast. They are served with fresh fruits, sausages and other treats as a way of showing gratitude for attracting tourists and inhabiting the village.