10 Quirky Travel Facts about Thailand
A holiday destination, honeymoon spot, a perfect getaway for a boy’s reunion- Thailand is not a place, it’s an emotion. On top of everything, it is one of the most accessible and affordable destinations in the world. Check out these 10 facts about Thailand as you prepare (or dream about) that future trip!
- Tantalizing Tea
When in Thailand, don’t miss the famous butterfly pea flower tea that changes colors. Served in almost all cafes across Thailand, people find it difficult to contain their excitement at the sight of the magic where the tea changes it colors from purple to red to any other color (depending upon what herb is added). The tea is prepared using the petals of the butterfly pea flower and every petal is carefully selected to restore every strong attribute of it.
- The Name Game
Thailand was not the original name of this country. Throughout history, Thailand was known to people by the name Siam until 1939, and Bangkok was also renamed after people found it difficult to pronounce its long name – Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasi.
We all know the history behind various conquests and colonization that changed the course of the future of many countries. However, Thai people and their ancestors are proud to have not experienced this. This destination is the only country in the Southeast Asian region that has not been conquered by any European region in-power through the line of history. Unlike Vietnam, Thailand is completely untouched by the former, and therefore you will not see as deep of an influence on its food, culture, clothes, or language.
- The World’s Smallest Mammal
There is one corner of Thailand that houses the world’s smallest mammal known as the “Kitti’s hog-nosed bat.” This mammal is no longer than an inch in length and is fondly named the “bumblebee bat.”
- Driving with No Shirt On?
As strange as it may sound to some people, it is a crime in Thailand to drive a car or any vehicle without a shirt. The offense may also put you behind bars.
- A Water Festival
Every year Thailand hosts a one-of-a-kind festival that draws in people from all over the world who join the Thai people in their happiness and joy. Celebrated in the month of April (13-15), the official date and timeline to celebrate Thailand New Year, the Songkran Festival sees thousands of people soaking in water and throwing water onto one another using a toy gun or squirt guns on the streets. Experience a guided group vacation during the festival here.
- Stinky Fruit
Probably, the most expensive fruit in Thailand, Durain Fruit smells awful. People say that this fruit smells like stinky feet with an added smell of rotten eggs, but somehow these same people cannot get enough of its taste and texture. The smell is so bad that people are prohibited from carrying the fruit in public transports or from eating at public places.
- Sweet Breads
In Thailand, you will find bread dripping with sugary syrups or being used as some kind of a sweet dish. One of their many famous bread dishes includes ice-cream sandwiched between two pieces of bread. Do not knock it ‘til you it!
- It’s Called the Land of Smiles
Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles” for a reason. If you meet fellow travelers or ask people who have been to Thailand then, they will tell you that there is “no fuss.” This means that Thai people choose to let go and smile often. You will see people, vendors, café owners, and general people greeting you with a smile on the go.
- Social Protocol
Namaste in India, Hello in Europe, and a deep-rooted Wai protocol in Thailand. There is a specific hierarchy seen within families and relationships observed socially. There are many ways of greeting or keeping up with the social connections and one such pronounced manifestation is the Wai, meaning hands clasped in the front of your body. While giving away a Wai greeting, you must take into consideration the age, social status and his/her connection to you while bowing down your head.
Thailand will have you at its beauty, food, people, and newness. Each time you visit, it will surprise you with a new sense of oneness and happiness.
Author Bio: Om Singh is a blogger at Retreat Kula, a website that offers amazing yoga retreats in Thailand. He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back.