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BEACH REPUBLIC - OFFICIAL BLOG

25 MORE FUN, INTERESTING, AND CRAZY FACTS ABOUT THAILAND


In part one of this blog, we covered 25 fun, interesting, and crazy facts about Thailand, one of the most beautiful and visited countries in the world. Not to be outdone, here are 25 more facts about wonderful Thailand!

  1. - Thailand is the world’s 51st largest country by size, with Russia taking the top spot and the United States coming in third.
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  1. - Thailand may be a relatively small nation, but it can claim numerous world records with the largest gold Buddha (5.5 tons), the largest crocodile in captivity (19 feet, 8 inches and 2,455 pounds!), the largest restaurant (The Royal Dragon), and the world’s largest longest reigning monarch with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who ascended to the throne on June 9, 1946.
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  1. -In the not so distant past, past, every young man in Thailand entered the Buddhist monkhood for at least a period before their 20th birthday – even the Thai Kings! But these days, far fewer young men observe this tradition.
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  1. -The World Record for the longest hair in the world belongs to a Thai man named Hoo Sateow whose locks extend to 16 feet and 11 inches.
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  1. -Siamese cats are named after the Kingdom of Siam and native to Thailand. Called “wichen-maat” in Thai, which translates to “moon diamond,” they are revered in the country. In fact, a 14th-century book poetry documents 23 breeds of Siamese cats, though only 6 exist today, though it is still good luck to give a pair of Si Sawat Siamese cats to a bride before her wedding night.
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  1. -Just how revered are certain cats in Thai culture? Two rare “diamond-eyed cats” named Phet and Ploy were married in 1996. While pet weddings are rare but not unheard of around the world, this one was by far the most expensive, with the feline nuptials adding up to more than $16,000 for the lavish affair.
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  1. -Bangkok is home to two major airports, one for international travel and the other for domestic. The older domestic airport, Don Mueang International, has the highest control tower in the world at 434 feet.
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  1. -According to the Global Destinations Cities Index, Thailand is the most visited city in the world with 16 million international arrivals ever year, more than even London and Paris.
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  1. -Plenty of Hollywood movies have been filmed in Thailand, including The Big Boss (1941), Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), The Ugly American (1963), The Deer Hunter (1978), The Killing Fields (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The Beach (2000), Alexander (2004), Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason (2004), Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005), Stealth (2005), and the beloved and hilarious The Hangover Part II (2011).
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  1. -Thailand doesn’t take fondly to criticism of the King or members of the monarchy, and such public criticism is actually illegal and subject to imprisonment. Even outside depictions are censored, like the movie The King and I, which showed the Siamese ruler King Mongkut as uneducated and uncultured. In fact, he was the first Asian ruler to speak, read, and write English fluently and highly intelligent, called the father of Thai scientists. So even today, the movie is banned in Thailand.
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  1. -There was once a serial killer in Thailand so prolific and feared by the people, that when he was apprehended and publically executed, the authorities put his corpse in a glass box on display so everyone could see he was really dead.
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  1. -While Muay Thai, “The Art of Eight Limbs” is the most famous Thai sport, elephant polo is also popular. In fact, The King’s Cup elephant polo is one of the biggest sporting events in the country and includes neighboring nations Sri Lanka and Nepal, with home games hosted at the Hua Hin beach resort.
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  1. -The highest point in Thailand is Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai mountain range, which sits 8,415 feet above sea level.
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  1. -Hundreds of thousands of backpackers, tourists, and young foreign hedonists visit the Thai island of Koh Phangan every year, which has been home to the infamous Full Moon Party for decades, and now also celebrates Half Moon and Black Moon parties.
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  1. -In the 1960s and 70s, an area in northern Thailand was the largest opium producer in the world, as the cash crop was cultivated and sold by the hill tribes there. That area of northern Thailand as well as the western tip of Laos and the eastern corner of Burma (now Myanmar) was called “The Golden Triangle.”
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  1. -The Garuda – a mythical creature from the Hindu faith – is the national and royal symbol of Thailand.
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  1. -Only a century ago, Thailand had one of the densest and most beautiful jungles and forest lands in the world. But due to logging, development, and industry, Thailand suffered the second-highest rate of deforestation in the world. Today, only about 25 percent of Thailand is still covered in forest, though logging has been banned to try and conserve.
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  1. -Made famous by the movie “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, the Burma-Siam railway sits in the town of Kanchanburi in Thailand, where almost 100,000 people died working to finish the feat of engineering.
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  1. -The largest fish in the world resides in Thailand, the Rhincodon typus or whale shark, commonly reaching 35 feet long!
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  1. -The dense jungles of Thailand were home to some of the most remarkable snakes in the world. In fact, the longest snake in the world, a reticulated python that measured 33 feet long, was discovered in Thailand. Likewise, the most poisounous snake in the world, a king cobra that can kill an elephant with one bite of its venom and stretches to 18 feet long, is indigenous to Thailand.
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  1. -Bangkok is notorious for some of the worst traffic in the world. It’s so bad that traffic police in Thailand’s capital city have to wear facemasks because of the dangerous levels of pollution in the air and 20 percent of Bangkok’s police force develop some sort of lung disease or respiratory problems!
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  1. -The language spoken in Thailand is called Thai, which linguists and scholars believe originated between the 7th and 13th centuries as a dialect of Chinese and then absorbed other influences. Thai is an extremely tonal language, with 32 vowels and 44 consonants in its alphabet!
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  1. -Thailand is home to a vast network of tributaries and canals, many of the waterways used for transportation, with whole communities living along their banks and floating markets. In fact, Bangkok is often called the ‘Venice of the East’ because of its large number of canals.
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  1. -The Mekong River running along part of Thailand’s eastern edge is the largest river in Asia and one of the biggest in the world, the natural habitat for more than 1,300 species of fish, including a “River Monster”, a huge catfish that reaches 10 feet long and can weigh 660 pounds!
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  1. -Thailand has hundreds of islands, so many so that they are hard to count and even Wikipedia just places the number at “hundreds.” The islands, called “Ko” in Thai or “Koh”, lie both in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea. Many were uninhabited or sparsely populated by fishing communities until recent decades, where tourism made Thailand’s islands a sought after destination.