The mysterious Orient. A place that feels more ancient than time itself.
I had the privilege of living in Thailand for two years when I was younger and it was mysterious and ancient. I bet I’ve uncovered a few tidbits you didn’t know about this country!
- We know the capital as Bangkok. That’s not really its name. Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit is the official title. It translates (roughly) to “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra‘s behest”.
- It was home to the world’s first set of Siamese twins. Thailand was under the rule of the great Kingdom of Siam- hence the name. These conjoined fellows moved to the States around 1811, married, had kids, and lived to the ripe old age of 62.
- It is against the law to criticize the king and queen. How often they punish folks for this transgression depends on the mood of the country. If all is peaceful, only 4-5 people get thrown in jail per year. If there’s civil unrest, up to 700 people are in the clinker in a given year.
- There was a serial killer in Thailand. He was publicly executed and his body was put in a clear box so everyone could see he was really dead. His mummified body has been bronzed and is still on display. (Wow- they are serious!)
- Tilly Smith, a 10 yr. old girl helped save her family and hundreds of tourists in 2004 when she recognized what was happening when the ocean water rushed out from shore. It had been a geography lesson in school shortly before their holiday.
- The Thai Grand Palace in Bangkok is inspired by Ayutthaya, the ancient capital, and is some of the finest examples of Thai architecture found anywhere.
- The Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace is considered to be the most holy of Buddhas.It is carved from a single block of emerald and is 45cms tall.
- 95% of all Thais are Buddhists.
- Good story. A Thai janitor stole the Saudi Royal jewels. When they were then returned, it was discovered half of them were fake. 3 month later, a Saudi business man with close ties to the royal family traveled to Thailand to investigate. He was abducted and killed along with 3 other Saudi officials. Whoa.
- Thailand’s name in Thai means “Land of the Free”. In fact, it is the only country in SE Asia that was never colonized by a European nation.
- In the past, all Thai men, including the Prince, became monks for a short time.
- 1/10 of all animal species on Earth live in Thailand.
- More than 1500 types of orchids grow wild.