20 Thailand Fun Facts You Should Read Right Now

by Sankalan Baidya
Thailand fun facts

From Monkey Buffet to Red Bull, from Lese Majeste to the Bridge Over the River, we have learned a handful of interesting Thailand facts in our last article but we are far from being done. There’s a lot more and so, let’s get started with another installment of facts about Thailand in our list of Thailand fun facts …

Thailand Fun Facts: 1-5

1. We mentioned in our previous article that there are thousands of temples in Thailand but, did you ever hear of Wat Samphram. It is a temple and what makes it unique is that it is 17-storey tall and had a giant dragon structure spiraling it all the way from bottom to top.

2. Here is yet another of Thailand fun facts – Thailand is home to Maeklong Railway Market where a market stands right along railway tracks. Every time a train passes, the shop owners pull the displayed items inside and when the train passes by, things are put out again.

3. Thailand has a Tiger Temple! It was supposed to be a tiger sanctuary and attracted a lot of visitors. However, the temple came under immense heat and was subjected to investigation for wildlife smuggling and other cruel activities.

4. Thailand is home to Naga Fireballs – an annual event taking place in the Mekong River. What really happens is balls of fire explode spontaneously over the water surface. It is not man made. It is all natural and according to local folklore, the river is where the scary Naga serpent lives and spits out the fireballs.

5. Scientists have failed so far to provide an explanation for the Naga Fireballs but two of the most popular hypothesis include:

  • Flammable phosphine gas is released from the river because of the marshy environment, which catch fire and explode.
  • Another explanation is that plasma is formed in the air which leads to those fireball explosions.

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Thailand Fun Facts: 6-10

6. Thailand is home to Moken People – a sea nomad tribe. Children of this tribe are capable of seeing clearly underwater. The reason is that they spend a significant amount of time looking for food under water and their eye lenses got accustomed to it. Adults however have some problem because with age, they lose the flexibility of their eyes.

7. Cops everywhere in world are known for petty crimes and big crimes alike. Thailand is no different. However, for those cops that commit petty crimes, Thailand has a unique punishment. The guilty cops need to wear a pink armband for a number of days. The armband has a Hello Kitty knitted on it along with two hearts.

8. Thailand is home to the largest fish is world. Known as Whale Shark, the scientific name of the fish is Rhincodon typus. It is 12 meters long.

9. Thailand is also the home to the smallest known mammal in the world. The Bumblebee Bat or Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat. Measuring only 1.1 to 1.3 inches, this bat weighs a mere 2 grams.

10. In Thailand, if you are stepping out of your house, double check whether you have your underwear on or not. If you forget or you deliberately don’t wear one, you can get arrested. Yes, that practice is illegal.

Thailand Fun Facts: 11-15

11. Never step on Thailand’s currency. It is a big time offense and you can face some serious legal heat. The reason is not to protect the currency but because, the currency has the image of the monarch on it and disrespecting the monarch is illegal.

12. When it comes to drug trafficking and drug use, one needs to be extremely careful in Thailand. If caught in drug trafficking, the only punishment is ‘death sentence’. Caught while using drugs can land anyone in jail for a very long time and there is no exception for foreign nationals and tourists.

13. ‘Many’ – that’s the only word that comes to mind when we talk of radio stations in Thailand. The state itself owns 100 stations. Then there are private stations. The private stations have their alloted broadcast timings between the timings of state-owned stations.

14. Thailand may have never been colonized but apparently, Thai people have gotten into a habit of colonizing themselves via coups. Since 1932, there have been 12 coups in total with the latest being on May 22, 2014 that was organized by Royal Thai Armed Forces.

15. The monarch of Thailand is taken very seriously. To ensure the centuries-old custom of a low-life not crossing over the King’s head, monorails in Thailand often stop midway when a member of the Royal family is passing from down below.

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Thailand Fun Facts: 16-20

16. Talking of respecting the king, The King’s anthem is played in Thailand before any cultural program starts. Also, it is customary to play the anthem in multiplexes playing Hollywood movies.

17. Just like no undies can land you in jail, wearing no shirt in public will bring you the same fate. So, carrying a spare shirt is always advised because something wrong can always happen that may make your shirt unwearable. Just change your shirt quickly.

18. Thailand shares such deep roots with Indian culture that Thailand’s official symbol is Garuda. It is a creature from Ramayana – the Indian epic. Garuda is half eagle and half man.

19. People of Thailand are fascinated with elephants. There are 5,000 elephants in Thailand and most of them are domesticated. Only a few are found in the wild. Elephant is Thailand’s national animal. And yes, Thailand is called the ‘Land of White Elephants’. Ironically, you won’t see any white elephants there. White only signifies purity of Thailand.

20. Thai people have taken their fascination with elephants to a whole new level. They have something called Elephant Polo – a game played only in two places. Thailand is one of them and the other one is India. By the way, did you know that the game of Polo is actually an invention of India?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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