101 reason you should be travelling to Thailand - Thailand South Africa
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07 Mar 101 reason you should be travelling to Thailand

Thailand: Did you know 101?

It’s no secret that Thailand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring scenery and delicious food, but did you know that there’s even more to the country than it’s obvious beauty. These are some essential Thailand facts to peak your interest.

Thailand or the Kingdom of Thailand as it is officially known, is the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonised by a European country.

The name Thailand in Thai is Prathet Thai, which appropriately means land of the free. 

Thailand is the world’s 21st most populous country, with over 67 million people spread across about 513,000 square kilometers. The capital Bangkok is the most populated with over 5 million residents.

The country is divided into 76 provinces or Changwat in Thai. The Changwat is divided into districts or Amphoe and sub districts or King Amphoe, with Bangkok divided into 50 districts or Khet.

Each province has a capital city or Mueang and the name of the Mueang is the same as the name of the province. In the provinces there is a number of Tambon and Mooban (villages).

Bangkok’s real name is one of the longest place names in the world and with 166 characters is too long to tweet. Made up of Pali and Sanskrit words it is known to Thais as Krung Thep Maha Nakho, but its full ceremonial name is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit, which means “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.”

Bangkok, formerly referred to as the Venice of the East, was once crisscrossed with canals or klongs, with buildings standing on stilts. Most khlongswaterways have now been filled to make way for high-rise development.

Thailand has approximately 1430 islands, one more beautiful than the next, many of which have been made famous after featuring in Hollywood films.

The national flower of Thailand is the orchid and there are 1500 orchid species to be found growing wild in Thai forests. Thailand is also one of the world’s largest orchid exporters.

One tenth of all animal species on earth can be found in Thailand with 285 mammal species and 925 bird species recorded.

Thailand is home to one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, the Mekong giant catfish which can weigh up to 700lbs, as well as the world’s smallest bator Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, which grows to a little over an inch and weighs two grams.Mekong giant catfish

The Thai alphabet has 32 vowels, 44 consonants and four tone diacritics. You’d be forgiven for misspelling a word.

The Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand and is 543 years ahead, making it the year 2560.

Each year, about 6 million tourists visit Thailand and the number continues to grow as the world discovers what a wonderful place it is. Bangkok feels an influx of 11 million non-resident visitors each year.

Best thing about Thailand, is how every person to visit leaves with a better understanding of how special the country is, with many coming back to learn more about themselves, and this remarkable nation.