- Thailand’s name in the Thai language is Prathet Thai (ประเทศไทย), which means “Land of the Free”.
- Thailand was actually called Siam throughout history; the name changed to Thailand in 1939.
- Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonised by a European nation.
- Thailand’s national language is called Thai, which many scholars believe is a form of Chinese that was gradually brought to the area between the 7th and 13th centuries. Like Lao, Vietnamese, and Chinese, Thai is a tonal language. Its alphabet has 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
- Thailand has 77 provinces. It’s newest province was part of Nong Khai before being carved out and declared the country’s 77th province on March 22, 2011.
6. Bangkok currently holds the Guinness record for having the longest name of a place. Click here to read the full name.
7. Bangkok lives up to Thailand’s nickname as the “Land of Smiles”. A lot of tourists like going back to Bangkok simply because of the charm and warmth of its people. While it has its share of crimes, Bangkok remains to be one of the friendliest cities in the world. Do you agree?
8. The national flag of Thailand is raised every morning at 8:00 and lowered every evening at 6:00. Its two horizontal red stripes symbolize the land and its people. The white horizontal stripes represent the purity of Buddhism, the nation’s main religion. The wide blue band across the center stands for the monarchy.
9.Thailand’s national flower is Ratchaphruek (ราชพฤกษ์) or golden shower tree , not the orchid although Thailand is the world’s number one orchid exporter.
10. The current prime minister is Prayut Chan-o-cha (พลเอก ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา) a former Thai army officer who is the 29th Prime Minister of Thailand.
11. Thai New Year is on 13th April and it is called Songkran.
12. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island.
13. Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha.
14. Siamese cats are native to Thailand. In Thai they are called wichen-maat (วิเชียรมาศ) , meaning “moon diamond.” A 14th-century book of Thai poems describes 23 types of Siamese cats; today only six breeds are left. Giving a pair of Si Sawat cats (a type of Siamese cats) to a bride is supposed to bring good luck to the marriage.
15. There are temples everywhere in Thailand even on the money coins. Do you know the name of the temple on each coin?
– One Baht coin has the image of the Grand Palace aka Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
– Two Baht coin has the image of Wat Phu Khao Tong (Golden mountain) aka Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan
– Five Baht coin has the image of Wat Benjamabopit Dusitwanaram (in short ‘Wat Ben’) or ‘The Marble Temple’
– Ten Baht Coin has the image of Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
16. The Thai national anthem is played every day at 8am and 6pm. Every TV and radio station plays it. When the anthem is played, everybody has to stand up still until the end of the song if it is convenient. If you are in a public place, you may notice the crowds also stand up to pay respect, you should follow suit.
17. The royal anthem is played before the beginning of every movie shown in Thailand’s cinemas as well as before the commencement of the first act in plays, musicals, concerts, and most other live performances of music or theatre in Thailand. Everyone has to stand up for the duration of the anthem.
18. Going commando in Thailand is illegal. Thailand has a bunch of eyebrow-raising rules, but perhaps the strangest is the one that prohibits leaving the house without underwear on, so make sure you pack enough undies to last your whole trip. It’s unclear how they enforce this, but I don’t recommend finding out.
19. It’s a crime to step on any Thai currency because there is the image of the king on it.
20. There are some Thai schools offer transsexual toilet.
21. Transsexuals, aka kratoeys (กระเทย) aka tut (ตุ๊ด) or ladyboys, are highly visible in mainstream society. ( If you see a very beautiful woman, you might want to recheck if she is a real woman:P )
Dear Mod, Thank you for providing such a useful and informative website. I really appreciate your descriptions in orders to know a little more about your amazing country. Understanding some basic facts about this beautiful country can help us learning the language easier and better.
Kairi 9 says
This is a helpful article
Dear Mod, Thank you for providing such a useful and informative website. I love Thailand and it’s culture so much that I went to learn conversational Thai at night school. Pom riak meaung Thai, Pom riak rian pa sa Thai.
”4.Thailand’s national language is called Thai, which many scholars believe is a form of Chinese that was gradually brought to the area between the 7th and 13th centuries. Like Lao, Vietnamese, and Chinese, Thai is a tonal language. Its alphabet has 32 vowels and 44 consonants.”
I am not a linguist but I can see that Thai and Chinese (specifically Cantonese and Hokkien) have similarities. Pa sa Thai gab Pa sa GuangDong meuan gan nit noy. There are similar words used in Thai and Cantonese, I managed to pick out at least 30 words that sound either the same or similar and have similar meanings. I also seperated them from the Teochew Chinese words leaving behind (what I supposed to be original) Thai words compared against Cantonese.
My Arjhaan who is Thai Chinese told me it is possible because the ancestors of the Thai people interacted with Southern Chinese before they migrated south of China. Simple example: gii ngoen (how much does it cost in Thai) is gae ngaen (how much does it cost in Cantonese 几 银) gii is how much/many in Thai while gae is how much/many in Cantonese. ngoen is silver in Thai and ngaen is also silver in Cantonese.
Anyway, I managed to learn how to speak basic Thai in 2 months thanks to my Arjhaan’s dedication and my background in Cantonese. Pom kuay ga Peeng khong Pom, Pom roo pud pa sa nit noy. I have used your website to supplement my studies. Dtwan nii, Pom yawk rian khian pa sa Thai. I will use your website to help me with that also. Thank you once again, Khawb khun mak khrab. Meaung Thai no. 1, Khon Thai no. 1 !!! yeaah!!!
“If you see a very beautiful woman, you might want to recheck if she is a real woman:P”
If she identifies as a woman, then she is a woman. And there is no need to “check”, transsexuals aren’t zoo animals.
All Graduates | Japanese Translation Service says
These are interesting facts about Thailand. Understanding some basics about the country can help learning the language easier and better. Love the photo of the golden Buddha and the adorable blue-eyed Siamese cat. Not that adventurous either on figuring out how the law against going commando is implemented, and you are also correct about ladyboys. One can never be too careful – on both counts!
thank you! you are so cute^^
Thank you for reading my post and your kind words. 🙂
2. Maybe you know this map of SIAM kingdom where you can see Bancok?
3. Never colonised (I’ve already been told that by my friend) but rather influenced!
4. Since thai also means south I think in thai; maybe we can suppose it was the kingdom in the south of the main chinese kingdom?
5. thank you for the map
7. I agree Bangkok is very very friendly compared to most of the cities I know but I should say so for most of the cities I visited in Thaïland and I hope it will remain a long time
8. Why blue and not yellow for the band standing for the monarchy?
10. For you the fact that he was not elected does not change the function Prayut exercises? For me he is no more than a dictator and Yingluk was the last PM? No?
13. So beautiful and imprecive (1 photo on my FB wall)!
15. I know wat Arun of course and a little wat Phra Kaewo which I think should be on the UNESCO world heritage list! Why are they not???
16. I have never heard and so never stood up for the thaï national anthem in 1 whole month with my friend!
18 sounds like a joke!
20 and 21 and some thaï news I read make me think there are lots for tuts, more than here in France I would say
Sawatdee ka Sylvian,
Thank you for your comment and the link for the map. Please see below the answers to your questions;
4. The word South is ใต้ /dtâai/ which is a different word than ‘Thai’
8. The design of this flag adopted on 28 September 1917 (according to Wikipedia)in the reign of King Rama VI. King Rama VI’s favourite color was blue and he also liked the English term “blue bloods” that originated in France to describe royalty and the aristocracy of the day.
10. He was not elected but he is the current prime minister.
13. I am happy you liked the photo, I took it myself. 🙂
15. I am afraid I don’t know the answer.
Thank you for reading my article. 🙂
Sawatdee krap Mod
Thank you for your article and especialy the beautiful photos, and thank you for your answers.
I apreciate very deeply the relation you teach me between french and thaï flags where the blue stands for the same symbol
And don’t thank me for reading your posts whitch also teach me lots. You’re welcome. 😉
Ken C. says
During our last trip to Thailand [December 2014] we saw the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit; it was truly amazing (and inspiring).
I also didn’t realize that the baht coins depicted actual wats. I’ll have to check the coins that we still have.
Very interesting post!
Thank you for reading my post. I am happy to hear that you liked it. 🙂
Thank you for reading my post. 🙂
Big Daddy says
I LOve peckacocks
I want a Siamese cat 🙂
I appreciate your descriptions in orders to know a Little more about your amazing country.
I hope someday I may go there and to know those all fascinating places by myself
Greetings from Chile, Latin America
Thank you for reading my article. I would love to visit many countries in Latin America too. 🙂
Bangkok is a fascinating sanguine charmer and will seduce all who dare ingress. Thailand willl always command a return visit. I adore this city and it,s friendy exotic inhabitants including the national cat.
What is the definition of Siam ? I cannot find an answer other than ” Thai “.
Lovely photo with the Ratchaphruek flowers cool chaang in background :).
There is no confirmed information where the word ‘Siam’ come from. Some say it is derived from a Sanskrit word “ศยาม (SYAMA)” meaning ‘dark colour’ , some say it is derived from a word Chinese called people of Siam. Some say it comes from Pali word “สามปเทส” (SAMA PADESA) meaning ‘golden city’ , and there are many more assumptions.
A while back I recall reading a contempory Thai scholars work in which he theorised that the word Thai refers to the people who came out of China and settled in Thailand or something to that effect.
Thanks for the feedback on Siam.
rudolf broennimann says
@14 did you also get a cat when you got married? Cause you like cats. 😉
@15 (If you ever see a beautiful women…..) I look at the author’s picture and smile 😉 :p
Very interesting. #2 is not entirely correct, though, as Thailand changed its name back to Siam from Sept. 8, 1945 to July 20, 1949. Also, #7 would be better if it read, “… Bangkok remains one of …” rather than “remains to be one of.” No native speaker or writer would say or write it that way.
Kevin… is your Thai better than Modsง English? I think if it was, you would have more respect นะครับ
That 1st one is true and i like what you said about the second one, too
“If you see a very beautiful woman, you might want to recheck if she is a real woman:P )”
555! Now I might want to recheck on you! lol
How do yo do to “recheck”?
Do you think that this women looks real? Respond to me please.
Boonma Somchan says
You ought watching the throath. , way of talking. Remember Bell Nuntida? Thailand got talent