Never Occupied

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized under a European power. In Thai language, Thailand is translated as “Land of the Free”.

Out of 247 countries and territories in the world, only 10 have escaped European colonization.

Siam

Thailand’s former name was Siam.
The Siamese twins were born in Thailand.
Siamese cats originated from Thailand.

The King and I

“The King and I” is a 1951 musical composed by Richard Rodgers. It tells a semi-factual story about the monarchy and the court of Siam (future Thailand), as they were in the 1860s. It won the Tony Award in 1952. A cinematographic production, of the same title, starring Yul Brynner, was released in 1956.

In Thailand, it is forbidden to express anything irreverent about the king or his family. Therefore, the movie and the play, “The King and I”, have been banned in Thailand.

The Longest Reign

King Bhumibol Adulyadej reigned over Thailand for 70 years and 126 days; this is a world record. He was greatly revered by the Thai people.

Over the River

The movie, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, starring William Holden, was released in 1957. The plot is about British soldiers captured by the Japanese, on Thailand soil. The feature won 8 Oscars in 1958. The town of Kanchanaburi, home to the famed bridge over the River Kwai, is part of the Burma-Siam railway construction, during which 90,000 people died.

Can You Memorize This Name?

The full name of Bangkok, the Thai capital, is:
‘Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.’

It 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.’

Representative Sampling

Ten percent (10%) of all animal species in the world are represented in Thailand.

Do Not Touch

The head is considered the most important part of the human body in Thailand. Therefore, Thai culture forbids touching anyone on the head, even if he or she is a child. Also, etiquette requires that you bow when you meet an old person.

Mail Order Bride

Thailand is a premier country producer of mail-order brides. A top bride costs about $30,000. However, this price falls drastically, down to $1,000, if she older than 30, or no longer a virgin.

Medical Tourism

Healthcare in Thailand costs 5-20% of the American price tag. Thailand boasts up to 2.5 million official and unofficial medical tourists a year. The quality of delivery matches the best in the world, slightly behind Singapore.

Gender Dysphoria

Is there a gay or transgender gene in Thailand? Just by wandering around a mall, you will be astounded by the percentage of effeminate males you run into. It is also reported that the population of ladyboys in Bangkok is one of the world’s largest.

The Traveller

(O. Robert Jeanlouie, Wednesday, October 16, 2019)
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