Warm. Loving. Friendly. Cultured. Historic. Thailand easily captivates travelers with its glistening temples, paradise-like beaches and the kindness of its people. Thailand is synonym with cluttered cities, rice fields, tropical forests and turquoise waters.
7 Things You Didn’t Know about Thailand and Why You Should Visit
Travel to Thailand and let yourself be hypnotized by its culture and beauty. If you must know, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, more than 22 million tourists visit Thailand each year. Travelers will soon be able to apply for a Thailand Online Visa instead of going to an embassy or consulate. This online visa for Thailand will simplify the visa processing time making it easier for citizens of many countries to visit Thailand.
Formerly known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand is at the center of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula. Though, much has been written and said about Thailand, there are still many things to discover. We want to share things you probably don’t know about Thailand that will inspire you to hop on plane and travel to this magical country.
The Food is Better Than You Ever Imagined
People worldwide adore Thai food, but nothing can be compared to the flavours you’ll find in the streets of Bangkok or at the seafood pavillions in Phuket. Local ingredients are essential, and dishes are often seasoned with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and searing chillies.
You will soon discover that some of the spiciest, tangiest tom yum soups can be eaten from street carts.
There are plenty of dishes worth trying just don’t leave Thailand without eating its stir-fried crabmeat and fresh yellow chillies.
The Kindest People You Will Encounter
When you travel to Thailand, you will quickly realize that Thai people are genuinely kind. Vendors will be friendly whether you buy from them or not. Thailand carries the nickname of “Land of Smiles” and it comes from the fact that Thais seek harmony over conflict, a smile has the power to defuse aggression. If you smile, you will get a bigger and brighter smile in return.
While we’re talking about Thai people, you should also know that street hustlers are trying to make a living and not scam you. Every country has scammers, but most of the people working the streets just want to survive. If you are not interested in what they are offering let them know in a polite and respectful way.
One amazing thing you probably don’t know about Thailand is that it is home to pink lakes. When winter comes, the freshwater lake in north-eastern Thailand will turn pink with blooming Red Lotus Flowers. This natural event is referred to as the Red Lotus Sea, in Nong Han Kum Pavapi. The best time to go to the lake is early in the morning, around 6 am. Visitors can hire a boat to get closer to the lotuses and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings.
Pink water lilies in bloom have this effect on lakes around the country. If you are wondering when to visit Thailand, the blossoming of the lilies takes place between November and February.
Bangkok’s Full Name is Unpronounceable
Bangkok is the most visited city in the world, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index. And, it is likely that you didn’t know that Thailand’s capital has the longest name of any city. Its origins are rooted in Pali and Sanskrit. The full spelling of the vibrant capital is: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. The name 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.”
Bonus points: Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized by an European country. In Thai, the name Thailand actually stands for “land of the free”.
Gibbons in the Khao Sok National Park
If you are planning to travel to Thailand, the Khao Sok National is definitely a must. Founded in 1980 by the Royal Forest Department, the park is a rainforest with an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Travelers can reach the park with public transport leaving from Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, Surat Thani, and Ao Nang.
Many different species live in this exceptional park including gibbons. These creatures call each other and it’s much easier to hear them than to spot them. Yet, you can follow their trail and explore the tropical forest. You might catch a glimpse of leopards, sun bears, tigers, monkeys and deer.
Take the Death Railway
Don’t worry, this isn’t as scary as it sounds. When you are visiting Thailand, you might want to consider riding this train. Let me tell you why, the Death Railway has a two-hour journey from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok and it’s one of the most scenic train rides. The views will take your breath away and you’ll be glad you took a chance.
The Death Railway is a train line devised by Japan’s Imperial Army at the height of World War II to transport supplies and often troops from Bangkok to Burma. To build it, between 180,000 and 250,000 Southeast Asian civil labourers and about 61,000 of Allied prisoners of war were forced to work on it. Nearly 90,000 civilians labourers and over 12,000 Allied prisoners died during its construction.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Swimming with Sharks is not for the faint-hearted, swimming with whale sharks will be an unforgettable experience. To be honest, sharks have a bad reputation, whale sharks are giant gentle creatures that pass through Koh Tao every year. On this island, you will find plenty of dive shops that will gladly provide you with the equipment to get in the water. in Koh Tao, you will be able to explore the turquoise waters and make new friends, like a whale shark.
Thailand is a country to which you will want to return. Make sure you are up to date with entry requirements, the Online visa for Thailand will soon simplify the process of getting a visa to visit the country.