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Want to know more about Thailand? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Thailand that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Thailand facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. Thailand was never colonized by Europeans

As one of the few Asian countries that were never colonized, Thai people are very proud of this fact, and that is also one of the reasons why Thai culture is so strong and unique. 

The name of the country is Prathet Thai which means “land of the free.”.

2. Thailand has 5 UNESCO Heritage Sites

  • Historic City of Ayutthaya
  • Sukhothai
  • Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • Ban Chiang Archaeological Site
  • Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex
Sukhothai

Photo: Shutterstock

3. It’s illegal to disrespect the king

One thing you should never do is to be disrespectful against the Thai king and royal family. They should always be treated with the most utter respect. Talking bad about the king could even land you in prison. 

In fact, Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code states that anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent” can be punished with a jail sentence between 3 and 15 years. 

The former king King Bhumibol Adulyadej was loved by the people, and almost treated like a god-like figure. Sadly, he passed away in 2016. He was replaced by his son, Maha Vajiralongkorn, which is the current monarch. 

King of Thailand

Photo: feelphoto / Shutterstock.com

4. Thai people are hardworking

While the “normal” working hours are 8 hours, 5 days a week – There are many Thai people working very hard, some as long as 10-12 hours at least.

You will very rarely see Thai people complain in public, and their work ethic is very admirable. 

5. The Tuk-Tuk has its origin from here

Going for a tuk-tuk ride is one of the most classical things to do in Thailand, and while there nowadays are similar vehicles in many countries, they originated here. 

You will see these everywhere, and they are a cheap and fun way of getting around shorter distances, up to 1 hour. 

Tuk Tuk

Photo: Shutterstock

6. There are more than 1430 islands

Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Some of the most popular Thai islands are Koh Lanta, Hong Islands, Similan Islands, Phi Phi Islands, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Lipe, and Koh Chang just to mention a few!

Island hopping is one of the best things to do here, and every island has its unique charm and culture. 

Koh Ngai island

Photo: Shutterstock

7. All men used to be required to become monks

Every man in Thailand is required to become a monk for a period of time in their life before their 20th birthday. The expected time length is about three months, but some will only stay for 1-2 days. 

The majority will stay for a few weeks though to earn merit and good karma. This is definitely one of the many interesting facts about Thailand and its culture. 

Facts about Thailand

Photo: Shutterstock

8. The Thai government funds Thai restaurants abroad

Thai food is increasingly popular worldwide, and in most bigger cities you will find at least one Thai restaurant. There is a good reason for this because the government actually helps to fund them abroad. 

It’s an attempt to spread Thai culture worldwide as well as increase export and revenue from tourism.

pad thai

9. Bangkok is the most visited city in the world

More than 20 million people visit Bangkok each year, and tourism is still increasing, and rightly so.

Bangkok is a fascinating city and despite the massive size of population and area, it’s still easy to get around, and you will find something interesting wherever you go in the city. 

Did you know that the real name of Bangkok is actually Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.

Yes, I’m not kidding, that’s the actual name of the city, now try to pronounce it!

bangkok

10. Red Bull has its roots in Thailand

Red Bull is an Austrian company that has become famous worldwide thanks to their energy drink that is supposedly giving people “wings” but the formula originated from the Thai energy drink known as Krating Daeng, which is still being sold today.

11. Thailand is home to many dangerous snake species

The risk of meeting one of these snakes is very small unless you actually go looking for them in the jungle. But as a regular tourist, you’re unlikely to encounter any snake. I have been to Thailand at least 15 times in the past 5 years, and have yet to encounter a snake. 

But it’s still one of the most interesting facts about Thailand, and some of the snakes living here are: 

  • Cobras (including the King Cobra)
  • Kraits (including the Banded krait)
  • Various types of Vipers
  • Coral snakes
  • Keelbacks
Thai snake

Photo: Shutterstock

12. The head is considered to be sacred

Touching someone’s head, even a child is forbidden in Thai culture. It’s highly disrespectful since the head is considered to be the most sacred part of the human body.

Even though you will probably not touch someone’s head anyway, it’s good to know, and even an innocent scratch on a kid’s head can be offensive to Thai parents. 

13. There are more than 35 000 temples in Thailand

It doesn’t matter where you go in Thailand, you will never be far away from an impressive temple. There are even temples in central Bangkok, and the temples play an important rule within Thai society. 

If you were to explore every Thai temple it would take 95 years to visit them all if you visit 1 temple per day. 

Ayutthaya Temple

14. It’s known as the land of the smiles

I have been traveling around Thailand since 2015 and have returned many times. One thing that strikes me every time is how happy most of the Thai people are. They are always smiling, even if their life situation is tough. 

It’s very admirable, and no wonder that the country is nicknamed as the land of the smiles! 

15. Buddhism is the most common religion

More than 95% of the population considers themselves to be a follower of Buddhism. And much of the daily life for Thai locals involves Buddhism in some way or another.

While traveling around the country, you will see countless Buddhist temples. 

Buddhism

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x Fun Facts about Thailand

  • Ping Pong shows can be found in Thailand where talented ladies will shoot ping pong balls from their genitalia
  • There is a yearly festival called Songkran where everyone splashes water on each other
  • It’s illegal to drive a car shirtless
  • Thai locals use their spoon to cut their food. They don’t use knives, but instead a fork and spoon
  • According to local belief, if you sneeze, it means someone is missing you or talking about you
songkran - fun things to do in Thailand

Songkran is one of the most fun things to do in Thailand – Photo: artapartment / Shutterstock.com

5 x Thailand Facts for Kids

  • The Thai language has 44 consonants and 32 vowels
  • Siamese cats come from here
  • The orchid is the national flower
  • Muay Thai is the national sport
  • The elephant is the national animal
Siamese Cat

Photo: Shutterstock

Don’t forget to try Thai beer

Tourists and locals alike love Thai beer, and some of the most popular beer brands are Chang, Singha, Tiger, and Leo. 

chang thailändsk ol

General Facts about Thailand

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Thailand that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 69 million
  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Life expectancy: 75,30 years
  • Highest Mountain: Doi Inthanon
  • Land area: 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Songkhla Lake
  • National Day: 10 December (constitution day)
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta
  • Monarch: Maha Vajiralongkorn
  • Prime minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha 
  • Currency: Baht (฿) (THB)
  • Official language: Thai
  • Religion: Buddhism
  • National song: “Phleng Chat Thai”
  • Time zone: UTC+7 (ICT)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +66
  • Country Code: TH

The Biggest Cities in Thailand

If you’re looking for facts about Thailand, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest Thai cities ranked after population.

BangkokNakhon Ratchasima
Samut PrakanChiang Mai
Mueang NonthaburiHat Yai
Udon ThaniPak Kret
Chon BuriSi Racha

Flag of Thailand

thailand flag

Map of Thailand

Below you can see the country’s territory marked in yellow. It borders Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Thailand Map

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these Thailand Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!