Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a popular vacation destination for people in various parts of the world.
Its history is so interesting and very much visible even to this day. If you want to know all about Thailand, then keep reading.
We did our research and handpicked the following facts that cover everything from history, geography and culture as well as some random yet interesting facts about Thailand.
Amazing Facts About Thailand Geography And History
These Thailand geography facts and historical facts about Thailand are the perfect read to get you started if your goal is to see this country from a whole new perspective.
1. Thailand used to be called Siam.
2. In the year 1935 the county's name changed to Thailand.
3. In 1945 the name was changed back to Siam, and then back to Thailand in the year 1949. It has not been changed since.
4. Thai people are known to be very peaceful people. They like to promote peace and understanding.
5. The Thai alphabet contains 44 consonants and 32 vowels and is said in five different tones.
6. The Thai language is derived from an ancient Brahmic Indian writing system that began as early as 1292 A.D.
7. The Thailand population is composed of 75% Thai people.
8. 14% of the population is made up of Chinese people and the other 11% are nationalities form all over the world.
9. The word 'Thai' means "free" and the country is also known as The Land Of The Free.
10. The whole country of Thailand is about 514,000 square kilometres big, with a population of 70 million.
11. The highest point in Thailand is called Doi Inthanon, it is 2,565 meters or 8,415 feet high.
12.The lowest point of Thailand is called the Gulf of Thailand (also known as the Gulf Of Siam) which flows directly to the South China Sea.
13. Thailand is situated in the tropics. They only have three seasons: dry, wet and cold.
14. The weather in Thailand is warm, and the air is humid all year round.
15. There are 77 provinces and 38 districts in Thailand, each one administered by its own governor.
16. Thailand is governed by a constitutional monarchy, which simply means the person they elect rules alongside and shares power with the King or Queen.
17. When it is time for a new rule, a Prime Minister is selected from a House of Representatives and is appointed by the King himself.
18. It is illegal to insult the monarchy or royal bloodline in Thailand.
19. Thailand's longest serving monarch was King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He reigned for 70 years.
20. According to Forbes magazine, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is worth approximately $30 billion, making him the world’s richest monarch.
21. Former King Bhumibol Adulyadej died in 2016 and has four children with Queen Sirikit, his spouse.
22. Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn took over his father's rule and was crowned King in 2019.
23. In 2000 B.C. people built settlements in the hillsides of Thailand. Pieces of evidence from this era are still being found to this day.
24. Around one tenth of the world’s animal population are situated in Thailand.
25. Ten percent of the birds in the world can also be found in Thailand.
26. The world's smallest mammal, the bumble bat is found in Thailand.
27. The world largest lizard, known as the monitor, is found in Thailand.
28. Thailand is also home to the Rhincodon typus, the world's largest fish also known as the 'whale shark'.
29. Siamese cats may be all over the world now, but their origins also point to Thailand.
30. The late and longest King of Thailand was a former Olympic yachtsman.
31. Before colonization and development, almost all of Northern Thailand was covered in hardwood trees and rainforests.
Interesting Thai Culture Facts
Thailand is home to a variety of different cultural beliefs, flavours, and trades. These cultural facts about Thailand will be especially helpful information if you are travelling to Thailand in the future.
32. Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice and its terrain is filled with rice fields.
33. Some other commonly exported goods from Thailand are plants like cassava, rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts and soybeans.
34. Fifty percent of the workforce in Thailand is employed in the agriculture industry.
35. Statistics show that the majority of Bangkok’s taxi drivers come from the northeast provinces of the country.
36. The country is also a large exporter of canned seafood like tuna, sardines and shrimp.
37. Ninety percent of Thai people are Buddhists. They follow Theravada Buddhism.
38. Most of the remaining 10% of people in Thailand follow Islam or Christianity.
39. Because of the heavy influence Buddhism has in the country, Thai people have very peaceful attitudes and reactions.
40. Many Thai men enter monkhood before they turn 20-years-old.
41. Entering monkhood is believed to bring luck and honour to the monk's family.
42. Aggression, anger and violence are serious signs of disrespect and are not welcomed anywhere in Thailand.
43. Spirits are honoured greatly in Thailand, more than a lot of other countries in the world.
44. Despite the Buddhist values that say you need to be kind to all sentient beings, some animal cruelty practices such as cockfighting do still take place in Thailand's rural areas.
45. Structures called spirit houses are commonly spotted in villages to honor the spirits who have not found peace.
46. Wai is a traditional Thai greeting which involves putting your hands together in prayer to acknowledge someone's presence.
47. The Thai national anthem was composed by German composer Peter Feit.
48. It is standard to see Thailand’s flag raised each morning at eight o'clock and lowered at six o'clock in the evening.
49. The Thai flag is composed of three colors.
50. The red on the flag symbolizes the nation, blue symbolizes the monarchy and white symbolizes the dominant religion of Buddhism.
51. Nineteen percent of the Thai economy’s exported goods are cars and electronic gadgets.
52. In Thailand you do not enter someone's home without taking off your shoes or slippers first. This is a simple sign of respect.
53. Pointing fingers is considered rude in Thailand culture.
54. In Thailand, bare feet are considered bad as they are believed to represent an attachment to the ground.
56. When it comes to dining out, the one who gave the invite is usually expected to pay the bill in Thailand.
57. Whistling is said to attract spirits, good and bad. So it's best not to whistle at night in Thailand.
58. There is a Thai superstition that believes it is unlucky to point at a rainbow. If you do this it is believed that your finger will fall off!
59. A person from Thailand is called a Thai.
60. There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand.
Tourism In Thailand: Facts And Figures You Should Know
A great majority of Thailand's income as a country comes from its tourism sector. Here are some facts about Thai tourism that would be useful to know.
61. The number of tourists that visit Thailand every year amounts to roughly 30 million.
62. There are currently over two million people employed by Thailand's tourism industry.
63. The tourism industry employees make up seven percent of the country’s workforce.
64. Agriculture and tourism are the two biggest and most successful industries in Thailand.
65. Thailand's tourism sector contributes to six percent of the economy’s income.
66. Thailand is one of the top 20 countries with the worst air pollution.
67. There are roughly 10,000 Americans living in Thailand.
68. There are over 300,000 Thai people living in America.
69. The Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok has the world’s biggest passenger terminal under a single roof.
70. There are five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand: the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, the historic city of Ayutthaya, the historic town of Sukhothai, the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex and the Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries.
71. The tourism of the country is divided into five kinds: ecotourism, conservation tourism, historical tourism, cultural tourism and recreational tourism.
72. Thailand is rich in natural scenery like forests, mountains, oceans and wildlife.
73. Shopping tours and food tours are also becoming a trend in the country.
74. Most of Thailand's foreign tourists are comprised of Malaysians, Japanese and Koreans.
75. The country has a total of 1,430 islands, among the most famous of which are Ko Samui and Phuket.
76. Koh Phi Phi Lee is the infamous island in Danny Boyle’s blockbuster film 'The Beach', starring Leonardo Dicaprio.
77. No matter what season it is, it's always warm and almost always sunny in Thailand. This attracts tourists all year round.
78. Luxury accommodation in Thailand is great value when compared to those in Europe or the United States.
The Coolest Things Thailand Is Known For
A visit to the country of Thailand will not be complete without trying the following!
79. Thai street food is diverse, aromatic and delicious.
80. Most Thai street food are savory dishes with meat, seafood and vegetables garnished with fresh spices and chillies.
81. Thailand is also known for its popular mode of public transportation called a Tuktuk, which is a form of local taxi.
82. Thailand is a paradise for shopaholics. From food markets, to weekend markets, to night markets to floating markets. Name it and Thailand has it for you!
83. Elephant sanctuaries are very popular in Thailand. You can feed the elephants and even go for a ride with them.
84. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has not been colonized by Europeans at any point in history.
85. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival or the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is an annual event where participants are encouraged to partake in a vegan diet for nine days.
86. Every year, a big feast called the Monkey Buffet is held in front of the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple in the Lopburi province. This is done to thank the monkeys for attracting tourists to see the village.
87. Thailand recently won seven gold medals at the Olympic Games in weightlifting and Muay Thai.
88. The sport Muay Thai is known in Thailand as the 'art of eight limbs' and is the national sport.
89. For those who love to party the island of Koh Phangan is the best place to visit. It is particularly famous for its Full Moon Parties.
90. Jungle trails and waterfalls are a good nature trip alternative if islands and beaches aren't your thing.
91. Forget water polo. In Thailand, there is elephant polo.
92. The country is the world's biggest producer of tin, which is used to coat metal.
Fun Facts About Bangkok
Home to millions of residents, Bangkok opens its doors to millions of tourists as well. Here are some interesting facts about Thailand's capital city.
93. The name Bangkok comes from the words 'bang makok'. 'Bang' means "the village by the river" and 'makok' is a name of a type of fruit-bearing tree.
94. Bangkok's real name, Krungthep Mahanakhon, is long and can be hard to pronounce. In full, it is called Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
95. The full Meaning of Bangkok's name is as follows: “City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, the Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s Behest.”
96. Over 12 million people reside in Bangkok. Most of them are locals and there are a few foreign residents here.
97. Before Bangkok, Ayutthaya was the capital of the country (which was then called Siam).
98. Bangkok is also known as the 'Venice of the East' because of the many stilted houses by the canals.
99. Another title Bangkok is known as is the 'world's hottest city', and yes, it is because it can get really warm there.
100. As the population began to grow, the majority of the land in Bangkok has been reclaimed.
101. Bangkok is actually the world’s most visited city, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index.
102. Khao Sarn Road is one of the most popular backpacker destinations in Asia. The whole road is lined with restaurants, stalls and bars.
103.According to statistics, one out of 10 Thais live in the capital Bangkok.
104. Bangkok was the world's most visited city both in 2016 and 2017.
105.All the temples found on Thai coins are located in Bangkok.
More Cool Facts About Thailand
Here are more fun facts about the country that are too good not to post!
106. The world famous golfer Tiger Woods is half Thai.
107.The Asian version of the Red Bull energy drink originated in Thailand. This is different from the Red Bull energy drink of European Origin.
108.The most common way to greet someone in Thailand is by saying "gin kaow laow ruu yang?" which in English, means "have you eaten yet?"
109.Thailand is home to a type of fish that can walk on land. It is called the Cryptotora thamicola, a distant relative of the common goldfish.
110. The term 'Siamese twins' originated in Thailand, as the first pair of conjoined twins were born in Samutsakorn in the year 1877.
111. Thailand is the world's biggest exporter of orchids.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Thailand facts then why not take a look at these Nicaragua facts, or Greenland facts.
Hannah is a lover of all things fitness, she is a qualified personal trainer and is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation and is passionate about helping people find their best selves. Hannah has travelled extensively and has spent the last four years working and living in many different countries across Asia and the Americas and loves writing about her travels. At any moment you might catch her running for a plane or a PB!