Courtesy of the lovely folk over at Lonely Planet and their 12th Guide to Thailand, (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/), here are our favourite fun facts about the Land of Smiles:
1. Record breakers
Eat your heart out Guinness World Records Smashed!, Thailand has some of the most Guinness World Records per person in the world, including largest ever aerobics workout, biggest hamburger, man with longest hair and most linked skydivers.
2. Gives you wings…
Red Bull, the rather famous energy drink, has its origins in Thailand, and was originally called Red Guar (a kind of Ox), which is a little less catchy.
3. (Chop)stick your hands up in the air
Chopsticks aren’t widely used in Thailand, except to eat noodle soups or other dishes inherited from China. Most meals are eaten with a fork or a spoon, or with fingers in the case of certain northern Thai dishes.
4. No wonder they shortened it
Bangkok’s official name isn’t, as you might assume, Bangkok – it’s fiendishly long and roughly translates to “Great City of Angels, Repository of Divine Gems, Great Land Unconquerable, Grand and Prominent Realm, Royal and Delightful Capital City Full of Nine Noble Gems, Highest Royal Dwelling and Grand Palace, Divine Shelter and Living Place of Reincarnated Spirits”. Phew!
5. Four square meals a day
While we here in the western world have to make do with breakfast, lunch and dinner with, if we’re very lucky, elevenses thrown in for luck, Thais eat four or five times a day. Our kind of place!
6. Monking around
Every Thai male is expected to become a monk at some point in his life, generally between finishing school and starting his career/getting married. A little different to the Western idea of a gap year!
7. A toast to dessert
Rather than have toast for breakfast, Thais like to have their bread airy and sweet, toasted then served with condensed milk as pudding.
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