9 More Things You Didn’t Know About Thailand
1. Chumphon Coffee
Many people are aware of the coffee grown in Chiangmai as it’s a fairly high profile product.
But you may be surprised to know that much further south, Chumphon province turns out 60% of the country’s coffee, and most of it is the Robusta variety.
The reason this particular variety is grown here is simply that it matches the local conditions, as well as being the second most popular coffee.
Growers in the area produce an incredible 24 tons of coffee each year.
2. Korat Cat
You surely know about Siamese cats, but did you know that Nakhon Ratchasima, commonly called Korat, is the birthplace of a much sought after breed, the Korat cat.
Originating in the ancient town of Phimai, Korat Cat is one of the oldest natural breed of cats. In Thailand the breed is known as Si Sawat.
Genuine Korat cats are distinguished not only by the colour of their fur, but also by their heart-shaped face, while their eyes are yellow with an inner green circle.
They also must be slender and agile. Crooked tails are considered inauspicious.
If you ever get invited to a wedding in Thailand it’s considered good luck to present the bride with a pair of Korat kittens. Let’s hope she’s not allergic to cats!
3. Oldest Places
The oldest city in Thailand is believed to have been founded about 400CE (AD) as Nakhon Chaisi, now known as Nakhon Pathom.
It’s existing famous Chedi post-dates the original which was erected in 243BC. In fact there are two more older chedis inside the one you see.
While it’s popular to give Chiang Khan in Loei province the title of oldest city, it’s predated by Nakhon Pathom.
Chiang Khan is considered to be the first city settled by the Tai people, while Nakhon Pathom was the first city in what is now Thailand.
The oldest known human settlement in Thailand, which dates back to about 1500BC, is at Ban Chiang in Udon Thani province.
4. Fish Climbs Waterfalls
Like no other fish in the world, the blind Cavefish (Cryptotora thamicola) bizarrely uses its two front and two back fins to climb up waterfalls.
It also crawls on land the same way. The Cavefish seems to be unique in that such adaptations for walking have never been seen in any other fish.
If you’ve got a goldfish keep a close eye on it -- apparently the two are related!
5. Half Million Baht Cocktail
It’s reported that the Vivaldi Restaurant in Bangkok once served the world’s most expensive cocktail.
The ‘Valentine Cocktail’ was modestly priced at a mere 540,000 baht.
It was garnished with a five-karat ruby instead of an olive, and came with a six-course dinner, a night in a luxury hotel, and of course a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne.
6. Biggest Exporter of Rubber
According to a government press release late last year Thailand is now the world’s biggest exporter of rubber and has a 36.8% share of a global export market that is worth US$12 billion annually.
The biggest customer for all this rubber is China.
Malaysia was the top exporter previously
7. Thailand has more than 1430 Islands
No doubt you’ve visited some of the well known islands like Phuket and Samui, but there are plenty more to explore.
We guess it could take a life time to see them all but it’s well worth trying to find a few of them.
You could start with Koh Pu or Koh Bulon Leh. If you can find them you might be all alone on the beach!
In comparison, Malaysia apparently has 878 islands.
8. Bamboo Scaffolding
Scaffolding in Thailand isn’t made of metal.
Usually putting up scaffolding on a building involves trying a huge number of bamboo poles together.
This may sound risky but bamboo, although flexible, is incredibly strong as it has greater tensile strength than steel -- and it’s a lot cheaper.
There’s still a skill to putting it up though, which needs quite a bit of experience.
9. It’s Bad Luck
This video proves that it’s bad luck to irritate an elephant!
It’s bad luck to get a haircut on a Wednesday.
Don’t leave your home if you hear a gecko call. You’ll be sure to have some bad luck if you do.
A single girl must never sing in the kitchen, or she will end up with an old husband.
There are lots more of these, including it’s bad luck to point your finger at a rainbow…..
We hope you enjoyed this bit of 9 things you didn’t know about Thailand trivia. No doubt there is plenty more!
Make sure you have travel insurance while visiting Thailand’s wonders. Medical care is world class but worldly expensive!