Did You Know?
You may have read some of our past articles about the mercy ministry happening in Thailand, but here are a few things you may not know about this beautiful country.
- Home of the smallest and the largest. Thailand is where you can find the smallest mammal in the world: the bumblebee bat, which weighs only two grams—about the same as two Skittles. The largest fish, the whale shark, can be found in Thailand’s waters and weighs in at around 20 tons and is about as long as a school bus.
- There are more than 35,000 shrines and temples. Buddhism is practiced by more than 95% of Thailand’s population, so there’s no wonder there are so many of these elaborate structures all across the country.
- The world’s largest water fight. Songkran Festival happens every year from April 13-15 and celebrates the Traditional Thai New Year. Locals and foreigners alike celebrate the annual holiday by equipping themselves with water guns, buckets, and hoses and soaking everyone in sight.
- Bangkok has the world’s longest ceremonial name. Did you know that Bangkok is actually a shortened version of the capital city’s full name? Coming in at a whopping 168 letters, Bangkok’s full name is actually Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Try saying that ten times fast!
- Thailand used to be known as Siam. Speaking of names, did you know that Thailand used to go by a different name? Until 1939, it was known as Siam. It briefly changed back to Siam for a few years, but “Thailand” seems to have stuck. Siamese cats, like the ones in Lady and the Tramp, originated in Thailand.
- Thailand is the “Land of the Free.” While all of its neighbors in Southeast Asia were being colonized by European powers, Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to maintain its independence. Even the country’s name means “land of the free.”
- 40 million tourists visited Thailand in 2019. Thailand’s economy took a pretty big hit when the pandemic brought international travel to a halt, and many people—particularly those working in the tourism sector—lost their jobs.
- The land of smiles. The people in Thailand are known for their hospitality and friendliness and, of course, their smiles.
- There is an annual festival of monkeys. Thousands of macaque monkeys swarm the city of Lopburi for a feast of their favorite fruits and vegetables. This tradition came about as a way for the locals to thank the monkeys for their role in bringing tourists to the city of Lopburi.
- Over 28,000 people are currently receiving food and resources on a regular basis through the Food Pak ministry. Children’s Hunger Fund first began a partnership in Thailand in 2009 with just a dozen churches and now has partnerships with 73 churches. That’s a lot of hope delivered!