Thailand Interesting Facts

posted in: Mom's Musings | 7

I will not pretend we are doing great with formal schooling as we travel. We planned to use Kahn Academy for math, but wifi is just too unpredictable so far. Here is one of our nights when Mom forced Walden and Ella to buckle down and get some math in!

 

 

Here are a few things we’ve learned about Thailand:

Where we call ourselves Americans, the people of Thailand are called Thai and speak Thai!

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, much like England. Pictures of their King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died recently at 88 after a 70-year reign, were everywhere! Most Thai people were wearing black and we understand this is the plan for 1 year to mourn the king. Their government is presently controlled by military who seized power in 2014 and they dictate that TV must primarily play coverage dedicated to the King till told otherwise. The people do seem very fond of their king. His son, the prince, does not plan to take power until mourning is over.

Siamese Cats are native to Thailand and we saw versions everywhere!

Thailand exports more rice than anywhere. Thai tractors that primarily work in rice paddies look very different than ours!

90-95% Thai are Buddhists. We are still learning about Buddhism and will make a post later concerning just religion. But please, if you have questions, let us know in the comments. Their place of worship or temple is known as a wat.

Thailand was never colonized by a European Country, the name of the country in Thai means “land of the free.”

When we have been served a meal, your knife and fork are always placed entwined instead of side by side as we usually do.

Where we pay with the dollar, you pay with the baht in Thailand. 1 dollar equals about 35 baht.

You will see many people, especially in Bangkok, wearing surgical face masks. This is actually done as a courtesy for others if you have cold symptoms to prevent transmission. They also use them because of air pollution. We also noticed they have also become somewhat of a fashion trend, with a variety of versions available for purchase.

Thai massage is everywhere and much less expensive than at home. They don’t use oils or lotions and primarily rub, pull, stretch, and rock your body. You can get just your feet and legs, back, neck, or full body. This was at the night market in Chiang Mai, Mom tried out a foot massage at our hotel and loved it, but nobody else.

Common sports in Thailand include Muay Thai boxing, sepak takraw (cool kind of kick volleyball – see our Bangkok video for an example), and soccer. Many golfers visit here to play.


Thai families, similar to Cambodia, often live together in large extended families. Often you will see preschool children playing or helping out at their parent’s work place. This little girl played with Ella while Chris bought a SIM card for our cell phone.

The largest lizard, the monitor lizard who can grow 7 ft long, is native to Thailand. We looked for one at the beach, but we never saw one.

The king cobra, which is the world’s longest (up to 18ft!) poisonous snake can be found in Thailand. One bite from it can kill an elephant. Luckily we have not seen one of these, and that is just fine with us!

 

Orchids grow everywhere in Thailand, they export more than anywhere else.

A devastating tsunami occurred in 2004 killing more than 8,000 people. Close to 1,500 Thai children lost their parents.

More than 100,000 elephants lived in Thailand in 1800s, now there are about 5,000, with less than half of them wild.

 

We wonder if anyone cooks dinner at home in Thailand, since street food is everywhere! And you see almost everyone with a little bag of food coming home from work, with soup in a bag or chicken on a stick!

 

7 Responses

  1. David Sissom

    In the cooking videos what is the difference in red/yellow/green curries? And taste? Do you have to exchange currency or do they accept the American dollar? I love following you guys and hope you stay safe and healthy.

    • Chrishicks5

      So all the curries start with a group of ingredients that get pounded in mortar and pestle until they look like “ice cream”. This is where all the flavor comes from. Then the curry paste is cooked in a bit of oil until it is fragrant and then water and the other ingredients are added such as eggplant green beans for green curry or onion and pineapple and tomatoes for red curry with pineapple. Walden made yellow curry and it came out thicker almost like a stew. They are all flavorful and all start with the curry paste and then simple ingredients afterwards such as meat and vegetables. The taste is different due to slight changes in ingredients and this also creates the colors. They are all striving for a balance of salty (fish sauce), sweet (sugar) and spicy 🌶 and sometimes sour from limes usually.

      We opened a checking account from Charles Schwab because they reimburse all atms internationally. I just go to any ATM and it gives me the local currency. In Thailand they use baht. Cambodia takes US dollars and Malaysia takes Malaysian ringgits. New Zealand takes a Visa card and that makes it easy so far! I’ve already been reimbursed $47 from atm fees so that account is nice. Capital One visa has no fees overseas as well.

      The

  2. Laura

    Great info- a good summary. Looking forward to hearing more of what you learned on Buddhism. Also, I remember seeing the foot volleyball in the Bangkok video. That was impressive!

  3. Gwynn

    So is the soup in the bag cold? Great info about the currency exchange and ATMs!

    • Chrishicks5

      The soup was HOT. They cook it to order right for you. It was cool to watch her make it. You can decide the level of spiciness too.

  4. Dawn Reaves

    Take out food every night and a foot rub….I may need to move! Beautiful pictures.

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