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!