Amazing Thailand Facts (Part 5)

How come no charges of lese-majeste have been filed against these two?

Here are another 20 amazing Thailand facts as compiled over on the Forums. You can see the other facts already posted by clicking here. Most of them were compiled by myself, but for the ones not, the name is in brackets.

1. Pleng Look Thung (Thai Country Music)

Began with the influx of migrants from the central region to Bangkok in the early 1960s. The style was created by mixing central region folk music, new electric keyboard sound and Latino rhythms. The original Thai country songs were specifically about the life experience of a migrant to Bangkok.

2. Worst Air Crash Ever

Lauda Air Flight Number 004 which exploded over Suphanburi in 1991 with 223 on board and no survivors is the worst air crash ever over Thai soil. It is also ranked the world’s 18th most tragic.

3. 10 Baht for the Blind

The 10 baht coin incorporates braille for the blind to recognise the currency unit. It has raised dots above the Wat Arun feature on the opposite side to the king’s image. (Sparky)

4. Bare Breasts are the Real History

Popular Thai historical TV dramas and movies recreating the Ayutthaya era constantly potray commoner men with bare torsos, full of tattoos – as for the women, the usual nice top and long hair.
The men may appear authentic but the women not. According to historians a more true apprearance of Thai women in those days would be short cropped hair, blackened teeth and breasts exposed.

5. A Queen and the Lucky Lottery

Nick-named the Queen of Thai Country Music, Phumphuang (Pheung) Duangjan was illiterate. Wat Tapkradan temple in Suphanburi province (where Phumphuang was cremated) is a haven for lottery players who believe that the spirit of Phumphuang can help them predict the winning lottery numbers.

6. The Meaning of Ayutthaya

The name of the city of Ayutthaya (Ayodhaya) is named after the city by the same name in the Ramkien. Phra Intr (Indra) was advised by four Phra Ruesi to build a city in the Twaaraawadii Forest, as it was an auspicious place. To add to the citys blessing, it was named using the first syllables of each of the Ruesi’s names, A, Yod, Dha, Ya. (GVMA)

7. Ad Carabao’s Chinese Connection

Ad Carabao’s given Chinese name is Huu Chun Chang. (Khao Niaw)

8. A Queen’s Disease

Nick-named the Queen of Thai Country Music, Phumphuang (Pheung) Duangjan
died as result of Lupus, a non-contagious auto-immune disease.
Since her death, Lupus here in Thailand has been called Rok Phumphuang (Phumphuang’s disease). (Surawut)

9. The Thai Language is Not So Thai

Approximately half the standard Thai language is comprised of words which have been adopted from other languages: Khmer, Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, Lao, Shan and even English etc…

10. Maekhong Whiskey: Promoting Nationalism and Porn

Popular even till this day with locals and foreigners alike, Maekong Whiskey was first produced in 1941 with a name to inspire nationalism during the Thai – French dispute along the Maekhong River.
A decade or so later (i can’t find any exact year), Maekhong Whiskey’s calenders posted the first kind of naughty pictures (soft porn) ever published in Thailand.

At 5 foot 4, the shortest Miss Universe ever

11. World’s Longest Bridge

According to Wikipedia, at 54,000 meters in length, the Bangna Expressway is the longest bridge in the world.

12. Most Thai Monks Not So Buddhist

According to a Ramkhamhaeng University poll conducted in 2003, 70% of Thai monks supported the War on Drugs in which over 2,500 people were killed.

13. Lese Majeste & Double Standards

The Thai authorities banned the movie Anna & the King as it was ‘disrespectful’ of the King. However, no lese majeste charges have ever been filed against Chao Yun-fat and Jodie Foster.

14. Naughty Evidence Needed

Charges of prostitution in Thailand can only filed if the guilty are caught in the act. Theoretically, therefore, police would have to burst through a door and find the client busily engaged while at the same time handing over payment.

15. Thailand’s ‘Old Vic’ Connection

The Thai word “wik” referring to a theatre or a place where shows are held, comes from the name of the Old Vic theater in London. (Surawut)

16. Shortest Miss Universe

The 1965 winner of the Miss Universe crown, Apasra Hongsakula, is, at 5 feet 4 inches tall, the shortest winner of Miss Universe ever. (Interested Guy)

17. Women’s Rights

Known as the Father of Modern Education and even Thai History, it was Prince Damrong Rajanuphab who instituted suffrage and gave Thai women the right to vote in 1897 – a long time before many Western countries.

18. Thailand’s Biggest Hoax

In 2001, one of Thaksin’s government senators showed to the public a bond certificate dated 1934 and claimed that the Japanese army of World War II had abandoned $25 billion US dollars in bonds and another $55 billion US dollars worth of gold in a cave in Kanchanaburi. Thaksin even asked the US for satellite help in finding the fortune which some members of the govt claimed would free the country of national debt. After headlining the news for weeks, it was found out that the whole thing, including the original bond, was one big hoax.

19. From a Single Line into Compulsory Reading and a 3 Hour Movie

Perhaps Thailand’s most famous Woman Warrior in history is Queen Suriyothai in the 16th century who was killed while fighting the Burmese in a battle. The movie ‘The Legend of Suriyothai’ is also one of the biggest box office successes in Thai movie history. Suriyothai is also compulsory reading in Thai history school classes. However, according to the old historical chronicles, Suriyothai was only mentioned in one single line. By the time of Prince Damrong’s (The Father of Modern Thai History) book ‘Our Wars with the Burmese’, she had expanded to a full length story.

20. Krungthep & Bangkok: Not Same Same

Contrary to popular belief, Krungthep and Bangkok are not the same. Historically speaking, Bangkok is only the name of the area on the east banks of the Chao Phara River, on the west is Thonburi. King Rama joined Bangkok and Thonburi together and named this ‘great new city’, Krungthep……

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