Thailand is a country that is located in Southeast Asia. The country’s official name is the Kingdom of Thailand, and it used to be called Siam.
Thailand’s National Flag
The National Flag has five horizontal stripes of three colors: Red, White, and Blue which has a very significant meaning.
The vibrant color red signifies the life-blood of the Thai people. The white stripe symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, the National religion and the dominant blue stripe represents the Thai King, the Monarchy and the important part it plays in the daily life of Thais.
The present national Thai flag, the “Tri-Rong” or three sacred colors, was designed by King Rama VI.
Thailand General Knowledge
There is also the magnificent capital city of Thailand called Bangkok, and it is also the largest city in the country.
The country has a population of approximately 67,959,000, making it the 20th most populous country in the world. The country has a total area of 198,120 square miles and is the 50th largest country in the world based on area.
The largest ethnic group is Central Thai and the official language spoken is also called Thai, and over 95% of Thailand’s residents practice Buddhism.
National Symbols of Thailand
Guess what else I was happy to learn? There are several National symbols of Thailand.
First is the Emblem of Thailand featuring the Garuda.
The National Flower is called the flower of the Ratchaphruek or Golden Rain Tree (Cassia fistula) as seen below:
And guess what I just learnt? We have it in the Cayman Islands too. Where? At Camana Bay of course.
If you look close enough, you will see many signs identifying Camana Bay’s unique flora and fauna from the Dart Nursery- which is home to more than 180 unique species of palms and 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Cool!
Then we have the opulent Thai pavilion or Sala Thai as national architectural element.
Sala Thai, is an open pavilion, used as a meeting place and to protect people from sun and rain. A person who builds a sala at a temple or in a public place gains religious merit. A sala located in a temple is called a salawat. Some temples have large salas where laity can hear sermons or receive religious instruction.
These are called sala kan parian meaning ‘pavilion where monks learn for the Parian examination.
The city halls or offices of the province governors are called sala wa kan (literally meaning ‘government pavilion’) or sala klang changwat (literally meaning a ‘provincial main pavilion).
And finally, there is the National Animal which is the Thai Elephant.
Thailand’s Constitutional Monarchy
The country of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has been since 1932. It has also been said to be one of the few remaining countries in the world to have this type of government.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been on the throne since 2016.
The King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X), is the current monarch, reigning since the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016. He has only exercised the role of monarch since 1 December 2016.
The constitution stipulates that although the sovereignty of the state is vested in the people, the king will exercise such powers through the three branches of the Thai government.
Under the constitution the king is given very little power, but remains a figurehead and symbol of the Thai nation.
As the head of state, however, he is given some powers and has a role to play in the workings of government.
According to the constitution, the king is head of the armed forces. He is required to be Buddhist as well as the defender of all faiths in the country.
The king also retained some traditional powers such as the power to appoint his heirs, the power to grant pardons, and the royal assent. The king is aided in his duties by the Privy Council of Thailand.
Cost of Living in Thailand
There is no magic number for the cost of living in Thailand because everyone is different.
Everyone comes from a different background, has different tastes, has different spending habits and different budgets with different life styles.
I recently watched a fantastic romantic comedy called Crazy Rich Asians, which was about a poor girl who finds her Prince Charming – and is then thrown into the extravagant, glitzy, catty world of the Singapore elite.
The idea that an everyday woman could meet a dashing man and end up marrying into aristocratic society is as we all know, a well-worn, and well-loved, story convention that has built the foundation for tales like Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella.
However, in reality, for those of you considering Thailand as your premier destination for building a family, here are a few other things to consider:
• Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
• Are you married?
• Do you have children?
Thailand’s current constitution
The country’s current constitution was put forth in April of 2017. Thailand has so far had seventeen Constitutions. Throughout, the basic structure of government has remained the same.
The current (2016) constitution, drafted by a body appointed by the military junta (NCPO), states in section 4:
“The human dignity, rights, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected”.
 This is unchanged from the 2007 constitution. Sections 26 to 63 set out an extensive range of specific rights in such areas as criminal justice, education, non-discrimination, religion, and freedom of expression.
The government of Thailand is composed of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
The system of government is modelled after the Westminster system.
All branches of government are concentrated in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.
Speaking of systems and branches- did you know that recently a 23-year-old investment banker was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2018 in a glittering finale held June 30 at the at Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon.
Miss Universe Thailand “Sophida Kanchanarin”
Sophida Kanchanarin, who holds a finance degree from the University of Nevada in the USA, will now represent the Land of Smiles in the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant.
It has been said that Sophida Kanchanarin has big shoes to fill following Thailand’s recent resurgence in the Miss Universe competition.
After three consecutive placements (2015 – Top 10, 2016 – Top 6, 2017 – Top 5), and guess what? The Land of Smiles is setting its sights on winning its third Miss Universe crown.
What do you think? Is it a no brainer? Lol!
Here’s another fun fact that I found- A common greeting in Thai culture is “Have you eaten?” followed by “How are you?” Cool!
Agriculture and Tourism
Agriculture and Tourism are the two most important and lucrative industries in Thailand.
One of Thailand’s many attractions is called Udon Thani.
Although Udon Thani is off many tourists’ radars, it’s known to have one of the largest expat populations in Thailand, making it one of the best places to visit for those who don’t speak much Thai (like me!). The best part is, it only takes a 45-minute flight to get here from Bangkok.
Thailand’s biggest sunflower field is called Muek Lek Sunflower Fields and it is tucked away in this little province of Lopburi in central Thailand.
According to my research, it only takes approximately 2 hours from Bangkok to get there.
Apparently, you can find all things sunflower-related there-sunflower seeds, honey, and oil just to name a few. Cool!
Mistreatment of Elephants
During my research however, I was grieved to learn that it’s common knowledge that elephants in Thailand are often abused and tortured for human gain.
The mistreatment of elephants is one of the most notorious animal welfare problems in Thailand.
There are elephant camps across the country that raise elephants in captivity (or snatch them from the wild) and use them in shows and for tourists to ride on.
For the most part, the training of these captive elephants involves wrenching young elephants from their mothers, and torturing them into submission, breaking their spirit. Even then, life isn’t good for them.
Many are kept in chains, with limited room to roam and are controlled by the use of force, and made to do unnatural tricks. If you want to see elephants in Thailand, do your research and find a responsible elephant project.
Elephant Nature Park is one of the most famous organizations and best-known elephant conservation project in Thailand. The center was founded in 1995 and is located near Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north.
More than 35 elephants roam free here, and many of these have been saved from torturous camps that exploit elephants for tourism or logging purposes. The center is also home to dogs, cats, and other rescued animals.
Thailand is a country whose landmarks showcase its history, while its cities show the modern conveniences of today.
As I stated in my title- it’s a no brainer; the country of Thailand is a land that boasts stunning flora and fauna, natural beauty, and historical landmarks and that is what makes that country a great place to live or visit.
It’s a no brainer! It isn’t that hard to choose.