ThailandCopyright: Anek Suwannaphoom


Capital: Bangkok
Currency: Baht (฿) (THB)
Language: Thai
Listen to the national anthem

Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand and is t he political and financial hub of the country. Thai's call Bangkok "Krung Thep Maha Nakho but the correct ceremonial name name is “Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit”.

In 1989, in the Lopburi province in the north of the country and unusual festival was born. The idea came from a local businessman who wanted to boost tourism in the area. Crab-eating Macaque Every November since, this festival has fed 600 or more Crab-eating Macaques also known as long-tailed Macaques with around 4,000 kg (4 tons) of fresh fruit and veg! The locals see it as a way of thanking the monkeys for attracting the large number of tourists to the region just to see the spectacle.

Another festival that is held further south on Phuket is the Phuket Vegetarian festival where only vegetables and fruit are eaten. This festival is not however for the faint hearted as devotees of Taoism pierce their bodies whith a whole range of things from long metal rods, knives, needles, swords and even bizarelly guns! The piercings are all carried out by the local medical staff and once the items are then removed the devotees recover very quickly. The pain that is caused is said to cleanse the soul!

Muay Thai, is a form of kick boxing and is a national sport also known as 'the art of eight limbs'. The competitors wear padded gloves but can also use their knees and elbows to hit with. Football is also very common and many Thai avidly watch and support the Premiere League teams. Another popular sport is Elephant Polo where the King's Cup is one of the main events. Did you know that both England and Scotland have teams that participate?

In the town of Kanchanaburi , there is a very famous bridge that was the focus of the World War 2 film "Bridge Across the River Kwai". The bridge was started in 1942 by POW's of the Japanese Army and is a part of what is known as the Burma Railway.

Bridge over the River KwaiCopyright: Anirut Rassameesritrakool

The building is believed to have claimed at least half of the POW's that were forced to build the bridge. Starvation and violence as well as dangerous working conditions were the common causes of fatalities.

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