“Sa-Wat Dee” (Hello),
Our journey, this month, has brought us to Thailand, a constitutional monarchy presently under King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Thailand was formerly known as “Siam” and its history shows that the country’s culture was heavily influenced by India followed by China, Cambodia, Lao, and Burma. Thailand’s national religion, Theravada Buddhism, is central to modern Thai identity.
Fun Fact #1: You’re lucky that you know Bangkok as “Bangkok.” Its real name is one of the longest names of a place in the world, made up of Pali and Sanskrit root words: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
Fun Fact #2: Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized by a European country. In fact, in the Thai language, the name of the country is Prathet Thai which means “land of the free.”