Thailand seems to be immortalized as a country of beaches, incredible cuisine and splendid excess in our minds. There is without a doubt, lots to see and do here. But with such amazing things to see, come a sense of mystery that can arouse one’s curiosity. Here are 5 Things you probably didn’t know about Thailand and will help you see the country in a new way.
- See What Hell Looks Like
Wat Phumin is a Buddhist temple in Thailand, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. There are four entrances to the temple, and each is decorated with a statue of Buddha. The interior is intricately decorated, the walls covered with murals that provide an invaluable look into daily life.
That’s only the main temple, however, and there’s also a small little domed building that looks exactly like a place you really don’t want to walk into. Inside the dome are a series of life-size dioramas that show just what’s going to happen to those who stray from the Buddhist path.
Hell is the spiritual equivalent of prison in Buddhist teachings and you see it all in the hell dome. Victims are doused with hot oil, Animal-headed people are boiled alive in pots, and there’s even a woman impaled on a tree with a bird eating pieces of her head. An overseer sits on a pile of skulls, and all the figures are done badly enough to be terrifying and vaguely unsettling.
- Talk to Prisoners
A fun fact in Thailand. If you are a traveler, you won’t be bored in Bangkok but if dissatisfaction sets in there is always the Bangkok prison to go to. Why? Because for a certain price you can interact with the inmates of the Bang Kwang prison, some of them who are western travelers whose holiday went horribly wrong.
Brokedown Palace, a 1999 movie brought this place into the spotlight and today this highly fortified stronghold derives its allure from the possibility of actually showcasing 7000 people imprisoned for crimes ranging from drug smuggling to murder. Moreover, you quickly learn not to commit such crimes when you are in Thailand.
- Don’t laugh at Bangkok
If you’re one of those people who snicker every time they hear the word “Bangkok” then here’s an interesting tidbit for you. The complete name of the city is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. That’s also impressive because it is the longest city name in the world. So Bangkok was particularly made for your convenience.
- Visit a College for Monkeys
Believe it or not, Thailand actually has a college just for monkeys. It’s called Thani Monkey College, and the students (yes, monkeys) learn all sorts of street-performing tricks, as well as how to collect coconuts. Since 1957, a certain Mr. Somporn has been teaching monkeys to pick coconuts and climb trees. As his parents were coconut farmers, Somporn experienced the traditional use of monkeys for the harvest of coconuts. These monkeys were often beaten by their owners when they didn’t perform as expected. Thus came about the idea to teach monkeys in a better way.
Speaking of monkeys, Thailand also has a special banquet, a monkey banquet, where thousands of these simians are served platters of fruit and vegetables.
- Monarchy is respected
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, and most Thai citizens adore their king and queen. Many families display the king’s face in their homes, and it’s considered in bad taste to speak ill of him. Anyone caught defaming, insulting or threatening a member of the royal family could be punished with up to 15 years in prison. The Thai royal families have been so venerated that, in the past, no one was allowed to even touch them; in fact, in the 1800s, a queen drowned when her boat capsized and no onlookers came to her to rescue due to this strict rule.
Thailand is filled with history and culture that at times seem unparalleled. But in order to truly understand them, one should pay the place a visit. So why not plan your trip with Cozmo Travel? If you’re looking for more travel related content, visit our blog.