Thailand is famous for its beautiful beaches, magnificent temples, and flavorful cuisines such as Tom Yum Goong and Pad Thai.
Thailand, known formerly as Siam, is a country in central South East Asia. It is bordered by countries Cambodia and Myanmar to the east and west respectively. In the south, you can also find Malaysia. The Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand are the two water bodies on which Thailand is located.
What Is Thailand Famous For?
Thailand is famous predominantly for its wide stretches of pristine beaches. Whilst many such as Railay Beach are recognized for their nightlife, there are calmer, family-friendly resorts too. Additionally, Thailand is known for celebrating countless festivals, including ancient arts and traditional foods.
History, Culture, And Traditions Thailand Is Known For
Chakri Day is a holiday that is celebrated every year on April 6th.
It is named after the Chakri Dynasty, which was founded by Rama I in the late 18th century. Rama, I reigned until his death, which was almost three decades. Chakri is the current dynasty of Thailand and has ruled over the country longer than any other known empire.
Because of the significance of this, Chakri Day is a national holiday. Schools and the majority of workplaces are closed, to express their respect. People also take advantage of it to spend some quality family time.
One of the most well-known Thailand culture and traditions is Chulalongkorn Day. Every year on October 23rd, Thai people enjoy a public holiday to commemorate King Chulalongkorn.
King Chulalongkorn known also as Rama V is one of the most influential leaders of the Charki Dynasty. He is one of the most famous people from Thailand due to his role in abolishing slavery at the time, which was rife. Furthermore, he revolutionized the country by implementing changes that aided in modernizing Thailand.
Bun Bang Fai
Thailand is famous for its festivals, and Bun Bang Fai is one of the most venturesome. Also known as the Rocket Festival, it is a three-day event on the second weekend of May.
The main highlight is when participants create and bring their specialized homemade rockets, which they all launch. After this, there are parades with music and dancing.
Traditionally, Bun Bang Fai was a celebration before the monsoon season. It originates from the people of Laos, where there is typically heavy rainfall.
Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival
Chiang Mai Yi Peng is a lantern festival that Thailand is known for. It is held every year when there is a full moon and must be on the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar.
As opposed to Bun Bang Fai, it is held to celebrate the end of the monsoon. This is a way for everyone to relax after months of hard work due to the rainy period.
Aside from making individualized lanterns and lighting them up to the sky, there are several other fun activities to partake in. This includes contests, parades, and hot foods.
Thai massage is a combination of techniques that originated in the 13th century. Whilst the backbone of this practice has the same core elements, the techniques have been adapted and perfected as time has gone on.
The main element of a Thai massage is acupressure. This includes applying pressure point techniques on certain energy channels.
Additionally, Thailand is famous for yoga. During the process, the professional may also encourage light yoga, such as stretching the shoulders, hips, and legs.
One of the cultural facts about Thailand is that over 90% of the population is Buddhist. More specifically, the majority of the Thai population are members of a group called Theravada Buddhists.
One of the most popular beliefs is the cycle of Samsara, in which we constantly transform from life to death in an endless sequence. Theravada Buddhists aim to escape this cycle by reaching enlightenment, which differs from Mahayana or Vajrayana Buddhists.
In contrast, they remain in the cycle to help others reach enlightenment instead.
Cities And Travel Destinations Thailand Is Known For
Bangkok is the busiest and most populated city in Thailand. It is also a famous capital when it comes to travel. Many tourists even make repeat visits to this culture, food, and shopping paradise.
It comes as no surprise that many of the things which Thailand is famous for can be found in Bangkok. This includes historical Thai landmarks like the Grand Palace and religious landmarks like the Emerald Buddha.
Furthermore, Bangkok is notorious for its red-light districts such as Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and, Patpong. This illustrates the contrast in cultures in the city, and how there is an attraction catered to everyone.
Phuket is an island in Thailand in the Andaman Sea. It is located in the southern region and you can travel to Bangkok via bus, train, or even airplane.
Blessed with a good coastal location, Phuket is most well-known for its beaches. Thailand is famous for its emerald waters, towering trees, and exotic marine life, which can all be found in abundance in Phuket.
Additionally, there are several water sports you can enjoy here such as jet skiing and waterboarding. Because there are lots of fish and marine life, the seafood is always fresh and affordable.
Chiang Mai differs from Bangkok and Phuket in that it is not coastal, but instead mountainous.
The city was founded in the 12th century, making it a relatively old historic region. This means that most of the landmarks are religious and ancient. For example, Wat Phra Singh is a Buddhist temple founded by King Phayu in memory of his father. It displays Lanna architecture, the kingdom of which Chiang Mai was the capital.
Natural landmarks are also abundant in Chiang Mai. The Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is the ideal way to spend the day with family, exploring the waterfalls and forest.
James Bond Island
James Bond Island, known to the locals as Khao Phing Kan, is found northeast of Phuket. Accordingly, it can be accessed by boat.
It was given its name because the island was featured in the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ in 1974. This makes it one of the most well-known things which Thailand is famous for.
Despite this, many more elements of the island make it the perfect destination to visit. For example, its distinct yet bizarre rock formations are made of limestone and date back almost 280 million years!
Pattaya Beach is one of the best resorts in Thailand. It is located on the Gulf of Thailand, specifically on the east coast.
The reason why Pattaya Beach is so eminent and well-known is because of its accessibility. It is affordable for both younger adults and large families, who can often struggle to find cheap vacations. Similarly, there are several hotels and restaurants nearby making it a considerable place to visit.
Nightlife in Pattaya is lively and dynamic; in fact, it is often referred to as ‘Sin City.’
Landmarks And Architecture Thailand Is Known For
Thailand is famous for its extensive palaces, one of which is the Golden Palace in central Bangkok.
The palace is regarded as one of the most significant attractions in Thailand, due to its rich history. This is because Kings Rama I to V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, part of the Chakri Dynasty, resided here.
It is composed of a series of large buildings one of which is Wat Phra Kaew. This is a temple that houses a statue of an Emerald Buddha, a significant religious landmark.
The Emerald Lake
The Emerald Lake, also known as the Blue Lagoon, is a beautiful natural landmark for which Thailand is famous.
It is a saltwater lake located in a marine park in Ang Thong, which is known for its basin-like shape and golden rice. As a result, Ang Thong roughly translated to the golden basin.
The Emerald Lake is 350 meters long and surrounded by flora. There are also waterfalls and large fish which can be seen swimming gracefully. It is so called after its characteristic emerald green color.
Bridge Over The River Kwai
The River Kwai Bridge is an important historical landmark that you will enjoy if you are interested in World War II. Thailand is famous for this bridge because of the Japanese invasion it suffered.
The concrete railway bridge was built in 1942 by Japan, as they needed a way to travel from Myanmar to Thailand quickly and effectively. This happened after Japan conquered Myanmar. Unfortunately, this was dangerous to construct due to the bombing which was occurring in this period, and many people died as a result.
The movie ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ released in 1957 is based on this destination.
Wat Rong Khun
The Wat Rong Khun is a relatively modern Buddhist temple built in 1997. It is famously known as The White Temple due to its bold white color. Furthermore, all of the fittings are also painted in white, with no other inclusion of colors.
This is said to connote wisdom, which followers of the region are taught to practice. Examples of this include mindfulness, selflessness, and patience.
Visitors claim that the most eye-catching feature of the temple is its roof, which is made up of Naga serpents. These are said to protect the buddha.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is located in the city of Ayutthaya. Construction took place in the 17th century by King Prasat Thong, who built it to commemorate his mother.
This important Buddhist temple is respectfully honored by the public due to its significance. Despite being poorly preserved, these ancient ruins hold monumental value.
Not only was it a royal residence, but the architecture was to be admired. It consisted of one large tower surrounded by several smaller towers, known as ‘prangs’.
The characteristic brick red color contrasts with the blue sky, making it one of the most beautiful temples Thailand is famous for.
Food Thailand Is Known For
Tom Yum Goong
Thailand is famous for its use of a variety of spices and blends, especially to create spicy and flavorsome cuisine.
Tom Yum Goong, known also as spicy prawn soup, is a staple in Thai households. It is made primarily with shrimp and chicken stock and then left to boil until cooked. Although the vegetables used vary, usually, mushrooms and carrots are added.
Additionally, the spices used vary depending on the recipe. Often traditional recipes call for lemongrass and galangal, which is similar to ginger. You can also add chili paste.
This is one of the popular Thai foods and dishes to try when visiting the country. Be prepared for some spicy heat.
When asked what food Thailand is famous for around the world, most people would claim pad thai. This is a popular dish not only in Thailand but also in Thai restaurants globally, cooked inside a wok.
Pad thai is essentially a fusion of rice noodles and vegetables which are ultimately mixed and fried. The dish is quick and easy to make, without compromising on the flavor.
The main ingredients of pad thai are often chicken or shrimp which are added to the rice noodles. Vegetables added are usually beansprouts and carrots. Subsequently, this is flavored with fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Many choose to add peanuts or peanut butter so that a nutty element is formed.
Gaeng Keow Wan Gai
Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, also known as green chicken curry, is a favorite Thai cuisine that is recreated on an international scale. Thailand is known for dishes such as curries, which are popular both in restaurants and also easy to make at home.
The curry is made with green curry paste and coconut milk, which is added to the chicken breast. You can also add eggplant and chilies, although typically there are not many vegetables involved with this dish. Finally, the seasoning includes fish sauce and lemongrass, like most Thai cuisine.
This rich curry is usually served with warm, fragrant Thai rice for a fulfilling gastronomic experience.
Khao Niaow Ma Muang
Khao Niaow Ma Muang is a famous Thai dessert. It is a mango sticky rice pudding, using two staple ingredients famous in Thai households: mango and rice.
By boiling glutinous rice with coconut milk and brown sugar, you create a dessert with a sticky consistency. This is then rolled into a ball and served with fresh mangoes on the side. Alternatively, you can incorporate the mango within the dish, depending on preference.
Mekhong is a Thai golden spirit that you can drink both alone and with other beverages to create delicious cocktails. Originally, this rum was introduced as early as 1914, so there have been many recipes created since then.
Mekhong alone has a strong orange flavor, with a poignant ginger undertone. It is the main element of ‘Sabai Sabai’, a popular cocktail that Thailand is famous for.
Mekong, club soda, simple syrup, and lemon juice are mixed and served as a refreshing beverage. This is especially popular at tourist beach resorts, as it is known as the ‘Thai Welcome Drink’.
Famous People From Thailand
Lalisa Manobal, known also as Lisa, is one of the most famous people from Thailand. She is a rapper and dancer born in the Satuek District, located in North East Thailand.
Lisa is best known for being a part of the internationally popular South Korean music group ‘Blackpink’, which is made up of four girls. The K-pop group’s top hits include songs like ‘How You Like That’ and ‘D4’.
They have collaborated with other talented singers like Selena Gomez and Dua Lipa. Lisa has also released solo albums and appeared in many television shows.
With the prominence of K-pop on the international scene, Blackpink is certainly one of the groups leading the charge. There is even a Netflix documentary featuring the members.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, known also as Rama IX, is the ninth monarch of the aforementioned Chakri Dynasty which Thailand is famous for. He reigned for an impressive seven decades.
Although Rama IX died in 2016, his deeds are remembered and respected. Many claims he is the best King of Thailand and adored his mentality and generosity. He was praised for his dedication to Buddhism, kind personality, and artistic talents.
Thais remember Rama IX for his water control incentives which protected against the monsoon, minimizing the detrimental effects this had on the poor people of the country. He was also commemorated for his military support.
Yingluck Shinawatra is the first female president of the country, making her possibly the most famous person from Thailand when it comes to politics.
She first came to power in 2011, which was a step in the right direction for both the female demographic and young people.
Unfortunately, Shinawatra was accused of negligence on a rice subsidy scheme. She was removed from her title in 2014 after her arrest. As she failed to attend her court trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to prison for five years.
Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon is a professional weightlifter from Thailand, born in Nakhon Sawan.
She is best known for winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics hosted in Beijing, China. Here, she set a world record by lifting a 126-kilogram weight during a ‘clean and jerk lift.’
Jaroenrattanatarakoon usually took part in the women’s under-53kg division. This also made her set a new record for the longest surname of an Olympic champion.
Jaroenrattanatarakoon has partaken in several famous competitions such as The Olympic Games, World Championships, and Asian Championships.
Discovering More Things Thailand Is Famous For
Thailand is known for mainly its religious landmarks such as Buddhist temples. This includes Wat Rong Khun and Wat Phra Kaew. Start with a hearty Thai breakfast to fuel your adventure.
On the other hand, Thailand also has a bustling nightlife. Destinations such as Pattaya Beach and lively cities in the capital Bangkok are ideal for visiting with friends for a memorable yet relaxing vacation.
Whilst you are here, you should consider the street food in Thailand too. Curries and soups are the specialties! Be prepared to handle some heat from the spices but also sample a range of diverse desserts in Thailand.