From the warm weather and white sand beaches to the cheap, delicious Thai food on every street corner, Thailand is a travel mecca. With 1,400 islands to choose from, you’ll never run out of things to do or scenes to marvel at.
While it might be difficult to sum up everything you need to know about this dynamic country, the Thai cooking experts at Honolulu’s Bangkok Chef offer eight fun things to know about their native home:
- Learn the Name: Thailand used to be known as Siam until 1939, and then again from 1945 to 1949. Which means—you guessed it—Siamese cats are native to Thailand.
- Say It 5 Times Fast: You would have a hard time using the capital city of Bangkok’s real name to address a letter to a friend. It’s Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. The name translates to, “City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s Behest.”
- Let Freedom Ring: The name “Thailand” translates to “land of the free.” It is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized by a foreign power.
- Enjoy Rice in Abundance: Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice, so it’s no surprise this staple appears throughout most Thai restaurant menus.
- Sample Affordable Fare: When you’re hungry in Bangkok, you’re sure to find the most bang for your buck. Authentic Thai food is marked by heaping portions of noodles or dishes sold with copious amounts of the country’s native rice. You might be surprised to find that nothing is baked—locals strongly prefer fried and grilled fare.
- Break the Rules at Mealtime: Don’t be surprised to see the same dish you ate for lunch prepared for breakfast the next morning. Thai people indulge in whatever dishes they fancy, regardless of the time of day.
- Watch Out for Unexpected Laws: You’re better off putting your money where your mouth is, as it’s illegal to step on Thai currency. Another illegal activity? Leaving your home without any underwear on.
If you can’t yet commit to jumping on a plane and exploring Thailand, get familiar with the culture by heading to your local Thai restaurant. Bangkok Chef began as a grocery store more than 15 years ago. Over time, it has evolved into Honolulu’s top choice for authentic Thai food, with restaurants in five locations around the island. View their menu of delicious take-out options online, or call (808) 585-8839 to learn how they can cater your next event.