Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Travel the World - Week 34

This is the 34th week in my Travel the World personal challenge. Each week I am randomly choosing one country (there are 195 countries in the world) and doing a little research on that country. I then select one tidbit of information about the country as inspiration for the card I make.

This week's country is...


There are 1,430 islands in Thailand, 35,000 temples and nearly 67 million people comprise of Thailand’s population. Each year around 6 million tourists visit the country.

Thailand shares a border with four countries: Myanmar (formerly Burma) to the north and west, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south.

One-tenth of the entire population of Thailand lives in its capital city, Bangkok. 

Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country, just slightly larger than Spain.

There are about 35,000 temples in Thailand. Visiting them requires modest clothing, meaning no shorts or sleeveless shirts.

The geography of the country is incredibly diverse, with mountains, rivers, plains, woodlands, waterfalls, beaches and islands all featured throughout Thailand’s six regions.

Thailand has three “seasons” – wet, cool and hot. Typically, 6 months of rain, 3 months of dry, cool temps and 3 months of heat are seen annually.

Bangkok Thailand was named the world's hottest city.

Every year there is a festival in Thailand that is dedicated to monkeys. The locals invite over 600 monkeys to feast on a buffet of over two tons of scrumptious food that has all been lovingly prepared by the locals. The monkeys’ menu consists of rice, tropical fruits, salad, grilled sausages and even ice-cream. The festival is hosted out of the belief that good luck will follow from treating the furry creatures with respect. 

Thailand used to be known as the Kingdom of Siam and is the country where Siamese cats originated from. 

The Tuk Tuk, an open air 3-wheel vehicle, originated in Thailand and is a common mode of transportation in Bangkok. The name “Tuk Tuk” is an onomatopoeia, mimicking the noise of the 2-cycle engines commonly used in the vehicles.

In Thai culture, the head is considered to be the most important part of the body. As a result, no one should ever touch the head of another person, even a child. As a sign of respect and acknowledgment, Thais often try to keep their heads lower than the head of anyone older than themselves or anyone in a higher position.

Shaking hands is not common in Thailand. A typical Thai greeting is the “Wai”. Place your hands together and raise them upwards towards your face while lowering your head in a slight bow. The higher you raise your hands during the Wai greeting, the more polite. It represents the status of the person you greet. For example, hands should be raised all the way to the bridge of your nose when greeting the elderly, but only to your chest for a peer.

The first Siamese twins were born in Thailand. Chang and Eng Bunker, the first known conjoined twins, were born on the 11th of May 1811, in a province near Bangkok in the Kingdom of Siam, today’s Thailand. The twins married two different women, who were also sisters, and each couple were parents to more than ten children each. Innitially they lived together and shared a bed big enough for four but after a number of years the two sisters began quarrelling and so two separate households were established. The Siamese brothers then ended up spending three consecutive nights at each home until their death in 1874.

Thailand is home to a fish that can walk on land. Built like no other fish in the world, the Cryptotora thamicola, otherwise known as the blind, waterfall-climbing cavefish, uses its two front and two back fins to propel itself up waterfalls. In fact, it crawls on land the same way that any four-footed animal would. 

The national flower of Thailand is the orchid, where 1,500 orchid species can be found growing wild in Thai forest. 

Thailand is the world's number one orchid exporter.

Thailand is sometimes known as the “land of smiles” because the people of Thailand seem to be always ready with a smile. They are a peace-loving culture, desiring harmony over conflict.

Chopsticks are not typically used in Thailand, except when eating Chinese dishes that have become part of the cuisine culture. Forks and spoons are the utensils used most frequently, but if you need to cut something, don’t expect a knife. Thais use the side of their spoons to cut and forks only if it is absolutely necessary.

Many Thailand vendors sell reasonably priced fruit. Many are common worldwide such as pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe; others are more exotic like lychee, rambutan (hairy and round), and dragonfruit. Another fruit found there is commonly known as Stinky Fruit (its official name is Durian) and you will even see signs in hotels and public transportation saying it is banned. This fruit has an offensive smell to many people (resembling the smell of Sulphur) but the flavor is mild and creamy.

Famous throughout the world, the popular energy drink, Red Bull was born in Thailand. I

The more you use the Thai language in market bartering, the less likely you are to be ripped off. Knowing a few numbers and the phrase thao rai (how much) will get you far.

The world’s largest Christmas log cake was made in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 25, 1997. The cake weighed 5,071 pounds and reached 27’ 6". It was later cut into 19, 212 portions.

The Great Buddha at the Wat Muang Monastery in Ang Thong province is the world’s ninth highest statue at 416 feet high. 

Thailand is often called the "Golf Capital of Asia", with beautifully kept courses at a reasonable price the country attracts a larger number of golfers from around the world.

Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is a form of kickboxing and is Thailand's national sport.

I decided to let this Thailand fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Thailand's national symbol is the elephant. A century ago there were 100,000 elephants in the country, now there are just an estimated 2,000 left in the wild.

This week's country was actually quite special to me... because I've been to Thailand three times. Each trip was to the city of Chiang Mai, where I served with a team of people providing Bible School and other activities for the children of missionaries while their parents were in meetings. Such. special. memories!

For instance... I rode an elephant (on my first trip to Chiang Mai Thailand). Well, that was an adventure for sure, since I'm afraid of heights. EEK! Yes, I was terrified. But I did it. The elephant I rode actually was the mama of a youngin' and he went along with us... playing in the dirt at times, dunking under the water when we crossed the river, and just being what you'd expect a little boy to be - playful and fun. 

Oh, and I also rode a Tuk Tuk (but not until my third trip to Chiang Mai).

One of the things I purchased in Thailand while I was there was two spools of colorful fiber. I used a piece of one of them on my card... I just had to, don't you think?

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets: CC Designs Circus and Verve Learning to Sail stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Die: Paper Smooches Polaroid

Papers: Fun Stampers Journey Summer Days and Recollections Black and 110# White CS and Paper Studio Textured Green DP

Embellishments: Paper Studio Mini Brads and Fiber from Thailand


Aracelli Merla said...

Such wonderful facts and adventures. Thanks for sharing!

kiwimeskreations said...

Thanks for this wonderful post Jeanette - more fascinating facts. Love the fibre you bought there, and used on this fun card... you are getting closer to me :)

MiamiKel said...

Such a fun card and a great use of the twine from the very place you were blessed to visit!

Lynn McAuley said...

One of my friends who had spent time working in Thailand insisted that we try Durian. It is not good!

Super cute elephant on this fun layout!