10 things you may (or may not) know about Thailand

Having called Thailand my home since 1999, I have compiled a short list of 10 facts about The Kingdom, I hope you find it useful:

1. The sale of alcohol is heavily regulated in Thailand. You can only buy between 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-midnight. This law has been around for a long time, but as with most laws in Thailand, there is a selective enforcement issue.

2. The real name of Bangkok was obviously invented before Twitter’s 140 character limit. Having 188 characters, the full spelling of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

3. There are over 29,000 temples and about 200,000 monks in Thailand.

4. There are 1,430 islands in Thailand.

5. The official slogan for Thailand Tourism in 2015 is #DiscoverThainess

6. The most instagrammed place in the world:
In 2012 Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport was #1.
In 2013 Bangkok’s Siam Paragon was #1.
In 2014 Bangkok’s Siam Paragon is #4.

7. Bangkok is a very large city, the city center has a population of 8.5 million, and in the metropolitan region, more than 15 million.

8. Bangkok is the world’s #2 most visited city in 2014, according to the MasterCard’s Global Destinations Cities Index, just behind London. It will see more than 16 million international arrivals this year.

9. Bangkok is the world’s 10th most popular destination among global travelers looking for a place to celebrate New Years this year, according to TripAdvisor.

10. The highest point in Thailand is Doi Inthanon (8,415 feet or 2,565 meters above sea level) in the Thanon Thong Chai mountain range.

(I will put a bonus one just because its the most important fact to any Thai person in the world)

11. The longest reigning monarch in the world is King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Rama IX of the Chakri dynasty. Thailand’s King has just turned 87 years old on 5th December 2014 and has reigned for more than 68 years.