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Phuket, Thailand

The country of Thailand used to be known as Siam and it is in Southeast Asia. Bangkok is the capital city as well as where the most people live in the country. Artifacts have been discovered within Thailand that show that people lived there as long as 40,000 years ago. The people of Thailand have always been influenced by the religion and culture of India and that continues to this day.

The land of Thailand is quite diverse and varies according to the section of the country. The Northern section of Thailand is very mountainous and this is where people will find the highest peak of the country. Doi Inthanon is 8,415 feet above sea level and it is part of the Thanon Thong Chai Range. The Northeast has the Khorat Plateau, while the center is where the Chao Phraya river valley can be found. The Kra Isthmus is in Southern Thailand and that goes into the Malay Peninsula.

The national symbol of Thailand has always been the elephant and while there were more than 20,000 of them in the country around 1850, that number has drastically dropped. Currently there are only approximately 2,000 elephants in the wild and that number continues to fall due to poachers looking for ivory, elephant meat, and elephant hides. A few of the other animals that are facing lower populations include the Asiatic black bear, the Malayan sun bear, the white-handed lar, the pileated gibbon, and the binturong.

Thailand has three distinct seasons during the year. The rainy season occurs from the middle of May through the middle of October. Most of Thailand has a dry season with mild temperatures from the middle of October through the middle of February and warm weather arrives in the country from the middle of February until the middle of May.

Here are a few interesting and unique facts about the country of Thailand:

· The smallest mammal in the world lives in Thailand. This small mammal is called the bumblebee bat.

· Bangkok is not the real name of the capital city. It is actually Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwemahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. What all that means in English is 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. I think that I will stick to Bangkok!!!

· There are 35,000 temples located in Thailand.

· The national flower of Thailand is the orchid and people can look at more than 1,500 orchid species in the wild.

· More than eleven million people visit Bangkok every year.

· Everyone must wear underwear when they leave their house in Thailand. Otherwise, they are breaking the law.

· Thailand exports the most rice in the world.

· Eng and Chang Bunker were born joined at the chest in Thailand. That is where the word Siamese twins came from.

· It is illegal to step on any form of Thai currency.

· More than ninety percent of the locals practice Buddhism. The country of Thailand has many interesting laws on the books, yet many of them make sense, since they are basically things that are showing respect and consideration for others. Those two things are what makes Thailand an amazing place to visit while on vacation.

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