Thailand is often referred to as a golden land, not because there is precious metal buried underground but because the country gives off a certain lustre, be it the fertile rice fields of the central plains, white sandy beaches or the warm hospitality of its people.
Some Facts about Thailand you may not have known.
- Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country in terms of total area
- Land consists of a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2
- This is the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people
- The country’s official language is Thai
- Its primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of all Thais
- Thailand is headed by a King. The current King is the world’s longest serving sitting monarch
Your Language Lesson
The traditional Thai greeting, the wai, is generally offered first by the younger of the two people meeting, with their hands pressed together, fingertips pointing upwards as the head is bowed to touch their face to the hands.
Similar to the French language which also reflects a masculine and feminine aspect, Thai language acknowledges the difference between male and female.
- Men on greeting someone say “Sawasdee khrap”
- Women use the greeting “Sawasdee ka”
The elder then is to respond afterwards in the same way. Social status and position, such as in government, will also have an influence on who performs the wai first.
For example, although one may be considerably older than a provincial governor, when meeting it is usually the visitor who pays respect first. When children leave to go to school, they are taught to wai to their parents to represent their respect for them. They do the same when they come back. The wai is a sign of respect and reverence for another.
So just like the Hongi in New Zealand we welcome you to Thai Classic Cuisine today.
Strength Through Sport
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is the national sport in Thailand and its native martial art call “Muay”.
In the past “Muay” was taught to royal soldiers for combat on battlefield if unarmed. After they retired from the army, these soldiers often became Buddhist monks and stayed at the temples.
Most of the Thai people’s lives are closely tied to Buddhism and temples; they often send their sons to be educated with the monks. “Muay” is also one of the subjects taught in the temples.
Muay Thai achieved popularity all over the world in the 1990s. Although similar martial arts styles exist in other Southeast Asian countries, few enjoy the recognition that Muay Thai has received with its full-contact rules allowing strikes including elbows, throws and knees.
Natural healthy food is a must for any sport participation and Thai Cuisine supports this perfectly.
Sugar and Spice, Thai is Nice
Thai cuisine blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty.
Some basic ingredients used in Thai cuisine include garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemon grass, and fish sauce.
The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine variety rice (also known as Hom Mali rice) which Thai Classic Cuisine prepares in the traditional manner.
Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice, and Thais domestically consume over 100 kg of milled rice per person per year. Over 5000 varieties of rice from Thailand are preserved in the rice gene bank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in the Philippines. The King of Thailand is the official patron of IRRI.
We are able to provide you with take home rice that you can freeze should you like to create a delightful meal at home – please just ask your waiting staff.
A Modern Monarchy
The country is a kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.
The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths.
Born in the USA in 1927 followed by an international upbringing, this King is truly a modern King and has been credited with many of the changes in Thailand including facilitating Thailand’s transition to democracy in the 1990s.
Although Bhumibol is sometimes referred to as King Rama IX in English, Thais refer to him as Nai Luang or Phra Chao Yu Hua: both mean “the King” or “Lord Upon our Heads”). He is also called Chao Chiwit (“Lord of Life”).