Interesting Facts about Thailand You Probably Didn’t Know
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Thailand is a popular country with tourists and TEFL teachers alike so you might think you know a lot about the country, but there is more to Thailand than beaches, temples and elephants. Here are a few interesting facts about Thailand you probably didn’t know.
Thailand is the only South East Asian country that was never colonized by a European country, unlike Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. Its name Prathet Thai means land of the free.
Thailand is home to the smallest mammal in the world, the bumblebee bat, as well as the biggest fish, the whale shark.
The full name of Bangkok is the longest city name in the world – Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit, meaning 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. Try saying that five times fast!
Thailand follows the lese majeste rule which means you can go to jail for disrespecting the King. In practice this means that you cannot insult or criticise the King. What many people don’t realise is that you also shouldn’t step on money because his image is on the paper notes and coins, so if you drop any money on the ground make sure you pick it up (with your hands) quickly.
The King’s Anthem
Before any movie begins in a cinema in Thailand, the King’s anthem will be played and everyone in the cinema will stand up out of respect. Many schools will start the day with the anthem as well. This is not the same as the Thai national anthem, though your response should be the same. The Thai national anthem is played every day at 8am and 6pm. It is played on TV and radio and in public places such as bus stations, train stations, parks and shopping markets. When it is played you are expected to stop what you are doing and stand in silence as a mark of respect.
At the time of his death, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world’s longest-reigning monarch (living). He reigned for 70 years until his death in 2016. Now Queen Elizabeth II holds the record.
The original conjoined twins – also known as Siamese twins – came from Thailand, which used to be called Siam. Chang and Eng were born in Bangkok in 1811. They were sent to the United States to work when they were teenagers, performing in different shows as attractions. They later married a pair of sisters and had 22 children between them. Chang died when he was 62 and Eng died a few hours later even though he was seemingly healthy.
The year is not 2019 in Thailand. In fact, it’s the year 2562. Thailand uses the Buddhist calendar, which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar that the Western world uses.
Thailand is a major tourist destination. Not only does it have 1 430 islands and 40 000 temples waiting to be explored, Bangkok has been the most visited city in the world for the last four years, welcoming 22.7 million international visitors in 2019.
The Thai language can be quite confusing for non-native speakers. It consists of 44 consonants, 32 vowels and 6 tones! If you compare that to the total of 44 sounds in English it can seem an impossible language to learn – to make things easier for you, the word for hello and goodbye is the same: sawasdee!
Thai men are required to become monks at some point in their lives. This is usually done for a period of three months before the man is 20. It often coincides with the death of a family member.
The Water Festival
Thai New Year is also known as the Water Festival, or Songkran. It takes place during the hottest month of the year, April, and during these three days you cannot expect to go anywhere in public without getting soaked by a water gun or a bucket of water thrown off the back of a truck.
It is illegal to go commando or to not wear a shirt when driving.
There is a fruit that is so smelly that it’s banned on trains, hotels and public places. The durian smells like sweet rotting onions and tastes like it smells!
If these facts about Thailand haven’t piqued your interest in Thailand, we don’t know what will! What are you waiting for – do your TEFL course and book a one-way ticket to Thailand!
Studying a TEFL course with us could be your first step to discover all of this!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
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- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.