By Blake Eager 4C
Australia is an amazing country and we are all very lucky to live here. However, it is very important for us to learn about other countries - after all, we share the same world! There are lots of countries in our Asia-Pacific region which are all different and unique. The neighbouring country that really captures my interest is Thailand which is located in south–east Asia. It is surrounded by Malaysia, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. My family and I were so fascinated by this country that we went to Thailand to visit! We came back even MORE fascinated by the people, animals and the culture and are keen to return again one day.
In Thailand, the main language is Thai. To say “Hello” in Thai, you say “Sawatdee Khrab!” The second main language is English which they teach to students in schools. This is called ESL or English as a Second Language.
Thai people use money to buy things like us. We use dollars and they use Thai Baht. The symbol for Thai Baht is a B with two lines going through it. Today, $1 = 28 Baht. This changes when the exchange rate changes. So, at the moment, it would be a great time to visit Thailand as the exchange rate is quite high and you will get more Baht for your dollar.
People in Thailand eat a variety of foods but the most common would be rice or rice noodles with different curries. Thailand is famous for their red curries, green curries and seafood curries. Popular ingredients include coconut milk, turmeric and lime juice.
The weather in Thailand is tropical which means the air is usually hot and humid. Thailand’s weather is ruled by monsoons (winds) that produce only three seasons in north Thailand and two seasons in south Thailand. It is cool from November to February, hot from March to May and rainy from June to November. They do not have spring.
There are about 66 million people living in Thailand! Australia only has about 21 million. About 33% of people live in the rural areas and the rest live in the cities. It is interesting to know that 75% of the population is Thai and 14% is Chinese. The average man lives to about 63 years but the average woman lives to about 73 years.
Thailand is largely a Buddhist country with over 94% of the population believing this religion. Buddha was a real person like the Pope. The original Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama who lived for around 100 years and died around 400 years before Jesus was born. Thai’s now worship 29 different Buddhas. About 4.6% of the population are Muslims and only 0.7% are Christians.
Religions | Percentage of population |
Buddhism | 94.6% |
Muslims | 4.6% |
Christians | 0.7% |
Other | 0.1% |
CELEBRATIONS & TRADITIONS
Thailand has a lot of very interesting and sometimes unusual celebrations and traditions. The most well known is the Thai New Year. Another celebration is the Monkey Buffet Festival which is quite a strange festival. The people feed fruit and vegetables to monkeys. The Surin Elephant Round-up is in November. Elephants are taken into town to have a big banana breakfast. The people that ride the elephants are called Mahouts. In the Ubon Ratchatham Candle Festival giant candles (that stand for temples) are taken around the city and town as well as floats.
When I went to Thailand, I really enjoyed being a tourist and visiting lots of tourist attractions. One of the most incredible was the Tiger Temple Tour. In this tour, you can get to pat a TIGER and have your photo taken! Another attraction was the Thai massage. Tourists have their bodies massaged in their traditional way – deep ‘naut phaen boran’ which means no oil. Other attractions include diving sites, sandy beaches, tropical islands, Buddhist temples, Thai cooking classes, shopping and night markets.
MAIN BODIES OF WATER
The Mekong River is the longest river in Thailand