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Do you wonder how approximately sixteen million tourists fly to the same destination each year? What magic must such a destination hold? It’s Thailand, and it is magic. Despite the influx of tourists, this country maintains its cultural integrity. It hasn’t changed much other than in its infrastructure. A constitutional monarchy, Thailand has 77 provinces that contain 63 million people, even in the mountains. Before you visit Thailand, we suggest you familiarize yourself with a few facts about this fascinating country. Here they are!
Basic Thailand Facts
1. Thailand exports the largest quantity of rice to other countries in the world.
2. The combined length of Thailand’s coastline is 3219km long, if you were to measure it with a tape.
3. About 90% of the Thai follow the Buddhist religion. The remaining 10% comprises of Muslims, Hindus, Christians and others.
4. In Thailand culture, saying or doing anything that goes against the monarch is punishable under strict Lese Majeste laws. One could be severely fined or even imprisoned for saying something out of turn. In fact, the Hollywood movie ‘The King and I’ was never shown in Thailand because it was felt that the movie was derogatory to the King.
5. Did you know that of all the Southeast Asian countries, Thailand is the only one that the Europeans couldn’t colonize? Good for them!
6. Thailand is the one country where the smallest and the largest of creatures live in harmony. The bumblebee bat is the smallest mammal in the world, and the whale shark is the largest, and both call Thailand home.
7. There was a time when all young Thai men were required to become Buddhist monks before they turned 20. They could come out of the order after a while or continue to be monks.
8. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand has been named the world’s hottest city! Best not to visit it during summer.
9. A tenth of all the animal species in the world call Thailand home, as do a tenth of all bird species. In fact, Thailand has more birds than the combined land mass of Europe and America!
10. Bangkok has a long, unpronounceable name – it goes something like this: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. What this actually translates into 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.’
11. Logging is completely banned in Thailand because over the last 100 years, Thailand has lost 3/4th of her forests.
12. Bangkok houses a tenth of Thailand’s entire population, being the nation’s capital and its largest city.
13. Another interesting piece of Thailand information – the country has about 35,000 temples, all of them beautifully designed and executed. One must be dressed modestly while visiting any Thai temple – no shorts or sleeveless shirts!
14. Don’t touch anyone on the head while in Thailand. Don’t ruffle a child’s head, even for fun. The head is considered very important, and Thai culture forbids touching another person’s head. Also, when you meet someone older than you, you must keep your head low at all times. Remember some of these Thailand information and facts when you visit Thailand.
15. Thailand’s national flower is the orchid and you can find over 1,500 species of orchids growing in Thai forests. Thailand is one of the world’s largest orchid exporters.
16. Thailand has more than 5,000 elephants, though more than half of them are domesticated. A hundred or so years ago, Thailand had about 100,000 elephants, a fifth of them wild.
17. The biggest and the most poisonous snakes can be found in Thailand. The King Cobra, the most poisonous snake in the world lives freely in Thai jungles, as does the reticulated python that grows to over 33 feet long.
18. Thailand used to have 23 types of Siamese cats originally, but now there are only six. The country was once known as Siam in honor of these cats. In fact, a Thai bride is given a pair of Siamese cats for good luck at her wedding. One of the cooler Thailand culture facts!
19. Bangkok was cut through by water canals, which were filled in later on to create streets. In fact, Bangkok used to be known as the ‘Venice of the East’owing to the buildings that were constructed over the water on stilts, and the gondolas used to traverse to them.
1. Yes, this is 100% true and not some middle-schooler’s idea of perverted fun. In Thailand, it is indeed illegal to leave one’s home without underwear. No idea how they find out but it’s still illegal.
2. In the Lopburi Province, an annual ‘feast for the monkeys’ is held to thank the monkeys for the increased tourism to the area. This festival is held in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple, and a buffet of meat, fruit, nuts, ice cream and peanuts are laid out for the tailed critters. Obtaining a Thailand visa is worth it just to see those tailed gluttons going at the food!
3. Did you know that ‘Thailand’ actually means ‘the land of the free’? And it’s the US that has that phrase in its national anthem!
4. In Thailand, apart from stepping out without underwear, one more thing is illegal. You cannot step on Thai currency, even by mistake. That’s because Thai currency has an image of their king printed on it.
5. The Thai Muay boxing style is referred to as the ‘art of eight limbs’. No wonder it feels like there are too many limbs when Muay boxers fight!
6. Thais are required to keep their head lower than those who are older or more important or be chided for it. Must be getting massive cricks in their necks by the time they’re adults!
7. One more – you simply cannot do the California thing and drive shirtless during your Thailand travel, even if you’re soaking wet due to the perspiration.
It’s hard to stop at just a few facts when it comes to this intriguing country of such contrasts! Some of these facts are very important for tourists to note and remember, especially the lese majeste ones. The Thai are a generous people and readily forgive small faux pas committed by tourists but be careful not to break any of the bigger rules. Do visit Thailand as soon as you can and check the ‘Land of Smiles’ out for yourself!
As the Omicron variant threat looms, Google is reconsidering its plans to ask full-time employees to return to offices by January 10. According to an email from Google VP Chris Rackow, seen by CNBC, Google will not be requiring its employees to return to offices on January 10 as expected after all. The company has changed its return to work plans several times as the pandemic evolved.
In August, when the delta variant was a top concern, Google had announced plans for hybrid return-to-work till January 10, 2022. Rackow said in the email that full-time employees will wait until the new year to assess when US offices can safely return to a "stable, long-term working environment. "None of the US locations will adopt the hybrid working mandate on January 10 as planned," he added. Rackow said that Google will allow specific locations to decide their timelines for returning their respective local workforces to the office.
Apple is reportedly asking employees to return to offices starting February 1 as part of a hybrid work pilot who will be able to work remotely for four weeks a year. After the first US case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant was reported in California, the federal government was set to announce a bunch of measures to help counter the virus, including campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, additional testing requirements for travellers entering the country from abroad and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people. International travellers coming to the US will have to test within a day of departure, regardless of vaccination status, rather than the 72 hours currently required for vaccinated travellers, under new protocols early next week. The new testing rules will apply both to US citizens and foreign nationals entering the country. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Office, Google, Omicron variant, apple, january, employees)
Winter weather is harsh on the skin and one needs more than just moisturising to see you through the season. Skin ageing is natural, but you can make it graceful! Kama Ayurveda's newly launched Amarrupa Face Oil accelerates the production of skin collagen and increases the skin's elasticity. It should be applied on the face and specific concerning areas like the neck, crow's feet, and the under-eye.
The Amarrupa Wrinkle Repair & Firming Face Oil is specially formulated for mature skin, enriched with antioxidants and natural actives that nourish and repair skin. The Face Oil is a true multi-tasker since it not only moisturises and firms skin but also reduces signs of ageing like wrinkles and the development of crow's feet. The best part? This highly potent formulation is clinically tested to reduce under-eye dark circles by 31 percent. Clinical trials reveal consistent use results in 15 per cent firmer skin, 36 per cent smoother skin, 31 per cent reduction in under eye dark circles.
Enriched with ingredients that promote collagen synthesis to reduce fine lines and wrinkles it intensely nourishes the skin. | Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
Ingredients include Centella Asiatica, an anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing herb that stimulates the skin's own collagen production and also repairs skin damage. Indian Gooseberry and Citron Fruit are a powerhouse of Vitamin C that not only improves the complexion but also enhances and nurtures the skin. Oleic Acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that replenishes lost moisture without clogging pores. Natural actives such as Arjuna Extracts strengthen the skin barrier, reduce dryness, and protects the skin from external aggravators. Carrot Seed Oil plumps skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, giving an even skin tone.
It firms lose, wrinkled skin improving skin texture, locking in hydration and defends skin against pollution and cold weather through its natural actives. Enriched with ingredients that promote collagen synthesis to reduce fine lines and wrinkles it intensely nourishes the skin.
*Based on clinical trials conducted over 28 days
*Based on a 4-week clinical study conducted on men and women between 36-55 years with loose skin, pigmentary spots, crow's feet, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and visible under-eye puffiness. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Firming Face Oil , Wrinkle Repair, Amarrupa Face Oil , Kama Ayurveda, skin , Winter, Youthful, Skin, Firming Oil )
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Life was moving at a fast pace for most of us and then the pandemic hit. The pace definitely slowed down and gave us an opportunity to look back at our lifestyle, routine and our most cherished old memories. 'Looking back' through your old photos on a phone versus flipping through a glossy photo album and reliving each memory? Getting teary eyed at some, and straight up howling with laughter at some others.
Today, advancement in technologies has opened up an ocean of possibilities. So how does one hold on these closest moments and memories in a thoroughly tangible way? Sachin Kataria, CEO, Zoomin shares all the minute details to make festive season personal.
Moving from gifts to personal stories: Gifts are no longer just confined to material items of a certain 'price tag'. Gifting someone is now seen as a chance to create a unique experience and splash of emotions that the receiver can enjoy for years to come. It's a fact that preserving memories is now a lot easier with delivery partners that can convert digital memories into actual personalised frames, albums and a host of memorabilia. And this makes it so much easier and quicker for you to hold meaningful memories close to your heart.
Gifts are no longer just confined to material items of a certain 'price tag'. | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Reframing moments of joy: It isn't always possible to create a photo album or a photo frame of all your special moments or even gift them all the time. This is where new age personalized gifting platforms are a boon. It is now possible to add a touch of personalization to any gift item making it that much more special and meaningful for both the giver and the receiver. One can choose from functional items such as coffee mugs or calendars to more stylized gifts like Canvas Prints and Photo décor and add a favorite memory to make the gift item personal and more valuable.
It isn't always possible to create a photo album or a photo frame of all your special moments or even gift them all the time. | Photo by Rirri on Unsplash
Festive season Fun: Why just adorn your house with lights and flowers? Add a touch of 'YOU' to plain walls and table tops and make them more intimate during special occasions. Some simple Photoprints and colorful, wall-safe washi tapes or magnetic ropes can add a touch of style without leaving any pin marks.
Why just adorn your house with lights and flowers? | Photo by Raj Rana on Unsplash
New-age apps offer products that are both affordable and of excellent quality - could there be a better deal than this? With the 2022 calendar and planner season around the corner, one can experiment and customize some cool calendars for friends, family, colleagues, business contacts etc. These will last on someone's wall (or table) for a few years. What's more, your gift will be more than just another product... it will be a canvas upon which a beautiful story unfolds! (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: flowers, photo album, personal, festive season, life, pandemic)