Sixteen million tourists fly into Thailand each year, and despite the influx of visitors, this country's cultural integrity remains relatively intact. From the idyllic islands to the bustling cities, there are 77 provinces housing 63 million people across mountains – so if you're thinking about visiting, why not clue up on a few of these interesting facts about Thailand:

Thailand was actually known as Siam.

Source: Tourism Thailand

Siamese cats are native to Thailand


It's illegal to leave the house without underwear on in Thailand.

Source: Huffington Post

Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice

Source: Tourism Thailand

Thailand's coastline is 3219km long.

Source: Tourism Thailand

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy like England

Source: Tourism Thailand

Source: Note: the term "Siamese twins" has now passed out of usage and the preferred term is "conjoined twins". 

Bangkok, Thailand, once had dozens of canals


Bangkok's real name

Source: Telegraph Travel

Around 90% of Thai people are Buddhist

Source: National Geographic

The word Thailand means 'land of the free'.

Source: National Geographic

Muay Thai boxing is the "art of eight limbs"

Source: Bleacher Report

It's illegal to step on any Thai currency.


The Garuda is the national and royal symbol of Thailand


Thais must always keep their head lower than that of anyone older or more important.

Source: eDiplomat

It's illegal to drive shirtless in Thailand


Thailand was voted fifth friendliest country by RG readers


A Thai woman set the new world record for living with scorpions

Source: Guinness World Records

Explore more of Thailand using the Rough Guide to Thailand, or see the entire region with the Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget.
Book hostels for your trip and don't forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.