Thailand: The Land Of SmilesBy
“Long before you ever heard of Thailand, you probably heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, suggesting that you’re better off using your physiognomy to smile. In reality, it takes 12 to smile and 11 to frown. Had the Tourism Authority of Thailand realized years ago that frowning was easier, they may have promoted Thailand as the Land of Frowns. ” Doug Knell, Doug’s Republic
Welcome to the Land of Smiles. When you come to Thailand, when you visit forums about Thailand, you constantly see this term bandied about. You’ll often notice the nation abbreviated as LoS. Some people attribute the moniker to Thai people always being in a good mood. Others, to the endless supply of foreign senior citizens in Pattaya with smiles of bliss glued to their faces after being satisfied simultaneously by two lithe Thai teenagers.
The real Land of Smiles should be Norway. They have a womb-to-tomb welfare state, one of the highest GDP per capitas in the world, ample natural resources and land spread among just 5m people, and freedom from the governmental bureacracy called the European Union. But well, Norway never grabbed the name, and it may have not been fair either. Tourists visiting Norway and experiencing its sky high prices and eternal darkness during the winter are more often crying than smiling.
Thailand is called the Land of Smiles because the Thais really do smile a lot, but let it be known that not all these “smiles,” called yim in Thai, are what the foreigner would normally define as a smile. The Thais have a wide range of terms for different types of smiles, thirteen to be exact. They’re like the Eskimos with all their different terms for snow. Most of these smiles do not signify that the Thai person is in a beaming good mood.
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