Story of Nai Khanomtom & facts about Thailand's tourisum



In 1767, invading Burmese soldiers arrested thousands of people from ancient Thai capital of Ayuthya and took them to Burma as prisoners. Among the prisoners, there were few Thai boxers. In 1774, the Burmese King, Hsinbyushin, asked his administration to organize a seven-day, seven-night religious festival in honor of the pagoda where the Buddha's relics are preserved. At one point of the festival, a Thai prisoner named Nai Khanomtom expressed intention to participate in the Burmese Boxing ( Which later became kick boxing ) competition.

The boxing ring was set up in front of the throne. King Hsinbyushin gave permission to Nai Khanomtom but said Nai Khanomtom had to fight the Burmese champion. Before the fight started, Nai Khanomtom performed a pre-fight dance to pay respects to his teachers and ancestors. When the fight began, Nai Khanomtom charged out and knocked out his opponent with powerful punches, kicks, elbow hits and knee blows.

The Burmese referee, bamboozled by the performance, declared the knockout invalid saying the dance confused the Burmese champion. The King Hsinbyushin was a little shocked himself and asked if Nai Khanomtom would fight nine other Burmese champions to prove himself. Nai Khanomtom agreed and fought them all, one after the other with no rest periods in between. King Hsinbyushin was heavily impressed and asked Nai Khanomtom what he wants. Nai Khanomtom wanted freedom. The King offered him wealth along. Nai Khanomtom politely refused saying wealth is easier to find and requested the King to release his fellow Thai prisoners.   

Kick boxing is ever since very popular in Thailand. Despite their love for this violent sports, Thai people are very friendly, peace loving and hospitable. As a matter of fact, According to the World Economic Forum, Thailand is the 13th friendliest country in the world. For this reason and few others, capital of the country, Bangkok, is the world’s most visited city, even ahead of London, according to the Global Destinations Cities Index. Thailand is a country where cost-of-traveling is low, entertainment is incredible and foods are delicious.

Thai cooking and cuisines are one of the most renowned and sought-after in the world. According to popular belief, Thai food is very spicy. This is actually not entirely true. There is a huge selection of not spicy dishes in Thai cuisines but are rarely offered to foreign tourists. But any tourist has all the freedom to try a non-spicy dish.

Speaking about freedom, Thailand’s name in Thai language is Prathet Thai, which means - Land of the Free. The statement is quite correct as it is the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonized by a European nation. The country managed to remain as a buffer state between parts of Southeast Asia that were colonized by the two colonizing powers: The Great Britain and France. Rulers sitting in Bangkok negotiated and signed treaties with Britain, France, Portugal and other European countries between 1855 and 1870. As a result, commerce with the West increased and, in turn, revolutionized the country’s economy and connected it to the world monetary system after the Second World War.

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