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Thailand World Records
Written by Guiness Book of Records   
Friday, 09 February 2007 20:52

When it comes to worlds records, Bangkok has its fair share of facts, figures, and firsts, man-made and natural. Tourists can see the world's biggest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm and the biggest teakwood building. They can eat at the world's largest restaurant, cross the longest single-span suspension bridge and sleep at the world's tallest hotel, the 89-story Baiyoke II Tower. The kingdom has many natural wonders as well, from the planet's tiniest mammal, Craseonycteris thonglongyai (a shrew) to its largest fish, the 12 meter Rhincodon typus, better known as the whale shark!

Officials from the Samut Prakan crocodile zoo pose next to Chai Yai, the world's largest captive crocodile, June 10, 2000, during celebrations marking Chai Yai's 28th birthday. At six metres in length and weighing about 1,114 kilograms, Chai Yai has been recognized by the Guiness book of World Records as the largest captive crocodile and celebrated its birthday with a feast of whole chickens and fish. Photo by Jason Reed (Reuters)

Longest current reign

When: 1946
Where: N/A
What: Since June 9, 1946

The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) (b. December 5, 1927), is currently the world's longest-reigning monarch, having succeeded to the throne following the death of his older brother on June 9, 1946.

The King of Thailand is referred to as "Prachao Yu Hua" ("Lord above your head"). He is the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty, who have ruled for over 200 years. Born on December 5, 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, he is the youngest of four children. His father died when he was just a year old. The family moved to Switzerland, where the future king was educated. While in Europe, he met his future wife, and they married on April 28, 1950. They have four children. In 1999, the monarch celebrated his 72nd birthday, a significant date for Buddhists, marking the sixth cycle of 12 years. He has been greatly respected by the Thai population since taking the throne in 1946.

Worst monsoon

Who: Thailand
When: Sep-1983
Where: N/A
What: 10,000 deaths

Monsoons that raged throughout Thailand from September to December 1983 resulted in the deaths of 10,000 people. Up to 100,000 people contracted waterborne diseases and 15,000 were evacuated. More than US$400 million worth of damage was caused.

Thailand, in southeast Asia, covers an area of 513,115 sq. km. (198,115 sq. miles), and has a population of around 61 million people. Its distinctive shape is similar to the outline profile of an elephant's head. The Kingdom of Thailand was a monarchy from 1782 until 1932, when power was seized by rebels in a military coup. Until 1939, the country was called Siam. Thailand is the only nation in southeast Asia which has never been under the control of a foreign government, except during wartime. Its geographical position has encouraged large-scale immigration throughout its history, which is reflected in the current ethnic diversity of its population.

Largest tom yum kung (shrimp soup)

Who: Department of Industrial Promotion
When: 18-Nov-1999
Where: Thailand
What: 1,099.85 Gallon

On November 18, 1999. at Patty Beach, Chonburi, Thailand, 5,000 liters (1099.85 gal.) of tom yum kung, a type of Thai soup, was made from shrimps, vegetables, and spices.

The Department of Industrial Promotion, under the Ministry of Industry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, organized the creation of the largest tom yum kung, a shrimp soup, to promote the shrimp-farming and shrimp-processing industry in Thailand, as well as publicizing Thai cuisine. This particular soup was chosen because its main ingredient is Thai shrimp, and the organizers wanted tourists to become aware of this aromatic, spicy, tasty seafood dish. It took 12 chefs to prepare the giant bowl of soup, which was enjoyed by local dignitaries and thousands of residents and tourists.
Largest restaurant

Who: The Royal Dragon
When: 1991
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
What: 5,000 customers

The Royal Dragon (Mang Gorn Luang) restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, opened in October, 1991, and can seat 5,000 customers, served by 1,200 staff.

The Royal Dragon restaurant, known in Thai as Mang Gorn Luang, opened in 1991. Over 1,000 dishes are offered on the menu to suit all tastes: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Western. In 1995 it was reported that nearly 9,979 kg. (2,200 lb.) of seafood was served every day. When pushed to its limits, the kitchen can produce 3,000 dishes in an hour. The building itself takes on the appearance of Chinese architecture, with sloping roofs of orange-red tiles. When it opened, the restaurant employed 1,200 staff, including 541 waiters and waitresses, and 322 chefs. The waiting staff wear roller-skates in order to ensure a speedy service.
Longest hair

Who: Hoo Sateow
When: 21-Nov-1997
Where: Thailand
What: 16 ft 11 in

The world's longest documented hair belongs to Hoo Sateow, a tribal medicine man from Chiang Mai, Thailand. On November 21, 1997, his hair was officially measured at 5.15 meters (16 ft. 11 in.).

Hoo Sateow, who began growing his hair in 1929, believes his long locks hold the key to his healing powers. He says he once fell sick after cutting his hair when he was 18 years old, and vowed never to go for the chop again. Following in his footsteps, younger brother Yee Sateow has also grown his hair, to a length of 4.92 m. (16 ft. 2 in.). The brothers wash their hair annually with detergent, and wear it wound up in a fashionable beehive. Hoo says, "It keeps my head nice and warm."

Most expensive pet wedding

Who: Phet and Ploy
When: Sep-1996
Where: Thailand
What: $16,241 USD

In September 1996, two rare “diamond-eyed” cats, Phet and Ploy, were married in matching pink outfits at a ceremony in Thailand's biggest discotheque. It cost Phet’s owner, Wichan Jaratarcha, 410,979 Thai Bhat ($16,241).

The cost of the lavish wedding ceremony was topped up by a dowry of 587,127 Thai Bhat (US$23,202). It was attended by 500 guests, who gave the newlywed cats about 15,183,000 Thai Bhat (US$60,000) in cash and wedding presents. Wearing pink satin, the bride, Ploy, owned by a friend of Phet's owner, arrived in a Rolls Royce, while Phet himself came by helicopter. A parrot was best man, an iguana was maid of honor, and Ploy even received a kitty wedding ring. Although now married, the cats live apart, each with their respective owners. Both cats have a rare optical defect known as diamond eye, a type of glaucoma, which in Thailand is believed to be a symbol of good luck.

Most vets involved in one procedure

Who: Hang Chat Elephant Hospital
When: Aug-1999
Where: N/A
What: 30 vets

Over 30 vets worked operated together in an operation on Motola, a 38-year-old cow elephant whose left foot was destroyed after she stepped on a land mine. The procedure took place at the Hang Chat Elephant Hospital, Lampang, Thailand in August 1999.

Worst joss stick disaster

Who: Phra Pathom Jedi Temple
When: 02-Nov-1998
Where: Phra Pathom Jedi Temple, Thailand
What: 5 deaths

On November 2, 1998, five Buddhist worshippers were killed when three giant ceremonial joss sticks collapsed at the Phra Pathom Jedi Temple, 58 km. (36 miles) northwest of Bangkok, Thailand.

Largest Christmas log cake

Who: Mercure Hotel
When: 25-Dec-1997
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
What: 5,071 lbs

On December 25, 1997, 10 staff from the Mercure Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, completed a Christmas log cake weighing 2,300 kg. (5,071 lb.). The cake was 8.4 m. (27 ft. 6 in.) long, 60 cm. (2 ft.) wide and was cut into 19,212 portions.

Guy Bondoux, executive chef at the Mercure Hotel Bangkok, organized the creation of the largest Christmas log cake. Yandej Thongsima, Deputy Governor of Bangkok, and Dr. Mongkol Na Songkla, Secretary-General of The Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health, made the first cut of the cake. Nearly 20,000 slices of the cake were donated to more than 40 local charities. The Mercure Hotel is an international four-star hotel, managed by the Accor Asia Pacific group of Hotels and Resorts, which manages over 300 properties in the Asia Pacific region. It is centrally located in Bangkok’s main commercial, shopping and entertainment district.

Largest FAI approved freefall formation
Who: The Royal Sky Celebration World Team '99
When: 16-Dec-1999
Where: Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
What: 282 skydivers in formation

The World Team '99 completed a freefall formation of 282 skydivers, on December 16, 1999, above Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, when they held a link for 7.11 seconds.

The World Team is a large multinational group of skydivers who assemble occasionally to break world skydiving records. The group, which has members from 35 countries, assembled over Slovakia in 1994, and over Russia in 1996. Their 1999 gathering was at the invitation of the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The World Team formed part of the Royal Sky Celebration, an aerial party for King Bhumibol Adulyadey’s 72nd birthday. When planning the structure of their formation, the team drew on experience gained at their previous events, but it still took nearly two weeks before they succeeded in perfecting and holding their formation for more than the requisite three seconds. At the request of the Thai organizers, the color pattern of the formation was chosen to match the colors of the Thailand national flag. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the pattern, with spokes of color radiating from the center, helped the participants find their correct positions in the formation. The skydivers were dispatched from four Hercules C-130 transport aircraft at 7,010 m. (23,000 ft.).

Just for the record, Bangkok officially has the longest place name on the planet. That's because, when transliterated into English, its full Thai name rambles on for an interminable 167 letters. Now imagine coming up with something like that, then 200 years later realising you have to dot-com it!

The full name of Bangkok is "Krungthep Maha Nakorn, Amarn Rattanakosindra, Mahindrayudhya, Mahadilokpop Noparatana Rajdhani Mahasathan, Amorn Piman Avatarn Satit, Sakkatultiya Vishnukarn Prasit". It is the longest place name in the world.

Information from: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com and Sawasdee Magazine