Where in the World: Thailand
An intoxicating concoction of royal opulence and natural beauty, Thailand is a world unto itself, and a country where history springs to life.
Part of its golden allure no doubt lies in the fact that it is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonized by a European nation, resulting in a fiercely proud and independent land whose rich history bares little Western influence.
Outside of the cities, you will discover the true allure of Thailand - tropical forests, limestone cliffs, emerald isles and other dramatic natural wonders. It is here, amidst the prehistoric skyscrapers and emerald jungles, that you will find the Bumblebee Bat, the world's smallest mammal. With a body no longer than a bumblebee, the bats are able to give birth to one offspring annually, and it wasn't until 2001 that they were first discovered in a cave in Western Thailand.
And that's not the only thing you'll find in the country's caves: recent studies have uncovered the one of a kind Cryptotora Thamicola, a blind waterfall climbing cavefish. Using its two sets of fins as legs, the fish is able to climb up steeps rocks and waterfalls, a rare evolutionary phenomena that has never before been seen.
Alongside Thailand's ancient culture you will also find a series of ancient superstitions, one of which is the belief that it is bad luck to get your hair cut on Wednesday; this belief runs so strong that many barbershops remain closed on Wednesdays. Historically, it was traditional for the King to have his hair cut on Wednesdays, so the Thai people thought it would be disrespectful to cut their hair on the same day, a practice that remains today.