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How ready are you to live and work in Thailand?
Test Your Thai IQ!  The answers are at the end.

Chok dee (Good luck)!

1. The map of Thailand resembles

A.         An elephant’s head in profile

B.         The silhouette of Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, in Bangkok

C.         A map of the Alaska, rotated ninety degrees clockwise

D.         An octagon


2. Thailand shares a border with each of these countries except

A.         Malaysia

B.         Laos

C.         Myanmar

D.         China


3. Thailand’s capital and largest city is known by all of these names except

A.         Bangkok

B.         The Venice of the East

C.         Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat         Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

D.         The City of Smiles


4. The Thai unit of currency is the

A.         Thai dollar

B.         Baht

C.         Mango

D.         Euro


5. The national animal of Thailand is

A.         The elephant

B.         The unicorn

C.         The water buffalo

D.         The monitor lizard


6. Thai people greet each other with

A.         One air kiss on each cheek

B.         A bow with palms joined at the chest

C.         A hug

D.         A handshake


7. The Thai word that means both hello and goodbye is

A.         Aloha

B.         Sawaddee

C.         Wai

D.         Khao niao


8. The national sport of Thailand is

A.         Kickboxing

B.         Spelunking

C.         Cricket

D.         Curling


9. Recipes for pad thai, the Thai national dish, include all of these ingredients except

A.         Rice noodles

B.         Tamarind paste

C.         Coconut milk

D.         Fish sauce


10. Thai iced coffee is

A.         Made with strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk

B.         Soft ice cream served in a cone

C.         A cocktail made with Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream served over ice

D.         A drink with tapioca pearls, like boba tea




  1. A – The Malay Peninsula is the elephant's trunk, and Bangkok is near the mouth.

  2. D – Cultural ties with China are strong, but there is no common border.

  3. D – Thailand is The Land of Smiles, but Krung Thep Maha Nakhon means The Great City of Angels.

  4. B – The Baht is worth about $0.03.

  5. A – Elephants are revered, used as work animals, and depicted on everything from beer cans to sacks of rice.

  6. B – The bow is called a wai and involves no physical contact.

  7. B – A female says sawaddee kha, a male says sawaddee khrap.

  8. A – Thai kickboxing is called Muay Thai.

  9. C – Coconut no, but peanuts yes.

  10. A – Similar to Vietnamese iced coffee but not quite as sweet.


How did you do?

0-3      Pathetic. You’re about as prepared to live in Thailand as I was.

4-6      Not bad. You’re well on your way to understanding the Land of Smiles.

7-9      Excellent. Have you been to Thailand before?

10       You’re an expert! Khun pen khon thai chai mai? (Are you Thai?)

Want to learn more about Thailand? Get my suggestions for five books to help "farangs" (foreigners, Westerners) understand what makes Thailand tick at at Shepherd.

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