To the naked eye, this ancient Buddha statue arguably looked like any other ordinary stone effigy. When some Thai workers damaged the sacred sculpture while moving it, however, they inadvertently revealed its true worth. That’s because, beneath its stucco exterior, the statue was hiding a secret treasure.
It’s not unusual for such discoveries to occur in Thailand, of course. The country is actually located in the heart of Southeast Asia and is made up of 76 separate regions. Yet Thailand covers close to 200,000 square miles and is home to almost 70 million people, making it the 50th-biggest nation, with the 21st-highest population, on Earth. The country also shares land borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and has coastlines along the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
But what’s the country like to visit? Well, known as the “Land of Smiles,” Thailand has a long tradition of attracting tourists, many of them presumably eager to sample the country’s famous food, warm climate, beautiful landscapes and incredible beaches. And that’s without taking Thailand’s unique and intriguing culture into consideration.