Now if I were to ask you to list as many Thai inventions as possible I wonder what you would come up with? To be honest before I came to live in Thailand I think my list might well have been empty.
A while ago I ran a Thailand Quiz where one question asked about which drink was inspired in Thailand, well the answer was actually Red Bull, the well known energy drink. Here the original Red Bull is called Krating Daeng which translates to Gaur Red, with a Gaur being a wild buffalo like bovine still found in Asia including some Thai national parks.
So what has Krating Daeng to do with Thai inventions? Well inspired by a comment on my quiz and some research I did to get the questions I found that the owner of the company that invented Krating Daeng is a Thai national Chaleo Yoovidhya who later joined forces with an Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz. The pair took the original invention and turned it into the Red Bull drink that is so popular today.
So although not to the original formulae Red Bull is indeed a Thai invention.
Incidentally Khun Yoovidhya continues (along with a son) to hold a 51% interest in Red Bull which has no doubt helped him become the richest man in Thailand with an estimated fortune of some $4 billion.
So back to my original thoughts, Thai inventions. Well I have done some research for this article and I have to admit that so far apart from Red Bull I have struggled to come up with any unique Thai inventions that have been taken up by the rest of the world.
Now before any of you point out the obvious I have taken into consideration rain-making and tuk-tuk’s. In the former HM the King of Thailand holds a patent for a rain-making formulae which has recently been used in Australia with his permission, however His Majesty did not invent cloud seeding.
Likewise with the humble tuk-tuk, my research suggests that although many Thais will claim its their invention it was actually invented in Japan by the forerunner of the current Daihatsu Motor Company, Ltd but manufactured later in Thailand.
Now I am sure there must be other things that I have missed so over to you. What Thai inventions have you heard of?