If you’ve once traveled to other countries and introduced Taiwan to foreign friends, you will find it surprising that a lot of people mistake Taiwan for Thailand. Because the pronunciations between Taiwan and Thailand are too similar, lots of people get confused easily. Actually, if you observe these two countries closely, there are countless differences between them. Let me tell you how they vary from different aspects.
Both Taiwan and Thailand are hot spot for Western to find a place to do on their winter holiday, but how much does these tourists really distinguish between Taiwan and Thailand? First of all, for Taiwanese, Taiwan and Thailand are totally different written in Mandarin: “台灣” and “泰國”. As a Taiwanese we try to list out FAQ , let’s get started!
Taiwan looks like a sweet potato while Thailand looks like an elephant 🙂
Taiwan is located in East Asia, while Thailand is positioned in Southeast Asia.
Taiwan is an island country in East Asia and there are 180 kilometres (112 miles) across the Taiwan Strait from the southeastern coast of China. Neighbouring countries include the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.
Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country in Southeast Asia. Located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar.
You pay New Taiwan Dollar (NTD) in Taiwan, while you pay Thai baht (THB; ฿) in Thailand. But the currencies are about the same value.
Because of its location, Taiwan has been occupied by many regimes since 17 century by Dutch, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. (No Portuguese? They just named Taiwan as Ilha Formosa!) The status of Taiwanese culture is debated, since the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan and brought traditional Chinese culture over Taiwan.
There are Taiwanese indigenous peoples settling the island of Taiwan since 6,000 years ago. Taiwan is believed to be the origin of Austronesian tribes’ cultures and languages, and that indigenous people of Taiwan and Maori are genetically connected. Well-known and wide celebrated festivals in Taiwan are Lunar New Year, Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Chinese Valentine’s Day, Hungry Ghost Festival, Moon Festival, National Day and Christmas. To check out Taiwan’s festival, please click here!
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that have never been colonized, therefore, Thai culture has been influenced by neighbouring countries such as India, China and Cambodia (Thai people have been believed that emigrating from South China). Therefore, Thailand’s style of architecture has been influenced by Indian and Khmer architecture, along with other countries like China’s impact as well.
Thailand has several world famous festivals such as The Water Festival, Lights Festival and Yi Peng Festival.
As for celebrating New year, in Taiwan, parents and relatives give children red envelopes in New Year. They also light fireworks to get rid of bad luck. Thailand has Songkarn Festival in New Year. They believe water is symbolic of purity. To get a deep insight into Lunar New Year here.
The top five largest religions were: Buddhism, Taoism, Yiguandao, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism. In 2020, according to Pew Research, the religious composition is estimated to be 43.8% Folk religions, 21.2% Buddhist, 13.7% Unaffiliated, 5.8% Christian and 15.5% other religions. More than 9000 out of 15000 Taiwan’s temples are dedicating to both Taoism and Buddhism in one temple.
Taiwan indigenous people is over 64% identify as Christian, churches are common in Aboriginal villages. To know what brings about to this, you will get full explanation here! And what about Confucianism? Confucianism is actually a philosophy of moral ethics, and being foundation of Taiwanese culture.
Thailand’s prevalent religion is Theravada Buddhism, the highest self-identified as Buddhists in the world. More than 90% in 2010 of the country’s population self-identified as Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. Muslims are the second largest religious group in Thailand, 4.29% of the population in 2015.
The structures of the temples are different as well. Taiwanese temples usually feature flat roofs, while Thai temples usually feature tall steeples. Check our tour OH MY GOD to explore deep Taiwanese culture and see the temples in Taipei!
Taiwanese culinary history is murky and is intricately tied to patterns of migration and colonization. If you are in Taiwan, those are must-try! Beef Noodle Soup, Hot Pot, Gua bao, Zong Zi, Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Braised Pork Rice, Oyster Vermicelli Noodles, Scallion Pancake, Century Egg, Three-Cup Chicken, Xiao Long Bao, Fan Tuan, Stinky Tofu, Aiyu Jelly and all those bizarre foods. Last but not least: Bubble Tea!
The most famous drink in Taiwan is bubble milk tea, which will be added with chewy tapioca balls. In Thailand, there is Thai tea, which is also milk tea but it’s added with condensed milk. It is full of flavor and tastes dense and rich. The weirdest food in Taiwan is pig blood cake, which is literally made of pig blood and rice, while in Thailand, they eat fried insects (all kinds of insects!)
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. Thai food blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. The herbs and spices most used in Thai cooking themselves have medicinal qualities such as garlic, lemongrass, Kaffir lime, galangal, turmeric, coriander, coconut milk. Each region of Thailand has its specialities: kaeng khiao wan (green curry) in the central region, som tam (green papaya salad) in the northeast, khao soi in the north, Massaman curry in the south.
Locating in a similar latitude, Taiwan and Thailand have big common on fruits. However, Thailand has unique fruits like Mangosteen, Rambutan and Durian.
On 24 May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that current marriage laws (Civil law) had been violating the Constitution by denying the right for same-sex couples to marry. If the Legislative Yuan fail to pass any counter-measures to Taiwanese marriage laws within two years, same-sex marriages would automatically become lawful in Taiwan. Two years later, on 17 May 2019, Taiwan’s parliament has legalized same-sex marriage by the “The Enforcement Act of the Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748”. Taiwan is the first Asian country to make same-sex marriage legal. (Read more: Taiwan No.1 – 2020 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade)
Thailand might have the biggest chance becoming the second country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Thailand’s Cabinet on 8 July 2020 approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships and give more rights to same-sex couples. However, Thai surgeons have been pioneers in gender-reassignment surgery, four transgender people were elected to Parliament in 2019.
Does our article help you distinguishing the difference between Taiwan and Thailand? To be honest, Thailand and Taiwan only have two things in common: 1. Both Asian country and 2. Country name both start with “T”. Justaiwantour provides Taiwan tour, Taiwan tour guide, Taipei day tour and Taiwan family trips! If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
If you wanna learn more about Taiwan, please follow our fan page.