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What has Ever Been Invented in Thailand?

Updated on April 11, 2014

Muay Thai


Not Much

Not much has been invented in Thailand, which seems strange given the creativity of many of the people. Poverty and poor and varying standards of education in the country have likely been barriers historically.

There are traditional Thai musical instruments (such as the khimm), sports like Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and traditional foods, but the list of true inventiveness isn't long. It's even not clear if Thai boxing originated in Thailand, with suggestions it was copied from Cambodia originally.

Aeration Machine


The Inventiveness of the King

HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a very innovative man. He has patented technology for water aeration (the machines often seen in the various fish farms around Thailand) and also a patent related to rain-making technology. He also helped in the development of a bio fuel for motor vehicles (gasohol), which is a plant based fuel that reduces CO2 emissions.

Red Bull Ingredients

The formula for Red Bull originated from Thailand too, as did another tasty and expensive beverage - elephant dung coffee (the beans having passed through the guts of elephants).

On the Roads

I've heard suggestions that the flashing red traffic light was a Thai invention, though I believe it's not unique to Thailand. It makes for scary driving at night for sure - can I go, can't I go...?

From my experience of driving in Thailand, I've also noticed that there is always a race to get to get to the red traffic light first. They will speed up to get there faster. Doesn't make sense to me, you just wait there longer. Only in Thailand? I'm not sure.

Tuk-tuks may also have a distinctive Thai feel to them, but the reality is they probably originated outside of Thailand, perhaps Japan.


One final invention I'd like to add to the list is Thai logic. There is a logic in Thailand that cannot be explained unless you are Thai. Something that ordinarily you would think is common sense is disregarded and a whole different reasoning is put in its place - uncommon sense?


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