Thailand is often referred to as the land of smiles and not just as a tourist marketing strategy. Thais are known for smiling a lot and there are many different varieties of smiles that most foreigners can’t detect. Cynical farangs often question whether the smiles are genuine but a recent study showed that in general, yes, it’s true; Thailand really is the happiest place on earth.
Well saying it’s the happiest place isn’t exactly accurate, it was voted the least miserable country in a survey that was obviously conducted by some ‘glass half empty’ type people. Bloomberg’s misery index recently surveyed 74 countries to see which ones were the most down in the dumps. The misery index keeps track of how miserable a country is in general by adding their inflation rate to their unemployment rate. Some magic figures ensue and hey presto, you get your outcome.
Thailand knocked Singapore off its perch this year, putting the country down to second place, followed by Japan. Surprisingly, places like the UK and the U.S are considered quite miserable. Venezuela was voted the most miserable, which probably won’t be something that will build up their self esteem.
Of course, whether or not the misery index is accurate is debatable. You’ll just have to judge for yourself.