The Kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. As the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonised, Thailand explodes with the boundless energy and self-confidence of its people. It is one of the world’s most beautiful countries and known worldwide as the 'Land of Smiles’. The country's diverse natural landscapes; rich history and Buddhist culture; inspiring buildings, both ancient and modern; world famous cuisine; and warm, hospitable people make Thailand one of the world’s most popular destinations.
Coming to Thailand to witness how busy and noisy the capital Bangkok with its fast pace of living is; a lively and exciting Pattaya with its sexy shows that can be hardly found anywhere else; a precious pearl-shaped Phuket island with its white sandy beaches; an exotic Phang Nga Bay where James Bond film was shot; a mountainous Chiangmai with ancient temples and their huge statues of Buddha.Thailand has so much to offer that one visit is never enough – you'll want to come back and discover more time after time.
As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience. The capital of Thailand – modern Bangkok is a large, bustling city of some 6 million people. It is the administrative centre and the heart of the country where skyscrapers and modern buildings jostle for space against the Bangkok skyline and also a city of entertainment and fun. But despite its modern trappings, Bangkok is firmly embedded in tradition. All aspects of Thai culture are revered here, as they are in any rural or less urban part of the country. Rituals are carried out on a daily basis. Monks accept their daily alms and people of all ages pray and make merit at one of countless temples. In Bangkok you can at one moment walk through antiquity and be in the 21st century. Drop in to the stunning Grand Palace, see the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and wind your way through floating markets.
Thailand’s “Rose of the North” contains both cultural and natural diversity, a multitude of attractions, and welcoming hospitality. Located about 700 kilometres from Bangkok, it is one of Thailand’s better known and most visited provinces. Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. Originally the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom created by King Mengrai in 1296 around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, but also the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand and one of the kingdom’s most beautiful provinces with mountain ranges and hills amidst lush greenery and jungle. The province is also famed as being a home to numerous tribal peoples. Some of the main attractions in the area include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Doi Intanon – Thailand’s biggest mountain.
Chiang Rai is located 785 kilometres from Bangkok and borders Myanmar in the north and Laos in the east. Built by King Mengrai in 1262 this Thailand’s most northerly province has a mainly mountainous terrain and helps form the ‘Golden Triangle’ around the Mekong River which has long been associated with colourful cultures and an illicit opium trade. The opium may have gone but the colour hasn't and the markets offer all sorts of amazing local handicrafts. Chiang Rai is a major draw for tourists keen to experience the region’s natural attractions and learn about its place in Thailand’s past as well as the culture of the local hill tribes with colorful ethnic minorities, who have migrated into the region during the past 100 years from the Asian interior and have largely preserved their traditional ways.
Founded in the 13th century, the ancient city of Sukhothai to the north of Bangkok, which literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom and is associated with the golden era of Thai history under King Ramkhamhaeng, who is credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored and this magnificent collection of buildings Sukhothai's Old City has been awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a favorite stop for history buffs and photography enthusiasts.
Founded in 1350, the city of Ayuthaya – another Unesco World Heritage is located in the Chao Phraya River valley in Thailand. It sits on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting it to the Gulf of Siam. Ayutthaya presents a glimpse into the glory of ancient Thailand, where visitors can wander the haunting but romantic ruins of the former capital. After the Sukhothai period, the city was the most important in Thailand, and the old palaces and temples stand as a testament to this. There are also several foreign settlements, where you can gain a greater understanding of the influence other countries had in Thailand at the time.
Krabi is a province on southern Thailand’s Andaman coast and home to some of Thailand's most famous beach destinations. The waters surrounding Krabi are dotted with hundreds of limestone karst islands. Kayakers and rock-climbers will love exploring them, while others can travel to the nearby floating villages or just relax on one of the region's perfect beaches.
Phuket – where the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed back in 1974 – is often the first place that comes to mind when travelers to Thailand talk about sea, sun and sand. With its spectacular white-sand beaches, luxury resort hotels, plentiful seafood and dramatic limestone karsts, Phuket is a natural choice for anyone seeking a relaxing holiday.
Koh Tao (Turtle Island) considerred as Thailand’s diving mecca is a tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand with lush vegetation, beautiful beaches, and numerous fascinating dive sites, all with abundant marine life.
Considered as one of Thailand’s most beautiful wildlife reserves, the Khao Sok National Park with jungle forests, limestone karsts, rivers and lakes in the Surat Thani province of southern Thailand is a must-see travel destinations for real jungle experience.
Kanchanaburi city, the capital of Kanchanaburi Province, is a popular resort town; picturesque and worthy of a visit in its own right, it is frequently visited as base of operations for exploring the many cultural, natural, and historical attractions in the surrounding countryside. Located at the confluence of the Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai Rivers, Kanchanaburi lies at the source of the Mae Klong River, and these majestic bodies of water are defining characteristics of the town. The town itself is a place to relax, watching the water from the banks of the river, inside a raft house, or from a riverside restaurant. Along with visiting spectacular waterfalls, lush forests, and three of Thailand’s largest reservoirs, white water rafting, elephant trekking, and golfing are popular activities for visitors. Kanchanaburi is an excellent tourist destination for nature lovers.
The seaside town of Hua Hin, meaning “Stone Head”, was named after the rocks at the north end of the powdery sand beach. Hua Hin became Thailand's first beach resort after a train line was laid in the 1920’s to provide access from Bangkok and King Rama VII established his summer retreat in the area. With a 5 kilometer-long beach that features numerous activities, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais. In addition to beach fun and games, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world.
Mae Hong Son, Thailand's northern border city, hiding itself in between the towering mountains with densely forested slopes, stretching to the Burmese border. With its remote setting and surrounding mountains, Mae Hong Son fits many travellers’ preconceived notion of how a northern Thai city should be. Maehongson is known for its charm of scenery and culture. The people of Maehongson consists of the Shans who live in the city and the hilltribe people who live in remote villages on mountain tops where elements of lifestyle have changed little in hundreds of years.
Pattaya is always switched on and fun. This vibrant coastal city shot to fame in early 1980s. From sunrise to sunset, Pattaya’s beaches are constantly brimming with life, as water sports lovers and sun worshippers take to the waters. After dark, the action shifts to the streets, as revellers explore its electrified nightlife scene, where drinking and partying continue until dawn.
Koh Samui, tucked between the cerulean expanse between Indonesia and Indochina, is an often over-looked tropical treasure. Coming to Koh Samui – a small island off the coast of Thailand, you will discover small villages built entirely of bamboo; lush jungle interiors; turquoise-fringed beaches. Samui’s amazing landscapes are just a fraction of the appeal: the local culture gives you a taste of the region’s Asian traditions and a unique heritage preserved in hidden Buddhist temples with their iconic, gilded-red roofs, and resilient fishing villages on the Southern coast.
Thailand has a population of more than 68 million people (2016), of which 80% are ethnic Thais, 10% Chinese and 4% Malays, plus Lao, Mon, Khmer, Indian and Burmese minorities. Such diversity reflects the country long history as an important crossroads of Southeast Asia. Thais are a friendly and easy-going people with a great reverence for the Buddhist faith....read more
Thailand has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons. The weather is hot and dry from February to May with the average temperature about 34 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity. The rainy season starts from June to October with plenty of sunshine and the average day temperature is about 29 degrees Celsius and 87% humidity. From November to January is the period of winter with temperatures ranging from 32 degrees Celsius to below 20 degrees Celsius and with a drop in humidity....read more
The culture of Siam Thai has been shaped by many influences, which includes Chinese, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indian. It is mainly influenced by Buddhism (Theravada form). Buddhism is practised in Thailand by over 90% of the population....read more
The official national language, spoken by almost 100 per cent of the population is Thai. The Thai language is liberally sprinkled with words from Pali and Sanskrit (the classical languages, respectively, of Theravada Buddhism and Indian Hinduism)....read more
Thailand has some of the best cuisine in the world. Most Thai food is traditionally fairly hot and spicy, prepared with fresh ingredients such as lemon grass and fresh herbs and rice is commonly eaten with most meals as staple food. With street stalls, night markets and restaurants all over the country, it's really easy to pick up a snack from the many street vendors around the country or enjoy a hearty meal at top-notch eateries. There are also many Asian and European restaurants throughout the major cities and smaller towns....read more
Thailand never fails to amaze its countless visitors with the most colorful festivities and events sure to delight you with glimpses into the country’s heritage and traditions. There are countless festivals and special events held in Thailand throughout the year....read more
The currency in Thailand is the Baht, often abbreviated as THB....read more
Transportation in Thailand is very chaotic and varied. Motorbikes and bicycles are the main mode of transport in rural areas and are generally used for short distances. While bus transportation dominates in Bangkok and for long distances....read more
Travellers entering Thailand need to obtain a visa according to the purpose of their visit. Citizens of countries who made agreements with the government of Thailand can benefit from the visa exemption when entering Thailand as tourists. Other tourists can be granted visa upon arrival at the airport in Thailand, or it can obtain in their home country through the Thai embassy or consulate located there....read more
Thailand is regarded as a paradise for shopping addicts because it offers great shopping opportunities - from lively street markets to huge shopping malls. Cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai have interesting night markets that are worth a visit....read more
Health risks and the quality of medical facilities vary depending on where and how you travel in Thailand. The majority of cities and popular tourist areas have adequate, and even excellent, medical care. However, travel to remote rural areas can expose you to some health risks and less adequate medical care....read more
Though Thailand is a relatively safe destination, having your wits about you and using common sense will improve your chances of having a trouble-free holiday. In reality you are more likely to be ripped off or have a personal possession surreptitiously stolen than you are to be physically harmed. When considering your personal safety "common sense precautions" still reign supreme - just like anywhere else....read more
Tipping is NOT customary in Thailand, there is absolutely NO mandatory requirement to tip anyone, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated....read more