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Thailand

 Area:                 513,115 sqkm

 Population:     69.9 million

 Capital:              Bangkok

 Language:       Thai

 Currency:          Baht

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World, Thailand has something for everyone with its' rich culture and exotic adventures. Whether you are there to relax on one of the stunning beaches in the south, trek through the northern jungle or indulge in sumptuous cuisine in the bustling capital city, the "Land of Smiles" is the perfect holiday destination.
Thailand Overview

Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions : the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.

The country comprises 76 provinces that are further divided into districts, sub-districts and villages. Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. It is also the seat of Thailand's revered Royal Family, with His Majesty the King recognized as Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and Upholder of all religions.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.

Thailand History

Ancient Thailand

The earliest inhabitants of what is now Thailand were hunter-gatherers. However about 4,000 BC they began farming. They grew rice. At first the farmers used stone tools but about 3,000 BC bronze was discovered. From about 500 BC the people of what is now Thailand used iron.

At first what is now Thailand was divided into small states called Meuang. By 100 AD they were practicing Theravada Buddhism.

However the ancestors of modern Thais are believed to have come from southern China. They migrated to Thailand between the 10th century and the 13th century AD.

Meanwhile between the 9th century and the 13th century much of what is now Thailand was ruled by the Khmers, a people from what is now Cambodia.

Thailand in the 20th Century

In July 1917 Thailand joined World War I on the allied side.

In November 1925 Prajadhipok became king of Thailand. However on 24 June 1932 a revolution made Thailand a constitutional monarchy. In October 1933 Prince Boraradej led a counter-revolution but he was defeated. Prajadhipok abdicated in March 1935 in favor of his 10 year old nephew Ananda Mahidol.

On 8 December 1941 Thailand agreed to let Japanese troops to pass through the country to invade British Malaya. The Japanese then occupied Thailand and on 25 January 1942 Thailand declared war on Britain and the USA.

However 90,000 Thai guerrillas led by Pridi Phanomyong fought the Japanese. In 1946 Thailand signed peace treaties with Britain and France. The same year Thailand joined the UN.

In May 1946 a new constitution for Thailand was published. However on 9 June 1946 King Ananda Mahidol was shot in mysterious circumstances. King Bhumibol began his reign.

In 1947 Field-Marshal Phibul staged a coup. Although the king continued to reign Thailand then became a military dictatorship. Even after the death of Phibul in 1963 the army ruled Thailand.

However in 1973 thousands of students demonstrated demanding a proper constitution for Thailand. The king prevented the army from crushing the demonstrators and Thailand returned to civilian government with a coalition of 17 parties.

However in 1976 students demonstrated again. This time the police brutally suppressed the demonstrations, killing and injuring many students. The army then stepped in and installed a new government in Thailand.

From 1980 Thailand was led by General Prem Tinsulanonda who gradually introduced a more liberal regime. In 1988 he stepped down and Chatichai Choonhavan became prime minister. However on 23 February 1991 the army staged a coup and General Suchinda took power.

Yet in an amazing display of 'people power' Thais took to the streets in May 1992. Suchinda moved to repress the demonstrations but the king stopped him and eventually Thailand returned to civilian government. A new constitution was introduced in 1997. There was another military coup in Thailand in 2006 but in December 2007 democratic elections were held again.

In the late 20th century Thailand underwent amazing economic growth. It was transformed from a poor, agricultural country to a newly industrialized one. Thailand suffered from the economic crisis of 1997-98 but that proved to be a temporary setback.

Thailand in the 21st Century

In the early 21st century Thailand continued to grew economically. Like the rest of the world Thailand suffered in the recession of 2009 but it soon recovered. Thailand also suffered severe floods in 2011 but soon recovered. Thailand is now a prosperous country and its economy is growing steadily. Tourism is booming.

Today the population of Thailand is 68 million.

 


Thailand climate & best time to visit
The weather in Thailand is split into three seasons: rainy (roughly May–Oct) cool (Nov–Feb) and hot (March–May).
The rains usually builds momentum between June and August, hitting its peak in September and October. The cool season is when travelling in Thailand is most pleasant, though temperatures can still reach a sticky 30°C. In the hot season, you’re best of hitting the beach.
So, the best time to visit Thailand is the cool seasons: more manageable temperatures and less rain, it offers waterfalls in full spate and the best of the upland flowers in bloom. Bear in mind, however, that it’s also the busiest season.
Thailand Transportation
Thailand currently has seven main international airports: Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang), Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket and Ko Samui. The vast majority of people travelling to Thailand fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Air fares to Thailand generally depend on the season, with the highest being approximately mid-November to mid-February, when the weather is best, and in July and August to coincide with school holidays. You will need to book several months in advance to get reasonably priced tickets during these peak periods.
The cheapest way of getting to most regional Thai airports is usually to buy a flight to Bangkok and then a separate domestic ticket. However, there are dozens of potentially useful, mostly seasonal, international routes into Phuket, including direct flights with several airlines from Australia.
Most international flights into Chiang Mai, Krabi, Ko Samui and Don Muang are from Malaysia, Singapore and China (including Hong Kong and Macau). Krabi also handles seasonal, mostly charter flights from Scandinavia, while Korean Airlines from Seoul is a popular route for North American visitors into Chiang Mai Airport, which has links with Myanmar and Laos too.
Things to do and see in Thailand
Thailand's world-famous attractions have been well documented on television, are used as backdrops in several Hollywood movies and crop up again and again in modern fiction. Still, to witness the Grand Palace in person or to watch a Railey Beach sunset or even to approach Phi Phi Don for the first time is guaranteed to send a shiver up the spine of even a hardened traveller and the frisson of passing by a limestone monolith in Phang Nga Bay is unforgettable.
From the north of Thailand in Chiang Mai to the lush southern province of Krabi you'll be charmed and even shocked by the raw beauty of Thailand.

Tops destinations in Thailand:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Krabi, Huahin, ...

10 best island in Thailand:
1. Koh Phi Phi,
2. Koh Chang, Phuket,
3. Koh Lanta, Koh Lips,
4. SImilan Islands,
5. Koh Samui,
6. Koh Samet,
7. Koh Phangan,
8. Koh Tao

9 Best night markets in Thailand:
1. Rot Fai market (Bangkok);
2. Rong Kluea Market (Aranyaprathet);
3. Fisherman's walking village (Koh Samui);
4. Tha Pae Sunday walking street (Chiang Mai);
5. Chiang Rai Night Bazaar (Chiang Rai);
6. Khuket weekend Market (Phuket);
7. Phuket walking street (Phuket);
8. Krabi town walkinh street (Krabi),
9. Cicada market (Huahin)


10 Best festivals in Thailand:
1. Water festival (Songkran) from 13-15 Apr
2. Ghost Festival ( Phi Ta Khon)  - at Dan Sai, Loei Province - in June/ July
3. Lantern Festival (Yi Peng) - at Chiang Mai - in November
4. Rocket Festival (Boon Bang Fai) - at Yasothorn Provicne - June/July
5. Buffalo Racing Festival (Wing Kwai) - at Chonburi - in October
6. Lopburi Monkey Banquet - Lopburi - November
7. Vagetarian - Phuket - October
8. Wonderfruit Music and Arts Festival - Pattaya - December
9. Chinese New Year - Bangkok - January
10. Candle Festival - Ubon Ratchathani - July

 



 


Thailand Travel Tips
  • Essential Tips for your Thailand trip:

  • 1. Carry cash. 

  • Outside of swanky restaurants, luxury malls, and high-class hotels, Thailand is very much a cash-based society. There’s certainly little point heading to a market, for example, with a credit card. Many smaller accommodations also expect payment in cash, as do local restaurants and many attractions. Even some tour operators prefer traditional payment methods over plastic. Make sure you carry enough cash to pay for your everyday needs. ATMs are generally widely available, even in smaller towns, but if you’re heading to more of the grid locations or remote islands, it’s best to replenish your funds before setting off. It also pays to have a good stash of smaller notes and coins for low-value purchases; many smaller stores and taxi drivers don’t have much change.

  • 2. Be scam savvy. ...

  • As with most places in the world, there are some common scams and stricks that abound in Thailand’s tourist areas. And, few things can ruin a great day on vacation as fast as realising you’ve been well and truly conned. Thailand’s laid-back atmosphere and smiling locals can make it easy to fall into a false sense of security. Keep your guard up, though, and maintain a healthy level of skepticism. It also helps to gen up on the most common scams too—forewarned is forearmed.

  • 3. Reconsider renting a scooter

  • While many tourists in Thailand rent scooters to explore, it really may not be the most sensible of moves. Just look around in places like Pai, Chiang Mai and the islands and you’ll almost certainly spot people sporting bandages, bruises, cuts and scrapes. Inexperienced riders coupled with Thailand's terrible road safety records do not go well together. Plus, unless you have a motorbike license from your home country (and, even that’s not a guarantee) you probably won’t be insured. While a small bump can be easy to laugh off, being unable to hike / swim / snorkel etc. for the rest of your trip really could spoil things. And, that’s if nothing worse happens. If you are adamant about renting a scooter, never, ever ride without a helmet; a full-face helmet is highly recommended. Wear closed footwear and long items of clothing.

  • 4. Stay healthy

  • It can be easy to neglect your health when you’re having a great time travelling. Things like drinking enough water and regularly applying sun cream can easily be forgotten… but, you’ll likely regret it later! Mosquitoes can be pesky, especially during the wet season. As well as being an annoyance, they can also spread nasty diseases. Don’t forget the bug spray for evenings outdoors and trekking adventures through the jungles. Wearing long clothing can also help with bite avoidance. Thailand has many stray animals and it can be tempting to want to pet a cute little kitty or pup. Rabies (and other illnesses) are a real risk in Thailand. Leave the animals alone! Monkey bites can also be a hazard. Is it worth risking a bite just to get that “cute” picture of a wild monkey perched on your shoulder?

  • 5. Slow down

  • With so many awesome things to see and do, it can be tempting to try and cram as much as possible into your Thailand travles. If time is limited, though, don’t attempt too much. You’ll just end up wasting time on transportation, dashing around sites, and feeling exhausted. If you’ve just got two weeks, for example, it’s better to focus on either the north or the south, plus a few days in Bangkok rather than trying to do everything.

  • 6. Sharpen your negotiating skills

  • Haggling is common in many (non-food) markets around Thailand, and you should master the art of negotiation if you want the best deal on your souvenirs. Even something as simple as taking a tuk tuk often requires a little bit of discussion to reach an agreeable price and, although they really should be using a meter, many taxi drivers will try and settle on a fixed price too. Good haggling skills can also help you get bargains on tours, activities, and even accommodation.

  • 7. Prepare for cold
    You might not think you need a sweater or jacket in a tropical country like Thailand. Thailand seems to have a love for air-conditioning, however, which can make being indoors rather chilly. Buses, minivans, and trains can also be colder than you would expect. Pack at least one lightweight sweater or jacket and have it handy when using public transportation. You might also feel the benefit if you’re spending hours hunting for bargains in large malls. Additionally, some areas in Thailand can actually get pretty cold in the cool season, especially destinations in the north. In Loei province, for example, temperatures can dip to zero degrees Centigrade! Mountain areas tend to be cooler than other places, and even the islands can feel chilly come evening time, especially after a day in the hot sun.

    8. Dress appropriately
    Of course, you’ll also need to think about your clothing choices when visiting Thailand. Many cultural sites won’t allow people inside if they are seen as being improperly dressed. As a general rule, wear clothes that cover your shoulders and reach to at least your knees, when visiting temples, major museums, and similar. Steer clear of see-through clothes too. Carrying a sarong or scarf can be a great way to cover shoulders and wear as a wrap-around scarf. Attitudes towards dress are fairly relaxed nowadays in areas that see a lot of tourists, but if you head into more rural areas you should dress fairly modestly to avoid causing embarrassing to both yourself and to locals. Another golden rule to remember: beachwear is only for the beach!


Bangkok
Bangkok, (in Thai: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon กรุงเทพมหานคร) is the capital and is also the most populous city of Thailand. Bangkok has an area of 1568.7 km2 and is located in the Chao Phraya River Delta in central Thailand, with a population of about 8 million people. If including the Bangkok metropolitan area population of the city of over 14 million, accounting for more than 1/5 of the national population and surpassed all other urban areas in Thailand.
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Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai (Thai: เชียงใหม่) is a province (changwat) Thailand's second largest, is located north of the country. The province borders (from the northeast under clockwise) include: Chiang Rai, Lampang Province, Lamphun province, province Tak and Mae Hong Son provinces. To the north, the province bordering Myanmar's Shan State.
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Hua Hin
Hua Hin (Thai หัวหิน) is a beach resort town of Thailand, in the north of Peninsular Malaysia, extreme ly 200 kilometers south of Bangkok. This is also one of the 8 districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. 1932, Hua Hin Pran Buri district. In 1949 a district of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. On the north side is Cha Am district, south of the district Pran Buri.
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