Thailand Tourism | Thailand Map
The country is a kingdom, with most recorded reigns in the world. It is a constitutional monarchy with King Rama IX, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to well-known tourist destinations such as Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, and Ko Samui, and exports contributing significantly to the economy. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand.Thailand has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.
Geography of Thailand:
Thailand is home to several distinct geographic regions, partly corresponding to the provincial groups. The north of the country is mountainous, with the highest point being Doi Inthanon at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft) above sea level. The northeast, Isan, consists of the Khorat Plateau, bordered to the east by the Mekong River. The centre of the country is dominated by the predominantly flat Chao Phraya river valley, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand.
Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus that widens into the Malay Peninsula. Politically, there are six geographical regions which differ from the others in population, basic resources, natural features, and level of social and economic development. The diversity of the regions is the most pronounced attribute of Thailand's physical setting.
The Andaman Sea is regarded as Thailand's most precious natural resource as it hosts the most popular and luxurious resorts in Asia. Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang and their lush islands all lay along the coasts of the Andaman Sea and despite the 2004 Tsunami, they continue to be and ever more so, the playground of the rich and elite of Asia and the world.
The ports would improve economic conditions in the south of Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism income, and it would also change the structure of the Thai economy moving it closer to a services center of Asia. The canal would be a major engineering project and has expected costs of 20–30 billion dollars.
The culture of Thailand incorporates cultural beliefs and characteristics indigenous to the area known as modern day Thailand coupled with much influence from ancient India, China, Cambodia, along with the neighbouring pre-historic cultures of Southeast Asia. It is influenced primarily by Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well as by later migrations from China, and southern India.
Literature in Thailand is heavily influenced by Indian Hindu culture. The most notable works of Thai literature are a version of the Ramayana, a Hindu religious epic, called the Ramakien, written in part by Kings Rama I and Rama II, and the poetry of Sunthorn Phu.
There is no tradition of spoken drama in Thailand, the role instead being filled by Thai dance. This is divided into three categories- khon, lakhon and likay- khon being the most elaborate and likay the most popular. Nang drama, a form of shadow play, is found in the south.
Buddhism in Thailand is strongly influenced by traditional beliefs regarding ancestral and natural spirits, which have been incorporated into Buddhist cosmology. Most Thai people own spirit houses, miniature wooden houses in which they believe household spirits live. They present offerings of food and drink to these spirits to keep them happy. If these spirits aren't happy, it is believed that they will inhabit the larger household of the Thai, and cause chaos. These spirit houses can be found in public places and in the streets of Thailand, where the public make offerings.
There is a Swan Boat circuit where the villages field teams compete. The international invitational race is usually in November.
Egg rolling once enjoyed national-pastime status, but famine and egg shortages around the middle of the last century caused it to retreat to rural villages, where it is still practiced with traditional vigour.
Another holiday is Loi Krathong, which is held on the 12 full moon of the Thai lunar calendar. While not a government-observed holiday, it is nonetheless an auspicious day in Thai culture, in which Thai people "loi", meaning "to float" a "krathong", a small raft traditionally made from a section of banana tree, decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks etc. The act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot.
Thai Food - Thai Cuisine:
Thai cuisine is famous for the blending of four fundamental tastes:
sweet (sugar, fruits)
spicy hot (chilies)
sour (lime juice, tamarind)
salty (fish sauce, soy sauce)
On the other hand there are many dishes which are not spicy, sour, sweet or salty, and are meant to be savory and bland. Khao man gai, khao ka mu, khao mu graub, etc.
Tourism in Thailand |Thailand Tourist Attractions
Hua Hin is closely associated with the Thai royalty. Merely 25 kilometers apart, Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province enjoys a wealth of satellite attractions; prominent among them are national parks and historical cities.
Kanchanaburi, which is located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge into the Mae Klong river, spans the northern banks of the river and is a popular spot for travelers, its location at the edge of a mountain range keeping it much cooler than the other provinces of central Thailand. The city has two major commercial districts: the downtown area consists of a grid of several streets with office buildings, shop fronts, and a shopping mall; and the riverfront area businesses are mostly located further west along River Kwai Road. Once a year a carnival comes to town and is set up in the area next to the bridge. At night there is a small pyrotechnics display that re-enacts the wartime bombing of the bridge.
The City of Pattaya is a self governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The City is situated in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. It has a population exceeding 100,000 (2007). Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province, with a total population exceeding 1,000,000 (2010).
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over 5 million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and 2 million are foreign tourists (depending on the year). Chiang Mai gained prominence in the political sphere in May 2006, when the Chiang Mai Initiative was concluded here between the ASEAN nations and the "+3" countries (China, Japan, and South Korea). Chiang Mai is one of three Thai cities contending to host the World Expo 2020. It has also recently positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering to apply for Creative City Status with UNESCO.
While officially the city (thesaban nakhon) of Chiang Mai only covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai district with a population of 160,000, the urban sprawl of the city now extends into several neighboring districts. This Chiang Mai Metropolitan Area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province.
The city is subdivided into four wards (khwaeng): Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is located on the east bank. Nakhon Ping district comprises the north side of the city. Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the west, south, and east respectively. The city center—within the city walls—is mostly within Srivijaya ward.
Khao Yai National Park:
This park lies largely in Nakhon Ratchasima Province (Khorat), but also includes parts of Saraburi, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces.
The park is the second largest in Thailand. It covers an area of 2,168 square kilometers, including evergreen forests and grasslands. Its altitude mostly ranges from 400 to 1000 m above sea level. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds like red junglefowl and green peafowl and 67 species of mammals, including Asiatic black bears, Asian elephants, gaur, tigers, gibbons, Indian sambar deer, crab-eating macaque, Indian muntjac, dholes, and wild pigs. Its waterfalls include the 80 metre Heo Narok, and Heo Suwat made famous from the film The Beach. Namtok Sarika is popular with the Thais.
Recent wildlife studies show that animal ranges, particularly the few resident tigers, are impacted by human activity near the center of the park. This study has not impacted the government's call for private lodging concessions within the park itself.
Phimai Historical park:
The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. As the enclosed area of 1020x580m is comparable with that of Angkor Wat, Phimai must have been an important city in the Khmer empire. Most buildings are from the late 11th to the late 12th century, built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Angkor Wat style. However, even though the Khmer at that time were Hindu, the temple was built as a Buddhist temple, as Buddhism in the Khorat area dated back to the 7th century. Inscriptions name the site Vimayapura (which means city of Vimaya), which developed into the Thai name Phimai.
The name "Hat Yai" is a short version of "Mahat Yai", meaning big mahat tree, a relative of jackfruits in genus Artocarpus.
Ko Samui island of Surat Thani Province simply Samui as it is referred to by locals, is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, close to the mainland Surat Thani town. It is Thailand's second largest island, with an area of 228.7 km2 and a population of over 50,000 (2008). It is rich with natural resources, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees.
Krabi is a southern province on Thailand's Andaman seaboard with perhaps the country's oldest history of continued settlement. After dating stone tools, ancient colored pictures, beads, pottery and skeletal remains found in the province's many cliffs and caves, it is thought that Krabi has been home to Homo Sapiens since the period 25,000 - 35,000 B.C. In recorded times it was called the 'Ban Thai Samor', and was one of twelve towns that used, before people were widely literate, the monkey for their standard. At that time, c. 1200 A.D., Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the Kra Peninsula's east coast better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Phuket, which is approximately the size of Singapore, is Thailand’s largest island. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traders. The region now derives much of its income from tourism.
Patong Beach refers to a beach on Phuket's west coast, and to the town adjoining it. It is the main tourist resort in Phuket. It also contains an important center of Phuket's nightlife and is the center of inexpensive shopping on the island. The beach became popular with Western tourists, especially Europeans, in the late 1980s. Numerous large hotels and chain hotels are located there.
Thai massage is a type of massage in Thai style that involves stretching and deep massage. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used in Thai massage. It is known in Thailand as "nuat phaen boran"
The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows the Sen lines on the body—somewhat analogous to meridians or Channel (Chinese medicine) and Indian nadis. Legs and feet of the giver can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. A full Thai massage session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back, and arching the recipient's into bhujangasana or (cobra position). There is a standard procedure and rhythm to this massage.
Songkran has traditionally been celebrated as the New Year for many centuries, and is believed to have been adapted from an Indian festival. It is now observed nationwide, even in the far south. However, the most famous Songkran celebrations are still in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where it continues for six days and even longer. It has also become a party for foreigners and an additional reason for many to visit Thailand for immersion in another culture.
Pee Ta Khon:
The whole event is called Bun Luang. It is composed of a number of individual festivals: Pee Ta Khon, the Ghost Festival; the Rocket Festival; and Bun Pra Wate, a merit-making ceremony normally held in March.
The second day of the festival incorporates elements of the Rocket Festival, plus various costume and dance contests and more parades.
On the third and final day, the villagers listen to sermons.
The market is open 24 hours a day with various offers, from 9AM to 8PM (in reality, it's more like 11AM-6PM), the retail shops are open, and later on the evening, outdoor stalls mainly geared for tourists come to populate the street sides. It's located at the intersection of Ratchaprarop and Phetburi roads in the district Ratchathewi. This is maybe the cheapest market for buying clothes, fabrics and textiles in central Bangkok, while the Chatuchak Weekend Market probably is the low price leader. Other merchandise include watches, handicraft and others.
The Floating Market:
Luxury Hotels in Thailand:
Amari Watergate Bangkok
Dusit Thani Bangkok
Lebua At State Tower
Ramada Hotel & Suites
Siam City Hotel
Banyan Tree Bangkok
Avista Resort & Spa Phuket
The Quarter Phuket
The Vijitt Resort Phuket
Absolute Bangla Suites
Amari Coral Beach Phuket
Holiday Inn, Chiangmai
Horizon Village & Resort
Budget Hotels in Thailand:
Royal Century Pattaya Hotel
Holiday Garden Hotel & Resort
Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel
Karon Living Room Hotel
Karon View Resort
Baramee Hip Hotel
Phuket Heritage Hotel
Rome Place Hotel
Secret Cliff Villa
Kamala Beach Inn
Diamond Beach Suite Hotel
Star Hotel Chiang Mai
Touch Star Resort
Royal Lanna Hotel