Thailand as the name suggests, is a land named after the native Thai population. Visitors to Thailand will often discover a country in transition from a nation of developing status, to the one of the international standards. Having a rich cultural background and an incredible diversity, Thailand makes a perfect Holiday spot for people all round the world. The vast cultural diversity coupled with a fascinating history and friendly population justifies the name “Land of Smiles” conferred upon this exotic land. Many travelers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans while others never find a reason to leave.
Capital : Bangkok City
Total Area : Approx 513,120 sq kilometers (198,115 sq miles)
Time Zone : Thailand Time Zone (GMT + 7.00)
ISD Code : +66
Official Language : Thai
Currency : Thai Baht (THB)
Religion : Buddhism
Climate : The local climate is tropical and characterized by monsoons. There is a rainy, warm, and cloudy southwest monsoon season from mid-May to September, as well as a dry, cool northeast monsoon season from November to mid-March. The southern isthmus is always hot and humid. From November to the end of February, the climate is cool. From March to June, climate is hot. From July to October, climate is rainy.
Best Time to Travel : Thailand can be best enjoyed between the months of November to March and June to October.
Apart from being a Buddhist country, Thailand has still been a pompous hub in celebrating many festivals throughout the year. These festivals are organized by Thailand Govt. to attract tourists and visitors. These festivals make Thailand one of the liveliest countries in world.
Thailand is a shopper’s paradise and many visitors to Bangkok in particular end up spending much of their time in the countless markets and malls. Particularly good buys are clothing, both cheap locally produced street wear and fancy Thai silk, and all sorts of handicrafts. A Thai speciality is the night markets found in almost every town, the largest and best-known of which are in Bangkok and the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. Here a variety of vendors from designers to handicraft sellers have stalls selling goods which cannot normally be found in malls and day markets. Most night markets also have large open air food courts attached.
Night markets along the main roads and Bangkok’s Mahboonkrong (MBK) Mall, near the Siam skytrain stop, are particularly good sources. Not to be left out is what is often touted as the world’s biggest weekend bazaar – The Chatuchak Weekend Market or known to locals simply as “JJ” Market. Chatuchak sells a myriad of products ranging from clothes to antiques. Try to figure out the item’s rough value first — adjacent stalls, government-run fixed price shops and even hotel gift shops are a good starting point, then one can go forward and buy as much as he/she wants.
The food alone is really reason enough for a trip to Thailand. Curries, fruit shakes, stir fries, fresh fish made a zillion ways – and that’s just the beginning. Thai cuisine is characterized by balance and strong flavors, especially lime juice, lemon grass and fresh coriander, the combination of which gives Thai food its distinctive taste. In addition, Thai food has a deserved reputation for being spicy, and has been one of the cuisines said to be ravishingly spicy hot; with hot little torpedo-shaped chillies making their way into many dishes. Thais are well aware that these can be more than Westerners can handle even though Indians and Chinese can still make do with it to some extent.
Thai dishes can be roughly categorized into central Thai food (around Bangkok), northern Thai food (from the northern region around Chiang Mai, with Burmese and Chinese influence), north-eastern Thai food (from the Isaan region bordering with Laos) and southern Thai food (with heavy influences from Malaysia). The following list covers some better-known dishes, which are – Rice, Noodles, Thai Soups, Thai Curries, Salads and Desserts. Vegetarians won’t have too many problems surviving in Thailand, with one significant exception: fish sauce which needs to be avoided if one is a vegetarian. Thailand is a Buddhist country and vegetarianism is a fairly well-understood concept, especially among Chinese Thais (many of whom eat only vegetarian food during several festivals). Tofu is a traditional Thai ingredient.
Pattaya – A city and a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates, Pattaya is a fun filled location surrounded with beaches on all sides. Famous for its outrageous night life, Pattaya attracts lots of tourists every year and gives them more than a single reason to extend their stay well beyond their expectation. Pattaya is also famous for its local Thai cuisine and road side food joints.
Phuket – Off the Southwest Coast of Thailand lies a destination away from the commotion of the city life – Phuket. Ideal for a Family getaway, these exotic long beaches are there to enchant you. Candle light dinners over the sea shore or sunbathing & relaxing on the beaches, Phuket can be considered as a perfect Weekend getaway.
Ko Samui – Thailand’s second largest Island after Phuket, Ko Samui attracts 1.5 million tourists every year for its attractive charm hidden in its wide beaches and coral reefs. Tourists find a lot of attractions which include natural reserves, white sandy beaches and coconut trees almost everywhere in Ko Samui.
Phi Phi Islands – Also known as Ko Phi Phi Lee Islands, this Island was initially populated by the Muslim Fishermen community but later became a coconut plantation land. Surrounded by the South China sea from all the sides, this small Island surely has a lot of scenic views for you to enjoy.
Hua hin – Hua Hin is a famous beach resort town in Thailand in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. It is closely associated with Thai royalty. This small town has a lot of scenic attractions; prominent among them being beaches, national parks and historical sites.
Kanchanaburi – Kanchanaburi , popularly known as the Buddhist town of Thailand has a lot of attractions to offer the tourists from across the globe.
Bangkok – Being the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is a magnet for shoppers all over the world. It is famous for its Metropolitan life, Thai cuisine & various shopping options along with Lush green parks and gardens, Bangkok City Hall, Grand palace and Chinatown which are few of the famous sightseeing options in Bangkok. The famous energy drink ‘Redbull’ finds its origination from the city of Bangkok.
Krabi Islands – Krabi is a town on the western coast of Southern Thailand. Being a small town, it is densely populated with visitors and tourists for its long stretches & white sand beaches. It also offers a lot of variety to foodies in seafood.