The Kingdom of Thailand, also commonly referred to as ‘The Land of Smiles’, has long been one of the most popular tourist attractions for travelers in South East Asia. Thailand shares borders in the north with Laos and Myanmar. To the south are Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand and the eastern side of the country shares borders with Cambodia and Laos. The western fringe of Thailand connects with Myanmar and the Andaman Sea. The population is said to be around 64 million and the economy is one of the most competitive in South East Asia. Thai people are very relaxed and friendly and have unique customs and are steeped in tradition. The food is not to be missed and with such an array of local dishes to choose from you are sure not to be disappointed.
Most visitors to Thailand begin their journey in the lively capital of Bangkok and branch out from here to their desired locations. Thailand has a very good infrastructure for traveling around the country with flights, trains, buses, boats and private cars linking most areas of the country. Thailand is a large country with approximately 514,000 sq km (200,000 sq mi) of land mass. Places to visit range from the hustle and bustle of giant cities to quaint villages, mountain getaways and island retreats. Go on a package tour or create your own itinerary, the choice is yours.
Thailand consists of many different diversified areas including Northern Thailand which is made up of the Thai Highlands making it a very mountainous area. The highest point is Doi Inthanton in the Thanon Thong Chai mountain range, which stands above sea level at 2,565 meters (8,415 ft). This area is usually cooler than most other parts of the country making it an ideal getaway from the humid tropical weather. Northern Thailand is home to the cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, both of which attract numerous visitors and offer a wide range of activities and locations to visit. Laos, Cambodia and Thailand all connect in this area forming the infamous ‘Golden Triangle’.
In the North East of Thailand is Isan, which is made up of the Khorat Plateau. The amazing Mekong River flows through this region creating the northern border with Laos, whilst Petchabun Mountain Range forms its western border with the country. The main crop grown in this region is rice which provides the main income for the local farmers. This area is the least developed and poorest part of the country and the climate is very hot and dry. The majority of inhabitants living in this sector originate from Laos and speak their own dialect similar to the Laos language and most also speak Thai. Food in Isan is well known for its intense spices and can be very hot.
The countries Southern region attracts many local and foreign visitors and acts as the gateway between Thailand and Malaysia. This region has a lot to see and do including numerous mountain chains. The Gulf of Thailand sits to the east side of the region while the Andaman Sea lies on the western border. Southern Thailand has an abundance of tropical islands including Ko Samui, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, James bond Island and Ko Phangan just to name a few. Krabi is a well known and visited area for diving enthusiasts and consists of multiple islands and several national parks.
Bangkok is situated in central Thailand with the Chao Phraya River flowing through it as it makes its way to the Gulf of Thailand. To the east of the country you will find Sankambeng Mountain Range which runs from Isan to the Gulf of Thailand. Pattaya is one of the most visited cities in the region with tourism being the main source of income for the local community. Close to the eastern border with Cambodia you can find the island resorts of Ko Samet, Ko Chang and many other smaller islands which are great to explore. Regular ferries connect these islands to the mainland making them easy to get to.
Thai nationals love their food and judging by the millions of Thai restaurants scattered around the world, so does everyone else. Rice is eaten with most meals and also makes Thailand the biggest exporter of rice in the world. Thai cuisine usually uses a blend of garlic, lime, chili, ginger, fish sauce and lemon grass, giving it its unique flavor. Although Thai cuisine is generally made up of a fusion of dishes from surrounding Asian countries, they have developed their own unique style of dishes. Northern cuisine is known for its fiery spices, while the Southern regions delicacies tend to be a little sweeter due to the use of coconut. Curries are a popular dish in the country as well as fresh seafood and river fish, noodle dishes and an assortment of vegetables and herbs. If you’re after Western food you will find plenty of restaurants and fast food chains scattered around the country.
The people of this wonderful country are the highlight of a visit to Thailand. Thai people are well known for their friendly nature and welcoming attitudes. They hold very firm beliefs in their family values and the older generation gain strong respect from the younger generations. Around 75% of Thai nationals are ethnic Thai with the remainder of the population being either Chinese, Malay or of ethnic minority groups. Around 94% of the population are Buddhist which is easily recognizable with daily rituals, pagodas and a multitude of monks. Get to know the local people and their culture for a truly unforgettable experience.
Listed above is just a brief description of amazing Thailand. It pays to get off the beaten tourist trail to discover the real wonders of this incredible country. Our staff are available now to answer any questions about your holiday to Thailand and promise to make your trip with us a truly memorable one. Feel free to take one of our package holidays or create your own itinerary. Contact out friendly staff today if you would like to book one of our tours of Thailand or have any enquiries about creating your own unforgettable vacation with us.