Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand

Thailand, an independent country in the middle of Southeast Asia, is an eclectic mix of 21st century development with deep roots in a 700-year-old culture – all combined with a happy-go-lucky way of looking at life. Unlike its neighbours – Myanmar (Burma) to the west, Laos to the north, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south – Thailand, with a population of around 60m, has never been colonised by a foreign power and, as a consequence, is fiercely proud of its independence and entrenched way of doing things.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the King is highly respected by his subjects. Unlike in European monarchies, there are very strict laws in place that prohibit anything that could be considered an insult to his majesty or to the royal family as a whole; even casual comments that, elsewhere, may be taken as a joke can land you in serious trouble. Thais take their monarchy very seriously…

Tourism in Thailand

One of the most popular tourism destinations in Asia, Thailand welcomes more than 5,000,000 visitors each year who come to enjoy a huge range of attractions, including ancient temples, beautiful white sand beaches, idyllic deserted islands, raucous nightlife, rainforests, elephant trekking, white water rafting, yachting, golfing, scuba diving and more. Such is Thailand's appeal that regular return tourists and part-time residents make up a large part of the tourist numbers.

Thailand is known as the land of smiles. Thais do not necessarily smile about something like we do in the west. They smile for a variety of other reasons too. To say hello or thank you, to make a request, to apologize, to smooth over bad feelings or to show embarrassment.

Ayuthaya

Located approximately 85 km north of Bangkok, the city was the Thai capital from 1350 to 1767. During this period Thai culture flourished, and Ayuthaya became a centre for international commerce. The present day city is located at the confluence of the Chao Phaya, Pa Sak and Lopburi rivers. A canal joins them and encircles the town. Ayuthaya has many historic ruins, two museums and is a fascinating place to visit.










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