|Travel to Thailand|
Sawadee kha. Welcome to the land of smiles! Thailand was once known as Suvarnabhumi meaning Golden Land which is an appropriate name for this fertile country, rich in natural beauty and traditions. From Bangkok’s urban madness to historical cities, beaches, jungles and tribal villages, Thailand offers a package of surprises and delights.
History and Culture
Thailand has been civilised for some 4000 years. Its most important kingdom was Ayutthaya, which lasted 400 years, beginning from the fourteenth century. In the eighteenth century, it was known as Siam. Thailand is among the few Southeast Asian nations that has never been colonised. In 1932, a bloodless army coup spelt the end of monarchy and Thailand’s first step towards democracy.
A distilled version of Hinduism coupled with the deep influence of Buddhism has shaped Thai culture for centuries. Extreme courtesy, cleanliness and respect for the elderly are time-honoured values. While the King and his family have no political powers, the Thais hold them in great esteem.
Language and communication
Thai is the country’s main language. English is spoken in the main cities where tourists throng, though it’s not always comprehensible! Thailand has a modern communications network. Most TV channels are in Thai, but satellite TV brings in English language channels.
When to go
The ideal season for visiting Thailand is from November until the end of February when the heat and humidity drop and cool breezes blow in from the north-east.
The Best Places to Visit in Thailand and Why
Silky white beaches fringing turquoise waters tempt you to just lie back and soak it all in. But there are coral reefs to explore, besides the island’s tropical forests and diverse wildlife. Don’t miss the monthly Full Moon Party!
|Hua Hin |
Thailand’s King lives in Hua Hin, a 3-hour drive from Bangkok. Great for a fun day trip. Ride a horse along the beach and try freshly cooked seafood at an ocean side restaurant. For longer stays, book early as Hua Hin is quite the tourist hotspot.
Sand, snorkelling and scuba diving are three good reasons to visit Phuket Island. Phuket is a party place so drop into a nightclub, watch fire-dancers do their stuff on the beach and if you’re looking for peace and solitude, there’s sure to be a beach hidden away just for you.
This northern city is a low-key version of Bangkok, a quick plane hop from the capital. It’s a lovely old city with accommodation for varied budgets, great street food and art galleries. Visit the night markets for traditional Thai souvenirs. Doi Suthep is one of Thailand’s most revered temples.
Yes, Bangkok is hot, crowded and frenetic, as everyone says. But the Thai capital is a lot more. Its gleaming temples are oases of spirituality. Glide down the Chao Phraya River, go shopping or go for a tuk-tuk ride. There’s also every imaginable kind of restaurant and a happening nightlife. Enjoy!