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Thailand…a mixture of great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches – Part 1




Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Overview of Thailand

• It borders Myanmar (Burma) to the north-west, Laos to the north-east, Cambodia to the south-east and Malaysia to the south.
• Thailand is a mixture of great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches.

Regions in Thailand

Thailand can be conveniently divided into five geographic and cultural regions:
• Northern Thailand
• Chiang Mai, hill tribes, and the Golden Triangle

Isaan
The great northeast region has mouthwatering food and some magnificent Khmer ruins.
Central Thailand: Bangkok, lowlands and historic Thailand.
Eastern Thailand: This region has beaches and islands within easy reach of Bangkok,eg: Pattaya, Ko Samet and Ko Chang.
Southern Thailand
• This region has lush rainforest and hundreds of kilometers of coastline.
• It has countless islands on both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
• Additionally, the region has Phuket, Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Tao and many more of Thailand’s famous beach spots.

Major Cities in Thailand

• Bangkok — Thailand’s bustling, frenetic capital, known among the Thai as Krung Thep.
• Ayutthaya — a historical city, UNESCO World Heritage Site and old capital of Siam.
• Chiang Mai — de facto capital of Northern Thailand and the heart of Lanna culture.
• Chiang Rai — gateway to the Golden Triangle, ethnic minorities and mountain trekking.
• Kanchanaburi — home of the Bridge over the River Kwai and numerous World War II museums.
• Nakhon Ratchasima — largest city of the Isaan region.
• Pattaya — one of the main tourist destinations, known for its rough nightlife.
• Sukhothai — Thailand’s first capital, still with amazing ruins.
• Surat Thani — home of the Srivijaya Empire, gateway to the Samui archipelago.

Other Destinations
• Ko Chang — once a quiet island, now undergoing major tourism development.
• Ko Lipe — small island in the middle of Tarutao National Park, amazingly unspoilt with great reefs and beaches.
• Ko Pha Ngan — site of the famous Full Moon Party with miles of quiet coastline.
• Ko Samet — the nearest island beach escapes from Bangkok.
• Ko Samui — comfortable, nature, and entertainment hippie mecca gone upmarket.
• Khao Sok National Park — one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Thailand.
• Khao Yai National Park — take a night time jeep safari spotting deer or visit the spectacular waterfalls.
• Krabi Province — beach and watersports mecca in the south, includes Ao Nang, Rai Leh, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta.
• Phuket — the original Thai paradise island, now very developed but still with some beautiful beaches.

Geography of Thailand

• Thailand has a total of 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi).
• Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country by total area.
• It is slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain.
• Thailand is home to several distinct geographic regions.
• The north of the country is the mountainous area of the Thai highlands.
• The highest point is Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai Range.
• The range is at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft) above sea level.
• The northeast, Isan, consists of the Khorat Plateau.
• This is bordered to the east by the Mekong River.
• The centre of the country is dominated by the predominantly flat Chao Phraya river valley.
• This runs into the Gulf of Thailand.
• Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus which widens into the Malay Peninsula.
• Politically, there are six geographical regions.
• They differ from the others in population, basic resources, natural features, and level of social and economic development.
• The Chao Phraya and the Mekong River are the sustainable resource of rural Thailand.
• Industrial scale production of crops use both rivers and their tributaries.
• The Gulf of Thailand covers 320,000 square kilometres (124,000 sq mi).
• It is fed by the Chao Phraya, Mae Klong, Bang Pakong and Tapi Rivers.
• It has clear shallow waters along the coasts in the Southern Region and the Kra Isthmus.
• The Gulf of Thailand is also an industrial centre of Thailand.
• The kingdom’s main port in Sattahip along with being the entry gates for Bangkok’s Inland Seaport.
• The Andaman Sea is regarded as Thailand’s most precious natural resource.
• 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.

Language of Thailand

• The official language of Thailand is Thai, a Tai–Kadai language that is closely related to Lao, Shan in Burma.
• Many smaller languages spoken in an arc from Hainan and Yunnan south to the Chinese border.

Activities in Thailand

– Cruising / Sailing
– Cultural Exploration
– Ecotourism / Green Travel
– Golf
– Learning Activities
– Medical Tourism
– Meditation
– Outdoor and Adventure Activities – Air Activities
– Outdoor and Adventure Activities – Land Activities
– Outdoor and Adventure Activities – Water Activities
– Self Drive
– Shopping
– Spa and Wellness
– Weddings & Honeymoons

Thailand Eco-tourism/Green Travel

– Thailand has abundant natural resources, including a variety of flora and fauna, as well as a diverse natural environment.
– There are more than 100 national parks, including over 20 marine parks, and the animals in Thailand include more than 1,000 different mammal species, numerous birds -both native and migratory, and spectacular marine life.
– Each Thai National Park is inhabited by unique flora and fauna, from the northern mountain’s temperate forests and central Thailand’s expansive plains to the northeastern savannahs and the southern coast’s mangrove forests.
– The diversity of wildlife includes monkeys, gibbons, elephants, bears, and even whale shark, the largest fish in the world.
– Eco-activities in Thailand include trekking, kayaking, snorkeling, nature photography, river rafting, bird watching, and spotting other wild animals in Thailand, such as elephants and gibbons.
– Thai plants and animals are both unique and diverse, with a variety of climates suitable for various plant and animal species.
– Natural forest covers nearly 25% of Thailand, with woodlands consisting primarily of monsoon forest and rainforest.
– Monsoon forests consist primarily of deciduous or hardwood trees, which shed their leaves during the dray season in order to conserve water.
– The rainforest zones are covered by evergreen trees.
– In the in the coastal lowlands, in addition to more predominately rainforest cover, mangroves and rattan abound.
– Trekking, horse riding, mountain biking, and even kayaking are great ways to get out into Thailand nature and make the most of your experience in the kingdom.
– Thailand is famous for its variety of fruit and flower bearing trees and plants, the most iconic of which is the orchid, Thailand’s national flower which appears in over 27,000 different varieties.
– While encroachment on their habitat has reduced the numbers of exotic animals in Thailand, there are still a great variety of indigenous species.
– The most iconic of these is the Elephant, of which roughly 1,000 remain, mostly within the National Parks in Thailand.
– Among the larger mammals are the tiger, leopard, Malaysian sun bear, sambar deer, otter, and civet cat.
Climbing animals include the gibbon and many species of monkeys.
– There are also sheep, goats, oxen, tapirs, wild cattle, wild hogs, and a wide variety of snakes, including cobra.
– There are over 900 breeding bird species indigenous to or migrating to Thailand.
Bird watching tours are particularly popular in Sam Roi Yot National Park and Khao Sok, which is home to six species of hornbill.
– Crocodiles, lizards, and turtles are numerous. Fish abound in the rivers and coastal waters.

Weddings & Honeymoons in Thailand

– With idyllic tropical beaches, majestic temples, fascinating culture, and world class service and accommodation, Thailand is undoubtedly a romantic kingdom.
– Consequently, it’s a top destination for those looking to marry in an exotic land or experience the ultimate honeymoon.
– In fact, many of Thailand’s finest hotels and spa retreats offer wedding and honeymoon packages specifically designed to ensure you have the ultimate romantic getaway.
– Whether you are looking for a private beach-side swimming pool, an outdoor tub overlooking the jungle, a romantic riverside candle-lit dinner, or the ultimate his and her pampering at a Thai spa, Thailand has innumerable options to make your special date the most memorable experience of your lives.

Cultural Exploration of Thailand

– Thai culture features a number of performing arts including Thai dance, drama, and sport, all of which have a number of intriguing variations.
– Variety shows that feature a number of different theatrical arts are common in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya.
– There are also venues that feature Thai culture shows that specialize in particular arts.
– Perhaps, the most popular among visitors is classical Thai dance, which is typically accompanied by live classical Thai music.
– Thai dance performances in Chiang Mai, which are typically arranged in conjunction with a dinner of traditional Thai food, also feature dances from various hill tribes living in Thailand.
– Thai theatre includes performances by masked dancers as well as puppet shows, either performed by similarly masked dancers, or from behind a curtain using the shadows of the puppets to recount tales from Hindu and Buddhist lore.

Other Thai culture performances include wedding ceremonies, theatrical performances of ancient Muay Thai boxing matches, and of course exhibitions of Elephants, either showing off their working skills or even playing musical instruments.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=Thailand&hl=en&hnear=Thailand&gl=in&t=m&z=5

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at tourismthailand.org
Hotels at gothailand.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at tourismthailand.org
Blogs at thailandmusings.thaivisa.com
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand

Images at google.com
Images at molon.de
Images at flickr.com
Images at trekearth.com

Videos of Thailand






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