Travel and Places?
Thailand – A Travel Guide with Hyperlinks to other Pages about Thailand
Up to date on May four, 2017 Greensleeves Hubs moreAlun is a frequent customer to Thailand and writes personal accounts of the nation’s great attractions in a collection of simple-to-learn articles
Contact Author Introduction
The author of this web page has visited the nation of Thailand on a lot of events, not as a travel expert, but as a vacationer, photographer and writer. During these visits many key sights have been explored, and a photographic record maintained.
On this web page I embrace a resume of the key details about this nation, I briefly relate its geography and its history, I point out a few of the essential vacationer attractions, and i write about the Thai people and culture.
The web page is at the start the house Web page to all my articles about Thailand, and therefore includes links to all the pieces I’ve written. The articles embrace information about some of the foremost attractions, and a few private reflections on my many experiences within the country.
All pictures have been taken by the creator during his visits to the country.
N.B: Please observe, all of my articles are finest learn on desktops and laptops
The Geography and Local weather of Thailand
The Kingdom of Thailand lies in the center of the region of South-East Asia, known as Indochina, sharing borders with the nations of Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
The nation, which covers an area of 513,000 sq km (198,000 sq miles), is comparable in measurement to Spain, larger than the State of California yet fairly smaller than the State of Texas. The peninsula nature of South Thailand creates a really long coastline of more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles), and this has tremendously benefited Thailand with advantages for worldwide trade, as well as fisheries and tourism.
Much of the land within the north and the excessive west is above 500 metres in height. The highest mountain is Doi Inthanon at 2,565 meters (8,415 ft). A smaller vary of excessive hills runs north-south through the centre of the nation dividing the land into two great river basins – the Chao Phraya in the west, and the Mekong in the east. Most of the land in these river basins is way decrease lying, and this land provide Thailand with its fertile agricultural plains. The peninsular south of Thailand is bounded on the western aspect by the Andaman Sea and on the japanese aspect by the Gulf of Thailand, and is a area of lush forest, stunning limestone karst surroundings and coral islands.
Simply north of the equator however mendacity properly inside the Tropic of Cancer, and with temperatures varying between 19 and 38°C (sixty six-100°F), Thailand’s local weather is generally hot and humid, however three seasons can be identified via many of the nation – a ‘scorching’ season from May to August, a ‘rainy’ season from September to October (in reality the weather is often positive, however heavy monsoon rainstorms are fairly common), and a ‘cool’ season from November to April (which isn’t a lot cooler, but it is much drier and this is therefore the most pleasant time to go to). Temperatures, in reality, show little seasonal variation in most regions of Thailand, but rainfall does.
The Areas of Thailand
From the perspective of tourists, this country will be conveniently divided into 4 areas – the city of Bangkok, the northwest and the hill tribes, the Isaan area of the northeast and the beaches and islands to the south. The next sections include brief descriptions of a few of the major sights, the geography and climate, the historical past and culture, which bring vacationers to those parts of Thailand.
The capital city of Thailand features prominently in my articles, as a result of whatever a part of Thailand the tourist intends to go to, Bangkok will normally be on the itinerary somewhere along the line, because the arrival level into the nation or the departure level to the rest of the world. And the majority of tourists to Thailand will no less than spend a day or two in Bangkok earlier than they head off to different parts. And what a place to spend a few days! Noisy, overpopulated, site visitors-jammed, exotic and vibrant – Bangkok is a metropolis unlike every other, and i like it. Maybe not a place to spend a month, however for a couple of days, there are probably the most intricately decorated of temples, there’s avenue markets the place the city really involves life, and there’s nice shopping and entertainments to cater for all tastes. And never removed from the town is the historic ruined Capital of Ayutthaya, and the seashore at Pattaya is a day trip away.
The Northwest and the Hilltribes
For individuals who wish for a extra adventurous or cultural trip in Thailand, the northwest of the nation affords a really totally different expertise. The northwest is dwelling to the historical kingdoms of Sukhothai and Lanna, and the modern city of Chiang Mai – by all accounts a much more relaxed, much less hectic, more stunning metropolis than Bangkok. But the main enchantment for the tourists who head to the forested mountains, the deep valleys and cooler local weather of the northwest is culture. Here there’s the chance to reside as a visitor of the hill tribes of the region – distinct, indigenous tribes who to a big extent have preserved their conventional lifestyles, their very own native language, colourful costume and farming techniques. This is genuine Thailand, and a go to to these elements could be a rewarding experience for many. So far I haven’t visited the northwest (therefore no pictures), however maybe sooner or later?
The country between Bangkok and Laos to the north, and between Bangkok and Cambodia to the east, is the least touristy within the country. It is probably the most rural, and is generally speaking, the least affluent. Much of this land lies in a area referred to as ‘Isaan’, a culturally distinct space with its own dialect, delicacies and traditions. The principle cities are Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. Not so many Western guests travel to this area, except they’re backpackers who want to see rural life in Thailand whilst passing by means of to Laos or Cambodia. However there are many little identified sights, both historical and trendy, to draw within the region, and some of these are to be present in my pages, as I have been lucky sufficient to spend plenty of weeks in this part of the nation as visitor of a Thai family.
The Islands to the South
The vast majority of vacationers who come to Thailand flock to the south, to seaside resorts similar to Krabi and Khao Lak, and to the beautiful limestone karst islands. The most popular tourist locations embody the islands of Koh Samui and Phuket. And in the Andaman Sea there lies the famously exotic Phi Phi Islands in addition to many others to select from. No matter your personal choice, there is an island or a resort for you – whether or not or not it’s the household hotel and seaside resort, the energetic water sports haven, the hippie mecca, or the peaceful and unspoilt pure paradise.
Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In; a Journey Guide to the Historical Thai Capital
Muang Boran (The ‘Historic Metropolis’) – The World’s Largest Open Air Museum
The Elephant Parade – A narrative of Artwork, Culture and Conservation
The Erawan Museum – Bangkok’s Bizarre Three-Headed Elephant Museum
The Erawan Shrine; Buddhists at Prayer in Bangkok
Exhibits, Entertainments and Sights in Bangkok – My Evaluation
A Tourist’s Information to Bangkok Transport
Bangkok Life – Individuals at Work, Rest and Play. A Photographic Essay
Lumpini Park, Bangkok; a Journey Information
The Asian Water Monitor Lizard; Varanus salvator
Thailand: Thai Road Meals (Cooked Foods)
Thailand: Thai Road Meals (Desserts, Sweets and Drinks)
The Procuring Malls of Thailand
Points of interest of North Jap Thailand – A Travel Information
The Chiang Khan Walking Avenue
A Westerner in a Thai Village – My Time Spent Residing With A Thai Family
Historical past of Thailand
The history of the Thai people before the thirteenth century is unfortunately not clear right this moment. There have been certainly Stone Age settlements in Thailand, whilst Bronze Age civilisation in Ban Chiang in northern Thailand has left many relics. However little else is known for certain. Over the subsequent millennium, a collection of migrations and invasions by numerous teams together with southern Chinese and Burmese tribes passed off, and during this interval Indian settlers brought with them Hinduism and Buddhism.
Many rival tribes and native cultures competed for influence and regional supremacy, but gradually two great kingdoms would develop – Lanna within the north west, and Sukhothai, a bit of additional south. Lanna was a powerful state for a whole bunch of years, however by the 13th century, Sukhothai had established a interval of in depth dominance, and through this time the distinctive Thai alphabet was established, and Buddhism turned the state religion. However the borders of each Lanna and Sukhothai had been removed from safe they usually had been prone to constant incursions from neighbouring states. Lanna regularly declined after long intervals of inside and external battle, whereas Sukhothai’s dominance was quick-lived. The remains of the capital of Sukhothai which date from 1238 Ad can still be seen in the present day, and are regarded because the ruins of the first major metropolis in Thailand.
A strong new kingdom was developing within the south, and this was quickly to absorb Sukhothai into its boundaries. This kingdom was Ayutthaya, and its capital city was established in 1350. Ayutthaya quickly spread its affect to incorporate a lot of modern-day Thailand as well as components of neighbouring Laos and Cambodia, and its emergence signalled the beginnings of a united Thailand, which survived largely with out critical problem for four hundred years. Throughout this time, Thailand prospered, and commerce with the rest of the world together with the good European powers began.
However, in 1767 the capital of Ayutthaya fell beneath the assault of Burmese forces, and was nearly fully destroyed, and theThais had to regroup and begin again underneath King Rama I, the first ruler of the Chakri dynasty which nonetheless prevails to today. They constructed a model new capital 80 kilometres south in a region called Thonburi on the west financial institution of the Chao Phraya River. Regularly this settlement developed across the river, and it was on the East financial institution that an amazing metropolis later burgeoned to grow to be modern-day Bangkok.
In the course of the nineteenth century, many neighbouring states were colonised by the nice powers of Britain and France, however Thailand, because of careful diplomacy by its rulers, remained impartial and the country began to prosper once more.
In 1932, absolutely the monarchy which had dominated Thailand for thus long came to an finish with a bloodless coup by the army, but the King was very soon re-put in as a constitutional monarch. All through a lot of this history from about the 13th century, the title of ‘Siam’ was used for the region, progressively being adopted by each the indigenous people and by European traders because the official identify of the nation. But on 24th June 1939, the nation – the only one in south east Asia to stay eternally free of European colonisation – officially changed its title to ‘Thailand’, which implies ‘Free Land’. Today Thailand stays pleased with its declare never to have come below the control of a Western empire.
The Economic system
The financial system is the second largest in S.E Asia, and Thailand’s exports are of vital significance. Principal trade is in fish and agricultural foods – Thailand is likely one of the world’s largest exporters of rice. Different main commodities embrace textiles and rubber, jewellery, computer goods and electrical appliances. This export market additionally signifies that regardless of its attraction as a vacation vacation spot, Thailand depends on tourism for only 7% of its gross home product.
Thailand has been a constitutional hereditary monarchy since 1932. The current Head of State is King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej*. As a constitutional monarch he takes no direct function within the each day politics of the nation, but remains a much revered and beloved determine throughout all political divides. Following the ending of absolute monarchy, a sequence of army dictatorships alternated with civilian prime ministers in the mid to late twentieth century, but gradually the country has been stabilising into democracy. Democracy continues to be not entirely secure, and rifts between the two major events and between the urban and rural populations have led to sporadic civil disturbances and military interventions. It ought to however, be made clear that these actions are normally very short-lived and localised – it seems the army has no want to dominate political affairs, and when such incidents have occurred, energy has been shortly returned to civilian authorities. Essentially the country is peaceful. Right this moment there’s an elected Prime Minister as the top of a authorities which consists of two Houses of Parliament – a Senate and a Home of Representatives. The judiciary is unbiased of government.
* In 2016 the King, the longest reigning monarch on the earth, died. Currently additionally, the nation is as soon as again beneath military rule, and yet remains essentially peaceful.
The Thai People – Ethnicity and Religion
Approximately 65 million individuals live in Thailand, of which greater than 80% may be described as ethnically Thai – the descendants of the peoples who have lived throughout the area or settled right here over a lot of the past 2000 years. They all broadly communicate the identical language, though there are regional dialects and variations in vocabulary, most notably within the Isaan region of North East Thailand.
Of the remaining 15 to 20% of the population, the majority are newer Chinese arrivals, with smaller numbers of immigrants from other neighbouring international locations, in addition to Western settlers. Lastly there are the ethnically distinct hill tribes of the North West such because the Hmong and Karen – peoples who have by no means totally built-in into the Thai culture of the rest of the nation.
95% of Thais belong to the Theravada Faculty of the Buddhist faith, the expression of Buddhism most prevalent in Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and most closely allied to the Buddha’s authentic teachings. Other colleges of Buddhism – Mahayana, and its more diverse variations including Vajrayana and Zen Buddhism – are predominant within the far east, in China, Japan and Vietnam, and also within the Dalai Lama’s Tibet. In observe, the differences between the schools should not huge, and perhaps most apparent to vacationers is the color of the robes of the monks – not like the maroon robes so familiarly worn by the Dalai Lama, Thai monks put on saffron orange-yellow or ochre-brown.
The only other faith of significance in Thailand is Islam, which varieties the majority religion in three extreme southern provinces. Sadly, as is so typically the case on this planet today, religious and cultural tensions have led to separatist movements here, and growing incidents of violence. It needs to be harassed nevertheless, that these tensions not often impinge upon the areas of the south which most tourists frequent.
The Thai Folks – Tradition and Etiquette
A preferred description for Thailand which the nation likes to encourage, is ‘The Land of Smiles’. Though in fact Thais might be as miserable as the rest of us, there is a few small degree of fact to the nickname. Thai folks do are likely to have a relatively peaceful contented manner of viewing the world, and they are often not aggressive by nature. Customs and etiquette are noticed however not often fanatically so, as befits a pacific religion like Buddhism.
For the traveller there are nevertheless, some facets of Thai culture and etiquette which should be noticed out of respect for the individuals. Any information book will listing the do’s and don’ts of easy methods to conduct oneself as a tourist on vacation in Thailand. The following list is a basic information to key necessities:
The wai is, for me, one of the most enchanting aspects of Thai culture. It’s the greeting by which palms are held collectively prayer-like in entrance of the body, and it’s so way more graceful than a handshake. Thais will, of course fortunately accept a handshake from a foreigner, however a wai shall be particularly appreciated.
By tradition, the pinnacle – the top of the body – is considered sacred, and the feet – the bottom a part of the physique – are also thought-about the lowest in different respects. Therefore, one shouldn’t actually touch the head of a stranger, or sit with naked feet pointed towards one other individual. (Having stated this, I have never but observed any obvious distaste when Thais are confronted with such a sight).
Talking of the toes, one customized which appears to be virtually universally observed is the removal of sneakers when getting into private houses. It also tends to be observed by locals in resort rooms. Most significantly, it is definitely required upon entering the most sacred of the temple buildings.
Religion is the institution on which Thai etiquette is most essential. Monks, who’re acquainted figures on the streets of their orange robes, ought to be handled with some respect, and shouldn’t be touched by women – if a feminine wishes to supply gifts to a monk, the gift should positioned in entrance, for the monk to select up.
If respect for religion is an obvious requirement, the necessity of respecting a king is probably not so apparent. But in Thailand, photos of the King are in every single place, and he is revered. Anyone exhibiting gross disrespect might discover themselves in trouble. And when the national anthem is performed, for instance in cinemas, the general public stand.
No country in South Japanese Asia receives extra tourists than Thailand, and with good motive. Great sandy beaches and coral islands, nice historic and religious points of interest, and distinctive modern tradition, delicacies and evening life, all imply that this nation has loads to supply. Coupled with this, Thailand is comparatively protected and welcoming for the vacationer with average attitudes and tolerance of overseas customs. Lastly, the climate is tropical and the character is exotic. Any time of the year may be a very good time to go to, although the ‘cool’ season of December to February is the most popular and most expensive interval of the 12 months. Off peak is Might to August when Thailand is kind of humid.
The individuals who journey are of every kind:
1) For many who want consolation and relaxation, Thailand boasts some of the best of lodges including luxurious spa resorts within the south, and five star properties in Bangkok.
2) For individuals who need solar, sea and sand, Thailand’s large coastline and many islands offers every part one may hope for.
Three) For individuals who need Asia on a budget, Thailand has a magnetic draw for backpackers and carefree teenagers, and lots of cheap rooms wherein to deposit their rucksacks!
Four) For those who want exotic, lively and sometimes dubious night time life, Bangkok has it all – enough said!
5) For those who want tradition in the raw, trekking vacations, and residing as company of a hill tribe family, there are actually options readily available to the extra adventurous traveller.
“lat”:Thirteen.661559,”lng”:98.72979,”zoom”:4,”mapType”:”HYBRID”,”markers”: Thailand – a rustic to go to and Take pleasure in
Thailand means different things to totally different individuals. To some it means a lazy seashore vacation on Phuket Island or snorkeling round the beautiful limestone islands of the south. To others it means cultural adventures and hill trekking among the many tribes of the north west. And to but others it means colourful temples, and exotic nightlife and world famous cuisine in bustling Bangkok. However to all who go to, Thailand ought to imply an pleasurable expertise amongst pleasant individuals – a richly memorable trip.
I hope that these pages of mine that are linked to here, assist to supply a flavour of the country, the places to go to, and the experiences to take pleasure in. And above all, I hope that if you happen to do choose to go there, you will get pleasure from your trip to Thailand – the Land of Smiles.
All My Different Pages …
I have written articles on many subjects together with science and historical past, politics and philosophy, film reviews and journey guides, in addition to poems and tales. All will be accessed by clicking on my name at the top of this web page
Thailand Geography – Wikipedia
Thailand journey information – Wikitravel
History Of Thailand Timeline
Historical past of Thailand – Wikipedia
ThailandThailand Pages; Muang Boran (The ‘Historical City’) – Architectural and Cultural Museum of Thailand
by Greensleeves Hubs13
ThailandTeaching in Thailand – Every thing It’s good to Know about How to teach in Thailand
by Richard J ONeill17
Southern AsiaThailand Travel Advice: 10 Things To Avoid Doing In Thailand
by nickupton lm196
ThailandWho Are the Thai-Chinese and what’s Their Contribution to Thailand?
by Paul Richard Kuehn70
Visiting BangkokPros and Cons of Riding the Bangkok Skytrain
by Paul Richard Kuehn4
ThailandThailand: The Chiang Khan Walking Street
by Greensleeves Hubs20
ThailandWat Chedi Luang – Buddhist Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand
I’d Love to hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun
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sendingAuthorGreensleeves Hubs 4 years in the past from Essex, UK
Express10; Thanks so much. I very a lot recognize your feedback about both the text and the images. It was a pleasure to introduce this nation to readers and to hopefully encourage a few to go to and take pleasure in its assorted sights. Cheers Alun.
H C Palting four years ago from East Coast
That is a really informative and helpful hub. I’m completely satisfied that you simply mentioned the off peak seasons in addition to the culture and etiquette. The photos are additionally lovely, I really just like the one in all Bang-Pa In and the boat in the Andaman Sea. It is usually good to know that tourism solely makes up a small portion of GDP.
Thanks Jools99; so pleased you favored the hub and my pictures. Bangkok actually is a metropolis of extremes, and most vacationers do not spend more than a few days within the capital, though there may be so much to see, both in the city and in the surrounding space. I like Bangkok, as a result of the negatives (noise, visitors jams etc) for me are outweighed by the positives (sights, color, tradition and so forth). But it makes a good distinction for tourists to combine two or three days in Bangkok with every week or two in one of the more peaceful elements of the nation. Alun.
mary615; my thanks to your nice remark and for the shares! I am grateful. I wasn’t aware of that within the Southern States. In Thailand it’s definitely standard, even when there aren’t any carpets on the ground, and in motels the maids will take their sneakers off once they enter a room to wash it. Alun.
Jools99 4 years in the past from North-East UK
Wonderful hub, loved your entire pictures and there is a lot data here. I’ve by no means visited Thailand as a result of the considered staying in Bangkok always put me off, this hub has given me a new perspective.
Mary Hyatt 4 years in the past from Florida
Thailand is a rustic that I knew very little about, but because of your informational Hub, I really feel like I certainly have learned more.
We have a customized in the South (U.S.) that we remove our footwear earlier than coming into a home, too.
You probably did a superb job on this Hub. I voted it UP, and till share.
Thanks AliciaC. I very much admire your go to and very nice comment. It is a pleasure to put in writing about Thailand, and hopefully introduce just a few more individuals to its potential as a tourist destination. Alun.
Linda Crampton 4 years in the past from British Columbia, Canada
Thank you for all of the wonderful and detailed info, Alun! Studying your hub was a lovely approach to find out about Thailand.
Thanks so much Rema. It is gratifying to learn your phrases. Thailand is certainly special to me, and I have been there six instances. But I’ve been lucky sufficient up to now decade to go to many countries world wide (including India for a week), and that i’ve not been upset by any. Each has its own beauty and attractions, which have made the go to an enriching experience.
Thanks a lot for sharing. Alun.
Rema T V four years in the past from Chennai, India
In addition to the detailed description concerning the history, geography and the tradition of this beautiful country, you’ve got created an interest in me to find out extra about different nations of the world that are beautiful in their own ways. Thank you very a lot for this excellent information. Voted up and sharing all over.
Pavlo; Thanks very much. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Thailand, and photographing the nation. So pleased you like the images, and thanks for the votes! Alun.
AuthorGreensleeves Hubs 4 years in the past from Essex, UK
carol7777; I very a lot respect your go to and remark. Thanks loads. Thailand is a lovely nation to visit, so I hope you get the chance at some point. My gratitude for the votes too. Alun.
Pavlo Badovskyi four years in the past from Kyiv, Ukraine
Fantastic hub! Footage are wonderful! Voted up!
carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona
I knew little about Thailand..and Now I know quite a bit. What an incredible hub and filled with so much information. I really like the pictures. Nice job in sharing all about this wonderful place. I would love to visit. Voting UP+++