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Thailand was formerly known as Siam, Officially the “kingdom of Thailand” is the world’s 50th-largest and 20th most populous country in the world with around 66 million people. From the north, it is border by Myanmar and Laos, from the east by Laos and Cambodia, from the south by the Gulf of Thailand and towards the west by the Andaman Sea.
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Thailand is the country in Southeast Asia most visited by tourists, and for good reason. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue waters that feel more like a warm bath than a swim in the ocean, and food that can curl your nose hairs while dancing across your taste buds. Exotic, yet safe; cheap, yet equipped with every modern amenity you need, there is something for every interest and every price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world.Friendly and fun-loving, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue, from its glittering temples and tropical beaches through to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
A Bountiful Table
Adored around the world, Thai cuisine expresses fundamental aspects of Thai culture: it is generous, warm, refreshing and relaxed. Thai dishes rely on fresh, local ingredients – pungent lemongrass, searing chillies and plump seafood. A varied national menu is built around the four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty and sour. Roving appetites go on eating tours of Bangkok noodle shacks, seafood pavilions in Phuket, and Burmese market stalls in Mae Sot. Cooking classes reveal the simplicity behind the seemingly complicated dishes, and mastering the market is an important survival skill.
Fields & Forests
In between the cluttered cities and towns is the rural heartland, which is a mix of rice paddies, tropical forests and squat villages tied to the agricultural clock. In the north, the forests and fields bump up against toothy blue mountains decorated with silvery waterfalls. In the south, scraggy limestone cliffs poke out of the cultivated landscape like prehistoric skyscrapers. The usually arid northeast emits an emerald hue during the rainy season when tender green rice shoots carpet the landscape.
The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, and religious devotion is colourful and ubiquitous. Gleaming temples and golden Buddhas frame both the rural and the modern landscape. Ancient banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits, fortune-bringing shrines decorate humble homes as well as monumental malls, while garland-festooned dashboards ward off traffic accidents. Visitors can join the conversation through meditation retreats in Chiang Mai, religious festivals in northeastern Thailand, underground cave shrines in Kanchanaburi and Phetchaburi, and hilltop temples in northern Thailand.
Sand between Your Toes
With a long coastline (actually, two coastlines) and jungle-topped islands anchored in azure waters, Thailand is a tropical getaway for the hedonist and the hermit, the prince and the pauper. This paradise offers a varied menu: playing in the gentle surf of Ko Lipe, diving with whale sharks off Koh Tao, scaling the sea cliffs of Krabi, kiteboarding in Hua Hin, partying on Koh Phi-Phi, recuperating at a health resort on Koh Samui and feasting on the beach wherever sand meets sea.
Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. In the south, the climate differs between the eastern and western coasts. The west coast is more favourable during the winter months, when diving and snorkelling will be at its best. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February and the highest in November.
There is plenty of options for accomodation in Thailand both budget and luxury. The range of accommodations in Thailand is incredible! From $4 dorm beds to luxurious $60 a night villas. When you go to the islands, you can find beach bungalows with fans for anything from $10-15 a night. Air-conditioned rooms go for slightly more. Naturally, the more remote you go, the cheaper the accommodations get. When in the small mountainous towns, expect to find more guesthouses and home stays rather than hostels.
Thai food - as exotic as it is - needs no introduction. Nowadays you can find at least one Thai restaurant in most western towns but Thai food in Thailand itself is a whole new experience. The juxtaposition of sweet, sour, hot and salty flavours is what makes Thai cuisine so distinct and nowhere is it more noticeable than in the Thai national soup tom yam. Thai chefs are extremely talented in appropriating foreign dishes and making them their own - such as in a typical noodle dish. Forget green salad for a while - enjoy a hearty papaya salad, otherwise known as som tam, while Thai green curry is as distinct a dish as they ever get. Enhance your stay in Thailand with its delicious food.
A passport that is valid for at least another 6 months upon entry into Thailand. Most Western countries get a stamp in their passports upon arrival that permits them to stay up to 30 days. Nowadays you also get a 30-day visa if you enter Thailand over land, but be aware that you can only do two over land crossings per year.
Overstaying your visa is not recommended, but if it is only a couple days you have to pay a 500 THB ($16) fine per day. After you pay you get a lot of stamps in your passport and you are good to go.
If you want to stay longer you can apply for a 2-month tourist visa at any embassy around the world.
Thailand is very safe for tourists! Every country has its problems and many people don’t even know that the army officially is in power, but as a tourist there are hardly any dangers. With millions of people a year traveling to Thailand the country knows that safety is an important issue and they are doing their utmost best to maintain this safe environment for tourists.
When you go on a Thailand vacation make sure you have vaccinations for the standard childhood diseases like Tetanus, Diphtheria and Measles.
Eat off your spoon, not your fork. Eating directly off a fork is considered crude; instead, use your fork to push food onto your spoon.
Cover up your elbows and knees when visiting temples, wats, monasteries, palaces, etc.
Learn a few basic phrases in Thai, but know that English is widely spoken in Bangkok and most everyone is friendly enough to put up with a little pantomiming. A humble and respectful manner will get you far in the land of smiles!
We the leisure team brings a wide range of customized Thailand tour to offer you a perfect hassle-free vacation. The plans are tailored keeping in mind your requirements and benefits. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the tour experts plan your tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent tour. In all cases we ensure a hassle-free experience with magnificent accommodations, authentic local guides, and unimaginable excursions. So whether you wish to relax in a beach or enjoy a pampered time in a spa, write to Leisure and we will bring you perfect tour from the top tour experts.
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