Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. Thailand is bordered by Myanmar, Laos Cambodia, the Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia and the Andaman Sea. It has over 68 million population. Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. Buddhism in Thailand is largely of the Theravada school. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area.
History and Government
Thai history begins as a story of migrants heading into a frontier land claimed by distant empires for trade, forced labour and patronage. Eventually, the country fused a national identity around language, religion and monarchy. The country is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. The government of Thailand is a unitary government with the country emerging as a modern state after the founding of the Chakri Dynasty.
Geography and Environment
Thailand's terrain includes relatively high mountains in the north that extend southward along its Burma border to the northern edges of Malaysia. The highest point of the country is DoiInthanonand the lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand's fertile central plain is dominated by the Chao Phraya River. Thailand is a country rich in natural resources, which have played a significant role in supporting local livelihoods and driving economic growth. Forests, watersheds, marine environments, and mineral resources have all been instrumental in supporting the Thai manufacturing, export, and tourism industries.
Thailand is home to a very distinctive culture within Southeast Asia. Chinese immigrants have significantly influenced the country’s culture especially in major cities such as Bangkok. The greeting is an important part of the social culture of the Thai. When two people meet, the younger initiate the greeting process and the two will join hands with fingertips pointing upwards. Marriage is also an important part of society; once a man and a woman are married, they are expected to perform their roles in the house and society.
Food is one of the lynchpins of Thai culture and is often the centerpiece of any social event. Thai cooking relies on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. The four main components of the cuisine are salty, spicy, sweet and sour. The melding of these flavors may be foreign to the Western palate, but the Thai people revel in the complexity of the dishes. Over the centuries, Thai food has been influenced by the cuisines of such surrounding countries as Burma, China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ingredients tend to vary based on geographical location. While curries in southern Thailand tend to feature coconut milk and fresh turmeric, those in the north often include lime juice. Many popular Thai dishes were introduced by the Chinese as was the cooking method of using a wok.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
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.
Thailand is one of the most attractive countries in the world. The sights, sounds and scents of this exotic kingdom all add up to a sensual overload. With over 32 million tourists making their way to Thailand, the country surely has an attraction for everyone. Thailand is a kingdom of wonder, filled with spectacular natural, cultural, and historical attractions. Of the many popular tourist places in Thailand, the beaches of the country top the list. Tourist often go snorkeling among the shallow coral gardens at Mu KoAng Thong, swim around the sea cliffs of Krabi – which is amongst the best must-visit places in Thailand. Stroll around the Thai capital and you will get the feel of an open-air museum. Every corner of Ayutthaya speaks of structures dating back to centuries, ruins of the second capital of Siam and marvels of art and architecture. This is one of the best places to see in Thailand to learn about the country’s glorious past. The shining star in Thailand’s night sky is the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. It sweeps across several city blocks embracing footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds. Pick up handicrafts, arts, clothing’s, souvenirs from here.