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People traveling into Thailand are immediately impressed with this country.  Not only is Thailand an interesting place full of rich history but it is also an exotic country.  The capital city of Thailand is Bangkok and here, life is anything but still.  People are milling about, businesses being run, and life is very busy.  However, if you take a short trip from Bangkok, you will find a number of charming towns where ancient ruins, temples, and simple cottages exist. 

One of the things making Thailand so intriguing is that it respects its past while embracing the future.  Dating back 800 years, Thailand has established distinctive ways of life that draw people back to visit year after year.  The culture and traditions blended with architecture and the arts are admired by people around the globe.  The people of Thailand have proven that they can adopt foreign influence while maintaining their own special identity. 

The country of Thailand is very agriculturally strong.  While agriculture remains a key component of the lifestyle here, around the middle of the 1980s, agro-industrial economies were formed.  That led to foreign investors bringing modernization into the country, reforming the country, as we know it today.  If you plan to visit Thailand, you will find a country that continues to uphold its traditional Orient culture while offering modern day sporting events, entertainment, restaurants, and shopping. 

Thailand has two primary national identities.  The first element is that the people of Thailand believe in and revere their monarchy and second, the people have a strong faith in Buddhism.  While tourist may not understand the unrivaled belief in this faith, it is passed down from one generation to another.  Currently, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the ruler of Thailand, holding the longest reign of more than 50 years. 

During 1997, Thailand experienced a difficult, economic time.  It was then that the people drew their strength from Buddha.  To see for yourself the strong bond within Thailand, you want to travel to Cambodia, Laos, Mekong, Myanmar, or Vietnam.  These areas are considered top travel destinations within Thailand, each offering convenient accommodations and travel options. 

To celebrate the belief in Buddhism, you will find all types of festivals, gorgeous works of art, architecture, literature, and sculptures, each depicting a special story of the Buddhist lifestyle.  In fact, more than 95% of the people of Thailand practice Buddhism, showing how deeply rooted this faith is. 

Now keep in mind that people living in Thailand are supported and encouraged to practice whatever religion they choose.  For instance, you will also find Muslims, Christians, Confucians, Taoists, Hindus, and Sikhs.  Throughout Thailand are amazing temples that have a strong Chinese architectural influence, as well.  Additionally, this diversity in religious belief is supported by the current monarchy. 

The country of Thailand is a tropical place that typically has high levels of humidity.  Located equally between China and India, the area that Thailand covers is about the same size as France, being 198,115 square miles.  Because of its location, people consider Thailand to be strategically placed, making it the heart of Southeast Asia.  On the west and north is the border of Myanmar, Lao is on the north and northeast border, to the east is the Gulf of Thailand and Cambodia, and then to the south, Malaysia. 

In Thailand, you will find very diverse landscaping, ranging from fertile plains that are dotted with rice paddies, to massive mountainsides.  Additionally, Thailand offers pristine beaches covered with white sand.  The country is divided into four sections, which consist of the north, Caho Phraya river basin or the central plains, the Korat Plateau or the northeast, and the southern peninsula or the south. 

These sections of Thailand are divided according to the natural lay of the land.  For instance, to the north, you will find primarily mountains that are made up of ridges, valleys, and dense forests.  Then in the central, you will find lush valleys, rich and perfect for growing crops of rice.  In fact, this section of Thailand is often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Asia.”  Here in the central section is where you will find Bangkok. 

Heading to the Korat Plateau is an area that is somewhat arid, consisting of rolling terrain and hills.  This particular section is known for its harsh weather conditions, which often means drought or flood.  Finally, the south is a breathtakingly beautiful part of Thailand with its tropical setting and beaches.  Because this part of Thailand has the ocean supply and rich soil, you will find a wide variety of fauna and flora. 

When planning a trip to Thailand, you would expect to find consistent warm and mild temperatures.  However, there are some differences between the four sections.  For instance, the southeast section has a strong monsoon season.  For the seasons, November to February produces cool temperatures, from April to May temperatures are quite hot, and then from June to October, the weather is mild and beautiful.  It is advised that when visiting the north area during November to February, you pack a jacket or sweater since this section tends to be a little cooler than the other sections. 

With an average population of 61.5 million people, the country of Thailand offers something for everyone.  There is a strong ethnic diversity although Thais form the majority.  Other ethnic groups include Khmer, Burmese, Mon, Indian, Malay, and Lao.  When it comes to the tourist industry, there is yet another group called the Hill Tribe people.  Being prominent and with a powerful presence in the culture and economic area of tourism, the Hill Tribe people are valued.  However, the Chinese are the largest ethnic group in Bangkok, as well as some of the other larger provinces. 

What makes Thailand such as great place to visit is that the people here believe life should be enjoyed and never achieved by infringing on other people’s rights.  The people in Thailand are very hospitable, with a wonderful and witty sense of humor.  The Thais are mellow, easy to get along with, and eager to please.  When it comes to conflict, the Thais choose harmony.  Interestingly, the women of Thailand have a strong societal influence.  In fact, when it comes to businesses and homes, the women often are the ones holding positions of power and high rank.  While the women are still not equal to the men, compared to other Asian countries, the Thai women are important. 

Since the English language is widely spoken in Thailand, especially in the larger provinces such as Bangkok, you can get around quite easily.  This makes the tourist process much more enjoyable and trusting.  However, while visiting if you want to learn to speak a little Thai, you will find the people excited to teach.


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