Country Thailand – The Epicenter of Theravada Buddhism
The centre of Theravada sect of Buddhism and the land of pagoda temples - Thailand - is bordered by Burma and Laos in the north, Malaysia and Gulf of Thailand in the south, Laos and Cambodia in the east and Andaman Sea in the west. Commonly known as the ‘Heart of South East Asia’; it is predominated by the native Thai population. With Bangkok as the national, political and industrial capital; the culture of Thailand is largely affected by India, China and Cambodia.
Thailand offers a wide range of accommodation arrangements for the tourists visiting the country. Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai are home to world class beach resorts, luxurious star hotels, boutique hotels, economic budget hotels, countless hostels to house rentals. Apart from the basic amenities like deluxe rooms, restaurant bar, conference hall, pool, lounge, parking, car rental, tourist excursion etc; almost every hotel has the spa facility with special Thai massage services.
Starting its journey from the original name ‘Siam’ (derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Syama’ meaning ‘dark’); Thailand has come a long way, so far. The country witnessed human inhabitation in Palaeolithic times, but; became renowned in 13th century, under the reigns of Khmer Empire. In the mid-14th century, it was taken over by Ayutthaya Kingdom followed by the Portuguese, French, Dutch and British empires.
In 1782, the history of Thailand took a turning point, when Bangkok city became the country capital under - King Rama I the Great - of Chakri dynasty. Thailand also got the name ‘Land of the Free’ as it is the only country in South East Asia, which never became a European colony. The country’s first legal constitution was created in 1932.
Phra Pathom Chedi, the largest existing pagoda of the world; the country’s tallest Buddha - Buddhamonthon, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Nan national park are some of the must see places of Thailand. Exploring the shimmering old temples of Bangkok on Chao Phraya River, elephant trekking in Chiang Mai and sunbathing amid the natural beauty of Phuket are some of the memorable tourist experiences, one can have in Thailand.
Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Ko Lanta, Krabi, Ko Samet, and Ko Tao form the pulse of the country. The historians can relish the experience of visiting the historical cities like Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Popular getaways from Bangkok are Ko Samet, Kanchanaburi, Ko Lanta and Krabi.
Bangkok International Airport connects most of the major cities through its frequent flight network. Other modes of transport to move out and move in the city include trains, bicycles, motorcycles, mountain bikes, mini-vans, jeeps, tuk tuk, taxis and buses. The most popular vehicle in the country is ‘Samlor’ (a three-wheeled auto) available easily in large numbers. For convenience, travelers can accompany a tourist guide.
Places of Entertainment
Whether it is enjoying diving in Ko Tao or ‘Full Moon Party’ on Ko Pha Ngan; trying the royal Thai cuisine in any of the numerous restaurants or Thai massage on white sand beaches of Thailand; the country offers you several opportunities for wholesome entertainment.
Sport lovers can go for a golf session in this Golf Capital of Asia; play rugby and football or view the national sport ‘Muay Thai’ (Thai Boxing). Music lovers can dance to the tunes of famous Thai dance and music. Gourmets can tickle their taste buds by Thai dishes having lemon grass, garlic, lime juice, chilies and fish sauce, served along with native ‘Jasmine’ rice (also known as Hom Mali). Shopping buffs can while away at shopping plazas, street markets, Bangkok’s J-J weekend market and the night bazaar of Chiang Mai.
Thai language is the only official language of the country. Other than Thai, numerous dialects are spoken by the residents including Lao (Isan dialect), Yawi (Malay dialect) and Teochew (Chinese dialect).
The official currency of Thailand is Thai Baht. One can watch the news or read a news paper for the latest currency exchange updates. The currency exchange services are, in general, available in all the hotels and banks.
Group accommodation in Thailand | Cheap hostels & budget hotels