THAILAND• THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND DRAWS MORE VISITORS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WITH ITS IRRESISTABLE COMBINATION OF BREATHTAKING NATURAL BEAUTY ,INSPIRING TEMPLES,REOWNED HOSPITALITY ,ROBUST CUISINE AND RUINS OF FABULOUS ANCIENT KINGDOMS .THAILAND OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERY TRAVELLER.
FACTS• Full Country name: Kingdom of Thailand• Area : 517,000 sq km• Population : 62 million• Capital City : Bangkok• People : 75% Thai,11% ,Chinese, 3.5% Malay; also Mon,Khmer,phuan and Karen minorities• Language : Thai• Religion : 95% Buddism,4% Muslims• Government : Constitutional monarchy
NATIONAL FLAG• The National Flag: The five horizontal stripes of three colours: Red, White, and Blue have very significant meanings. Red signifies the life-blood of Thai people. The White stripe symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, the national religion. And the dominant Blue stripe means the Thai King, the monarchy and the important part its plays in the daily life of Thais. The present national Thai flag, the “Tri-Rong” or three sacred colours, was designed by King Rama VI.• The Thai National and Royal Symbols is the GARUDA
NATIONAL FLOWER• National Flower "Ratchapruek" or (golden shower): Ratchapruek is chosen as national flower because it is widely known to people and possible to plant anywhere around the Kingdom. It bears beautiful cluster-shaped flowers in summer. The colour of it is shining yellow, and this colour is Buddhism which is national religion as well as colour of Monday when His Majesty the King of Thai Kingdom was born.
NATIONAL ANIMAL• National Animal "Chang Thai" (or Thai Elephants):Chang Thai is selected as nationalanimal because it has maintainedclose link with Thai history andcustom, it has a long life and it isclosely related to the livelihoodof Thai people as one oftransportation meaning both intime of peace and battles.Especially, "White Elephant" isdeeply connected to King ofThailand, and it is portrayed in theformer national Flag.
LOCATION• Latitude/Longitude (Capital City) 13 44 N, 100 30 E Relative Location Thailand is in both the eastern and northern hemispheres. Its positioned in Southeast Asia, a recognized geographical region of the Asian continent. The country is bordered by the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Indian Ocean and the countries of Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
THAI FOOD• The main food in Thailand is rice.There are many dishes of food to go with rice. Most of them are hot and spicy and that is what Thai food is famous for.• If you know some Thai person, you might hear them say "gin khao yung" every time you meet them. It means "have you eaten yet?" or more precise "have you eaten rice yet?". If you come to Thailand and stay with a Thai family then be careful you dont put on too much weight! All of the visitors that have come to stay at Thailand always go home weighing more!
CURRENCY• The baht (Thai: บาท , sign: ฿ ; code: THB) is the currency of Thailand. 1 Thai baht = 0.032123 U.S. Dollars 1 Thai baht = 1.58 INDIAN Rupee(INR)
LANGUAGE• The Thai language is comprised of 44 consonants, 32 vowels and five tones in Thai pronunciation, along with a script that has Indian origins. The Thai language, belonging to the Tai family, is the main language in Thailand• English is also being taught as a second language in secondary school and universities, which enables the English speaking visitor in Thailand to have little trouble conversing.
ARCHITECTURE OF THAILAND• The architecture of Thailand is a major part of the countrys rich cultural legacy and reflects both the challenges of living in Thailands sometimes extreme climate as well as, historically, the importance of architecture to the Thai peoples sense of community and religious beliefs. Influenced by the architectural traditions of many of Thailands neighbors, it has also developed significant regional variation within its vernacular and religious buildings
THAI STILT HOUSE• A Thai stilt house is a bamboo-made hut with sharp angled roofs and wooden floorboards. The ceiling is typically high to provide good ventilation. The mattress would be usually laid on the floor rather than on a bed. The house can be found along the beaches in Thailand, and some freshwater sources like lotus ponds. The purpose of stilts was to elevate the house sufficiently to avoid the main structure being flooded in the monsoon.
KUTI• A Kuti is a small structure, built on stilts, designed to house a monk. Its proper size is defined in the Sanghathisep, Rule 6, to be 12 by 7 Keub (or 4.013 by 2.343 meters).
RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS• Thailand features a large number of Buddhist temples, a reflection of the countrys widespread Buddhist traditions. Although the term Wat is properly used to refer only to a Buddhist site with resident monks, it is applied loosely in practice and will typically refer to any place of worship other than the Islamic mosques found in southern Thailand.
WAT PHO• Wat Pho, as it is generally known to the Thais, is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. At 20 acres large, it is the largest Wat in Bangkok, and is technically the oldest too.• The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana.• The large grounds of Wat Pho contain more than 1000 Buddha images in total
SALA THAI• Sala Thai is a distinctive design of an open pavilion used as a meeting place and to protect people from sun and rain. Most are open on all four sides.• National Architecture “Sala Thai” (or Thai-Style arbor): Sala Thai reflects knowledge of Thai people. It retains beauty, which is different from style of other regions.
TALLEST BUILDING• Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok, Thailand, with a height of 304 m is the tallest building of Thailand.
SHOPPING IN THAILAND• Thailand is one of the best places in Asia for shopping and visitors will be spotlit for choice with the huge, glitzy shopping malls, department stores, small shops and bustling street markets. Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai have excellent night markets.• Good buys include Thai silks and cottons, leather goods, batiks, silver and gold, pottery with celandine green glaze, precious and semiprecious stones (in particular rubies and sapphires are indigenous to Thailand), pearls, dolls, masks, painted umbrellas, lacquer ware, pewter ware, bamboo and wood artifacts and bronze ware.
• The weekend market at Chatuchuk in Bangkok is a regular cornucopia with hundreds of stalls stocking items ranging from genuine antiques to fighting fish.• Tailor-made clothes are also good value and can be made in a matter of days, yet the standard is very high.• VAT Refund Application for Tourists forms are completed at the time of purchase and it is necessary to show ones passport.Cash refunds (minimum ฿5,000) can be obtained in the airport departure hall.
TRANSPORT• Transport in Thailand is varied and chaotic, with no one dominant means of transport. Bus transport dominates in long distances and Bangkok, with motorbikes dominating in rural areas for short trips, supplanting bicycles.• Road transportation is the primary form of freight transport across the country. Slow rail travel has long been a rural long distance transport mechanism, though plans are underway to expand services with high speed rail lines extending to several major regions of Thailand.• In Bangkok, Pattaya, and other large cities, public motorbike taxis take people door to door. An overwhelming number of taxis can also be found in Bangkok.
TUK TUK• Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailands ubiquitous tuk-tuk So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower.• Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably - its possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained.
Motorcycle Taxis• Local Thais on relatively short journeys to and from work are the primary clientele of the motorcycle taxi drivers.Fares are up for negotiation, but generally they work out cheaper than taxis• The main advantage of the motorcycle taxis over other forms of transport is clearly their speed and usefulness in beating Bangkoks perpetual traffic jams
RAILWAYS IN THAILAND• Though road travel is extremely well organized in Thailand, train travel is still the most comfortable way to get around for those who do not like to fly. Train travel is cheap ,fast and reliable.• Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station on Rama IV Road is the central hub for all rail travel in Thailand. From there, railway lines reach out much as a star to all four directions.
INLAND WATERWAYS• There are about 4,000 km of inland waterways. About 3,700 km has a navigable depth of about 0.9 meter or more in a year.• In Bangkok, Chao Phraya River and Khlong Saen Saeb are the major means of water-transportation. Including express boats, long-tail boats, river- crossing ferries, there are more than 360,000 passengers per day.
FLOATING MARKETS OF THAI• The floating markets are where the sellers, their boats laden with a wide variety of tropical fruits, flowers, vegetables and fresh produce, come to meet and barter their products with other traders.• The most popular floating market, one of the must-see one-day trips from Bangkok, is at Ratchaburi, is the largest of its kind, attracting a large number of tourists each day.
AIR TRANSPORT• Thailand has Six main international airports (Bangkok, Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Hat-Yai, Phuket and Suvarnabhumi ) and more than 100 airports serving domestic flights.• The amount of goods going through air transport measured about 34 million ton-kilometers in 2004. The five major airports can serve 17,800 international passengers per hour and 10,330 domestic passengers per hour.
SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT• The new Suvarnabhumi Airport 120 parking and will be able to handle 45 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo per year.• The airport can be accessed through the Bangkok- ChonBuri Motorway, 11 city bus routes, and the under-construction express rail link and has an star hotel in it.
THAI MASSAGE• Thai massage is a type of massage in Thai style that involves stretching and deep massage. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement.• No oils are used in Thai massage.• It is known in Thailand as "nuat phaen boran", literally, the ancient-manner massage.
CONCLUSIONExperiencing Thailand’s breathtaking views,checking out Thais spicy food & enjoying TheLand of Smiles with a blend of religious andhistorical importance is something uniquewhich each one of us should experience inperson.