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Thailand

Thailand

Thailand locator mapThe kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions: the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South. The country of Thailand is a wondrous kingdom, featuring ancient cities, Buddist temples, exotic wildlife, and spectacular islands. Along with a fascinating history and a unique culture that includes delectable Thai cuisine and massage, Thailand features a modern capital city, and friendly people who epitomize Thailand's "Land of Smiles" reputation.

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Border countries (4): West (Burma), East (Cambodia and Laos) and South (Malaysia)

Area: 513,120 sq km (198,116 sq mi)

Comparative: Slightly more than twice the size of Oregon

Population: 68,200,824 Million (ranked 21st in the world)

Religions: Buddhist (official) 93.6%, Muslim 4.9%, Christian 1.2%, other 0.2%, none 0.1%

Languages: Thai (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8% (English is a secondary language of the elite)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5): Ban Chiang Archaeological Site (1992), Historic City of Ayutthaya (1991), Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns (1991)Natural, Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (2005) and Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries (1991)

 

Popular Destinations in Thailand

Bangkok

BangkokBangkok known in Thai as Krung Thep, meaning 'City of Angels' is the cultural epicenter, capital and most densely populated city in Thailand at 9 million people. The full name of Bangkok is 167 letters long making it the longest city name in the world. Bangkok was originally a small trading post on the west bank of the lower Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It became the capital city in 1768 following the death of King Taksin when the capital was moved to the east bank of the river.  Bangkok is one of the most important commercial centers in South East Asia and a gateway and principal destination for many visitors. It has more than 400 richly decorated temples, and its numerous canals, many of which are home to floating markets, give Bangkok the name 'Venice of the East'.

 

Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi ThailandA town in western Thailand and the capital of Kanchanaburi province, located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge into the Mae Klong River. The town spans the northern banks of the river and is a popular spot for travelers, its location at the edge of a mountain range keeping it much cooler than the other provinces of central Thailand. In 1942 Kanchanaburi was under Japanese control and it was here that Asian forced labourers and Allied POW’s building the infamous Burma Railway, constructed a bridge; an event immortalized in the film 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. In town there is a memorial and two museums to commemorate almost half of the prisoners that worked on the project that died. In March 2003, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum opened and the JEATH War Museum dedicated to the bridge and the Death Railway. The city is also home to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

 

Sukhothai

SukhothaiSukhothai literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, which was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The Sukhothai Kingdom was an early kingdom in the area around the city of Sukhothai, in north central Thailand. The Kingdom existed from 1238 till 1438. The old capital, now 12 km outside of the modern city of New Sukhothai is in ruins and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage historical park. Today 193 temples are excavated and partly reconstructed.

 

 

 

Chiang Mai

Chiang MaiChiang Mai, meaning "New City," was founded as the capital of the Kingdom of Lanna, "A Million Rice Fields" in 1296. It's the largest and most culturally important city in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai, with an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is surrounded by high mountain ranges and situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin.

 

 

 

 

Chiang Rai

Chiang RaiChiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand is about 785 kilometers north of Bangkok. Situated on the Kok River basin, Chiang Rai is located within the renowned Golden Triangle area, a 195,000 sq km area spanning parts of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma), the three countries that make up the 'triangle'. The term "Golden Triangle" refers to the once opium growing region covering northern Thailand, eastern Burma and western Laos. Thanks to a highly successful crop substitution program undertaken by the Royal Projects Foundation established by His Majesty King Bhumipol, opium production has largely been eliminated in Thailand. A popular attraction just outside the city limits is Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, a Buddhist temple in Thailand that looks like it was placed on earth by a god.

 

Phuket & Koh Phi Phi

Phuket & Koh Phi PhiLocated approximately 862 kilometers south of Bangkok is Phuket, Thailand's largest island, which is often dubbed as the pearl of the Andaman, or the pearl of the south. Phi Phi Islands are located just 40 kilometers away from the east coast of Phuket. The islands and the coastal hills are composed mainly of limestone and are an extension of the limestone mountain range in Phang-Nga Province.

 

 

 

Thailand Travel Options

Thailand Travel | Thailand Tours | Women Only Thailand Tours | Couples Only Thailand Tours | Custom Thailand Travel | Cruising
Rail Journeys | Cooking Classes

 

 Sources: CIA 2017, UNESCO 2017