Koh Samui, Tel: + 66 (0)81 968 1001
North America: +1 718 577 1402
Phuket, Tel/Fax : +66 (0) 76 527 633
Tel: + 66 (0)77 427 648 ex 108
M: + 66 (0)81 271 0220
M: +66 (0)81 968 3486
With a nickname like ‘The Land of Smiles,’ visitors to Thailand develop certain expectations about how their holiday might go. With the hospitality and friendliness of the Thai people famed the world over for good reason, no traveller will leave disappointed. The concept of sanuk (fun) plays heavily in Thai daily life, and the importance placed on it by the Thai people can be seen in even the most mundane of activities. This makes vsiting the country a joy in itself, and that's before you even dip a toe in the warm tropical waters or cast an eye over the myriad attractions
Positioned 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand features a warm and sunny tropical climate, and temperatures stay relatively close to the same year round. Known as Siam until 1939, the country has existed uninterrupted as an independent kingdom dating back to the 1300s, never colonized by European nations. Roughly equal in size to France and boasting over 3000km of coastline, Thailand is renowned the world over as a top flight holiday destination. There is great variety among regions in terms of climate, culture, cuisine, and even language, meaning there is always something new to discover.
There are a number of Thai dialects spoken throughout the country, with central Thai being the language of Bangkok and official government bodies, and many Thai people (especially the younger generation) speaking at least some English. There are always English speaking staff and English language signage at airports, bus stations and other important locations for tourists, and most restaurants will have English menus and even international food, especially in tourist heavy areas such as Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui. However, Thai people are always very appreciative of even token attempts at speaking the local tongue, and your broken and mispronounced Thai will usually be greeted with assurances of your talent with languages and big smiles.
With so much of the nation on or close to water, beautiful beaches and water based activities, such as SCUBA diving or kayaking, are plentiful. Thailand is also home to over 100 national parks, demonstrating the incredible tropical beauty and full of fascinating wildlife. Elephants are something of a national symbol, and the chance to witness these enormous creatures in nature is truly a sight to behold. The nature is awe inspiring, but for those who prefer cities and urban scenes Bangkok will not disappoint. Its many street food stalls are excellent for the chance to enjoy a truly local meal, not to mention unbeatable prices. Visitors should pay attention to what they eat, but in general street stalls are very clean and safe. Bangkok’s massive markets and modern shopping malls will provide even the most earnest of shoppers unending hours of bargains, with both modern items and beautiful traditional handicrafts plentiful and affordable.
Thailand is a strongly Buddhist nation, and over 95% of the country are practicing Theravada Buddhists. Temples, or wats, are numerous, and provide a window into a different culture and way of thinking. Monks are highly respected and quite visible in their beautiful robes, and can be seen everywhere in the country. Just watching the monks themselves can sometimes provide a quite memorable juxtaposition of the old ways and the new. A young monk sipping a Coke while talking on his cell phone is not an uncommon sight!
Thanks to its unique colour and exotic appeal, Thailand has long been and continues to be a top favorite for world travellers, and with good reason. A delightful culture, fantastic cuisine, and awe-inspiring natural beauty combine to make the Land of Smiles the perfect place to enjoy a holiday that will leave you grinning all the way home.