The history, the culture, the food and the crystal clear waters are enough to convince anyone that Thailand is an excellent destination with loads to offer.
The country’s tropical climate is ideal for an outdoor lifestyle and those who want to escape the noise of the cities can go trekking up mountains in the north of the country and snorkelling around the islands of the south. Wherever you spend your time in this fascinating country, you will never be far from the next Thai delicacy and some of them are quite different from the curries and rice you might expect – fried insects anyone?!
- Thais think it is bad luck to have your hair cut on a Wednesday
- In polite conversation men end their sentences with the word khrap, and women kha
- Thailand’s bumblebee bat is the smallest mammal in the world
- Taking a Thai cookery class – eating the food really is one of the best things about Thailand
- Visiting Chiang Mai – a fascinating cultural insight into the hilltribe peoples
- Rock Climbing in Rai Leh – steep, challenging and beautiful
- Koh Phi Phi – location for Hollywood blockbuster The Beach and still exceptionally beautiful
Where is Thailand?
Formerly known as Siam, Thailand is a country at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is boarded to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, the north by Burma (or Myanmar) and Laos, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern part of Burma and to the east by Laos and Cambodia.
History of Thailand
There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated over 40,000 years. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the 1st century to the Khmer Empire.
European traders arrived in the 16th century, beginning with the Portuguese, followed by the French, Dutch and English. However, despite European pressure, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized.
In 1939, the name of the kingdom, ‘Siam’, was changed to ‘Thailand’.
Sport in Thailand
Thailand’s three main sports are Thai boxing (traditionally known as Muay Thai), scuba diving and football/soccer. Scuba diving has really taken off in Thailand thanks to some exceptional dive sites, and locations such as Koh Tao offer some of the best. Turtles, stingrays, barracudas and deep diving opportunities make Thailand a diver’s dream. Out of the water the national sport of Muay Thai, historically used by the Thai military, is practised widely and has enjoyed great international success. The rules of the sport are not as restrictive as other martial arts and it is commonly regarded as one of the more intensive disciplines.
““From the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the tranquil beauty of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand is a destination not to be missed!””