Official Name : Kingdom of Thailand
Capital : Bangkok
Currency : Baht (B)
Language : Thai
Population : 65.000.000
Visa Required : NO
If you think of Thailand you see images of beautiful sandy beaches with waving palmtrees and a hammock; of little unhabited islands with unique coral in clearblue water and exotic fish. Also temples with golden roofs, big Buddha statues and monks in orange dresses are a common sight in Thailand but also hilltribes and/or beautiful nature with jungle, waterfalls, mountains and wild animals. Maybe the amazing Thai kitchen or the “war” between the reds and yellows or even maybe even the sex industry will pop up in you’re mind. Thailand must be one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Before Thailand (prior Siam) would get his present shape and became a Kingdom the (Cambodian) Khmer civilisation was already present. Till the day of today life in Thailand is influenced by means of food, drinks, culture and religion long before “Ayutthaya” and “Sukothai” became Kings cities. The only country that’s never was colonialized by any other foreign country is one of the first things you hear when you enter Thailand which is true. Thailand would be balancing for years between in dependency and colonization en became heavy “westernized” on behalf of it. In the thirties last century Japan and the Western powers were putting a lot of pressure on the Kingdom. During WW2 Thailand choose for Japan and became famous due to his “notorious” railway between Thailand and Japanese Burma (the death railway) and the bridge over the River “Kwai” was being built. Thousands of POW’s from England, Ausralia and the Netherlands were forced to labour on the infamous bridge and the rails that crossed the most beautiful terrain in South-East-Asia. After the war followed one (military) coup after another one. In the new millennium miljardair “Takshin” in power and became a famous face all over the world. Prosperous times were followed by rumors about a big scandal concerning corruption – “Takshin” had to step down. From that moment on take the yellow shirts (most people from rural areas) and the red shirts (most city slickers with an education) it against each other. Since 2014 there is a general in power that claimed free elections. Change is not expected.
Thailand has got a lot of everything concerning landscape; the peninsula is surrounded by a blue sea with amazing beaches, there is jungle with some very nice national parks, mountains, wild rivers and lowlands with huge rice paddies. Wild animals like the tiger, elephant and leopard still live in parts of the country, although sever endangered. Next to nature and wildlife are there living also many minorities especially in the rural mountainous area’s. The most famous are the longnecks or the giraffe people with their golden rings around their neck. The climate is tropical and comes with plenty of sunshine but also a high level of humidity and sometimes a lot of rain (monsoon). The fast majority of Thailand is Buddhist and the country has an surplus of beautiful and interesting temples all over. The “Grand Palace” in Bangkok has to be the most famous one but all over the country you can see the golden roofs and “chedi’s”. If you want to do and see something totally different try to go to see a typical “Muay Thai” boxing game in Bangkok. It’s probably a one time opportunity that you can a real opium pipe while travelling on a trekking tour through the golden triangle in North-Thailand. It’s possible to make an elephant trip through the jungle and visit one of the minorities villages. A cooking- of diving course on a tropical island or in a homestay – in Thailand (almost) everything is possible.
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