Thailand

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About

Bangkok Highway

  • Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
  • It borders Myanmar to the north-west, Laos to the north-east, Cambodia to the south-east and Malaysia to the south.
  • The capital of Thailand is Bangkok.
  • The overwhelmingly dominant religion (95%) is Theravada Buddhism
  • Mainland Thai culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism
  • The official language of Thailand is Thai. Most Thai youths learn English in school, so many young people have a basic grasp of English, though few are fluent. Most “front desk” people in the travel industry speak at least enough English to communicate, and many are relatively fluent.
  • Thailand is known for its great food, tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches

ETIQUETTE

  • Thai food is most commonly eaten with fork and spoon. Hold the spoon in your right hand and use it to eat, and reserve the fork for piling food onto your spoon. Chopsticks are only employed for noodle soups and East Asian-style dishes.
  • Thai food is meant for sharing. Everybody gets their own plate of rice and tiny soup bowl, but all the other dishes are laid out in the center of the table and you’re free to eat what you wish.

HISTORY

  • The earliest identifiably Thai kingdom was founded in Sukhothai in 1238
  • Thailand is the only South-East Asian country never to have been colonized by a foreign power, and fiercely proud of the fact
  • A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy
  • During World War II, while Japan conquered the rest of Southeast Asia, only Thailand was not conquered by the Japanese due to smart political moves
  • In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), is the world’s longest-reigning monarch and a deeply loved and respected figure of near-mythic proportions


FACTS

    Wat Mahathat

    • The head is considered the holiest part of the body, and the foot the dirtiest part. Never touch or pat a Thai on the head, including children. If you accidentally touch or bump someone’s head, apologize immediately or you’ll be perceived as very rude
    • Thailand means land of the free in Thai
    • Bangkok, the name of the capital city of Thailand, means “City Angels.”
    • Never touch a Thai on the head, even a child. This is where the soul resides and is considered sacred.
    • Never point with your feet, probably the rudest thing you can do.
    • Thailand has 76 provinces
    • Thai boxing is the national sport in Thailand

Avg. Costs

Andaman Sea

  • Budget travelers will find that 1,000 THB will get a backpacker a dorm bed or cheap room, three square meals a day and leave enough for transport, and sightseeing.
  • A stay in a 3-star hotel will cost around 2000 THB
  • Guesthouses are another cheap option, as basic ones cost around 100-200 THB per room per night. Where better guesthouses, especially in towns with significant amount of foreign guests, have more amenities (European style toilet, 24h hot shower, bigger room or even balcony, free wi-fi internet, sometimes TV, everyday room service, fridge) – with price in the range of 200-500 THB.
  • Food in Thailand can be as cheap and easy as 25 THB pad thai (Thai fried noodles) cooked at a street stall
  • You can stuff yourself full of sushi for less than 500 THB
  • Fruit juices, freezes and milkshakes of all kinds are very popular with Thais and visitors alike. Most cafés and restaurants charge 20-40 THB, but a bottle of freshly squeezed Thai sweet orange juice – which really is orange in color! – can be sold on the street for 15 THB or less.
  • Beer – 50-100 THB in most pubs, bars and restaurants
  • A shot of any brand-name liquor is at least 100 THB,
  • A pint of Guinness will cost at least 200 THB

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Floating Market

  • The number one cause of death for visitors to Thailand is motorbike accidents, especially on the often narrow, mountainous and twisty roads of Phuket and Samui. Drive defensively, wear a helmet, don’t drink and avoid travel at night.
  • Thailand is quite safe for tourists.
  • Make sure you have all your money stored safely in a money belt or another hard-to-reach place and always check your money balance.
  • Thailand has extremely strict drug laws and your foreign passport is not enough to get you out of legal hot water. Possession and trafficking offenses that would merit traffic-ticket misdemeanors in other countries can result in life imprisonment or even death in Thailand.
  • Tap water is usually not drinkable in Thailand outside of Bangkok.

 

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Climate

Floating Market

  • Thailand is largely tropical, so it is hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F), a degree of relief provided only in the mountains in the far north of Thailand
  • The weather is cool from November to the end of February. It doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest, although you will barely notice the difference in the south and will only need to pack a sweater if hiking in the northern mountains, where temperatures can fall as low as 5°C.
  • November to February is the most popular time to visit
  • The weather is hot from March to June. Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
  • The weather is rainy from July to October, although it only really gets underway in September when tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Places to See

Megabridge

Wat Mahathat Yuwaratharangsarit

  • Located in Bangkok
  • It is one of the 6 royal temples of high class
  • It was built during Ayutthaya period
  • The temple was used for royal ceremonies and funerals
  • Throughout the past two centuries, the temple has been renovated and elevated in status by many Thai kings and royalties

View Map

 

 

 

Royal Barges National Museum

  • A popular museum located in Bangkok
  • It is located on the northern rim of Bangkok Noi canal within Bangkok Noi district

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Phang Nga Bay

  • A 400 km² bay in the Andaman Sea between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand
  • Since 1981 a big part of the bay is protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park
  • Limestone cliffs with caves, collapsed cave systems and archaeological sites are found about Phang Nga Bay
  • Some 10,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower, one could walk from Phuket and Krabi
  • The most famous of the islands in the bay are Ko Ping Kan (more commonly known as James Bond Island) and Koh Pannyi

 

 

 

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

  • Located 80km (50 miles) southwest of Bangkok
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a daily riot of colour and noise
  • Farmers and smallholders from the surrounding hills turn up each morning to sell and exchange fruit and vegetables, as they sail up and down the canals amongst the orchards and vineyards
  • Trading starts early, at around 0600 and lasts only until 1100
  • Visitors can also take boat trips to see the way of life in the many villages up river

View Map

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• The wai is the most common greeting in Thailand and follows strict protocol
– Raising both hands, palms joined with fingers pointing up as in a prayer
– Lighting touching the body between the chest and forehead
– Can be done sitting, walking or standing
– Youngest initiates the wai
– Senior returns the wai
• Thais have a great respect of hierarchical relationships
– Social relationships are defined by one person being superior to another
• Thais tend to use first names rather than surnames
– With the honorific title Khun before the name
• If at a party, wait to be introduced by your host

Business Etiquette:
• Thais prefer to do business with people they respect
– Relationships will develop slowly
– May take several meetings to develop
– Always be respectful and polite
– This will lead to an effective working relationship
– They are formal and a lot of non-verbal communication
– Watch your own body language
• They will believe this over your words
– Rank is always respected
• Appointments should be made up to a month in advance
– Send a list of who will be attending the meeting
– Always arrive on time
– Signifies respect
– Send an agenda
– Remain standing until told where to sit
– Be patient
• Dress etiquette
– Men – conservative business suits
– Women – Conservative suits or dresses
– Thai’s will judge you on your appearance
• Business cards are given at the initial greeting

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