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Thailand is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula

in Mainland Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north


byMyanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south
by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by theAndaman
Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries
include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast,
and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
Thailand is governed by the National Council for Peace and Order that
took power in the May 2014 coup d'tat.[13] Its monarchy is headed
by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946 as Rama IX,
as he is the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty. He is currently the
world's longest-serving head of state and the country's longest-reigning
monarch;[14] he has reigned for69 years, 292 days.
With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi),
Thailand is the world's 51st-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous
country in the world, with around 66 million people. The capital and
largest city is Bangkok, which is Thailand's political, commercial,
industrial, and cultural hub. About 7595% of the population is
ethnically Tai, which includes four major regional groups: central
Thai, northeastern Thai (Khon [Lao] Isan),[2] northern Thai (Khon
Mueang); and southern Thai. Thai Chinese, those of significant Chinese
heritage, are 14% of the population,[5] while Thais with partial Chinese

ancestry comprise up to 40% of the population. [15] Thai Malays represent


3% of the population, with the remainder consisting
of Mons, Khmers and various "hill tribes". The country's official language
is Thai and the primary religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is
practised by around 95% of the population.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996,
becoming a newly industrialised country and a major exporter.
Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the
economy.[16][17] Among the ten ASEAN countries, Thailand ranks third in
quality of life.[11] and the country's HDI is rated as "high". Its large
population and growing economic influence have made it a middle
power in the region and around the world.[18]

Brief History
There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000
years before the present, with stone artefacts dated to this period at Tham Lod
Rockshelter inMae Hong Son. 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 CE to the Khmer
Empire. Thailand in its earliest days was under the rule of the Khmer Empire,
which had strong Hindu roots, and the influence among Thais remains even
today.

The ruins of Wat Chaiwatthanaram atAyutthaya.


Indian influence on Thai culture was partly the result of direct contact with
Indian settlers, but mainly it was brought about indirectly via the Indianized
kingdoms of Dvaravati, Srivijaya, and Cambodia. E:A Voretzsch believes that
Buddhism must have been flowing into Siam from India in the time of the
Indian Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire and far on into the first
millennium after Christ.[24]Later Thailand was influenced by the south
Indian Pallava dynasty and north Indian Gupta Empire.
According to George Cds, "The Thai first enter history of Farther India in the
eleventh century with the mention of Syam slaves or prisoners of war
in" Champa epigraphy, and "in the twelfth century, the bas-reliefs of Angkor
Wat" where "a group of warriors" are described as Syam. Additionally,
"the Mongols, after the seizure of Ta-li on January 7, 1253 and the pacification
of Yunnan in 1257, did not look with disfavor on the creation of a series of Thai
principalities at the expense of the old Indianized kingdoms." The Menam Basin
was originally populated by the Mons, and the location of Dvaravati in the 7th
century, followed by the Khmer Empire in the 11th. The History of
the Yuan mentions an embassy from the kingdom of Sukhothai in 1282. In 1287,
three Thai chiefs, Mangrai, Ngam Muang, and Ram Khamhaeng formed a
"strong pact of friendship".

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 13th century, various states thrived
there, established by the various Tai peoples, Mons, Khmers, Chams and Ethnic
Malays, as seen through the numerous archaeological sites and artefacts that are
scattered throughout the Siamese landscape. Prior to the 12th century however,
the first Thai or Siamese state is traditionally considered to be the
Buddhist Sukhothai Kingdom, which was founded in 1238.
Following the decline and fall of the Khmer empire in the 13th15th century,
the Buddhist Tai kingdoms of Sukhothai, Lanna, and Lan Xang (now Laos)
were on the rise. However, a century later, the power of Sukhothai was
overshadowed by the new Kingdom of Ayutthaya, established in the mid-14thcentury in the lower Chao Phraya River or Menam area.

Stupas, Ayutthaya Historical Par.


Ayutthaya's expansion centred along the Menam while in the northern valleys
the Lanna Kingdom and other small Tai city-states ruled the area. In 1431, the
Khmer abandoned Angkor after Ayutthaya forces invaded the city.[26] Thailand
retained a tradition of trade with its neighbouring states, from China to
India, Persia, and Arab lands. Ayutthaya became one of the most vibrant trading
centres in Asia. European traders arrived in the 16th century, beginning with
the Portuguese, followed by the French, Dutch, and English. The Burmese
Siamese War (17651767) left Ayutthaya burned and sacked by
King Hsinbyushin.

After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 to the Burmese, Taksin moved the capital
to Thonburi for approximately 15 years. The current Rattanakosin era of Thai
history began in 1782 following the establishment of Bangkok as capital of the
Chakri Dynasty under King RamaI the Great. According to the Encyclopdia
Britannica, "A quarter to a third of the population of some areas of Thailand and
Burma were slaves in the 17th through the 19th centuries."
Despite European pressure, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation to
never have been colonised. This has been ascribed to the long succession of able
rulers in the past four centuries who exploited the rivalry and tension
between French Indochina and the British Empire. As a result, the country
remained a buffer state between parts of Southeast Asia that were colonised by
the two colonial powers, Great Britain and France. Western influence
nevertheless led to many reforms in the 19th century and major concessions,
most notably the loss of a large territory on the east side of the Mekong to the
French and the step-by-step absorption by Britain of the Shan and Karen people
areas and Malay Peninsula.

Culture
Thai culture has been shaped by many influences, including Indian, Lao,
Burmese, Cambodian, and Chinese.Its traditions incorporate a great deal of
influence from India, China, Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Thailand's national religion, Theravada Buddhism, is central to modern Thai
identity. Thai Buddhism has evolved over time to include many regional beliefs
originating from Hinduism, animism, as well as ancestor worship. The official
calendar in Thailand is based on the Eastern version of theBuddhist Era (BE),
which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Thus the year
2015 is 2558 BE in Thailand.

Several different ethnic groups, many of which are marginalised, populate


Thailand. Some of these groups spill over into Burma, Laos,Cambodia,
and Malaysia and have mediated change between their traditional local culture,
national Thai, and global cultural influences.Overseas Chinese also form a
significant part of Thai society, particularly in and around Bangkok. Their
successful integration into Thai society has allowed for this group to hold
positions of economic and political power. Thai Chinese businesses prosper as
part of the largerbamboo network, a network of overseas Chinese businesses
operating in the markets of Southeast Asia that share common family and
cultural ties.
The traditional Thai greeting, the wai, is generally offered first by the
younger of the two people meeting, with their hands pressed together, fingertips
pointing upwards as the head is bowed to touch face to fingertips, usually
coinciding with the spoken words "sawatdi khrap" for male speakers, and
"sawatdi kha" for females. The elder may then respond in the same way. Social
status and position, such as in government, will also have an influence on who
performs the wai first. For example, although one may be considerably older
than a provincial governor, when meeting it is usually the visitor who pays
respect first. When children leave to go to school, they are taught towai their
parents to indicate their respect. The wai is a sign of respect and reverence for
another, similar to the namaste greeting of India and Nepal.

HERITAGE

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural


Organization) has designated five World Heritage Sites in the Thailand. The
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural
heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
1. Ban Chiang Archaeological Site
2. Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex
3. Historic City of Ayutthaya
4. Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns
5. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries
The following 5 sites are on the Tentative List for Thailand, meaning that the
government intends to consider them for nomination in the future
1. Phimai, its Cultural Route and the Associated Temples of Phanomroong and
Muangtam

2. Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC)


3. Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nakhon Si Thammar
4. Phuphrabat Historical Park
5. Monuments, Sites and Cultural Landscape of Chiang Mai, Capital of Lanna
Current Status
In July 2015 the Thai Government requested the World Heritage Committee at
its 39th session in Bonn, Germany to consider the inscription of Kaeng Krachan
Forest Complex (KKFC), while IUCN and the World Heritage Committee
recognized the outstanding universal value of the site, the committee decided to
refer the nomination because of concerning on serious human rights violation
toward Karen people in the Kaeng Krachan National Park and asked Thai
Government to resubmit the nomination again after resolve the problem.
Thai Government nominates Phu Phra Bat Historical Park to be country's next
cultural World Heritage Site and resubmits Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex
(KKFC) for the 40th session of World Heritage Committee at Istanbul, Turkey
in 2016.

Architecture of Thailand
The architecture of Thailand is a major part of the country's cultural legacy
and reflects both the challenges of living in Thailand's sometimes extreme
climate as well as, historically, the importance of architecture to the Thai
people's sense of community and religious beliefs. Influenced by the
architectural traditions of many of Thailand's neighbors, it has also developed
significant regional variation within its vernacular and religious buildings.

Age of Tawaravadee (B.E.12-16)


The architecture of Tawaravadee appears in the central region of Thailand. It
used clay bricks and sometimes laterite. The construction of pagodas had a
square base and an inverted-bell shape topped with a spire.

Age of Sriwichai (B.E.13-18)


The architecture of Sriwichai is notable for the stupa-style Buddha which has a
square base and an octagonal top.

Age of Lopburi (B.E.12-18)


The architecture of Lopburi adopted the style of the Khmer and can be seen in
the Shrines of Ganesh. This style preferred to use brick, sandstone, and laterite.
Originally brick and sandstone were used to build houses or castles and laterite
for bases.

Age of Chiang Saen (B.E.16-23)


Most religious places were built during the age of Chiang Saen. The builders
received and integrated art and culture from other territories such as Sukhothai,
Tawaravadee, Sriwichai, and Burma.

Age of Sukhothai (B.E.19-20)


The art of Sukhothai began in B.E. 1780 when King Indraditya established the
Sukhothai Kingdom. The identity of the architecture inSukhothai is decorations
in order to display the Buddhist faith by building the buildings in symbolic
shapes.

Age of Authong (B.E.17-20)


The architecture of Authong integrated the art of Tawaravadee and Khmer
civilization such as the building style of Phra Prang in Wat Sri Rattana
Mahathat, Lopburi.

Age of Ayutthaya (B.E.20-23)


The identity of architecture in this period is designed to display might and
riches so it has great size and appearance. The temples in Ayutthaya seldom
built eaves stretching from the masterhead. The dominant feature of this style is
sunlight shining into buildings. During the latter part of the Ayutthaya period,
architecture was regarded as a peak achievement that responded to the
requirements of people and expressed the gracefulness of Thainess. But the
development of architecture had to stop because Ayutthaya as defeated in the
war in Burma in B.E.2310.

Traditional Thai houses

As the phrase "Thai stilt house" suggests, one universal aspect of Thailand's
traditional architecture is the elevation of its buildings on stilts, most commonly
to around head height. The area beneath the house is used for storage, crafts,
lounging in the daytime, and sometimes for livestock. The houses were raised
due to heavy flooding during certain parts of the year, and in more ancient
times, predators. Thai building and living habits are often based on superstitious
and religious beliefs. Many other considerations such as locally available
materials, climate, and agriculture have a lot to do with the style.
Thai houses are made from a variety of wood and are often built in just a day as
prefabricated wood panels are built ahead of time and put together on site by a
master builder. Many houses are also built with bamboo, a material that is easily
constructed and does not require professional builders. Most homes start out as
a single family home and when a daughter gets married, an additional house is
built on site to accommodate her new family. Although the house is built with
prefab panels that are easy to rearrange, there are taboos against rearranging a
house.
A traditional house is usually built as a cluster of physically separate rooms
arranged around a large central terrace. The terrace is the largest singular part of
the home as it makes up to 40% of the square footage, and up to 60% if the

veranda is included. An area in the middle of the terrace is often left open to
allow the growth of a tree through the structure, providing welcome shade. The
tree chosen is often flowering or scented.
It is important for the Thai people to draw in their natural surroundings by
placing potted plants around the terrace. In the past there were strict taboos
regarding which plants could be placed directly around the house (in current
times these are often ignored for the sake of aesthetics). The level of the floor
changes as one moves from room to terrace, providing a wide variety of
positions for sitting or lounging around the living areas.
Furniture is sparse and includes a bed platform, dining table, and loose cushions
for sitting. Sleeping areas are set up so that the beds are aligned with the shorter
end of the room (as sleeping parallel with the length is similar to lying in a
coffin). The direction that the head points towards can never be the west as that
is the position bodies are laid in before cremation.

Kuti.
A kuti is a small structure, built on stilts, designed to house a monk. Its proper
size is defined in the Sanghathisep, Rule 6, to be 12 by 7 keub (or 4.013 by
2.343 meters). This tiny footprint is intended to aid the monk's spiritual journey
by discouraging the accumulation of material goods. Typically a monastery
consists of a number of these buildings grouped together on a shared terrace,
either in an inward facing cluster or aligned in a row. Often these structures
included a separate building, called a hor trai, used to store scriptures.

Religious buildings

Thailand features a large number of Buddhist temples, a reflection of the


country's widespread Buddhist traditions. Although the term wat is properly
used to refer only to a Buddhist site with resident monks, it is applied loosely in
practice and will typically refer to any place of worship other than the Islamic
mosques found in southern Thailand. There are a total of 40,717 Buddhist
temples (Thai: Wat) in Thailand as of 31 December 2004, of which 33,902 are
in current use, according to the Office of National Buddhism.[1] Of the 33,902
active temples, 31,890 are of the Maha Nikaya and 1,987 are of
the Dhammayuttika Nikaya orders of the Theravada school, while 12 are of the
Chinese Nikaya and 13 are of the Anam Nikaya orders of the Mahayana school.
Two hundred and seventy-two temples, 217 of the Maha Nikaya order and 55 of
the Dhammayut order, hold the status of royal temple. Royal wisungkhamasima
(Pali: visum gmasm), official recognition of a temple's legitimacy, has been
granted to 20,281 temples. The following is a very partial list of Buddhist
temples in Thailand:

CLIMATE FOR TOURISM

The Thailand climate is controlled by tropical monsoons and the weather in


Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most
of the year. While Thailands seasons are generally divided into the hot season,
cool season, and rainy season, in reality its relatively hot most of the year. The
weather in central, northern, and northeastern Thailand (the landlocked
provinces) is determined by three seasons, whereas the southern, coastal regions
of Thailand feature only two, making the weather in Thailand quite easy to
understand and plan a trip around.In Thailands inland provinces the seasons are
clearly defined: Between November and May the weather is mostly dry and the
cool season and hot season occur from November to February and March to
May. The other inland season, the rainy season, lasts from May to November
and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in most
of Thailand is at its heaviest. The southern, coastal region of Thailand really
has only two seasons rainy season and dry season. Fortunately, for those
planning a beach holiday, Thailands two coasts have slightly different rainy

seasons, allowing visitors to find sunny beaches nearly year round. On the
Andaman or west coast, where Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands lie, the
southwest monsoon brings heavy storms from April to October, while on the
Gulf of Thailand or east coast, where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao
lie, the most rain falls between September and December.

When to Go

The best time to visit is between November and March when the Thailand
weather is optimum and we willbe able to take full advantage of the Thailand
beaches (although Koh Samui is best from June to September). November to
March is also Thailand's main period of national and regional festivals.
The peak tourist season is November to late March, with secondary peak
months in July and August. If youre keen to avoid the crowds and take
advantage of discounted rooms and low-season rates, why not travel during the
less crowded months (April to June, September and October). On the other hand
it's easy to leave the crowds behind just avoid the most popular destinations
(eg Chiang Mai and all islands and beaches).

NATURAL WONDERS IN THAILAND

Thi Lo Su Waterfall
Located in the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, it is considered the most
beautiful waterfall in Thailand. It flows down in tiers of about 300 m high.
Surrounded by virgin forests, it is accessible from the wildlife sanctuary office
through a marked trail. It takes only about 15 minutes to walk. There are also
places to stop and admire the amazing views from the top. It is important to
mention that visitors must follow the set route.

Thi Lo Su Waterfall, photo by yxejamir/flickr

Khao Sok
The limestone mountain ranges and rugged high cliffs are dominated by
amazing rainforests. The Khao Sok National Park was established in 1980. It
covers an area of about 650 km. The main attractions of the park are Namtok
Mae Yai and Namtok Sip Ed Chan (eleven-tiered waterfall), situated
approximately 4 km from the park office. There are also other magnificent
attractions here, such as waterfalls and caves.

Tha Pom (Klong Song Nam)


Also called Khlong Song Nam by the locals, which in Thai means two water
canal, Tha Pom is located in the province of Krabi. This place is attractive for
being the meeting point of freshwater and seawater from the mangrove forest.
Tham Lot
Tham Lot is a huge cave system located in the Mae Hong Son Province, in
northern Thailand. The Nam Lang River flows through the cave full of
breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. It used to be once a dwelling place of
pre-historic man. The cave is also home to hundreds of bats.

Tham Lot, photo by stee/flickr

Mor Hin Khao


Covering an area of about 200 km, Mor Hin Khao is the name of a
mountainous region. The forests are declared protected areas and the site
contains a huge variety of natural attractions, like cliffs and strange rock
formations.

Phu Hin Rongkla


Phu Hin Rong Kla is a distinctive national park situated in the Loei,
Phitsanulok and Phetchabun Provinces. It is characterized by steep mountains
with a unique mixture of beautiful attractions and historical sites. The park
contains natural rock formations covered with orchids, ferns, moss and
seasonal flowers.

Tham Kaew Komon


The Tham Kaew Komon cave is located in the northern part of the country, in
Mae Hong Son Province. The attractiveness of the cave is represented by
the glittering stalactite. The sparkling walls look like they would be covered of
diamond.

Two Color River (Maenam Song Si)


Maenam Song Si is the place where the blue Mun River and the brown
Mekong River join. It can be found in Khong Chiam District. Visitors can even
hire a boat to admire the interesting alluvium.
Phu Phra Bat
It is a forest park situated in Udan Thani Province, in northeast Thailand. Phu
Phra Bat is named after two Buddha footprints carved into rocks. The park
covers an area of 13 km. It is also an archaeological site which features
numerous ancient buildings and objects of both prehistoric and historic times.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Plants and animals in Thailand are both unique and diverse. Thailands
geography, which stretches from the coasts of the Malaysian Peninsula to the
mountains of mainland Asia, features a variety of climates and thus a diversity
of plant and animal species.Despite a majority of Thailand having been
converted to agriculture over the centuries, natural forest still covers roughly
25% of Thailands area. Thailands woodlands mostly consist of monsoon forest
and rainforest, which are differentiated by the amount of rainfall each receives.
Furthermore, monsoon forests typically consist of deciduous or hardwood trees,
which shed their leaves during the dry season in order to conserve water.
Thailands most useful hardwood is the teak.The rainforest zones are mostly
covered with evergreen trees, although much of Thailand has considerable
overlap and it is not uncommon to find bamboo, coconut palms, and banana
trees throughout the country. Across the coastal lowlands, in addition to more
predominately rainforest cover, mangroves and rattan abound.

In addition to the aforementioned Teak, Thailand is famous for its variety


of fruit and flower-bearing trees and plants, the most iconic of which is the

orchid, Thailands national flower, which appears in over 27,000 different


varieties.While encroachment on their habitat has reduced the populations of
many exotic animals in Thailand, there are still a great variety of indigenous
species. The most iconic of these is the Elephant, of which roughly 1,000
remain in the wild, mostly within the National Parks in Thailand. Among the
larger mammals are the tiger, leopard, Malaysian sun bear, sambar deer, otter,
and civet cat. Climbing animals include the gibbon and many species of
monkeys. There are also sheep, goats, oxen, tapirs, wild cattle, wild hogs, and a
wide variety of snakes, including cobra. Crocodiles, lizards, and turtles are also
very numerous and fish abound in the rivers and coastal waters.

Finally, there are over 900 breeding bird species indigenous to or that
migrate to Thailand. Bird-watching tours are particularly popular in Sam Roi
Yot National Park and Khao Sok, which is home to six species of hornbill.

National parks

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park


Situated only few kilometers from Chiang Mai City, this very popular national
park is known for it's temples, waterfalls, caves and viewpoints.

Erawan National Park


Located in Kanchanaburi Province, home to one of most popular waterfalls in
the country; the Erawan Falls.

Mae Wong National Park


Covering 894 sq km, Mae Wong is situated in West Thailand. It is a great
destination for birders and trekkers, one of few places in Thailand where tigers
still exists in wild.

Nam Nao National Park

The best national park in Northeast Thailand and one of best in the country with
good wildlife viewing, bird-watching and hiking possibilities.

Pang Sida National Park


Covering 844km at Sa Kaeo Province, Pang Sida was declared as a national
park in 1982, it lies within the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex.

TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE ACCOMODATION ,QUALITY AND


INFRASTRUCTURE
With increasing visitor arrivals year on year and a marketing strategy to achieve
28 million or more tourists in 2015, Thailands tourism infrastructure needs to
expand to cope with demand. More than 63,000 Irish visitors went to Thailand
last year.

Accommodation Quality and variety

Hotels and resorts in Thailand have the mission to provide the highest attainable
standards of quality hotel accommodation at reasonable price.
Accommodation Thailand possess following attributes that we are certain that
all tourists really care about:
Safety: All accommodation listed in this site will be located in the heart
of town and transportation is convenient.
Reasonable price: Price listed in this site is reasonable and often lower
than the normal rate. We always try to get the best deal for our clients at
all times.
Comfort & Cleanliness: Rooms are often air-conditioned with colour TV
and direct dial phones. Most of the hotels enjoy their own restaurant, bar
and lounge. Some hotels have their own swimming pool for your
relaxation. You will also enjoy fully cooked breakfast either Continental
or American styles.
Variety of choice: Accommodations are of several types starting from five
star hotels to guesthouse to suit our clients' budget and plan.

Airport efficiency and quality

Thailand has adequate amount of both national and international airports,


ensuring that the country in well connected within and with the world.
Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport are the two main
international airports of the country.
Suvarnabhumi, Bangkoks international airport (BKK), has a new
capacity of 80 million passengers per year
Don Muang, Bangkoks domestic airport (DMK) will grow to a capacity
of 30 million passengers per year
Phuket International Airport (HKT) is doubling its capacity to 12.5
million passengers by 2016 with the construction of a new terminal due
to open Q1 of 2016
U-Tapao airport (UTP), close to the seaside resort of Pattaya, is expected
to open its runway to regional charter flights from China and Malaysia,
while there are plans to expand Chiang Mai airport (CNX) to cope with
growing demand for travel to northern Thailand.

Tourist guide and information

Thailand is the travel hub of Southeast Asia. Most people coming into the
region fly into Bangkok and make that their base for doing the circuit around
Southeast Asia. With its lush jungles, famed beaches, world-class diving,
amazing food, and cheap prices, Thailand attracts visitors from all walks of life.
It is by far my favorite country in the world! You can find super cheap
guesthouses, and then seemingly right next door you can find resorts charging
upwards of $10,000 USD a night! With all the variance, finding inexpensive
accommodations is definitely doable. Travel through Thailand is easy. The
country is a well-worn destination on the backpacking trail and everything is
convenient and easy. Though well on the map, there are still good destinations
to visit away from the crowds and the prices they bring. Overall, Thailand
speaks for itself. Its so well known around the world that when you hear the
name, you already think about beaches, beauty, jungles, and food. And your
thoughts are spot on.
Typical Costs
Accommodation Thailand is very cheap, though the north is far cheaper than
Bangkok and the southern islands. You can find cheap guesthouses for as little
300 THB per night in cities and 200 THB per night in the countryside, though in
the big cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok, rooms start at about 400 per night.
On the islands or for a nicer room with air-conditioner, expect to pay 600 THB
and up per night. Basic bungalows cost the same. Hotels start at around 1,350
THB per night and go up from there. Big resorts on the islands start at 1,700
THB per night for a bungalow on the beach. Dorm rooms, which are
increasingly widespread throughout the country, range from 100-150 THB per
night. Suk 11 Guesthouse (Bangkok), Chada Guesthouse (Bangkok), Julies
(Chiang Mai), Kodchasri B&B (Chiang Mai), Poohs (Ko Lipe), Greenhouse
(Khao Yai) are my favorite places to sleep in the country.
Food Food is really cheap in Thailand. Street food costs as little as 20 THB,
though on average we willspent about 35-50 THB per meal if you want
something really filling. If you stick to the local street food, you can eat for
around 120-170 THB a day. Most western dishes (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc) cost
between 170-340 THB, though they can be higher in the fancier western
establishments. Since food is so cheap, theres no point in grocery shopping
unless youre looking to get some pre-made salads or fruits. Visit each city
guide for specific food recommendations in each place!
Transportation Like everything in Thailand, transportation is also cheap. Local
buses cost as little as 8 THB per trip, the Metro and Skytrain in Bangkok cost
15-50 THB per trip, and metered taxi rides are usually 60-100 THB each. Tuktuks are un-metered and generally more expensive, costing 100-235 THB per

ride. Motorbike taxis (in orange vests) are available all over the country with
short trips costing about 35 THB (you need to negotiate the price). Train service
around the country is cheap day trains cost as little as 50 THB. Night trains
start at 575 THB for second-class without air-conditioning. Boats to/from the
islands cost between 250-475 THB. (Note: Its often better to get a bus/boat
package then pay for them separately.)
Activities Day tours cost 500-1,200 THB depending on the activity. Jungle
trekking costs 1,000-1,685 THB per day. Keep in mind, you have more
bargaining power if you go with a group. Most parks and national museums cost
between 50-100 THB to get into (as a non-Thai, we willalways pay a higher
rate). A PADI dive certification course (very popular in Thailand) costs around
10,000 THB (but often includes accommodation).
Local travel or transport efficiency
Mass Transit
Bangkok is the only city in Thailand to have an above-ground (BTS) and
underground light-rail (MRT) public transport system.

CITY BUS

Bangkok has the largest city-bus system in the country, while Udon Thani and a
few other provincial capitals have some city-bus services. The etiquette for
riding public buses is to wait at a bus stop and hail the vehicle by waving your
hand palm-side downward. You typically pay the fare once youve taken a seat
or, in some cases, when you disembark.
Elsewhere, public transport is provided by srngtaou ('two rows'; a small
pick-up truck outfitted with two facing benches for passengers). They
sometimes operate on fixed routes, just like buses, but they may also run a
share-taxi service where they pick up passengers going in the same general
direction. In tourist centres, srngtaou can be chartered just like a regular taxi,
but we willneed to negotiate the fare beforehand. You can usually hail a
srngtaou anywhere along its route and pay the fare when you disembark.
Taxi
Bangkok has the most formal system of metered taxis, although other cities
have growing 'taxi meter' networks. In some cases, fares are set in advance or
require negotiation.In bigger cities, traditional taxi alternatives and app-based
taxi hailing initiatives are also available sort of.
Uber (www.uber.com/cities/bangkok), undoubtedly the most well-known ride
service in the world, was introduced to Thailand in 2014. It quickly gained
popularity among those looking to avoid the usual Bangkok taxi headaches:
communication issues, perpetual lack of change and reckless drivers. Yet in late
2014 Thailands Department of Land Transport deemed the app-based outfit
illegal, declaring that its vehicles werent properly registered, its fares
unregulated and its drivers unlicenced. At the time of writing, the situation

seemed to have reached a stalemate, with Uber still operating in Bangkok, albeit
less conspicuously.

Motorcycle Taxi

Many cities in Thailand have moreusai rp jhng, motorcycle taxis that can
be hired for short distances. If youre empty-handed or travelling with a small
bag, they cant be beaten for transport in a pinch.In most cities, we willfind
motorcycle taxis clustered near street intersections. Usually they wear numbered
jerseys. Fares tend to run from 10B to 50B, depending on distance. We willneed
to establish the price beforehand.
Bus & Minivan
The bus network in Thailand is prolific and reliable. The Thai government
subsidises the Transport Company (brst kn sng), usually abbreviated to
Baw Khaw Saw (BKS). Every city and town in Thailand linked by bus has a
BKS station, even if its just a patch of dirt by the side of the road.By far the
most reliable bus companies in Thailand are the ones that operate out of the
BKS stations. In some cases the companies are entirely state owned; in others
they are private concessions.
For some destinations, minivans are increasingly superseding buses. Minivans
are run by private companies and because their vehicles are smaller, they can
depart from the market (instead of the out-of-town bus stations) and in some

cases will deliver guests directly to their hotel. Just dont sit in the front that
way you can avoid having to watch the drivers daredevil techniques!
Bus Classes
The cheapest and slowest buses are the rt tammdah (ordinary fan buses) that
stop in every little town and for every waving hand along the highway. Only a
few of these ordinary buses still exist, mostly in rural locations or for local
destinations.On overnight journeys the buses usually stop somewhere en route
for a midnight meal.
Reservations
You can book air-con BKS buses at any BKS terminal, or even by phone with a
payment at 7-Eleven. Ordinary (fan) buses cannot be booked in advance.
Privately run buses can be booked through most hotels or any travel agency, but
its best to book directly through a bus office to be sure that you get what you
pay for.
FOOD SERVICES QUALITY AND VARIETY

In a recent Euromonitor report (Consumer Foodservice in Thailand, January


2014) predictions are that foodservice will see a small but gradual expansion,
with a 1.1% CAGR. Chain operators are expected to fare better than
independents, and will continue to see a growing share of foodservice sales.
Fast food is expected to show the fastest growth in outlet expansion, and

continue to compete aggressively through promotions to stimulate sales. Cafs


and bars have been one of the top foodservice performers, based on sales, and
are predicted to overtake street stalls and kiosks as the best performing
foodservice venues by 2017.
Stand-alone locations are thriving in Thailand and accounted for 57% of sales in
2012. They also see the highest per capita spending, a trend that is expected to
continue into the foreseeable future. Retail is expected to be the highest-growth
site of all locations, supported mainly by the growing emergence of fast food
outlets.

RANGE OF ACTIVITY
The international image of Thailand has long been associated with lazing on the
beach or by a hotel swimming pool but in reality there's a lot more to the
country and the list of activities here is seemingly endless.
Watersports dominate destinations like Pattaya, Samui and Phuket while worldclass golf links are to be found nationwide. Thai spas are justifiably world
famous for their exceptional
treatments and trekking is also a
very popular pastime. Thai
Boxing classes have grown
surprisingly popular and Samui
even has its own golfing football
links
WATER BASED
Boat Trip to Ang Thong, Koh
Tao and Koh Nang Yuan
The trip from Phangan to Ang Thong National Park from Phangan is definitely
worth it. The island-park has a hollowed-out interior that is home to several
exotic species of fish and the surrounding waters can be explored by kayak. The
climb to the top of the main islands ridge affords some spectacular views of the
emerald-green waters of the interior lake and some of the 42 surrounding
islands. It takes less time to get to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan and the waters
there absolutely teem with colourful fish.
Diving around Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is ideally situated for diving forays into the Gulf of Thailand. The
reefs from Chaloklum and down the northwest coast are in good condition and
its even possible to dive directly off the beach.Sail Rock, one of the best diving
sites in the Gulf at 15-40 metres below sea level features a dense variety of sea
life and is only one hour away. Around Koh Tao we willfind lots of turtles,
leopard sharks and unicorn fish to put it briefly, Koh Phangan is a divers
paradise.
Phuket Snorkeling
The tropical waters of the Andaman Sea are ideal for snorkeling - clear, calm,
balmy and bursting with brilliant marine life. Snorkeling can be done yearround in Phuket, but the best time of year is November-April, when the sea's at
its most placid.
Take care through the May-October low season, when the undertow can become
dangerously strong along the west coast. The warm water temperature (2728C) means that snorkellers don't need to wear wetsuits, though wearing a tshirt is advised to prevent sunburn.
Phuket Kayaking

Limited numbers of people are taken out at a given time; and experienced
guides accompany every boat, not just to lead the way and to provide
commentary, but also to advise on ways to conserve these precious natural
resources. Although there may be a week or two of inclement weather every

year, sea canoeing is fun virtually any time of year in Phang Nga Bay - even in
the "rainy season." The islands and hongs often assume an surreal beauty in the
rains and, inside the caves, stalactites sparkle even more. Still, for those who
like their sunshine, December to March is highly recommended.
Parasailing in Pattaya
Parasailing in Pattaya is an extremely popular way to enjoy a unique view of the
beach, as well as getting your pulse racing and adrenaline flowing as you scud
across the sky, occasionally plummeting into the sea only to be wrenched up
into the air once again. With prices starting at about 600 baht for thrill-packed
minutes, it is also a fairly cheap activity in Pattaya.
We will see countless brightly-coloured parachutes criss-crossing the bay, each
towed by a speedboat. Unlike other beach destinations where this activity is
popular (including Jomtien Beach and Koh Larn locally or Phuket and Hua Hin
elsewhere in Thailand), the jumping-off point is not the beach itself. Instead,
there are a number of pontoons a few hundred metres out into the water, from
which you will be lifted into the air before being gracefully deposited back after
10 minutes with practised ease.
Scuba Diving
With impressive coral reefs surrounding the Near and Far Islands and five
shipwrecks to explore, Pattaya is a fantastic place to scuba dive in Thailand. The
conditions which make the area so good for sailing and cruises also make it
enjoyable for divers, which is why there are dozens of centres and shops to
choose from. Mermaids Dive Center comes highly recommended for their
experience and professionalism, guiding new and seasoned divers through the
tropical undersea world around Pattaya. The water is not as clear as it is further
to the south of Thailand and the wildlife is not as exciting, which is why the
destination is not as widely known. Unlike the south, however, diving is
possible throughout the year and is not obstructed by monsoons.
Jet boat Driving
In coral Island you will get a chance to drive speed boat with the guide sitting
behind us. It is a wonderful experience as to drive off the roads and unusually
on water. The ticket charge is around 300 baht. Its just a 5 minute drive.
Banana Ride
It will cost 400 baht for banana ride ticket. Here 4 peoples will be sitting on a
banana balloon tied up with speed boat. It will take us to a few metres away
from the bay & will return back throwing all of us in middle of sea.

NATURE BASED

To be in touch with nature and to help conserve it for future generations, ecoresorts and eco-tours are being designed for responsible nature lovers. The goal
of ecotourism is to increase the appreciation of Thailand natural beauty and to
help keep it intact for others to enjoy in the future. Here are some suggested
activities that eco-minded tourists might consider when coming to Thailand on
holiday.

Elephant Trekking
Elephant trekking is a popular activity in Phuket.
Even though elephants are not a native species of the island Phuket elephants
come from the cooler north of Thailand you can find between 15 and 20
camps offering elephant trekking here. Many comments have been made over
the years about the well-being of these animals in Phuket as the way animals are
treated in Thailand is often questionable there are still endangered species
such as slow Loris at night on touts shoulder along Soi Bangla without any
action from the authorities. As for elephant camps, things have improved with
some help from the Asian Elephant Foundation of Thailand based in Bangkok,
which started to supervise and control Phuket elephant camps in 1994.

Walking Tour

Sometimes getting intentionally lost in a city or town is the best way to find out
how the locals live instead of sticking only to the high traffic, tourist areas. We
willlearn a lot about Thai culture by observing the lifestyle, trying Thai food
and interacting with Thai people. You can use a guide book and do your own
walking tour or join an organized walking tour. Most walking tours involve
temples and in Bangkok, sometimes walking is much faster than driving! Do
keep a map handy though as we willwant to be able to get unlost eventually.
Wildlife Viewing
Some of the rarest tropical animals and birds can only be found in the nations
national parks. The most common trips are bird watching, but even a simple
walk in any mountainous area will guarantee a sighting of gibbons and
monkeys. National parks are located all over Thailand so you can select a park
which is known for particular animals or birds or geographic features. While
viewing wildlife might be your primary goal, there will be plenty of opportunity
to see the amazing plant life as well. Reccommended parks are Khao Yai, Doi
Inthanon, and Sam Roi Yod, although there are many others.
Jungle Trekking
Get to the heart of Thailand by exploring ancient caves and tremendous caverns
like those in the Pang Mapha District of the Mae Hong Son Province. Here you
can venture underground
and
discover
wildlife,
history and geology. Expert
guides, like those at Cave
Lodge, will escort you
through
geologic
labyrinths, vertical caves
and
collapsed
caves.
Combine your journey with
forest hikes or rafting to see
even more of the Thai
landscape.

Recreational Based

Phuket Spas and Thai Massage


In Thailand, the concept of spa blends with the ancient traditions of natural
healing through herbal baths, massage, meditation, and the continued pursuit of
inner and outer beauty. Before the arrival of modern medicine in Thailand, the
temple was the the centre of learning for all disciplines, including medicine.
Monks therefore played the role of doctor and pharmacist, prescribing herbal
remedies, steam compresses, massages and other such treatments for the relief
of various ailments.

SPORTS BASED
Phuket Golf
Phuket has six fine golf courses, all of which have been designed to take full
advantage of the island's tropical climate and unique topography. Many visitors
come solely to play golf around the beautiful landscaped courses, which make
use of the local abundance of water and trees to full effect. Many of the courses
and nearby hotels ensure that accompanying family members rarely complain
about being left to laze by the pool or on the beach. Standards are high, ensuring
that the greens are green and the holes are challenging enough to stretch new
and experienced players alike. Some of the courses have even been used for
international competitions and world championships.

Thai Boxing in Phuket

Witness the passion and drama of Thailand's national sport amidst crowds of
onlookers whose cheers blend with the strains of high-pitched Javanese
clarinets, drums and finger cymbals that accompany the fights from beginning
to end. For tourists in the Patong Beach area, nightly displays of Thai Boxing
are carried out in specially built stadiums on Soi Sai Namyen.
Dino Park Mini Golf in Phuket
Dino Park Mini Golf is a fun and funky mini-golf course and restaurant located
right in between Karon and Kata beaches, on the Beach Road. With a full 18hole course in a dramatic pre-historic setting - as well as a Flintstones-themed
restaurant - it is a great place to enjoy a day out with the family.
As the name suggests, the course runs through a Jurrasic Park-like setting, with
large and life-like dinosaurs around each hole, as though ready to snap up any
errant ball (or golfer). The dense forestry and an erupting volcano competes the
Land that Time Forgot feeling, providing a great escape from the sun and from
any thoughts of taking life too seriously!
Adventurous Based

Flying Hanuman in Phuket


Flying Hanuman in Kathu is just the right place for you if youre the type of
person who loves to zip through the sky 40 metres above a jungle. Eco-friendly
and well executed, Flying Hanuman explores the jungle in a decidedly aerial
way.

Skydiving
The weather is Thailand is good 365 days a year, so that means there is
jumping every single day. Strap yourself to a jumpmaster, and experience the
thrill of a lifetime.

Shopping

Sunday Walking Street

On Sunday afternoon, Thanon Ratchadamnoen is taken over by the boisterous


Sunday Walking Street, which feels even more animated than the Saturday
Walking Street because of the energetic food markets that open up wt
courtyards along the route. There is barely space to move as locals and tourists
from across the world haggle vigorously for carved soaps, novelty dog collars,
wood-carvings, Buddha paintings, hill-tribe trinkets, Thai musical instruments,
T-shirts, paper lanterns and umbrellas, silver jewellery and herbal remedies.
The market is a major source of income for local families and many traders
spend the whole week hand-making merchandise to sell on Saturday and
Sunday.

MBK Center

This colossal shopping mall underwent an extensive renovation in 2015 and is


set to retain its role as one of Bangkoks top attractions. On any given weekend
half of Bangkok's residents (and most of its tourists) can be found here combing
through a seemingly inexhaustible range of small stalls and shops that span a
whopping eight floors.

MBK is Bangkok's cheapest place to buy mobile phones and accessories (4th
floor). It's also one of the better places to stock up on camera gear (ground floor
and 5th floor), and the expansive food court (6th floor) is one of the best in
town.

Thanon Khao San Market

The main guesthouse strip in Banglamphu is a day-and-night shopping bazaar


peddling all the backpacker 'essentials': foul-mouthed T-shirts, bootleg MP3s,
hemp clothing, fake student ID cards, knock-off designer wear, selfie sticks,
orange juice and of course, those croaking wooden frogs.
INDRA MARKET

Indra Market in Bangkok also known as Indra square is a reputable indoor


shopping mall including over 300 wholesale and retail outlets. As items are
available at wholesale rate, people flock at Indra market to buy top quality
products at cheap cost. The market is located at a short distance from Pratunam
wholesale market and takes only few minutes time to travel. In Indra Square
mall, you will find several floors consisting of small shops, retail shops,
restaurants, fashion stores and kids stores. This mall is directly attached to the
Indra Regent Hotel.
The Key Attractions
Top quality products at cheap prices
Fashionable clothes, Silk Clothes, Readymade Shirts, Trousers, Jeans, T-shirts
at very low price
Buy SmartPhones, Tablets, iPads, Television and electronic items of reputed
brands at cheap price
Siam Square

This open-air shopping zone is ground zero for teenage culture in Bangkok. Pop
music blares out of tinny speakers, and gangs of hipsters in various costumes
ricochet between fast-food restaurants and closet-sized boutiques. It's a great
place to pick up labels and designs you're guaranteed not to find anywhere else,
though most outfits require a barely there waistline.

Punchard
Though pricey, this is the best all-round handicrafts shop in Ubon. Specialises in
silks and home-decoration products. Many of its products are a merging of old
methods and designs in modern items. The shop is a great place to come and
browse.

Herb Basics
A great stop for fragrant herbal balms, scrubs, creams, soaps and shampoos, all
made in Chiang Mai with natural ingredients. There's a branch on Th Tha Phae
and a small shop at the airport.

Malee Malee
A bohemian wonderland of quirky homemade goods, from silk-screened and
hand-painted T-shirts and silk scarves to journals, toys, baby clothes, paintings,

jewellery and handbags. Prices are low, it's super fun to browse and a sweet cafe
(coffees around 80B) sits on the doorstep.

Saturday Walking Street


As the sun starts to dip on Saturday afternoon, the Saturday Walking Street
takes over Th Wualai, running southwest from Pratu Chiang Mai at the southern
entrance to the old city. There is barely space to move as locals and tourists
from across the world haggle vigorously for carved soaps, novelty dog collars,
wood-carvings, Buddha paintings, hill-tribe trinkets, Thai musical instruments,
T-shirts, paper lanterns and umbrellas, silver jewellery and herbal remedies.

Top 10 Bangkok Shopping Malls:


Bangkok has more than enough shopping malls to suit all kinds of lifestyles and
budgets. But these Top 10 Shopping Malls offer the best shopping experiences,
in terms of diversity of products, accessible location in downtown areas and
overall shopping satisfaction. Whether you are looking for the most upscale, the
trendiest, the funkiest, or the most specialised, you will find them among these
shopping malls below.
Siam Paragon, Siam (Open: 10:00 - 22:00, Nearest BTS: Siam)
CentralWorld, Siam (Open: 10:00-22:00, Nearest BTS: Siam, Chidlom)
MBK, Siam (Open: 10:00 - 22:00, Nearest BTS: National Stadium)
Platinum Fashion Mall, Pratunam (Open: 10:00 - 22:00, Nearest BTS: Chidlom)
Central Chidlom, Chidlom-Ploenchit (Open: 10:00-22:00, Nearest BTS:
Childlom)
Gaysorn, Childlom-Ploenchit (Open: 10:00-22:00, Nearest BTS: Chidlom)
The Emporium, Phrom Phong (Open: 10:00-22:00, Nearest BTS: Phrom Phong)
Siam Centre, Siam (Open: 10:00-21:00, Nearest BTS: Siam)
Siam Discovery, Siam (Open: 10:00-21:00, Nearest BTS: Siam)
Pantip Plaza, Pratunam (Open: 10:00-21:00, Nearest BTS: Chidlom)

SHOPPING QUALITY & DIVERSITY


Thailand is renowned all over the world for its beautiful silk, jewelry and
original exquisite handicrafts. It is also known for producing first-class fake
goods. From the most luxurious to the cheapestclothing, shoes, bags,
apparels, jewelry, to branded luxury goods and even electronic devices such as
mobile phones and laptop computers, you can find almost anything of your
fancy here.
In Bangkok, you can choose among a wide variety of Shopping malls and openair markets. Like other big cities, shopping malls & department stores are places
where you can but high quality products. Though there are also some shops and
stalls in shopping centers where you can haggle for the discounted price,
bargain hunters will be enjoying shopping in Thai markets for the most
affordable goods.
Shopping malls like Gaysorn, Siam Paragon, & Emporium are popular for
tourists looking for international brands and worlds top quality designer wear.
They are mostly open from 10am-10pm daily. These shopping centers are very
accessible via (BTS), the citys most efficient modern sky train.

Hop on the Skytrain to Sukhumvit Road for antiques and handicraft shops. Siam
area is abound with high-end shopping malls where sophisticated and funky
clothes are available. If you want to experience something a little more
adventurous, make your way for the huge weekend market at Chatuchak.
Thailand is waiting to sell you many-monies designer goods, silks,
antiques, snacks and souvenirs and $2 T-shirts galore. Whether you want to
browse night markets, floating markets or absolutely freezing luxury malls
bring your shopping stamina to Thailand.
THAI HANDICRAFTS, ART AND HOME DCOR
Some ideas include Thai triangle cushions, rice baskets in various sizes,
colourful paper umbrellas and woven-by-hill-tribe baskets (authenticity TBC).
Koh Samui and other tourist hubs have by request art shops: you can buy
reproductions, originals, even prints ready and waiting for your black-light.
HAI LIGHTS AND LANTERNS

In shops and at markets across the country youll see a particularly pretty piece
of Thailand lamps, lanterns and fairy lights. If you live somewhere with 220v
electricity one of these might look nice at home.
THAI SILK
Thai silk is produced from the cocoons of Thai silkworms. Thai weavers,
mainly from the Khorat Plateau in the northeast region of Thailand, raise the
caterpillars on a steady diet of mulberry leaves.Khorat is the center of the silk
industry in Thailand and a steady supplier of rose Thai silk for many
generations.[1]
Today, Thai silk is known for its special qualities, bearing unique patterns and
colors.

SHOPPING QUALITY
Quality of shopping
Thailand and Bangkok have developed into one of the best and most popular
shopping locations in Asia, and with good reason. Prices are low, quality
generally high and the range and variety is pretty amazing - silks, gemstones,
tailor-made clothes and traditional handicrafts are all highlights of Bangkok
shopping. Most shops seem to be open 10.00am to 10.00pm everyday of the
week, and nightmarkets carry on even after this time - all very convenient in
being able to go shopping at basically any time you want. Buying a shopping
map is very useful in order to get the most out of shopping in Bangkok - despite
the garish colours, the 'Nancy Chandler' map is actually very useful and
probably
the
best.
Silks, nielloware, lacquerware, silverware, bronzeware, pewterware, pottery,
gemstones and jewelry and all types of handicrafts are particularly good
souvenirs of a trip to Thailand, while clothes and tailor-made clothes are widely
available and inexpensive. Fake goods of all types abound and can be bought at
a fraction of a cost of originals. There are different manufacturers of fake goods,
so the 'Rolex' watch costing 6000B will be better than the 2000B one, which in
turn is superior to the one at 500B.
Street stalls and shops on the street will generally have lower prices for the
same product than those paying premium rents in hotel shopping arcades and
some higher end shopping centers and department stores. The price difference

can

also

reflect

on

the

quality

of

the

product

though.

Duty Free shopping can be done at the Thailand Duty Free Shops Company
branch in the World Trade Center on Ratchadamri road. Goods can be preordered here and then picked up at the airport - you have to show your passport
and
airline
ticket
in
order
to
make
a
purchase.
Many of the larger and more specialized shops now offer shipping abroad, and
they will sort out the necessary documents and permits for this. Insurance
should also be included. If you don't feel comfortable with this, there are
specialized companies that will do it and sort out the arrangements for a fee.
The GPO also has a parcel-wrapping service, and smaller items can be mailed
from here. Another option is to go Thai Airways office on 485 Silom road and,
for a fee, they will ship them and sort out documentation for you.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND FESTIVAL

Major Thai Festivals and Events


Thailand never fails to amaze its countless visitors with the most colorful
festivities and events sure to delight you with glimpses into the countrys
heritage and traditions. Heres a listing of the major Thai holidays and festivals
you should not miss out!

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL (Month of April)


As the most important date in the Thai calendar, the Thai New Year or Songkran
is celebrated nationwide though various exciting events. Get ready to be wet
during this season, as splashing water is the norm throughout (better to bring
your own water gun too)!
Theres the Had Yai Midnight Songkran in Songkhla and I San Maha Songkran
Festival in Nong Khai, where you can come and splash water and watch a
beauty pageant. You can also immerse yourself in traditional Thai culture and
join the beautiful Songkran procession during the Ayutthaya Songkran Festival
(Old Capitals Songkran). The Phra Pradaeng Songkran in Phra Pradaeng,
Samut Prakarn, is formerly known as the Pak Lat Songkran Festival, with the
notable addition of a colourful and elaborate Songkran procession staged by the
Mon, or Raman, residents of Phra Pradaeng. Chiangmai also celebrates its own
Songkran Festival with the same spectacular Songkran procession, culture
shows and beauty contest.
BANGKOK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (usually held month of
January)
Enjoy an exciting exhibition on spectacular posters that are available along with
the seminars and conferences related to film. Jazz concerts serve to complement
the artistic flavor of the series of events.

BO SANG UMBRELLA FAIR & SAN KAMPHAENG HANDICRAFT


(month of January, in Chiangmai)
A colorful festival featuring contests, cultural performances, stalls selling
traditional paper umbrellas and handicrafts to be found in the main street of Bo
Sang.
CHIANG MAI FLOWER FESTIVAL (Month of February, Chiangmai)

Witness the beautiful flower-decorated floats, ladies in the Flower Queen


Beauty Pageant and the flower arrangement contest in this highly-anticipated
colorful season in the North.
PHUKET VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL (Month of October, Phuket)
For all veggie-lovers this festival is for you! Or if you just simply enjoy seeing
superhuman displays of devotion like scaling razor ranged ladder, then this
festival is not to be missed.
FRUIT DAY IN CHANTABURI (May-June)
This event is a series of sales fairs organized by community housewives and
One Tumbon One Product (OTOP), featuring a fruit-decorated floats on parade,
best fruit products showcase and modified fruit product contest.
HUA HIN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Month of June)
You can relax and enjoy breezy waves of the sound at the Hua Hin Jazz Festival
which features both renowned Thai and International Jazz musicians, familiar
all-time favorite and contemporary works.
BUN LUANG & PHI TA KHON FESTIVAL ( Month of June, Wat
Phonchai, Loie)
This is the biggest merit-making ceremony of Dan Sai District, featuring
participants wearing fancy and colorful ghost masks with very pointy noses,
dressing up in guilted costumes.

NEW YEAR CELEBRATION (December 31 January 1)


Thailand welcomes the New Year with various kinds of colorful events
nationwide. You can head on over to any of their renowned beachesmainly
Pattaya and Phuket, or go up north to Chiang Mai to usher in the New Year with
an official countdown. Bangkok also offers a load of parties that will definitely
ensure that you start the New Year right with a bang!

ENTERTAINMENT
Bangkok is the best place to catch authentic performances of classical Thai
dance, though more easily digestible tourist-oriented shows are staged in some
of the big tourist centres as well as in Bangkok. The countrys two main Thai
boxing stadia are also in the capital, but youll come across local matches in the
provinces too.
Drama and dance
Drama pretty much equals dance in classical Thai theatre, and many of the
traditional dance-dramas are based on the Ramakien, the Thai version of the
Hindu epic the Ramayana, an adventure tale
of good versus evil that is taught in all
schools. Not understanding the plots can be a
major disadvantage, so try reading an
abridged version beforehand (see M.L.
Manich
Jumsai
and
The
Ramayana/Ramakien) and check out the
wonderfully imaginative murals at Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok. There are three
broad categories of traditional Thai dance-drama khon, lakhon and likay.

Amusement / Theme Park


Siam Park City (Bangkok)
Siam Park City be your first choice for your hangout place! With the Location
in the center of the city on more-than-120-acre area, Siam Park City is very
convenient-to-go destination. No need for day-off on the beach, Siam Park
City offers all the youngsters and grownups the best one-stop experience ever:
a full variety of playthings, the amusem Apart from various kinds of attractions,
Siam Park City also offers other facilities such as seminar, boy scout camp, food
and drink zone (buffet, a la carte, and convenient store). Also swim rings,
swimming suits, and deckchairs are available for rent. ent park as well as the
gigantic water park.
Black Mountain (Hua Hin)

Fun is all around, even in the hills! We suggest Black mountain, the mediumsized water park filled with various standard playthings on the more-than-8-acre
area and many relaxing corners provided for your holiday visit. The Black
Mountain is surrounded by the mini artificial seas for kids and sunbathing zones

for grownups. Other related services are also available: a first aid clinic, lockers
for rent, restaurants, lifeguards, and other facilities.
Dream World (Pathum Thani)
Dream World was open on 5 February B.E.2537. Dream World is situated at
Km. 7 on the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok route, Khlong Sam with an area of 160 rai
approximately. The park has been divided into several zones with specific
groups of rides such as Dream World Plaza, Dream Gardens, Fantasy Land, and
Adventure Land. There are also international parade, roller coaster, and speedy
mouse. Dream World is a huge amusement park and a relaxing entertainment
venue for young families and individuals alike with an area of 160 rai. It
comprises 4 zones, each with its own theme. Dream World Plaza is full of
beautiful and elegant architecture. Dream Garden is a relaxing area filled with
greenery, centered on a lake. A cable car offers panoramic views from the sky.
Safari World
Safari World is a zoo for those who don't like zoos of course like any animal
parks it has some good and some not so good sides but here animals certainly
do have huge amount of space to roam free.
Opened since 1988, Safari World is divided in two distinct areas: The open
space of Safari Park where you can drive through in your car or in the park bus
represents 480 acres for its open zoo and 180 acres for its bird park, then the
Marine Park which is more of a traditional zoo mixed with many shows, lots of
food stalls and plenty of souvenir shops. Marine World which is more of a
traditional zoo merged into a giant theme park with many animals
performances.
Check the time table when entering as there are no less than seven shows,
including the inevitable elephant show. Other shows set in huge amphitheaters
include a bird, sea lion and the controversial orangutan Thai boxing show that
might not be to the taste of adult visitors but children infallibly love it. The
dolphin show is always the most popular and spectacular. Less impressive is the
'Egg World', 'Thailand's only egg discovery centre' as stated in front of a not so
popular building proudly displaying eggs.

ENTERTAINMENT QUALITY & VARIETY

Upon travelling to Thailand, one is likely to find that he will never run out of
entertainment choices. Every year, millions of tourists go the country to engage
in an array of fun diversions. If you find yourself in this charming nation for a
holiday, there are a number of amusement options that are in store for you. One
attraction that Thailand is famous for is its bustling nightlife. Indeed, if you
want to add a bit more excitement to your nights, you will not be disappointed
one bit in what the place has to offer. You can forget your worries and dance to
your heart's content in its numerous discotheques and nightclubs. In addition to
this, many neon-lit red-district areas abound in the locality, which feature go-go
bars, massage parlours, and adult shows. These places are ideal for you if you
seek wilder entertainment options. If you prefer more laid-back forms of
enjoyment, however, you can find what you are looking for in cocktail lounges

and pubs where you can sit and talk with friends over a drink or two. Moreover,
karaoke centres are abundant in the country, where you can croon a wide
assortment of musical tracks. Most of these establishments have VIP booths so
you can hold private parties with your friends and entertain yourselves with
songs. Finally, if you are a film buff, you can have a wonderful movie
experience in high quality theatres that provide sophisticated services and
amenities to their patrons. All things considered, you will surely have the time
of your life in Thailand with these numerous options.
NIGHTLIFE AT THAILAND

After Thai food, its often aspects of nightlife in Thailand that people most talk
about. In a culture that is often very receptive and accepting of most things,
nightlife in particular can take on an entire new dimension.If youve never
heard of a ladyboy, it wont take long until you do in Thailand. Though it might
come as a surprise at first, its a country where people of all sexes, orientations,
and walks of life attend nightclubs and bars in unison. Prostitution is another
major issue of nightlife in Thailand. There are many prostitutes throughout the
country that often hang out around tourist concentrated areas of nightlife
With its mixture of exoticism, romance, sense of adventure and plain
excitement, nightlife in Thailand is unique. Of course, anyone who has never
been to Thailand instantly conjures up visions of A Go-Go bars and sleazy back
alley massage parlours; its true but not wholly representative of a country that
has beautiful traditional dancing, an irrepressible culinary scene and lively bars
and nightclubs.

ACCESSIBILITY
The travel from Kochi to Thailand has been scheduled in Srilankan Airlines.
Though there was no direct flight available, the connection flight via Colombo
has been chosen for the travel. The distance from Cochin International Airport
to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand is 3522 miles, i.e.,
5668 kilometers. But we stepped down in Colombo Bandaranayake Airport to
transit to next flight which was to Bangkok. We took one hour to reach
Colombo from Cochin and 2 hours 50 minutes from Colombo to Bangkok
approximately. So as a total, we took a flight time of 3 hours 50 minutes for
travelling from Cochin to Bangkok. For the whole travel we have used
Srilankan Airlines.
There are 18 direct flights from India to Bangkok which is from various
airports. They are:

Jet Airways (India) Ltd from BOM to BKK

Air India from BOM to BKK

Bangkok Airways from BOM to BKK

Thai Airways International from BOM to BKK

All Nippon Airways from BOM to BKK

Thai Airways International from CCU to BKK

IndiGo Air from CCU to BKK

IndiGo Air from DEL to BKK

Jet Airways (India) Ltd from DEL to BKK

Air India from DEL to BKK

Thai Airways International from DEL to BKK

Druk Air from GAU to BKK

Thai Airways International from HYD to BKK

Druk Air from IXB to BKK

Thai Airways International from MAA to BKK

Thai Air Asia from MAA to DMK

Air Austral from MAA to BKK

Thai Airways International from BLR to BKK

Visa On Arrival
For passengers who would like to apply for Visa on Arrival to travel in
Thailand, there are two service counters provided by Suvarnabhumi airport
before reaching to the Immigration on 2nd level. The qualifications for getting
visa on arrival are as follows:

Hold the citizenship of a country on the list issued by the minister under
the consent of the Council of Ministers of Thailand.

Aim to enter Thailand for tourism for the period of not exceeding 15
days.

Submit one 4 x 6 cm. headshot photo taken no longer than 6 months.


Does not fall into the category of aliens prohibited from entering
Thailand under the Immigration law.

Possess the return ticket within 15 days.

Truthfully notify the verifiable places to stay in Thailand.

Present evidence of adequate finance, not less than 10,000 Baht (250US$)
per person and 20,000 Baht (500US$) per family.

Possess a passport or travel document with validity not less than 6


months.

Pay 1,000 Baht for the visa fee (Thai currency only)

THAILAND INFRASTRUCTURE

There is very little dispute that Thailands exporters need the critical
infrastructure upgrades offered in the bill. Much of the money is allocated to
expanding the countrys severely underdeveloped railroad network. Currently
exporters must rely on poorly maintained roads to uphold an unreliable supply
chain. The $68 billion bill is also potentially a huge deal for holders of THD,
40% of which is weighted to the infrastructure sector.
Despite political turbulence Thailands economic fundamentals remain strong.
The Thai economy is predicted to grow at 5.3% for 2013. Growth will be fueled
by increased domestic demand. The director-general of Thailands Fiscal Policy
Office reported that private consumption is expected to grow by 4.6% for 2013.
Private investment is projected to grow by 9.3%.

A common criticism of some emerging market ETFs, like THD, is that their
fortunes are tightly bound to state-backed projects and vulnerable to
unpredictable political shifts. The lack of transparency in the allocation of
infrastructure funding, like the bill in Thailand, puts foreign investors at a
disadvantage to local insiders. Foreign investors have a great deal at stake on
the course of action taken by the Thai judiciary.
Healthcare System and Quality in Thailand
A World Bank featured story titled, 'Thailand: Sustaining health Protection for
All' says 99.5 % of the Thai people have access to healthcare under schemes
promoted by the government. The budget allocation
to healthcare is high and it is increasing steadily.
Citizens are covered under schemes such as the
Universal Coverage Scheme, Civil Servant Medical
Benefit Scheme, Voluntary Healthcare Card Scheme,
etc.
The Ministry of Public Health controls most of the
hospitals in Thailand. There are more than a thousand
government hospitals in the country. Government
hospitals in Thailand are of three types, There are regional hospitals in the
provinces with at least 500 beds, general hospitals in major districts or province
capitals with a capacity of 200 to 500 beds, and community hospitals in the
districts that can admit 10 to 30 patients. The community hospitals provide basic
medical care and refer the more advanced cases to the general hospitals or the
regional hospitals.
Security & safety Measures
Authorities have put in place measures to tighten law enforcement on traffic
rules and regulations to improve road safety at eight major tourist destinations
in Thailand.The eight destinations include Pattaya in Chon Buri, Ko Samui in
Surat Thani, Hat Yai in Songkhla, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Samut
Prakan, and Ayutthaya.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the measures were
effective on 1 March 2016. The Royal Thai Police and its related divisions the
Tourist Police, the Traffic Police, the Strategy Division, and the Foreign Affairs
Division in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the
Department of Highways are strengthening the enforcement of traffic laws on
motorists and motorcyclists.

The strict enforcement will cover 10 key traffic rules and regulations, including
driving on the pavement, driving without a license, driving against the
traffic/not giving way to pedestrians at crossings, driving without wearing a
seatbelt/helmet, careless or inconsiderate driving, driving under the
influence/driving while intoxicated, illegal car accessorizing, and parking in a
prohibited area.
The move came in response to the Thai governments announcement in late
January 2016, requesting the Royal Thai Police to tighten law enforcement on
traffic rules and regulations across the country, as part of the broader effort to
upgrade safety and security standards, and to boost trust and confidence among
the public. For information and assistance, please contact the Tourist Police
Hotline 1155.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary for Interior Grisada Boonrach had instructed all
provinces to step up safety and security for tourists. Officials were told to check
local tourist attractions and services and make sure that local tourism-related
operators abide by law. Travel routes must be inspected to ensure safety and
prevent accidents and crime.Problems concerning tourist safety and security
have been rectified. Security has also been tightened across the country for the
publics safety, particularly at destinations and venues popular with tourists.

Currency Exchange

Exchanging currency should always be done at a bank or foreign exchange


facility. Hotels will exchange currency, but at a much higher rate. The
international airport in Bangkok has currency exchange facilities. Traveller's
cheques are widely accepted in many Thai hotels and major venues. It is wise to
convert traveller's cheques into Thai baht at a bank or similar foreign exchange
facility. To carry out any currency exchange a passport is required. Currently, an
unlimited amount of personal cash may be imported when entering Thailand.
For amounts over $20,000 or its equivalent, customs have to be informed and
additional paperwork will be required. For exporting over THB 50,000, customs
have to be notified on departure. When travelling to Laos, Myamar, Cambodia,
Malaysi or Vietnam there is a limit of THB 500,000.

Telecommunication
SIM cards and top-ups are available widely in Thailand from the major carriers
(the big three: AIS, dtac and True Move H) as well as a number of smaller
'boutique' provides that lease government bandwidth and equipment or MVNO
(such as iMobile or Tune). Purchase of a new SIM card/number is easy, and can
be done at operators' shops and any 7-11 as well as at many airport kiosks.
Thailand has began requiring SIM card registration and the production of ID
(such as passport for non-Thais) must be required.
Arriving at BKK (Suvarnabhumi) airport in Bangkok, you have the best choice.
The 3 major players have their flagship stores in the arrivals hall almost side by
side. So you can check prices and compare promotions. All carriers give out
monthly promotions which are not mentioned in this article. The situation at
DMK (Don Mueng) airport, Bangkok's budget airport and other regional
airports is different as only a True shop is on location, but several small shops
sell the tourist SIMs of other carriers (AIS/dtac). In Chiang Mai and Phuket,
you may find True Move SIMs given out for free.

HOSPITALITY

Friendliness of local people towards tourists


62 million people live here, with approximately a quarter of those living in the
greater Bangkok area. There are several small minority ethnic groups such as
Mon, Karen and Khmer, mainly in the north but 75% of the population are of
Thai descent, with the rest made up of predominantly Chinese then Malay.
96% of the people are Buddhist with the remaining 4% being mainly southern
Muslims. The national language and script is Thai, but there are several regional
dialects.

Thais are flexible in nature and understand very well, that foreigners do not
know their code of behavior. Mostly they are too polite to complain about
ignorance. But if you'd like to be respected, it is important to show proper
behavior, most importantly to show respect for the monarchy. Thai people are
very fond of and loyal to their king and queen and the whole royal family.
Their religion should be respected as well. Temples, Buddha, statues, and
monks (it is not allowed for a woman to touch a monk, for example) are to be
revered.
Buddhist and Chinese shrines are open to foreigners but you should dress
appropriately when visiting. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are discouraged. A nonMuslim can enter a mosque during prayer time. Hilltop houses have special
spirit houses, which are closed to outsiders; entering them will violate their
sanctity.
Thais are amenable to being photographed but, if in doubt, ask first. Monks can
be photographed and Buddhist ceremonies too. They regard the feet of lower
stature so do not point them at others or step over those seated or lying. Remove
your shoes before entering a Thai temple or house. Likewise, the head is of high
stature and is not supposed to be touched or slapped.
Officials
If you are involved in an incident then respect for the police is a must. Insults,
loud or aggressive speech, or, indeed any expression of anger, will invoke much
embarrassment and even less cooperation, so you must avoid this at all times,
guilty or not.
Thai police officers have much greater powers of action than their European
counterparts and will not accept disrespectful behaviour. Common offences
such as not wearing a helmet will get you a 300 B fine. Parking on the wrong
side of the road will get your bike or car chained up and another fine. The trick
is to know which side of the road to park on. Just look to see where everyone
else has parked and park on that side of the road.
Police corruption is widespread throughout the country, and buying off offences
is common. Don't expect justice to take place naturally. If you feel that you're
being treated unfairly then stand your ground, remain cool at all times, make a
show of recording the officer's registration number, and insist on seeing a
superior officer.
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT POLICY & ORGANISATION

Tourism Industry has played important role in Thailand Economy. Thailand


government believes tourism as a fast tract to economy growth and requires less
investment than other industries. Among the Southeast Asian countries,
Thailand is attracted visitors. Community tourism (community-based tourism or
CBT) is a form of tourism which aims to include and benefit local communities,
particularly indigenous peoples and villagers in the developing countries. For
instance, villagers might host tourist in their village, managing the scheme
communally and sharing the profits. There are many types of community
tourism project, including many in which the community works with a
commercial tour operator, but all community tourism projects should give local
people a fair share of the benefits/profits and a say in deciding how incoming
tourism is managed.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand(TAT)
Tourism Authority of Thailand or TAT (formerly named the Tourist
Organization of Thailand or T.O.T.), established in 1959, have played crucial
role in tourism development in Thailand more than 52 years. Both Thai
language and English tourism magazine are published and distributed for
tourism including seminars on tourism service development; such as hotel,
restaurants and souvenir shops. TAT becomes a member of many international
organizations related to tourism promotion; such as PATA, World Tourism
Organization. TAT office is established in domestic and oversea. Thailand
Tourism marketing and campaign are launched by TAT worldwide. Up to date,
TAT was still a state enterprise under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to
promote the marketing.

Ministry of Tourism & Sports


The Ministry of Tourism and Sports was established in 2002 to develop, support
and promote industrial tourism, sports and recreation. Among the department in
the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, The department of Tourism, concerning
tourism business and guide registration, tourism sites development, tourism
service development, tourism academic, has played important role in tourism
promotion. The Department of Tourism has its authorities and duties on the
development of tourism sites, tourism industry, and national guides aimed to be
classified a same standard level so that Thai tourism will be able to sustainably
advantage.
Tourism Council of Thailand

Tourism Council of Thailand is a private sector organization. It is responsible


for implementation of objectives prescribed in the tourism Industry Council Act
Thailand 2544 (2001) with the follow key elements:
- representatives of the tourism industry in terms of coordination between
government and private sector together
- promote the development of the tourism industry
- promote the conservation of art, culture, tourist attraction and historic
environment
including the identity of Thai culture

DESTINATION POLICY, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Policies for development of tourism


Accelerate the development of a tourism technological system for
accommodating business activities information (E-Tourism) on the Internet.
Included here is also the carrying out of electronic commerce as well as
applying information technology in marketing. The necessary mechanism on
controlling and protection has to be in place to ensure prevention of
problems.

Aim at organization and management development as well as development


of the human resources ability to create a capable driving force in the
operation. Moreover, this aims at strengthening the potentiality on
international competition under the good governance as well as developing
the strength of the organization on its technical roles as well as knowledge
on marketing.

Promote cooperation in all levels domestically and internationally on


promotion for the development of tourism markets. This aims to get rid of all
hindrances in the tourism industry and pave the way for Thailand to be the
tourism hub of Southeast Asia.
Promote and develop the operation on proactive marketing strategies for
increasing the new markets as well as the niche markets. This is in order to
attract more quality tourists to visit Thailand. At the same time, domestic
travel for Thais should be vigorously encouraged. The positioning of
Thailand is to be drawn out clearly, too.
Promote the tourism industry to be an important instrument in tackling the
countrys economic problem, creating jobs for people as well as increasing
income for the country. Moreover, promotion should be done to make
tourism play a vital role in the development of the quality of life in all
regions of Thailand as per the policy of the government.

Tourism development Program


The cabinet has approved Thailands national tourism development master plan
2012- 2016, which targets to turn Thailand into one of the top 5 destinations in
Asia.
According to Thailands Government Public Relations Department, the
objective of the National Tourism Development Plan is to move Thailands
tourism competitiveness up at least 15 places, which would put it among the top
five destinations in Asia.
In order to achieve this aim, five strategies have been set for implementation:
o Develop infrastructure and logistics, linking with domestic and international
tourism.
o Development and rehabilitation of tourism sites and improvement of various
rules and regulations to enhance the countrys potential for accommodating
more tourist arrivals.
o Development of the creative economy, which is the focus in the 11th
National Economic and Social Development Plan, 2012-2016. New products
and services will be launched, while incentives for tourism trade and
investment will be offered and human resource development will be
emphasized.
o Create confidence in Thailands good image among visitors, so that the
country will welcome a greater number of tourists who will spend more in
Thailand.

o Participation of the public sector, civil society, and local administrative


organizations in tourism management.
Thailands tourism sector made a full recovery in 2010 following the impacts of
global recession of political uncertainty, with approximately 15 million arrivals
in 2010, and earnings which have grown to 586 billion baht, or about 11.9% on
average over the past five years.
The BOI offers attractive investment incentives for many tourism related
activities; incentives that include tax and import duty exemptions for those who
qualify. At nearly 14% of GDP, the tourism industry is set to get even stronger.

Destination
Destination is a geographical area (place, region, country) which is chosen by
the guest (or a guest segment) as travel destination. It contains all the
facilities necessary for a stay, inclusive of accommodation, catering and
entertainment/activities. Therefore, it is the competitive unit of the incoming
tourism which must be managed as a strategic business unit. Destination is an
area which is separately identified and promoted to tourists as a place to visit
and within which the tourism product is coordinated by one or more
identifiable authorities or organisations.

Destination Management
Destination management is the coordinated management of all the element that
make up a destination. Destination management takes a strategic approach to
link-up these sometimes very separate entities for the better management of the
destination. Joined up management can help to avoid duplication of effort
with regards to promotion, visitor services, training, business support and
identify any management gaps that are not being addressed.
Managing tourism destinations is an important part of controlling tourism's
environmental impacts. Destination management can include land use
planning, business permits and zoning controls, environmental and other
regulations, business association initiatives, and a host of other techniques to
shape the development and daily operation of tourism-related activities.

The term "destination" refers broadly to an area where tourism is a relatively


important activity and where the economy may be significantly influenced by
tourism revenues. Destination management is complicated by the fact that a
single, recognizable destination may include several municipalities,
provinces, or other government entities - in island environments it may be the
entire country.
Participating governance structures led by local authorities, with the
involvement of local NGOs, community and indigenous representatives,
academia, and local chambers of commerce, make up what are known as
"Destination Management Organizations" (DMOs). Often DMOs take the
form of local tourism boards, councils, or development organizations. The
network of local tourism businesses (hotels, attractions, transportation
services, service providers such as guides and equipment rentals, restaurants,
etc.) are also a significant part of a destination.

Destination Management Approach


The needs, expectations and anticipated benefits of tourism vary greatly from
one destination to the next, and there is certainly no "one size fits all"
approach to destination management. As local communities living in regions
with tourism potential develop a vision for what kind of tourism they want to
facilitate, a comprehensive planning framework such as Local Agenda 21 has
proved useful and is being used more and more often. Promoting sustainable
tourism within Local Agenda 21 processes is a way to strengthen local
stewardship of the environment.

Effective Destination Management Structure


The tourism sector is complex, incorporating a network of interrelated
stakeholders and organisations, both public and private sector, working
together. The success of a destination relies on a coordinated approach to the
planning, development, management and marketing of a destination. A
clearly defined destination management structure can provide destination
managers and stakeholders with a place to negotiate sustainable destination

development, ongoing management and effective destination marketing


outcomes.
Lessons from around the world suggest that an effective destination
management structure:
Is a collaborative structure that combines the interests, skills and
knowledge of 'stakeholders' across government, industry and the
community, as highlighted in the Barossa Valley with the establishment
of the Barossa Wine and Tourism Association bringing together a range
of stakeholders to guide tourism planning, development and marketing;
Develops a clear stakeholder agreed strategic direction for the
development, management and marketing of tourism in a destination;
Establishes an agreed vision and image for a destination based on the
values of the destination and its stakeholders;
Establishes clear roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders across all
elements of destination management and decision-making;
Address the complexities of decision-making and approval processes
by developing strategies and partnerships to minimise the levels of
decision-making;
Recognises that public-private partnerships are an efficient way to
manage and promote destinations;
Establishes cooperative arrangements with partners to ensure effective
communication and collaboration. Partnership agreements or MoUs
between stakeholders can be used to articulate the governance framework
for managing a destination, as highlighted in Victorias Geelong Otway
Tourisms bottom up approach to destination management, establishing
MOUs with Local Governments and Local Tourism Organisations and
encouraging industry membership;
Allows local tourism leaders to become destination champions, as in the
case of Leeds in the United Kingdom where tourism champions
encourage stakeholder participation, foster innovation and assist in the
development of a committed and shared approach to tourism
management.

Destination marketing
Destination marketing is the process of communicating with potential visitors to
influence their destination preference, intention to travel and ultimately their
final destination and product choices. Destination marketing is a major part of
the Implementation process; it is the articulation and communication of the
values, vision and competitive attributes of the destination. The actions
implemented in the destination marketing phase should be underpinned by the
findings of the Destination planning, process and the subsequent Destination
Development activities.
Destination marketing is defined as a proactive, strategic, visitor-centered
approach to the economic and cultural development of a location, which
balances and integrates the interests of visitors, service providers, and the
community.

Successful destination marketing involves: Understanding the motivations


and preferences of visitors in their decision-making and travel planning
process and how these behaviours change over time;

Identifying appropriate visitor markets that fit the


attractions and experiences and align with community values;

Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan to provide direction for


destination marketing activities;

Developing a stakeholder agreed, strong and recognised destination


brand and image that is underpinned by the values and unique point of
difference of the destination;

Facilitation of a process to engage stakeholders to implement key


marketing activities including:

destination

a Relevant promotional and advertising actions to influence visitor


perceptions, awareness and destination choice;
b Effective sales and distribution channels to enable conversion of
intention to visit into actual visitation;

c Development of cooperative marketing programs with tourism


organisations and businesses to provide resource synergies and
increased visitation potential for a destination.
d Gaining cut-through of your message either through innovative
marketing ideas, for example Tourism Queenslands Best Job in the
World campaign or by allocating significant budget to marketing to
gain a greater share of voice.
e Effectively building a destination brand that is in harmony with
the communitys aspirations.

ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT
The government has been attempting in respond to the environmental problems,
in which several effective pollution control measures were initiated. The
measures aim not only at exhaust gas emission controls but also at the
improvement of fuel and vehicle specifications, implementation of in-use
vehicle inspection and maintenance program, mass transit systems, and traffic
management. The measures directed toward reducing vehicle emissions include:
Fuel reformulation
The fuel reformulation is separated into two types, gasoline and diesel.
Automotive gasoline reformulation
The ways of gasoline reformulation are implemented as follows:
- Leaded gasoline has been no longer available in Thailand since January 1,
1996.
- The benzene content is limited less than 3.5 percent by volume.
- The aromatic content is set to be lower than 35 percent by volume.
Automotive diesel reformulation
The ways of diesel reformulation are implemented as follows:
- The sulfur content is reduced from 1.0 to 0.5 percent by weight.
- The 90 percent volume distilled is reduced from 370 oC to 357 oC.
Control of vehicle emissions
Controls of CO and NOX from gasoline vehicles are performed through the use
of catalytic converters. After January 1, 1993, all cars having engine sized

greater than 1600 cc must be installed catalytic converters. The cars with engine
sized smaller than 1600 cc are required toinstall catalytic converters after June
1, 1993.

Emission standard
Emission standard for new vehicles in Thailand had been established since
1995, as shown
Sustainable Tourism
Thailand has been fortunate to benefit from exponential tourist growth. Visitors
entering the country have doubled each successive decade since the 70s and
now numbers more than 15 million people every year. This is a huge benefit to
the Thai economy, bringing in more than $15 billion a year. It is no surprise that
ecotourism on the Andaman coast has been on the rise in recent years. Phuket
still remains the runaway leader in the region. However, increasing numbers of
visitors are looking further afield for a more enjoyable holiday experience in a
less developed area.
These are people who love Thailand, who feel that places like Phuket and Koh
Samui have gone too far. Brimming over with 7-11s, McDonalds and Starbucks
these destinations lose the underlying culture that once made them so charming.
Often the arrival of these chains marks the beginning of the end of the area as
many of the distinctive Thai cultural traits get lost in a sea of homogeneity. It
does not take a huge stretch of the imagination to wonder whether tourism is
ever sustainable. Is the tourist footprint ever a good one?
As visitors look beyond Phuket into Phang Nga we see signs that Thailand must
be careful of the long term impact of mass tourism. The temptation to cash in on
the tourist boom is all too evident as legions of multinational resorts push
through Khao Lak towards our beloved Koh Phra Thong.
So many areas have been irreparably damaged in this way. The bulldozers and
pollution slowly destroy the natural habitats. Obviously, the scenery is a prime
reason why the tourists come. So with the nature on the wane, the motivation to
come is removed and the next wave of tourists never arrive. This remains the
irony of ecotourism.

There are plenty of tourism resources in Thailand. Some are natural tourist
attractions while others are historical or cultural. Most of them are famous
among both Thais and foreigners. Consequently, the number of tourists is
increasing every year.The Tourism Authority of Thailand and other relevant
departments have thus drawn up the Sustainable Tourism regulations in order to
preserve tourist attractions in their original condition.There are plenty of
tourism resources in Thailand. Some are natural tourist attractions while others
are historical or cultural. Most of them are famous among both Thais and
foreigners. Consequently, the number of tourists is increasing every year. This
results in the deterioration of the environment due to a lack of preservation
measures.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and other relevant departments have thus
drawn up the Sustainable Tourism regulations in order to preserve tourist
attractions in their original condition. Sustainable tourism is a form of tourism
that provides economic, social, and environmental benefits through the
knowledgeable management of tourism resources. Long-term sustainability is
achieved without losing any local cultural identity or natural values.
PRICE COMPETITIVENESS
Value for money

The basic unit of Thai currency is the baht. There are 100 satang in one baht.
Coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and 1B, 2B, 5B and 10B coins.
The 2B coin is similar in size to the 1B coin but is gold in colour. The two
satang coins are typically only issued at supermarkets where prices arent
rounded up to the nearest baht.

Paper currency is issued in 20B (green), 50B (blue), 100B (red), 500B (purple)
and 1000B (beige) denominations.
Tipping
Tipping is not standard but it is appreciated. If there are a few coins left
over from a restaurant bill or metered taxi fare, it is common to offer it as a tip.
Exhange Rates
RATES TABLE1 Thai Baht Rates table
1.00
THB

inv. 1.00
THB

Argentine Peso

0.410889

2.433747

Australian Dollar

0.037766

26.478725

Bahraini Dinar

0.010691

93.534911

Botswana Pula

0.325192

3.075108

Brazilian Real

0.104612

9.559113

British Pound

0.020068

49.831208

Bruneian Dollar

0.038914

25.697734

Bulgarian Lev

0.049620

20.152983

Canadian Dollar

0.037658

26.554870

Chilean Peso

19.295336

0.051826

Chinese Yuan
Renminbi

0.184486

5.420465

87.111867

0.011479

Croatian Kuna

0.190220

5.257077

Czech Koruna

0.686920

1.455773

Thai Baht

Colombian Peso

Thai Baht

1.00
THB

inv. 1.00
THB

Danish Krone

0.189257

5.283827

Emirati Dirham

0.104153

9.601274

Euro

0.025391

39.383753

Hong Kong Dollar

0.219995

4.545557

Hungarian Forint

7.969134

0.125484

Icelandic Krona

3.568127

0.280259

Indian Rupee

1.895505

0.527564

Indonesian Rupiah

375.964838

0.002660

Iranian Rial

855.550829

0.001169

Israeli Shekel

0.108750

9.195363

Japanese Yen

3.206664

0.311851

Kazakhstani Tenge

9.843187

0.101593

Kuwaiti Dinar

0.008568

116.713553

Latvian Lat

0.017845

56.038351

Libyan Dinar

0.038282

26.122222

Lithuanian Litas

0.087671

11.406323

Malaysian Ringgit

0.114391

8.741943

Mauritian Rupee

1.005246

0.994781

Mexican Peso

0.497443

2.010282

Nepalese Rupee

3.015738

0.331594

1.00
THB

inv. 1.00
THB

New Zealand Dollar

0.042404

23.582940

Norwegian Krone

0.243702

4.103368

Omani Rial

0.010906

91.692664

Pakistani Rupee

2.971785

0.336498

Philippine Peso

1.316319

0.759694

Polish Zloty

0.108246

9.238205

Qatari Riyal

0.103248

9.685393

Romanian New Leu

0.113336

8.823309

Russian Ruble

1.939446

0.515611

Saudi Arabian Riyal

0.106345

9.403373

Singapore Dollar

0.038914

25.697734

South African Rand

0.438134

2.282408

South Korean Won

33.153268

0.030163

Sri Lankan Rupee

4.172692

0.239653

Swedish Krona

0.238838

4.186934

Swiss Franc

0.027684

36.122549

Taiwan New Dollar

0.925280

1.080754

Trinidadian Dollar

0.186190

5.370850

Turkish Lira

0.081569

12.259605

US Dollar

0.028357

35.265000

Venezuelan Bolivar

0.178796

5.592958

Thai Baht

AIR TICKET PRICE


From Kochi to Bangkok
AIRLINE
SPICEJET

FARE
10063

SRILANKAN AIRLINES

12803

AIR INDIA

15689

JET AIRWAYS

22947

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

19053

TIGER AIRWAYS

14660

SILKAIR

19443

ACCOMMODATION AT THAILAND
For the simplest double room, prices start at a bargain B150 in the outlying
regions, B200 in Bangkok, and B400 in the pricier resorts. Tourist centres
invariably offer a tempting range of more upmarket choices but in these areas
rates fluctuate according to demand, plummeting during the off-season, peaking
over the Christmas fortnight and, in some places, rising at weekends throughout
the year.

Guesthouses, bungalows and hostels


Most of Thailands budget accommodation is in guesthouses and bungalows.
These are small, traveller-friendly hotels whose services nearly always include
an inexpensive restaurant and safe storage for valuables and left luggage, and
often also run to internet access (sometimes even in-room wi-fi) and a tour desk.
The difference between guesthouses and bungalows is mostly in their design,
with bungalows which are generally found on the beach and in rural areas
mostly comprising detached or semi-detached rooms in huts, villas, chalets or
indeed bungalows, and guesthouses being either a purpose-built mini-hotel or
a converted home. En-suite showers and flush toilets are common in both, but at
the cheapest places you might be showering with a bowl dipped into a large
water jar, and using squat toilets.

Many guesthouses and bungalows offer a spread of options to cater for all
budgets: their cheapest rooms will often be furnished with nothing more than a
double bed, a blanket and a fan (window optional, private bathroom extra) and
might cost anything from B150300 for two people, depending on the location
and the competition. A similar room with en-suite bathroom, and possibly more
stylish furnishings, generally comes in at B200600, while for a room with airconditioner, and perhaps a TV and fridge as well, youre looking at B3501500.
In the north of Thailand in the cool season, air conditioning is more or less
redundant, but you might want to check that your room has a hot shower.

In the most popular tourist centres at the busiest times of year, the best-known
guesthouses are often full night after night. Some will take bookings and
advance payment via their websites, but for those that dont its usually a
question of turning up and waiting for a vacancy. At most guesthouses checkout
time is either 11am or noon.

With only a dozen or so registered youth hostels in the country, bookable via
wtyha.org, its not worth becoming a Hostelling International member just for
your trip to Thailand, especially as card-holders get only a small discount and
room rates work out the same as or more expensive than guesthouse
equivalents. In addition, there are a small but growing number of smart,
modern, non-affiliated hostels, especially in Bangkok. They usually work out
more expensive than budget guesthouses but are good places to meet other
travellers.

Budget hotels

Thai sales reps and other people travelling for business rather than pleasure
rarely use guesthouses, opting instead for budget hotels, which offer rooms for
around B150600. Usually run by Chinese-Thais, these functional three- or
four-storey places are found in every sizeable town, often near the bus station or
central market. Beds are large enough for a couple, so its quite acceptable for
two people to ask and pay for a single room (hawng thiang diaw, literally a
one-bedded room). Though the rooms are generally clean, en suite and
furnished with either a fan or air-con, theres rarely an on-site restaurant and the
atmosphere is generally less convivial than at guesthouses. A number of budget
hotels also double as brothels, though as a farang youre unlikely to be offered
this sideline, and you might not even notice the goings-on.

Advance reservations are accepted over the phone, but this is rarely necessary,
as such hotels rarely fill up. The only time you may have difficulty finding a
budget hotel room is during Chinese New Year (a moveable three-day period in
late Jan or Feb), when many Chinese-run hotels close and others get booked up
fast.

Tourist hotels
The rest of the accommodation picture is all about tourist hotels which, like
anywhere in the world, come in all sizes and qualities and are often best booked
via online discount accommodation booking services such as wsawadee.com.

One way or another, its a good idea to reserve ahead in popular tourist areas
during peak season.

Rates for middle-ranking hotels fall between B600 and B2000. For this you can
expect many of the trimmings of a top-end hotel air-con, TV and mini-bar in
the room, plus an on-site pool, restaurant and perhaps nightclub but with dated
and possibly faded furnishings and little of the style of the famous big names;
theyre often the kind of places that once stood at the top of the range, but were
outclassed when the multinational luxury hotels muscled in.

Thailand also boasts an increasing number of deliciously stylish luxury hotels,


many of them designed as intimate, small-scale boutique hotels, with chic,
minimalist decor, exceptional service and excellent facilities that often include
private plunge pools and a spa. A night in one of these places will rarely cost
you less than B6000 (120/US$200), and may set you back more than twice as
much, though theyre still often outstanding value for the honeymoon-style
indulgence that they offer; see accommodation listings for Bangkok, Chiang
Mai, Ko Samui, Khao Lak and Phuket for some suggestions. As in the West,
however, the term boutique is overused, and a boutique guesthouse or hotel
may in practice be little more than small. Some luxury hotels quote rates in
US dollars, though you can always pay in baht.
Homestays
As guesthouses have become increasingly hotel-like and commercial in their
facilities and approach, many tourists looking for old-style local hospitality are
choosing homestay accommodation instead. Homestay facilities are nearly
always simple, and cheap at around B150 per person per night, with guests
staying in a shared spare room and eating with the family. Homestays give an
unparalleled insight into typical Thai (usually rural) life and can often be
incorporated into a programme that includes experiencing village activities such
as rice farming, squid fishing, rubber tapping or silk weaving. They are also a
positive way of supporting small communities, as all your money will feed right
back into the village. As well as listed homestays in Amphawa, Doi Inthanon,
Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Ban Prasat, Mukdahan, Ban
Khiriwong, Khuraburi and Krabi.

Thailand Tour Packages


Tourists can avail exciting Thailand tour packages to discover the splendours of
this beautiful country, which never fails to enchant her visitors. Thailand offers
plenty of exotic places and things to do, promising a memorable holiday
experience for visitors.Bangkok, the capital city, is worth-visiting on a Thailand
tour. In fact, the unique culture, remarkable cuisine, shopping and nightlife of
Thailand can be experienced at its best in Bangkok. The city is dotted with
hundreds of temples, each one of which is a perfect manifestation of Thai
architecture. Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are some of the worthmentioning temples of Bangkok that are listed as the most beautiful and holiest
sites of the country. Beside temples, Bangkok has many other prominent
attractions that include Dusit Hall and Zoo, Temple Mount, Lumphini Park, The
Queen's Gallery and more.
A guided holiday tour can be highly advantageous for those who want to
explore Bangkok in a limited time frame. Located on the coasts of Andaman
Sea and Gulf of Thailand, Phuket, Hua Hin and Koh Samui are some of the
breathtaking tropical islands which make Thailand a dream beach destination as
well.With a comprehensive choice of Thailand tour packages available, tourists
can conveniently choose a suitable beach holiday package and get indulge in a
range exciting activities. For adventure seekers and those who are young at
heart, beaches of Thailand offer thrilling water sports like canoeing, sailing,
para-sailing, scuba diving and more.

These beaches also serve as ideal venues for parties and romantic moon-light
dinners. If you have no idea where to start, then there are many tailor-made tour
packages offered by Yatra.com that will make one's task easier.As per their
tastes, tourists can also customise these packages at the time of booking. By
choosing an exciting Thailand tour package, this magnificent land can be
travelled in an extremely delightful and hassle-free manner. Beyond shadow of
a doubt, the heavenly ambience and a pool of amazing attractions of Thailand
are sure to keep tourists engrossed through-out the tour, while providing them a
bag-full of memories to be cherished forever.

DEMAND FACTOR

Thailand has a diversified tourist industry drawing people from all over the
world from many different cultures, countries and income groups. The industry
is extremely important to the Thai economy, accounting for 7.6% of GDP in
2011 (Bank of Thailand, 2012). With 19 million visitors in 2011 (Tourism
Thailand, 2012), this is equivalent to almost thirty percent of Thailands
population.
As a popular destination among international tourists, Thailand has garnered
many awards from various organizations around the world.
The major sources of visitors include European, Asian and North American
countries as well as Australia. They all have different holiday schedules, cost
constraints and sight-seeing objectives. Although this diversity of origins is a
strength of the Thai tourist industry because it caters to many different
schedules and preferences, predicting demand for travel services also creates
special challenges for tourism promoters and businesses.

PERCEPTION & PREFERENCES


If tourists visit Thailand expecting one thing and are not satisfied, the chances
of a return visit are low. Also, if tourists have an image of Thailand as a unique
cultural and exotic . destination that has friendly people and delicious food, and
Thai residents have the same image of Thailand as a tourist destination, then a
tourism product that is sustainable is definitely possible for Thailand. The Thai
people are well known for their kindness and hospitality. However, if tourists
desire to visit Thailand for reasons other than what the Thai residents feel are
suitable (such as not adhering to the cultural values of Thailand), or if both
parties have differing images of Thailand as a tourist destination, then there is a
possibility that the local population would not appreciate the tourists in the long
run.

Thai residents and international travelers both perceive sightseeing as the most
important item pertaining to Thailand as a tourism destination, followed by
friendly people and food. Likewise, when asked to rate the importance of the
items when choosing a vacation destination, Thai residents again perceived
friendliness of residents and cultural activities as the two most important items.
The international travelers rated friendliness as the third most important item.

Developing a tourism product that is sustainable over time is difficult,


especially if the Thai residents feel that tourists come to Thailand for
inappropriate activities. One of these activities that the Thai people feel is not
appropriate is that of sex and erotic tourism. The image of sex tourism and
Thailand is one that appears to go hand in hand internationally. It is stated that
prostitution is the oldest industry in the world and is a difficult one to eradicate.
However, the Thailand tourism product has many more positive attributes
(culture, food, beaches, etc.), and it will take some creative marketing to change
the international travelers' image of Thailand to these positive attributes.

By attempting to promote Thai culture and the uniqueness of the country, the
TAT is sending a message that Thailand wants to develop a tourism product that
is sustainable, through leveraging its culture and uniqueness

Annual Tourist

EXPENDITURE MADE BY A VISITOR

Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 87.6% of direct


Travel & Tourism GDP in 2014 (THB1,641.7bn) compared with 12.4% for
business travel spending (THB232.3bn). Business travel spending is expected to
grow by 4.8% in 2015 to THB243.4bn, and rise by 4.7% pa to THB385.3bn in
2025.
Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2015 to THB1,699.1bn,
and rise by 6.9% pa to THB3,297.2bn in 2025.
Thailand Domestic vs Foreign, 2014 Travel & Tourism's Contribution to GDP:
Domestic travel spending generated 30.1% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in
2014 compared with 69.9% for visitor exports (ie foreign visitor spending or
international tourism receipts). Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by
4.5% in 2015 to THB590.0bn, and rise by 3.8% pa to THB853.8bn in 2025.

ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION

The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2014 was


THB1,037.3bn (8.6% of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 3.4% to
THB1,072.6bn in 2015.This primarily reflects the economic activity generated
by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger
transportation services (excluding commuter services). But it also includes, for
example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported
The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is expected to grow by
6.7% pa to THB2,045.0bn (11.7% of GDP) by 2025.
CONTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYMENT

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment (including wider


effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was
5,383,000 jobs in 2014 (14.1% of total employment). This is forecast to rise by
1.0% in 2015 to 5,434,500 jobs (14.1% of total employment). By 2025, Travel
& Tourism is forecast to support 8,140,000 jobs (20.2% of total employment),
an increase of 4.1% pa over the period.

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