Sunday, 25 December 2011

Thailand Breaking Tourist Arrivals Records in 2011

Tourism in Thailand has been steadily growing since the 1960's when a more stable political environment coupled with transformation of Bangkok airport into an international hub, began attracting foreign visitors from the west, keen to explore ever more exotic destinations. The Thai hotel and resort scene developed at a similarly fast pace in order to keep up with the huge demand for quality accommodation.

The tourist industry also greatly benefited from the US soldiers sent to the country for rest and recuperation during the Vietnam war, who later returned for family holidays. In the 1970's, the arrival of the iconic Boeing 747 championed cheap and fast long haul flights and Thailand became one of the major Asian holiday destinations. Despite fierce competition from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1980's, Thailand remained popular and by 2007 ranked 18th in the 'Most Visited Country in the World' tourist rankings.

In the last few years, political unrest coupled with global economic turmoil has prompted a dip in tourist numbers, not only to Thailand but all over the world. The negative trend in Thailand looks set to be short lived however, with The Tourism Authority of Thailand (known as TAT) forecasting that international visitors to the country will exceed fifteen and maybe even reach as many as twenty million in 2011.

These record numbers are expected to net an estimated one trillion baht in tourism related revenue and many Thai hotels, resorts and businesses will reap the rewards. In fact, arrivals to Thailand are already up by 25% on last year, boosted by the stable Thai political scene and the exceptional value for money that a holiday in Thailand offers those seeking to tighten their financial belts. Thailand is now regarded as such a cost effective holiday destination, that it was actually voted second in 'Best Value Destinations 2010', just after Iceland. This dramatic reversal in fortune has been aided by several high profile campaigns and marketing activities coordinated by TAT, who are energetically targeting specialist markets such as female travellers, eco tourists and wellness visitors. Thailand is also being promoted as a centre for Buddhism in Asia, where tourists can explore stunning Thai temples and learn more about this gentle and fascinating religion.

It is interesting to observe that within the top ten visitors to Thailand by country (China, Korea, Russia, India, UK, Australia, US, Singapore and Germany) are many emerging market nations, directly reflecting the current changes in the world economy.

These days, an increasing number of foreign tourists to Thailand are so-called 'medical tourists', who flock to Bangkok's world class hospitals. The standard of medical care at Thai facilities has a well deserved reputation for excellence and is considerably less expensive than in countries such as the US. Medical tourism has become such a successful industry that many holiday companies are actively selling Thai holidays that combine an operation or hospital treatment. Only recently Oman Air joined forces with Piyavate Hospital in Bangkok to offer passengers flying from Oman substantial discounts on treatments at this state-of-the-art Bangkok hospital. And domestic tourism is also on the up in Thailand, as a more prosperous population begins to explore the unique cultural sights and breathtaking Thai beach resorts that foreign tourists have been admiring for decades. It seems likely that they will have to compete with record numbers of foreigners for the best Thai hotel rooms, for the foreseeable future!

Pierre-Yves Loriers, affectionately known as 'Ton' to his friends, family and colleagues, is the innovative and charismatic Managing Director of Ton Company Ltd, a leading architecture, property development and exclusive holiday villa company in Thailand.

Despite the success of his company, Ton prides himself on remaining very hands-on, taking an active role in all of Ton and Company's operations. Ton energetically participates in all aspects of each and every project, including management and production and his leadership is an inspiration to an 20 strong team of highly professional and dedicated staff.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Flowers And Culture In Thailand

Perhaps the most impressive of all the images of New Year’s Eve in Thailand is the scene in Chiang Mai at this magical time of year. Thousands of visitors flock to the north’s city of culture, to enjoy cool weather and fantastic blossoms of orchids and other flowers that make this city so famous. The orchid is of course the most famous and celebrated flower of Chiang Mai, and Thailand, and quite rightly so for it is the most beautiful and exquisite flower and lines the roadsides and gardens of Chiang Mai with its impressive range of colours, shapes and sizes.

The winter is the best time to enjoy the orchids in this part of the world as they blossom from December to March, but they also enjoy a burst of colour during a secondary blooming season in August. Orchids growing in the wild often hang off rocks or tree branches and dangle their roots in the air, from which they absorb moisture and even nutrients. They are not, as some people think, parasites and do not feed off the trees they live on. Orchids have many hidden talents, for example many medicines are made from their petals, the pollen can be used to make face creams and even some foods use orchids – the flavour vanilla for example.

There are approximately one thousand species that are unique to Thailand, some very common and some extremely rare. The pure white orchids are the most rare and only a handful have ever been found in the wild, however the skilled gardeners of Chiang Mai have become very good at grafting these flowers and can now create whole blooms of beautiful, virgin white orchids. More common colours, such as the ones you will find growing wild, are red, purple, orange and yellow. If you take a flight on Thai Airways, you will probably be presented with a pink or purple orchid.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Thailand Tour For Remarkable Overseas Holidays

Thailand in South East Asia is amazingly beautiful and is well known for its well organised attractions that are simply enjoyable. Each year millions of tourists from across the world come to this beautiful Thailand lovingly called Land of Smiles to enjoy vacations in a delightful and memorable way.

Thailand has several enigmatic attractions like the scintillating beaches with glistering sands, rich culture and traditions and above all enticing charm and splendor of the rich culture and traditions. Thailand is sheer wonder and here tourists can see and explore something or the other in a delightful and memorable way. So come and experience all of them at one go on Thailand tours and treasure remarkable vacations in a delightful and memorable way.

Some of the beguiling attractions of Thailand Attractions are:

Mu Ko Similan National Park
One of the famous attractions in Thailand, Mu Ko Similan National Park is rated first by the U.S publication as one of the top ten diving sites in the world. It is the heart of Andaman Sea; Similan Islands are home to many unparallel exotic beauties that never fail to fascinate tourists and visitors.

Kaeng Krachan National Park
One of the largest National Parks, Kaeng Krachan National Park occupying an area of 2915 square Kilometers is home to varied species of animals and birds. Today exotic species of animals take refuge in this national park like elephant, leopard and tiger. The park has reservoirs, which are the ideal places for sightseeing viewing as well as to see birds, butterflies and animals in their natural home.

Yala
Located 1084 kilometers away from Bangkok, this beautiful southernmost province of Yala is one of the major tourist’s attractions that is visited by great number of tourists from across the corner of the globe. Yala is divided into 8 districts which are further bisected into 56 communes and 341 villages that are worth to visit and explore on Thailand tours and travels. So if you want to explore all these sheer wonderments at one go, visit to Yala a perfect and ideal place in Thailand that hardly tourists can afford to miss out.

Thailand tour Packages also let the tourists to see and explore the modern beauty of this country which are simply enjoyable and feast to the eyes. Ayuthaya Historical Park, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Pathom, Koi Sumai, Meo Sot, Ko Si Chang, Bangkok, etc are some of the places of tourist’s interest that one will love visit and see their beauty which are simply enjoyable and pleasing to the heart. On top the throbbing nightlife, luscious delicacies and the world class accommodation facilities and the well linked of tourists places make Thailand tour more enjoyable and remarkable.

So are you looking for more? If yes book one from the many Thailand package tours and explore the beauty of this beautiful Thailand in a delightful and fashionable way.

Come to this beautiful Thailand the Land of Smiles and take back home remarkable experience to relish in for lifetime.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Yee Peng Festival


Date : November 8-11, 2011
Places :
Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai Night Bazar, Muang District, Chiang Mai
Province
Activities : Enjoying traditional performance in lanna style and floating lantern (Yee



Peng) contest, joining a demonstration of how to make krathongs and Yee Peng lanterns
TAT Chiang Mai Office Tel. 0 5324 8604, 0 5324 8607 , Tourism Authority of Thailand Tel. 1672

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Cheap Tickets To Thailand - What Makes Them So Popular

Thailand is a majestic country that is renowned all over the world for its incredible scenic beauty, warm hospitality, wonderful historical architecture and a splendid heritage that goes back hundreds of years!

This remarkable Asian country has emerged as a top holiday destination beguiling all kinds of travellers to its shores. Be it solo backpackers, families on vacation or couples on honeymoon – Thailand is one holiday destination that has something to offer to everyone. And this is the exact reason that makes cheap tickets to Thailand such a prized commodity among holiday makers. Tickets to Thailand are indeed sought after by everyone who wishes to have a great time during vacations. Especially among the Europeans, Thailand remains a top tourist spot. Not surprisingly, a number of airlines offer London to Thailand flights!

On its turn, Thailand doesn’t disappoint its suitors too! The country brims with some mesmerising attractions that are sure to justify your booking tickets on Thailand flights. Take a look at the top places to visit in a country that is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’.

Bangkok
Bangkok is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. The city presents a wonderful mix of rich culture and splendid contemporary attractions that is sure to impress tourists on their sojourn to Thailand. Bangkok’s top attractions include Siam Ocean World, Lumphini Park, Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. There are various other tourist attractions in the city that warrant a visit. Bangkok is additionally a big commercial hub as number of banks and other financial institutions are based here. No wonder, business class seats on flights to Thailand are usually overbooked!

Phuket
Phuket is another top holiday destination in Thailand that is growing up by leaps and bounds. The city is gifted with incredible beaches, wonderful charm, verdant tropical forests and much more! Some of the city’s popular tourist spots are Phuket Museum, Phang Nga Bay and Wat Chalong. However, it has to be said that the city is more popular for its water sports and adventure activities. Phuket is additionally renowned all over the globe for its charming events and festivals.

Pattaya
Pattaya is a remarkable island destination that boasts of some incredible attractions that just cannot be missed by tourists on a tour to Thailand. Some of the region’s top tourist spots include Elephant Village, Ko Lan Island, Bottle Art Museum and Crocodile Farm. Pattaya also shows no dearth of world class resorts and hotels.

Best Time to Visit Thailand
The best time to visit Thailand is the period between November and March as the climate is cooler and rain is minimal. The period is ideal to spend time outdoors - lounging at the beaches or doing some sightseeing! The period between April to June is quite hot in the country and can prove to be a hindrance for outdoor excursions. September-October is the rainy season and is perhaps not the best time to plan holidays in Thailand. However, for those looking for cheap holidays to Thailand, this might be the ideal time to look for cheap airfares, cheap accommodation and overall cheap holidays.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bangkok Airways -a Complete Service Airline Of Thailand

More than the final couple of decades, Thailand has grow to be an increasingly well-liked destination, and Bangkok Airways is among the significant airlines that serves the transportation desires of travelers to this nation. Bangkok airlines provides leading quality service to Thailand and neighboring Asian Countries creating it simple to reach your destination in comfort. Beneath you are going to see some details about Bangkok Airways that are fairly interesting if you're planning a trip to these areas. Go to the trouble to locate out far more coming from Adam Horwitz and also local mobile monopoly about how precisely Airways market their selves to appeal to your interest a lot more.

Although Bangkok Airways has been running flights around Thailand since 1968 (though it didn't get its present name until 1989), it has really increased its efforts to provide top level service in recent years. This airline has been the recipient of several prestigious awards in recognition of its services. Skytrax, an independent organization that gives out many well known awards to airlines based on customer polls, has recognized Bangkok Airways as the Asia's Best Regional airline several times. As proof of the airline's environmental concerns, it's also been recognized with an EIA Monitoring Award. These impressive accomplishments are proof of this airline's willingness to go beyond the ordinary in making air travel comfortable and pleasant for travelers to Thailand and other destinations. In line with the airlines Boutique airline campaign, great attention is given to every detail, including the menu that's served on flights. Tasty and sophisticated meals are just one of the ways that Bangkok Airways makes the time pass more pleasantly for its passengers. The airline serves not only Thai and other Asian specialties, but also foods more familiar to Westerners. No matter where you're flying, you'll get to enjoy a meal that's more like restaurant than ordinary airline food. The airline is also able to provide you with specialized meals if necessary, such as vegetarian or kosher.

This airline flies internationally out of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok as well as having three airports of their own. Bangkok is of course the Capital of Thailand making it quite convenient as far as destinations go for people arriving in Thailand. You will have the convenience of being able to get back from Bangkok to everywhere else you may need to get to in Thailand. The Public Transportation Center is a large space that gives you access to public buses, limousines, car rentals and taxis.

This is a Hub center which enables you to get anywhere in Thailand from Bangkok. So when your Bangkok Airways flight arrives, you can take a shuttle bus directly to the Public Transportation Center and get wherever you have to go. As we've seen in this article, Bangkok Airways is emerging as a popular and highly ranked Asian airline. Bangkok Airways is helping to meet the demand for top quality air service to Thailand and other Southeast Asian destinations as more and more people wish to travel to these regions. You should learn more about this airline and what it can do for you if you plan on visiting this region, no matter the reason for your trip.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thailand - Tailor-Made of Honeymooners

Thailand provides honeymooners with experience they cherish all their life. The place would leave the people thrilled and enchanted, they never feel like leaving the country. One of the favourite places of honeymooners, Thailand offers an unending line of attractions.

Thailand is a destination of enchanting sights. This beautiful land is favoured by honeymooners for its exotic landscapes, beaches, nature parks, temples, luxury hotels, restaurants etc. The country has its own unique culture and the rich history has endowed it with the monuments of significance. A place of unforgettable attractions, Thailand offers something for everyone, and for the honeymooners, it is just fantastic.

Some prominent Thai destinations are as under:

Bangkok: Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is the first destination of most homeymooners in the country. The city is perfect to begin your Thai experience. Some of the beautiful places in Bangkok are Dusit Zoo, Erawan Shrine, Ganesha Shrine, Temple of Dawn, Wat Phra Kaewa and Temple of Golden Buddha. Your Thailand trip is incomplete if you haven't visited these places.

Phuket: Phuket, known as 'pearl of the south' is among one of the most visited destinations in Thailand. The first thing which comes to one's mind while touring Phuket beaches. Patong, Karon and Kata are three most popular beaches in Phuket. The place is known for its fantastic nightlife, hair-raising adventures and fast-paced shopping.

Pattaya: Pattaya is considered as one of the best places in Thailand for honeymoon holidays. The place is acclaimed all across the world for its idyllic beaches, frenzied shopping, fun-filled nightlife and thrilling adventures. Some prominent Pattaya attractions are Crocodile Show, Exotic Plants, Strange Rocks, Pattaya Elephant Town, Sriracha Tiger Zoo etc.

Koh Samui: Koh Samui has a large number of beautiful beaches and luxurious hotels where the honeymooners can enjoy the amazing beauty of the white sand beaches along the coastlines. Travelers can play a range of watersports in Samui and interesting thing is that you won't find crowd. You can get good services over here at affordable rates.

Koh Chang: This is a marine national park which attracts thousands of visitors worldwide. Here, you can appreciate the pure gifts of nature. Koh Chang has everything nature has to offer and is tailor-made for families who want to have a quiet and peaceful holidays. At this particular place you can take a bunglow on rent in order to have a comfortable stay during your whole vacation.

Chiang Mai: Chiangmai is the place of temples. You can visit the oldest to the noblest ones, including the Wat Suan Dok, which holds the ashes of Chiang Mai's former Royal Family members. In another chapel lies one of Thailand's largest icons in metal, a 500-year old bronze Buddha. You can also visit the temple compound where the divine Lai Kham chapel is located.

Krabi: A tropical paradise, Krabi, is a must-visit for a visitor in Thailand. It is applauded for fantastically beautiful palm-fringed beaches, refreshing spas and strange looking limestone caves, studded with stalactites and stalagmites. There are several spa centers here providing refreshing, rejuvenating service.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Don't Retire To Thailand - 7 Very Good Reasons Why You Should Not Retire To Thailand

Married to a Thai and longing to retire in Thailand for the spicy hot delicious food, white tropical beaches, sunshine and smiles? Before you rush in headlong, take a long look at these reasons for not retiring in Thailand.

1. Political Unrest In Thailand

Those who are considering retiring in Thailand need to take the current dire political situation into consideration. In 2006, a power struggle erupted between the Thai political parties. The "red shirts" and the "yellow shirts" are in bitter disagreement about the country's future. Accusations of corruption have inspired physical confrontation between the two sides. The current political protests in Thailand are funded and guided from overseas by Thaksin, a former police officer who built up a telecoms empire before turning to politics and becoming prime minister in 2001.

Currently governed by the highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, there is great concern lurking about the further great political unrest that is anticipated after his death. Now at age 82, and not in good health, there is concern about who will take over the throne after his death. The law that forbids anyone talking ill of the royal family and thereby protecting the dignity of a reigning sovereign King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand did not stop former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra speaking of a "shining" new age once the King's reign comes to an end. That does not bode well for the future of Thailand.

This political uncertainty could affect your future life in Thailand. It only takes a change in the laws in Thailand to make it a completely different place. Suppose they made the requirements for Thai visas more stringent, so that you found it difficult or impossible to get your non immigrant Thai visa? You could lose the right to live in Thailand and with it your retiring in Thailand plan.

2. The Difficulty Of Learning The Thai Language

On holiday in Thailand you maybe picked up a few Thai words and generally got by with very little knowledge of the Thai language. Of course, provided you stick to the main holiday areas and resorts, you don't need to know Thai because the Thai people you deal with will speak enough English for you to be able to get what you want.

But in retirement you maybe are not going to be living in the holiday resort areas - which are not only very expensive for everyday living but which are becoming increasingly dangerous. Instead, like us and many people like us, you may be retiring 'up country' in predominantly Thai populated areas. In these circumstances you may be buying fresh food at the local Thai market, eating out at the roadside stalls, jumping on the back of the local motorcycle taxis, and generally interacting with the indigenous Thais who are unlikely to speak English. This is where, without a good knowledge of the Thai language, life could be difficult or just uneasy for you.

3. You Will Have To Pay For Any Medical Care That You May Need

If you enjoy free medical care in your home country, remember that you will lose this privilege when you retire to Thailand and you will end up paying your own medical bills in future. Perhaps you may think that you are in good health and take the chance on that but think about the increasing treatments you may need as you get older or if you become seriously ill. As you become older your needs for medical care dramatically increase and whereas perhaps at present you are entitled to medical care paid for by the State in your homeland, when you retire to Thailand the costs will come from your own pocket.

4. Visa Restrictions

There is no such thing as a "get it and forget it" visa for retiring Thailand. While Thai retirement visas are available, there are still restrictions, and you will have to report to the immigration office in Thailand periodically. The Thai forums are thick with questions from foreigners asking about Thai visa laws or restrictions or reporting problems they have faced. I am one of those people because although I once obtained a multiple journey one-year Non Immigrant Category "O" visa for Thailand within a few minutes at the Royal Thai Consulate in Birmingham, U.K. I was later refused the same kind of Thai visa with exactly the same paperwork at the Royal Thai Embassy in London!

As a generalism, it seems that different offices and officials issuing Thai visas around the world all have different interpretations of the qualifications to be granted a Thai visa. Some people have reported being refused a visa for spurious reasons when all their paperwork was in perfect order. Consider what you would do if you were refused entry to the country where your retirement home and wife was!

5. High Taxation On Imported Goods

Those who have a visa to live in Thailand for greater than a year can also move household items to the country, but if the visa is granted for less, you must also take into account the import duty taxes and value added tax. These total 27% of the value of your items, not including the shipping costs. In theory, some entrants to Thailand are permitted to bring household effects into Thailand free of duty, but it doesn't work like that in practice even though I am Thai as I found out found out I tried to do it. Again, the Thai forums are filled with people who, according to Thai regulations were supposed to be able to import personal effects tax-free, still ended up paying a lot to the customs officers!

6. High Cost Of Maintaining Your Home

If you keep your current home in your own country, there are huge expenses with maintaining two homes, one in Thailand and the other far away across the ocean. When renting out your home in your own country, you run the risk of damage, non-paying tenants and having to hire an agency that will keep your property up. It is a good idea to keep your original home in case you ever go back home, so that you can have a familiar place to get home to, or your retiring in Thailand plan fails for any reason.

7. Culture Shock

It is one thing to have a great time in Thailand on holiday but living there permanently is completely different. While it may seem easy to adjust to the Thai culture, residents retiring in Thailand have to commit to setting aside long standing habits and it can be tiring. Unravelling a country's long standing culture can be a bit tedious for foreigners in the country.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Thailand Famous Tourist Attractions

Thailand has become one of the most well known and popular sites for holiday makers around the world. It is just because of its charming nature, and many tourist attractions offered to holiday makers. Lots of tourist sites can be found throughout the country and each of them has got uniqueness for itself which also provides tourists with interesting knowledge about Thai culture.

In Thailand, there are a great number of Buddhist temples that tourists can visit to learn about the national religion of Thailand. For Bangkok, it is the capital city of the country where there are many important temples situated around the city. One of the most important temples is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where a Buddhist image made from a large Emerald is kept. All important issues about Royal family and country will be held within this temple. The temple of Dawn is also in Bangkok on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, where one can see a very beautiful ancient architectural art within the temple. There are many more temples throughout the country, which each of them has an amazing story and background.

For people interested in watching live sport, Bangkok is the home to the two largest Thai Boxing stadiums, or Muay Thai stadiums. Muay Thai has become a popular sport around the world and the best fighters in the world appear in Lumpini and Rajadamneorn stadiums. The stadiums hold weekly matches which most of famous and best fighters will be appeared in these two stadiums. There are many boxing schools teaching Muay Thai to interested people.

Another popular activity of tourist is water activities. Thailand is so well known for the home of many beautiful beaches throughout the country, where tourists can go swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, or sun bathing on nice white sandy beaches. At the same time, tourists can enjoy buying things from local venders who sell delicious fruit, local foods, and souvenirs on the beach. Samui, Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin are some of great tourist destinations for having beautiful beaches and relax atmosphere that tourists are looking for.

Moreover, Thailand is also a great place for nightlife. Most entertainment venues are closed very late. Some of them may be opened until dawn for parties. There are lots of famous DJs and high-quality musicians, and other entertainers that perform in the numerous nightclubs in the most popular tour sites throughout the country.

Thailand has got so many things to offer to tourists or holiday makers. It has become one of popular tourist destinations which are waiting for tourists to visit and discover the beauty of the country and its uniqueness. Thus, don't forget to visit Thailand "The Land of Smile" for the next time you are planning a vacation!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

TAT presents Thailand Tourism Festival 2011

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to invite Thai and foreign travelers to “Thailand tourism Festival 2011” where you will experience Thai tourism from 5 regions of Thailand, explore the latest tourist attractions, and get a chance to win prizes from TAT fun games and activities. The event will be held on June 8th-12th, 2011 at Challenger building 1-3, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Mueng Thong Thani, Nonthaburi.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to be on June 8th at 16.00 o’clock. The event, which contains 3 main parts, runs until June 12th, 2011. The first part of the exhibition, “The Seventh Birthday Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, provides best opportunity for people to pay homage and blessing to HM the King via online. The National Pottery Exhibition is also held in this part. The second part: “Informative Activities Promoting tourism Knowledge is separated into 7 zones; zone 1: TAT’s latest campaign “New Heart tourism for Sustainable Thailand with photo exhibition “Thai tourism from Past to Present: Reflection of Pride”, zone 2: unique tourist attractions in 5 regions, zone 3: Sustainable tourism, zone 4: “77 places to dine, 77 places to shop”, zone 5, “Hands and Hearts: Embrace Thailand together”, zone 6: Contemporary Thai Cultural Show and Temple Fair, and zone 7: Academic Seminar on Thai tourism. The aim of the second part is to promote information of Thai tourism in each part of Thailand. The third part: “Supports on Thai products and services”. Products from all over the country will be available including handicrafts, local goods, OTOP products, and tour packages in comparatively low price. Moreover, there are highlights of the festival that can be found in TAT Digital Organization booth such as tour package auction; starting at 1 baht, advanced online tourism technology, “Smile Land” Thai first Social tourism online game, “Nong Sukjai Home”, “Gifts from the New Heart” activity, and an encounter with professional Formula BMW car racer, Mr. Pasin Laturas, who will come to share his experience as the first young ambassador of TAT.

There are more games and activities with attractive prizes awaiting for you to win at the festival. Let’s experience the excitement and knowledge together at Challenger building 1-3, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Mueng Thong Thani, Nonthaburi from June 8th-12th, 2011.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Thailand - A Traveler's Paradise

Thailand undoubtedly is one of the most exotic locations for travelers seeking tranquility and peace of mind. Every year thousands of people visit Thailand and the number keeps increasing. Muang Thai (as Thailand is locally known) presents it's visitors with experience they cannot forget. People love this place and look for a chance to revisit Thailand. What is it that people are so fond of in Thailand? May be the diversity this country has. Every aspect of Thailand, may it be geographical or cultural, is beautiful.

No matter which direction you chose to travel in Thailand, you will fell in love with the place. Northern part of Thailand is full of mountains and high terrains that are covered with fog and mist making it all the more adventurous. Contrastingly different is the central and the northeastern Thailand where the mountains disappear and you come across plain landscape. Eastern plains of Thailand are covered with forest and land that is good for agriculture. Southern Thailand on the other hand flaunts some of the most exotic beaches and islands you may ever come across. Apart from all these Thailand has metropolitan areas; Bangkok the country's capital being the most advanced and formidable one.

Thailand boasts its culture diversity to the same as extent as its geographical diversity. Unlike all the neighborhood countries, Thailand has never been colonized and has a history and culture that is not doped. The people of Thailand are mostly followers of Buddha and practice rituals that are unknown to many who visit the country and that adds to the country's appeal. Chinese influence in the north and Islamic dominance in the south adds to the diversity the country is already so rich of.

Another major aspect of Thailand travel is its night life. Night life with cabarets and luxurious pubs and bars also attract people. The restaurants and the cuisines they provide complete the list of things you will enjoy in a spectacular package this country offers.

Apart being from so simple and natural, Thailand is one of the most advanced countries in the world. Infrastructure, Transport, banking, and telecommunications are as modern and advanced as in the countries of Europe and America. This helps in visiting and spending your vacations in the remotest of villages in Thailand with ease and convenience. This aspect of Thailand draws lot of travelers. People for business visits, for leisure visits or training courses, all are entertained and satisfied by the diversity that Thailand provides.

As beautiful and tranquil as Thailand, are the people of Thailand. Rarely are occasions where you will find a Thai not smiling. People with lot of character and temperament inhibit Thailand and that adds to the country's beauty. Despite the mess and disarray the modern life has created, Thailand remains one of those places where people are placid and calm. Perhaps it is in the air of Thailand that all people who come here are pacified and go in a state of tranquility.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Colourful Festivals in Thailand

Thai festivals you really can't miss....

In a country with a wealth of history and a diverse cultural spectrum Thailand has an array of religious, political and royal ceremonies to keep you celebrating year round. travelling to Thailand to experience one of these festivals will give you a real appreciation of Thai cultural, beliefs and you will see how the locals really celebrate life. The festivals climax late in the year with the majority of the most spectacular celebrations being held in October through to January so if you are thinking of planning a trip to Thailand why not check out our favourite places to be..

Tak Loy Krathong Sai festival: 17-21 Nov 2010

In the north of Thailand the Loy Krathong Sai festival of Lights is a beautiful night time event where Thai's float decorated Krathongs, (banana leaves folded into a circle, illuminated with candles, incense, and other decoration) - a real highlight of any Thailand holiday. The celebrations of Loy Krathong in Tak province is a celebration where the local custom is to thread coconut shell Krathongs together and float them in a candlelit chain down the Ping Riverin Amphoe Mueang Tak from the 200 year-old Rattanakosin Bridge. Stand by the riverside to watch this amazing sight and get a real feel for Thailand travel. The banana cup is intended to float away ill fortune as well as to express apologies to Khongkha or Ganga. Experience this amazing atmosphere which traditionally is performed on the full moon of the 12th lunar month.

Monkey Buffet festival: Last Sunday of November

This could be one of the strangest festivals you find in the world, where a feast of fresh fruit, nuts and desserts are laid on for one huge monkey buffet! It's a truly Thailand Travel experience and something that you won't forget in a hurry. Legend has it that the ancient hero Ramayana rewarded the Monkey King with the control of what is now Lopburi, and to this day the monkeys still rule the area around the two most sacred sites in the town.

Food will be offered to approximately 300 monkeys living in the area of the God of Death Shrine and Phra Prang Sam Yot. When the food is uncovered and the monkeys start to realise what is on offer and quickly take advantage of the amazing feast, gorging themselves with the all that they can get their hands on. Locals will also put out blocks of ice containing fruit which you can watch the monkeys licking furiously to get inside. It's definitely quirky and will certainly lend an eccentric tough to your Thailand trip.

As the monkeys are seen as a spiritual animal in the Buddhist religion, this offering is a great way to boost your karma and from the good health of these monkeys the local's karma must be at an all-time high. As the afternoon draws in you can see the monkey sitting around playing in a docile and content way often interacting with the passers-by. With the festival taking place just 2 hours north of Bangkok it is a great day out and a spectacle like none other you have ever seen. If you're travelling to Thailand in November, it's definitely something that you shouldn't miss.

Hat Yai Lantern festival: 1 Nov 2010 - 28 Feb 2011

In the deep south of the Thailand in Songkhla province the spectacular Hat Yai Lantern festival has become one of the most beautiful and diverse night time spectacles around, and is understandably popular with travellers to Thailand. This international festival lasts 4 months from 4pm till 9pm every night and the theme this year is the Seven Wonders of the World. The categories vary from animal planet, lanterns of the east, birds of paradise and many more. The lanterns are made from paper or cloth with bamboo frames and can be seen floating on the lake, hanging from structures, or flying in the sky. This year they also have an ice dome to display the frozen sculptures, but be sure to remember to wrap up as the dome reaches a chilly -9. This festival is held in the municipal park Hatyai Songkhla and so prebooking tickets in advance is advised. If you can't make it to the Lantern festival during your Thailand trip, you certainly won't regret it.

Trooping Of The Colour: 2nd December 2010

During your Thailand trip, you will find that the royal family are highly respected and honoured and so just before his Majesty King Rama IX birthday on the 5th of December the country celebrates his birth. This is celebrated with annual oath taking ceremony by the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Navy, and the Royal Thai Air Force. This impressive ceremony was first organised in 1961 and has become one of the most colourful event is Thailand festival calendar. It is celebrated in the Royal Plaza in Bangkok on the 2nd of December. As the king appears, flares are lit and you will feel the fantastic atmosphere as the Thais cheer for their king.

Sunflower festival: Nov 2010 - Jan 2011

Throughout the months of November to January flower lover's and Thailand travellers alike flock to the northern providences of Phatthana Nikhom and Khok Samrong to celebrate this beautiful flower. During the months of November to February the locals cover the town in sunflowers making everything yellow! With 12,000 acres of this flower in this province taking the train ride that runs along this area is a must. The state also runs special day trains to Pasak dam, on public holidays and during the weekend, where the view over the fields is regarded as one of the best.

Previously this flower was grown as a decorative addition to brighten up a Thai house, but now the region of Lop Buri harvest the flower for its oil and the seed snack are regarded as a valuable cash crop.

In the past the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, was regarded too close to the sea in the event of invasion and so Lop Buri was developed as the second capital and so boasts king Nari's palace and 3 pagodas which the king would reside in during the wetter months. We definitely recommend including Ayutthaya as part of your Thailand trip.

Chiang Thai National Elephant Day March, 13

In a country where the elephant has been such a huge historical contribution in agriculture, transport as well as used in war, it is not unexpected that this majestic beast is regarded with so much respect. Many Thais see the outline of Thailand as the shape of an elephants head, with the main head to the north, the ears flapping back towards the east and the trunk running down the peninsular to the far south.

This festival is held in the Maesa elephant camp just outside Chiang Mai in the north of the country, and would be a true Thailand travel experience. This camp was set up for elephants that have had a hard working life and can now retire in peace and comfort. The festival starts around 12 noon and the entrance to the park is free for locals and people on holiday in Thailand.

Previously to become a working elephant, they would start their training at the age of 3 years old where they would be sent to elephant school. As the logging industry is now in decline, and with the large number of tourists visiting the country, elephants are used largely in the tourist industry to take visitors for rides through the jungle. This Thai festival pays respect and honour to these beasts in the form of a Kantoke feast laid on for the elephants as well as blessings and an exhibition by the veterinary medicine faculty of the Chiang Mai university on baby elephants.

Songkran Thailand's Water festival April 13th
If you happen to be on holiday in Thailand on the 13th April then be prepared for a shower. No it's not the monsoon season but rather the famous Songkran water festival!

As soon as you step out side be prepared for a water balloons, water pistols, water bombs and the odd bucket of water as the Thais celebrate their new year. This festival can last from 3 to 10 days and so when you think it is all over, along comes another barrage of Thais wielding make shift water cannons.

April in Thailand is one of the hottest months of the year and so this could not be a more apt festival. Songkran signifies the sun's shift from one zodiac to another and the start of the solar year which is the most important time for Thai people.

The first day of the year represents a new start and so temples are cleaned, houses washed down, and Thais pray to their god Buddha as well as sprinkling scented water on their elders to show respect. Water is a symbol of cleansing the spirit, the mind and the body. Bad luck is washed away and so if you are saturated at the end of the day, then consider yourself lucky as you have been blessed and ready for a new year, hopefully full of magic Thailand travel experiences!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Planning Your Thailand Holidays

Thailand Holidays can be customized to fit virtually any traveler's budget and personal tastes. Because tourism is such a vital part of the Thai economy (representing a larger percentage of Thailand's GDP than that of any other Asian nation), almost every part of the country is equipped with food and lodging catered toward foreign visitors. Furthermore, the nation's amazingly diverse geography offers a wide range of activities to choose from. No matter what it is that you'd like to do on your holiday, there are surely several, easily-accessible places in Thailand that offer it at a price that fits your budget.

Planning Your Thailand holiday .

For most of us, the first steps in planning any holiday include setting a budget, determining how long our holiday will last, and deciding when we can go. As you walk through these steps in planning your Thailand holiday, here are a few important points to consider:

The price of lodging in Thailand runs the gamut from as low as around £8 GBP per day (about $5 AUD/USD) for a bed in a hostel, all the way up to hundreds of pounds per night for five-star accommodations at world-class, international hotels

In my personal opinion (and this is shared by a great number of foreign travelers I've met over the years), you should plan on spending a minimum of 10-14 days in Thailand during your holiday if you want to visit the country's major attractions without being rushed. Because Thailand's tropical climate is hot, humid, and rainy for much of the year, the country's "high season" for tourism is during the comparatively drier, cooler months of November through February

Some additional thoughts on these points...

With regards to prices for food and lodging, while it is accurate to say that daily rates cover quite a wide spectrum, it is also true that you can find many incredible deals throughout the country if you know when and where to look. For example, in September 2010 I was able to book four nights at a legitimate, five-star luxury hotel in one of the most-popular sections of Bangkok (Thailand's most-expensive city) for just under £90 GBP per night (that's approximately $60 AUD/USD). In an upcoming article, I'll discuss some of the most-effective strategies for finding bargains that maximize your holiday budget.

When determining how much time to spend in Thailand, it's important to remember that, for those of us traveling from an English-speaking country, our holiday will include at least two very long airplane flights (on the way there, and the return trip), and adjusting our body clocks to a significant time difference. For me, this leads to a feeling that jetlag and travel always shortens my actual time in-country by two days. I'll pad the amount of time I expect to spend seeing the sights, or relaxing by two extra days for this reason.

As for choosing a time of year to visit, avoiding the hot, humid Thai summer and autumn monsoon is a valid consideration for many travelers. Temperatures often approach 40° C during those months which, coupled with the tropical humidity and almost-daily thunderstorms, can be a bit overwhelming for some visitors. The flipside of this equation is that airfares and lodging are dramatically cheaper during this so-called "Low Season". If you're on a tight budget, and don't mind a little heat and rain, you'll find that your hard-earned money stretches a lot further at this time of year.

The Five Regions of Thailand - Where Should I Go?

To see the remarkable amount of geographic and cultural diversity that exists within Thailand, all you have to do is compare the country's five unique regions: the Central, East, North, Northeast, and South. Depending on how much time you're able to spend in-country, you may be able to visit all five during one stay (personally, I wouldn't try this unless I had a whole month to spend on holiday). If your time is more limited, you should probably focus on no more than two or three areas, and leave the others for future Thai holidays.

Central

Because the vast majority of foreign tourists arrive, and depart, from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, it's highly likely that your visit to Thailand will include a stay in the nation's capital. A bustling city of 11 million (most Bangkok residents will tell you that this official estimate is probably low by as much as 50%) and the heart of Central Thailand, Bangkok offers its visitors a fascinating cross-section of the nation's past, present and future. Here you'll find everything from the historic Royal Palace (dating back to the Kingdom of Siam), to ultra-modern shopping malls, vibrant entertainment districts, and a thriving business center that is quickly becoming the largest in Southeast Asia.

Central Thailand's other primary attractions include the historic city of Ayutthaya (Siam's ancient capital), and the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand. This part of the gulf coast is especially popular with Thai families and honeymooners thanks to its quiet, clean beaches, abundance of affordable hotels and resorts, gorgeous golf courses, and relative proximity to Bangkok (about two-and-a-half hours by car). If you're looking for a quiet beach getaway, that's close enough to Bangkok that you won't need an airplane or boat to get there, the gulf towns of Hua Hin and Phetchaburi are perfect for you.

East

The region generally considered as Eastern Thailand lies to the southeast of Bangkok, and is bordered by the Gulf of Thailand to the west, and Cambodia to the east. Home to the growing coastal city of Chonburi and the popular tourist destination of Pattaya, the main attraction of this area is the proximity of its beaches to Bangkok (less than a two-hour drive).

Whereas western gulf resorts like Hua Hin tend to primarily attract Thai nationals, the eastern gulf is a magnet for western tourists thanks to Pattaya's notoriety as one of the world's wildest party towns. This bawdy image has been slowly changing in recent years, however, as developers have opened a string of new family-oriented resorts and attractions along Pattaya Beach and its surrounding areas.

North

Northern Thailand is distinctly different from the rest of the country in terrain, climate, and culture. Bordering Myanmar (Burma) and Laos to its north, the region is mountainous, heavily-forested, and noticeably cooler than anywhere else in the country (particularly in the High Season). The Lana culture (a hybrid between Thai, Burmese and Laotian influences) prevails throughout the region, and can be seen in the d├ęcor, dress, and food offerings in cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

The principal city in the north, Chiang Mai, is Thailand's second-largest and an absolute must for any visitor to the country. The heart of Chiang Mai is still surrounded by a moat and 1,000-year-old fortifications that protect some of Southeast Asia's oldest, and most-important, temples, while the rest of the city is dotted with universities, art galleries, and enough lodging and entertainment options to satisfy any type of traveler.

Chiang Mai is also the jumping off point for backpackers to explore the area's famous mountain trails, as well as anyone who is looking for outdoor adventure activities like white water rafting, elephant safaris (i.e., riding an elephant off into the jungle for day or two), and otherwise getting up close to the region's wildlife (including monkeys and tigers). There are so many exhilarating things to do in this part of the country that you're guaranteed to enjoy yourself.

Northeast

Thailand's northeast (dominated by the province of Isaan) is a heavily agricultural region that borders both Laos and Cambodia along the Mekong River. Khmer culture (i.e., ethnic Cambodian) is the prevailing influence on Isaan's people and the majority speak the Khmer language, in addition to Thai and several other regional dialects. This influence is also seen in Isaan cuisine, which is distinct from traditional Thai food for its heavy use of sticky rice, and extremely spicy chilies.

While this relatively undeveloped part of the country has not been a traditional tourist destination, recent government projects (notably the restoration of numerous ancient, Khmer archaeological sites) and the rapid economic growth of Isaan's major cities Buriram and Khon Kaen have begun to draw more visitors over the past decade. The city of Khon Kaen is of particular interest to anyone interested in making a land crossing into Cambodia.

South

When talking about the south of Thailand, the first names that come to mind are Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi (better known to foreigners as the Phi Phi Islands). White, sandy beaches, sky-blue water, and idyllic settings that look like they're straight out of a Hollywood movie set (mostly because they are, but that's for a later article) are what define this region of the country. In short, it's your run-of-the-mill tropical paradise.

The south of Thailand is generally considered to be the thin peninsula that separates the Gulf of Thailand from the Andaman Sea, and extends all the way south to the border with Malaysia. This stretch of land, and the islands that skirt both of its coasts, are home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world, as well as world-class facilities for every other water sport imaginable. That's all in addition to the incredible beaches, lagoons, and panoramas that the area is so famous for. With that said, I'm sure that it comes as no surprise that I highly recommend you include at least one of this region's fantastic resorts in your Thailand holiday.

The Hardest Part of Your Thailand Holiday - Getting There

Well, it may not be entirely accurate to say that the hardest part of your Thai holiday will be finding a way to get there. It's more likely to be forcing yourself to board the plane home at the end of your stay. I once heard it said that the only place in the Land of Smiles where you don't see happy people is the international departure lounge at the airport. More often than not, that seems to be true.

In all seriousness though, finding an affordable airfare has usually been the most difficult piece to put in place when I've planned my holidays to Thailand. With the price of jet fuel continuing to soar, this has become even more difficult over the last couple of years. In many cases, I find that I wind up spending as much on my airline ticket as I do on the entire rest of the holiday combined.

Nonetheless, there are a few helpful techniques I've acquired over the years that generally lead me to the lowest available prices at the time of my departure. They require a great deal of flexibility with regards to departure days and times (and you won't be getting any non-stop flights to Bangkok), but I do feel confident that they save me money in the end. I'll delve into this subject in detail in the near future.

As for now though, please peruse the rest of the site and be sure to leave any comments or suggestions you may have beneath the appropriate article. You can access the article directory by going to our main Holidays in Thailand page.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

A Brief Description of Thailand Food and Thailand Culture

Thailand food
It is beyond any doubt that food is a part of any gathering, thus, becoming the part of social occasions or itself the reason to celebrate. Normally, as per the western culture, a normal meal in any restaurant consists of starter, main course and then dessert. But in Thailand, the custom is a bit different with regard to Thailand food, as there is no single dish for a single person. As a general, all present in a gathering share the same dish together. So, it's better to have many guests together around the table than to enjoy with one or two as eating alone is considered a bad luck in the country.

One of the good things about Thai food is that they never dispose away the leftover food, as they consider it inauspicious and an enraging act to a female deity, 'God of rice'. Generally there are four seasonings in Thailand food- sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The food is satisfied only if it contains all the four tastes. Thai dinner mostly include meat, fish, noodles, vegetables and soup followed by desserts including fresh fruits and colorful rice cakes. Besides meals, there are snackers consisting of chicken or beef satay, spring rolls, salads, raw vegetable with spicy dips and sweets.

Thailand culture
Thailand culture is highly influenced by Buddhism in addition to some influence of Hinduism and other Southeast Asian neighbor. Thai art is the main item included in Thai Culture. Buddha image is the main constituent in different period having distinctive styles. At present, there is a fusion of traditional art with modern techniques. India has also laid much influence on Thailand literature. It includes the most notable work, Ramakien, the version of Indian epic, Ramayana. The poetry of Sunthorn Phu is also quite famous in Thailand.

Spoken drama is not given any importance in Thailand, but instead there is Thai dance, divided into three categories- Lakhon, Likay and Khon. A form of shadow pay, Nang Drama, is popular among southern Thailand. Folk music and classical music both are have their significance in addition to pop music.

Apart from it, one of the common customs included in Thailand is Wai, a common gesture that is similar to Indian Namaste. The hospitable and generous people of Thailand pay a lot of respect and homage to their elders, as it is the core of their faith and spiritual belief. Seeking blessings from the elders is considered important mark of respect.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Thailand Vacations - Etiquette While Traveling in the Kingdom

Thailand vacations can be exotic, beautiful, sunny, unique and very rewarding. To get the most out of your vacation, learn about the customs and traditions that are expected of visitors and tourists to Thailand. With these tips can help you become one of their beloved guests. Reading through this list will help you understand the proper ways to conduct yourself in frequent situations. This will help you show respect for the people and their country. These basic principles will also keep you from unintentionally offending your gracious hosts.

Thailand Vacations Can Be More Than Just a Party
Thailand can be a truly unique and rewarding cultural experience. And it can be a great party. With relatively cheap prices, warm weather and friendly people, some places in Thailand has become overwhelmed with partygoers. Our recommendation is to have fun, party some, but consider what you will be missing if that is all you do. Also consider that this is the ancient home of your hosts.

Greeting people in Thailand with the Wai
One very important custom that is used in Thailand is the Wai. This is the accepted way of greeting others throughout the country. The Wai is performed by placing your palms together and letting your fingers point upward (in a prayer position). When you do this you also bend your head at the neck, to show respect to the people that you are meeting. Thai natives will appreciate your using the Wai while visiting with them because it is their tradition and accepted way of greeting another person. Every person in Thailand is familiar with this type of greeting, and will immediately respond in kind to this gentle and polite gesture. They will also be happy and flattered that you are showing honor by using the Wai while in their country.

Graeng Jai ... The Polite Thai Art of Refusal
Graeng Jai is a somewhat difficult concept to understand, as there is no good word or phrase in English. One you think you have it translated, Graeng Jai comes up in different forms. Some attempts at translation are, "don't want to impose on others", "over-polite", "don't want to say what you are really thinking", and "fear of disrespecting authority," "high respect for authority, elders or parents." While frustrating at times, it has a very important role in the culture.

Throughout Thailand whenever you are invited to join someone for dinner at their baan (house), turning down the offer is a gesture of graeng jai. To do this signifies is that you are being considerate, and not rude. To refuse the gesture means that you are trying not to cause anyone any extra bother or inconvenience. This term is actually used quite commonly for any occasion where refusal of different invitations is seen as being respectful of others. It is an old Thai tradition and a means of saving face. While offering to share meals or money with another person is standard, there may not be anything much to share. When the person refuses there is no embarrassment to anyone on either side. If the person really wants to share something with you and it is not an imposition, the request will be emphatically repeated, at which time you can accept with a clear conscience and good manners.

Respect Thai Customs
Thailand does have a long list of "must do" and "don't dare" actions. The Thai people are very gracious and hospitable so they won't get mad if you do not observe all of their traditional rules and customs, but it is a good idea for any traveler to be familiar with as many of these as possible. You would appreciate visitors to your own country showing the same respect for your own customs.

Inappropriate Dress In Thailand
Improper attire is one thing that Thai people frown upon. However, because of their graciousness and Graeng Jai, they may not say anything to you. So it is up to you to learn about it before you go and observe what others are doing. Some of the younger citizens are not as strict about dress codes, but the older people are. A general rule is to not bare shoulders or go shirtless in Thailand public places. On the beach, of course, it is no problem. But elsewhere, more traditional clothing is appreciated. Just remember to follow the "not too" reminders when it comes to your dress choices. Not too small, not too tight, not too skimpy and not too revealing.

Thailand's Spiritual Leanings...Buddhism
Buddhism is a very important part of Thailand life and culture and you should also respect their religious and spiritual beliefs while you visit. This belief and faith is shown in many ways. In Thai families when a son reaches the age of around 20 he will actually spend a short time as a monk. This is because it is believed that this action will send the mother and father to a heavenly destination when they die. Becoming a monk for any amount of time is one of the ways that these young men are able to demonstrate their faith in their spiritual beliefs. The temples are very holy structures to Buddhist believers.

Always show respect to any statue depicting Buddha, which means no climbing on them, no sitting beside them for a photo-op, and never put a Buddha figure on the floor.

Temple Traditions and Etiquette
In a temple setting rules and tradition are very strict. Your clothing must be acceptable in order to enter the temple. Modest dress choices are your best bet. There are usually sarongs available at all temples that can be worn by both men and women if your clothing is not accepted or is questionable.

Shoes come off before ever entering a temple. Some times you may see a man at temple wearing a tank tee and shorts, but this is taboo for a woman at the temple. Whether kneeling or sitting in a temple you must not let the soles of your feet face toward the altar. Women are not to touch or hand any objects to a monk at any time. If you need to return something to a monk you should place it on a nearby table where he can then retrieve it. Some monks have a more liberal viewpoint on this and have no problem with touching a woman's wrist to tie a string around it or a gentle touch on the shoulder. But always follow the monks lead.

Be respectful of The King and the Royal Family
In addition to respecting the Buddhist customs, travelers should understand the respect Thai's have for King Phumipon Adunyadet and the Thai Royal family. Remember to not make any disparaging or sarcastic comment about the king and his family. Not only would Thai's be deeply offended and outraged, it is illegal and carries consequences. This might seem outrageous to people who come from countries where they are free to criticize their leaders, however, it is not wise to challenge it (at least within Thailand). For the most part, this law is well-accepted and welcomed by Thais themselves, which suggests the enormous respect they have for their King. Their King and Queen have helped the country prosper and have been instrumental in converting opium production to organic farming, they have gracefully brought Thailand into the modern age while maintaining much of the old tradition, and are generally considered benevolent.

Basic Etiquette in Everyday Situations
If you are entering a Thai home please remember to remove your shoes first, this is their tradition. You may even be asked to do this in public restaurants, shops and stores. It's fun to do and you may want to continue this at your own home. Pointing with fingers and hands is considered rude behavior by Thai people. If you are sitting or kneeling across from others do not let the soles of your feet face them, as this is also considered rude and insulting. Never point at anything or any person with your foot when you are in Thailand. This is considered extremely rude because they consider the feet to be the lowest part of the body. To use them to indicate something is insulting to them. Refrain from touching someone else's head, even if it is only to remove a leaf or smooth their hair. Thais consider the head to be the highest and most respected part of the body. It is considered to be very rude for someone else to touch their head. Public displays of any affection are also extremely rude. Refraining from public shows of kisses or hugs is much appreciated.

Be Observant!
There are so many new sights, sounds and smells in Thailand. When arriving, you will probably be on sensory overload. But as you senses become more accustomed to your surroundings, observe what people are doing and how they are acting. As crazy as it sounds, try to fit in instead of stand out. Observe your body language, your voice volume levels, your group size, your presence. Then compare it with others around you - Thai and foreigners in your group. See if you can start to melt into the madness. Don't think of it as constricting - think of it as a gentle learning with Thailand as your teacher.