Thailand is a constitutional monarchy of more than 65 million residents. It is located in Southeast Asia
and borders the countries of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Thailand is steeped in religious culture and tradition with the dominant religion being Buddhism. The weather is Thailand is categorized as tropical with several distinctive monsoonal periods throughout the country and throughout the year. Thailand has the second-largest Asian economy after Indonesia. Thailand's economy is primarily export dependent. Life in Thailand is modern and western influence can be seen throughout the country.
Planning a Trip to Thailand
Planning a trip to Thailand is relatively easy. Many online travel sites can combine airfare and hotel together in one package. When planning a trip to Thailand, consider visiting all the major tourist spots such as Cheng Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok. Unless you are experienced in driving on the opposite side of the road of America or feel dare devilish, do not rent a car while in Thailand.
Arrival in Thailand
When you arrive in Thailand you will immediately proceed to passport control to be issued a visitor's visa. After passing through immigration you will proceed through customs where you will be asked to make a declaration of the items that you are transporting into the country. You may or may not be stopped for a full inspection of your baggage. Once you clear immigration and customs you can catch a taxi to your hotel. Taxis in Thailand are licensed and controlled by the government, and only approved taxis can enter the airport arrival area. Depending on where you are staying in Thailand the trip by taxi can take several hours.
Attractions in Thailand
While in Thailand there are many sites that you must visit, some of historical significance and many are not. There are many temples with stunning statues of Buddha such as Wat-Po, with the reclining Buddha or Wat Phra Keow, the emerald Buddha ,which is also on the grounds of the Grand Palace. When visiting the Grand Palace, shorts and sleeveless shirts are prohibited. Other sites that must be seen are the National Stadium for an evening of Muay Thai kickboxing, the Chatuchak Market and the Floating Market. For the adventurous traveler there is also a visit to Pat Pong, which is the red light district of Bangkok.
Getting Around Thailand
Getting around Thailand, especially Bangkok, is pretty easy. Traffic in Bangkok is horrible, and many times it is faster to travel to where you are going on foot. An extensive light rail system will get you to just about anywhere in the city. Travel by Tuk-Tuk, a three-wheeled open air taxi, is also another mode of travel. Only go by Tuk-Tuk for very short distances. You will sit at traffic lights for an extended period of time and you will definitely get your fill of exhaust fumes.
Thailand is a great country to visit but there are many things to be wary of when visiting. During the last several years and especially in recent months there has been a great deal of civil unrest in Thailand. Political protests have shut down the capital of Bangkok and have even become violent at times. Terrorism is also a problem on the rise in the southern regions of Thailand. HIV/AIDS continues to be a major problem in Thailand. The Thai government has taken many positive steps forward in the prevention of this disease and it has resulted in a drastic reduction in the numbers of new infections. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that the infection rate among adults is approximately 1.5 percent or approximately 800,000 people. Robbery continues to be a big problem in Thailand, so protect your property wherever you go.