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Thailand

Official Language  : Thai
Official Currency   : Thai Baht
Capital                    : Bangkok
Climate                   : Tropical

Thailand, the Land of Smiles, is the most popular tourist destination in South-East Asia due to its wealth of natural beauty, culture and history, gorgeous islands and beaches and the mouth-watering food. In the North you will find breathtaking mountain ranges with waterfalls and fast flowing rivers for trekking and rafting, ethnic tribal groups with unique customs and clothing and people famous for their courtesy and hospitality. The North-East, or Isan, is one of the country’s most intriguing destinations with many Stone Age and Bronze Age dwellings and artifacts, and several significant temples and national parks. The central plains and the east coast are dotted with national parks, seaside resorts and islands.

Thailand is an independent country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country in terms of total area  with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay;[7] the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand.[8] Thailand has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.[9] The country’s official language is Thai. Its primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of all Thais.

Culture

Thai culture has been shaped by many influences, including Chinese, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indian. 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 important 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 the Buddhist Era, which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian (western) calendar. For example, the year AD 2010 is 2553 BE in Thailand.

Thai Cuisine

is the national cuisine of Thailand. Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is known for being spicy. Balance, detail and variety are important to Thai cooking. Thai food is known for its balance of the five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter.

Night Life

Thailand is an ideal place for those who want to make their nights colorful. Bangkok is ahead in city nightlife among it’s Asian competitors. Nights in Chiang Mai, Pattaya or Phuket are not less diverse and interesting. Koh Samui has carved its own niche as a nightlife hub. Krabi has it’s own style of enjoying nightlife.