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Information about Thailand


FOR SO MANY PEOPLE, Thailand is the ultimate holiday destination - and it's not hard to see why. This is a country with something for everyone. Sun-seekers can bliss out on achingly beautiful beaches and swim in the clearest turquoise seas, while shoppers get their retail fix in cool designer boutiques and colourful local markets.

Foodies get to enjoy one of the world's most distinctive and delicious cuisines, while culture vultures take their pick from countless fascinating historical sights and lively festivals. There are ever-increasing numbers of CHIC hotels to stay in and sleek bars and restaurants to play in, along with luxury spas offering full-on pampering and holistic healing.

Totally in tune with today's travel trends, Thailand is also increasingly popular as an eco-tourism destination, with the government actively supporting the kind of sustainable tourism development based around community participation and nature-based activities.


Regions of Thailand

Central and East Coast There are 26 provinces that make up Central and Eastern Thailand, and Bangkok is one of them.The Central region has a dramatic history, and its heritage of ancient temples, battlefields and ruins and two capitals, Ayutthaya and Bangkok, are a continuing fascination for visitors.



On the eastern side  With some of the finest beaches in Asia, Pattaya is surrounded with an enormous range of resorts, hotels and guesthouses. If you are seeking a more relaxing experience, travel further down the coast to Rayong or Ko Samet, and the lovely islands of Ko Chang National Park near the Cambodian border.

On the west coast, the resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin attract international travellers who prefer their more sophisticated yet laid-back atmosphere.
The North is the birthplace of the earliest Thai civilisation and has many sites of archaeological and cultural interest.  Many tourists from the surrounding provinces converge on Chiang Mai for the annual Songkran Festival, and to Sukhothai for Loi Krathong.
The Northeast of Thailand is usually known for tourism destinations country’s most intriguing destinations with many Stone Age and Bronze Age dwellings and artifacts, and several significant temples that are a legacy of the great Khmer empire.  The sandstone shrines of Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima and Phanom Rung in Buri Ram are popular tourist attractions.
The South with the Andaman Sea coast offers more sophisticated choices in the island province of Phuket, Thailand’s premier holiday resort. However, the fascinating rock formations and offshore islands at Phang-nga, Krabi and Trang are extremely popular for the diving and sailing opportunities they offer.



Religion
Thailand is one of the most strongly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism, a branch of Hinayana Buddhism, practiced by more than 90 % of all Thais.  The remainder of the population adheres to lslam, Christianity, Hinduism and other faiths all of which are allowed full freedom of expression. Buddhism continues to cast strong influence on daily life.  Meditation, one of the most popular aspects of Buddhism, is practiced regularly by numerous Thai as a means of promoting inner peace and happiness. Visitors, too, can learn the fundamentals of this practice at several centres in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.

Language
“Thai” is the main language of Thailand, although English is widely spoken in the tourism industry.

Climate
The climate is tropical, with a mean annual temperature of 28°C and high humidity. It is very hot in the Central Plains and south, cooler in the northern hills.  Overall the best time to visit is November to March when days are mostly dry and the humidity lower, although Koh Samui is best from June to September.

AGRICULTURE

Thailand is a fertile country, and agriculture, which broadly includes crop cultivation, forestry, livestock breeding, fisheries and mining, is the Thai economy's largest and most important sector.

Rice forms a staple part of the Thai diet; and while it is still the basis of the rural economy, it has been joined by newer, increasingly important export crops like sugar, tapioca, maize, pineapples, rubber and coconuts. Raw cotton and soybeans are also produced for export and tobacco production is on the rise. Vineyards have been planted and Thai vintners hope to turn out quality wines in due course.

Tropical fruits, including more than 20 varieties of edible bananas, are grown in abundance, and intensive livestock breeding includes cattle, poultry and swine rearing.

Thailand has a large fishing fleet operating from its 800-kilometer Indian Ocean and 1,800-kilometer Gulf of Thailand coasts. Thailand ranks among the world's top ten nations in the fishing industry in terms of total catch and export. Fishing is the third largest activity after crops and livestock.

Tin, fluorite, gypsum and lignite largely dominate Thailand's mining industry.


FINANCE


Thailand's currency is the baht, which is divided into 100 satang. Copper coins are valued at 25 and 50 satang, and silver ones at 1, 5, and 10 baht. Bank notes are valued at 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple), and 1,000 baht (gray); all denominations of bills are in different sizes.

GOVERNMENT


Thailand is governed by a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Head of State.

Official power rests with the government, personified by the Prime Minister, the Parliament, and a bureaucratic system that reaches down to the village level. Over past decades the Prime Minister's personal power has steadily increased, largely because of the Thai tendency to express their concerns to the highest-ranking authority, in nation as well as family. This frequently results in provincial delegations appearing at Government House requesting decisions on local problems. The Constitution is the highest law of the land, and provides for governing through a system of centralization.

Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, and exercised through a bicameral National Assembly consisting of the publicly elected House of Representatives and the Senate. The Parliament must approve all legislative matters of national policy, which then require the King's signature before becoming the law of the land.

Thai Foods
Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices as well as fish sauce. Thai food is popular in many Western countries especially in Australia, New Zealand, some countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, and Canada.

Currency Exchange
Exchange Rate: The Thai currency is the Baht, the exchange rate is approximately
Baht 70 = GBP 1.- or Baht 34 = USD 1.-