Ancient Siam & Modern Thailand|
- Abundant natural attractions, including mountain and marine national parks, sparkling beach resorts, ancient ruins, archaeological wonders, year-round festivals and
events, interesting culture, recreation, dining, accommodation, and shopping facilities, sincere hospitality, and impeccable service enable Thailand to offer every visitor truly memorable holidays.
- For centuries known by outsiders as Siam, Thailand is a modern, predominantly Buddhist Kingdom where past and present mingle in evolving hrmony.
- Essentially, Thailand's distinctive oftentimes unique characteristics stem from Chinese and Indian influences harmoniously blended by
Thai eclecticism, rich natural and human resources and ethnic diversity, over 700 years of cherished independence, and a traditional culture delicately attuned
to the time-honored Buddhist ideals of charity, tolerance, and loving kindness.
- Touristically speaking, Thailand is divided into six major regions: the mountainous north, where elephants work forest and winter temperatures
are sufficiently cool to permit cultivation of temperate fruits such as strawberries and apples; the sprawling northeast plateau, largely bordered by the mighty Mekong River, where a Bronze Age
civilization flourished some 5,700 years ago; the central plain, a richly fertile fruit and rice growing area; the eastern coastl plain where fine sandy beaches support the growth of
summer resorts; western mountains and valleys, resplendent with natural beauty in the form of numerous splendid rivers, waterfalls and caves; and the peninsular south
where arresting scenic beauty and tropical islands complement economically vital tin mining, rubber cultivation, and fishing.
- Some 70 per cent of Thais are connected either directly or indirectly with agriculture, a tradition dating from the founding of the first
integrated Thai Kingdom at Sukhothai Province in Northern Thailand more than 700 years ago.
- Today the ruins of the ancient kingdoms of Sukhothai Province and Ayutthaya
stand mute and peaceful amidst a modern world, indications of a glorious past. The splendour of their arts and crafts, their architecture, their traditions, and
their ways of life have not vanished with their decline, however. On the contrary, modern Thailand is shaped by influences that originated during
their supremacy. More than mere tourist attractions, these two cities, together with other similsr historical sites, represent a part of Thailand
that cannot be recalled but whose impacts have forever enriched this country with a unique pride in its priceless historical and cultural heritage.
- Presentday Thailand is a Constitutional Monarchy where Buddhism is the professed religion of more than 90 per cent of all Thais.
- Buddhism casts strong influences on daily life. Besides moulding morality, providing social cohesion, and offering spiritual succour,
Buddhism provides incomparable artistic impetus. In common with medieval European cathedrals, Thailand's multi-roofed temples have inspired major artistic creation.
- Besides sustaining monastic communities, Thai temples traditionally serve other purposes - as the village hostelry, employment and
information agency, a school, hospital, dispensary, and community centre - to give them vital roles in Thail society.
- The Thails have their own unique culture, including literature, drama, architecture, music, painting.
- Historical past notwithstanding, modern Thailand is as mush attuned to the mocro-chip as to its traditional Buddhist culture.
- A modern highway system reaches all corners of the Kingdom, and is complemented by a railway
network with connections to Malasia and Singapore. Thailand's domestic airline is first class.
- Comfortable western-style hotels are found in major cities, as are modern hospitals and clinics staffed by highly trained doctors and medical staff.
- Moreover, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the second commercial language.