Travel - Hot Spots - Thailand
Spoken and written Thai is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. English and some European Languages are spoken in most hotels, shops and restaurants in major tourist destinations, and Thai-English road and street signs are found nationwide.
Note: Tap water is clean but drinking from it directly should be avoided. Bottled water is recommended
When To Go
The peak seasons are August, November, December, February and March, with secondary peak months in January and July. If your main objective is to avoid crowds and to take advantage of discounted rooms and low-season rates, you should consider travelling during the least crowded months (April, May, June, September and October). On the other hand it's not difficult to leave the crowds behind, even during peak months, if you simply avoid some of the most popular destinations (eg, Chiang Mai and all islands and beaches).
Lop Buri, an ancient city dating from the 9th century, and some 150 kilometres north of Bangkok, contains Hindu and Khmer ruins and the imposing Ramratchaniwet Palace built by Ayutthaya's King Narai during the 1600s as a summer retreat. Major ruins include the Khmer Phra Prang Sam Yot, the Hindu San Phra Kan, and Wat Phra Si Mahathat.
Rattanakosin Island or the “Old City”, the historical and spiritual heart of Bangkok, was the heart of the new capital founded by King Rama I in 1782. History lover's happiness will definitely be discovered when visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha as they represent some of the finest examples of early Rattanakosin architecture.
Phetchaburi, locally known by Thais as Muang Phetch, is located 160 kilometers south of Bangkok. One of Thailands central region provinces, Phetchaburi is situated on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand with an overall area of approximately 6,225 square kilometers. Its terrains throughout the western border, where Tanaosri Range lies as a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, are mountainous dense jungles. In the east, there is an 80-kilometer long coastline towards the Gulf of Thailand
Phuket, Thailand’s largest tropical island is better than ever! Spectacular scenery bathed in stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue seas awaits at Asia’s most popular beach destination. The island of fun provides an unbeatable combination of perfect silky soft beaches, superb hospitality and great value
The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya or Ayutthaya in short, is one of Thailand's historical and majestic highlights. Serving as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350 1767: Kingdom of Ayutthaya), it was once glorified as one of the biggest cities in the world a Southeast Asia center for civilizations.
Wat Maha That Worawiharn
Situated by Maenam Phetchaburi in the town centre, the large white pagoda of Wat Maha That, which can be seen from a distance, is a mixture of the late Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin style with an adaptation of the prang of Lopburi. This Five Peak Prang housing the Lord Buddha's relics was constructed according to concept of Mahayana Buddhism. The elegantly designed stucco decorated on the viharn and the ubosot is proof to the excellent skill of Phetchaburi's local craftsmanship.
Chiang Mai, with an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, the city covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometers and is the country's second largest province. Chiang Mai borders Myanmar on the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces on the east and Mae Hong Son Province on the west. The terrain is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to the hill tribes. In addition, wildlife and exotic flora may be found in the national parks.
The Golden Triangle
Every guidebook seems to have a different view of the evolution of the term 'golden triangle' and even disagree on when the term was coined. Most do agree that the term applies to the opium growing region covering northern Thailand, eastern Burma and western Laos.
Opium production has been illegal in Thailand since 1959. Thanks to a highly successful crop substitution program undertaken by the Royal Projects Foundation established by His Majesty King Bhumipol, opium production has largely been eliminated in Thailand. However, across the border in Burma, the Shan United Army, which is fighting the central Burmese government for an independent Shan state, has been accused of funding its war through the sale of opium and heroin.
Many tourists flock to the Golden Triangle region of Thailand expecting some sort of 'wild west' scene. They are certainly disappointed. The Thai area of the former triangle is full of small quiet villages where the most exciting thing that happens is the arrival of the next tour bus.
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