Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Introducing Thailand

The Country 

Having a strategjc location at the heart of Southeast Asia. the Kingdom of Thailand enjoys being a natural gateway to the neigh bounng countries. Thailand's neighbouring are Myanmar to the west and north. Laos to the north and northeast. Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south.

Within its area of 513115 Square kilometers, the country comprises of four distinct geographical regions, each with its own character: the mountainous North is profuse with forested hills; the high Northeast Plateau is full of striking archaeological and anthropological sites; the Central Plains the nation's nee bowl. watered by the Chao Phraya River and the popular scenic coast in the East; the South is a narrow peninsula with the long coastline made up of white sandy beaches and coastal islands.

The country consists of  77 administrative provinces or Changwat each of which is divided into districts or Amphoe, sub-district or Tambon and village or Mu Ban. Bangkok, situated in the center of political, commercial, industrial, and cultural activities.

Thailand is a Constitutional Monarchy inspired by the British democratic model. The present king. His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX is the longest reigning king of the Thai history.

Thailand's governmental system is composed of two parliament houses, the House of  Representatives and the Senate, and both the Representatives and senators are elected by the Thai citizen, A prime minister is electd from among the representatives.

The Climate

Traveling in Thailand can be done comfortably at any time of the year because the country is blessed with diverse climate that is not too hot, too dry, nor too wet.
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons - hot and dry from February to May with average temperatures of 34°C and 75% humidity; rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to October, average daily temperature of 29°C and 87% humidity; and cool from November to January. Temperatures then range from 32°C to below 20°C and with a drop in humidity. Basking in sunshine for much of the year but the temperatures vary between seasons and in different parts of the country. The South has a pleasant tropical climate all year round whereas the North and the Northeast experience much lower temperature at night during the cool season.

The Region

As a country of diversity, the four regions of Thailand are unique and each of them has its own culture, custom and dialect as well as distinctive tourist attractions. Whether trekking in the forested hills of the North, observing the rice paddies of the Central, exploring the timeless villages of the rural Northeast, or lazing on tropical isle of the South, the choice is wide open.

The Central and East Coast:

Defined by the fertile plain of the Chao Phraya River, the central region is the agricultural heartland of the country. The rain-fed network of rivers and canals supports vast fields of rice and a variety of fruit, and is where the lifestyle based on water activities occurs. The magnificent beaches of the East Coast are popular destinations amongst the local and foreign travelers for a quiet getaway.

The North:

Full of forests, rivers, waterfalls, and spectacular mountain ranges that cover almost the entire region, the North is truly a green paradise. The hilly ranges are home to most of Thailand's hill tribe people, each with its own culture, colorful costume and way of life. The culture of the northern region is linked to the history of the Lanna kingdom, endowing the region with exotic cultural architecture and charming the visitors with the distinct gentleness character of its people.

The Northeast:

Compared to the rest of Thailand, the pace is slower but the people of the Northeast or I-San, retain the same friendliness that is found throughout the Kingdom. A great source of historical and traditional fascination, I-San is furnished with temple ruins, distinctive foods, architectures and unique dialect. This region is seldom visited by the tourists but the simple way of life and inimitable characteristic of the people are significant attractions that capture their hearts and make them want to come back again.

The South:

Bound by the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, the long strip of southern peninsula is a dream comes true for beach lovers. The region has two long coastlines where visitors can enjoy relaxing on immaculate beaches or more dynamic activities like canoeing or scuba diving. The southern region not only has a beauty of underwater world and the white sandy beaches, but the undisturbed rainforests, and stunning hills and cliffs are also popular attractions amongst the tourists.

Source: Thailand Travel Manual (TAT )

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