Tourism Authority of Thailand
License Number: 11/2802
Thailand is endowed with a wealth of natural resources which serve as a backdrop for business and leisure travelers.
Last Modified On: Tuesday, 05/December/2006 21:54:10pm
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Thailand is endowed with a wealth of natural resources which serve as a backdrop for business and leisure travelers. The scenery is rich and varied ranging from misty mountains and lush rain forests in the north, through the flat emerald rice fields of the central plains, to white sandy beaches and magnificent tropical islands along the eastern seaboard and throughout the south.
The country has a long history and a vibrant culture which have left their mark in all religions and the current Thai’s way of life.
The north, for centuries an independent kingdom and a center of culture and religion, is dotted with many ancient historical sites and monuments, among them are the Sukhothai Historical Park, the Doi Suthep Shrine in Chiang Mai, and the Phra Buddha Chinarat image in Phitsanulok. Among their festivals which are well-known to the tourists are Songkran (the traditional Thai New Year), and Phao Thien Len Fai, Loy Krathong, and Flower Festival. The north is also home of patchwork of hill tribes such as Musers, Yaos, Meo, E-kaw, and Karen, each process their own distinctive culture and way of life. The lowland northern people are noted as a gentle and hospital people. In addition, the region abounds with natural attractions such as mountain scenery, caves, waterfalls, and lakes. Other attractions include bargain hunting for local and tribal handicrafts in the bazaars and markets, while, in the major towns, Western style night entertainment is widely available.
The northeast was a center of culture dating from prehistoric times through the Khmer period in the 12th and 13th centuries. The majority of tourist attractions in this region are historical sites, while the rest is natural and scenic. The first group includes Khmer sanctuaries at Phanom Ruang and Phimai, the Phra That Phanom Shrine, and Ban Chiang (site of a bronze-age culture dating back more than 5,000 years. Northeastern people celebrate their own festivals such as Bun Bang Fai or rocket festival, the Khao Phansa candle festival, and the Wax Castle Festival. Local products of interest to tourists include hand-woven cotton, cloth, mud mee silk, wicker wares, and pottery.
The central and eastern regions are famed for their mountain scenery, caves, waterfalls, sandy beaches, and seaside resorts on the gulf of Thailand, stretching from Rayong in the east to Prachup Kiri Khan in the south. There are also many places of historical and religious interest. Bangkok, the capital city, is lies on the bank of the Chao Phraya River or the “River of Kings” therefore the most pleasant ways to discover the magnificent of the Grand Palace, the Temple of Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of Dawn is on a cruise up the Chao Phraya River and to see old Thai way of life along the linked canals. Several other interesting places are also worth a visit such as Vimanmek Mansion (world largest golden teak wood palace), Jim Thompson’s Thai House, etc.
Bangkok is a fascinating metropolitan city offering a variety of shopping and entertainments, while Pattaya , just an hour away, is premier seaside resort which combines the attractions of sun and sea with a dazzling nightlife. Seventy kilometers north of Bangkok is the former capital, Ayutthaya, which preserved ruins of temples and palaces remain as a testament to its former glory.
A day trip to the west will take the tourists to the famous “Bridge Over the River Kwai” and the hills and the river of scenic Kanchanaburi. Rafting is a favorite pastime here and a lazy trip downriver offers a chance to see exotic flora and fauna. Local products of interest in this region include wickerwork, woven mats, woven handicraft, fruits, seafood, and Thai sweets.
The south which is flanked on two sides by the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand is lined with sandy beaches and palm-fringed islands lying just offshore. Some of the finest beaches in the country are in Phuket, Samui, and island in Phan-nga Bay, while inland are mountain scenery, caves, waterfalls, and steamy tropical jungles. The region was once a part of Srivijaya Empire and manysignificant ruins dating from that period have been discovered, such as the Chidi Wat Maha Thai in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, more than a thousand years old. The south is rich in culture and festivals such as the Chak Phra and Tenth Month Festival. Unique to the region is the sport of bull fighting. Local products of interest include nielloware, ornaments made from seashells, coral, and pearl oysters and hand-woven cloth.