Think of a tropical paradise with some of the friendliest people in the world. Add delicious cuisine, throw in elaborate gold temples, mix in delightful beaches, stir thoroughly and out pours the magic of Thailand.

 

The People
The Thai people are reason enough to visit this country. They’re always smiling, always happy, and always helpful. Thais tolerate, and even like most tourists, and once you become a friend of a Thai, you’re a friend for life. 

The Food
Thai food in Thailand is one of the great pleasures in life. If you like Thai food in your home country you will love it in Thailand. There‘s more variety, more flavours and an amazing array of places to eat. There are many up-market Thai restaurants in classic-Thai wooden houses, but be spoilt for choice if eating comfortably in food courts and on the street is more your style. Food in Thailand is not restricted to Thai cuisine. There are wonderful Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, French, Italian, Scandinavian and Indian offerings in all of the major cities and tourist spots. Thanks to the hordes of tourists and expats, the quality is high, and thanks to the Thais, the cost is low.

The Shopping
Forget Hong Kong, Singapore or other well-trodden shopping destinations, as today’s bargains are in Bangkok. Shop in the multi-storey department stores and malls for international brands and top-end Thai products, explore markets for amazing variety and ridiculously cheap prices, an buy on the street for convenience and fun.The famous Chatachak Weekend Market has over 9000 outlets so it’s easy to spend days amongst the exciting madness. And there’s Chinatown for imported goods from China, and Pratunam for locally-made clothing and footwear.

The Culture
Most Thais are Buddhists who believe actions have consequences, and this means that Thais generally respect others and will do their utmost to avoid problems, confrontations and strife. Many visitors comment on feeling safe no matter where they go. Buddha statues, spirit houses, and photographs of the King are honoured, and peaceful hours can easily slip by in the awe-inspiring temples watching Thais seek guidance and protection, and pray for a good future life.

The Landscape
Bangkok has wonderful manmade attractions. Chiang Mai and the north have history, mountains, hill-tribe people and thousand-year-old temples. The south has stunning white-sand beaches. The variety is amazing so finding your piece of paradise is a cinch. 

By Len Rutledge

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