Culture and History Travel Tour to Thailand
Thailand overviewNo country in Southeast Asia to house so much historical as Thailand so this is the ideal place for people interested in ruins, temples and deserted cities. If the traveler gets to ignore the multi acechantes hotels, islands and beaches in Thailand are a true paradise on earth. As for the urban wonders, the huge metropolis of Bangkok, with its energy and cultural treasures, despite its impressive size and the chaotic, often in a way to entice visitors can easily bypass the thick oil that evaporated call in the city air. Thailand is a country in which you can travel easily and enjoy an efficient transportation, affordable accommodation and a wonderful food. Thais are famous for their kindness and hospitality to strangers. Despite being defined as a carefree revelers are also characterized by its strong and have fought for centuries to preserve its independence. Best time Travel to Thailand The best time for visiting most of Thailand is between November and February, during these months it rains least and is not so hot. The best time to visit the south is where the rest of Thailand supports truly sweltering temperatures (from March to May), the north is best visited from mid-November to early December, or when the heat returns in February. If visiting Bangkok should be prepared to burn in April and soaked in October, probably the worst months in the capital as it relates to climate. The months of most tourist are December and August, the quietest, May, June and September. Thailand Mean festivals and Holidays
Many festivals are linked to Buddhist or Brahman rituals and are governed by the lunar calendar. New Year, Songkran, is celebrated in mid-April bathing Buddha images, spraying the hands of monks and elderly as a way to revere water, and generally throwing liquid element air for fun. If you do not want to end up soaked, it is best to stay in the hotel room. The cultivation of rice has caused a cycle of festivals: In early May, to open the season by official planting rice, the king participates in an ancient Brahman ritual in a large field located in the city of Bangkok. Northeast of the country are celebrating a festival of rockets: it convinces the sky to send rain to the new season using a volatile mixture of bamboo and gunpowder. During the rice harvest, which begins in September and lasts until May, a series of lively local festivals throughout Thailand. The vegetarian festival in Phuket and Trang, during which devout Chinese Buddhists eat only vegetarian food, lasts nine days, from late September until early October. The most striking forms of expression of this festival are processions, but can also be ceremonies at Chinese temples. In November, the Rodeo is famous Surin elephant. Thailand Most Attraction Places to Travel Bangkok To enjoy one of the most exciting cities in Asia, there are monuments to endure traffic jams, pollution, annual floods and a muggy heat, but it's worth. Since the late eighteenth century, Bangkok has dominated Thailand's urban hierarchy as well as its political, commercial and cultural. Bangkok is located east of the Chao Phraya River, and the most important railway line which runs from north to south, divides the city into two parts: the Old Bangkok , where almost all the ancient temples, shines in the enclosed by the river and the train, the new Bangkok , much bigger than the old, which houses the main business districts and tourist areas (which have resulted in a chaotic urban growth) and is located east of the rail line. To be a city of similar size, Bangkok surprised tourists for its many quiet spaces. A few steps from a noisy street, the calm of a fleet of 400 wats (temple-monasteries) or some place close to river. The most essential are the Wat Phra Kaew, Grand Palace, the Wat Pho and Wat Traimit. This is the Temple of the Golden Buddha, and hosts an impressive image of three meters high and five and a half tonnes of the metal. The Jim Thompson House, the employer of silk, is a paradise of traditional Thai art and architecture. Thompson, an American expatriate, he was commissioner and tireless promoter of Thai culture until his mysterious disappearance in 1967. Other interesting attractions include the Wat Sai floating market in Thonburi, the boat rides on the extensive network of canals (klongs), the Snake Farm Saovabha Institute, and the famous Oriental Hotel. The entertainment ranges from classical dance and Thai boxing to the unfortunate go-go bars of Patpong. For a fun alternative to delivery by the night, we must venture into the night markets behind Ratchaprarop Street in Pratunam. Bangkok is a good place for shopping, where one is not exceeded and buy too many shirts and imitations of designer clothes. It's the perfect place for economic garments equipped for the journey, or even to buy stylish clothes. The most popular place for budget travelers is the Khao San road in Banglamphu, but the area around the street Sukhumvit offers a greater selection of medium-price hotels. The best places to eat for little money and the district are Banglamphu neighbor Thewet. To enjoy a stroll through the city and their daily lives, we need to go to Chinatown and Pahurat, districts Chinese and Indian market, high activity. As expected in a major Asian transportation to Bangkok or leave it is an adventure. All major bus routes and train Thailand ends in this city, which is also a place to get interesting offers to travel locally or internationally. Travel by river or canal is much more desirable than road transport, although the road becomes more and more occasions when the only available option. The bus system in Bangkok is pretty easy to use, but the low fluency experiencing the traffic in this city (half of 13 kilometers per hour at peak time) prevents it to be an efficient system. Almost all taxis have taximeter and not very expensive. The tuk-tuks (motorized tricycle) are much more affordable but have the advantage of risky way between the chaos of traffic. The best connection to the airport is the train, as it only takes half an hour compared to the three bus or taxi.
Nakhon Pathom, 60 km west of Bangkok, is considered the oldest city in Thailand. Houses the Phra Pathom Chedi, a Buddhist construction tiles orange has the title of world's tallest (127 m). The original building, now buried under the enormous orange dome was erected by Theravada Buddhists in the sixth century. The Chedi has endured various incarnations in the hands of restorers khmer, Burmese and Chinese. There is a floating market near the area in Khlong Damnoen Saduak.
The ruins of the temples of Ayuthaya, the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, 86 km north of Bangkok, dating from the time the most flourishing of Thai history. Ayuthaya was the capital of the country since 1350, and 33 kings reigned here Siamese dynasties, until the Burmese conquered the city in 1767. The old capital was, in the eyes of the whole world, a magnificent city that was courted by Dutch merchants, Portuguese, French, English, Chinese and Japanese. At the end of the seventeenth century, Ayuthaya's population had reached one million inhabitants, and all foreign visitors said that this was the most elegant city that had never visited.
The architectural ensemble of Ayuthaya was declared a World Heritage Site. The formidable list includes Wat Phra Sanphet If, from the fourteenth century, the largest of its time Ayuthaya, which houses a Buddha standing 16 meters covered by 250 kilos of gold. Unfortunately, the Burmese conquerors merged. The monument of the sixteenth century, Wat Phra Meru, shaped fortress was saved from destruction in 1767 and has an impressive carved wooden ceiling, a magnificent six-meter Buddha, seated and crowned, in the Ayuthaya period, and a green stone Buddha in Ceylon, posing on a chair in European style, dated 1300. The Wat Phra Chao Choeng Phan was probably built by the khmer early fourteenth century, before it became capital Ayuthaya. Contains an image of Buddha 19 meters highly revered, from which comes the name of the wat. An elephant kraal restored supposed great relief to which he is tired of visiting temples. The huge lurch wood, built with teak logs driven into the ground at an angle of 45 degrees was used previously for the annual rodeo wild elephants. The King had a special flag high, built so that he could make the most of this exciting event.
The northern terminal of Bangkok buses depart frequently to newspapers Ayuthaya, which takes about two hours to arrive. Trains, a little faster, come up with enough regularity to the station of Bangkok, Hualamphong.
The second largest city of Thailand, which represents the gate leading to the north, was founded in 1296. Even today you can see the moat that surrounded the original city. There are about three wats, including the Wat Chiang Man, which houses the Buddha glass ten inches and a length of 1800 years, the Wat Phra Singh, built in the style of northern Thailand, and Wat Chedi Luang, partially collapsed by earthquakes, gunfire and attempted restoration. The Doi Suthep, one of the holiest wats in Thailand, stands with its 1676 m, west of the city, providing spectacular scenery and providing wonderful views of the city.
The Chiang Mai is a modern city where the traveler will feel at ease and you will not find problems. It is famous for its restaurants and also has many good pensions (although their safety deposit boxes are not so much). Compared with Bangkok, Chiang Mai night is calm, relaxed and conducive for strolling by the middle of the night bazaar. To make the most money, you have to haggle with patience but merciless: it gives the usual. Once abandoned, the attitude of a warrior market, Chiang Mai is a good base for mountain hiking. Almost all houses advertised excursions to visit the hill tribes living in the surrounding areas. If you have scruples, and prefers not to hinder the lives of these people should refrain from taking part in these excursions. This area of Thailand is over-exploited by the lovers of hiking, and some of the villages of the tribes have become something like human zoos.
Chiang Mai is connected by air with eight other cities with a few Thai and Asian cities. A large number of bus services make the journey of ten to twelve hours from Bangkok. Fast trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes between twelve and thirteen hours.
This beautiful island in the Southeast is covered with Thai coconut plantations and beaches surrounded by palm trees, although it seems a cliché. Was once the mecca of untapped backpackers, but at the moment is about to become a full member club of the resorts. The coconut is still currently the mainstay of the local economy.
The most popular beaches are Hat Chaweng and Hat Lamai, both can enjoy a good swim and snorkelling, but are increasingly full. If you want a little more peace and quiet should be made to Mae Nam, Bo Phut and Big Buddha, on the north coast. The main town of the island is Na Thon.
Many of the beach bungalows are rustic, but it is difficult to get accommodation in high season from December to February and July to August. The best time to visit the island during the hot and dry, between February and June. From Bangkok, there are direct flights to the airport Don Sak to Ko Samui. Some shipping companies and ships fast ship propulsion operating from Surat Thani, the fast boats take two and a half hours, and the ships propulsion and a half hours. Local transport are songthaews, although in some places you can rent motorcycles.
The northern neighbor of Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, it's more quiet, and its beaches are equally good, they can also enjoy diving tube. A lot of backpackers like the famous beach of Hat Rin parties, although the local police, unfortunately, is not of the same opinion. This island is about half an hour by boat from Ko Samui.
Phuket, dubbed by the tourist industry the "Pearl of the South", is the largest island of Thailand and is located in the Andaman Sea, off the coast southwest of the country. The island is connected to mainland by a bridge, but has maintained its own culture, a merger of Chinese and Portuguese influences, combined with the culture of the chao naam, an Indian fishing village. Approximately 35 percent of the island's population are Thai Muslims.
The terrain ranges from sandy and rocky beaches to extensive limestone cliffs and forested hills. The island is also home to beautiful beaches, tropical vegetation and the atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant, but their environment and ecology are experiencing the pressure of an irresponsible and excessive development. The complexes are more important Patong, Karon and Kata, but the best beaches are scattered throughout its length. The roads leave from Phuket Town, southeast of the island, making this population the ideal starting point from which to explore. We must not underestimate the hinterland, with rice fields and rubber plantations, cashew, cocoa, pineapples and coconuts, as well as the last jungle stronghold in Phuket.
There are many flights to Phuket from Bangkok. The first class buses, equipped with air conditioning, take about fourteen hours to reach the island from the capital. Local transport are songthaews, which operate many beaches of the island, and motorcycle-taxis can be found. You can rent bikes and SUVs. It is recalled that a law was passed in 1996 requires you wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, it should ensure that the rental company provides one, the fines for noncompliance is 500 baht
This provincial city, hidden in the countryside east of Bangkok, only receives foreign visitors, mainly because it is not on the main road or the rail network of the capital. Hosts one of the most sacred Buddha image in Thailand, Phra Phuttha Sothon, which is located in Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihaan. The origins of this humble Buddha was 198 cm, are shrouded in mystery: the image that have been associated with a famous monk who had holy powers and predicted the exact time of death.
Chachoengsao is a good destination for a day to escape the bustle of Bangkok and experience life in provincial Thailand. Buses depart frequently for Chahoengsao terminal east of Bangkok , and so do the trains leave the station Hualamphong of Bangkok. It takes an hour and a half to reach Chachoengsao, whether you go by train and bus.
This island of only one population, located on the shores of the province of Chonburi on the Gulf of Thailand, is almost deserted, so it is worth exploring. Among its attractions include a meditation center with hermit caves, fine beaches to enjoy snorkelling, a ruined palace, limestone caves and a Chinese temple perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Most of the inhabitants are sailors, fishermen, customs officers and employees of fish farming projects. Camping is allowed on the island, but for those who do not want there are many hotels and bungalows.
To get there, take a bus from the eastern terminal of the bus station in Bangkok, Pattaya or until If Racha, about 105 kilometers from Bangkok. From here, boats leave every hour to If Ko Chang.
Mae Sot, in the northern province of Tak, near the Burmese border, has a reputation of being a border town outside the law. It has a thriving black market trade (guns, narcotics, teak and precious stones) and an official of jade and gems that grows daily in importance. Attracts an interesting mix of ethnic groups: Burmese Muslims, members of local tribes karen, Chinese and Indian shopkeepers, and Thai soldiers dressed in red. It is fascinating to observe the flow of trade and crafts Burmese food.
Phanom Rung Historical Park of Prasat Hin Khao
The temple complex at Phanom Rung khmer, northeastern Thailand, is the monument belongs to the biggest and the best culture of Thailand restored. It was built between the X and XIII centuries. Most of the work was carried out under the reign of Suriyavarman II (from 1113 to 1150 AD) and was the highlight of Angkor architecture.
The monument is located in an extinct volcano and dominates the surrounding countryside. It has a beautiful promenade that goes to the front door, many galleries and theaters, and the only wooden bridge that Naga is in the country. The craft represents the pinnacle of the artistic achievements of the khmer, and is equivalent to the reliefs of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The best time to visit Phanom Rung is up to ten o'clock, when still fresh, the light is good for photographs and they are few tourists around.
It is not easy to Phanom Rung, but worth the effort. Buses and trains depart from Bangkok to Khorat, also known as Nakhon Ratchasima, take four to five hours. From Khorat, there is a connection by bus to Surin, once in route, we stop at Ban Ta Ko, where it will take the songthaew that runs up the complex.
National Park Thaleh Ban
This park of 101 km ², situated in the Malay-Thai border, south of the province of Satun, hosts one of the forested areas of white meranti best preserved of Southeast Asia. In its mountainous terrain, there are caves, waterfalls, limestone cliffs, lakes, and animals such as gibbons and macaques, as well as many rare species of birds. Once inside the park, you can camp or sleep in one of the berths of the houses on the shores of a lake.
The nearest town is Satun to Bangkok for 15 hours by bus. One option is to share a taxi from Satun to place near the park entrance, Praja Wang, about 40 km from Satun. From here, there is hitchhiking or riding one of the rare songthaews going towards Thaleh Ban. It is accessible by road from Malaysia.
Both coasts and many islands in Thailand attracts huge numbers of fans of water sports. Diving and scuba diving are very popular tube in the areas of Phuket and Pattaya, and also the similar and Surin islands. The islands of the province of Chumphon, Surat Thani to the north are less exploited, and the reefs are virtually untouched. One activity is increasingly popular inflatable canoe ride to the islands and limestone formations of the coast around Phuket and Ao Phang Nga. On these routes, is looking for underwater caves where travelers can go paddling at low tide. You can also go rafting on the Mae Klong River, which is located in the province of Kanchanaburi in central Thailand, and the Pai River in Mae Hong Son province.
The main attraction of northern Thailand is its unspoiled nature. The main trekking Chiang Mai is in a mountainous region inhabited by various tribes, but also can be found walking around areas of Chiang Rai and Mae Hong. Cyclists prefer flat terrain and lush landscape of the Mekong River area in northern and northeastern Thailand.
Meditation is an activity that requires less physical effort and enjoys great popularity among all who visit Thailand. There are dozens of temples and meditation centers scattered throughout the country, which accept visitors who are really motivated. Tuition and lodging are free, but donations are expected. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chachoengsao, among other places, can be found teaching in English. Those who prefer to direct their energies outward can follow courses in Bangkok and Thai boxing in Naklua, North Pattaya. One should keep in mind that training is hard and requires absolute dedication. Chiang Mai has also become a center for cooking classes and Thai traditional massage.
It is believed that one of the first civilizations of Thailand were the mons, who lived in the center and brought the Buddhist culture of the Indian subcontinent. In the eighth century the state became more important Srivijaya, with population from Sumatra, which expanded from the North. The Khmers, moreover, came from the East and dominated the country since the ninth century until the XI. Thai of the Nan Chao, which originated in southern China, defeated the Khmers in the thirteenth century and created the kingdom of Sukhothai and later centers of Chiang Mai, especially Ayuthaya.
The Burmese invaded Siam, former name of the country, in the sixteenth century, conquered Chiang Mai and destroying Ayuthaya. Shortly thereafter, Thais expelled the Burmese. Another new offensive again with fierce Ayuthaya in the eighteenth century, but Thailand was once again alive and leave the capital was moved to Thonburi. In 1782, King Rama I founded the present Chakri dynasty, and the capital moved to Bangkok again.
In the nineteenth century, Siam retained its independence by skillfully getting rid of a European power after another, and many of their sovereign had opted for progress and modernization of the country. In 1932, a peaceful coup converted the country into a constitutional monarchy and, in 1939 Siam became Thailand. During WWII, the Thai government was allied with Japan and allowed his troops to occupy the country. After the war, Thailand was dominated by the military and experiment a little more than twenty coups and counter, with short intervals of democracy. After that, in 1962, the communist revolution to triumph in the north, United States collaborated with the government in Bangkok, helping to strengthen the army and police and military bases, which were evacuated in 1976. Thus, Thailand was increasingly involved in the Vietnamese conflict, just shortly before he had suffered numerous brushes with Cambodia.
The democratic elections of 1979 gave the country some stability and prosperity, as power passed from the hands of the military to the business elite. Later, the military coup in February 1991 ousted the government of Chatichai Choonhavan, but bloody demonstrations in May 1992 led to the restoration of civilian government, headed by Chuan Leekpai. This coalition collapsed in May 1995 by a scandal over land reform, but the new prime minister, Banharn Silpa-Archa, it did not much better. ATM nicknamed by the press Andante Thai, was forced to resign a year later, after a spate of scandals. His successor, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a former general and former deputy capitaneó a dubious coalition until late 1997 when the pragmatic veteran Chuan Leekpai again took the reins. Thai Cynics will say that despite all these ups and downs of leadership, things never change. The widespread practice of buying votes and corruption are immovable mock democracy, and until this is rectified, the demands for democracy and political stability in Thailand will remain so vivid as ever.
In 1997, the Thai baht collapsed, dragging the economy of noise and many others in Southeast Asia. In August, the International Monetary Fund intervened with a package of austerity measures despite dramatically slow the development of Thailand and making the poor even poorer, it seems that managed to turn the tortilla in early 1998. With the advent of the century, the Thai economy has stopped its free fall, but the country's reconstruction has only just begun. They also appear to loom strong indications for the eradication of corruption, but the hardest hit by poverty in Thailand look askance at these promises and campaign reform.
Recently, the relatively new Thai Rak Thai Party (Thailand Patriots), led by Thaksin Shinawatra, emerged with force in Thai politics, and many members joined their ranks. In the parliamentary elections of January 2001, Thai Rak Thai Democrat defeated prime minister and formed a coalition government in the first elections under a new constitution created to reduce electoral fraud. However, allegations of corruption led to the Electoral Commission had to repeat the voting in 62 electoral districts.
In 2003, the industry suffered a major crisis due to the impact of atypical pneumonia (SARS), which suffered from some Asian countries, however there were no cases of this disease in the country.
In 2004, following the tsunami there were thousands of victims in most tourist areas of the country.
Thailand culture and people
The two sacred cows in Thailand are the monarchy and religion: Thais tolerate it all, unless it is insulting to any of these two estates. The country's dominant religion is Buddhism, so it is common to meet with monks dressed in orange and gold Buddhas, marble and stone. The type of Buddhism prevailing in Thailand is the Theravada school, which emphasizes the potential of individuals to attain nirvana without the aid of saints or gurus. A visit to one of their temples mean come properly dressed: no shorts and shirts.
The Thai language is a complicated one that has its own alphabet, but if only for fun, it is worth learning a few words. The greatest difficulty lies in the Thai language is a tonal language: the same word can be pronounced with a rising tone, low, high, low or medium, and theoretically you can have five meanings!
Thai art, based on the sculpture and architecture, is divided into numerous historical styles, which are as follows: Mon (VI-XIII centuries), the Khmer (VII-XIII centuries), the Peninsular (VIII-XIV century) The Lan Na (XIII-XIV centuries), the Sukhothai (siglos XIII-XV), the Lopburi (siglos X-XIII), the Suphanburi-Sangkhlaburi (siglos XIII-XV), the Ayuthaya A (from 1350 to 1488), the Ayuthaya B (from 1488 to 1630), the Ayuthaya C (from 1630 to 1767) and Ratanakosin (since the nineteenth century to today). Other art forms are classical Thai music and dance theater.
Thai cuisine is spicy and very spicy, seasoned with lots of garlic and chilies and a peculiar mixture of lime juice, cilantro, lemon and fresh herb. Other ingredients are: galanga, basil, peanuts, tamarind juice, ginger and coconut milk. The mainstay of the Thai dishes are the fish sauce, shrimp paste, and of course the rice that is eaten with almost everything. The main dishes of this cuisine include fish stew spicy and sour, the red and green curry, and several noodle dishes and soups. The Thai food is seasoned with a variety of condiments and sauces, and fried peanuts, chicken, sliced ginger, peppers and slices of lime are some of the appetizers and snacks are served. Another delicacy is the wide variety of fruits offered by the land, whether fresh or in juice. The sugar cane juice and, if you want something stronger, rice whiskey Favorite local beverages.