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PRESENTATION OF THAILAND

hailand is a constitutional monarchy represented by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadef, also known as King Rama IX. He is the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty. The current King reigns already for more than half a century, making it the longest reign in the history of the Thai monarchy. Thailand is a country rich in traditions and legends. The interest in history, tropical climate and the quality of the reception of tourists make this Kingdom an endless source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.

Neighbouring countries :
- Myanmar (Burma) - Northwest
- Laos - North and North-East
- Cambodia - South East
- Malaysia - South



Area : 513 115 km²

Thailand is naturally divided into four areas:

The northern mountains offer a profusion of orchids of all colors and a multitude of craft work of art. Winter temperatures are low enough to grow strawberries and peaches;

Senior northeastern plateau jealously guarding its archaeological treasures;

The central plains are among the most fertile land in the world. It offers a rich culture of traditions and exceptional fashion spirits. Also in this section the beautiful sandy beaches of the east coast of Thailand and of course, the most cosmopolitan city in the country: Bangkok;

The southern peninsula has pristine beaches and idyllic islands. Their economy is based on work in mining, farm cultivation and fishing.

Population : Thais are known for their friendliness and hospitality. A large majority of the 62 million people of Thailand are Thai origin but there are more or less important communities from China, India and elsewhere. About 7 million Thais living in Bangkok, capital of Thailand.

Ethnic groups : 80% of Thais, 10% Chinese and 3% Malay. The rest of the population is minority Mons, Khmer or tribes in the mountains. It was therefore a majority of Thai although Thailand has always been a land of immigration. That is why there is this significant ethnic diversity. However, integration is such that Thailand is a large cultural and social unity.

Language : Thai is incomprehensible both spoken and written for most visitors. However, English is practiced by the vast majority of Thais especially in Bangkok where it is still the language of commerce.



Money : The currency is the Thai Baht. The exchange rate fluctuates regularly and therefore, one euro is worth between 38 and 42 Thai Baht. It is possible to change euros in Thai Baht upon arrival at Bangkok airport or withdraw from ATMs.

Old of 800 years, Thailand can boast of being the only country in Southeast Asia never to have been colonized. Its history is divided into five periods:

Nanchao Period (650-1250)
The Thai people founded their kingdom in the southern part of China, where are now established Yunnan, Kwangsi and Canton. Many people have migrated to the Chao Phraya Basin and settled in the central plain under the sovereignty of the Khmer Empire after accepting culture. Thais founded the independent state of Sukhothai around 1238 AD. J-C. This marks the beginning of the Sukhothai period.

Sukhothai Period (1238-1378)
Thais began to emerge as the dominant force in the 13th century and separated gradually Khmer and Mon kingdoms Thailand was then known as "Dawn of Happiness" by its occupants and considering this period as the golden age of the country. The territory was experiencing a good period and then ideally ruled by benevolent kings paternal character, the most famous is certainly the King Ramkamhaeng the Great. However, in 1350, the power of the state of Ayutthaya began to exert its influence over Sukhothai.



Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767)
Ayutthaya kings adopted Khmer cultural influences from its inception. Far from benevolence of Sukhothai kings, the rulers of Ayutthaya were absolute monarchs and claimed as devaraja (the god-kings). Early in this period, Ayutthaya conflicts with its neighbors and extends their territory. In the 17th century, Siam started diplomatic and commercial relations with the West. In 1767, following a Burmese invasion, Ayutthaya is captured. A young general named Phya Taksin and his troops escaped and settled in Chantaburi. Seven months after the fall of Ayutthaya, they return to the capital and expelled the Burmese garrison.



Thon Buri Period (1767-1772)
General Taksin decided to move the capital from Ayutthaya to a more near the sea place to facilitate international trade and its supply of weapons and defense against a possible attack Burma. It therefore established the capital at Thon Buri on the west coast of the Chao Phraya River. Taksin's reign was by no means easy. The lack of authority in central Canada led to a rapid disintegration of the kingdom, and Taksin then spent his time reunite the provinces.



Rattanakosin Period (1782 – Present)
After the death of Taksin, General Chakri became the first king of the Chakri dynasty, Rama I. He remained from 1782 to 1809. The first thing he did as king was to transfer the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok and to build the Grand Palais. Rama II (1809-1851) began to re-open relations with the West and to expand trade with China. King Mongkut, Rama IV (1851-1868) concluded treaties with Europe, avoided colonization and modernization Thailand. He made many economic and social reforms during his reign.


Thailand is a country where Buddhism is the largest in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism, a branch of Hinayana Buddhism and practiced by 90% of Thais.


CENTRAL & EAST COAST

Central and eastern Thailand are composed of 26 provinces and Bangkok is one of them. From a geographical point of view, it is the heart of Thailand which stretches from Lop Buri north and covers the central plains around the Chao Phraya River. Further south, the area embraces the east and west coasts to the top of the Gulf of Thailand.



This is the most fertile land of Thailand with many rice fields, orchids and other plantations. There are more than 1000 years, the Thai population began to migrate from the north and have gradually replaced the influences Mon and Khmer and established communities in Lop Buri and Sukhothai before founding a kingdom that lasted for 417 years with Ayutthaya capital. When the Burmese destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767, became the capital Bangkok.

The history of the Centre is dramatic and the legacy of ancient temples, battlefields, ruins and two capitals, Ayutthaya and Bangkok, continue to fascinate visitors. The east and west coasts of the southern region also attracts many visitors each year. The Bangkok residents spend long weekends and enjoy the atmosphere of the sea while travelers from all corners of the earth come to discover the delights of tropical living on the beach.

In the East, 400 kilometers of coastline stretch Chon Buri Rayong with some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. Pattaya, offering a variety of hotels, resorts and hostels, in the center. If you are looking for a more relaxing experience, it will take longer go north to Rayong, Koh Samet or on small islands of Koh Chang near the Cambodian border.

On the West Coast, resorts Chan-am and Hua-Hin attract international travelers who prefer a more advanced open atmosphere but equally relaxing.

Far from the sea, north of Kanchanaburi area, mountains, forests, waterfalls, caves, national parks and wild animal life near Myanmar offer some of the most beautiful landscapes of Thailand.

The 26 provinces in central and east coast are Ang Thong, Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Lop Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phetchaburi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Sa Kaeo, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Sing Buri, Suphan Buri and Trat.

THE NORTH

The North is the birthplace of the oldest civilizations Thai and identify numerous archaeological and other sites of cultural interest sites. Northern residents are known for their friendliness and hospitality. The area is also known for its variety of cultural traditions. Many tourists from surrounding provinces travel to Chiang Mai and Sukhothai.

The north is divided into two distinct parts: the plains of the lower part between Nakhon Sawan and Sukhothai one hand and the mountains near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. The mountains offer beautiful scenery with waterfalls and rivers perfect for rafting. They are also home to many ethnic tribes.

The area is divided into three seasons: the hot season from March to May, the rainy season from June to November and the winter season from December to February. Full altitude cold often means extremely cold.

The first Thai people were born in the north in cities that were built little by little Lanna Chiang Mai and Sukhothai example. One feels the Lanna influence from Laos and Myanmar in the architecture and in the northern cuisine.

The northern populations continued their way and settled beyond the border. There are 6 different ethnic Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Mien, Akha and Lisu. Each has its own traditions and customs. Today, they are installed in the mountain villages and attract many visitors.

Most international travelers make Chiang Mai their base to then go off the beaten track to discover the ethnic tribes and their adventures and their crafts. Further north, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son are known for rafting, trekking and hill tribe villages. In the south the Sukhothai Historical Park is a must destination for all those wishing to explore the history and culture of Thailand.

The 17 northern provinces are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phichit, Uthai Thani, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Uttaradit and Sukhothai.

NORTH-EAST (ISAN)

The Northeast of Thailand, a vast plateau that covers a third of the country, is commonly called Isan. It stretches of the Mekong, which forms the separation between Thailand and Laos to Dong Rek, the mountain range which forms the border with Cambodia.

The sandstone sanctuaries are among the most popular attractions for tourists; particularly Historical Parks Nakhon Ratchasima and Phanom Rung in Buri Ram. The temple complex at Khao Phra Viharn Si Sa Ket to the Cambodian border is now open to visitors after a long closed.

The Bronze Age has its origins in Ban Chiang in Udon Thani province and shows a pottery work of over 5000 years and the most fascinating.

Two of the most popular national parks in Thailand, Khao Yai, Phu and Phu Rua Kradung Loei are Isan. Other major attractions are the villages of Korat and Khon Kaen where silk is made by hand.

Isan is a relatively poor region. She survives on agriculture and most of the young villagers move to the city. But the people of Isan has a distinct character, a particular dialect and enthusiastic culture. Their old traditions live in the major festivals of the region.

With this strategic position to Laos and Cambodia border, Isan has for some years now the ideal region to embark on an adventure along the Mekong. There was a significant development in tourism with new accommodations that should satisfy this tourism boom in Thailand.

The trip to the region has developed a network of domestic flights and it is now no longer impossible to find luxury accommodation; particularly in the provinces of Khon Kaen, Udon Thani Nakhon Ratchasima and Ubon Ratchathani.

The 19 provinces of northeastern Thailand are: Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Loei, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon , Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani Yasothon.

THE SOUTH

This area is bounded on the west by the Andaman Sea and the South China Sea to the east. It is a land rich with abundant natural resources. Its commercial viability is very diverse and there are a population with diverse backgrounds.

Southern Thailand consists of 14 provinces. The coast is very long with both sides countless sandy beaches and small islands. The continent is made of mountains and forests.

The coast is on the Thailand Golf is a very relaxing area with long windows and a relatively calm sea. Andaman Sea seems to be more agitated with its strangely shaped karst peaks and steep cliffs.

The climate is different from the rest of Thailand since there two rainy seasons. South-west monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea coast and from May to October while the north-east of the region, it occurs from November to February. The peninsula forms a barrier so that the rain is rarely present on both coasts at a time.

This area was once part of Buddhist Srivijaya empire but was then under the control of Ayutthaya and Bangkok. The Malaysian and Chinese influences also play an important role in the surrounding cultural landscape. The landscapes are made of rice and rubber plantation.

The coasts attract many tourists and Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand gains enormously in popularity due to its superb diving spots around the islands, Koh Tao and Koh Phan-gan.



The coast of the Andaman Sea offers a more sophisticated choice with islands like Phuket, the first holiday destination in Thailand. Nevertheless, karst formations on the side of Koh Phang-gan, Krabi and Trang are also popular for diving and sailing.

Mountains, rivers and forests in national parks within the peninsula are also gaining popularity with eco-tourism enthusiasts since many treks, elephant safaris and rafting can be arranged.

Southern Thailand consists of 14 provinces: Chumphon, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani Phang-gan, Phatthalung, Phuket, Ranong, Satun, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Trang and Yala.
Thai in the social system, the village is one. In the past, self-sufficient villages. The people are also based on their own crop production for food and religion played a very important role. Most villages had their own Buddhist monastery and a shrine to the deity of the village. The monastery used to spirituality and education of villagers. It is also a meeting place for social events, festivals, New Year.



There is no doubt that Buddhism softens animism in each of its worship. It is a basic condition that students must keep in mind when faced with modern cultural problems. The social system, habits and traditions seen in a modern look change very little from fundamentals.

In some neighborhoods away or cultural development has not been as fast, people are still in the same state of mind. This contrasts with the evolution of the capital and other major cities.