February 3, 2011

Amazing Thailand

Thailand's Department of Tourism, in cooperation with Philippines' Department of Tourism and SM Megamall had a 3-day event at the Atrium of SM Megamall sometime last year to promote Thailand's Travel Industry.

Thailand (formerly Siam Thai: สยาม) is a country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

The country is a kingdom, and Thailand is the world's 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain).

Here with Tourism Authority of Thailand's Marketing Officer, Elaine Seah

Thailand's culture One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai, which is similar to the Indian namaste gesture. Showing greeting, farewell, or acknowledgement, it comes in several forms reflecting the relative status of those involved, but generally it involves a prayer-like gesture with the hands and a bow of the head.

Physical demonstrations of affection in public are common between friends, but less so between lovers. It is thus common to see friends walking together holding hands, but couples rarely do so except in Westernized areas.

Thai cuisine is famous for the blending of four fundamental tastes:
sweet (sugar, fruits, sweet peppers), spicy hot (chilies), sour (vinegar, lime juice, tamarind)
salty (soy sauce, fish sauce). Most of the dishes in Thai cuisine try to combine most, if not all, of these tastes. It is accomplished by using a host of herbs, spices and fruit, including: chili, galangal, garlic, lime leaves, basil, sweet basil, lime, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, turmeric, and shallot.
In everyday life in Thailand, there is a strong emphasis on the concept of sanuk; the idea that life should be fun. Because of this, Thai can be quite playful at work and during day-to-day activities. Displaying positive emotions in social interactions is also important in Thai culture, so much so that Thailand is often referred to as the Land of Smiles.

Last visited Thailand in 1999. It was amazing how grand there palace are.

This is what we paid, per person, at that time for a 4 day-3night package. I wonder how much it is nowadays...

John and I didn't stay at the hotel we paid for, instead opted to stay with her sister Mhanette and her family in this posh Bangkok Garden apartment in New Sathorn Road, Bangkok where they used to live.

The largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to well-known tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui, and exports contributing significantly to the economy.

Thailand enjoys a high level of literacy, and education is provided by a well-organized school system of kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, numerous vocational colleges, and universities. The private sector of education is well developed and significantly contributes to the overall provision of education which the government would not be able to meet through the public establishments. Education is compulsory up to and including grade 9, and the government provides free education through to grade 12.

A Thai wedding generally consists of two parts: the legal part and the ceremonial part. These are done separately. There is no requirement of government documentation to have a religious ceremony, which is most common with Thai people. This is considered by many to be the real wedding. Normally, weddings in Thailand are Buddhist. A dowry is still common, but arranged marriages are rare.

(Some texts are from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)

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