Thailand is a kingdom located in the central part of Southeast Asia. While we are talking about is location it is interesting to mention that many people say that when they look at Thailand on a map they see an elephant – the body is located on the Malaya Peninsula (between the Andaman Sea and Thai Bay) while the head including the ears can be recognized on the continental part of the country – the east and the north provinces. Thailand has natural borders with several neighboring countries – Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Thailand is on the 50th position when it comes to the largest countries in the world.
Those who plan to travel to Thailand probably think about it as a country with long sandy beaches and clear waters. Although this is true it is good to know that Thailand is much more. It is a well known fact that the beaches in Thailand are one of the most beautiful in the whole world and some of the best are located on Phuket Island, Ko Samui, Ko Phi Phi and Krabi. Besides the beaches Thailand is a land that has several different climate regions rich in different types of flora and fauna. This country is covering a large area from the coast of the Malay Peninsula to the mountains on the north. So, it is no wonder why Thailand has dozens of national parks, including two dozens of underwater national parks and the best part is that each of them has its own beauty and fantastic animals. Samet, Ang Tong, Doi Intanon are some of the most famous national parks. People that enjoy trekking, photography, bird watching, diving, camping or simply enjoy nature will love Thailand.
It is not only the nature that makes Thailand attractive. The numerous cities with their own rich history are also attractive destinations. The most modern city is of course the capital – Bangkok. This huge city has a special charm that is especially visible during the night. Shopping, clubbing, visiting historical places and temples are some of the things that you can do there. Some other cities worth visiting are Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai on the north and Phuket City on the south.
Thailand is an excellent travelling destination for all types of people because this country has literally everything needed to satisfy the needs of tourists.
The political turmoil that is (was) going on in Thailand for several months now had an impact on the number of tourists traveling to this country. However, this number is not really dramatic and the only thing that was truly affected by this crisis is the projections made by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This organization predicted a 10% growth of people who travel to Thailand in 2014 compared to 2013. Latest news on the other hand suggests that people working in the tourism industry should be happy if the number of tourists remains the same like the one in 2013.
The biggest decrease in the number of foreign tourists comes from the countries that have issued warnings for their citizens not to travel to Thailand to be careful when traveling to Thailand after the military coup took place in May this year – USA, Great Britain etc. Still, many European countries didn’t issue any warning for their citizens and this was probably the right thing to do because most of the tourist places in Thailand (except Bangkok) were peaceful during the turmoil, with no protests or clashes of any kind. In the beginning of the year the number of European travelers has decreased for only few percents. What is interesting is that in June 2014 the number of European tourists has increased compared to 2013. Another huge group of tourists that avoided Thailand in the past few months are the Chinese but with the latest measure from Thai officials (free visa for Chinese citizens) everyone is expecting an increased number of this valuable Asian guests. The news brought home from many foreign tourists that everything is normal in Thailand will also bring back the feeling of stability and reliability when we talk about Thailand.
On top of that, the provisional military-lead government is also aware that the tourism is one of the main sources of income for Thai economy. This is why they are planning some measures to boost the income from tourism. Thailand is definitely going to have a better future especially when it comes to tourism.
A lot of analysts predicted that this year could be the worst for Thai tourism but the truth is that this year may end to be as successful as last year (which was one of the most successful in Thailand’s history when it comes to tourism). The political crisis followed by the coup made by the Thai military didn’t stop the tourists to travel to this beautiful Asian country. In fact the number of tourists slightly decreased only during the days when the most intense events happened. But the fact that none of the groups that want to come to power in this country doesn’t have the intent to stop the progress of the tourist sector speaks a lot about the way foreign guests are treated there.
Thanks to the internet we can now compare and analyze data in the easiest way. According to one of the most popular websites for travel and tourism – TripAdvisor, the interest in traveling to Thailand has reached record high this year. Thai accommodation is one of the most searched terms on this internet portal. Of course this doesn’t mean that all the people who searched for Thai related properties will go there but it is a clear sign that people want to visit this country regardless of the fact that the political situation isn’t great. According to TripAdvisor, Thailand is a destination that is interesting for people from all corners of the world. What is interesting is that Brazilian travelers are the ones that are most interested for Thailand. United States, Egypt, Ukraine, Canada, Russia are some other countries on the list of countries with internet users that have shown interest in Thailand’s tourist offers.
Another good indicator about the profile of tourists interested in Thailand is the origin of the people posting reviews. In these terms, people from UK, Australia, France, United States and Thailand are the ones that have posted most of the reviews.
This is definitely a good news for the Thai economy because it looks like that besides traditional foreign tourists there is interest among tourists from different countries too.
It’s been more than 3 months since the military ceased power in Thailand and things are getting back to normal now. Although latest news confirm that the number of tourists visiting the capital Bangkok is decreased, it looks like the popular tourist spots like Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai are welcoming almost the same number of tourists like the previous years. Thailand authorities (organizations, government bodies) have taken several measures to increase the number of tourists that visit their country.
One of those projects was designed by the Tourist Organization of Thailand. This is actually an ambitious marketing strategy for fast recovery of tourism after the change of authorities in Thailand. The new goal set by this organization is to realize an income of more than 68 billion dollars in 2015. This ambitious goal can be achieved thanks to the promotion of the new tourist concept called “Thainess, happiness, sustainability”. The project aims to restore the trust of foreign tourist in Thailand as a world class tourist destination (something that Thailand was/is for the past 20 years). For example, in 2013 Thailand had the 6th largest income from tourism in the world and third largest in Asia. As part of this campaign the potential visitors can be part of several events like Thailand Happiness Carnival in December and Thailand Music Festival.
Another measure taken by Thai authorities is exemption of visa fees for Chinese and Taiwanese visitors from August until October. The news was announced by the Shanghai Office of the Thailand Tourism Authority few days ago. Until now the visa cost around $37. The reason for this exemption is of course boost for the tourism sector. The Chinese tourists have already showed a great appreciation for this measure and local agencies are pushing Thailand as their first offer. The number of Chinese tourists decreased for more than 30% after the military made the coup in May. But in June the number of tourists started to grow. This measure will definitely help the tourism in Thailand. After all, China is one of the countries that provides most tourists to Thailand.
Adding on to the list of beautiful endeavors Thailand has in store for you, here are a few more spots to visit while in the South-east Asian nation.
The construction of the Grand Palace started in 1782 when the capital of Siam was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. The palace served as the residence of the Kings of Thailand until the mysterious death of King Ananda Mahidol in 1946. His brother King Bhumibol Adulyadej who succeeded him moved permanently to the Chitralada Palace. The Grand Palace covers a wide range of architectural styles, ranging from a pure Ayutthayan style of the temples to a blend of Thai and Western for later structures. It also includes the Wat Phra Kaew, home to the Emerald Buddha, one of the oldest and most famous statues of the Buddha in the world.
The Similan Islands in the western Andaman Sea are considered the best dive destination in Thailand. The archipelago consist of 9 islands covered in tropical jungle with white sandy beaches. The views under the water surface are even more impressive. There are 2 different kind of dive spots around the Similan Islands. East facing dive sites consists of gently sloping coral reefs while west facing dive sites feature massive granite boulders, covered with hard and soft corals.
Chiang Mai is one of the top Thailand attractions. The famous Night Bazaar sprawls along several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds. It has handicrafts, arts, clothing and and imported products of all descriptions, and a number of large, well-appointed modern shopping centers. At first, the market was owned by Chinese merchants, but since it grew in size as more commercial buildings were built, it was no longer owned by a single group of people. Instead, there are many owners, and most of them are Thai.
Railay beach (or Rai Leh) is a small peninsula that is only accessible by boat due to the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access. These cliffs attract rock climbers from all over the world, but the area is also a popular attraction in Thailand due to its beautiful beaches and quiet relaxing atmosphere. Accommodation ranges from inexpensive bungalows popular with backpackers and climbers, to the renowned jet-set resort of Rayavadee. This is how Thailand makes the news, always as a top-notch place to be.