1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Did you know that Thailand is the rice basket of the world? Thailand is the largest exporter of rice in the world, exporting over 10 million tons annually. Thailand was never a colonial country, which the Thais are very proud of. Thailand is also known as Siam, and Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. Thailand shares its borders with Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar. Thailand has an area of approximately 514,000 sq km. Thailand has a population of over 65.4 million, and the majority of people are Buddhists. Thai baht is the local currency. The ancestors of Thais migrated from southern China around the 13th century AD. The civilization in Ban Chiang dates as far back as 4000 to 2500 BC. Thailand is a developing economy, and exports contribute 70% of the GDP. Thailand also exports electronics and automobiles, and other agricultural products such as rubber and farm raised shrimp. Temperatures range from below 20C in winter to over 40C during the summer. The best time to visit Thailand is between November and February.
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Tourism in Thailand is highly developed in comparison to other South Asian countries. The Thais are simple, fun loving and are used to working hard for about 3 to 4 months a year. "Happiness on Earth" is the slogan of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and tourists say that Thailand matches the criteria. Visitors experience unique Thai concepts such as jai yen, meaning cool heart, mai pen rai, meaning never mind, and sanuk, meaning fun. All travelers to Thailand should have a valid passport and proof of onward travel. A visa is not required for stay of less than 30 days if you're a national of one of the 41 designated countries. There are several inexpensive places for the budget traveler, and there are several mom-and-pop guesthouses. It is possible to find beachfront bungalows, city hotels or small guesthouses for as low as 500 bahts.
Places to visit in central Thailand include the Grand Royal Palace, the Temple of the Emerald of Buddha, the Temple of Dawn, Wat Pho, the National Museum, Vimarnmek Teak Mansion, Ayutthaya World Heritage Site, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Wat Panancheung, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Bang Pa-In Palace, Wat Niwet Thampra Wat. Chaam Beach, Hua-Hin Beach, Know Wang Palace and Pattaya beach. Popular places in Northern Thailand include Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep on Doi Suthep, Wat Phra Sing, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai National Museum. Popular attractions in North-Eastern Thailand include Ban Chiang World Heritage and Nong Khai. Southern Thailand offers diving and water activities in Phuket island, Samui island and Krabi province. The top rated travel destinations are Ko Tao, Khao Sok National Park, Sangkhlaburi, Mae Hong Son Province, Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, Sukhothai Historical Park, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Khao Yai National Park, Hua Hin, Nan Province, Songkhla, and Bangkok. Bangkok, the capital, offers food, beaches, history and adventure. Temples, museums, the House of Dhamma, Wat Ram Poeng, Wat Khao Tham and Wat Suan Mokkh are some of the special activities for visitors.