Thailand (ประเทศไทย), officially the Kingdom of Thailand (ราชอาณาจักรไทย) is a country in Southeast Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south.
With astonishingly great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture, majestic mountains and great beaches, Thailand is a magnet for travellers around the world, and quite rightly so.
Thailand is a country of breathtaking natural beauty, incredible weather and delightfully friendly people, but also is a country plagued by internal political struggles and widespread corruption.
Thailand is the country in Southeast Asia most visited by tourists. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue waters that feel more like a warm bath than a swim in the ocean, and food that can curl your nose hairs while dancing across your taste buds. Exotic, yet safe; cheap, yet equipped with every modern amenity you need, there is something for every interest and every price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. And despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains its quintessential Thai-ness, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travellers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave. Whatever your cup of tea, they know how to make it in Thailand.
This is not to say that Thailand doesn’t have its downsides, including the considerable growing pains of an economy where an agricultural labourer is lucky to earn 300 baht per day while the nouveaux riches cruise past in their BMWs. Bangkok, the capital, is notorious for its traffic jams, and rampant development has wrecked much of once-beautiful Pattaya and Phuket. In heavily touristed areas, some lowlifes have made scamming tourists into an art form, and Immigration queues are often long, giving travellers bad first and last impressions. And due to the decline of some Western currencies such as the British Pound and Aussie Dollar, combined with years of inflation, Thailand is no longer as unfeasibly cheap as it once was, in fact you’ll find that many things, particularly imported goods cost more than in the West.