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Thailand
 

A visit to Thailand may bring you back, again and again. That’s why we devise our itineraries to focus on a variety of life and nature. There is so much to see and experience. Tranquil beaches, bustling cities, fascinating hills where clouds hang low and a diverse people. In Thailand staying away from the traditional western style touristy places can be extremely rewarding.

We recommend the following:

  • Explore the ancient kingdoms of Ayuthia, Sokhotai and Bangkok
  • See the wonders of Northern Thailand
  • Go off the beaten train and visit the Hill Tribes of the North
  • Tropics of Thailand
Introduction:

Thailand is home to a colourful, diverse and welcoming culture. The landscape and architecture are spectacular. Everywhere you will see tradition mixing quite harmoniously with modern living. (The word thai means “freedom”. Perhaps this name was chosen due to the fact that Thailand was the only country in the area that was free from colonial rule). The Thai people can truly boast a remarkable culture.

Geography: Top

Thailand shares borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.  Its capital and largest city, Bangkok, is located on the Chao Phraya River near the Gulf of Thailand. The source of this river (and others) is found in Thailand’s northern mountains. This is also where you’ll find Thailand’s tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon (2, 595 m). The rivers from the mountains feed the alluvial plain which is very fertile, especially for rice cultivation.
Three Pagodas Pass allows the natural border (another mountain range) between Myanmar and Thailand to be traversed.

The dry Khorat Plateau, located to the east of the central plain, and the long peninsula in the south, known for its beaches and islands, make up the rest of the diverse geographical nature of Thailand.
Climate: Top
Type Monsoon
Winter (“Dry Season”) - October-March/April
- Average Rainfall: 150-250 mm (6-10 in)
Summer (“Wet Season”) - April/May-September
- Average Rainfall: 1,500 mm (60 in)
Average Temperatures:
Bangkok: - Average High (April) - 35°C (95°F)
- Average Low (Dec.) - 21°C (70°F)
People and Culture: Top

The majority of Thailand’s people are “Thai”, although there are different groups of Thai people who have their own unique customs and language, depending on where they live. Thailand’s largest majority group are made up of ethnic Chinese.
In the north are various hill tribes such as the Akha, the Hmong, the Karen, and the Lua’. In the south are the Mon, the Malay, and both Khmer and Vietnamese refugees.
Perhaps this mix of people accounts for the mix in eating habits (forks and spoons in Thai households, chopsticks in Chinese households) and in religion. The dominant Thai religion—Theravada Buddhism—combines traditional Buddhist rituals with elements of many other religions.

Although the country’s official language is Thai, half of the population also speaks other, related languages. In the business world, English, Chinese, and Japanese may be used.

Traditionally they are an agricultural people whose yearly activities have depended upon the changing seasons and religious festivals.

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Tourist Visas: Top

Canadians do not need a visa for tourist purposes if their visit does not exceed 30 days. Visas are required for business. See the embassy website for more details or write them at: Royal Thai Embassy, 180 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y OA2.

Tel : (613) 722-4444
Fax : (613) 722-6624 
Website: http://www.magma.ca/~thaiott/visa3.htm

For more information on obtain entry and visas visit:
www.thaicongenvancouver.org/visaindexframe.htm
Money: Top

1 Baht (Bt) = 100 satang. Currency notes are in denominations of Bt1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. There are also coins in the denominations of Bt10, 5 and 1, and 50 and 25 satang.

Currency exchange:
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at nearly all banks. Banks may also have the best rates. Hotels can also exchange foreign currency but they might charge commission.  Shop keepers may also accept US dollars but smaller vendors may not. It is advisable to carry Thai Bhat in smaller denominations so that

Plastic & ATM
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, while Diners Club may not be accepted everywhere. There is a good network of ATM machines nearly everywhere in the major cities., but may not be available in smaller towns and specially in the hilly areas.

Travellers cheques:
Are accepted by all banks, large hotels and shops. To avoid additional charges it is advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling.1

 
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