Thailand means "Land of Free" and many have described Thailand aptly as the "Land of Smiles". It is located in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland and spans across an area of 514,000 square kilometers. The estimated population as at mid-2002 stands at 63 million people. About 92 percent of its population is Buddhist. The country is divided into 4 distinct areas - the mountainous North, the fertile Central Plains, the semi-arid plateau of the Northeast, and the peninsula South distinguished by it many beautiful tropical beaches and offshore islands. Its climate is humid and hot throughout the year, average temperatures about 29 degrees Centigrade. There are three distinct seasons - the cool season from November to February, the hot Season from April to May and the rainy season from June to October, though downpours rarely last more than a couple of hours.
Bangkok is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities. Created as the Thai capital in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty, Bangkok is Thailand’s spiritual, cultural political, commercial, educational and diplomatic center, and a vibrant, fascinating city for visitors to discover. Major tourism attractions include glittering Buddhist temples, royal palaces, timeless “Venice of the East” canal and river scenes, classical dance extravaganzas, a legendary nightlife, and a wide variety of outstanding dining and entertainment options. Numerous air- conditioned shopping centers sell Thai silks, cottons, jewelry, bronze and pewter ware, and many other outstanding handicrafts as well as a host of international brands of clothing, shoes, cosmetics, electronic goods, etc. Welcome to Bangkok, voted the Best City in the World 2010 by Travel + Leisure magazine.
More information on Thailand is available at www.tourismthailand.org