Thailand | Travel Guide
Updated 30th March:
Thailand plans to remove quarantine requirements and open its borders to fully-vaccinated travellers from this summer.
Phucket will welcome tourists from July 1st with a further 5 tourist areas opening in October
Thailand is a tropical country that sits in south-east Asia. It is home to nearly 70 million people and until 1949 was known as Siam. It was then that the decision was made to rename the country Thailand, Thai translating as free, so the land of the free. If you look into its history, it has a good reason to own this title. This Southeast Asian nation is the only country in the region to have avoided colonialism, remaining a sovereign country in its own right, something of which the Thai people are very proud.
Over the past two decades, western tourists have been lured to Thailand and it now caters for every type of tourist, from cheap hostels to remote 5-star resorts. With this in mind it's no surprise that Bangkok, its capital, is the busiest airport in southeast Asia and, last year, the most visited city in the world. "Same same but different", a saying you will hear countless times in the city, perfectly sums up this chaos of the old and the new - keeping the culture consistent and the same as always while splashing in modern conformity that spices up the city like no other in the world.
As well as hosting historical landmarks, buddhist temples and colourful markets, Bangkok supports the arts, fashion, and entertainment. It has a successful business hub that grew in the Asian investment boom during the 80s and 90s and led many international corporations to locate to Bangkok. The boom has encouraged more people to the city every year and now nearly 13 % of the country's population live in Bangkok. That's over 8 million people which makes this city busy - so busy that the motorways have 12 lanes!
One of the main reasons for visiting Thailand is for the food! Thai food is an explosion of flavour mixing sweet, salt and spice and on that subject expect most dishes to be a bit spicier than back home. Thai people love street food and it can be really tasty. If you're worried about getting ill eating street food, then stick to vegetarian options or check that the food looks piping hot. We especially recommend three delicacies we tried on our trip - the som tam papaya salad, pad thai noodles or the khao op sapparot pineapple fried rice.