Spotlight on Thailand
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. There is never a dull day in Thailand. Whether it is the Songkran Festival or the first cool breeze of winter, there is always something to make visitors smile, laugh, cry or get excited. Thailand is a land of magic and mystery that attracts the Western world and those who seek advantage and romance. Blessed with beautiful natural resources and extraordinary culture, it is no wonder Thais are such fun-loving people.
Phuket - Known as the "Pearl of Thailand," Phuket offers pristine beaches, lush vegetation, traditional villages and seascapes of huge limestone pillars that rise above the turquoise waters of Phang-Nga Bay. With a culture all its own, it combines Chinese and Portuguese influences with that of indigenous ocean-going people. Phuket Town is the island’s capital located in the southeast. The architecture features the attractive Sino-Portuguese style which is reflected in the spacious residences built by wealthy Chinese tin barons as testimony to their success. Visitors come because of the glorious beaches, especially those on the west coast. Patong Beach is about a 45-minute drive from the port and offers a wide selection of water sports. Phuket still casts its spell on all who come to its shores.
Bangkok is chief port capital of Thailand and one of the most important cities in Southeast Asia. It is the epitome of the country's kaleidoscopic blend of old and new. It is an expression of Thai respect for tradition coupled with their vibrant involvement with modern progress. Rama I built the walled Grand Palace, which contains Temple of the Emerald Buddha. During the 19th century, Bangkok was known as the Venice of the East because of its many canals, which served as streets and commercial thoroughfares. Houses perched along the banks of the remaining canals are still common sight. Some of Bangkok’s most distinctive features are the approximately 400 Buddhist temples, known as wats. Bangkok is Thailand's economic center. Other sights to see include Temples, monuments, museums, Vimarnmekh Mansion, and Jim Thompson’s House.
Ko Samui - Coconut palms blanket this island, from hillocks right to beaches. Na Thon is the oldest town on the island. Beaches and temples scattered around the island are the main attraction. Na Thon is now a busy tourist town with hotels, good seafood restaurants and a variety of shops. Ko Samui remains an enjoyable place to spend time, with a casual, do-as-you-please atmosphere many visitors find very attractive. Other sights to see include Wat Laem Saw temple, Ban Lamai Cultural Hall, beaches, and Santiburi Dusit Resort.
Chiang Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai. Handicrafts of silk, silver and wood are timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe.