Thailand: The Land of Smiles.  A genuine smile is a staple of Thai life.

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One visit to Thailand & you will want to reside in a Land of Smiles.

No matter where I go, I always carry my Thai smile with me. ~ Khun Tem

  • Thailand: Where Ancient SouthEast Asia has selectively melded with the 21st Century West

    •  .. a wonderfully natural & often seemingly random blend ..  a "glorious hand selected blend" of Ancient East & Modern West

Classic Rock & Techno, HBO, Starbucks & texting melding with Thai traditions, ornate temples, long tail boats, elephants .. & Mai Pen Rai.

  • 15% of Thailand's GNP is tourism dependent.  Hotels & restaurants & tourist venues are universally (OK OK, often) tourist friendly w/ multi-lingual staff.

30 day Thai tourism is as smooth as Thai silk.

 

A 30 day tourist entry permit is automatically issued at the airport with no previous paperwork  (Western passport holders)

   

Bangkok is one of the most modern cosmopolitan metropolitan areas on the planet.     Koh Tao .. snorkel scuba paradise.

Thailand offers some of the best beaches on the planet, "countless" remote pristine islands, ancient archeological sites + the rural districts offer an insight into a traditional Thai lifestyle of an era long past.

 

 

Thailand was known to the "west"  as Siam until 1939.  Sayam, from which Siam came, was the name for Thailand in the the Szechwan dialect of Chinese.

 

LIFE Magazine 1939: "On June 24, 1939 the Government of Siam, the only free nation in Southeast Asia, changes its name to Thailand, which means 'Free Land' ". (Thailand was the only non-European colony in SE Asia = Free Land)

  • Thailand ("ประเทศไทย") translates (actually transcription) to Free Land in English.

  • Thailand is a place where the Ancient Far East has selectively melded with the 21st Century West.

The best . fastest / hot rod .. long tail rides (IMHO) are on the relatively clean & calm Mekong.  The Chao Praya is congested / choppy & the Klongs stink.

 

Visiting Thailand is an exciting mixture of unique cultural experience, undreamed visual images and exotic tropical recreation ..   Exotic sights, sounds, smells & tastes .. combining to form lasting vivid technicolor memories!

The Thai outgoing friendliness / happiness rubs off .. you will find yourself greeting others with a friendly smile after a few days

Thailand offers world class class healthcare .. 75% less than western costs.  Pay for a vacation with savings on dental care

  • Thailand is located in the Geographic Region of  Indochina or Southeast Asia

  • Thailand is part of the 21st century Geo-Economic Region  'The Pacific Rim'

Thailand is located on 2 contiguous Peninsulas: the Indochina Peninsula & Malay Peninsula

  • Indochina Peninsula = Peninsula between India & China.

    • Laos, Myanmar (Burma) & Cambodia are Thailand's neighbors on the Indochina Peninsula
  • Malay Peninsula = Thin Peninsula shared by Singapore,  Malaysia and the south of Thailand.
    • The  south region of Thailand is located on the narrow Malay Peninsula, with  the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) on it's west side & the Gulf of Thailand (Pacific Ocean) on it's east.
    • Malaysia & Singapore are Thailand's neighbor to the south on the Malay Peninsula.

Thailand has an area of 514,000 sq km (319,453 sq mi). Thailand is approximately the size of France or Spain.

  • Thailand is 50% larger than the UK .. 10x Japan .. 2x Cambodia .. 15x Israel .. 20% larger than Iraq.

  • Thailand is 30% larger than Texas, twice the size of California , 6x New York, 1/2 Alaska

  • The Thailand land border length is 4,863 km (3,022 mi) .. does not include the considerable border on the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea.

    • 1 1/2 times longer than the US - Mexico border, twice Spain's, 4 1/2 Israel's

    • 40% of the EU's land border length, 20% China's land border, 25% of total US lower 48 land border length ... 60% Iraq's.

Bangkok is an ultra- modern cosmopolitan metropolis. Thailand has a population of over 60 million, 10 million in ultra-modern Bangkok. 

Thailand Historical Maps (pre-colonial to WWII)

Enjoy a golf & scuba day .. or a shoppingluxury spa treatment day..  tour Bangkok on elephant  .. or EXPERIENCE an elephant trek ...  No matter, your time in Thailand will provide cherished memories!

A short distance from cosmopolitan Bangkok are ancient archeological sites ..

& a rural Thai lifestyle that is from an era past...

Map of Thai North Region / Chiang Mai

Lower rez North Map

Thai Northeast Region  / Issan

Lower Rez issan Map

Thai Central Region

Lower Rez Central Map

Thai South Region / Thai Islands

Lower rez South Map

 Golden Triangle

 

Beaches

 

Bangkok

 

Acceptable Thai Hotels from us$15/ night, 45 Thai hotels w/ free WiFi.  Thailand Regional Maps & Thai Road Maps

 

The Preah Vihear Temple sits atop a cliff at the natural geographic border between Thailand & Cambodia .. on the Thai side.

The Preah Vihear Temple built in 1053 has become front page news in 2008.

The border dispute is rooted in French Indochina Colonial territorial expansion into sovereign Siam in 1887.  French Maps in 1886 show Preah Vihear + Angkor Wat to be in Siam.

 

December 7, 2007: Thailand's SouthEast Asian Games Winning (& SEA Games record setting) Women's 4x400 relay tests Gold Medals for 24k Thai gold.. using their best MBK 24k Thai gold assay testing technique.

Bangkok Train Station:  Hua Lamphong     Bangkok Sky Train & Sub Way map

Thailand has some of the most picturesque beaches on the planet .. above Jomtean, 15 minutes from Pattaya.

Thailand has a 21st century infrastructure.  Boingo ( the world leading network provider) alone has over 4000 Wi-Fi hot spots in Thailand.

Links to 200 Thai hotels .. book direct .. 45 hotels with in room free Wi-Fi

 

Free Thailand Videos from csmngt.com  .. & Google Videos

Even the most 'cost sensitive' traveler can afford first rate service, adventure & luxury amenities in Thailand.

In Thailand YOU can experience Luxury .. and / or Adventure .. often reserved for movie stars, politicians & millionaires.

Thailand is exotic & exciting + as expensive or as cheap as you choose to make it.

The far east awaits around any corner in a road or bend in Bangkok's klongs / canals.

Krung Thep, City of Angels, is the Thai Name for Bangkok.

Thailand has beautiful beaches

Thailand has many tropical Islands w/ inexpensive beach front huts or luxury 5 star private  island villas.

Tropical island resorts Koh Samui & Koh Chang (Elephant Island) on the Gulf Of Thailand.  Phi Phi &  Phuket on the Andaman Sea.

Busy resort beaches .. packed with tourists & serviced by every amenity imaginable.

Remote private beaches .. private island spa resorts.

Elephants sharing the road with cars, tuk tuks, vans & buses. "I lub Chang tu mutt", Khun Tem

I am always so happy to see Pong.   I like to call my friends, so Pong can trumpet over my mobile.

Pong's trumpet makes everyone happy! Khun Tem

The train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is HIGHLY recommended.

Get a 'sleeper room / compartment' with picture window. 

Tropical mountains, Southeastern Himalayan foot hills, in the north. Chiang Mai & Mai Hong Song.   You enter the Himalayan foothills about dawn!

View unspoiled mountainous tropical jungle out your window with your morning Nescafe :-(.

If you NEED real coffee.

Road maps of Thailand

  Bangkok is Shopping Paradise! 

Video: Klong Saen Saep Water Bus .. at Chitlom, near Siam Square.

The canals / "klongs" provide extremely functional transportation in the 21st century.

The Best Thai Water Taxi rides?

At the Golden Triangle Point  .. where Laos, Myanmar & Thailand meet on the Mekong River .. get it on!.. 

  • Haulin' ass in a canoe like vessel.. you are 'easy chair reclined' on the bottom of the canoe like craft.. inches above the river .. your bottom may be below the water line.
  • Oh, if haulin' ass offends you.. yah probably wouldn't like the ride!
  • .. but ..  if haulin' ass is something you have an affinity for.. carry yo' self to the Golden Triangle.
  • Cross into Laos .. village on the other side of the Mekong several KM down stream .. an unimproved Lao village .. the unfiltered third world .. night & day difference from the Thai side.

"An exhilarating blast!   Lub id tu mutt!", Khun Tem

 

Thailand Medical Tourism, as featured in 2005 on CBS' 60 Minutes, is globalization for the benefit of the individual! 

   

Outstanding Thai cuisine is available.. well, like everywhere  ..every shopping area .. every hotel .. every Soi

Fruit carts are on most streets with chilled fresh watermelon, papaya or pineapple for 10 BT, 25us cents.

 

Tourism accounts for 14% of Thailand's Gross Domestic Product .. 14% of the Thai economy is based on tourism.

The main cities are Bangkok, Chiang Mai in the north ( Golden Triangle) and Udon & Ubon in the east ( Issan ).

Chiang Mai Thailand Hotels w/Free WiFi & Spas    Complete Thai 10 digit dialing directions w/ "Thai time" clock

2006 & 7 IFBB World Champion

The Perfect Thailand Souvenir?

A Professionally Designed Exercise Program .. 

Proper exercise form & technique

Train with World Class Professional Body Builders

Bangkok Gyms

Bangkok is a wonderful cultural melting pot ..at first glance a chaotic blend of Ancient Far East & Ultra Modern West

Tokyo Joe's, Bangkok's home to the Blues, has moved to a beautiful new home.

25/9 Sukhumvit Soi 26 (1 long block past the Emporium, take a right on to Soi 26, Tokyo Joes is on your left 1 block, directly opposite the TARA Hotel)

IT'S BEAUTIFUL! ..check it out    Directions?  02 661-0359

give Big Jeff a  "high 5 well done"    (it's Jeff's voice on our videos)

music video on myspace.. : Jeff & Soi Dog do traditional Blues .. Blues  sung in Thai (way Cool!)

Soi Dog live music video, Hey Joe, from the huket Blues Festival .. also on myspace.

The 'coolest hot rod', :-o)) , water taxis are on the Mekong, at the Golden Triangle. 

   

The Mekong River / Golden Triangle is about 30 minutes south of Mai Sai .. good two lane blacktop road.

Thailand has modern hospitals staffed with western educated doctors.

Road maps of Thailand

Thai Beach Maps

Golden Triangle Maps

Bangkok region maps

Email Inquiry   or call our Bangkok representative for rates & options   <66> (02) 229-4681 (2)

  Elephant Jokes

From street cart vendors or on the beach or local Thai neighborhood restaurants, or 'fine dining' 5 star restaurants & it's all excellent..

in fact, "wonderful" is often my post meal proclamation.

I have never resisted Thai Cart Cuisine & 'gastric events' have NEVER followed.

  • The street cart food vendors MAY ( ask )  have rice cooked in a section of 2" wide bamboo.  Take the piece of bamboo home & it is packed with delicious hot rice.  The bamboo section is used for both cooking & take out packaging.

  • By mixing & matching cart vendors a multi course take home meal is possible.

  • Tourist areas have Thai restaurants mixed with 'western fast food'.  McDonalds, KFC, Pizza, Baskin Robbins, ect. 

  • And affordable is the understatement of the millennium.  ( Western food is western priced! )

    • Gourmet multi course meals for two in very nice Thai restaurants for 300 BT, $7.

    • Quick 'Thai rice bowl' lunch, 2 for 100 BT, $2.25.

    • Skewers of Thai BBQ beef, pork or chicken for 20 BT, 50 cents from the street hibachi stands.

Bangkok Gyms

Issan

Shopping paradise

Bangkok  

If you NEED coffee

Beach & Island Resorts

Cooperative Guide 

 Chiang Mai

Bangkok Entertainment

Tropical mountains, Southeastern Himalayan foot hills, in the north. Chiang Mai & Mai Hong Song.

The train to Chiang Mai is highly recommended.

 

In the Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai area some incredible Lanna Thai style house are available for short term rental .. quite marvelous houses built from 100% teak.  Beautiful custom homes rent for a little as 17, 000 Thb ( US$400, Euro 325 per month )

  Nice Houses on Phuket from 10,000 Tbt per month. ( $250US, EU200  month )

Apartment & Hotel Links  Thailand Newspapers  The functions and stages of sleep.  Thailand has an incredible number of tropical islands.

& English is spoken in 'ALL' tourist / shopping locations & menus are generally in both Thai & English.

Thailand offers incredible shopping opportunities.

 

Even relaxing on a Thai beach can become an incredible Technicolor  memories.

  During one twilight swim near Karon ( Phuket Island), a Thai elephant handler & 10 elephants came upon us on the beach.  No idea where they were going or why, but quite a memorable sight.  They were just traveling on the beach instead of the road.

We were 'alone' ( no one else visible in any direction ) & here comes a guy with 10 elephants truckin' down the sand .. TIT!

KHAO LAK, Phuket, Thailand (Reuters) - Agitated elephants felt the tsunami coming, and their sensitivity saved about a dozen foreign tourists from the fate of thousands killed by the giant waves.

"I was surprised because the elephants had never cried before," mahout Dang Salangam said on Sunday on Khao Lak beach at the eight-elephant business offering rides to tourists.

The elephants started trumpeting -- in a way Dang, 36, and his wife Kulada, 24, said could only be described as crying -- at first light, about the time an earthquake measured at a magnitude of 9.0 cracked open the sea bed off Indonesia's Sumatra island.

I keep wondering if it was any of the same elephants we saw that day who were heroes of the tsunami ..

TIT, "This is Thailand", applies to so many things you will see &  experience in the Land of Smiles!

 water taxis & shopping & eating & snorkeling & eating & sight seeing & eating & trekking & golfing & exploring & eating & elephants &  ..

There are literally 1000s of riverside restaurants in Thailand!
  • One of my favorite riverside restaurants is on a ' side Soi' off Chaoen Nakhon Road in Central Bangkok.

    • Ban Klang-Nam 292-0175, 292-2037-8

    • Couldn't find it from the street..( couldn't that one time anyway.. ) ..so .. hire a river taxi & pull up to the restaurant's Chao Praya boat dock!

  • My friends & neighbors 'lub it tu mutt' when we are greeted by the hostess as we pulled up to the restaurants private dock.

  • The dramatic arrival + the view of the Taksin Bridge & Chao Praya river traffic is worth every THB.

    • Taxi home.

A "Thailand Historical Site Tour / Vacation" is wonderful.  Ancient walled cities, huge ancient temples and well preserved historical sites are present in all areas of Thailand.

  • A ancient site tour is a reason to leave the crowded modern cities ( YES!!  for even a few hours )

  • & will be the most remembered part of any vacation you have ever taken!  FACT!

Excursions with an experienced bilingual guide into the rural areas are more than memorable, they are life perspective altering.

The guide should have a 'full quiver' of narratives ( animated, please! ) on history / relevance and be able to present appropriate options relevant to any issue at hand.  

Days spent traveling in a pick up truck on 'rural red dirt roads', where the third world can be 'felt & touched', can put life into a different perspective.

 Buddhist Temples can be quite elaborate .. generously embellished  ..

  • Crowded city beach fronts ( Pattaya & Patong Si )  with every jet ski, paraglide, boat ride  & concession imaginable  .. +  some unimaginable!

  • Isolated pristine beaches with no one else in sight. ( miles & miles of pristine beach south of Patong Si, Phuket Island )

  • Beaches at the end of a steep jungle trail w/ a fresh water stream for a shower & the dressing room is behind a large bolder. ( Liam Sing north of Patong Si ).

    • Liam Sing is becoming more & more popular, but still not THAT crowded. ( Nov, 2005 )

    • 2004 Update, tourism is down ( worldwide ) & the beach is way less crowded.

    • Liam Sing can have a pretty good surf break, body surfing.

      • I've seen pics of 9' / 3m waves there, I've never seen more than 4' / 1.5m.

      • Very similar to Makapu'u on Oahu's east coast.

  • Dinner theater with traditional Thai dance performed to soothing classical Thai music.

    • 98% tourist events.

    • Pretty cool the first time.

  • Or rowdy Muay Thai kick boxing.

    • If there is no Thai betting it is a fixed tourist event.

    • Very cool every time!

    • http://www.muaythai.com/ Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand . 72 kg Muaythai extravaganza comprises 8 invincible contenders all over the world. The winner gets 1,000,000 Baht. More detail ... lots of pics of Thai Professional Muay Thai Boxers.

  • & discos packed with tourists, seekers & travelers from all continents.

    • Bangkok has the most incredible mix of 'international' types.  

      • A totally intercontinental random assortment mix, shaken well. :-)

      • & it seems most of whom are overtly willing to lend assistance.

  • Persons from all 'corners of the globe' trying to meld into the uniqueness that is Thailand.

Mountain vistas, dramatic coast lines, rivers busy with commercial traffic as well as scenic & serene river view points.

It is fairly easy for Westerners coming from the "advanced western culture" in Europe & the U.S. to become enamored with the wonderful friendliness that prevails in the Land of Smiles! 

The cultural differences between the Thai and the Farang ( westerner ) are almost over whelming.

  • In my experience the people of Thailand are among the most friendly, accommodating and gracious in the world.

    • Near universal incredible graciousness is exhibited by the service personal, hotel & restaurant staff as well as retail sales clerks.

    • After just a few visits to the convenience store near my apartment in Bangkok I felt as though the employees were friends.

  • I cannot help but smile when I am greeted with a seemingly ever present Thai smile.

    • The best part about shopping in Thailand is the retail staffing.  From the 7-11 to Foodland to Robinson's to MBK to The Emporium incredible 'customer assistance & relation' staffing.

Thailand is relatively crime free.  

  • 2007: The seedier part of Thailand .. namely Pattaya .. is to be avoided .. organized gangs prey on tourists.

  • the rest of Thailand is mainly violent crime free.. Not scam free, but violent crime free. 

    • Buying "rubies & emeralds" from a street scam artist is NOT recommended. :-o).

      • Why would a huge discount on legitimate goods be offered on a sidewalk?  "Duuuh UUH!!!  DOH!"

      • Many many tourists are stung by obvious scams.  If it's to good to be true it might be!

The Thai population is mostly devout Buddhist. 

  • The second largest religious group is Muslim, mostly located in the southern region bordering on Malaysia.

    • There is a current, 2004, Muslim Separatist movement in Southern Thailand.

    • The rural area of Thailand near the border with Malaysia is currently under martial law.

    • A large aid package, March 2004, was approved for the residents of this region during this difficult period.

    • This 'problem' does not affect any other region of Thailand.

  • There's a representative Christian community throughout Thailand.

Thailand is "some sort of democracy" with both an elected Parliament and a Monarch that provides a stable and benevolent government. 

  • His Majesty The King of Thailand, King Rama 9, is the world's longest reigning monarch.
  • King Rama 9 & his entire family are sincerely loved & deeply respected by the Thai people.

Thailand is so wonderful, one afternoon at the Silon Square BTS station I was quite surprised to encounter the kings daughter & her royal entourage getting on the sky train ... putting their tickets into the toll machine like the rest of us

Always be respectful of the Thai King!

The Thai Monarch is mostly symbolic but is held to same level of esteem as a God  (This is a remnant of the Khmer / Hindu influence in Thai culture).

Money exchange.

  • The latest & greatest new currency from your home country may be difficult to exchange in Thailand.

    • The newish ( big face ) US $100s & ( Oct, 2003 ) & US  'tie dyed peach bills' were often hard to exchange through March, 2004.

    • I once took 'a bunch' of US $2. bills to Cambodia, almost could not give them as a tip!

  • ATMs are everywhere & you get a good exchange rate.

    • "bank cards" often have a daily cash limit, you might want to address that before you leave home!

    • Banks will take credit cards for larger cash exchanges.

    • Hotel currency exchange is not suggested, ATMs & banks will give the most THB per $.

Thailand Map

  • Snorkeling & scuba diving opportunities are offered at any of the island or beach resorts.

    •  Any and all water sports are offered on both the Gulf of Thailand & the Andaman sea.

    •  Low cost near primitive beach huts, bargain tourist level hotels & opulent luxury resorts are available.

    • Check out:  Phi Phi Island Scuba

      • Phi Phi is the picturesque lush tropical  island location chosen for Leonardo DiCaprios' movie "The Beach".

      • Many many picturesque islands!

  • Big game fishing in the Andaman Sea.

    • Charter sail & motor yachts are available for hire.

  • World class golf courses.

  • Mountain trekking.

    • Multi-day elephant treks are offered in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai & Mai Hong Song.

    • Check out:  trekthailand.com

  • Cafe Racer bikes ( Hondas & Harleys for luxury cruising are also available ) for daily hire in the Golden Triangle or on Phuket.   

    • There's not much radar enforcing of speed limits on the curvy rural roads, but watch out for Chiang Noi ( elephant! ).

    • The same bikes are available for rent in Bangkok or Pattaya, but heavily congested traffic can take the fun out of riding.

The major cities are Bangkok in the south centralChiang Mai in the northern Golden Triangle area,  Udon & Ubon in the unspoiled east, Pattaya is a hectic beach resort near Bangkok and Phuket Island is the most world famous of the Thai beach resorts

Thai Contact Email

Click here for a synopsis of Thai History

Weightlifting Video Filmed in Thailand.

& if you love your Brewed coffee..

Chiang Mai

Bangkok Gyms

Bangkok  

Udon & Ubon

Shopping paradise

Thai beach resorts

Thailand Festivals

A 'cooperative guide' can more than save you his fee 

   Thai Hotel & Apartment  

Link to Don Muang's site

We have received several complaints regarding a Thailand based on line TESOL School

 What do you get when you cross an elephant with a kangaroo?
 Bloody great holes all over Australia

Exercise Basics in Thai Language  เป้าหมายของโปรแกรม �ที่สุดของแอโรบิค� คือ การแนะนำให้ผู้ที่มีความสนใจในเริื่องของ

สุขภาพและผู้เริ่มต้นที่ยังไม่มีประสบการณ์ได้รู้จักว่าอะไรคิิือการออกกำลังกายที่ปลอดภัยและการมี

Health Tourism?  Western level Medical / Dental care is available for a small % of western fees!

Uninsured & need an MRI ( dental, dermatology, cosmetic, rehabilitation .. )?

Medical Care is an area in which individuals can take advantage of Globalization.

Pay for a nice vacation with the savings on medical modalities by American educated Thai doctors..

  • The savings on one 'major tooth repair' can pay for an economy level 2 week vacation!

    • Root canal & cap front tooth 14,000THB   US$354 AUD$481 EU284.

  • Diagnostics, imaging, lab analysis, physical rehabilitation, cosmetic .. all 80% off US pricing.

    • MRI is less than 10,000 THB   US$200,  EU170, AUD$265.

 Laughter the Best Medicine        Quote Me!.. 1000s of famous quotes by topic

In case you're interested a serious rant against tobacco companies here, some gross smokers lung pictures.

computer links    news links   health & fitness

Thailand Map

Thai Domestic Flight Schedule ( Phuket Air )

Thai Domestic Flight Schedule ( Thai Air )

Synopsis of Thai History

Bangkok

Tropical Island Resorts

Chiang Mai ( Golden Triangle)

Issan

Bangkok Gyms

Cooperative Guide

Have a yen to travel:  TESOL / TEFL can be a good career choice.  Medical Tourism:Globalization for the individual.  Laughter The Best Medicine

Exercise Program  Laughter The Best Medicine   AntiAging Project  Thai / English / Thai translation / transliteration.