There are several Thailand. First, Bangkok, hyperactive megalopolis and urban monster which one is lost with pleasure. Then the South, its islands, beaches and rocks rising up from the sea, its spicier cuisine, a little different mindset and Muslim influences. Finally, the North, deep Thailand, with its old original founders kingdoms, relaxed pace of life, its Buddhist temples, its fertile soil, its mountains and forests … Three Thailand so physically and culturally different.
However, from one end to the other of Thailand are found national qualities: a strong identity, Siam was never colonized and who developed the arts, culture and even own alphabet; a strong sense of social conventions and politeness, modesty too much, calm and dignity; strong religiosity and a near-reverence for the Royal Family, elected of God (openly criticize the king is punishable by imprisonment!); Finally, lots of humor, and a strong appetite – Thai Epicureans, always ready to party, eat well and drink well.
Unfortunately, the mercantile spirit and increasing tourism could distort places the friendly character of Thais. So: coastal strips ransacked, transformation privileged sites in ghettos tourists crowded islands, rising prices, profitability taking precedence over service, etc.
That said, Muang Thai (etymologically, “the land of the free”) remains one of the last countries in the world that so many quality ingredients for a successful recipe perfect vacation: wooden bungalows sleepy beaches, vast rice fields and hills covered with jungle, living traditions, ancestral tribes and businessmen speedés, refined and varied cuisine at prices (still) ridiculous.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against the extreme south of Thailand, where the state of emergency is in force: Narathiwat provinces, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla.
Moreover, the border areas with Burma northwest Thailand (risk of robbery and various trafficking) are not recommended.