our international bestseller updated by a specialist four-author team - new 12-page colour section on Thailand's Highlights - expert coverage of Thailand's fascinating culture, arts & lip-smacking cuisine - tips on the best island retreats & national parks - all place names transcribed into Thai script for easy navigation - Around 5000 'ravers' attend the full moon beach party each month on Ko Pha-Ngan island. - Royal Thai cuisine is the style of food that was traditionally served in the royal court. - Every Thai male is expected to spend some time during his life living as a Buddhist monk.
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The Kingdom of Thailand draws more visitors than any other country in Southeast Asia with its virtually irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty, inspiring temples, the ruins of fabulous ancient kingdoms, renowned hospitality, and robust cuisine. From the stupa-studded mountains of Mae Hong Son to the verdant limestone islands of the Andaman Sea, from the pulse-pounding dance clubs of Bangkok to tranquil villages moored along the Mekong River, the country offers something for every type of traveler.
The spirit that sets Thailand apart might be at least partially due to the fact that, unlike its neighbors, it has never been colonized by a foreign power. Despite periodic invasions by the Burmese and the Khmers, and a brief occupation by the Japanese in WWII, the kingdom has never been externally controlled long enough to dampen the Thais' individualism. Whether this was a simple historical accident or whether the structure of Thai society itself is responsible for resisting European colonization remains a burning debate topic among scholars.
Of course Thailand, like other Asian countries, has been influenced by contact with foreign cultures. However the never-changing character of Thai culture has remained dominant, even in modern city life. Often depicted as fun-loving, happy-go-lucky folk (which indeed they often are), the Thais are also proud and strong, and have struggled for centuries to preserve their independence of spirit.
Those interested in Thailand's culture and history can enjoy its lively arts scene and wander around the remains of ancient cities. Blessed with a hugely diverse terrain, Thailand offers much to the outdoors enthusiast as well, from trekking in the north's picturesque mountains to chilling out on one of the many exotic islands in the south.
Meanwhile in Bangkok, a city moving at a frenetic pace, travelers can ride long-tail boats along the myriad canals, visit magnificently ornate temples, join the crowd at a Thai boxing match or shop in one of the many markets. All travelers will appreciate its tradition of friendliness and hospitality to strangers, as well as one of the world's most exciting cuisines. For those seeking a learning experience, Thailand offers a plethora of opportunities to study Thai massage, boxing and cooking, and Buddhist meditation.
Travelling around in this tropical country is comfortable, down-to-earth and exceptionally good value. The extensive rail, bus and air networks makes every place that is worth visiting, easily accessible. Many people find that whatever time they plan for a Thailand trip seems to fall short, given the country's multifaceted culture and the numerous things to go and do or see.
Whether in the tranquility of a mountain-top temple, the curry-scented atmosphere of a riverside cafe, the raucous din of a festival procession, or in some other passing experience, somewhere, sometime, every visitor to Thailand intersects with a moment where the inexplicable heart of the Thai experience enters the soul. From that point onward, the most difficult part of being in the country is negotiating how much longer you can manage to stay, and how soon you will return.
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Descripción Lonely Planet, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P111740593561