Welcome to Thailand!
Thailand is strategically situated at the center of the Indochinese peninsula, making it the natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography naturally divide into four regions – the mountains and forests of the North, the rice fields of the Central Plains, the farmlands of the Northeast plateau, and the tropical islands and endless coastline of the South. Thailand is the world’s 51st largest country in size, and 20th in population, with about 66 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok – the country’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub.
Thailand is the #1 tourist destination in Southeast Asia, with good reason: with its world-class beaches, thick green jungles, magnificent temples, extraordinary cuisine and vibrant capital, you will certainly not be bored. Despite the massive tourist numbers, Thailand has retained its ‘Thainess’, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and fun-loving lifestyle. Delegates should be advised that many people who come to Thailand for a brief few days find themselves extending their stay well beyond their original plans, and we recommend that you free up some time on your calendar for this eventuality.
From its origins as a small trading post in the 15th century, Bangkok now occupies more than 1.5 thousand square kilometers and has a population of more than 8 million, which swells to over 14 million when you include the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Beginning from the 1960s through the 1980s, the city experienced rapid growth, and the boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their Asian headquarters here. The city is now a major regional force in business and finance, and an international hub for transport, healthcare, the arts, fashion and entertainment.
The first thing that will strike you about the City of Angels its rich and multifaceted personality. It is a city where chic megamalls sit side-by-side with 200-year-old village homes, road traffic is overtaken by long-tail boats on the River of Kings, and streets lined with food stalls are overlooked by the rooftop restaurants of skyscrapers. We recommend trying some of the fabulous street food, which is so inexpensive that Thais rarely bother cooking at home. Of course, you should also experience a Thai massage, which we promise will leave you feeling invigorated and balanced after a long day. You will also want to see what is probably the most famous attraction in the city: the Grand Palace, for 150 years home to His Majesty the King and his court.