A Brief Overview Of Thailand:
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The Grand Palace Bangkok
Like most countries, Thailand is split into Provinces, States and Counties which are further subdivided into Cities, Towns, Villages and Hamlets. Thailand has 4 distinct areas – North East, North, South and Central.
Thai people are extremely proud of where they come from. Each place has its own rich and unique history of which the people will know in exacting detail. Knowing even a small bit of information about a Thai person’s hometown could make you a friend for life and is at least sure to bring a big smile.
Each of the four areas has its own dialect but the central area has less distinct one than the other three. All people in Thailand will be familiar with the central dialect spoken in Bangkok and this is used as the ‘standard’ which is taught as Thai.
The North East of Thailand is steeped in culture and this area is called Isan. It consists of 20 provinces and is full of rivers, mountains and unique wildlife that is found no where else. The Mekong river separates Isan and Laos and as a result the two areas share a lot of cultural similarities.
Northern Thailand has 9 provinces, the largest and most well known being that of Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city. Dominated by mountains forests and hot springs its popular with ramblers and sightseers alike. Food in the north is generally less spicy than the rest of the country but be careful it isn’t always!
Southern Thailand with 14 provinces is famous for its islands, with some of them recognized as among the best in the world for diving and snorkeling due to its native wildlife. However, the far south of Thailand is poorly understood by people not from the province and the food there is exceptionally spicy, perhaps the spiciest in country.
Central Thailand has 22 provinces including the capital Bangkok and its old capital Ayutthaya. From the beautiful ancient ruins of Ayutthaya to the sprawling metropolis of Bangkok with its temples nestled amongst sky scrapers, this area shows better than most the progression that Thailand has made in such a short time.