"Chian Mai Thailand" Chiang Mai by venteeocho

Chiang Mai Travel Guide: 1,929 reviews and 4,925 photos

The Kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions: the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.

The country comprises 76 provinces that are further divided into districts, subdistricts and villages. Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. It is also the seat of Thailand's revered Royal Family, with His Majesty the King recognised as Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and Upholder of all religions.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longestreigning Thai monarch. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.

Being Buddhists, Thai are tolerant people. Avoiding offensive behaviour can generally be achieved through simple courtesy and common sense. A few taboos do exist, though, mostly in regard to the monarchy and Buddhism. Visitors should not make any disparaging remarks or gestures that denigrate the Royal Family or any religion, and when visiting a temple or royal palace, always dress appropriately.

Traditionally, Thais greet each other with a wai (by pressing the palms together at the chest), so if a Thai offers a wai then it is proper to return it. Please avoid touching people on the head as Thais believe the head to be the most sacred part of the body. It is also inappropriate to use the foot for pointing.

  • Last visit to Chiang Mai: Sep 1996
  • Intro Updated May 31, 2007
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