Learn More About Amazing Thailand and All The Exciting Tour and Travel Adventures That Await You For Medical Vacation. Travel To Thailand's Mountainous North or Head For The White Sands Beaches and Desserted Islands of Southern Thailand. Information To Help Prepare For Your Medical Tour. So Many Activities ... So Little Time!
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Thailand General Information
Thailand, previously known as Siam
until 1939, has an area of 517,000 sq kilometers and a population of more than
62 million, making it about the size of Texas or France. Thailand has high
cool mountainous terrain. While limestone-encrusted tropical islands and
coast line make up its southern portion. Travel in this tropical country
is comfortable and down-to-earth.
is distinguished in Southeast Asia for being the only country to have never been
externally controlled; which fuels their strong national and independent spirits. Thailand
has been an independent nation since 1238 AD. Thai culture has remained
dominate, even in modern city life.
The population of 62 million is mostly made up of
ethnic Thais (75%) and Chinese (14%). Other minority groups include Malays,
Cambodians, Indians, non-Thai hill tribes and some Vietnamese. Some eight
million peoples reside in Bangkok alone.
Thai Temple - "Wat"
National Image and Flag
The flag of the Kingdom of Siam was created during the reign of King Rama II
and flies on all Siamese sea-going vessels. The symbol of a white elephant
on a red background was chosen because Thai people regard white elephants as
an auspicious symbol.
The present national
flag, the Trai-rong (three colors) was designed by King RamaVI and first used in September
of 1917. The five horizontal stripes of three colors–
red, white, and blue –have significant meanings. Red
is the color of blood to signify the life of the Thai people, white
symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, and finally blue represents the
monarchy role it plays in daily life of Thais.
The flag is raised daily at 8:00am and lowered at 6:00pm at all
official buildings, and public places. Large private enterprises
and schools usually lower the flag with the accompaniment of the
Thai national anthem. The flag is also flown nationwide on
The Thai Flag Flying High
at Bangkok University
The national and royal symbol is the Garunda, a
mythical half-bird and half human figure (steed of the Hindu god
Vishnu) that adorns His Majesty King Buhmibols scepter and
Although there is no official national dress, the traditional
dress has been adopted as the unofficial national costume. For women,
it is a full length pha sin, a rectangular piece of cloth worn like
a skirt or sarong that is usually made of Thai silk. On formal occasions,
a sash may be worn across the chest from the left shoulder to the
right side of the waist.
For men, it is the seur phra ratchathan, a short-sleeved shirt
with a high collar, and onn formal occasions, its long sleeves
with a cummerbund. Thai is the official language although many inhabitants
of the main cities speak English or local dialects.
Garuda, The Thai National Symbol
Thai people have a deep and abiding reverence for
their Royal Family. The current monarch, the much-beloved King Bhumibol
Adulyadej (King Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty), has reigned for over
50 years, the longest of any Thai ruler, and almost of the world.
As a constitutional monarch, the King holds
powers very similar to the Queen of England. Though His Majesty
maintains neutrality in times of crisis, he has proved to be a tremendously
powerful establishing force for the Thai people. The Kings
immense popularity reflects his keen interest in his peoples
welfare. His Majesty and the Queen, Queen Sirikit, have devoted
a great deal of time and effort to implementing public work projects,
with special focus on the less privileged.
Bronze Works & Buddhism
Recent discoveries do hint Thailand as a possible
place for some of the first expressions of human ingeniousness.
The oldest pottery fund locally have been dated to 6800 B.C. and
the excavations at Ban Chiang in the north-east have shorn that
bronze works were in use as early as 2000 B.C. putting Thailand
on par with Mesopotamia, regarded as the initial Bronze Age culture.
Buddhism probably entered Thailand around the second or Third
Century B.C. The first distinctive local civilization known as Dvaravati
was an ill-defined and Theravada Buddhism. Dvaravati experienced
its greatest flourishing between the sixth and Ninth Century B.C.
when it began to fall under Khmer domination. Meanwhile, the Mahayana
Buddhist state of Srivijaya centered on Sumatra had extended its
influence right up to the southern most part of todays Thailand
and left some of the finest stone and bronze statues ever discovered
in the country.
One of Thailands
Many Bronze Buddahs
The Khmer domination lasted until the Thirteenth
Century, leaving a deep imprint on Thai art and culture. With it
also came the Hindu concept of divine essence of kingship that would
later stand as one of the main tenets of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
This period is also marked by the migration of the original Thai
ethnic tribes from Yunnan in southern China. From the northern mountains,
they progressively moved towards the prosperous plains of the Gulf
of Siam then inhabited by the Mons and Khmers. By the end of the
Twelfth Century, they formed the majority of the population.
The founding of the first Thai kingdom is Sukhothai in 1238 is generally
regarded as the cornerstone of the countrys history. Although
its truly glorious period was short-lived , The contributions of
Sukothai to the definition of a purely Thai style was paramount.
The cuneiform alphabet, for example, is still in use today. Most
of all, this period is fondly remembered by Thais as a Golden Age
when prosperity and the benevolence of the king that citizens were
The con temporary northern kingdom of Lanna centered on Chiang
Mai didnt shine with the same prestige as Sukhothai but lasted
well into the Sixteenth Century when It fell under Burmese domination.
Mean-while, the seeds of a full-blown Thai nation were being planted
in southern part of the Chao Phraya basin, the mighty river that
irrigates the countrys heartland. The site chosen for the
founding of Ayutthaya in 1350 allowed the control of the regional
trade. Ayutthaya quickly grew in wealth and power, to such an extent
that in 1431, Ayutthayas army crossed over the extensive eastern
plains and went to storm Angkor, bringing the mighty Khmer Empire
to an end.