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Thailand is an exceptionally appealing traveler. In most cases, Thailand is relatively cheap and offers many conveniences, among them great dining and reasonably priced, top-notch accommodation. After all, Thailand has a good name for kindness and hospitableness, which should address every traveller. Bangkok is the main gateway for all foreign tourists and is directly and indirect served by many large airlines.
Travellers from the United States can count on going to Thailand for a whole days or more. US Ambassador to Thailand is at 120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok (tel. 66-2-205-4000). In Thailand there are so many places to go to - all very different - that it would be difficult to describe them all here.
Don't miss the Grand Palace, the Wat Po sanctuary, and if you make it, take an evenings meal and Thai dance. Thailand's most popular beach town, Pattaya has all the facilities you could wish for, from first-class accommodation and dining (there are also many cheap spots) to a range of outdoor pursuits (windsurfing, para-sailing, snorkelling, water ski).
Thailand's biggest isle is known for its different beach qualities, so you should explore your travel destinations in advance. There are some astonishing Khmer architecture from the twelfth and fifteenth centuries within 80 leagues of the north town. Thailand's people are relatively homogenous. Over 85 per cent have a Thai accent and a shared cultural background.
Among this key ethnic group are Hawaii (36 per cent of the population), Thai-Lao (32 per cent), North Thailand (8 per cent) and South Thailand (8 per cent). It is the official Thai vernacular that is used in Thai education and administration. Number of inhabitants (1996): 61 million. Tightly settled plains; northeast plateaus; western mountains; strait to the south connects the land mass with Malaysia.
Buddhistic 95 per cent, Muslim four per cent, Christian, Hindu, others. Traditional Thai; English is the second most spoken and spoken dialect of the world. Most of the minority groups are the Chinese (about 12 per cent of the population) and the Malay-speaking Muslims of the southern hemisphere (3 per cent). The Khmer, the Mon (who are essentially associated with the Thais) and the Vietnames.
Most of the inhabitants are predominantly peasant and concentrate on the paddy farming areas of the main, north-eastern and northerly areas. As Thailand's industrialization progresses, however, the city' s populace (18 per cent of the overall populace, especially in the Bangkok region) is increasing. Thailand's Highly Prosperous Government-sponsored family planning programme has resulted in a drastic decrease in demographic growth from 3. 1 per cent in 1960 to around 1. 1 per cent today.
Lifespan has also increased - a mirror image of Thailand's commitment to improving access to healthcare. The AIDS pandemic, however, has had a huge effect on the Thai people. Government agents in Thailand have estimated that there are between 200,000 and 400,000 HIV-promoters. The province of Chiang Rai in the Nordic countries has an infectious disease incidence of up to 15 per cent.
Over the last few years, the Thai authorities have spent considerable sums of money on information and raising public awareness about Aids. Recent numbers show that 93 per cent of the mature populations can read and write. The Theravada Buddhism is the formalism of Thailand and is the faith of more than 90 per cent of the Thai Congregation.
There is a wide variety of religion in power, and other great faiths are present.