The country was formerly called Siam, but it was officially changed to Thailand in 1949.
In Thailand, people are very proud of the fact that the country has never been colonized and “Thai” is said to mean free man. Another name you come across around Bangkok, where it is carried by the main airport and main road is Suvannabumi. the land of gold.
The sex industry in Thailand emerged in the 1960s when the United States established the U-Tapao air base near Pattaya. It became one of the most important bases for the B52 aircraft that participated in the Vietnam War. At the same time, U-Tapao became a place where the American soldiers rested between battles. Because the soldiers demanded both alcohol and women, a bar and prostitution industry soon arose in several places in Thailand, especially in the former fishing village of Pattaya. When the Vietnam War ended in 1975 and the US withdrew, a void arose that was filled with foreign tourists. However, Thailand’s rulers recognized the economic potential of the sex industry and therefore urged the country’s governors to use this industry to attract foreign tourists to the country.
In Thailand they talk about three genders, that is male, female and kathoey. The latter group includes everything from transvestites to those who have undergone a complete gender transformation.
If it is a man, this is called Ladyboy and if it is a woman, Tomboy. Katoyers often have a good reputation, especially as business assistants, and there’s hardly a talk show on TV that doesn’t feature a couple of katoyers.
Prostitution is pre-Jewish and does not exist in the country according to the government, but you only have to walk into any bar to be proven otherwise. A bargirl can be bought for a couple of hours, a night or longer. Anyone who wants to bring a bar girl with them first pays a fixed price to the bar and then to the bar girl what is agreed upon. Now it must be said that no one considers bargirls prostitutes and if you called a bargirl a prostitute she would probably be very upset.
The Thai sex workers can be roughly divided into four groups. These are;
- Prostitutes, they pick up their customers on the street. Usually standing by a palm tree.
- Bargirls, who serve beer in bars while waiting for a customer.
- Freelancers, who sell sex to supplement their finances. They are practically everywhere.
- Go-go girls, found in special Go-go bars.
- Then there are also sex workers at so-called Gentleman’s clubs and Escort companies.
Within all groups there are usually also ladyboys.
Does this mean that you can’t date anyone in Thailand, not at all there are tons of wonderful people in Thailand, although some make a living as sex workers.
Before you travel
Healthcare in Thailand is usually of a high standard, but as a foreigner, you have to pay a lot for it. Therefore, make sure you have comprehensive travel or health insurance.
Use of payment cards
There are many ATMs and most accept international debit cards. However, you may pay a withdrawal fee of 240 baht for each withdrawal. Therefore, avoid many small withdrawals. Most ATMs have a limit of 20,000 baht per day.
Far from all shops, restaurants and so on accept foreign payment cards.
Thailand has land crossings to all of its neighboring countries as well as air connections from most international airports. You can also enter by boat from Vietnam and Cambodia.
Do and Don’ts
If you’re generally a respectful person, you shouldn’t have any problems when visiting Thailand, but there are some cultural customs that differ from those in the West. Even if you forget one or two, tourist faux pas is mostly forgiven. But here we talk about what you should consider.
Take off your shoes at the door
The feet are considered the dirtiest and least sacred part of the body. You will see almost all tourists and locals in Cambodia wearing flip-flops on a daily basis and this is because it is customary to take off your shoes when entering a place – not just someone’s house or a hostel. You are expected to remove your shoes at temples and many restaurants and shops as well.
Tip: If there are shoes outside the door, take off your shoes before entering.
Do not point your feet at people, especially images of Buddha, and do not let people see the soles of your feet. Even putting your feet on the chair opposite is considered impure.
Do not stop a coin or bill with your foot. It can result in hefty fines, even jail time.
Don’t argue with monks
You’re bound to see a lot of monks when traveling in Thailand, so you need to know how to interact with them – or how not to interact with them. Don’t mess with them. Women in particular should never touch a monk or give anything to them (even the monk’s mother is not allowed to touch her son while he is a monk).
Most monks are not allowed to eat after lunchtime, so be mindful by not eating or snacking around them during this time. Similarly, if a monk is sitting, you should also sit before starting a conversation. Try to sit lower than them if you can.
Finally, don’t touch a monk’s—or anyone else’s—head. For example, pat someone on the head. It is a sign of disrespect and is only allowed on children and pets. If you do it against an adult, you can count on a proper fight without warning.
Do not wear tight or challenging clothing
It’s hot in Thailand, but the temperature is no excuse for tight or challenging clothing. Modest dress is the rule, especially for women. Although many tourists wear shorts, locals tend to cover as much skin as possible. Women should avoid bare shoulders.
Although tourism has caused local dress to relax somewhat, always dress conservatively when visiting temples, homes or entering a government building. Avoid wearing T-shirts with religious themes (images of Buddha or Hindu gods). Cover your shoulders and wear trousers or a long skirt.
Local men usually wear short-sleeved shirts and long pants. While it’s fine for tourists to wear shorts and a t-shirt, you should try not to make the locals feel embarrassed by your attire. Avoid short shorts, miniskirts, tight yoga pants or other clothing that is too revealing.
Don’t show your love in public
Thais are conservative, meaning they frown on public displays of affection. Again, the key is not to embarrass anyone. Holding hands is okay, but snuggling intimately on the bus is not. Be attentive in your contact with the opposite sex; even putting an arm around a person to pose for a picture can be misinterpreted.
Speak the local language
Don’t worry about the locals laughing at you for your poor language skills. Most people appreciate you trying. Many people don’t even speak English, so always ask first.
The traditional Thai greeting the greeting is called wai and is done by placing your two hands together in a prayer-like gesture in front of your chest with the fingertips facing upward. Give a slight bend of the head.
At the same time you say Sawade Kap (women say Sawade Khun). The greeting phrase is the same regardless of the time of day and regardless of whether you are coming or going.
Bargaining is an awkward and seemingly disrespectful activity for many Westerners, but it is accepted here, though not at the big department store chains here. When negotiating prices, let the other party save face by only lowering the final price slightly. Alternatively, you can go back to buy from them later.
Thailand is predominantly Buddhist with 94% of the population Buddhist, 1% Christian and the majority of the remaining population following Islam, atheism or animism.
Crime levels in Thailand are generally quite low, although the usual crimes that affect ex-pats and tourists, such as pickpocketing and theft, do take place, especially in the country’s larger cities. It is also important to always carry your ID, or at least a copy of your passport, as you may be asked to show your ID at any time and may be fined on the spot if you fail to show it.
One should avoid traveling to Pattani in southern Thailand. There are constant battles between government soldiers and Muslims here.
Travel in Thailand
Traveling in Thailand is easy, but dangerous. Serious accidents occur on roads across the country every day.
The bus service is well developed and there are flights between several major cities.
Places to visit
Thailand’s capital, bursting with business and entertainment. Here is The Grand Palace, Thailand’s largest temple. It began construction in 1782 and is an entire area filled with magnificent buildings. An obvious tourist destination In Bangkok you will also find the Sunday Market, Asia’s largest market area, What you can’t find there is probably something you don’t need. Should you feel like more exclusive purchases, Siam Paragon is the place for you. Here you will find high-end fashion brands from different countries. Paragon is considered one of the largest luxury malls in Southeast Asia and here you can buy everything from designer shoes to a Lamborghini.
For those interested in golf, there is a slightly odd course in Bangkok. It is a park course and is located in the grassy area between Bangkok’s second major airport and the military airfield. One of the holes boasts a traffic light. If it lights up red, you must not take off, then an aircraft should tax between the runways. In total, there are about ten golf courses in and around Bangkok.
The complete, original name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
This unimaginably long name is usually classified as one of the world’s absolute longest place names, but in the vernacular, the Thais refer to the city as Krung Thep, which means city of angels.
Pattaya ligger cirka 150 kilometer sydost om Bangkok. Det är en av Thailands mest betydande turistorter, dels genom ett livligt nattliv, men också för de goda möjligheterna till bad. Pattaya är också något av ett Eldorado för golfare. Inom en timmas bilresa från Pattaya ligger det ett trettiotal golfbanor. De flesta av mycket hög klass. I stort sett hopbyggt med Pattaya ligger Jomtien, ett lugnare och mer familjevänligt alternativ.
About 200 kilometers south of Bangkok lies Hua Hin. In the city was the former king’s summer residence, which left its mark on the city. Here, the nightlife and entertainment is not as big as in, for example, Pattaya and Phuket, but there is and has the same range as in the two mentioned cities. Hua Hin is especially popular among northerners, who in several cases have homes here.
Phuket is an island, a province and a city. However, it is mainly the city that is meant when talking about Phuket in a tourist context. The city is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, although many consider it a tourist trap. The prices here are many times higher than in the rest of Thailand. However, the old part of the city has great charm and is well worth a visit.
Just under 70 kilometers north of Bangok is Chang Mai. Surrounded by some of Thailand’s highest mountains, the city is considered well worth a visit due to its magnificent natural scenery and rich variety of entertainment and restaurants. Which made it a popular tourist destination. However, there is a wormwood in this gem. The city lies as if in a pot between the mountains and due to the farmers in the surrounding villages and, not least, intense traffic, Chang Mai boasts the unedifying name, the world’s most polluted city.
Thailand’s most popular holiday islands
Thailand’s second largest island is located on the eastern side of the Gulf of Siam, just north of the Cambodian coast. Here you will find everything expected from a Thai holiday island: turquoise waters, long white sandy beaches, a relaxing atmosphere, beautiful nature, and Thai everyday life. Large parts of Koh Chang are national parks with a large lush rainforest, where you will find beautiful waterfalls.
Due to its proximity to Bangkok, the island is a popular excursion destination for many Thais, especially on weekends. The pace is leisurely and on the eastern side of the island the powder-soft sandy beaches are so close you can walk between them.
Koh Naka Yai
Koh Naka Yai or Naka Island is a tranquil and exclusive small island conveniently located off Phuket’s northeast coast. On the even smaller neighboring island of Koh Naka Noi, you can visit pearl farms where they produce the rare South Sea pearls.
In Phang Nga Bay, midway between Phuket and Krabi, lie the wild and relatively unexploited islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. Here you will find authentic Thai everyday charm, pristine coastlines and beautiful scenery that is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and water excursions. Off the coast of Koh Yao Yai is a nice coral reef with lots of fish. Only local fishing boats are allowed to fish around the island, which helps the coral reef retain its rich wildlife. If you want to experience Thai nature far away from fast-paced tourist resorts, the Koh Yao Islands are for you.
The name means Turtle Island and thanks to the rich underwater life, Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s most popular destinations for divers and snorkelers. The island has magnificent nature, with spectacular cliffs and a lush green jungle. The west coast has the largest range of restaurants and entertainment. The most popular beach is Siaree Beach, where you will find everything you need during your vacation – hotels, diving companies, restaurants, bars, shopping, and more. Mae Haad Beach is located a little further south and has a more relaxed atmosphere.
Two hours by speedboat from Khao Lak are the nine Similan Islands. They are part of a national park and are especially popular with divers. Many tourists come here during the day, so if you want to experience the islands from their best sides, you should be out early. You can also spend the night on two of the islands in tents or bungalows. The national park is closed from May to November. During that period, however, the weather conditions are such that neither the boat trip to – nor diving in the waters around – the Similan Islands are particularly attractive experiences.
Phi Phi Island
Another collection of tropical paradise islands. Koh Phi Phi, the Phi Phi Islands, are six in number, but only the main island, Koh Phi Phi Don, is permanently inhabited. This also means that you will find significantly fewer tourists on the other five islands. A little way to the south is Koh Phi Phi Leh, where the beach scenes in the movie The Beach were filmed. Common to the smaller islands is that they have beautiful coral reefs for snorkeling and diving. You can reach the Phi Phi Islands in about 1.5 hours by ferry from either Phuket or Krabi. The main island attracts many tourists and in the evening you can see spectacular fire shows on Ton Sai beach. The eastern part of the beach invites you to party, while the western part is a bit quieter.
It only takes an hour to go around Koh Samui. Yet it holds everything from tropical rainforest to fine beaches, cultural attractions, and a wide range of food and drink, tailor shops, beach bars, and diving centers. No wonder it has become one of Thailand’s most popular holiday islands. The largest and most popular beach, Chaweng Beach, is five kilometers long. Where you will find everything from water sports and beach massages to shopping streets, bars, and restaurants. In the north, it is a bit quieter, but there you will also find lots of good food and things to do, including in the cozy Fisherman’s Village. The waters off Koh Samui are part of Ang Thong National Park, with a coral reef bursting with life – perfect for diving. On the east coast is Silver Beach. It’s quieter here, with fewer people. And the water is crystal clear, so you can snorkel right from the beach.