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The Kingdom of Thailand is a state in Southeast Asia, located on the Indochina Peninsula and the Malacca Peninsula. The history of the country dates back to 1238, when the kingdom was called Sukhothai. Thais are proud that, unlike their neighbors, they have never been anyone's colony.
Today the population of the country is over 65 million people, and the territory is over 514 thousand square kilometers. The country has built a constitutional monarchy, headed by a king. However, his power is not absolute; in fact, the country is ruled by parliament and the prime minister.
Any foreign country looks like something unknown, therefore, information about it largely consists of myths. They did not bypass Thailand either. As a result, there are frequent trips here for single men looking for erotic adventures, cheap sex, massage and local exoticism. Besides, rest in this country is relatively inexpensive.
Tourists share their impressions with friends who are also in a hurry to visit the exotic kingdom. Someone is attracted by another - the opportunity to enjoy the snow-white beaches, drinking cocktails, to forget about the bustle of the city. In fact, reality can deceive expectations.
The fact is that everyone expects to see something of their own, which may be completely uninteresting and unnoticed by others. In addition, we must not forget about the different levels of rest, needs and desires. Therefore, it would be useful to consider the well-established myths about Thailand.
Thailand is a cheap country. Without going deep into the calculations of the amount required for a vacation, we can say that living in the country at the European level and the corresponding service will cost about $ 1,000 per person. Of course, there are people for whom the amount three times less is quite enough, but this already implies a noticeable deterioration in living conditions. When it comes to the cheapness of Thailand, it makes sense to make comparisons. So, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are much cheaper than this country, but Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea are more expensive. Do not think that everything is insanely cheap in Thailand; you can compare local prices with those in Russian regions. Food, travel and rental housing will cost about the same, of course, you can save on the purchase of warm clothes. Thailand is quite rich in comparison with its neighbors, while the most expensive province of the country is Phuket. For many who have visited Pattaya, Phuket prices are surprising. It is worth knowing that it is easy to travel in Thailand on your own, thereby saving on vouchers. Every year thousands of people organize their holidays here without the participation of specialized companies. If a tourist is content with minimal comfort in the name of maximum acquaintance with local attractions, then Thailand will give such an opportunity - here, as elsewhere, it is easy to find inexpensive accommodation.
In Thailand, sex tourism is legalized, and local prostitutes are willing to work for food. Many people believe that Thailand is a paradise for prostitutes, that almost all women are available here. But this monstrous delusion sometimes leads to great curiosities. First of all, it should be said that prostitution is illegal in Thailand. The stories that there is something to do for single men are born by themselves or by avid visitors to hot spots. Obviously, if a tourist comes with a specific purpose, he will reach it by any means. Thailand, on the other hand, is a country with puritanical traditions, here the 30-year-old Thai woman had on average only 2 partners, which indicates their loyalty. If you try to feel the roundness of, say, a local stewardess, then you can even end up in jail for this act. Many believe that sex work in the country came from the Americans, who were based in Pattaya. However, this is not the case, because in Thailand, as in other countries, tea and massage parlors for Thais were commonplace. There, men could easily find a companion for the night. Traveling around the country, in provinces with a small number of tourists, convinces of this. So, in small towns, a strip club for Thais is not something surprising.
In Thailand, most men are transvestites, sometime in childhood they were sold into slavery and made girls who sell their bodies. The fact is that in Thailand, love for the family is at such a level that no one even thinks of selling a child into slavery. And there can be no question of a change in sexual consciousness. But in the country there is no persecution of transsexuals and gays. This is due to the fact that there were four genders in Buddhism. This approach allows believers to be more tolerant of people who unite under the concept of "third sex". Local belief says that transsexuals were sinners in a past life, they sold their bodies and did not care for their families and children. In Thailand, it is considered normal for older students who feel like girls to dress in women's clothing, and fitness clubs often have third-gender toilets and changing rooms. In the country, transvestites and transsexuals are a common sight in many public places - in shops and airlines, in banks and spas. It is not considered reprehensible for a serious company to hire such a person. In Thailand, it is believed that everyone chooses their own profession and gender, which means that gender reassignment does not inevitably lead to prostitution. In the country, such people are called katoy, they are not outcasts at all, but take their place in society. By the way, their documents retain their original physical gender. The large number of transsexuals in Thailand is more of a historical phenomenon, it is surprising only to tourists who are not aware of the local mentality.
Thailand lives off tourists. Most of the country is covered with agricultural land, and tourism was developed here only about 40 years ago. Up to this point, Thailand quietly existed at the expense of other areas. Today tourism accounts for no more than 8% of the country's GDP, so it is wrong to assume that it is the newcomers who feed Thailand. The country is also one of the world's top exporters of rice and rubber.
Foreigners in Thailand are held in high esteem, they are allowed almost everything. If a tourist in Egypt is allowed almost everything, since this is the main thing that the population has, then in Thailand a tourist, or farang, is a visitor with limited rights who knows little about local customs and laws. But ignorance does not absolve from responsibility. This is often used by local residents, deliberately provoking Thai-Farang conflicts. Without the presence of familiar Thais, it will be extremely difficult to prove your case in such cases. So, in the rental office they can assure you that driving a motorbike is not obligatory, like a helmet, but the police will not fail to fine you for this. And it will be useless to offer a bribe to the guards of the law.
Thais are the most smiling nation, the locals are friendly and honest, there are no bad people here. The fact that Thais smile more than others is a fact. However, their smile can have a deep meaning. It can be a hearty greeting when meeting at a hotel, or it can be a smile of apology, sadness or contempt. The range of expression of feelings with this tool is large. That is why Thailand is often called "the land of smiles". By their nature, the Thais do not differ from other peoples - there are both good people and evil people. But if you live in this country for a long time, you will begin to understand most of the shades of smiles. Many with the help of them just hide their true intentions. Smile and you when in Thailand, but do not forget about caution.
Thais are successfully mastering the Russian language, since there are already quite a lot of our tourists there. This myth was born thanks to domestic tourists who are accustomed to vacationing exclusively in Egypt and Turkey. They lost the habit of communicating in English, forgetting even the compulsory school level and not bothering to work with phrasebooks. So it turns out that it is faster for Thais to learn Russian than Russian - English. In the country, only 15% of tourists communicate in our language, so there can be no orientation towards us as the main source of income. For example, Germans, Spaniards and French, who do not know English in the same way, simply use their minimal knowledge and use sign language. So do not try loudly in a restaurant to repeat the Russian word to the waiter, thinking that they simply did not hear you.
All local food is extremely spicy. In general, Chinese, Portuguese and Indian influences have influenced the local cuisine. Dishes often have mixed flavors - spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. There is a fairly large list of non-spicy dishes. In a restaurant, you can say "know spicy" when ordering food, which will mean the refusal of spices. To avoid misunderstandings, and for many Thais, mild food still implies some kind of spice, it is recommended to order dishes without chili.
Thais eat with chopsticks. These appliances are used exclusively for Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese cuisine. Once upon a time in Siam, cutlery was not used at all, they ate with their hands, this custom remained to live in some parts of the country. Only King Mongkut introduced the custom of using a spoon and fork when eating. In this case, the main role is assigned to the spoon, and the fork only helps it. Today, Thai restaurants popular with tourists can offer visitors a knife, but using it is not necessary - all local dishes consist of small pieces.
It is not recommended to eat on the street - it is simply life threatening! On the contrary, if you look at street cafes in Bangkok or makashniki (mobile kitchens), it turns out that quite a lot of middle and senior managers eat there. After all, for Thais, the atmosphere in a cafe is not the main thing, it is important how tasty the food is. If they cook deliciously at the makashnitsa, the queue is guaranteed. In Phuket, there is an unremarkable outdoor cafe, with ordinary plastic tables. But its owner is the king's former chef. And the food here is excellent! However, you should not neglect the rules of getting used to exotic food. You should start eating it little by little and carefully. And it is recommended to wash your hands before eating, let's say the option of disinfection with a small portion of alcohol.
In Thailand, they feed on insects alone - cockroaches, larvae and beetles. In our country, this is often the opinion. Tourists in a distant country will inevitably lose weight. But those who have already visited Thailand know that fried insects are just an appetizer, like our seeds. The main courses include rice, noodles, meat and chicken, as well as vegetables. At the same time, the choice is truly diverse.
The stench and unsanitary conditions reign in Thailand, cockroaches scurry everywhere. Everyone finds what they want. Naturally, it would be silly to compare Thailand and European resorts, but in general the country is cleaner than in Russia. The smell on the streets comes from rainwater. But how can this compare to the scents in our public transport in the summer? After visiting Thailand, most tourists remember the smells of food and the fragrances of chopsticks for ceremonies. Yes, and it would be foolish to deny the presence of cockroaches - they are quite large here, but their number is not so large as to cancel your trip to this amazing country.
It rains most of the time in Thailand, and you should only go there on New Years. A similar myth can be made in Russia, they say, the sun shines here only three months a year, and the rest of the time there is snow and frost thunders. Such a legend is successfully supported by travel agencies, which are profitable to sell winter trips to Thailand. After all, in the summer people are already willing to go to hot countries - Greece, Turkey and Spain. One of the travel agency's catalogs even said that Vietnam is available to guests all year round, while Thailand is exclusively from November to April. Only the sea in Vietnam is quite cold in winter, while the Thais do not have such a problem. And Thailand is not a town or a point on the map, but a rather large country, which has many climatic zones and its various resorts. Monsoons determine the rainy seasons, but this is critical mainly for the islands. If you look at the map of the country, you can conditionally divide its territory into 4 parts - the Center, the North, the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and the coast of the Andaman Sea. The last territories are really better for visiting from November to April, the Gulf of Thailand will welcome guests from February to October, and the Central part is available for recreation all year round. Precipitation falls here 2 times less than in the south of the country. The northern part of Thailand is also good for traveling all year round, but it should be borne in mind that in December and January, local frosts are possible, when frost falls and the temperature drops to 0 degrees. And do not be afraid of the rainy season, it does not look like our cloudy autumn, when the sky is covered with leaden clouds and an unpleasant cold rain is falling. It's just that at this time the number of tropical showers increases slightly, but you can get under them at any time of the year, even during the season itself. Southeast Asia is a place where cyclones are constantly located, they naturally visit Thailand. It manifests itself in cloudy weather and in drizzling rain for 3-4 days. However, the rainy season has its own troubles, which you should know about in advance - these are the waves generated by the monsoon winds. If in Pattaya the monsoons are practically not noticeable, then on Koh Samui from November to January the eastern monsoon reigns. Here, on the south and east coast, there is a lot of waves. Often even a red flag is hung out, which means a ban on swimming and sea excursions. In Phuket, the waves arising from May to October are even more dangerous, since there are underwater currents here. As a result, the oncoming wave knocks down, and the outgoing one pulls people into the sea, which is fraught with accidents.
If you plan to spend your vacation with children, then it is better to choose Egypt or Turkey. After all, Thailand is full of horrors - encephalitis, jellyfish, hepatitis. We will debunk this horror story of our tourists. Of course, a sharp change in climate is quite dangerous, so it is not worth taking a one-year-old child to Thailand. However, for many, a long flight is easily tolerated. Cafes and restaurants here offer a special children's menu. Children do not need any special vaccinations. Thailand has a cult of children, so there is so much fun for them. In hotels, you can often find water slides, mini-clubs, where English-speaking animators will take care of the baby. As a result, children will not be bored. And the main plus for families with children is the warm sea throughout the year.
Thailand is politically turbulent, with frequent coups, civil wars and the overthrow of the king. Many people think that living in Thailand is dangerous, much less relaxing. However, rumors of wars and overthrows are exaggerated. First of all, it is worth mentioning that the King is an inviolable figure, and parliament is the main field of confrontation. However, natural competition between parties is usually the case for a multi-party system. You can talk a lot about politics, it quickly gets boring. Likewise, Thais, they do not always have time to monitor the political situation, which is why many of them adhere to neutrality. In any case, military action is not directed against tourists. After all, any government realizes how important it is for a country to preserve its international face and the interest of foreign guests.
In Thailand, it is best to stay in a tall hotel, avoiding bungalows that may contain snakes and insects. Indeed, a multi-storey hotel can be a salvation for those who are panicky afraid of insects and snakes. However, not everything is so bad, the tourist areas in the country are under close supervision. And not so dangerous animals, if you do not attack them yourself. The same snakes prefer to avoid collisions with humans. And the high floor will not save from the same insects. Contrary to the opinion of many, mosquitoes are found in Thailand. Therefore, hotels carry out special disinfection against them and offer special protective equipment - sprays and creams.
Thailand has high humidity, it is very difficult for people with high blood pressure to be here. The humidity in the country is really high, but you can choose a dry season for recreation, when it is not so hot - from November to February. At this time, even in hypertensive patients, pressure stabilizes, and an excess of oxygen lowers the amount of sugar in the blood, regardless of the diet.
There are few interesting sights in Thailand. Many do not dare to fly here a second or third time, believing that they have already looked. However, Thailand is not only Pattaya and Phuket. It is difficult to unequivocally answer the question of where the real spirit of the country is. It is not for nothing that many come here for the tenth and twentieth time, you can always find something new here. After all, the country is very large and diverse. You can visit the large island of Koh Chang in the southeast. Here, together with 49 neighboring islands, is the site for a national park. The northern capital of the country is Chiang Mai. Around the place is surrounded by mountains and parks, from here you can book unique excursions to the Golden Triangle and to the villages of the hill tribes. It will be interesting to visit the oldest resort in Thailand - Hua Hin, where the Royal Summer Residence is located.
In Thailand, drugs are legalized, here you can freely buy and use them. This misconception threatens with serious troubles - from long imprisonment to the death penalty. Drugs are illegal in the country, for their use even the death penalty is imposed, but the King can replace this measure with life imprisonment.
There are very cheap appliances and electronics in Thailand. First of all, ask yourself - what are you ready to go for, depriving the product Russification and guarantees for it? There really are things here that are cheaper than in the Motherland, but won't they create an advantage when boarding a plane? For example, many pay attention to phone models that are cheaper than in domestic stores. However, you should avoid fakes, in Thailand there are as many fakes as we have. Chinese manufacturers have filled this market as well. As a result, most of the proven licensed equipment will cost a little more than in our online store.
In Thailand, jewelry with stones can be purchased cheaply, although gold here is too yellow and has a low fineness. Since sapphires and rubies are mined in this country, they are really relatively inexpensive here. Local gold jewelry corresponds to our 750th test, while 583 and 585 tests are popular in Russia. In general, in Thailand 999 fineness of gold is valued; it is customary to give products of this quality for a wedding and at the birth of a child. There is no ban on the export of jewelry items, but precious stones must be part of the jewelry. In general, the prices for Thai gold jewelry are quite adequate. However, do not buy them on the streets from small sellers, as fakes are likely. Products of this kind should be purchased in factories or in specialized large stores.
Working in Thailand is a pleasure, because all around is the sun, sea, rest. Do not confuse rest with work, do not rush to form an impression about it from the meeting guides. First of all, be patient with them, they are also people with their own emotions and problems. Believe me, earnings are not easy for them. In general, it is not so easy to find a job in the country, especially for a foreigner. Yes, there are many options for low-paid work, but they prefer to hire compatriots for the position of specialists. It is possible to find a job in the end, but for this it is worth making an effort and demonstrating all your skills. A well-paid job will take so much energy that they will not be left to contemplate the surrounding beauties of nature.
The etymology of the phrase "Siamese twins" is related to Thailand. More precisely, to its former name - Siam. The Chinese Eng and Chang Bunker were, in all likelihood, the most famous twins; they had fused chest cartilages. Modern medicine could now easily separate these so-called xyphopagus twins, but at the time they lived, such operations were not practiced. Eng and Chang Lived: 1811-1874 in 1874 Chang fell ill with pneumonia and soon died of the disease. Ang, waking up and seeing that his brother was dead, passed away. At the same time, Eng was absolutely healthy. Under the nickname "Siamese Twins" the brothers toured with the circus. And so the name "Siamese twins" stuck in all similar cases.
Thai boxing is a popular martial art in the Kingdom of Thailand. This martial art incorporates elements of the ancient Thai martial art Muay Boran. Muay Lao, Lethui, Toma, Pradal Serei (all these are Indo-Chinese martial arts) have much in common with Muay Thai. Thai boxing is also called Muay Thai, which means "free fight" or "free fight". Muay Thai is often referred to as the "eight-limb fight" because punches can be delivered with knees, shins, feet, elbows and fists.
Muay Thai has a code of honor. This means that its members must treat each other with respect. Muay Thai categorically prohibits physical and verbal abuse of an opponent. Violation of this rule can lead to a decrease in points or even cost the offending person the entire fight. An interesting fact is that the most important part of the body in Thai boxing is the head, while the most humiliating moment in boxing will be striking in the face with the foot. The foot is the most despicable part of the body for Thais in this case, and the head is the highest. As a result of the latter circumstance, a fighter, when he goes to the ring, will never allow him to climb up to him under the ropes. Even a rope cannot be higher than the head of a Thai fighter. And by lightly touching the opponent's face with his foot, the fighter will humiliate him even more. It's like spitting in the face of your opponent. As for punches, they can hardly be called the main weapon in traditional Muay Thai. Rather, strikes like this play a supporting role in Muay Thai. However, despite all of the above, Muay Thai encourages the fighter to be an example of modesty, honesty and nobility.
Rice is the basis of the national cuisine of Thailand. Rice and fish are the staples of the Thai diet. Vegetables, peppers and shrimps are used to season the main courses. The diet is diversified by all kinds of fruits. Although the local cuisine menu differs significantly depending on the region of the country, it usually still contains noodles and a spicy Indian condiment called curry.
Thais are an illiterate people. This is not entirely true. Elementary education in Thailand is free and compulsory. The costs are related only to the purchase of textbooks and uniforms, as well as the cost of transportation services. The state seeks to support the secondary level of education in every possible way. However, secondary education is more expensive and also not compulsory. As for higher education, seven seven higher educational institutions and colleges give it the opportunity to receive it.
The Kingdom of Thailand is a country of distinctive customs. A lot of things will seem strange and incomprehensible to a European, but this is what creates a special atmosphere for Thailand. Thais often obey rules incomprehensible to Europeans in everyday life. For example, the most common pat on the shoulder will seem offensive to a Thai. And if someone decides to touch a person's head, then it's even worse. A sign of bad taste is an attempt to climb up sculptural compositions - and this is so common among visitors who want to get a beautiful photo for their photo album. It is also very impolite to speak negatively about the royal family - in Thailand, there is a tradition to speak about its ruler only with praising words. Bad manners, according to Thais, is also manifested in the manner of conducting a conversation in a loud voice. But a quiet, calm conversation always arouses a sense of respect among local residents. Another interesting circumstance is that among Thais it is not necessary to advertise close relationships between persons of the opposite sex.