Loy Krathong Thai Festival Plymouth Guildhall
14th November 2015
|Welcome to all those wishing they were somewhere else|
Here you will find information for Thai events and festivals in the UK as well as the contact details for Thai consulates in the UK and Europe. There are also a few resources that we hope you will find useful and we hope that by visiting us, we might introduce you to something you might not have otherwise come across. We know were you would rather be right now, but hope that this little taste of Thailand will help you to stay in touch with the land of smiles while you are away.
|We're happy to promote your Thai events in the UK|
All our links are provided free and we don't profit from them. If you have a Thai event or information you would like to share with us, please get in touch. We are happy to PROMOTE your Thai events for FREE on our site and through our mailing list.
|Thailand (Prathet Thai, meaning “Land of the Free”)|
Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its exquisite white sandy beaches, amazing temples and palaces, spectacular scenery. vast choice of foods and superb hospitality helps to make it one of the most popular destinations for people from the UK. Whether you're planning a holiday or thinking of moving to Thailand, you'll receive a warm welcome wherever you go and it won't take you long to understand why it is known as the land of smiles.
Thailand is a place that will amaze you, a place that will completely change the way you look at life. and rarely a place you will visit only once.
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. 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. Travelling around is made easier with very good rail connections and many domestic airports.
|The Official Language|
The official and national language of Thailand is Thai which is spoken by 60 million people in Southeast Asian region and one of the ancient languages in East and South-East Asia. English is considered as the second language in Thailand which is taught in universities and public schools. Thai is a tonal monosyllabic language. The same word can be said up to five different ways. Adding the word "Khrap" (for a man) and "Kha" (for a women) at the end of a word or sentence is an example of Thai politeness.
Thais are a proud nation of people with a long standing history. There are some customs and taboos that a foreigner should respect when visiting. Here's a few examples: the feet are considered dirty and should not be pointed directly at people or raised; shoes are usually never worn in indoor living areas and the head is sanctified, so avoid touching someone else on the head. You must also avoid stepping over someone or stepping over any part of their body as this is considered to be very rude by all Thai people, always walk around, never over.
The Thai people are generally very polite and will identify whether another is of higher status than them and initiate the 'wai' - a greeting where the hands are clasped together and placed to the chest or beneath the nose as a sign of respect. The Royal Family is highly revered in Thailand, and images such as statues, photographs and pictures should be shown due respect. Thailand's national flag is ceremoniously raised each morning in every town and village.
|The Thai Climate|
The warm Thai climate is tropical with long hours of sunshine and high humidity. There are three seasons and many people plan their visits around them. These are shown below but you can also check the current forecasts with the links on this page.
Hot from March to June
Rainy from July to October
Cool(er) from November to February
The Thai people celebrate the Songkran fesivtal every year with water. Everyone gets soaking wet (including the tourists) at the hottest time of the year. Songkran is a Public Spring Cleaning Day, supported by a religious belief that anything old and useless must be thrown away or it will bring bad luck.
The climate in Thailand is very different to the UK and average low temperature is 20°C and high temperature is 37°C. The geographic and climatic conditions make the country suitable for the cultivation of a wide range of tropical and semi-tropical agricultural crops. Bangkok is one of the hottest cities in the world. Daytime temperatures will rarely drop much below 30°C and can go up above 40°C some days.
Thai food is renowned all around the globe for its distinctive flavours, which are a mix of spicy and sour tastes. Each area of Thailand has its own culinary specialities. Thai food online provides all the essential ingredients you will require to recreate these wonderful Thai tastes at home. Thai food is simply prepared and very aromatic. Rice is a common accompaniment to most Thai cuisine, noodles are also popular and sauces are served with almost every meal. It is typical that several dishes are served at meal times and fresh vegetables are always on the menu. Popular Thai dishes include Phat Thai ( rice noodles with lime juice, chopped peanuts, and egg combined with chicken or seafood, fish sauce and sugar) Tom yam (hot & sour soup with fish or meat) and spicy green papaya salad which is one of the most popular dishes for women in Thailand. A full range of Thai foods and recipes can be found here.
Visitors from most countries who arrive in Thailand without a visa will be granted a 30 day stay if they have proof of onward ticket and adequate funds. For longer stays you should apply for a visa before leaving home. There are six consulates in the UK where some visas can be granted in as little as one hour. Single entry visas will allow you to enter for up to 90 days. Multiple entry visas are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. It allows you to enter Thailand on many occasions, but after each 90 days stay you must leave the country and re-enter for another period of 90 days. Retirement visas and work visas are also available.
|Exports and Imports|
The Thai economy is heavily dependant on exports and products include Thai rice, textiles and footwear, rubber, jewellery, cars, computers and electrical appliances. There are also many fishery products and minerals, tungsten and tin. Rice is the most important crop in the country and Thailand is the largest exporter of rice in the world. Imports include consumer goods, raw materials and fuel. Tourism also plays an important role in the Thai economy.
|The Population of Thailand|
The population of Thailand is estimated to be around 63 million, The capital city of Bangkok is home to some 10 million people which gives you an idea as to the shear scale of the city. A large percentage of the population live in rural areas and the majority of these are farmers. About 95% of Thais are Buddhists. The Thai poulation in the Uk is estimated to be around thirty thousand people (2008 ONS estimate).
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht, which is divided into 100 satang.The exchange rates are constantly changing and you seem to get a more generous rate if you exchange in Thailand. You can check the current exchange rate here.
Thailand has an enviable reputation of holding some of the worlds most unique and meaningful festivals that capture the Thai spirit for an enlightened life. From the most well known such as the Songkran Festival which takes place throughout the country (the traditional Thai NewYear) to lesser know events exclusive to the North such as the Silk / Phuk Seow festival in Khon Kaen, they are all spectaciular occasions that attarct thousands of villagers and tourists who are lucky enough to be around at the right time. These traditional Thai festivals date back many thousands of years and are just as important today as they were then. Our events page has a list of the more poular festivals that take place in Thailnd today.
|The Cost of Living|
The Thai baht has been stedily rising over the course of the last few years and the cost of city life in Thailand could quite easily be compared to the UK. A few years ago Thailand was a cheap destination to live, but now it is an expensive place to get to and prices are rising all the time. Great if you have a Thai business but not so good if you are simply holidaying or passing through.
Having said that, prices of clothing and accessories are dependant on the brand and quality. Taxis, buses, trains and Tuk Tuks are still very cheap, whatever time of day or night you need them. Renting or buying property in Thailand is also very good value compared with the UK although owning land or property can be difficult unless you are a Thai national. Some foreigners purchase property in a Thai business name. It is recommended that if you are considering purchasing property, to seek expert legal advice.
Being in the Eastern Hemisphere the time difference in Thailand is GMT +6 hours/+7 when the UK clocks go back. It may take you a while to adjust to the time difference as the average direct flight time to Bangkok from the UK is around twelve hours. Many flights are in two stages and are an an average of two 7 hour flights. In thousands of remote towns and villages across Thailand people are woken by early morning thai music played through speakers on many street corners. It has to be one of the greatest alarm clocks in the world.
|A Brief History|
Thailand has had a very turbulent history dating back to 10th Century AD. Formally known as Siam, the name was changed to Thailand 1939. A more detailed history can be found here. In recent times there has been numerous military coups which have caused instability in the country. The recent demonstrations in Bangkok have show once again how explosive the political situation can be.