Tourism in Thailand
A small country that contains many amazing things and attracts many tourists
in “South East Asia, between the Indian Ocean and the South China” (Thiro 10) is called Thailand or “Land of Smile.” It is one of the best countries that are full of
natural beauty. Thailand is called “Land of Smile” because Thai people are very friendly, easily to smile, and are nice to everyone. If we talk about Thailand, some
people think about spicy delicious foods, some about nice beaches or while others,
about kick boxing which is the traditional sport of Thailand.
After years, Thailand is getting more tourists and that is increasing each year
according to Thai Airlines. “It flew 3.13 million passengers in the first two months of
2006, an increase of almost 12 per cent from last year” (The New Zealand Herald). This shows that Thailand is now well-known to people around the world and gets
more attention from many tourists. According to The Nation, the figure of 14.8 million total international tourist arrivals was 8 per cent higher than a previous target.
The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) expects to increase Vietnamese arrivals
from 227,000 in 2006 to 267,000 this year. Most visitors come, visit, and spend their
time for vacation in Thailand. Many tourists would love to live long enough in
Thailand to visit most of the places. Even more, some people are more likely to spend
their time there for the rest of their lives. There are a lot of attractive beaches, food,
medical facilities and festivals which lure tourists to Thailand.
First of all, one of the best reasons to go to Thailand is their beaches. Thailand
has a lot of islands. Most of them are well-known to people around the world. For
example, Phuket is known as one of the most beautiful beaches on Earth. It has very
fresh air, clean beaches, and the water is clear enough to see fishes. “Phuket is
Thailand‟s largest island and one of the most popular vacation destinations in
Southeast Asia, attracting up to one million visitors each year. At 48 km (30 miles)
long and covering 550 sq km (210 sq miles), it is a province in itself- and the
wealthiest in the country. The Northern tip of the island is separated from the
mainland by only a narrow channel of sea, over which runs the 700-m (765-yd) long
Sarasin Bridge” ( Thailand 348).
Some tourists enjoy deep water diving, others fishing or even jet skiing, which
is a great choice for Thailand. Phuket is located in the south of Thailand next to
Andaman Sea (Wilkins 6). “The research indicates Phuket is increasingly attracting investors from the top end of the market. This area is fast developing into the pinnacle
of luxury travel in Southeast Asia. The hills stretching from Surin beach have long
been known as „Millionaire‟s Row‟” (The Nation Thailand). This shows that
Thailand‟s beaches have now hit top level of the market.
Secondly, tourists love the original Thai food. Every food in this world has
their own attractive taste, and some foods attract people and make people want to
repeat same kind of food again and again. Thai food is one of them that have their
own traditional taste that attract people, not only Thai people but tourists or people
from other countries too. These days Thai food has spread out around the world;
however it is the best to taste Thai food in Thailand. For example in Thailand, one of
the most popular Thai dishes is called tom yum gung. “The broth is prepared with various herbs, and then pieces of chicken, fish, or prawns are added. Once the
ingredients are tender, lemon juice is added, along with prik-kee-nook, and the soup is
always brought to the table piping hot” (Wilkins 76). In contrast, in the restaurants in the United States, “tom yum soup is a clear broth with shrimp, a balance between
spicy and sour; each mouthful is has chili, tomatoes, scallions, and mushrooms”
(Luisa). This shows that they make them in different ways; however the feedback
from most people is almost the same, in good way. Among all-Thai noodles, Phat
Thai is the popular. “Phat Thai is a mixture of flat rice noodles fried with bean curd,
vegetables, egg, peanuts, and dried shrimp. It is claimed to be Thailand‟s national
dish” (Thailand 408). “Thai food has been described by many food experts as one of
the tastiest and most nutritious foods out there” (Cerralbo). This demonstrates that Thai food attract a lot of people and make them want to come back for Thai food
again. This leads to the popularity of Thai food world wide.
Thirdly, tourist visit Thailand because of their culture. Thailand is one of the
richest countries in culture. People in Thailand celebrate a lot of festivals. Thai New
Year, “Songkran,” is the Thai traditional New Year which starts on April 12-14 every
year. The days change each year as they follow the lunar calendar (Thailand 42). “A
th13 century inscription reads: „Whoever wants to make merry, does so; whoever
wants to laugh, does so‟” (Thailand 42). They start their new year by playing with
water because it is celebrate during the hottest time of the year. Whoever outside has
to be wet. Some even wait outside their houses to wet and color others. Some people
use powders to prevent revelers from sunburn. “They all offer traditional ways of observing the holiday, such as releasing birds and fish from captivity, making merit
by giving alms to the monks, paying respect to elderly people, and attending a local
Miss Songkran Beauty Contest” (Thailand Travel Planner 24). During this festival
younger people throw water at their friends or peers but when it comes to the elders
and monks, they pay respect by sprinkling their hands with perfumed water (Thailand
Finally, tourists visit Thailand for medical surgery. “Last year, we realized a 20% increase in international patient volume, which admitted 264,000 international
patients in 2002, generating about $25 million in revenue” (Normandy Madden). Tourists who come here for medical surgery not only get the surgery but are also able
to enjoy the clean beaches.
“The trend started in 1997, when Thailand‟s currency collapsed and
local hospitals, desperate for cash to care for Thai citizen, turned to
foreigner happy to pay the relatively low prices at a handful of clean,
Westerner-operated Thai Hospitals-followed by a few days in one of
the country‟s plush resorts. Most “Medical tourists” are looking for
elective procures that insurance companies do not cover. Bumrungrad
and Bangkok Hospital offer everything from nose jobs to sex change
operations” (Normandy Madden).
In Thailand patients don‟t have to wait in a long time to get the surgery done. It is
quiet fast and more comfortable compared to hospitals in the United States. The
services provided by the nurses are quiet good and this attracts a lot of tourist from
different parts of the world.
Tourism in Thailand is booming. More likely, the number of tourist will
increase every year. They visit Thailand for the clean beaches, Thai Food, cheap
medical surgery and Thai festivals. They won‟t hesitate to come back when they have
free time. Thailand or “Land of Smile,” seems to be one of the best places for tourists to spend their time and relax.
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