Located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, Thailand is an emerging economy and is considered a newly industrialized country. It has recently been in the news for a coup organized by its military, something Thailand is very well known for as they have had many of them.
According to some data, Thailand’s economy is export-dependent, accounting for 60 percent or the 270 billion USD GDP .
The country’s primary export is agricultural products such as fish and rice, the latter of which Thailand is the largest exporter of in the world. The country also exports textiles, rubber, automobiles, jewelry, and computers/electronic appliances.
Besides all that, tourism is a major economic factor directly contributing an estimated 7.3 percent to the country’s GDP as recorded in 2012. Bangkok was actually identified as the most visited city in the world by the 2013 Global Destination Cities Index.
There are several reasons why Thailand is such a mega tourist attraction. Besides the countries rich history that left behind some of the world’s most famous historical sights, the country is also endowed with a lot of beautiful natural sceneries.
Putting aside all the natural and historical attraction, most people also associate Thailand with sex tourism. Even though the government is working very had to turn around the image of sex in association with the country, the city of Bangkok remains to have one of the world’s most famous red light districts.
“We get a lot of tourists from Japan and Malaysia. Bangkok has everything, even though it is a big modern city with skyscrapers and fast moving, the city has not lost its heritage and that can easily be seen in all the temples, old architectures and the palace,” Kannutsorn Chotetrongtham also known as Jill who is an English speaking guide told Capital.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, more than half of the tourists that visit the country come from the Asia Pacific region, Japanese and Malaysians forming the two biggest groups. The largest groups of Western tourists come from the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, the United States and Scandinavia.
Thailand is also known for a huge shopping destination with clothes, shoes, bags, electronics and everything else in between being sold for a very affordable price, although a tourist may have to master the art of bargaining before doing any shopping.
Among the most visited sites in Bangkok is a Buddhist temple called Wat Arun which means “Temple of Dawn”. This place looks like as though time has stood still. The structure of the impressive temple has been preserved really well since its construction back in 1768. There are a lot of temples in Bangkok which most of are equally if not more impressive than the Wat Arun.
The royal palace is also another tourist attraction that has made a lot of money for the country. The country has a monarch system as well along with a king and queen that are loved.
“The people love the king and queen, you can see their picture hanging everywhere, from big squares or round about around the city to people’s houses,” said Jill.
Bangkok caters to the rich that are looking to splurge and the backpackers that are on a budget. One of the most entertaining evenings that comes highly recommended is doing a boat cruise on the famous Chaophraya River, which is referred to as the origin of Thai civilization.
There are several establishments that provide the service of a cruise with dinner, drinks and live entertainment for an evening.
According to Jill the guide, this particular form of entertainment is relatively new, introduced in the last couple of years, but has become a huge business with many venturing into it. People usually need to reserve a seat very early before their trip.
For the tourists hoping to get bargained goods, MBK shopping center comes highly recommended. All though there are many more street markets that one can go to for a cheaper price, centers such as MBK also offer an array of products for a very fair price.
With all there is to see and experience, it isn’t very hard to understand why Thailand’s tourism sector has been and continues to sky rocket.