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Thailand is often referred to as “the land of smiles.” This statement, of course, does not take into account the several traffic snarls in Bangkok alone.

The climate in Thailand is, for the most part, tropical. It is rainy, warm, and cloudy during the southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry and cool during the northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); and the southern isthmus is generally hot and humid.

Thai is the most common language spoken, but English is gaining popularity, especially with the influx of tourists, and it is frequently a language spoken by the Thai elite. Ethnic and regional dialects predominate in village areas, but an interpreter or guide can help you to understand the language and communicate.

A strange combination of contrasts, Thailand can be very stressful when attempting to get around Bangkok, but it can also be extremely relaxing visiting any of the number of beaches that exist along the Thai coast. These beaches have served as the settings for several films. Traditional beach resort areas like Phuket and Phi Phi and rustic beaches like the one belonging to the Ko Chang island, with some beach bungalows, a few local bars and a couple of stores, are easy to find. To locate beaches catering to a mixed taste, you will need to ask the locals or your travel agent, but it’s pretty simple finding just the resort you desire.

However, do not limit yourself to just the beach. Up country, towards the north, you can find the city of Chang Mai, the Summer Palace of the King of Thailand, and little villages where you can partake of interesting local customs and rituals. Rafting, hiking, mountain biking, diving, snorkeling, trekking, and other adventure sports are also popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

Flights to Thailand are as cheap as approximately $650 for a round-trip flight on Korean Airlines. This makes Thailand a perfect destination for budget travelers. Basics like food and accommodations are reasonably priced, so your money will go a long way.