Exotic food, amazing beaches and Theravada tradition
The popularity of Thailand as a travel destination is unquestionable: the number of over fifteen million visitors a year speaks for itself. It is not widely known to every tourist though, that the general way of life in Thailand still remains to be a traditional farming and fishing community, with rubber plantations and Buddhist temples having a major place in the picture. Despite such a vigorous flow of foreign visitors, Thailand, having avoided colonization, has managed to preserve its cultural purity at almost original level. Yet the Thai have also imported in a wise manner some of the goods of the Western culture – and so the modern lifestyle with skyscrapers and the night city coexist here with the ancient tradition that peacefully contrasts it on the background.
A word to be said about renowned Thai cuisine – exotic and elaborate it mostly has rice as its basis, production of which by the way is how about a half of Thai people earn their income.
Ever since the hazy cloud of confusion that was floating around after the Vietnam War dissolved, Thailand showed an enormous economical growth, which was evaluated as world's fastest during the '80s and into the '90s, and tourism has definitely played its role. As for the political system though, it did not show too big a progress to compare: in terms of the governmental changes power play has been as usual for Thailand as people's elections since World War II. Patronization and corruption are the symptoms behind the failing democracy led by gun.
That being said, for the past sixty years the society has been quite stable and continues to grow, which is of course the reason the Thai monarch King Bhumibol, who sits at the top of Thai complex government system, is so deeply admired by the people. Another factor contributing to national integrity of Thailand is beyond any doubt the religion – a whopping 85 percent of the population practice Theravada Buddhism, which through its festivals and temples and symbols permeates the culture at every level and the spirit of which seems to be omnipresent in almost any scene you would find yourself in should you visit this beautiful country.