January 2017

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Page 60 of 73 | Mobility 57 T hailand, a country of diverse beauty with forested mountains, miles and miles of gorgeous coastline, and warm tropical weather, was formerly known as Siam. Thailand is well-known among foreign - ers due to its rich culture and warm hospitality. The Thais are hospitable, peaceful, courteous, and friendly people who enjoy life, as the culture is greatly influenced by Buddhism. It also incorporates rites from other religions such as Hinduism and animism. The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, established in 1782. The city is known in Thai as Krung Thep, which means "city of angels." With a population of approximately 10 million, it is a multifaceted, multi - cultural city and a key part of South East Asia's booming economy. Bangkok has a balance of cosmopolitan life and traditions. Some visi- tors may remember Bangkok for the exciting nightlife with an exten- sive choice of entertainment options set against age-old markets, while others may remember the city for its temples, such as the magnificent King's Grand Palace. Many visitors also flock to Thailand for its beauti- ful beaches, good food, and shopping. In spite of rapid advancements, Thais have never lost sight of their roots: Even in Bangkok, numerous temples maintain a serene atmos- phere, with only the chants of monks in the background. (Buddhist temples are sacred places, so you should wear proper attire when visiting them, and proper manners should be observed; it is prohibited for women to have physical contact with monks.) On the Chao Praya River or on the remaining canals, sleek boats continue to ferry people and goods just as they have done for centuries. Thailand is known as the land of smiles. Smile, and you'll always receive a smile back—this embodies the Thai way of living. Relationship Building in the Land of Smiles By Adam Beechinor, GMS, and Benjamin Strohmann DESTINATION PROFILE: THAILAND Nicole Kwiatkowski /

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