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A visit to (the backpackers’) paradise

date of entry 15/06/2007
mileage 588,897

capital Bangkok

area 513.115 km²

population 69.522.234

GDP 366 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Thai

With its beautiful beaches on the mainland, and on the Andaman islands to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east, the Kingdom of Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It is also the only country in south-east Asia that has never been colonised. Christine, Gunther, and Otto often visited the country, driving down the Malaysian peninsula through southern Thailand seven times. Their ultimate destination in each case was the port of Singapore, which has played an important part in their travels. Otto has several times been packed into a container and shipped off to new destinations. He has travelled overland from Thailand to Laos, Cambodia and, in 2014, Myanmar. Over the years, Gunther says Bangkok’s chaotic traffic has improved somewhat thanks to new expressways and fast train services. He still loves the bustle of the Thai capital’s rivers and floating markets, and the friendliness of the local people. One visit to Thailand, and you’re hooked.
  • A typical mountain village in northern Thailand, on the border with Myanmar
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  • Otto is greeted by young Buddhist monks as he arrives from Malaysia, 1,000 kilometres south of Bangkok
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  • A monk sits in the lotus position in Ayutthaya, the former capital of the kingdom of Siam
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  • The gold reclining Buddha in Bangkok’s Wat Pho.
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  • The richly ornamented Royal Palace is one of the city’s biggest attractions
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  • The 70-metre central spire of the Buddhist temple of Wat Arun, on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River
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  • The morning after the night before: sleeping in the street after a noisy festival on the promenade in the resort of Pattaya.
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  • Travelling in style: Pigs being transported by a motorcycle convoy
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  • Elephants taking their morning shower on the island of Ko Chang in eastern Thailand...
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  • ...whose name means Elephant Island
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  • A sprouting coconut stored beside the road
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  • Video: Thailand: a taste of paradise