Thailand offers you not only fun and adventure, but also a deep sense of history and culture.

If you want to go abroad during holidays, where you can delve into a little history and chill out on the beach, then Thailand could be an answer.

Located in southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand was originally known as Siam. To the south of the country is the Gulf of Thailand and to the west is the Andaman Sea. Thailand is the only southeast Asian country that has never been colonized. This could be because of the wisdom of the rulers and the way they managed their country and its affairs.

Today's ruler

The present monarch, King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej is the ninth king of the House of Chakri. He is the longest serving head of state and monarch in the history of the country. King Rama IX is a painter, musician, photographer, author and translator.

Between 1985 and 1995, Thailand grew economically. It became a tourist destination with its well-known beach resorts at Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui becoming popular. Many famous Hollywood stars have found a perfect holiday retreat in Koh Samui and Pattaya.

The sea around these islands is calm and clear providing perfect opportunity for snorkelling and swimming. Snorkelling gives you a glimpse of underwater life.

The country has been influenced a lot by the cultures of ancient India, China and Cambodia. It is also influenced by the pre-historic cultures of Southeast Asia. Religion, mostly Buddhism and Hinduism, has also influenced their art.

Thai embroidery is highly stylized and fine silken thread is used to depict scenes from mythology.

The Thai dance is a well known and appreciated art form. It is divided into three categories: khon, lakhon and likay-khon. Nang drama, a form of shadow play is popular in the south of the country.

Full of flavour

Thai cuisine is slowly gaining popularity in India because it is a delicate mix of sweet, spicy, sour and salty. A lot of herbs are used as well as chilli, garlic, lime leaves, sweet basil, lime, shallot, lemon grass, coriander, pepper and turmeric. Sea food, probably because it is so easily available, forms a major part of their diet. Crab, prawn, squid, fish and so on are a part of almost every meal.

Bangkok binge:

You could visit the Samphran Elephant Ground and zoo. You can get to watch the crocodile wrestling or just take a stroll around the place and watch the crocs as they sun themselves. The elephant show is fun and entertaining. You can watch them play football and perform other tricks. The elephants and their mahouts also stage a drama of how wars were fought. At the end of the show you can feed the elephants and also take pictures with them.

Don't miss the magic show where the magician dances around while he performs his tricks. – making birds appear, and fish in the aquarium, cutting up his assistant and so on.

The Siam Ocean World is the biggest aquarium in southeast Asia. You can take the Back of House tour or the Shark Encounter or you can have some fun with Happy Fish, Happy Feet as you relax in the Jacuzzi with fish! The 4D movie is an experience not to be missed. You can also take a ride in the Glass Bottom Boat and get really close to the sharks, stingrays and other fish.

The Teak Palace, like the Marble Palace has been transformed into a museum. The Rattanakosin museum ( the original name of Thailand's capital city) gives you a view of Rattanakosin as it once was, its entertainment, communities, ceremonies and so on.

The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew were built in 1782. This was where the king resided. The royal court and the administrative seat of government were also housed here. The Emerald Buddha is enshrined in Wat Prakaew. This image of the Buddha is carved from a single block of emerald and is dated at 15th century.

The floating market, Damnoen Saduak, is an amazing sight. Hundreds of wooden row boats laden with fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers, sail by, selling their wares. There are also food boats with charcoal grills and you can order *boat noodles' or seafood skewers.

At Madame Tussaud's waxworks, you get to see your favourite stars and even take pictures with them.