And as different as the destinations are the activities they offer. From soft adventure options such as whitewater rafting, sea-kayaking or four-wheel drive jungle safaris to special interest pursuits like bird watching or archaeological tours, the ways of experiencing Thailand’s natural and cultural diversity are many, and sure to please all tastes and preferences.
Bangkokpost.com : Breaking News
Healthy Longstay in Thailand
The number of visitors deciding on a longer stay in Thailand is steadily rising, thanks to the country’s amazing choice of settings, its blissful beaches and islands, green hills and forests, and splendid rivers and waterfalls.
Thailand’s topographical variety and colourful cultural heritage ensures almost endless sightseeing and touring options. Each of the Kingdom’s four main regions the North, the Northeast, the Eastern and Central Plains and the South has its own distinctive attraction. Whether lazing on a southern tropical isle, trekking in the forested hills of the North or exploring the timeless villages of the rural Northeast, the choice is wide open.
Beyond its own attractions, Thailand opens many other options as the gateway to its neighbours. The historic lands that border the mighty Mekong River, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia,
Vietnam and Yunnan Province in southern China offer marvelous insights into the region’s wealth of historical, cultural and scenic sights, and all are easily reached by flights from Bangkok.
At the same time, there is no feeling of being cut off from one’s home country. Air links, a reliable travel infrastructure and communication via computer and telecommunications are all part of the service, while shopping and banking facilities and other amenities are all of international standard.
There are many good reasons for choosing Thailand as a longstay destination.
Location: Its position in the centre of Southeast Asia has made Thailand a hub of international air travel with swift access to anywhere in the world.
Climate: Thailand is a tropical country and its tropical climate is relaxing, generating a holiday feeling. Basking in sunshine for much of the year, temperatures are often high, but they vary at different seasons and in different parts of the country. There is a rainy season, but the rain is interspersed with sunny periods; and there is a cool, dry season of cloudless days and cool evenings.
Natural beauty: Thailand’s geographical position and topographical diversity has made it a crossroads for local plant and animal life. Its mountain ranges and forests are alive with a profusion of different species and its long coastline teems with colourful marine life. Mountains and beaches are the Kingdom’s well-known attractions, but there true extent is still to be revealed.
Cultural heritage: Thailand is a mixed culture and a multi-racial society that has lived harmoniously for many years, free from major conflicts. Many historic areas recalling the splendor and fascination of the country’s past have been made World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. There are also many expressions of earlier cultures and traditions still to be seen in all parts of the country.
Safety: Thailand is a democratic country with a constitutional Monarch renowned throughout the world for his good works and revered by all Thai people. Governed by the Rule of Law, the people live under a Constitution which protects individual rights as in any civic society. The country is peaceful and safe and has good diplomatic relations with its neighbours.
Cost of living: Despite a survey conducted by some travel magazines, Thailand is one of the best value-formoney choices for tourists. It is fair to say that with 50,000 baht a month, visitors can enjoyable a good life in Bangkok. In the provinces, the cost would be less, except in the resorts towns of Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya and Samui.
People: This is a ‘last but not least’ category as so many travellers cite the people of Thailand as one of its greatest attributes. The Thais are renowned for their warm and friendly attitude towards foreigners. Their tolerant and relaxed way of life is largely due to influence of their Buddhist religion. In hotels, restaurants and shops, the Kingdom’s culture of hospitality finds expression in a standard of service that is equally famous, and never fails to make an unforgettable impression on visitors of all ages.
Visa for Longstay Visitors
There is a special Non-Immigrant “O-A” (Longstay) visa now available to facilitate stays in Thailand for a period of at least one year.
This visa will be issued to applicants aged 50 years or above with the nationality of or residence in the country where the application is made, and who have a passport valid for not less than 18 months. It does not permit employment in the Kingdom.
Applicants are required to present a copy of a bank statement showing a deposit equal to not less than 800,000 baht or an original income certificate assuring a monthly income of not less than 65,000 baht, or a deposit account plus a monthly income totaling not less than 800,000 baht. In the case of the bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank must also be shown. Applicants can submit their applications at the Thai Embassy or Consulate in their country of permanent residence.
Contact address: For further information, please contact the Thai Embassy or Consular Mission in your country of residence, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand, Tel: 66 2643 5000, http://www.mfa.go.th/; or the Office of the Immigration Bureau, Immigration Division 1, Tel: 66 2287 4948, http://www.imm.police.go.th/.