Thailand, officially the kingdom of Thailand is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia. Thailand’s name in the Thai language is Prathet Thai, which means “Land of the Free.” It is the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonized by a European nation. With close to 67 million people, Thailand has been nicknamed “The Land of Smiles” and 95% of the population practices Buddhism.

Thailand is probably best known for its pristine islands which it has 1,430 of. The most famous of which is Koh Phi Phi Lee which was featured in Danny Boyle’s film The Beach. It is probably one of the world’s top destinations for island hopping. However, there is an incredible natural diversity including dense jungle and even mountains. Thailand’s highest point is Doi Inthanon (8,415ft/2,565m above sea level) in the Thanon Thong Chai mountain range. Thailand has some claims to fame as well. It is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel. The town of Kanchanburi is where you can find the famous “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, part of the Burma-Siam railway where estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people died in the course of the project.

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