Famous for its exclusive cuisine, culture and landmarks, modern-day Thailand has emerged as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The combination of ongoing economic prosperity and maintenance of Thai historic culture encourages millions of corporates to stay in Thai serviced apartments each year.
Thailand's population looks set to rise above seventy million, consisting of several ethnicities as well as the dominant indigenous Thai population. The Southeast Asian country has four bordering nations contributing to this ethnic diversity, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, with the Gulf of Thailand in the south. The land covers over 500,000 km2, with terrain diversifying from mountains occupying 20%, whilst forestation covers 30% of the land. Farmland is also prominent as a significant facilitator of the country’s agricultural economy. However, this contrasts the ultramodern capital of Bangkok. The city optimises Thailand’s economic rise, acting as the hub for finance, business and tourism.
Thai history associates itself with foreign cultural influence but never foreign rule. European colonial powers were avoided, with the leading British and French empires opting to keep Thailand as a neutral state. The government’s diplomatic strategies meant various treaties were signed and relations were built with western nations. The turning point of Thai history arguably comes in 1932 though. The Siamese Revolution saw the absolute monarchy of the Ayutthaya Kingdom overthrown and a constitutional, military-led government established. Thailand then navigated the World Wars to avoid being victimised by Japan and kept good relations with the US. Nowadays, Thailand continues to profit from good trade relationships and has formed a newly-industrialised economy.
Dependence on trade means international connections are solid, and exports of goods such as electronics, automobiles and agricultural commodities account for more than 2/3rds of the national GDP. The country has made great strides in recent years by integrating its economy on the global market and simplifying business start-up and foreign investment. The free-enterprise economy furthermore benefits from newly-developed infrastructure, and business formation procedures have never been more straightforward.
Success was achievable through simultaneous social and economic development. Poverty has reduced significantly, employment rates have sky-rocketed and incomes have increased. Furthermore, Thailand’s 20-Year National Strategy sets out long-term economic goals addressing economic stability, equal economic opportunities and market competitiveness. The future is bright for Thailand’s economy. Therefore, there is an obvious need for serviced apartment construction in the region.
Despite a period of an economic crash, the Thai currency, the Baht (฿), has also benefited from modern-day economic reform. Ranked as the tenth most frequently used world payment currency, the baht has banknote denominations ranging from ฿20 to ฿1000. Before you travel, be sure to check www.xe.com for the current Baht exchange rates.
Residents of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US all fall under the visa exemption rule for entry to Thailand. Business and tourist visas are valid for thirty days, with extensions available to ninety days. It’s worth visiting the www.thaiembassy.com website before tour trip website to avoid any visa complications.
Thai law consists of nothing extremely abnormal to be aware of. Worth noting though is that a ban on smoking on certain Thai beaches is in place. This came out of a generally negative attitude towards smoking by the authorities. Similar laws are in place against disposal of waste such as plastic, and damage to coastal areas. Some Thai laws can be very specific, so be sure to check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand before you travel.
Popular opinion suggests Thailand’s road system is quite good. Roads are well signposted, and the conditions are pretty decent. Common sense would say that you avoid busy traffic inside big cities, such as Bangkok. Also, although it is legal to only have your national driving license, it is worth obtaining an International Driving Permit to avoid complications. Typical taxi trips covering a couple miles only cos around 50 baht though. An equally useful alternative is the motorcycle taxi, perfect for short, quick journeys.
As we know, Thailand has experienced a great surge in tourism in the recent decade. As well as the luxurious and extravagant connotations of Bangkok, some argue the most eye-catching sights are the cultural temples. The Grand Palace is a great place to start. Residence to past generations of royalty and still in use for major ceremonies, the palace architecture is like nothing else around the world. Temples of Dawn, the Reclining Buddha and the Golden Buddha are also amazing expressions of Ancient Thai culture worth seeing. Just venture a few minutes away from your Bangkok city apartment and explore more than just Bangkok’s business magnificence.
It's also impossible not to come across Thailand's stunning nature and landscapes. Thailand’s elephant-shaped peninsula is expressed through equally stunning Khoa Yai National Park. There is no better place to witness these nationally adored animals in their natural environment. Similarly brimming with nature is the small town of Pai. The town dedicates to the wildlife surroundings, whilst also incorporating a range of localities and the impressive Pai canyon. Destinations such as these are plentiful in Thailand. Wherever you are, SITU’s Thailand serviced apartments can provide comfortable accommodation for your many travels.
Perhaps one of the best locations for encompassing both national culture and a promising economic future, Thailand stands out as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Corporates are recognising this and the country’s potential. Therefore, SITU looks to accommodate business travel in any way we can through our range of serviced accommodation.
With Bangkok continuing to be one of the most visited cities in the world, Suvarnabhumi Airport was opened in 2006 to facilitate the popularity that Bangkok has endured in recent years. It has overtaken Bangkok’s other airport Don Mueng International, one of the world’s oldest airports, as the main international aviation centre of Thailand.
The taxi rank and the train station below the airport enable visitors the easiest possible access to the inner-city serviced apartments. Other international airports Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Ko Samui and Udon Thani offer good connections to other Thai towns.
This rail operator serves forty-seven Thai provinces over a network of over 2,500 miles. The railway covers four main lines in the north, northeast, east and south. It acts as an alternative to buses for long journeys and avoids traffic for shorter trips.
For now, all long-distance trains operate from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station, but in 2019, Bang Sue Central station will become Thailand’s new railway hub.
Almost every Thailand city and town have a BKS bus station to offer reliable, useful internal transport through Thailand. The government-run services are the safest compared to the more-crammed, busy Minibuses.
The MRT is perhaps the most convenient mode of transport around the capital, with the system serving over 400,000 passengers each day. They function under two lines, Blue and Purple.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) is an elevated-rapid system consisting of 35 stations also along two lines. The MRT, BTS and Bus system work collectively to provide transit across Bangkok.