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Newbie Question: Why is Thailand so popular

Newbie Question: Why is Thailand so popular

Old Nov 17th, 2004, 01:55 AM
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Newbie Question: Why is Thailand so popular

Hello all, I realize this is a very non-specific question but I really am a Newbie concerning travel in Asia.

It seems to me that on this board there are by far more topics and interest concerning Thailand than any other country in the region. What are some of the main reasons for this. On CNN Europe, Malaysia is really pushing their tourism with excellent commercials but one sees quite little about Malaysia on this board. At least in comparison to Thailand.

Is is that there is a better Tourism industry set up in Thailand? Is the country just that much more interesting than others in the region?? Why??

Advance Thanks for any responses and heres hoping I don't get flamed too much for a question like this!!
princess_01ca is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 03:29 AM
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I've been to Thailand twice and loved it so much I'm going back next year. The reasons are many, some of which are in my subconscious (sp).

The people are great. They are hospitable, friendly and helpful. They call it the "Land of Smiles" with good cause. Although I'm a man I would have no problem allowing my wife or daughters to travel unaccompanied (within reason).

The food is out of this world.

It's a tiger economy so everything you could want/need is there. Some of the other countries are now beginning to become more tourist friendly.

History is everywhere, if you understand what I mean.

Shopping is great.

Thailand has everything from trekking in the mountains to tropical beaches.

English is widely spoken in the tourist areas.

It's a hub for the whole area. It's easy to get to Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and even China.

Finally, in my view, Budhism is the most non-agressive, non-threatening religion in the world, and this is reflected in the whole ambience.
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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I've been to Thailand 18 times and Malaysia once. I just think Thailand has just about everything one can ask for in a tourist destination. I agree 100% with everything Sid has said -- especially about the people. The only thing I'd add is that even though it is built up and has lots of tourists, it still feels exotic. The temples are unlike anything you see anywhere.

Perhaps the big difference is that Thailand is one of the few places in asia (and the only one in southeast asia) that has never been colonized. It makes a difference. Also, although it has been a poor country, they have always had enough food to feel their people so there has not been the starvation that has taken place in many other countries in the developing world.

glorialf is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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The people are great...the food is great...and it's beautiful,exciting and interesting. I've been to Thailand many times, but to Malaysia only once. I was only in Kuala Lumpur which was architectually fascinating, but I found it boring...there's no comparison between KL and say...Bangkok for example. Bangkok wins hands down. It's all about the "Sanuk" as the Thais say...in other words...fun or just a joy of life attitude. Thailand more than lives up to its reputation as the "Land of Smiles". Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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like the others i have been to thailand many many times but to singapore, malaysia, indonesia and others only once, with little need really to return....although i would return if it presented itself, especially to a place like bali or singapore...thailand on the other hand while i am there i am already plotting my return....

it fun, cheap, lux at bargain prices, interesting with great welcoming people, unsurpassed shopping, history, colorful, enticing, etc, etc....plus for americans it is welcoming and relatively safe....i assume the bulk of fodorites are americans and thus thailand is a large topic of conversation....it is also a place that one can easily accomplish on ones own with not guide or help...
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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I often wondered the same question princess. I enjoyed my holiday more in Malaysia compared to Thailand. Mainly because I felt Thailand was too built up especially the islands. I saw very little wildlife compared to Malaysia for this reason, it was less relaxing and generally more commercialised. I agree that the temples etc are more exotic and interesting and Bangkok itself it great, but in terms of islands/beach, I'd go for Malaysia over Thailand.

I would say that the people are also friendly and welcoming, the food is excellent, although not quite as tasty as Thai. English is more widely spoken compared to Thailand.
emtee is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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I've been to Thailand twice..Once to Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin...And once to Chiang Mai and Phuket..I loved it both times and would go there again to see yet Koh Samui and Krabi and maybe BKK again..I loved the people, the food, the shopping..Hope to return in the next few years after visiting a few other countries first..
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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we just got back from 3 weeks in thailand on nov 5 and i am already planning our return trip for next year.
everything the fodorites have said in the above messages are accurate....
great food, excellant shopping...cheap 4 & 5 star hotels...great sightseeing
and so affordable.
cant wait to go back in 2005
divediva is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Thailand is a great destination and quite a fulfilling travel experience.

Malaysia is trying to build up tourism as best it can. There is a lot of competition and Malaysia/Indonesia have a hard time of it in comparison to the likes of Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.

There are many great travel destinations in Malaysia and Indonesia, but there are a lot of things working against them:
1. Terror -- Indonesia is still a bit "hot" right now and that is a major turn-off to most travelers.
2. Infrastructure -- the airports and airlines aren't as organized as the old school destinations like BKK. This is improving, but it will take some time.
3. Dispersal -- Look at a map and you can see the advantage that Thailand has; you can travel from the bustle of BKK city life to the down home of the rustic villages to the temples in the hills in short order and the routes are well known and publicized, in Malaysia and Indonesia you may need a flight or several boat/car journeys before you see anything more interesting than agriculture (which can be interesting too).
4. Money -- Las Vegas, NV has a bit more to offer than Wouburn, MA for the average tourist. In short -- this is why they call it "money".

Something important to remember, the romantic stories of backpackers making their way across SE Asia & adventures in Thailand are part of the magic that draws many people out of their 9 to 5, decaff with skim milk, got to pick up the dry cleaning lives to go off and travel. Taking a trip to Malaysia is relatively simple -- buy a ticket and book a hotel somewhere. Traveling through Malaysia and having a great trip would require some work. If you feel up to the challenge, do some research, plan for some interesting times (could be a blessing or a curse), and rejuvenate the spirit of those backpackers and travelers of yore.

It's "truly Asia" because they look on the other travel destinations as a bit overbuilt and touristy. This is exactly what they are trying to achieve for Malaysia with all of this advertising, so it is all a bit hypocritical.

CRAIGdotWHITE is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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- more night spots then any place in malaysia
-Thais are fun loving party people
-it's part of the packpacker rout. (so is malaysia)
-it's not like malaysia "trully asia" in that the culture is more unified unlike malaysia that is a hodge podge of chinees, indian, malay, and muslim cultures..

ok I'll be the one too step out on a limb and say some of the more contiversial reasons why thailand is such a big tourist destination..

-it's a verry tollerent budist counrty. people of all sexual walks of life come over and feel safe and have many establishments too suiet there "needs"

- less eye candy (females) well there are the same amounts but many of the malaysia ladies are muslims and wear the traditinal outfit. (yep guys are pigs)

over all Malaysia is actualy a cool place. I've been there many times but thailand is just someting specaial.

here is one big plus for KL there may be few high end night clubs but the few are really cool and they close way later then bangkoks spots.
orgy7 is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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Just a background - I've travel extensively in my life and have spent time in India, Singapore, HK, China, Indonesia, countless countries in Europe.

I spent 2 weeks in Thailand a few years ago traveling to several places including Bangkok, Pattaya, etc.

Recenlty, I spent 2 weeks in Malaysia, traveling to Malacca, KL, Sarawak.

Personally, I liked Malaysia much more than Thailand. Malaysia was awesome and is one of my favorte Asian countries - Thailand wasn't

Malaysia is wonderful and one of the most overlooked places to visit for Asian culture. The Malays are hospitable. the food is great and there is so much more wildlife. Also, I found the infrustructure in Malaysia better than Thailand, making it easier easier to get around.

kittycatangel is offline  
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