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Sanuk mai? (Is it fun?) is a question frequently asked of foreigners in Thailand, and the choice of question says a lot about the priorities of this fun-loving place. Basically, for Thais, anything that is not sanuk (fun) is not worth doing, so a positive response to the query ("Sanuk, krup" for men or "Sanuk, ka" for women) is bound to be met with a beaming smile, showing pleasure that outsiders are able to enjoy Thai culture. This concern for the wellbeing of farang (foreigners) manifests itself in all aspects of visitors' experience; at the hotel, in the restaurant, at the bus station, or in a temple compound, you are likely to come across Thais eager to make your experience smoother and more enjoyable, if they possibly can.

The country is no longer as undiscovered or as cheap as it was a decade ago, and recent political infighting along with global economic instability have tarnished the country's image as a tropical paradise that is immune to the rest of the world's worries. Yet the fact that Thailand remains Southeast Asia's most popular destination shows that the magnetic attraction of its sparkling temples, idyllic beaches, mountain trails, spicy cuisine, and glitzy shopping malls is as strong as ever.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.