Population: 65 million
Approximate number of tourists per year: 26 million
Along with Malaysia, Thailand is one of the serious big hitters of Southeast Asian tourism; quite simply it has everything. No capital in the world is quite like Bangkok, with its temples, restaurants, sex trade and scenic beauty. Of the 26 million people who visit the country every year, some 18 million go through the capital. It vies with London as the top tourist destination in the world. It is a twenty-four hour, full-on party town with some of the finest street food anywhere on the planet. Life in Thailand is very diverse, from the smog ridden crowded streets of Bangkok, to the cool hillside regions in the north and of course the fabulous beaches and islands of the south.
The Thai sex trade simply cannot be ignored and it would be spurious so to do. Some estimates put the number of working girls in the country at 1 million and whatever your stance on the industry; there is no denying that this is a significant factor in tourism. The idea of working girls is quite simply, viewed differently in the East than it is in the West, with many families perfectly happy with the situation.
Whatever your reason for visiting Thailand, you will not be disappointed; it is a wonderful country with amazing people. The scenery is varied and the cultural history is astonishing.