1st Edition

Thailand Tourism

ISBN 9780789031846
Published January 19, 2007 by Routledge
174 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Understand Thailand’s important symbols, icons, and social practices

Thailand’s culture is unlike any other. Travelers attempting to fully immerse themselves in all that this tourist destination has to offer find it essential to become culturally sensitive. Thailand Tourism provides readers with an indispensable overview of this remarkable land of contrasts. This invaluable text reveals the South East Asian country, its history, its culture, and its people’s fun-loving perspective of life. The importance of Thai symbols and their meaning, icons and social practices, its proud history of its constitutional monarchy, and its numerous religious temples are examined in detail. This book offers tourists and students of tourism an informative, realistic view of the people, food, entertainment, and scenery of one of the most exotic lands in the world.

Thailand was never colonized by a foreign power. Because of the lack of outside influence, this South East Asian nation has fostered a culture thrillingly different from others. Thailand Tourism offers a rare, in-depth look at this unique country and provides the information travelers need to know to easily move about and make their trip memorable. The guide includes helpful typical tourist itineraries illustrating what to expect when booking plans. The Thai viewpoints on sexuality, marriage, and societal changes are analyzed in detail. The issue of violence is discussed, including its ingrained presence in everyday life. Helpful tables detail demographic information from several countries to shed light not only on where travelers originate, but also to study the contrasts with the Thai culture. The book also presents a primer on the semiotics of tourism, and then discusses significant signs and symbols infused in Thai culture including Thai smiles, the royal kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist monks, Buddha statues, and Wats (temples). The importance of elephants in modern Thailand is explored, as well as the importance of the nation’s ethnic tribes and the cultural significance of the Wai. Thai food, the Thai sex industry, and a comparison between Thailand and America are also examined. The final section presents author Arthur Asa Berger’s own notes of his travels throughout Thailand with cogent perspectives of the country as a ’monoculture’.

Topics in Thailand Tourism include:

  • a theoretical discussion of tourism
  • statistical data on tourism in Thailand
  • typical tourist itineraries in Thailand
  • perceptions of Thailand in travel literature
  • violence in Thai society
  • analysis of Thai culture such as Thai smile, Wats, Buddha statues

Discover an exotic, spiritual, sensual country like no other. Thailand Tourism is a must read for anyone planning to visit Thailand, students of tourism, and students of Thailand’s culture.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Dr. Darunee Hirunruk)
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Tourism, Travelers, and Thailand
  • Definitions of Tourism
  • Tourism As Adventure
  • Kinds of Tourism
  • Uses and Gratifications of Tourism
  • Tourism and the Libido
  • People on the Move: Statistics on Tourism in Europe and Asia
  • Tourist Arrivals in Thailand by Nationality
  • World’s Top International Tourism Earners
  • World’s Top Fifteen International Tourism Spenders
  • Vacation Days Per Year in Selected Countries
  • What Tourists Spend in Thailand
  • Chapter 2. Typical Tourist Itineraries in Thailand
  • The Classic Tours of Thailand
  • Commonalties of the Four Tours
  • A Suggested Tour of Thailand by a Thai Tourism Student
  • Intrepid Tours of Thailand
  • The Snake of Terrorism in the Paradise of Thailand and Other Problems
  • Chapter 3. Images of Thailand in Travel Literature
  • John Gunther’s Siam
  • The Lonely Planet Guidebooks
  • Slogans
  • Chapter 4. Violence and Marriage: Two Aspects of Thai Character, Culture, and Personality
  • The “Happy-Go-Lucky” Thais and the Burmese
  • Violence in Thai Society
  • Marriage in Thailand As Reflected in Thai Comic Books
  • Cultural Explanations
  • Chapter 5. A Primer on the Semiotics of Tourism
  • Saussure on Signs
  • Peirce’s Semiotics: Icons, Indexes, and Symbols
  • Roland Barthes’s Empire of Signs
  • Chapter 6. Signs and Symbols in Thailand
  • The Thai Smile
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
  • Bangkok, “City of Angels”
  • The Buddhist Monks of Thailand
  • Buddha Statues
  • Elephants and the Thai Psyche
  • Ethnic Tribes
  • Wats (Temples)
  • The Thai Wai
  • Thai Food
  • Thai Prostitutes and the Sex Industry
  • Thailand and America: A Study in Otherness
  • Chapter 7. Notes from My Thailand Journal
  • Arrival in Bangkok
  • Cultural Clash
  • Chiang Mai Adventures
  • The Pleasure of Chance Encounters
  • Notes on Signs and Symbols in Thailand
  • On the Night Ferry to Ko Samui
  • Speculations on Typical Tourist Activities
  • Exotic California :High School Subcultures in California
  • The Night Market at Hua Hin
  • Chapter 8: A Journey of Ten Thousand Miles Ends with a Step
  • Thailand As a Monoculture
  • Ian Buruma on Thai Identity
  • The Tourist As Amateur Anthropologist
  • Thailand As a Text
  • Thailand and the Human Spirit
  • References
  • Index

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