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South America (Insight Guides) by Stephan Kuffner

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By Stephan Kuffner

Perception consultant South the US is the main illustrated, complete colour trip consultant to the continent out there, and its vigorous narrative and gorgeous photographs offer either concept and knowledge to devise a memorable journey to South the United States. the easiest Of part highlights the unmissable attractions and stories – from Peru’s breathtaking castle of Machu Picchu and the Inca path, the number 1 South American trek on so much travelers’ wishlists, to bright Rio with its recognized Carnival and shorelines, refined Buenos Aires, and the jungles of the Amazon, domestic to the best biodiversity in the world. full of life good points concentrate on South America’s historical past and tradition, whereas the locations chapters exhibit you the place to move in South the USA, with appealing images, insightful descriptions of the entire major points of interest, and designated, complete colour maps for simple orientation. The go back and forth guidance part presents useful info for making plans a visit and getting round as soon as you’re there, in addition to our self sustaining reports of chosen inns and eating places all through South the USA.

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Beautiful blooms of the north displayed on floral float parades. Kite Flying Season (Feb–Apr), Sanam Luang, Bangkok. Colorful displays and kite flying contests. Makha Bucha (Feb full moon). Third of the year’s major Buddhist 55 festivals. Merit-making and candlelit processions at temples. Public Holidays Western New Year’s Day (Jan 1) Makha Bucha (Feb or Mar full moon) Chakri Day (Apr 6) Thai New Year – Songkran (Apr 13-15 ) Labour Day (May 1) Coronation Day (May 5) Royal Plowing Ceremony (early May) Visakha Bucha Day (May full moon) Asanha Bucha and Khao Phansa (Jul full moon) Queen’s Birthday (Aug 12) Chulalongkorn Day (Oct 23) King’s Birthday (Dec 5) Constitution Day (Dec 10) Western New Year’s Eve (Dec 31) INTRODUCING THAILAND  57 THE HISTORY OF THAILAND The history of Thailand is that of an area rather than of a single nation, and over the centuries numerous peoples have made their home in this region.

Numerous festivals, to celebrate of the end of the rains, afford a period of relaxation before rural activity climaxes with the rice harvest in December and January. November Golden Mount Fair (first week), Bangkok. Thailand’s largest temple fair, held at the foot of the Golden Mount. Elephant Roundup (third week), Surin. Annual spectacle honoring the many and varied roles played by the elephant in Thailand’s development (see p282). More than 150 elephants take part in displays of forestry skills and a mock battle.

44  INTRODUCING THAILAND The Ramakien The Ramakien, the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana, is an allegory of the triumph of good over evil. The hero, Rama, is a paragon of virtue – the ideal king. The villain, the demon king Tosakan, is a tragic character of great dignity. This epic tale is thought to have become established after the Thais occupied Angkor in the 15th century. It has been an inspiration for painting and classical drama. All the Chakri kings have taken Rama as one of their names, and the old capital of Ayutthaya (see pp180–85) was named after Ayodhya, a fictional kingdom in the story.

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