Thailand is a country of dazzling diversity. On the one hand you have the country’s capital, Bangkok, with its jumble of historic sites, noisy urban living, futuristic malls and age-old markets. Then on the other, you have islands that are the stuff of dreams – not to mention quite a few Hollywood movies. To the north, rice paddies and off-the-beaten-track cities; to the south, white sand beaches espoused by the Andaman Sea, astonishing cultural riches and an abundance of inner peace. But it is the people of Thailand that will mark your memory the most; a fertile ground for human authenticity, Thailand is not called the land of smiles for nothing.