Etc. Etc. Etc. No doubt that is what many people think of when they think of Thailand, the setting of Roger’s and Hammerstein’s adaptation of “The King and I.” And while this big budget musical, based on the stage play, might seem to offer a glimpse at Thailand it is about as close as Gilbert and Sullivan were in capturing Japan with “The Mikado.”

In fact the Thai royal family, who are held in very high esteem by their people, were presented with so many historical inaccuracies that the film has been banned in Thailand! The more recent “Anna and the King” offers a better look at Siam, as the nation was called in the 19th century, but it still doesn’t present the full view of Thailand. And even other modern films, such as “The Beach” make the nation look like it is a wild country of spoiled rich college students, with few laws… or “Brokedown Palace,” as a country that offers harsh justice. In fact, Thailand is a nation with a rich historical past that offers lush ancient jungles and plenty of cultural events that are seemingly worlds away from the party towns of Western lore.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand offers information on visiting Thailand, with links to popular destinations, accommodations as well as annual festivals.

Write to them at: 1600 New Phetburi Road, Makkasan, Rajatevee, Bangkok 10310.

 You will find TAT offices in Chiang Mai and other cities, where you can find brochures and advice on what to do in the locality.