Thailand is the heart of Southeast Asia. Thailand receives visitors with smiling warmth, the hallmark of the East. Bangkok is the final successor to capital cities through history that were located in this region, on either side of the Chao Phraya River, known as the “Rice Bowl of Asia”. It is the location of virtually all major business, government, culture, trade and also where most of the religious monuments are. Vast forests of bamboo and hardwood trees, sheltering varieties of wildlife, spectacular water-falls and great rivers such as the famous River Kwai, characterize the western region. Beach resorts, such as Hua Hin and Phuket are located in the west and southwest.