Thailand (Prathet Thai, meaning "land of the free")
Bangkok (Krung Thep,
meaning " city of angels")
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making
it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape
and geography divide into four natural regions : the mountains and forests
of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid
farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long
coastline of the peninsula South.
The country comprises 76
provinces that are further divided into districts, subdistricts and
villages. Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political, commercial,
industrial and cultural activities. It is also the seat of Thailand's
revered Royal Family, with His Majesty the King recognised as Head of
State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and
Upholder of all religions.
Thailand is a constitutional
monarchy with His Majesty the King recognised as Head of State, Head
of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and Upholder
of all religions.
Thailand is a constitutional
monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX,
the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The King has
reigned for more than half a century, making him the longestreigning
thai monarch. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions.
With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the
Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international
- west and north,
2) Lao P.D.R. - north and northeast,
3) Cambodia - southeast and
4) Malaysia - south.
513,115 sq. km.
Thailand is divided into
4 natural regions:
mountainous North, with its profusion of multi-coloured orchids,
fastinating native handicrafts and winter temperatures are sufficiently
cool to permit cultivation of temperate fruits such as strawberries
high Northeast Plateau, which still jealously guards its many archaeological
and anthropological mysteries;
Central Plain, one of the world's most fertile rice and fruit-growing
areas with colourful traditional culture and way of life as well as
the sandy beaches of the East
Coast and vibrant cosmopolitan Bangkok;
peninsular South where the unspoiled beaches and idyllic islands
complement economically vital tin mining, rubber cultivation and fishing.
Thais are wellknown for their friendliness and hospitality. A large
majority of over 62 million citizens of Thailand are ethic Thai, along
with strong communities whose ethnic origins lie in China, India and
elsewhere. About 7 million people reside in the capital city of Bangkok.
Thai (80%), Chinese (10%), Malay (3%), and the rest are minorities (Mons,
Khmers, hilltribes) Ethnic Thais form the majority, though the area
has historically been a migratory crossroads, and has thus produced
a degree of ethnic diversity. Integration is such, however, that culturally
and socially there is enormous unity.
and written Thai is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor.
However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where
it is almost the major commercial language. English and some European
Languages are spoken in most hotels, shops and restaurants in major
tourist destinations, and Thai-English road and street signs are found
Buddhism (95%), Muslim (4%), others (1%)
Thailand has had a constitutional monarchy since 1932. Parliament is
composed of 2 houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate. Both
representatives and senators are elected by the people. A prime minister
elected from among the representatives leads the government. The country
is divided into 76 provinces. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
comes under an elected governor. Appointed provincial governors administer
the other 75 provinces (Changwat), which are divided into districts
(Amphoe), sub-districts (Tambon) and villages (Mu Ban).
Head of State:
H.R.H. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty)
76 provinces, each subdivided into amphoe (district), tambon (sub-disrict)
and muban (village)
red, white, and blue stripes symbolize the nation, Buddhism, and the
The time in Thailand is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+7
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons-hot and
dry from February to May (average temperature 34 degrees Celsius and
75% humidity); rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to October (average
day temperature 29 degrees Celsius and 87% humidity); and cool from
November to January (temperatures range from 32 degrees Celsius to below
20 degrees Celsius with a drop in humidity).
Much lower temperatures
are experienced in the North and Northeast during nighttime. The South
has a tropical rainforest climate with temperatures averaging 28 degrees
Celsius almost all year round.
The electric current is 220 volt AC (50 cycles) throughout the country.
Many different types of plugs and sockets are in use. Travellers with
electric shavers, hair dryers, tape recorders and other appliances should
carry a plug adapter kit. The better hotels will make available 110-volt
Tap water :
Tap water is clean but drinking from it directly should be avoided.
Bottled water is recommended
Light, cool clothes are sensible and a jacket is needed for formal meetings
and dining in top restaurants. Shorts (except knee length walking shorts),
sleeveless shirts, tank tops and other beach-style attire are considered
inappropriate dress when not actually at the beach or in a resort area.
Weights & measures
: The metric
system is used throughout Thailand. Numerals on vehicle speed ometers,
highway markers and speed limits all indicate kilometres.
: Most comercial
concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week, usually from 8 am to
5 pm. Many stores open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm. Government
offices are generally open between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm with a noon to
1 pm lunch break, Monday to Friday except on public holidays. Banks
are open Mondays to Fridays from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm except on public
mail service is reliable and efficient. Major hotels provide basic postal
services on their premises. Provincial post offices are usually open
from 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
International Roaming Mobile
Phone : A Subscriber Identity Module Card (SIM Card) is now available
for Thai and foreigh customers who are travelling around for work. The
SIM Card must be used in conjunction with a Digital GSM mobile phone
within the 900-MHz range or a Digital PCN mobile phone within the 1800-MHz
Fax and E-mail
: All of
Thailand's leading hotels offer facsimile (fax) and e-mail services.
Numerous private businesses offer such facilities, most often in conjunction
with translation services.
has been expanding its information service for residents and tourists
alike through the Internet system. Services are now available at Thailand's
leading hotels and at the many " cybercafes " that are cropping
up in all major tourist destinations.
: At present,
all telephone numbers (for local calls and long distance calls within
the country) have nine digits.