Throughout its 700 years of independence, the Kingdom has displayed an amazing continuity, underpinned by the peoples' unwavering adherence to Buddhism, the national religion, and to the monarchy which, constitutional since 1932, is as deeply revered now it was in the days when kings were literally 'Lords of Life'.
Thailand's main gateway is Bangkok, where most visitors spend at least a few days. The Thai Capital can appear confusing and ugly. In what seems variously to be Tokyo, Los Angeles and Disneyland, the skyline is dominated by thrusting high-rise blocks, while the constant heat, air population and hopeless traffic congestion threaten chaos.
LocationIn outline, Thailand is fancifully likened to an elephant's head. Bordered in the west by Myanmar (Burma), north by Laos, east by Cambodia and south by Malaysia, Thailand lies roughly midway between India and China, within latitudes 60 and 210 north. The Country extends 1650 km (1025 miles) north to south, and 800 km (500 miles) east to west, but because of the irregular shape, distances between major points are generally comfortable. The land area is 514,000 sq km (198,475 sq miles roughly the same as that of France. A coastline of more than 2500km (1550 miles) faces the Andaman Sea in the West and the Gulf of Thailand in the east. Several hundred offshore islands, large and small, dot the coastline.
ClimateThe average temperature range is from 380C (1000F) to 190C (660F). The hottest month is Apr, when Bangkok is unbearable, and the wettest is generally Sep, when the capital is occasionally briefly flooded in some quarters.
There are slight regional variations and, for example, northern Thailand registers the greatest annual temperature range while the Northeast records the hot season's highs. Southern Thailand has less seasonal variation and the highest rainfall.
The best months to visit are Nov-Jan, when the weather can be as pleasantly warm as a good English summer, though this is, of course, the tourist high season. The rainy season, when prolonged downpours are rare and the worst of the heat is over, can also be a good time.
PopulationNearly 60 million, over 7 million in Bangkok. Ethnic Thais 80% Chinese 10%, Malay 4%, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese, hilltribe and others 6%.
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy since 1932. The king is head of state, while legislation is exercised through an elected National Assembly. Thailand is divided into 73 provinces, further subdivided into districts and rural villages.
LanguageThai is the official language of Thailand. But people do spoke english in Thailand.
- Bangkok (Capital)
- Chaing Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Kampaeng Phet
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nong Khai
- Hua Hin
- Hat Yai
- Ban Chiang
- Textile & Garments
- Agriculture Processing
- Computers & Parts
- Tungsten Producer
- Electric Appliances & Components
- Tin Producer