All About Thailand

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Fast Fact

Visitor information about Thailand in the form of fast facts. Select from various categories of Thailand facts, including economics, geography, people, and more.

Country

Thailand, the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonized by European powers, is a constitutional monarchy whose current head of state is HM Bhumibol Adulyadej. A unified Thai kingdom has existed since the mid-14th century, and Thailand was known as Siam until 1939 when it officially became the Kingdom of Thailand.

Geography

Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world; most nearly equal in size to Spain. Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand has a tropical climate and temperatures typically range from 19 to 38 degrees C (66-100 F). Thailand’s largest peak, Doi Inthanon, is 2,565 meters (8,415 ft) tall. Thailand covers 510,890 sq km of land and 2,230 sq km of water. The coastline of Thailand is 3,219 km long. Thailand’s longest shared border is with Myanmar (Burma), stretching 1,800 km.

Climate

Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with 3 distinct seasons --- summer from March to May with average temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity, monsoon with plenty of sunshine from June to September with an average daily temperature of 29 degrees Celsius and 87% humidity, and cool from October to February. Temperatures then range from 32 degrees Celsius to below 20 degrees Celsius with a drop in humidity. At night, much lower temperatures are experienced in the North and Northeast. The South has a tropical rainforest climate with temperatures averaging 28 degrees Celsius almost all year round.

Population

The population of Thailand comprises of roughly 67 millions citizens, the majority of whom are ethnically Thai, though peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao origin are also represented to varying degrees. Approximately 7 million citizens live in the capital city, Bangkok, though this number varies seasonally and is otherwise difficult to accurately count.

People

The vast majority (roughly 80%) of Thailand’s nearly 65 million citizens are ethnically Thai. The remainder consists primarily of peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao decent. Of the 7 million citizens who live in the capital city, Bangkok, there is a greater diversity of ethnicities, including a large number of expatriate residents from across the globe. Other geographic distinctions of the population include a Muslim majority in the south near the Malaysian border, and hill tribe ethnic groups, such as the Hmong and Karen, who live in the northern mountains.

Language

More than 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of it’s regional dialects. While the Thai language is the official language of Thailand, as a result of its cosmopolitan capital city and established tourism infrastructure, English is spoken and understood throughout much of Thailand.

Religion

94.6% of Thais are Buddhist, 4.6% of Thais are Muslim 0.7% of Thais are Christian

Holidays

1 Jan : New Year’s Day Feb-Mar: Makha Bucha Day: Buddhist holiday on full moon of fourth lunar month.
6 Apr : Chakri Memorial Day: Honoring the dynasty of the reigning royal family.
13-15 April : Songran, Thai new years celebration. May: Royal Ploughing Ceremony: To honor farming season; date determined by royal
                     astrologer May: Visakha Bucha: Buddhist holiday on full moon of the 6th lunar month.
1 May : Labor Day
5 May : Coronation Day: Commemorating the coronation of present King of Thailand. July: Asanha Bucha Day: Buddhist Holiday on  
             fullmoon of 8th lunar month Vassa: beginning of Buddhist lent on first waning moon of 8th lunar month
12 Aug : Queen’s Birthday-Mothers Day
23 Oct : Chulalongkorn Day: Honoring a former King of Thailand.
  5 Dec : King’s Birthday-Father’s Day
10 Dec : Constitution Day: celebrating the kingdom’s first constitution.
31 Dec : New Year’s Eve Other important holidays: Jan: Chinese New Year Nov: Loy Kratong

Currency

The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. Baht come in both coin and banknote form. The size of Thai currency, both coins and bills increases with value and varies in color….

Banking

Thai bank hours are generally Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, though certain banks have shorter Saturday hours and currency exchange booths are open considerably longer hours in Bangkok and other tourist destinations.

Time

Thailand Standard time is GMT +7. Thailand does not observe daylight savings.

Electricity

Electrical outlets in Thailand are charged to 220v at 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with appliances from the U.K. but not those from the US and many other nations. While most computer cables have adaptors for voltage, visitors from the U.S. and those not on the 220/50 v. will have to bring adapters to run most other appliances. Outlets in Thailand generally feature flat, two pronged plugs, though some feature holes for round plug ends. Few outlets feature three holes (grounded outlets) so it is often necessary to have a three to two prong adapter for using notebook computers in Thailand.