Located in a fertile, tropical landscape in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a mosaic of diversity and culture. A nation of over 60 million, the Thai sense of identity is allied with Buddhism and the Monarchy. It is a country proud of its independence, rich heritage and tradition, but it has also adapted and embraced the rapid change brought about by globalization.
Despite intermittent political challenges, Thai society has remained stable thanks to the enduring presence and pacifying role of the Monarchy and the country’s firm commitment to democratization. Today, Thailand is firmly committed to participatory, multi-party democracy. Thai people from all walks of life, at all levels, are increasingly taking part in public activities and enjoying the rights and freedom that come with democracy. Their voices are duly being heard and their interest equally recognized. Modern Thailand is building a democracy that is based on good governance, the rule of law, human rights, transparency, and accountability, and one that would lead to sustainable development.
Thailand has a dynamic economy – one that is open, market-based, private-sector led and integrated into the global economy. More than just a top tourist destination, Thailand’s strategic location, literally on the crossroads between South and East Asia, is a gateway to a growing market of nearly 600 million people. Combined with its solid infrastructure, global connectivity, world-class transport, quality human resources, and business-friendly environment, Thailand is attracting an increasing number of investors. While Thailand has embraced modernization and industrialization as it now moves on the path of creative economy, agriculture remains an important sector in the Kingdom’s economy Thailand has long embraced an “outward-looking” foreign policy. It seeks to promote friendly relations with other countries and participates fully and actively in international and regional organizations. Thailand is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and continues to contribute to ASEAN on its path towards becoming an ASEAN Community by 2015. Thailand also plays an active role in the global community of nations especially at the United Nations where it has supported international efforts to promote economic and social development, peace and stability, as well as human rights and human security. Thailand is also a leader in creating linkages between regional organizations in Asia with regional organizations elsewhere. An open, vibrant and diverse society, endowed with rich cultural heritage and unspoiled natural beauty, Thailand is a Land of Smiles and a Land of Opportunities waiting to be explored.
General Information about Thailand
Location: Thailand is situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland, covering an area of 513,115 sq.km. and extends about 1,620 kilometres from north to south and 775 kilometres from east to west. Thailand borders the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Union of Myanmar to the North, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand to the East, the Union of Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the West, and Malaysia to the south.
National Flag: Thailand's national flag, ceremoniously raised each morning in every town and village, is composed of five horizontal bands of red, white, and blue. The harmony of design expresses the complimentary nature of these three pillars of the Thai nation.
Major Cities: North: Chiangmai, South: Songkla, Central region : Ayutthaya and Chonburi, North Eastern : Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen
Climate: Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country with monsoonal climate. Temperatures are highest in March and April with average temperature of 28 degree Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius and humidity averaging between 82.8 per cent to 73 per cent
Seasons: Dry: March to May, Rainy: June to October, Cool: November to February.
Population: The population in Thailand in 2015 is 65,729,098, of which more than 10 million live in the capital city, Bangkok.
Language: The national and official language is Thai while English is widely spoken and understood in major cities, particularly in Bangkok and in business circles.
Business Hours: Government and business offices are open from 8:30 to 16:30 hours, Monday to Friday.
Electricity: 220 volts 50 cycles throughout the country
Banks: The country's central bank is the Bank of Thailand. Major Thai commercial banks include the Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Thai Military Bank. Business hours are 08:30 - 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday. Several international banks also have offices in Thailand.
Currency: Thai Baht is the standard currency unit.
Bank Notes : 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 baht
Coins : 1, 5, and 10 baht
Smaller currency unit is Satang. 1 Baht = 100 satangs
Newspaper & Media:
There are over 100 radio stations in Bangkok. Broadcasting is done in both Thai and English, with news broadcasting every hour.
There are over 20 Thai morning dailies in Bangkok. Two major English-language dailies are the Bangkok Post and The Nation. Many major international newspapers, magazines and books are also widely available.
There are 6 general television stations broadcast local variety shows, newscasts and live coverage of special events. Cable TV is also available by subscription.
Health and Medical Facilities: Bangkok has numerous clinics and hospitals catering to a variety of needs. Major public and private hospitals are equipped with the latest medical technology and internationally qualified specialists. Almost all pharmaceuticals are widely available. Drinking of tap water should be avoided.
Regulations for Foreign Visitors to Thailand: Foreign nationals visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or accepted travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the country.
Mobile Police: 191
Fire Brigade: 199
Tourist Police / Tourist Service Centre:1155
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 09.00 – 12.00 hours and 13.30 – 17.00 hours