Thailand is an amazing and exotic country.
If you are looking for a unique experience, Thailand won’t disappoint you.
Millions of visitors have discovered this fact and many are lured back again and again.
United as a nation for almost 800 years, Thailand's independence is the greatest pride of its people.Today, Thai society is much more modern and progressive; still it has never lost its unique identity. Similar in characteristics to most Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has a broad diversity of ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
The Kingdom of Thailand is located in south East Asia, almost equidistant between India and China. Thailand, formerly known as Siam, covers an area of 510,000 square kilometers and has a population of around 64 million. The Kingdom shares borders with Myanmar to the west and north, Laos to the northeast and north, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south.
Geographically speaking, Thailand is divided into six major regions:
The mountainous NORTH, where elephants work the forest and winter temperatures are sufficiently cool to permit cultivation of temperate fruits such as strawberries and peaches;
The sprawling NORTHEAST Plateau, largely bordered by the Mekong River, where the world’s oldest Bronze Age civilization flourished some 5,000 years ago;
The CENTRAL Plain, one of the world’s most fertile rice and fruit-growing areas;
The EASTERN Coastal Plain, where fine sandy beaches support the growth of summer resorts;
The WESTERN mountains and valleys, famous for the Bridge over River Kwai and Thai-Burma Railways, and
The peninsular SOUTH where arresting scenic beauty complements economically vital tin mining, rubber cultivation and fishing.
Negative remarks about the monarchy may be considered lese majeste, an offence carrying severe punishment in Thailand.
Thai people have the highest respect towards their king and the Chakri Rama dynasty (1782) to which he belongs. Especially Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) and the actual king Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) are revered. The name Rama refers to one of the most important deities of the Hindu pantheon. More on Thai Monarchy
Religion and monarchy are the cornerstones of Thai culture, and they permeate everyday life. It's the custom to stand for the royal anthem before films are shown, and for the national anthem which is played across towns, villages and even Bangkok Skytrain stations twice daily.
Archeological discoveries around the northeast village hamlet of Ban Chiang suggest that the world’s oldest Bronze Age civilization was flourishing in Thailand some 5,600 years ago.
Successive waves of immigrants, including Mon, Khmer and Thai, gradually entered the land mass now known as Thailand, most slowly travelling along fertile river valleys from southern China. By the early 1200s, the Thai people had established small northern city states in Lanna, Phayao and Sukhothai.
In 1238, two Thai chieftains rebelled against Khmer suzerainty and established the first truly independent Thai kingdom in Sukhothai (literally, “Dawn of Happiness”).
Today, Thailand has a constitutional monarchy. Since 1932, Thai kings including the present monarch, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, have exercised their legislative powers through a national assembly, their executive power through a cabinet headed by a prime minister and their judicial powers through the law courts. More on Thai History
First hoisted on September 28, 1917, Thailand's national flag, ceremoniously raised and lowered each morning and evening in towns and villages throughout the Kingdom, has five horizontal bands of blue, white and red. The inner wide blue band represents the monarchy. The white bands symbolize Buddhism and the outer red bands the people or the nation. The harmony of the three elements in the "thong trai rong" represents the essence of the Thai nation. More on National Flag
The Thai national and royal symbol is the Garuda, a half-bird, half-human figure that in Hindu mythology is the steed of the god Vishnu. The Garuda (pronounced 'kruth' in Thai) adorns the scepter and royal standard of His Majesty the King, and is incorporated into the insignia of many government departments. The Garuda is also used as the 'By Royal Appointment' symbol, which is awarded to certain companies that have rendered outstanding economic and charitable service to the country, at the discretion of the King. The award is only rarely bestowed.
The national anthem is played on all ceremonial occasions, before performances (such as at the cinema) and while the Thai flag is being raised and lowered each day at 8.00 am and 6.00 pm. At these times, it is accepted behavior to stop whatever you are doing and stand to attention. More on National Anthem
December 5, the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is regarded as Thailand's National Day and is a public holiday. In Bangkok, the area around Sanam Luang is closed to traffic and turns into a huge festival, with food and drinks stalls, and thousands of celebrants jamming the streets. Firework displays are organized in many parts of Bangkok and nationwide.
People inhabiting Thailand today share a rich ethnic diversity –
mainly Thai, Mon, Khmer, Laotian, Chinese, Malay, Persian and Indian stock – the result is diverse although the obvious is "Petite, round-faced, dark-skinned and light-skinned.
Some 80 percent of all Thais are connected in some way with agriculture, which influences and is influenced by the religious ceremonies and festivals that make Thailand distinctive.
The head is the most important body part to the Thais, the feet the least one. Never touch someone’s head, unless your a doctor in medicine or a hair dresser – it would be a most disrespectful act. Pointing at somebody or something with the feet is definitely wrong - check our Do's and Don'ts
As in most of the western countries, we shake hands. Not so in Thailand. Thais greet each other by making a ‘wai’. The palms are joined together as in a prayer, and raised at breast, chin or front level. More cool stuff about a Wai
Thailand is just south of the Tropic of Cancer, within the tropical monsoon zone of Southeast Asia and enjoys a warm mild climate throughout the year with three (3) distinct seasons:-
Cool Season (Naa Nao) – from October through February HIGH SEASON
Summer Season (Naa Ron) – from March through MayRain Season (Naa Fon) – from June to September
The average annual temperature is 28C, the North typically cooler than the South. see current and future weather conditions forecasts