The unified Kingdom of Thailand was established in the mid-14th century, known as Siam until 1939, and is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia with Bangkok as the capital city. Thailand is divided into four natural regions: the north with mountains and forests, vast rice fields in the Central plain, northeast with its semi-arid farm lands and the south with its tropical islands and long coastline to the south. Thailand at a glance takes in a rich diversity of cultures and traditions.
|Country Name:||Kingdom of Thailand. Former: Siam|
|Government type:||Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a bicamerila parlimentarian system. His Majesty, the King is popularly held to be sacred and inviolable, he reigns as Head of State, upholder of religions an head of the Armed Forces. The national voting age is 18|
|Geographic coordinates:||13 45 N, 100 31 E|
|Area:||513,115 sq. km.|
|Provinces:||76 provinces. Bangkok Metropolitan Adminstration comes under an elected governor. Appointed provincial governors administer the other 75 provinces (Changwat), which are divided into districts (Amphoe), sub-disctricts (Tambon) and Villages (MuBan).|
|Population:||over 65 million|
|Ethnic groups:||Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, Malay (3%) other 11%|
|Religions:||Theravada Buddhism is the professed religion of more than 94 % of all Thais, and casys strong in fluences. Thais have always subscribed to the ideal of religious freedom. Thus sizable minorities of Muslims (4.6 %), Christians ( 0.7%), Hindus (0.1 %) and Sikhs and others freely pursue their respective faiths.|
|Local time:||UTC+7 (plus seven hours) / 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7)|
|Currency of Thailand:||Thai Baht (THB)|
|Exchange rates:||baht per US dollar - 33.599 (2007), 37.882 (2006), 40.22 (2005), 40.222 (2004), 41.485 (2003)
baht per Euro - (2007), (2006), (2005), (2004), (2003)
|Local Current:||200 volts A/C / 50 cycles; adaptors available in most hotels and resorts all over the country.|
|Drives on the||left|
Thai is the official and native language. It's very tonal (with 5 tones, 20 vowels and 44 consonants) and comes from the Sina-Tibetant family. Variations are spoken in the North and South with Laotion dialects dominent in the Northeast. English is widely understood in most tourist areas and in trade. Most signs throughout the country are in both Thai and English.
Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year.
Thailand's climate is tropical and high in both temperature and humidity. The climate dominated by monsoons and it is different depending on the location.
Climate change, global warming and
THE GREENHOUSE effect refer to the same global environmental climate changes
This affected also Thailand and made it a destination to visit all the year around. Thailand's northern climate is determined by three seasons whilst Thailand's southern region has only two. (Current Thailand Weather Forcast). For western guests there is no such thing as "cool" because it is just cooler than "hot" or drier than humid.
The season in northern Thailand are more clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is dry and broken up into the periods November to February and March to May. The later of these two periods has the higher temperatures as the northeast monsoon does not directly affect the northern area of Thailand, which brings cooling breezes from November to February.
The southern region of Thailand has only two seasons - the wet and dry. And here we make a difference between the west and east coast. While a southwest monsoon brings rain and sometimes heavy storms between April and October; the east coast will have this weather between September and December. The months during the wet season are becoming within the last 10 years more and more popular travel times. Hotels and Airlines offering better rates and the country is covered in green; during the wet season short showers are likely in the afternoon / evening and only on some days it will rain all day.
Thailand prefers to call this time of the year the "green season" instead "raining season".