Facts about Thailand
The Kingdom of Thailand is a South East Asian country previously known as Siam. Neighbouring countries are Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and The Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand are surrounding waters.
Thailand consists of 75 different provinces, although sometimes Bangkok is recognized as the country’s 76:th province, and the provinces are spread over 6 regions:
- Northern Thailand
- North-eastern Thailand
- Western Thailand
- Central Thailand
- Eastern Thailand
- Southern Thailand
The official currency in Thailand is Thai Bath and one Bath consists of 100 Satang.
The Time Zone in Thailand is called ICT which equals UTC+7, so some jetlag is common when travelling from Europe.
Constitutional monarchy and military junta
The present King of Thailand is King Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty. The Chakri Dynasty has ruled in Thailand for nine consecutive generations and King Rama IX is at present the world’s longest serving head of state. The king is the leader of the armed forces, and the person responsible for the general upholding of Buddhism in the country.
The head of the government is, however, the Prime Minister. During 55 of the 84 years that have passed since absolute monarchy ended in 1932, Thailand has been led by military men. Since the coup d’etat in May 2014 Thailand’s Prime Minister is once again a military man: General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Population and religion
The population in Thailand consists of nearly 70 million people which makes it the 20:th most populated nation in the world. The land area is quite small in comparison to the number of inhabitants, placing Thailand at place 151 in global comparisons.
The capital city of Thailand is Bangkok; the cultural, political and industrial centre of Thailand. It is a large city with more than 14 million inhabitants, including the suburbs. It’s an important economical point for all of South East Asia and among tourists a kind of Mecca.
The official language in Thailand is Thai and more than 95 % of the population are Buddhists. The remaining 5% are Muslims, Christians and Hindus.
Approximately two of the 70 million people currently living in Thailand are immigrants from other countries.
Thailand and tourism
Thailand was discovered among holiday makers in the 1980’s and since the early 1990’s extreme development in the tourism industry has taken place – and the tourism industry just keeps on growing. The demand on Thailand is very high – everyone loves this destination – and today tourism brings the majority of the incomes. The demand does not seem to fade, quite the contrary, the number of tourists keeps growing year by year. Among the most popular destinations for holidays in Thailand are:
- Ko Samui
- Chiang Mai
Flora and fauna
Thailand offers a diverse flora and fauna with heaps of exotic species. Among the important natural resources you find:
- Natural gas
Thailand is the world’s greatest rice exporter and most of the fertile farming areas are used for rice cultivation.
A comfortable holiday destination
Thailand is a well maintained country compared to other nations in the same region. It’s not a wealthy nation, but people are friendly, the roads are whole and the beaches are clean. And beauty is found in almost every corner!
If you decide to rent a vehicle to get around in Thailand, remember to drive on the left side of the road. Also, stick to the rules, go slow, wear a helmet or seat belts and enjoy your safe rides on the Thai roads.