Thailand is situated in the heart of the Southeast
Asian mainland, Thailand covers an area of 514,000 square kilometers.
It is bordered by Laos to the Northeast, Myanmar to the North and West,
Cambodia to the East, and Malaysia to the South.
Thailand is divided into 6 regions; North, East, North
East, West, Central, and South,The country is divided into 76 provinces.
Thailand's capital, known internationally as Bangkok
but to Thai as Krung Thep (City of Angels)
sprawls over an area of some 1,500 square kilometers
on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. Established in 1782 by King
Rama I, founder of the Chakri Dynasty, Bangkok has been the home of
the Royal Family ever since. Today, Bangkok is home to over 6 million
people. Here also are located all government ministries, the police
and military headquarters, the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhist faith,
the most prestigious universities and schools, the best medical facilities,
important international organizations, and the greatest collections
of art, museums, newspaper publishers and television stations.
Over 176,000 kilometers of national highways
and rural roads link tiny hamlets with provincial capitals and
major cities. The State Railway operates an efficient rail system
linking Bangkok with northern, northeast and central Thailand
while a southern route allows direct rail travel from Bangkok
to Malaysia and Singapore. Despite the rapid growth of inter-provincial
buses, train travel is still popular with a large segment of
Thailand has 23 airports and six international
airports, namely Don Muang, Phuket, Hat Yai, Chiang Mai, Chiang
Rai, and U-Tapao. All except U-Tapao are operated by the Airports
Authority of Thailand.
Thailand's population is approximately 61 million.(
Population density of Thailand is approximately 117 people/square kilometer)
As the capital city of Thailand, the population in Bangkok is approximately
8 million people. ( Population density in Bangkok is approximately 5,111
Though the great majority
of Thailand is ethnically Thai and Buddhist, the country has a substantial
number of minority
groups who have historically lived together in harmony. Of these, the
Chinese are perhaps the most numerous (particularly in urban areas),
though they have become so thoroughly assimilated it would be difficult
to isolate them as a distinct group. Similarly, while there are Lao
and Khmer groups in the Northeast and East, nearly all regard themselves
as Thai, culturally as well as by nationality. More clearly defined
as an ethnic group are the Muslims, who are mainly concentrated in
southern provinces, and assorted hill tribes who live in the far North;
there are also sizable communities of Hindus and Sikhs in large cities
Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country.
The climate is monsoons, marked by a pronounced rainy season lasting
from about June to October and a relatively dry season for the remainder
of the year. Temperatures are highest in March and April and lowest
in December and January.
Summer:March - May.
Rainy:June - October.
Winter:November - February.
Average temperature is 28°C. In Bangkok, the average temperature
in April is approximately 30°C, and in December is 25°°C.
The official national language, spoken by almost 100
per cent of the population, is Thai,
classified by linguists as belonging to a Chinese-Thai branch of the
Sino - Tibetan family. It is a tonal language, uninflected, and predominantly
monosyllabic. Most polysyllabic words in the vocabulary have been borrowed,
mainly from Khmer, Pali or Sanskrit. Dialects are spoken in rural areas.
Other principal languages are Chinese and Malay. English, a mandatory
subject in public schools, is widely spoken and understood, particularly
in Bangkok and other major cities.
Theravada Buddhism, the national religion, is
the professed faith of 95 per cent of the population. There is
total religious freedom and all major religions can be found in
Thailand is governed by a constitutional monarchy with
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Head of State. Official power
rests with the government, personified by the Prime Minister, the Parliament,
and a bureaucratic system that reaches down to the village level.
Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, and
exercised through a bicameral National Assembly consisting of the publicly
elected House of Representatives and the Senate. The Parliament must
approve all legislative matters of national policy, which then require
the King's signature before becoming the law of the land.
Administration of justice
Presently, the Courts of Justice are divided into three
categories, i.e., the Courts of First Instance, the Courts of Appeal
and the Supreme Court. There are about 140 Courts of First Instance
throughout the Kingdom.
In Bangkok Metropolis, they are, for example, the Civil Court, the Criminal
Court, the Juvenile and Family Court, the Central Labour Court and the
Central Tax Court, including Kwaeng Courts which have jurisdiction over
minor civil cases and criminal cases with maximum punishment of imprisonment
not exceeding 3 years or fine not exceeding Baht 60,000 or both. In
the provinces, they are the Provincial Courts, and in some large provinces
the Provincial Juvenile and Family Courts and Kwaeng Courts are included.
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 the
three pillars of the Thai nation.
This tri - colored flag, called in Thai the
first introduced by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in 1917, succeeded
an earlier design that placed a white elephant (emblem of the
absolute monarch) on a red background.
The Buddhist year for 2001 is 2544 (add 543 to the
2 hours lag behind Japan (7 hours advanced from Greenwich)
Thailand's currency is the baht, which is divided
into 100 satang. Copper coins are valued at 25 and 50 satang,
and silver ones at 1, 5, and 10 baht. Bank notes are valued at
10 (brown),20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple), and
1,000 baht (gray); all denominations of bills are in different
In Thailand, businesses are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to
5.00 p.m. (with an hour for lunch between 12.00 - 01.00 p.m.) Shopping
centres and supermarkets are generally open from 10.00 a.m. - 09.00
Monday to Friday, from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Television system in Thailand is PAL system. (Japan uses NTSC system)
6 years-primary school
3 years-secondary school
3 years-high school
Country code for Thailand is 66. Bangkok area code
Telephone charge for home phone is normally 3 baht for one time use
in the same area code( no matter how long you call). There are two types
of public phone available; coin type and telephone card type.
The number of annual celebration national holidays
is almost the same as Japan, but there are many related to Buddhism.
Official working days are Monday to Friday.