Thailand, the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonized by European powers, is a constitutional monarchy whose current head of state is HM Bhumibol Adulyadej. A unified Thai kingdom has existed since the mid-14th century, and Thailand was known as Siam until 1939 when it officially became the Kingdom of Thailand. The population of Thailand comprises of roughly 65 million citizens, the majority of whom are ethnically Thai, though peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao origin are also represented to varying degrees. Approximately 7 million citizens live in the capital city, Bangkok, though this number varies seasonally and is otherwise difficult to accurately count.
Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world; most nearly equal in size to Spain. Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand has a tropical climate and temperatures typically range from 19 to 38 degrees C (66-100 F). The coastline of Thailand is 3,219 km long. Thailand’s longest shared border is with Myanmar (Burma), stretching 1,800 km.
The weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid: typical of its location within the tropics. Generally speaking, Thailand can be divided into three seasons: “hot” season, rainy season, and “cool” season, though Thailand’s geography allows visitors to find suitable weather somewhere in the country throughout the year.
More than 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of it’s regional dialects. While the Thai language is the official language of Thailand, as a result of its cosmopolitan capital city and established tourism infrastructure, English is spoken and understood throughout much of Thailand.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, not dissimilar to England’s, whereby an elected Prime Minister is authorized to be the head of government and a hereditary Thai King is head of state. The constitution of Thailand allows for the people of Thailand to democratically elect their leaders in the form of a parliament, with a bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives, and executive authority in the hands of the Prime Minister. A Judiciary, overseen by the Supreme Court, was designed to act independently of the executive and the legislature.
The economy of Thailand is reliant on exports, which account for 60% of Thailand’s approximately US$ 200 billion GDP. The economy of Thailand is the 2nd largest in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s exports consist primarily of agricultural products including fish and rice, of which it is the largest exporter in the world, as well as textiles, rubber, automobiles, computers and other electronic appliances, and jewelry. While one of the premier tourist destinations in the world, Thailand relies on tourism to provide only 7 % of its GDP.
The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. Baht come in both coin and banknote form. The size of Thai currency, both coins and bills increases with value and varies in color…
Thailand Standard time is GMT +7. Thailand does not observe daylight savings.
Bangkok, popularly known as the ‘Venice of the East’ is the capital and largest city of Thailand. A cultural enigma, travelers’ playground and a shopper’s heaven, Bangkok is inarguable the most compelling, cosmopolitan and throbbing city in Southeast Asia. A blend of traditions, religion and modernization, Bangkok has a unique charm around it. The glittering bazaars, eclectic shopping malls, sparkling palaces, magnificent skyscrapers, scrumptious delights, picturesque surroundings and a roaring nightlife scene makes Bangkok one of the top tourist destinations in the world, closely following London and Paris. Whether you are a party animal, adventure sports fanatic, nature lover, architecture admirer or history buff, this fast-paced metropolis offers something unique to every tourist.
Bangkok is reminiscent of the ancient Thai culture and is adorned with several timeless historical buildings and monuments. Being also a financial hub and fancy Playboy Bouncer Castle modern cosmopolitan, Bangkok acts as a bridge between the historic and modern Thailand. There are hundreds of historical sites spread all over Bangkok that depict the richness of the Thai culture. Some of the most famous historical sites in Bangkok include –
Grand Palace, The Derm Wang Palace at Thon Buri, The Royal Elephant Museum, Lak Muang, The Royal Palace, Kukrit House, The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall…
Being one of the most visited cities in the world, Bangkok is a city that allows its tourists to play with their imagination. From kickboxing (Muay Thai), tuk tuk rides, indulging Thai massage, roof top dining experiences to ladyboy shows, there is a bit for everyone in Bangkok. Here are some of the things that you can not afford to miss when in Bangkok.
The most incredible aspect of visiting Bangkok is that even after years of modernization, the city has kept in touch with its spiritual roots. Wherever you go in the city, you will find expressive and colossal pearls of religious wisdom standing abreast amid the tallest skyscrapers and bustling markets. The most serene and placid religious monuments in Bangkok include –
Wat Mahathat, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Ratchabophit, Wat Thepthidaram, Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit), Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Traimit, Wat Sutat (Giant Swing), Wat Prayoon, Wat Saket