Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions: the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farmlands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasures for international visitors. For more information on Thailand, visit http://www.tourismthailand.org
Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, meaning “city of angels” for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It came to the forefront of Siam when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya. However, the current Rattanakosin Kingdom did not begin until 1782 when the capital was moved across the river by Rama I after the death of King Taksin. The Rattanakosin capital is now more formally called “Phra Nakhon” (Thai: พระนคร), pertaining to the ancient boundaries in the metropolis’ core and the name Bangkok now incorporates the urban build-up since the 18th century which has its own.
For tourists, Bangkok has a feast of attractions to offer. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty and fascination, magnificent palaces, classical dance extravaganzas, numerous shopping centres and traditional ways of life, especially along the “Venice of the East” timeless canals and the Chao Phraya River of the “River of Kings” winding through the city. It is worth taking a trip along its waters before exploring further into different canals to take a glimpse of old Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi Airport is located in Racha Thewa in the Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan province, 30 kilometers east of Bangkok. It has 2 parallel runways (60 m. wide, 4,000 m. and 3700 m. long) and 2 parallel taxiways to accommodate simultaneous departures and arrivals. Please check your desired airlines of arrival and departure terminal.
After clearing customs and immigration, several modes of transportation may be found at the exits. Prices may range from Baht 700 to 1,500 on private limos or Baht 350 – 400 for regular taxis (not including Toll or express way for another Baht 60).
1 USD = 34.42 Baht, 1 SGD = 26.10
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.
The vast majority (roughly 80%) of Thailand’s nearly 65 million citizens are ethnically Thai. The remainder consists primarily of peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao decent. Of the 7 million citizens who live in the capital city, Bangkok, there is a greater diversity of ethnicities, including a large number of expatriate residents from across the globe. Other geographic distinctions of the population include a Muslim majority in the south near the Malaysian border, and hill tribe ethnic groups, such as the Hmong and Karen, who live in the northern mountains.
More than 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of its 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.
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.