||The country's official name was Siam until 1939 when it was changed to Thailand.
Capital and largest city is Bangkok known in Thai as Krung Thep.
It is considered to be the world's 50th largest country in terms of total area and the world's
20th largest country in terms of population with approx 63 million people.
The population consists 80% of Thais, 10% of Chinese, and 3% of Malay. the rest are minorities such as Mons, Khmers and hill tribes. The country's official spoken and written language is Thai.
Thailand is one of the most strongly Buddhist countries in the world.
The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 95% of all Thais.
|I spend part of my time in beautiful Thailand, hence the many Thai Temples in my Photo Gallery, Stock Photo Sites
and for sale at Redbubble.
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar (Burma) 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 farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.
The country comprises 76 provinces that are further divided into districts, sub-districts and villages. Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.
Interactive Map With Photos
Click on the Place Names on the map to see more information on that location and photos or click on the area names below for that district.
Myanmar (Burma) - west and north
Laos - north and northeast
Cambodia - southeast
Malaysia - south
The Provinces of Thailand
Thailand is divided into 75 provinces which are geographically grouped into 6 regions. Bangkok is not a province, but a special administrative area and is included as the 76th province.
The provinces are subdivided into 877 districts (amphoe). The fifty districts of Bangkok are called khet, but sometimes misidentified as amphoe. Further subdivision levels are tambon (sub districts) and finally, muban (villages). In Bangkok the tambon are called khwaeng.
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Mae Hong Son
- Amnat Charoen
- Buri Ram
- Khon Kaen
- Maha Sarakham
- Nakhon Phanom
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nong Bua Lamphu
- Nong Khai
- Roi Et
- Sakon Nakhon
- Si Sa Ket
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Udon Thani
- Chon Buri
- Prachin Buri
- Sa Kaeo
- Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin)
- Ang Thong
- Phra Nakhon Si Ayuthaya
- Chai Nat
- Kamphaeng Phet
- Lop Buri
- Nakhon Nayok
- Nakhon Pathom
- Nakhon Sawan
- Pathum Thani
- Samut Prakan
- Samut Sakhon
- Samut Songkhram
- Sing Buri
- Suphan Buri
- Uthai Thani
- Nakhon Si Thammarat
- Phang Nga
- Surat Thani
The basic unit of Thai currency is the baht. There are 100 satang in one baht;
coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in 1B, 2B, 5B and 10B coins.
Older coins have Thai numerals only, while newer coins have Thai and Arabic
Paper currency is issued in the following denominations: 20B (green), 50B (blue),
100B (red), 500B (purple) and 1000B (beige).
Roughly divided, there are three seasons: the cool season (Nov-Feb), the hot season (Apr-May), and the rainy season (Jun-Oct). Average temperatures are about 29° C, ranging in Bangkok from 35° C in April to 17° C in December. Closer to the equator, the southern peninsula of Thailand has little seasonal variation in climate with rain almost every day.
The best time to travel to Thailand is when the weather is cooler during mid-October to early March.
Date and Time
The official Thai calendar is calculated from the beginning of the Buddhist Era in 543 BC. The year 2000 AD is therefore 2543 BE. The year is subdivided into 12 months, the same as the Roman calendar.
Thailand Standard Time is 7 hours ahead of Universal Time or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time London). At noon in Bangkok the time is 5.00 a.m. in London - except during Daylight Savings Time.
Be careful when asking a Thai the time, sometimes they use a six-hour clock system when measuring the time so seven in the evening becomes one o’clock, 11.00 p.m. becomes five o’clock, etc. The system is mainly used in conversation.
Thailand is fast becoming one of the best venues for golf in South-East Asia with many courses designed by top international golfers. Green fees are generally much less than those charged in Europe or the USA.
There are some excellent diving sites around Thailand. Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Chumphon, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket have dive schools with qualified instructors, many of them from overseas and cater for beginners or experienced divers.
The Thai people are well known for their tolerance, hospitality and cheerfulness. They will ignore the small blunders of social etiquette that you are certain to make. For the average tourist it’s very difficult to go wrong. Just smile a lot, avoid confrontation and don’t insult the religion or monarchy of the country.
All members of the Royal Family are held in the highest reverence in Thailand and visitors should show similar respect. Negative remarks about the monarchy may be considered lese majeste, an offence carrying severe punishment in Thailand. When the national anthem is played, at 8.00 am and 6.00 pm everyday and at public events, cinemas, sky train stations, you are expected to stand.
Do not insult the religion, it is an offence to commit any act that may be considered insulting to a religion. For the traveller, this means proper conduct in temples or any location containing religious images.
All Buddha images, large or small, are considered sacred. Don’t climb atop or pose for photos in front of images of the Buddha.
Always dress respectably in temples – shorts and sleeveless shirts are considered inappropriate.
Do not wear shoes inside the main temple.
Monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman. A woman wishing to present something to a monk should first place it on a piece of cloth. This can then be retrieved by the monk.
Thais greet each other with a ‘wai’, a prayer-like, palms-together gesture, not a handshake. Generally, a younger person ‘wais’ an elder or senior person, who will then return the gesture. Even though most Thais are familiar with the Western handshake, a ‘wai’ is always appreciated.
Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Don’t touch Thais on the head, even playfully. If you accidentally touch someone’s head, offer an apology immediately.
Similarly, the foot is considered the lowest part of the body. Don’t use your feet to point at either people or objects. Don’t touch anyone with your feet. Don’t rest your feet on tables or chairs. Don’t step over people – always walk around or politely ask them to move. When sitting on the floor, try to tuck your feet underneath and to the side so they’re not pointing at anyone.
When handing objects to people, use both hands or the right hand only. Do not slide or toss objects across the room. Get up and pass them in person, no matter how inconvenient this may seem.
Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Some Thai couples may be seen holding hands, but this is the extent of public affection in polite society. Kissing in public is not acceptable behaviour.
In Thai society, losing your temper or even speaking loudly is a sign of poor breeding. Keeping ‘face’ is of paramount importance. Never raise your voice or show anger, it will get you nowhere. Keeping cool, hiding your emotions and smiling is far more productive.
Thais place great importance on personal cleanliness and appearance. Tank tops, sleeveless shirt, shorts etc are considered inappropriate dress everywhere except at the beach. Sandals are OK except at formal occasions. Going topless or nude at the beach (or anywhere else) is seen as disrespectful to the local people. It’s also illegal.
When visiting someone’s home or at certain offices and shops, it’s polite to remove your shoes at the entrance. If you see shoes arranged on the floor at the door, don’t wait to be asked– remove your shoes before entering.
The temperature in Bangkok sometimes gets up to 40 degrees with high humidity. If you’re sightseeing, take along plenty of bottled water to avoid dehydrating. Sunglasses and sunscreen are a must at all times.
Be wary of the ice in cold drinks. Ice often comes from unhygienic sources and is best avoided. The ice cubes with holes through them are generally OK.
When you’re eating out in the evenings, watch out for mosquitoes. Ask the waiter to put a mosquito coil under the table. Wearing pale coloured trousers and mosquito repellent will help keep them at bay.
Don’t be surprised if someone addresses you by your first name, like Mr. John or Miss Tracey. Thais normally address one another using first names only, usually with the title ‘Khun’ in front. Surnames are not commonly used.
Thais usually have three names—a first name, a surname and a nickname. The nickname, usually something short and catchy like Noi or Lek, is given at birth and is used universally among family members and close friends.
There are several types of Visas available for Thailand depending on how long you want to stay, your age and which country you are travelling from.
Visa regulations can quickly change, so for the latest up to date details go to
or The Royal Thai Consulate UK Visa section for additional visa information and forms which can be downloaded.
Single Entry £ 28.00
Double Entry £ 56.00
Triple Entry £ 84.00
Single Entry £45.00
Multiple Entry £100.00