Quick Facts on Thailand
Thailand is situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland, covering an area of 513,115 square kilometers and extends about 1,620 kilometers from north to south and 775 kilometers from east to west. Thailand borders the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the North, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand to the East, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the West, and Malaysia to the south.
Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country with monsoonal climate. The average temperature of 28 degree Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius and humidity averaging between 82.8 percent to 73 percent. Temperatures are highest in March and April.
Summer: March to May, Rainy season: June to October, Winter: November to February.
Capital City: Bangkok
There are conflicting opinions as to the origins of the Thais. Three decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the Thais originated in Northwestern Szechuan in China about 4,500 years ago and later migrated down to their present homeland. However, this theory has been altered by the discovery of remarkable prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in the Nong Han District of Udon Thani Province in the Northeast. These include evidence of bronze metallurgy going back 3,500 years, as well as other indications of a far more sophisticated culture than any previously suspected by archaeologists. It now appears that the Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including some parts of China. Siam is the name by which the country was known to the world until 1939 and again between 1945 and 1949. On May 11, 1949, an official proclamation changed the name of the country to "Prathet Thai", or "Thailand", by which it has since been known. The word "Thai" means "free", and therefore "Thailand" means "Land of the Free."
According to statistic collected the Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior of Thailand in 2014, the population in Thailand is approximately 65 million, of which around 6-7 million live in the capital city, Bangkok.
The national and official language is Thai while English is widely spoken and understood in major cities, particularly in Bangkok and in business circles.
Foreign Currency Declaration:
As from 24 February 2008, under the relevant Thai law, any foreigner who brings or takes an aggregate amount of foreign currency exceeding USD 20,000 or its equivalent into or out of the Kingdom of Thailand shall declare such amount of foreign currency to a Customs Officer. Failure to declare upon bringing foreign currency that exceeds the amount restricted by law or its equivalent out of or into the Kingdom of Thailand or making any false declaration to a Customs Officer is a criminal offence.
The country's central bank is the Bank of Thailand. Major Thai commercial banks include the Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Thai Military Bank. Business hours are 08:30 - 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday. Several international banks also have offices in Thailand.
Currency: The Baht is the standard currency unit.
Bank Notes: 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 baht
Coins: 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht
Newspaper & Media:
There are over 100 radio stations in Bangkok. All are state-owned but private companies are given air time concessions for their programs. Broadcasting is done in both Thai and English, with news broadcasting every hour. There are over 20 Thai morning dailies in Bangkok. Two major English-language dailies are the Bangkok Post and The Nation. There are numerous English-language magazines and local publications in Japanese, Chinese and other European languages. Many major international newspapers, magazines and books are also widely available.
There are 6 general television stations, Channels 3, 5, 7, 9, and the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) broadcast local variety shows, newscasts and live coverage of special events. Cable TV is also available by subscription. In addition, digital TV services is also provided.
Health and Medical Facilities:
Bangkok has numerous clinics and hospitals catering to a variety of needs. Major public and private hospitals are equipped with the latest medical technology and internationally qualified specialists. Almost all pharmaceuticals are widely available.
Regulations for Foreign Visitors to Thailand:
Foreign nationals visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or accepted travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the country. Visitors from several countries are permitted to stay up to 30 days without visas, while visitors from some other countries are entitled to apply for visas on arrival with stay of up to 15 days, provided they possess tickets confirming departure within 15 days at all ports of entry. Transit visas permit stay for up to 30 days and tourist visas for up to 60 days. Non-immigrant, diplomatic and official visas permit stay for up to 90 days.