Welcome to Thailand. There is so much for you to discover! This section will provide you with some quick facts about Thailand, its culture, and common Thai words and phrases.
Capital: Bangkok or Krung Thep in the Thai language, which means the City of Angel.
Location and Geography: The Kingdom of Thailand covers 198,114 square miles (around 513,115 square kilometers) and has borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The Northern region is hilly and is dominated by the Khorat Plateau with the majority of the population living in upland valleys and flood plains. The Southern region is composed of a narrow isthmus with hills running down its center. The Central region is ... The North-Eastern region is ... The Eastern region is ... Finally, the Western region is ...
Demography: Thailand has a population of approximately 70 million and ethnic Thais account for the majority of the population (75%). Approximately 14% of them are Thai Chinese, and around 11% of them are from diverse ethnicities.
Linguistic Affiliation: Thai is the official language of Thailand. The standard Thai is spoken in the central region and around the country. Three main dialects are widely spoken in some regions: Northeastern Thai (Isan), Northern Thai, and Southern Thai. Many Thais also understand and speak English, especially those in Bangkok and the major tourist areas.
Currency: Thailand’s currency unit is “Baht”. The exchange currency of the Thai Baht to a US dollar is 36.75 in July 2022.
Symbolism: National symbols include those of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), who serves as a symbol of national unity, and those associated with Buddhism. Images of the Buddha can be found in shrines and temples, public buildings (including schools and government offices), and homes.
History and Culture: Thailand, previously known as Siam, is a constitutional monarchy. It is a country with a rich history of ... A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century, and Thailand remains the only country in Southeast Asia not colonized by Europeans. In the Thai language, the name of the country is Prathet Thai, which means “land of the free. The culture of Thailand has evolved greatly over time from the Sukhothai era to the Ayutthaya era where they integrated different cultures from Khmer, Burmese, Chinese, Indian, and European origins. Until this day, their influences are still evident in the traditional Thai culture.
Food: Rice is the staple food for most people, with polished white rice eaten in central and southern Thailand and sticky rice eaten in the north and northeast. During a typical meal, food is served at once rather than as individual courses. Traditional Thai cuisine consists of four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and gaeng (curries). Seven Thai dishes (tom yam goong, pad thai, som tam, massaman curry, green curry, Thai fried rice, and nam tok mu) appeared on a list of the “World’s 50 Best Foods” in 2017 by CNN travel.
Etiquette: Thai people and other Buddhists follow the widespread Buddhist custom of not touching a person on the head (which is considered the highest part of the body). A person should not point their feet at anyone or at an image of Buddha. It is considered impolite in Thai culture. Footwear is removed while entering a temple or a house. Buddhist monks must preserve doctrine and discipline (e.g., refraining from sexual misconduct). It is traditional to greet a person with a prayer-like gesture, known as “wai”.
Religion: About 85% of Thai people are Theravada Buddhists. The Buddhism of Central Thais is often referred to as Lankavamsa, reflecting its Sri Lankan origins. Approximately 10% of the population is Muslim, primarily ethnic Malays in the south. Although Christian missionaries have been active since the 19th century, around 1% of the population is Christian.
Performance Arts: The Thai classical dance had developed from folk dances and incorporated Indian hand gestures and body movements, which probably were added by Mon and Khmer cultures. Folk dances are regional, with the individual dance styles associated with various ethnic minorities.
Best Places to Visit: From coastlines to big cities, Thailand is made up of so many destinations that it is hard to decide which places deserve the distinction of the best in Thailand. However, Thailand will not disappoint whether you are here for the world-class beaches in the south or the mountain villages in the north. Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Thailand:
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and is an amazing place to visit. Most major tourist attractions are historical sites or religious sites such as Wat Phra Kaeo (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Arun (the Temple of the Dawn-a great place to watch the sunset).
Krabi province has the most famous beaches, such as Koh Phi Phi and Railay Beach.
Chiang Mai province is an ancient city with a modern twist and is known for having the best elephant sanctuary in Thailand.
Sukhothai (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Ayutthaya (the former capital): These old cities are historic cities that offer a magnificent peek into the glory of ancient Thailand.
Floating markets at Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak: It is a unique way to get a closer look into a traditional way of life.