Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. It covers more than 513 thousand km². Its neighboring countries are Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia. The country, loved by tourists, has a lot to offer. It’s not only beaches and seaside resorts, but also a complex country where freedom is a symbol of everything. Here you will find modern metropolises, but also historical Buddhist destinations. Endless sandy beaches alternate with mighty mountains full of greenery. The silence and unspoiled nature will be replaced by the bustle of Bangkok’s night life. Overall, a great experience can be emphasized by smiling and hospitable people and well known traditional Thai cuisine.
Basic information about Thailand
All year round
Thailand is one of the most frequently searched countries in the world when it comes to tourism. However, there are still some places not so familiar to tourists. The most attractive things for tourists are the infinitely long sandy beaches, beautiful weather, full of greenery and unrivaled cuisine. It is a country full of contrasts. On the one hand, luxury resorts are right next to a slum. Many locals offer a “restaurant” right at home in these slums. You can often see them all the way to the kitchen. But don’t be fooled by the first impression, as this is usually the best gastronomic experience and for a few dollars.
As Thailand is a Buddhist country, lovers of history and art will find many unique monuments here. You can find a Buddha statue or Buddhist temples on almost every corner. If you are not a pure art lover, you will certainly enjoy the wildlife of national parks or nature preservations. Swimming in waterfalls, swimming with elephants, feeding monkeys or “just” taking a walk in the jungle, all these and many more will attract you to these parks. The most famous and beautiful of them is Erawan Park. Another reason to travel to Thailand is the weather, beaches and beautiful romantic islands. The weather here is tropical and is divided into dry and rainy seasons. There is no bad time to travel to Thailand. You can come here all year round, only from June to October it rains more.
What would it be like to spend our vacation in Thailand if we didn’t indulge in a Thai massage. You don’t even have to look for massage offers, they will literally approach you step by step. Thai massage is essentially an art. It is a combination of yoga and massage, where the body and soul come together. The recommended massage time is at least 90 minutes. You will pay around BHT 300 for such a massage.
The capital of Thailand
The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, or the city of sins. With its 8 million inhabitants, it is also the most populous city in the country and also the center of finance and trade in Thailand. In history, Bangkok has served as a trading post. This has been the case since the 15th century. At the end of the 19th century, the city was greatly influenced by modernization from the west, it became the center of rebellion and coups. Between the years 1960 and 1980, there was rapid growth, which has an impact on current politics, the media, the economy and education. Regional representations of multinational companies were built here. Due to its rapid growth, it has very significant problems with its transport infrastructure.
Tourists will find many cultural monuments here, but they will also enjoy the nightlife. The main important monuments include the Buddhist temples Wat Arun and Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, Chatuchak Weekend Market and King Power MahanaKhon. Bangkok is the third most visited city in the world. In the ranking in front of it are only London and Paris. At the same time, it was called the best city in the world, three times in a row, by Travel + Leisure magazine.
King of Thailand
Maha Vatchiralongkon Bodindradebajavarangkun or Rama X. is the tenth king of Thailand from the Chakra dynasty since 13th October 2016. Rama X. is the only son of Rama IX. and Queen Sikirit born on 28th July 1952.
The king was married a total of three times. He has an only daughter from his first marriage. His second marriage brought him a total of five descendants, including four sons and one daughter. After the divorce, Princess Yuvadhida, his second wife, moved to Britain with her children. Rama X. then kidnapped his daughter from this marriage back to Thailand, the remaining sons were rejected by the king after the divorce. From the third marriage, King Rama X has his last son.
Flag of Thailand
The flag of Thailand or tricolor consists of five stripes in red, white, blue, white, red. The bandwidth ratio is 1:1:2:1:1. In history, blue resembled an ally during World War I. The main one was France, whose flag also has a tricolor blue-red-white. According to modern interpretation, it symbolizes the kingdom. Red is a symbol of shed blood for its acquisition and subsequent freedom. White represents the purity of the nation and Buddhism. In the past, an elephant was depicted on the national flag, as Thailand was often nicknamed the Land of the White Elephant. To this day, it is possible to buy a miniature flag with an elephant in stores.
Population of Thailand
At the last census in 2018, Thailand had a population of 69.2 million. The metropolis of Bangkok is home to 14 million, accounting for more than 22% of the country’s population. 75% of the population is Thai. Other ethnic groups approved by the Thai government include the Chinese, Malays, Khmer and Laos. There are a total of 62 approved ethnic groups. More than 93% of the population resorts to Buddhism, 5% are Muslims and 1% Christians.
Holidays in Thailand
Thai holidays always have a fixed date. This is the case in contrast to various festivities and celebrations. This is because it follows the lunar calendar. If the holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is always a day off.
- 1st January New Year
- January / February Chinese New Year - this is not an official holiday, but the country is significantly paralyzed for 2-3 days
- 6th April Chakri Dynasty Day - A celebration of the founding of the currently ruling dynasty
- April (full moon day) Songkran - Thai New Year
- 5th May Coronation day
- May / June (full moon) Visakha Bucha - celebration of Buddha’s birth
- July (full moon) Asalha Bucha - a holiday to celebrate the Buddha’s first sermon
- Khao Phansa (the day after Asalha Bucha) - the day when the three-month period of fasting of Buddhist monks begins
- 12th August Her Majesty Queen Sikirit’s birthday - Mother’s Day
- 23th October King Chulalongkor Day - celebrations in honor of the death of King Rama V.
- October / November Ok Phansa - the end of a three-month Buddhist fast
- November (full moon) Lond Krathong - Feast of Lights
- 5th December King’s birthday - celebrations of fathers
- 10th December Constitution Day - the anniversary of the date of adoption of the Constitution in 1932
- 31st December New Year’s Eve
During Thai holidays and all kinds of festivities, accommodation prices may vary. It is, therefore, a good idea to find out this information before you travel.
Emblem of Thailand
The main national emblem of Thailand is a symbol of freedom and a better morning, the mythical bird Garuda. An explanation of it exists in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The bird is depicted in red and gold.
The first Thai emblem was founded by Rama I. The red flag was supplemented by a white Buddhist wheel of law, decorated on the inside with a ring. Rama II then added a white elephant in the middle of the wheel. It was a symbol of rare elephants. Rama IV, during his reign, has removed the white wheel of law and only the elephant remained.
The first official emblem was established during the reign of Rama V in 1873. Today’s form of the emblem has existed since 1910 when it was founded by Rama VI.
Currency of Thailand
The only currency in Thailand is the Thai baht (bat). The world code is TBH. The best exchange rate in Thailand is Euros or US Dollars. Money can be exchanged at the airport, the exchange rate does not differ much from banks or exchange offices in cities. Tourist areas are richly equipped with ATMs, but there is a charge for them. Payment by card is not as common here as in Europe, as Thais pay large fees to the bank for it.
Prices in Thailand
Prices in Thailand are much lower than the dollar average. In tourist resorts, however, it is a bit exaggerated. The advantage is that you can bargain in almost every store. But beware of the double price standards. It can be found quite often in Thailand. This is a price for Thai people and a price (always higher) for tourists.
In conversion, one baht is based on approximately USD 0.032.
- Postcard TBH 5
- Food in cheaper bistros TBH 15-80
- Food in restaurants from TBH 100
- Beer in the restaurant TBH 50-80
- Bottled water TBH 8-15
- Tuk Tuk TBH 100
- Accommodation per night TBH 200 - 2000
- Scooter per day from TBH 150
- Petrol TBH 20 - 45
- Boat trips by destination from TBH 250
- Thai massage TBH 250 - 350
Vaccination in Thailand
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist countries. There is a large accumulation of people here and hygiene habits are not the same as in other countries. As prevention, several vaccinations are recommended, but none is mandatory, so it is always at the discretion of each of us.
Jaundice A + B, typhoid fever and tetanus are recommended as basic vaccinations. Vaccination against typhoid fever is for about 3 years and its price is from USD 34.6 to 51.9. Every tourist should have been vaccinated against tetanus. Its protection lasts from approximately 10 to 15 years. Then revaccination is needed.
Other recommended vaccinations include rabies and malaria. Vaccination depends on the nature of the trip and the areas visited. Contact your general practitioner or travel medicine institute for more information.
Security in Thailand
Security in Thailand is no different from most other countries. Actually, it is considered one of the safest Asian countries. Robberies rarely happen. It’s a good idea to watch out for pickpockets at some night markets. Keep all money, passports and valuables well. However, this is recommended anywhere in the world.
As far as healthcare is concerned, it is at a very high level in Thailand. In remote parts of the country, medical facilities are less available, but everywhere there are very well-equipped pharmacies, where a lot of medicine is available without a prescription. It is recommended to use a repellent to prevent diseases caused by mosquito transmission.
As tap water is not drinkable in Thailand, it is recommended to drink only bottled water. The price of drinking water is around a few baht and can be found almost anywhere. Buying a filter bottle is a good idea.
Interesting facts about Thailand
Thailand is a country full of attractions and curiosities. Did you know that Thai national beer Singha is produced using hops from the Czech Republic which is famous by excellent beer quality? Or that the original name of the capital Bangkok is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amorn Rattanakosindra Mahindrayutthaya Mahadilokpop Noparattana Radchhani Burirom Udom Rachnivet Mahastan Amorn Pimarn Avatarn Satit Sakututtiya Vishnukarm Prasit. Since 1782, the locals have called it Krung Thep alias, city of angels for short. Speaking of angels, did you know the famous Red Bull that gives you wings originated in Thailand.
As in every country, so in Thailand you need to know a few useful contacts. Even though it is a safe destination, you never know when it will come in handy.
- Tourist Police Tel. 1155
- Fire brigade Tel. 199
- Police Tel. 191
- Rescue service Tel. 1554
The phone code for Thailand is +66.
It is recommended to purchase a one-time sim card. It can be obtained at any airport upon arrival. You can choose from many offered tariffs, most of which also offer very good internet. For example, you can buy a sim card for 15 days for 600 TBH with unlimited internet and 100 free minutes. Wifi in Thailand doesn’t work very well.
Contacts at the U.S. Embassy Bangkok:
Address: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Phone: +66-2-205-4000, 02-205-4000 Emergency line: 02-205-4000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Further contacts can be found at https://th.usembassy.gov/
Contacts at the Australian Embassy Thailand:
181 Wireless Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Phone: +66 2 344 6300, +66 2 118 7100
Emergency line: +66 2 344 6300
Further contacts can be found at https://thailand.embassy.gov.au/bkok/home.html
Contacts at the British Embassy Bangkok:
Address: British Embassy, AIA Sathorn Tower, Floor 12A, 11/1 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand Phone: +66 (0) 2 305 8333 Emergency line: +66 (0) 2 305 8333 Email: Info.Bangkok@fcdo.gov.uk Further contacts can be found at https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-bangkok