AllWorld.com country profile: Thailand
Thailand is one of the most remarkable countries in the world, visited by more than 35 million tourists last year – which is more than half of their entire domestic population! In fact, it’s second only to Paris, France as a tourist destination.
Before you book your ticket to Thailand for vacation, there are some things you should know.
Here is your AllWorld.com Thailand fact sheet:
That ranks as the 20th most populous country in the world, with more people than England, Spain, or Italy.
198,115 square miles (513,115 square kilometers)
Thailand is just a little bit smaller than France and slightly bigger than Spain.
Thai is the official language of Thailand.
A small amount of English is spoken in international business communities and tourist establishments, and Chinese or other ethnic dialects may be spoken in certain regions.
Baht, or Thai Baht (THB), with 34 Baht = $1 USD
GDP $1.226 trillion (2017)
The average income is around $17,000+ USDannually for each Thai, which makes them one of the better-off countries in Southeast Asia.
Bangkok, which is home to some 10 million citizens.
Bangkok also holds the distinction of the capital city with the highest average temperature in the world.
Fun Thailand Fact:
Bangkok is actually not the proper Thai name for the capital city, but an anglicized version. The real name is ““Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.”
That also earns it the Guinness World Record for the longest name of any city in the world!
Perhaps like no other country in the world, Buddhism dominates not only the spiritual worship of Thailand, but its customs, norms, and rituals are apparent in everyday life.
93.2% of Thais practice Buddhism
5.5% are Muslim
and only 0.9% Christian
The beloved King of Siam
While he’s not a religious icon, their former king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), was revered as the father of the country and held a near-deity like stature. He served nobly for nearly 8 decades, finally passing away in 2016. Still to this day, every Thai restaurant, office, and home probably has at least one framed photograph of their true King, if not a whole shrine. His birthday, December 5, is still anational holiday every year. When he passed, his son took over as national monarch.
Unitaryparliamentary constitutional monarchy
Monarch: Maha Vajiralongkorn
Prime Minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha
However, Thailand’s modern history has been pocked with a power struggle between the three branches of the government: the legislation (prime minister), the military (who holds the most power) and the monarch to mediate.
In fact, coups are quite frequent every few years, and as of 2014, Thailand has been under the control of a military junta.
Interesting Thailand Fact:
Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been conquered by a foreign invader. Throughout the centuries, the rest of Asia has been a violent beehive of invasions, genocides, military excursions, and land grabs. But Thailand has been able to remain autonomous throughout, even expelling colonial rule from French, English, etc. that was so prevalent across the world in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In fact, in 1939, Thailand was officially named “Siam,” or “The Kingdom of Siam,” with Siam meaning “Land of the Free” in Thai.
It goes a long way to explaining why Thai culture is so rich and strong – and the people so proud!
Other interesting Thai facts:
Thai drivers are on the left hand side of the road.
Their international calling code is +66
Thai food is SPICY (but amazing) so be careful!