Quick Facts

  • Officially called The Kingdom of Thailand
  • Formerly known as Siam until 1939
  • Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia never colonized by a European power
  • Location: at the centre of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
  • Area: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming, 198,120 sq. miles
  • Population: 67,976,405
  • Capital and largest city: Bangkok (pop. 9.27 million)
  • Major ethnic groups: Thai
  • Official language: Thai (English is the secondary language of the elite)
  • Official religion: Buddhism
  • Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoons (mid May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
  • Terrain: central plains; Khorat Plateau in the east, mountains elsewhere
  • Natural resources: The Andaman Sea is regarded as Thailand’s most precious natural resource as it hosts the most popular and luxurious resorts in Asia – Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang. Other resources are tin, rubber, natural gas, timber, arable land, fish, tungsten.
  • Current environmental issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions, water pollution from organic and factory wastes, soil erosion, deforestation, wildlife threatened by illegal hunting
  • Economy: The worlds #1 exporter of rice, exporting more than 6.5 million tons of milled rice annually. Other exports include textiles, footwear, jewelry, rubber, cars, computers, electronics, appliances. Historic flooding in the industrial areas of Bangkok in 2011 slowed down the economy, but it is recovering.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com


Government in Power

  • A constitutional monarchy
  • A hereditary monarch is chief of state: King Phumiphon Adunyadet (since 1946)
  • The prime minister is head of the government: Interim Prime Minister Gen. Prayat Chan-ocha (since 2014)


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy: 74.43 years
  • Health expenditures: 4.6% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.39 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 2.1 beds/1,000 population
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 1.13%
  • Most infectious diseases risk: very high
  • Infectious diseases: bacterial diarrhea, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, avian influenza
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 9.2%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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