|Ratcha Anachak Thai
|Form of government
||UTC + 7, no daylight saving time
|Telephone area code
The Kingdom of Thailand, which was called Siam until
1939, read in the center of Hindu. It borders in the
south on the Malacca Peninsula with Malaysia, in the
west and northwest with Myanmar (Burma), in the east and
northeast with Laos and in the southeast with Cambodia.
With an area of 513 115 km², Thailand is slightly
smaller than France.
Several mountain ranges determine the landscape: In
the northwest, in one of the mountain ranges that runs
along the border with Myanmar, is Doi Inthanon, the
highest mountain in Thailand at 2,576 m. Rivers running
from north to south cut through the mountain range.
Northeast Thailand is home to the Khorat Mountains and
the plateau of the same name, which takes up around two
thirds of the country's area with approximately 150,000
km² and is crossed by many rivers. The Khorat plateau
lies around 100 to 200 m above sea level and is bordered
by the valley of the Mekong, into which most other
rivers in the region flow. Another mountain range runs
roughly through the middle of Thailand, first in a
north-south, then in an east-west direction. The
mountains in the west reach heights of up to around 2,
Between the mountain ranges in central and western
Thailand lies a wide, fertile alluvial plain, which is
crossed by numerous rivers. The largest of them, 365 km
long, is the Menam (Chao Phraya), after which the
lowland is also named. The rivers flow southwest of the
capital Bangkok into the Gulf of Thailand after they
have flowed through an approximately 20,000 km² delta.
In the rainy season, the rivers regularly flood the
country and deposit large amounts of mud, the basis for
the intensive agricultural use of this densely populated
area. The southwest of Thailand lies on the Malacca
Peninsula, which is preceded by numerous islands. The
country's tourist centers are located here (eg on Phuket,
the largest of the islands).
With around 6.65 million residents, Bangkok is the
largest city in Thailand and also the most important
port. Other major cities are Samut Prakan (395,000
residents), Chiang Mai 300,000) and Udon Thani
The wet tropical climate of Thailand is determined by
the monsoon winds, which change their direction
depending on the season: In the rainy season from April
/ May to October, the southwest monsoon brings in humid
air masses, the greatest amount of precipitation is on
the west side of the Malacca Peninsula, sometimes with
up to 6,000 mm reached annually. Depending on the
region, between 1,000 and 3,000 mm fall in the other
parts of the country. In principle, there is less
rainfall in the northeast than in the south. In the dry
half of the year (November to April) the monsoon blows
from the northeast.
The temperatures are relatively high all year round
and there are no major fluctuations between the summer
and winter half-years. Bangkok measures 26 °„ C in
January, 29 °„ C in July, Chiang Mai in the north of the
country 21 °„ C in January and 29 °„ C in July.
Flora and fauna
The climate ensures lush and species-rich vegetation.
Around 40% of the country's area is covered with
forests. Typical are the so-called monsoon forests with
trees that shed their leaves in the dry season. In
addition to numerous other tropical plants, teak trees,
oaks, numerous orchid species and hibiscus grow in the
highlands. Slash-and-burn in the context of agricultural
use is steadily decimating the tree population in the
north of the country. Tropical rainforest can only be
found in remaining stocks on the Malacca Peninsula and
on the edge of the Khorat Mountains in northeastern
Thailand.In the coastal regions and in the Menam delta
there are extensive mangrove and swamp areas, in which
ebony and rosewood trees grow in addition to other
tropical woods. There has been a ban on logging in
Thailand since 1989.
The bird and snake world is particularly rich in
species in Thailand. In addition to various venomous
snakes and crocodiles, various species of monkeys,
winker crabs and mud jumpers live in the marshlands and
mangrove forests. Larger species of mammals such as
leopard, tiger and buffalo have declined sharply due to
hunting and the limitation of their habitat. Rhinos and
the saddle pad tapir are considered to be virtually
extinct. Several of the numerous species of monkeys such
as the white-handed and crested gibbon are also
threatened with extinction.
Since the logging ban in 1989, many of the elephants
trained to remove timber have been used for tourist
demonstrations. Monkeys are used to pick coconuts.
Thailand has around 65.5 million residents. Three
quarters of the population belong to the Thai (Siamese)
or Thai people, such as the Lao, who live in the east
and northwest of the country. Various mountain peoples (Akha,
Hmong, Lisu, Karen and others) live in the regions in
the north, some of whom have immigrated from the
surrounding countries. Some of these peoples differ
considerably in clothing, traditions, culture and
language, although the villages are often only a few
The largest minority in Thailand is the Chinese, at
14%, some of whom are Thai nationals. Most of them live
in Chinatown, a district of Bangkok. Other minorities
are the Malays in the south and Khmer and Vietnamese in
the east of the country.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 95% of the population are followers of
Buddhism, which plays a major role in the life of the
population. There are over 18,000 Buddhist temples and
sanctuaries in the country. Muslims, Hindus and
Christians are only a minority.
Life expectancy in Thailand is 72 years on average;
the population grows by about 0.9% per year. About 7.5%
of Thai people are unable to read and write, although
schooling has been mandatory for all children since
Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since
1932. The new (18th) constitution was adopted in 2007.
The king is head of state and commander-in-chief of the
armed forces, as well as the highest Buddhist dignitary.
The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is
elected by the House of Representatives and must be
confirmed by the King. Since a coup d'®¶tat in May 2014,
Prayuth Chan-ocha, the commander-in-chief of the army,
has exercised governmental authority as head of a
military junta ("National Council for Peacekeeping").
The parliament (Ratha Sapha) consists of the House of
Representatives (Saphaputhan Ratsadon) with 500 members,
who are elected every four years, and the Senate (Wuthisapha).
It consists of 150 members, of whom 76 are elected and
74 are appointed. In Thailand, there is an obligation to
vote from the age of 18.
Thailand is divided into six regions and 76 provinces
(changwat), each of which is governed by a
The rapidly growing economy of the emerging country
is oriented towards a liberal market economy and is
characterized by a strong role of foreign trade. Due to
the decline of the national currency in 1997, the
economy suffered severe losses. However, due to the
government's close cooperation with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bath increasingly stabilized
from 1999 onwards.
39% of the workforce is employed in agriculture,
mainly in small businesses. Overall, the agricultural
sector only makes up a good tenth of the gross domestic
product. Rice, maize, millet, sugar cane, cotton and
tapioca are mainly cultivated. Thailand is one of the
world's largest rice exporters. There are large rubber
plantations, especially on the Malacca Peninsula.
Thailand has diverse mineral resources. Above all,
ore, lignite and natural gas are mined. The energy needs
can be covered. The enormous economic growth benefited
above all the industry, the chemical, textile and
electronics industries are significant. Many foreign
companies opened production facilities in Thailand and
used the low wages (with the competitor China attracting
more and more investors). Another important economic
factor is tourism, the largest source of foreign
The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement entered into force in
2002. The main trading partners are China, Japan and the
USA. In addition to rice and rubber, the main exports
are electronics, motor vehicles and machines as well as
chemical products. The most important import goods are
oil, machinery and electronics.
Currency is the baht (= 100 satang).