Thailand is located in the heart of
southeast Asia, roughly between India and China, and borders on Burma,
Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.
How far is
Thailand from your place? Thailand
covers an area of 517,000 square kilometers, and is divided into distinct areas: the mountains
in the north, the fertile green central plains, the semi-dry plateau of the northeast, the
rainforests of the west, and the peninsula in the south distinguished by its many beautiful
tropical beaches and offshore islands. The bodies of water around Thailand are the Mekong River,
Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, and the Indian Ocean.
In Thailand, the climate is hot, humid and
tropical. Most of the country has three seasons, a hot dry spring, a hot wet summer, and a
mild winter. The capital city, Bangkok has an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius in winter and 37 degrees
in spring. From July to December, winds called monsoons bring heavy rainfall throughout Thailand.
There are about 62 million people living in Thailand. Most Thai villagers live in traditional
wood houses that are on stilts. The majority of Thai people make their living by farming, mostly to
grow rice. In every meal, Thai people have rice and mixed vegetables. Other crops include cassava, corn, cotton, pineapples,
rubber, sugar cane, and tobacco.
For transportation, the Thai have subways in the cities, trains, cars, and buses which rank among the
best in Southeast Asia. The country has about 14,000 kilometers of paved roadways, and more than 4,000 kilometers of railways.
Rivers and canals provide local transportation for passengers and cargo. Thai people
communicate by telephones, computers, fax machines, TV, and radio.
People in Thailand speak the Thai dialect, Maylay or Chinese; English is taught in the
schools. There is a monarchy with a King and Queen, a Prime Minister, a legislature which is
called the National Assembly, and senators.
Holidays in Thailand include January 1 New Year's Day, April 6 Chakri Day, May 1 National Labor
Day, May 5 Coronation Day, July 1 Mid-Year Day, August 12 the Queen's Birthday, October 23
Chulalongkorn Day, December 5 the King's Birthday, and December 31 New Year's Eve. In Thailand,
95% of the Thai are Buddhists, following the Thereavada tradition. According to Buddhist custom,
men over 20 years of age are expected to serve in the Buddhist monkhood for at least a few months.
In Thailand, the Thai prize sanuk which is art, and muay which is
Thai boxing; we know it as kickboxing.
85% of the Thai people 15 years of age or older can read and write; 7 to 18 years of age attend public
school operated by the Thai government throughout the country. All children are required by law to attend school for at least six years.
Most of the high schools are privately owned and charge tuition. There are about 18 universities in Thailand.
By Courtney Hume