The Kingdom of Thailand

Quick Facts

Government

Type: Constitutional monarchy

Prime Minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha

Religion

Theravada Buddhist

≈90%

Language

Thai

≈85%

Currency

Thai baht

$10.00 ≈ ฿334

Location

Southeast Asia

Bordered by: Laos, Cambodia, Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar

Food

Guay Teow

Green curry

Climate

Tropical wet and dry

Cost

Beer ≈ ฿70

Ice-cream ≈ ฿10

Read More About Thailand

Not-So-Quick Facts

Present Day Snapshot

The late 1960s and early 70s saw a great deal of unrest throughout Thailand, particularly in more rural areas and at universities. Rule shifted between democracy and military rule into the 90s. 1991, 2006, and 2014 all saw coup d’états in Thailand. After several years of civil unrest following the death of the kind in 2016, the current prime minister was elected in 2019 and civil order was restored.

War: Thailand is not currently involved in any wars.

Follow Laws

Identification: You are required to carry identification with you at all times. I advise carrying a photo copy of your passport and another form of ID so as not to risk having your passport stolen.

Drugs: All drugs and drug use is illegal and can lead to lengthy prison sentences.

Alcohol: The legal drinking age is 20. It is legal to drink on the streets, but in many areas it is not seen as socially acceptable – pay attention to how locals are behaving.

LGBTQ: Same-sex relationships are legal however social acceptance of these relationships remains low.

Stay Safe

Violent crimes or gun violence are of very low incident with tourists in Thailand. However, petty theft, scams, traffic accidents, and similar are quite common.

Speak Thai

Keep in mind that Thai is a tonal language, meaning the tone at which you say a sound will dictate what words you are saying. Thai has five tones.

  1. Hello – สวัสดี /sa-waht-dee/
  2. Please – โปรด /prod/
  3. Thank you – ขอขอบคุณ /kaw cop-coown/
  4. Can I have a beer please? – ฉันขอเบียร์หน่อยได้ไหม /ten kaw beer noy rei mei/
  5. Do you speak English? – คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหม? /koon pu pass-i an-krit dhy my/
Historical Snapshot

Founding: The Kingdom of Thailand was formed in 1238.

Origins: Ancient human remains dating to as much as a million years ago have been uncovered in Thailand. The Tai people likely first arrived to the lands in the 700s AD. From the 13th century into the 18th century, the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya kingdoms ruled – both which you can still find evidence of in Thailand today. The Ayutthaya Kingdom was brought down in 1767 by Burmese forces, but it was not long before the Siamese recovered and by 1782 the Chakri dynasty began. This dynasty remained into the 20th century, through several wars and beginnings of modernization. During World War I the kingdom backed German forces. In 1932 the Siamese Revolution brought an end to the absolute monarchy and installed a constitutional monarchy and a prime minister, however, free elections were still not permitted. During World War Two Japanese troops used Thai land as a base from which to invade Burma and Malaya. In 1946 Thailand had their first elections in which political parties were legal.

Recent History: Thailand aligned itself with the US during the Vietnam war and sent troops to support them. 1965 was a bloody year for Thailand with guerrilla warfare between militants and Thai security forces.

Clothing Rules

There are no rules for dress in Thailand however the country is socially conservative. It is important to observe how locals dress and use this to guide your own dressing.

A boat docked in Koh Yao Noi. One of the places to go island hopping in Thailand - The Country Jumper
Koh Yao Noi
A pier reaching out into the sea at high tide on Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi
The tops of the palm tress on Koh Jum Island
Koh Jum

Facts According to a Local

Coming Soon

General Rules of Etiquette
Gender Relations
Fun Facts
Rude or Offensive Things
Religious Customs
Tipping

My Time in Thailand

Central

I have been to Bangkok and the areas around it on several different occasions.

North

I spent quite a few days exploring the region around Chiang Mai and Pai and traveled to Chiang Rai for a day as well.

South

I spent several days in Phuket followed by a long journey island hopping down the west coast of the country.

Additional Resources

LGBTQ

Accessibility

BIPOC

Locals

Before Your Trip to Thailand

Watch

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio

Adventure

Movie

 

In some ways, a movie that ruined Thailand, as masses descended on the gorgeous beach which this movie centers around. Nonetheless a great classic to prep for the beauty the country holds for you (and which can still be uncovered in much more popular areas).

Starring: Roger Moore

Action

Movie

A vintage James Bond that will also give you a glimpse at the gorgeous landscapes of  Thailand’s coast.

Read

By: Andy Ricker, J.J. Goode, David Thompson

Cookbooks

Goodreads Stars: 4.21/5

What better way to prep for your trip to Thailand than to bring the flavors and aromas of the country into your own home. Thailand recipes, adapted for the American palate and grocery store, brought to life.

Starring: Roger Moore

Action

Movie

 

A vintage James Bond that will also give you a glimpse at the gorgeous landscapes of  Thailand’s coast.

By: Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Fiction

Goodreads Stars: 3.61/5

Based in the 19th century in what was then called Siam, this novel explores the intimate personal lives of a cast of characters in the capital city.

Book Your Trip!

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