Introduction to Thailand
Thailand is one of the world’s most beautiful countries and known worldwide as the 'Land of Smiles’. The country's diverse natural landscapes; rich history and Buddhist culture; inspiring buildings, both ancient and modern; world famous cuisine; and warm, hospitable people make Thailand one of the world’s most popular destinations.
Basic Facts About Thailand
Area: 514,000 sq km
Capital City: Bangkok (known locally as Krung Thep – the city of Angels)
Currency: Thai Baht
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty)
Time Zone: Seven hours ahead of Greenwich Man Time
Electricity: The electric current is 220 volt AC (50 cycles) throughout the country. A number of types of plug are in use in Thailand including two and three pin. Plug adapter kits are widely available.
Water: Tap water is clean but drinking it is to be avoided in favour of bottled water.
Weights and Measures: Thailand uses the metric system
Business Hours and Banking: Thailand operates a five day business week from Monday to Friday. Most offices are open from 8am to 5pm. Government offices are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm with a one hour lunch break from noon.
Banks open from 9.30am to 3.30pm although some are open longer and there are exchange booths with longer hours in major cities and tourist areas. ATM/cashpoint machines are widely available in urban areas and most accept cards from overseas accounts.
Postal Services: Thailand has an efficient postal service. Post offices are usually open from 8.am to 4.40pm. More details
Telephone Services: Thailand has an efficient nationwide landline telephone service with International Direct Dialing. Thailand’s country code is +66
Thailand has a number of effective mobile telephone networks. More details
Internet Services: Broadband ADSL Internet services while not yet reaching speeds available elsewhere are widely available throughout the country. Most areas have internet cafés and WIFI connections are becoming available in bigger cities and tourist areas.
The pages in this section are intended to provide an introduction to some of the fundamentals of Thai life and society.