Chiang Mai



Return to Asia
Wat Phra Kaeo, Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaeo, Grand Palace

Thailand is officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand and was known as Siam until 1939.  Its borders touch Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.  The country is ruled by King Rama IX. Thailand has a population over 60 million and its capital and largest city is Bangkok.  Thai makes up the majority of its poplulation and Thai is also the official language.  Thailand is about 95% buddist, which results in an abundance of monasteries and temples, all denoted by the pre-fix "Wat" in their place names.  In a visit in 2012, the airlines provided special boarding lines for monks, which highlights the importance of buddism in this country.  Civil unrest from 2008 - 2010 has subsided and opened Thailand back up to tourists.  It is a popular destination for its beaches, temples, friendly and exotic atmosphere and because it is inexpensive.  The Phuket area was hard hit by a tsunami in 2004 and the coastal regions of Thailand have long suffered from seasonal flooding as well.


Most visitors who require a tourist visa to enter Thailand can obtain the visa at immigration points when arriving in Thailand.  For listings of citizens requiring visas and those who are exempt, visit the Royal Thai Embassy in London web site or check your specific country at VisaHQ.  For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.  Citizens of UK, U.S.A, Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan and France are exempt from visa requirements for visits under 30 days.


Thailand uses the Thai Baht (THB) for currency.

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