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.