Official name: The Kingdom of Thailand
Extent: 513 115 square kilometres
Population number: 65 444 371
Population density: 127 persons per 1 square kilometer
Official language: Thai language. Nevertheless, the communication is possible also in English, Chinese or in Malayan language
Main religion: Theravad Buddhism (94,6%) has dominant position in Thai society.
The highest point (peak): Doi Inthanon (2595 m)
Thailand neighbours with four countries - i.e. Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma). The country has, similarly as the surrounding countries, an access to the seaside, concretely to Indian Ocean in west and Thai Bay in the east. The country is (inofficially) divided into five regions, which are distinguished, first of all, with their climatic, nature and historical conditions. These are: North Thailand, North-east Thailand, Central Thailand, East Coasts and South Thailand.
Approximately half of all forests is formed with virgin rain forests, which are, as a rule, green all the time. One fourth is taken for monsoon forests, characteristic with its various leafy woods. The remaining fourth of this forest spectrum is presented with fresh-water marsh forests in delta regions, afforested cliffs in the middle of karst terrain in south and north. Despite variety of flora nad fauna in Thailand, most of local 80 national parks and 122 areas and nature reservations were founded with no possibility for hunting. On the other hand, 57 botanic gardens and 1220 forest reservations were established even within past couple of years.
In Thailand, there is very rich birds´ life, you can find and watch more than 1000 permanent or migrating sorts (it is approx. 10% from total number of all sorts from all over the world). To local mammals belong, for instance, a tiger, leopard, elephant, Indian bison, Malayan bear, wild cows, gibbon, tapir, makak, dolphin and others.
In tropical Thailand, you can enjoy hot weather all year round. Three seasons are regularly changing there, such as: hot period (since March till May), cold period (since November till February) and rainy period (since June till October). The highest temperatures of the year are prevailing within April and May, reaching in average the value 35 - 36 °C. Anyway, during cold period, the temperatures could drop to 4 °C only, and in higher situated sections even to 0 °C.
Although Thailand is rather modern country, you can follow traditional cultural influence practically in every line of everyday life. So, Thai culture has its roots in Thai migration around South-East Asia and has common features with Lays from neighbouring Laos, Tchans from North-East Myanmar and numerous Thais clans who are living inside isolated areas from Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam up to Asam in India. The Thais are traditionally greeting not by shaking hands but their hands are folded, similarly, as during prayers´ time.
Historical Specialities of the Country
The Thai people are very proud on a fact that their country was never colonized, as a difference from all their neighbour countries. The Thailand way always under rule of Thai people, and, in general, till the middle of 20th century, the country held its traditional culture without any impressive influence (especially of west culture). As a consequence of such historical development, several important facts are valid, and it would be useful to take into account, as follows:
- no language, except Thai language, was officially accepted in Thailand. It is true that especially in past, this fact often complicated the actions of many foreign subjects. Now, this fact could cause some problems practically only in areas outside big cities, as, first of all, in big towns, the knowledge of English is very diffused, as in state or company sphere.
- Thailand has worked out its own, specific law system. It is far relative to western law system. Thanks to this fact, you can fully rely on the services of local lawyers, i.e. to adapt to their style and, first of all, the rhytm of their work, which could not be too fast.
- whereas the time is the most valuable commodity for West businessmen, Thai philosophy is to be understood in quite different way. You are forced to be ready for different access that all matters have their time period and tempo and it is useless to state unreal targets.
On the other hand, (and in different way from former colonized nations), the Thais have, in general, very friendly and welcome access towards foreigners, out of any suspicion or prejudice. This is, to tell the truth, a big advantage and, as a result, the negotiations with Thai partners are very pleasant.
Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.