Learn about Thailand
Location: Southeast Asia, bordering Cambodia, Laos, and Burma (Myanmar)
Population: 67 million
Political System: Constitutional monarchy administered by military junta
Official Language: Thai
The national currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).
Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT. The country does not apply Daylight Savings Time.
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand (95%), although a variety of tribal religions continue to be practiced.
Festivals and Holidays
Many festivals and holidays in Thailand are determined by the lunar calendar and the exact dates differ every year. There are several days for Buddhist observance, including Magha Puja in February (commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha) and Vesak in May (commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Buddha). Loi Krathong, a festival celebrating the tradition of making buoyant baskets to float on a river, occurs in November.
Popular public holidays include:
April 13 – 15: Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)
May 5: Coronation Day
December 10: Constitution Day
Approximately 75–95% of the population is ethnically Thai, which includes four major regional groups: Central Thai (Khon Pak Klang), Northeastern Thai (Khon Isan), Northern Thai (Khon Lanna), and Southern Thai (Khon Tai). Thai Chinese, those of significant Chinese heritage, are 14% of the population, while Thais with partial Chinese ancestry comprise up to 40% of the population. Thai Malays represent 3% of the population, with the remainder consisting of Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes.
The children of Thailand are always charming. If you choose to bring items to distribute to the kids, we recommend candy, pens, paper, and stickers.
Beggars are common. Many cities have homes that teach this craft as a scam, especially by manipulating children. If you feel compelled to give, we recommend donating money to a reputable charitable organization that will disperse the funds to the community. Please ask your guide or representative about recognized places to donate.