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Thailand

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Thailand

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Population: 66,720,153 (est.)

Language(s): Thai

Capital: Bangkok

National Dish: Pad Thai

Visas

Interesting Facts:

  • Thai baht is the currency of Thailand.
  • About 96% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist.
  • Thailand was known as Siam until 1939.
  • The name Thailand means Lands of the Free.
  • Phuket is Thailand’s largest island.
  • Thailand houses the world’s largest fish, the 12-meter Rhincodon typus, otherwise known as the whale shark.
  • Bangkok was once called the “Venice of the East” because its original buildings stood on stilts above the Chao Phraya River. However, as Bangkok grew larger, most canals were filled and paved.
  • One-tenth of all animal species on Earth live in Thailand.
  • Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel.
  • Thailand is one of the largest producers of rice and natural rubber in the world and agriculture is the primary employment sector. It is also a major producer of automobiles and electronics for export and a popular tourist destination.

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

The country is a constitutional monarchy, headed by King Rama IX, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who, having reigned since 1946, is the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. The king of Thailand is titled Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths.

Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country in terms of total area, with an area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and is the 20th-most-populous country, with around 64 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, which is Thailand’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay; the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. The country’s official language is Thai. The primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of the population.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996, and is presently a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Tourism also contributes significantly to the Thai economy. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand, and the country has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.

Do I need a visa?

Nationals of the United Kingdom and over 40 other countries are eligible to travel to Thailand, for tourism, without the need for a visa. They are permitted to stay in Thailand for a period not exceeding 30 days. Therefore, you do not need a visa.

However, you need to make sure that you are in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months, a round-trip air ticket, and adequate finances equivalent to at least 10,000 Baht (150 pounds) per person or 20,000 Baht (300 pounds) per family. Otherwise, you may have some hassle upon entry into the country.

Furthermore, foreigners who enter Thailand under this Tourist Visa Exemption Scheme may re-enter and stay in Thailand for a cumulative duration of stay not exceeding 90 days within any 6-month period from the date of first entry.

The list of the 41 countries could be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand’s website (www.mfa.go.th ) or (www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk)

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