Tourist information Thailand, with all the useful things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation in this state of Southeast Asia.
Thailand in a nutshell
- Capital: Bangkok
- Area in square kilometers: 513,115
- Population: 63,883,661 (2006)
- Religion: Buddhism prevalent, Muslim minority
Where is it
Located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochinese peninsula, Thailand borders Burma to the west and north west, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the south east, Malaysia to the south. It faces the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Siam to the east.
The country is made up of an extensive central plain, corresponding to the fertile valley of the Menam Chao Phraya river. The arid lands of the Khorat plateau are located in the east, while in the north Thailand is closed by the Burmese plateau of Shan and the south-western offshoots of the Laotian mountain system.
The reliefs continue southwards forming a long chain on the border with Burma, thus delineating the western part of the Menam plain. Extensive rainforests cover the country's alteterre.
The Menam Chao Phraya River which flows into the Gulf of Siam and has a regime conditioned by monsoon rains, is the most important in Thailand. To the east of the country, the Mekong River marks the border with Laos for over 800 km.
The climate of Thailand, subjected to the influence of monsoons, differs in three seasons affecting the eastern, northern and central part of the country and only two seasons affecting the southern part.
To the north, east and in the center of the country
- from mid-October / early November to January, cool season (temperatures from 18 ° to 32 ° C, with less humidity)
- from February to April / May, hot season (temperatures over 40 ° C, high humidity, no rain)
- from June to October, rainy season (with different characteristics depending on the region).
In the south it passes directly from the rainy season to the warm one, since the rainy season lasts longer, compared to the other regions.
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The population of Thailand belongs to the ethnic group of Thai. The main minority are Chinese.
Other groups consist of Malay-speaking Muslims living in the south, hill tribes in the north and Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees in the east.
The majority of the population lives in rural areas.
In Thailand it is necessary to move the clock hands 6 hours ahead of Italy, 5 hours ahead when in Italy there is summer time.
The official language of Thailand is the Thai language. English is spoken in the capital Bangkok and in the main tourist destinations.
Agriculture, despite being practiced with methods that are not very profitable for the farmers who work there, is at the basis of the Thai economy.
The main product is rice, which in addition to being widely exported, represents the staple food for the population.
Other agricultural products are: corn, sorghum, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, onions, sugar cane and in coastal peninsular regions, tropical fruit.
Industrial crops include Hevea, caoutchouc, peanuts, sesame, soy, cotton, jute, kenaf, coconut palm, tobacco and pepper. Cattle, buffalo and pig breeding is practiced, especially in the Khorat plateau.
Fishing is also relevant, especially in the Gulf of Siam. The most substantial mineral resources are represented by tin, but tungsten, iron, lead and precious stones are also obtained.
To underline the wealth of forests and the important resource (exploitation is in the hands of foreign companies) of teak trees.
Industrial development was delayed due to the lack of energy reserves and the shortage of skilled workers, but is nonetheless present in various sectors (transformation of agricultural products, textiles, chemicals, cement and engineering).
The tourism sector is very important for this country, which has yet to overcome significant difficulties to achieve good economic development.
When to go
The best months to visit many places in Thailand are from November to February, (lower temperatures and less humidity).
To visit the south of the country the months of March, April and May are indicated, to visit the north the best period is between late November / early December, or the month of February.
The worst months to visit Bangkok are April (too hot) and October (torrential rains). Thailand receives the largest number of tourists in December and August.
To enter Thailand, Italian citizens must have a passport, which must have a residual validity of at least 6 months from the moment of arrival in the country.
Tourists, by law, must always bring their passport with them.
The tourist visa is not necessary for stays of less than 30 days; the period can be extended by one week, by consulting the immigration office in Thailand.
For those who want to stay longer for tourism, a visa is required, which is issued by the Thai Consulate in Milan or by the Thai Embassy in Rome, has a duration of 60 days and can be extended by a further 30 days at the discretion of the authorities of the Thai Immigration Office.
- The international code to call from Italy to Thailand is: 0066
- The international prefix to call from Thailand to Italy is: 00139
As for cell phones (coverage is quite good), it is more convenient to use local cards compared to roaming.
In addition, telephone booths enabled for international calls and various internet stations are widespread.
The electric current is 220 V 50 Hz - Electrical sockets type A and C
The official currency of Thailand is the baht. Euros and dollars are easily convertible from lenders.
Travelers checks are welcome.
Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard) are useful for withdrawing from ATMs, but are not always accepted in hotels and shops.
How to get
The Thai airline Thai Airways Intl connects Italy to Bangkok with direct flights.
In addition, various European airlines connect Bangkok with the main European airports.
Emirates, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines and other international airlines also organize flights to Thailand.
There are no mandatory vaccinations to go to Thailand.
Vaccination against yellow fever is required only from travelers (over one year of age) from areas where there is a risk of transmission of the disease.
However vaccinations against hepatitis A and B are recommended.
Malaria risk is present in rural areas (throughout the year), there is no risk in cities and main tourist areas.
Furthermore, it is good to respect some hygiene rules, including drinking only bottled water, not adding ice to drinks, not eating raw food and vegetables and eating fruit only if peeled personally.