Essential Info for Thailand
Official name: Kingdom of Thailand
Population: Around 68 million
Capital city: Bangkok (also largest city)
Neighbouring countries: Thailand shares borders with Myanmar to the west and northwest; Laos to the north and northeast; Cambodia to the southeast; and Malaysia to the far south, across the Gulf of Thailand.
Geography: Thailand's natural features, such as the Mekong River and various the mountain ranges, define its northern, eastern and western borders. The Gulf of Thailand forms the country's southern coastline.
Political system: Constitutional monarchy administered by a military junta.
Major religions: Buddhism is the majority religion in Thailand, with Islam and Christianity being the two most prominent minority religions.
Main languages: Thai is the official language. English is widely understood in tourist areas but there are fewer fluent English speakers in rural areas.
Money: The Thai Baht (THB), which is divided into 100 satang. It is usually possible for expats to open a local bank account and ATMs are widely distributed, many of which accept foreign cards.
Tipping: Tipping isn't customary or expected in Thailand, but adding a tip will usually be appreciated - depending on the situation, this may be in the form of rounding up the billed amount, adding 10 percent to the bill, or leaving loose change behind.
Time: GMT +7
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Both flat and round two-pin plugs are frequently used.
Internet domain: .th
International dialling code: +66. Area codes are in use, such as (0)2 in Bangkok and (0)53 in Chiang Mai
Emergency contacts: 191 (police, general), 1554 (ambulance), 199 (fire)
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the left hand side. Roads are usually in good condition but traffic in Bangkok is notorious for congestion and drivers can behave erratically. There are good public transport networks in Thailand with most long-distance travel done by bus and most short distances by motorcycle.