Thailand is bordered to the east by Cambodia, to the west by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean, to the south and east by Malaysia and Gulf of Thailand and the North and east by Laos. With an area of 513,115 sq.km (198,404sq.mi), Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country in terms of total area, roughly equal in size to Spain.
The topography is horizontal sedimentary plains interconnected by winding rivers and streams in central Thailand, jungle-covered mountains and hills in the north, a plateau in the northeast, and mostly hills in the south.
Thailand experiences a typical monsoon climate. Thailand weather is predominantly hot and humid. Its climate varies in different parts of the country. In general, Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with 3 different seasons – summer from March through May, rainy from June to October and cool/winter from November through February. However, the southern Thailand areas have only two seasons. Southwest monsoons that arrive between May and June (except in the South) signal the advent of the rainy season.
The climate of North Thailand is slightly different from (and more agreeable than) the climate of central and other parts of Thailand, mainly due to the region’s elevation (300m, around 1000ft in the valleys). The cool season lasts from late October to the end of February. Average daytime temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit); During the cool season in the north it can get quite chilly at night. The coolest months are December and January.
There are two seasons in Southern Thailand- the rainy season from May through October and the hot season from November through April. The best months are November through February. Temperatures are more even year-round in the south with 21° and 34° Celsius (70° and 93° Fahrenheit) and do not drop much at night. The rainy season rarely brings things to a complete halt and is no reason to put off a visit to Thailand.
The Thai language, belonging to the Tai family, is the main language in Thailand. The Thai language is comprised of 44 consonants, 32 vowels and five tones in Thai pronunciation, along with a script that has Indian origins.
English is widely spoken in Thailand, particularly in the main tourist areas. English in Thailand is becoming more predominant in government and commerce. English is also being taught as a second language in secondary school and universities, which enables the English speaking tourist in Thailand to have little trouble engaging in conversation with Thai people.
220 volts AC, 50Hz, Two-pin plugs are standard.
Thai ( 80%) Chinese (10%) and the rest are minorities.
Communication Services in Thailand
In Thailand, you can contact and avail communication services without any difficulty which is available nationwide as well as in most hotels.
Telephone: country code 66
International Mobile phone companies usually have roaming agreement. Coverage is not a problem especially around the main town.
A prepaid Thailand SIM card with an international cell phone is the most convenient and economical solution for staying in touch while in Thailand. All incoming calls while in Thailand are FREE, regardless of where they originate. Your Thailand SIM card and cell phone service is prepaid so there is no need for a contract but will require a SIM-unlocked GSM 900 / 1800 compatible international cell phone.
Telex and Fax
Most hotels in Thailand will offer complete telex, telegraph and facsimile (“fax”) services. The General Post Office (GPO) offers telex service around-the-clock. Numerous private businesses offer such services.
There are plentiful of internet cafes around Thailand and mushrooming daily. Quality and cost vary tremendously. Pretty much any major town will have one, some even found in remote areas visited by tourists. Services are also available at Thailand hotels.
Thailand’s Postal service is dependable and well-organized. Bangkok’s Central G.P.O. on New Road is open from 8.00 AM to 6.00 PM, Mondays through Fridays, and from 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Post offices up-country is open Monday- Friday 8:00 am to 4:300 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am to 12 noon. Major hotels provide basic postal services.
For sending packages overseas, you can do the packing at the post office, as they have a packing counter where you can buy packing materials at a very economical rate, and sometimes get assistance. If you are shipping anything in a box, then the standard procedure is to tie a string around the box so that it can be opened and peeked into by customs to verify that what’s on the customs slip is what’s in the box. If you seal it, then you pay a much higher rate.
International Couriers Services
There are several established international couriers in Thailand like DHL, FED EX and UPS Others can be found by visiting outlet stores around Bangkok such as Mailboxes, etc., which handle outgoing packages for most or all of the courier services, are located in convenient places around Bangkok, and can help you with packing. The major courier services will also pick up packages from you if you call them.
Major couriers in Bangkok:
Grand Amarin Tower, Floor 22
1550 New Petchburi Rd.
Fed Ex (Federal Express)
Green Tower, Floor 8
Rama 4 Rd. Bangkok
UPS (United Parcel Service)
16/1 Sukhumvit soi 44/1
Thailand has several major English language newspapers on general news, The International Herald Tribune, Bangkok Post and The Nation. All are large in circulation and excellent newspapers, and over the years have been leading newspapers in Asia, having won many awards by international trade organizations. Ex-pats have consistently rated Thailand’s newspaper status as among the best in Asia.
Voice of America and BBC World Service can be heard in Thailand.
Cable television is available around Thailand especially in the major cities, it is also provided in numerous hotels in Thailand. The main “cable” provider is a company called True, and their cable service is called “True Visions”. It is often called “UBC” because that was the name of the previous company which True bought up (United Broadcasting Corporation).