Thailand Overview

Thailand's high economic growth at 8-9% per year during the late 1980s and early 1990s was interrupted by the Asian Crisis of 1997-1998.  Since then, economic growth has been moderate, with period of robust growth, such as at around 5% from 2002 to 2007, followed by the fall-out from the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the flood in 2011, and the impact of political tensions and uncertainty in 2010 and again in 2013-2014. Overall, economic growth in Thailand, while still significant, has lagged that in its developing East Asian neighbors in recent years.  Growth is currently projected to be around 1.5% for 2014.

  • Country: Kingdom of Thailand
  • National flag: tl_flag_0_0.jpg
  • Cities: Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and the hub for most of the commercial and economical activities of the Kingdom.
  • Population: Estimated at 68 million.
  • Area: 514,000 square kilometers.
  • Land Borders: North and west to Myanmar, east to Laos, and south to Malaysia.
  • Sea Borders: The Gulf of Thailand, historically known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea bordered by Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Climate: Tropical.
  • Tourist Attractions: Ko Tarutao, Ayuthaya, Ko Chang, Grand Palace, Similan Islands, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Railay, Phang Nga Bay, Koh Tao, Ko Phi Phi.
  • Language: The official language of Thailand is Siamese, a Thai language closely related to Laos, Shan in Burma, and numerous smaller languages of southern China and northern Vietnam. It is the principal language of education and government and is spoken throughout the country. English and French are spoken in business or by some senior government officials. Many shopkeepers can understand basic English and French.
  • Religion: Roughly 95% of the Thai people are practitioners of Theravada Buddhism, the official religion of Thailand, religious tolerance is both customary in Thailand and protected by the constitution. 
  • Government: Royal Thai Government is the unitary government of the Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy system since 1932. The country has existed in some form since the 13th century, but the country emerged as a modern nation state after the foundation of the Chakri Dynasty and the city of Bangkok in 1782. The Revolution of 1932 brought an end to absolute monarchy and replaced it with a system of constitutional monarchy.
  • Economy: Thailand is a newly industrialized country. Its economy is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product.
  • Festival and official HolidaysThe biggest festival is Thailand New Year in mid-April, similar to Laos and Cambodia celebrations. Public holidays in Thailand are regulated by the government, and most are observed by both the public and private sectors. There are usually sixteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the Cabinet. The actual number of holidays for the individual is determined by the nature of the organization for which they work i.e. public, private, institutions governed by the Bank of Thailand, or state-owned enterprises.