Thailand is in the heart of southeast asia, bordered by Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. The country has more TEFL courses on offer than anywhere else in the world, and is the first choice for many English teachers embarking on a new career.
The country has an area of 513,120 square km (198,115 square miles), but only 0.4% is water (2,230 square km).
Thailand is divided into 75 provinces, which in turn are divided into districts and sub-districts.
The last census in 2000 showed a population of 60.6 million.
The estimated population is now 63.5 million
The main religion in Thailand is Buddhism, worshipped by about 94.6% of the population. Islam is followed by 4.6%, and Christianity by less than 1%.
Thailand has a warm, tropical climate affected by an annual monsoon, with a rainy season from June to October and a dry season the rest of the year. Temperatures average 30 to 35 degrees Centigrade, with the highest temperatures from March to May and the lowest in December and January.
There is a tropical, rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon from mid-May to September. Dry, cool northeast monsoon from November to mid-March, and the southern isthmus is always hot and humid.
There are three seasons: the cool season (November to February), the hot season (April to May), and the rainy season (June to October), though downpours rarely last more than a couple of hours.
Thailand’s 5 largest cities in order of population size.
The currency of Thailand is the Baht, which is divided into 100 Satang.
Notes in circulation are 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Baht.
Coins in circulation are 25 Satang, 50 Satang, 1 Baht, 2 Baht, 5 Baht and 10 Baht.
The official language of Thailand is Thai. Standard Thai is based on the dialect spoken in central Thailand and is written in the Thai alphabet. A number of dialects are spoken, principally in the north, northeast and south.
Thailand also has several minority languages, the widest spoken of which is the Lao dialect of Isan spoken in the northeastern provinces. In the south, Yawi, a dialect of Malay, is the primary language of the Malay Muslims. Chinese dialects are also spoken by the large Chinese population, Teochew being the dialect best represented.