Destination Information Thailand

Your stay abroad in Thailand

Country information

Thailand

If you love nature, culture or sport, or are looking for some relaxation, Thailand is the place for you!


Projects

Geography

Geography

Thailand is part of Southeast Asia and borders Myanmar and Laos to the north. Its neighbours to the south are Cambodia and Malaysia. Thailand extends approximately 1700 km from north to south. The country has a long coastline running to the south. Thailand has the Gulf of Thailand to the east, and the Andaman Sea, a marginal sea of the eastern Indian Ocean, to the west. The mountainous region in the north is dominated by extensive forests. The Mekong River in the Isaan region to the north-east serves as a natural border. The Chao Phraya river crosses the country’s central plains. There are countless islands along the 3219 km of coastline to the south, while the east coast is lined with impressive and steep rock faces.

Geomorphology/Geology

Thailand can be divided into three main parts: the folded mountains in the North and West, the central low lands of Chao Phraya River and the Khorat plateau in the East. The folded mountains are foothills of the Himalaya Mountains. The famous Tenasserim mountain chain has got a total length of 1.700 km and consists of rocks from Devonian and Carbon age as well as granites from Cretaceous periods. The landscapes of today are formed by erosions and are characterized by rounded structures and peneplains. The central low lands consist of geologically young sediments, which were transported by the strongly meandering Chao Phraya River. All in all they count up to 2.000 m! The delta of Chao Phraya into the Gulf of Thailand is a large and worth seeing area. Thailand’s southeastern part comprises the bays of Bangkok which trend up to the border of Cambodia. The hilly areas in the South developed from glacial events during the last ice age. At the coast you can find high karst hills and chalkstones.


Flora & fauna

Flora and fauna

Due to its diverse landscapes Thailand is home to many different species and a so-called hotspot of biodiversity. It is possible to observe wild Asian elephants, Asian black bears, gibbons, bats and plenty of colourful bird species. One of the most characteristic animals of Thailand’s nature is certainly the Asian elephant which occurs mostly in the South. It is smaller than its African cousin but similarly endangered. Since 1986 the Asian elephant is listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Main problems are the loss of habitat and destruction of forest due to agriculture. Also other species like white-handed gibbons, otter civets and Siam crocodiles are threatened by this development.


Climate

Climate

Thailand is characterized by humid tropical temperatures. Therefore, Thailand is the perfect travelling sport all over the year. In case you are a friend of rather lower temperatures you should go there between November and March, when there are average temperatures of 25°C. The mountainous northern part of the country is generally colder than the South. Sometimes even snow and ice can occur there. From March to May it is mostly dry and temperatures rise up to 30 °C. Since the central area is rather hot and humid then, you are well advised to spend your time in the mountains or by the sea. Between June and October there can be heavy rainfalls and the landscapes turns into lush green colours.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

Apart from Thais there are also large numbers of Malaysians, Chinese and indigenous hill tribes living in Thailand. As Thailand is a popular place for Germans and other Europeans to migrate to, that is why you can find many foreigners there.

Language

The official language in Thailand is Thai. Depending on the place there are many different dialects of standard Thai.

Economy

Thailand’s main economic sectors are mining, service industries and agriculture where lots of locals are employed.

Political situation and security

Since 1932 Thailand is a monarchy. In 2014 the military came to power by a coup. Today Thailand can be considered as a safe country, even though freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are restricted. Tourists should stay away from demonstrations and big gatherings because it might happen that there are conflicts between local people and security forces.

Religion

Around 95 % of Thais are Buddhists. The other 5 % includes Muslims, Christians and some nature religions.


Travel Tips and Trivia

Time Zone

UTC +07:00

In Thailand there is no daylight saving time.

Currency

The currency in Thailand is Baht. For the current exchange rate please visit www.oanda.com

Units

All units accord to the metric system.

Electricity

In Thailand you need an adapter. Some hotels might provide European standardized plugs but this will not be the usual case, especially in low-price accommodations.

Transport

  • There are different kinds of busses. For long travels make sure that your bus has got air conditioning. So-called VIP busses are a bit more expensive but in return much more comfortable.
  • All larger cities are connected by trains. In case you plan to travel overnight you should book a seat/bed in the sleeping compartment. Besides that it is useful to buy your ticket in advance to make sure that the train is not booked out.
  • Among the many different kinds of transport in the cities tuk-tuks, motorbikes and taxis are the most popular ones. Make sure that you negotiate an fair price in advance to avoid rip-offs.
  • With an international driving license you are allowed to rent a car in Thailand. It is an convenient way to explore different places on you own but be aware of the fact the traffic situation, especially in cities, is mostly chaotic and rushing. In town there is a speed limit of 60 km/h, out of town you must not be faster than 90 km/h.
  • The fastest way to travel between big cities is by airplane. Depending on the season the prices can vary a lot. Even though the airplane is a convenient way to travel you should consider that you are going to miss lots of impressions of the country. Apart from that you enlarge your ecological footprint.

Holiday

  • January 1: New Year
  • March 4: Makha Bucha Day – Celebration of Buddha’s first prayer to his disciples
  • April 6: King Rama Memorial and Chakri Day
  • April 13-15: Songkran (Thai New Year)/water festival (be prepared to get wet!)
  • May 1: Labour Day
  • May 5: Coronation Day of Rama ΙX
  • June 1: Viskha Bucha: Celebration of Buddha’s birth, satori and his attainment of Nirvana
  • July 30: Asanha Bucha: Commemoration of Buddha’s first prayer and the founding of Sangha monkhood.
  • July 31: Buddhist Lent: Beginning of Lent when monks return to their monasteries.
  • August 12: Birth of Queen/Mother’s Day
  • October 23: Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
  • December 5: Birth of King/Father’s Day
  • December 10: Constitutional Day (since 1932)
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve

If one of these days should be on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday will be caught up on the following Monday.

 

Dos and Don’ts

Thailand is known as the country of smiling. Generally Thais are nice and helpful towards tourists. Nevertheless there are some rules of behaviour to obey:

  • You should not criticize the monarchy or the king.
  • Respect Buddhist holy places, monks and sacred buildings.
  • Even though you have to cope with high temperatures, you should wear long-sleeved clothes since the Thai people are very religious and consider too much skin as inappropriate. In the more touristic zones the dress code is a bit more relaxed.
  • In Buddhist faith the head is regarded as holy, feed are seen as impure, so better do not touch somebody else’s head or point on another person with you feed. If you sit down in front of a Buddha statue or temple, you should take care that your feet are not pointing into their direction. Also you should obey that shoes are even dirtier than feet, so whenever you enter a temple or a private apartment, take off your shoes.
  • In Thailand it is a custom to greet somebody by the so-called Wai gesture: Put your hands together in front of your chest and drop you chin to the neck.

Highlights Must-see places in Thailand

Our top recommendations for you

Highlights

Highlights

There are more than 100 national parks in Thailand, which give you the chance to explore every corner of the country.

The mountainous northern part is a perfect place to go hiking. The beautiful nature will leave you breathless.

The Northeast offers plenty of archeological sites. Besides that you can find “The Mother of Water”, the Mekong River.

Thailand’s central area provides the country’s so-called “rice storage” along the Chao Phraya River. This part is only sparsely populated and recommended to anybody who wants to enjoy some lonely and peaceful moments.

Without any doubt, the South of the country is one of the most popular parts to travel, especially for foreign tourist. The southern peninsula lined with beautiful white beaches and coconut palms is the perfect place to chill out and to enjoy Thailand’s tropical nature. There are plenty of different things to do like diving, snorkeling, sailing and other kinds of water sports, for which you can rent the equipment.

The East coast is usually visited by people who are into climbing and bouldering. Mighty limestone cliffs invite you to a climbing adventure which will reward you by a jump into the crystal-clear water of the ocean. If you want to explore the underwater world, you can rent diving-gear.

When planning your travel you should check the opening hours of any national park you want to visit in advance. Some parks might be closed due to reconstruction and maintenance works.


Project site

Our project site in Koh Lanta

Geography

Koh Lanta Island belongs to the western costal region called Krabi, which is located on the Andaman Sea. Technically the island consists of two islands: The northern part Lanta Noi and the southern part Lanta Yai, which is accessible to tourist. Koh Lanta is mainly covered by dense lush forests in the centre and paradise-like beaches on the coast. All in all 50 small islands belong to Koh Lanta Island, which are mainly uninhabited. The major part of Koh Lanta’s 20.000 citizens lives on fishing.

Climate

Koh Lanta is located in the tropical climate zone. Temperatures range from 23°C in the winter and 35°C in the summer. The hot dry season is between December and April, the monsoon season is between May and December. The heaviest rainfalls will be between September and October.

Geomorphology

Due to its two parts Koh Lanta is called double-island. The two islands are separated by a natural, one kilometer wide marine strait. Koh Lanta mainly consists of limestone which forms cliffs and caves. On the coast you can find sandstone rocks.

Flora/Fauna

Besides beautiful beaches Koh Lanta is characterized by unique mangroves, rainforests and coral reefs, which are home to plenty of exotic animals.

Highlights

Water sports lovers will get their money’s worth on Koh Lanta. The island offers many possibilities to go diving, snorkeling and kayaking. Nevertheless it is the perfect place to relax and to get away from the mass of tourist you may see in other places in Thailand.

If you want to explore Koh Lanta’s beautiful abandoned little islands, you can do that by boat or Kayak. Another worth seeing sightseeing spot are the Khao Mai Kaew caves in the centre of the island with their mighty stalactites and stalagmites.

Koh Lanta is part of the famous Mu Koh Lanta National Park, which covers all in all 50 little islands. Further information can be found on the national park’s homepage: https://www.thainationalparks.com/mu-ko-lanta-national-park

You can be sure that the time on Koh Lanta is not getting boring during your days off!

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