The Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century as was known as Siam until 1939. It is the only Southeast Asian country that has never been colonized by a European power.
Thailand is a popular destination in Southeast Asia, and is served by over 80 international airlines landing mainly in Bangkok with an increasing number of international flights arriving in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai. Thailand’s domestic airports have increased and all have connecting flights to Bangkok and at least one other destination. Thailand has four international airports, one each in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai.
Travelers should check visa regulations at a Thai Embassy or consulate before staring their journey. Foreign nationals entering Thailand must have valid passports. At the airport, nationals from most countries will be granted a free transit visa valid up to 30 days, provided that they have a fully paid ticket out of Thailand.
Thai weather is tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon from mid-May to September and dry, cool northeast monsoon from November to mid-March; Thailan’s southern part is generally hot and humid all year round.
The official language is Thai with English as the secondary language of the elite; there are also various ethnic and regional dialects.
The official currency is the Thai Baht which exchanges for 40.22 to the US Dollar.
Thailand has a large network of highways and smaller roads linking the main cities with outlying areas. Visitors who possess an international driving license can rent cars in order to explore the country on their own.
Rail travel is also an option with first, second and third class seats including air-conditioned first- and second-class sleeping coaches.
For getting around Bangkok, public taxis and tuk-tuks, air-conditioned buses, motorbike taxis and a sky train system serve key central areas. River ferries and water taxis are also generally available for daily commuting within Bangkok and its suburbs.
International Direct Dial Country Code = 66
Fixed Lines = 7,000,000
Mobile Cellular = 28,000,000
Thailand’s telephone system is generally of high quality provided both by a government owned and commercial provider. Thailand’s GSM wireless service expanding rapidly and outpacing fixed lines.
Thailand’s GSM providers are THAIS GSM, Total Access Comms and WCS.
Several prepaid calling card and phone card companies are available to call both to and from Thailand.
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