The Thai people
Called "the land of smiles", Thailand is not only a beautiful country due to it's geographical assets, but also because of it's people.
The natural kindness of Thai people, their deep sense of tolerance and their open minded way of considering life all contribute to make Thailand one of the most welcoming and easy to visit countries in the world.
A deep sense of national identity forms part of the character of the Thai people, perhaps this is because the country is the only one in South East Asia which was not colonized by a European power.
Thais have a deep respect for family traditions, national institutions, and above all for their beloved King.
Thailand is the world's leading rice exporter, and the richness of this agricultural white gold
is a significant contributor, together with tourism, to the growth of the Thai economy. World food prices continue to climb and Thailand is well positioned to benefit from this trend.
With a bit of imagination, the map of Thailand can look either like an orchid flower, a sea horse, or even an elephant's head with a length of 2000 km !
The country is slightly smaller than France (513.000 km2) and has a similarly sized population (65 million people).
Thailand general information
The capital Bangkok (called Krungthep in Thai) currently is home to 12 million inhabitants and grows at a rapid pace.
The main language used in the country is Thai, English and Chinese are also spoken. The currency is the Thai Baht.
The Thai government system is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The Thai head of state is His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is the world's longest serving head of state and has reigned since 1946.
F.A.Q./Frequently asked questions
Is it necessary to apply for a visa in order to visit Thailand ?
All information concerning visa matters is fully explained on the following websites
A summary of visa requirements is as follows
Citizens from the following 42 countries do not necessarily need to apply for a visa in order to enter the Kingdom of Thailand for a period not exceeding 30 days. They are granted a 30 day stay authorization
(not a Tourist visa, nor a visa on arrival) from the date of their arrival, duly stamped into their passport.
The list of such countries is as follows
Australia - Austria - Belgium - Brazil - Bahrain - Brunei - Canada - Denmark - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hong-Kong - Iceland - Indonesia - Ireland - Israel - Italy - Japan - Korea - Kuwait - Luxembourg - Malaysia - Monaco - Netherlands - New Zealand - Norway - Oman - Peru - Philippines - Portugal - Qatar - Singapore - Spain - South Africa - Sweden - Switzerland - Turkey - United Arab Emirates - United Kingdom - USA - Vietnam.
If a visitor from one of the above countries wishes to stay longer than 30 days, further steps must be taken. The recommended procedure is to apply for a Tourist visa from the Thai embassy in your home country.
Tourist visas allow for a 60-day stay, extendable by an extra 30 days at an immigration office. Double and triple entry Tourist visas are available at the discretion of the individual embassy, these allow for two or three stays of 60/90 days at a time.
There is no prescribed limit to the number of Tourist visas that can be applied for, so it is quite possible to stay in Thailand on holiday for an extended period.
For those wishing to stay for a longer time, there are other types of visas available, such as the Retirement visa which is issued to persons over 50 years of age. These Non-immigrant visas have special requirements and more information can be found at the above websites.
Thailand is a very welcoming country and it's immigration policies are quite relaxed for those wishing to visit. Those wishing to stay long term do need to complete paperwork and meet certain basic requirements, but the reward is the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful and enjoyable countries in the world.