Thailand was formerly called Siam but today has the official name Kingdom of Thailand. This is very much a kingdom where the throne has been inherited for several generations within the same family. The royals are important in Thailand and influence public opinion through their choices and actions. However, the country is a constitutional monarchy so there is a prime minister, so it is not the royal house that alone leads and rules Thailand.
According to Bridgat, Thailand has a coast to the Gulf of Thailand which is part of the Pacific Ocean, via this bay Thailand borders Vietnam. Other neighboring countries are Malaysia, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. The country has different types of landscapes depending on where you are. For Swedes, the tropical beaches with the crystal clear water may be the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Thailand, but the fact is that this country also has mountain areas where Doi Inthanon is the highest point at 2565 meters altitude. The center of the country is dominated by the Chao Phraya River and the valley that surrounds it. This river eventually empties into the Gulf of Thailand.
The country’s capital, Bangkok, is a modern city that is very large. It is estimated that about 12 million people live in this city. The official language of the country is Thai and the currency is called baht.
Kingdom of Thailand
In May 2014, a military junta took power in Thailand, which is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX as monarch. This is the ninth monarch from the Chakrid dynasty who has been on the throne of Thailand since 1782. The King of Thailand is the head of state and also the head of the country’s armed forces. The king is to be a Buddhist and even though he has no direct influence over the country’s politics, it is well known that the Thai royal family is involved in political issues.
Animals and nature
For many, Thailand is something of a paradise on earth. The tropical climate offers a great contrast to the Swedish winters and in addition there are animals that you can only see in the picture in Sweden. Monkeys, elephants, sharks, snakes and crocodiles are just a few examples of things you can see in the country. Several nature reserves have been established to protect the species and these can be visited to see nature and animals in an untouched state. Wildlife is rich both in the oceans that surround the country and on islands and the mainland. For many, the dream holiday means diving trips in the Gulf of Thailand. The food is strongly influenced by the flora and fauna that are in place and it is very common with dishes that combine what you can fish up from the sea with the spices that grow on land.
The best time to stay in Thailand is when it is coldest in Sweden, namely between November and February. At other times of the year you can expect heavy rainfall, but depending on where you are in the country, you can still get enough sun to be able to discover cities, villages, culture and even beaches.