When did Thailand become a developed country?
Land of smiles
Thailand offers a lot of everything - and that certain something more. In summary, this Southeast Asian paradise shines with its multifaceted landscapes, historic sites worth seeing, wonderfully creative cuisine and extremely friendly hosts.
In the north the land is lush and green with a high proportion of jungle. A little further south, the land becomes flatter and is characterized by large rice fields. A little further south is the island-rich Gulf of Thailand, where beautiful stretches of beach invite you to pause and enjoy. Because Thailand's beaches have picture book quality: palm trees lean over white fine sand, corals bloom in the shallow water, green islands rise from the azure blue sea and beach life is characterized by happy togetherness.
The country's incredibly exciting cuisine reflects the elementary characteristics of Thai culture: It is generous, inviting, refreshing and uncomplicated. Beggars and kings, athletes and idlers, ascetics and connoisseurs alike find their paradise here. This is not least due to the fact that the unearthly is omnipresent in the country shaped by Buddhism: devotions become a colorful spectacle, colorful temples and golden Buddhas adorn rural areas and cities, old banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in holy cloths, auspicious shrines stand in simple Snack bars, but also in modern shopping centers, and display boards decorated with garlands are supposed to prevent accidents. Thanks to the constant dialogue with the divine, Thailand has retained its contagious serenity despite all progress.
In addition to sightseeing, big city shopping and diving expeditions, holidaymakers can finally find the time to stop and contemplate. The smile that is so characteristic of Thailand is therefore usually the first thing guests in this country learn.
Thailand is the largest country in Southeast Asia with a rich flora, fauna and culture. It has 69 million inhabitants and is a relatively well developed country with large cities and good infrastructure. Geographically, Thailand can be divided into four regions: The mountainous north with the foothills of the Himalayas is characterized by dense monsoon forests. The interior of the country is very fertile thanks to the Chao Phraya River, as are the southern and eastern coastal regions. Together with the center and the capital Bangkok, they form the economic heart of the country. The northeast with the Khorat plateau is rather barren. All regions have their own charm and, in addition to the glamorous metropolis of Bangkok and many beach paradises, there are also over 50 national parks worth seeing. Even today you can see tigers, leopards, monkeys and even water buffalo there. Three quarters of the 69 million inhabitants are Thai, 15% Chinese, the remaining 10% are minorities. Overall, 95% of the population are Buddhists who live peacefully next door to Muslims, Hindus, Christians and animists. The head of the constitutional monarchy is King Bhumipol (Rama IX), who has ruled for over 60 years and is worshiped like a god in Thailand.
Climate / travel time
For a Thailand vacation, the period between November and February is generally recommended, as the northeast monsoon brings cooler temperatures to the tropical country at this time of the year. However, there are noticeable differences here depending on the region.
- Mae Hong Son: November - March
- Chiang Mai: November - February
- Bangkok: November - February
- Ko Samui: December - August
- Phuket: October - April
CET + 6 hours (summer time + 5 hours)
For stays of up to 30 days, German citizens need a passport, which must be valid for at least six months upon entry, and a confirmed onward or return ticket. The same applies to guests from Austria.
The German child ID card is generally not recognized in Thailand. Children can only enter the country with their own EU or temporary passport.
The official currency and the only means of payment in Thailand is the baht: € 1 = approx. 45 baht (THB). There are 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20 baht notes as well as 10, 5, 2 and 1 baht coins. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency and travelers checks that can be introduced. In addition to hotels and banks, changing money is also possible with licensed money changers, who also often charge a better rate. Euro checks are only cashed by the Thai Farmers Bank. With Visa and Mastercard you can easily pay and withdraw cash anywhere in the country. However, there is a fee of 150 THB for withdrawals abroad.
The official language and writing of the country is Thai (Siamese). English is the language of business. Other western languages are hardly used.
The international country code for Thailand is +66, for calls to Germany you dial 00149. Mobile phones work reliably in Thailand via the GSM network, preferably with a Thai prepaid SIM card (3G is under construction). The top level domain for a Thai internet address is .th.
We strongly recommend basic vaccination protection (tetanus, polio, diphtheria and hepatitis A and B). A typhoid vaccination is also advisable.
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for tours in forest and hill areas as well as in the borderlands with Myanmar and Cambodia (especially during the rainy season). Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Ko Samui are malaria-free.
Please only drink bottled drinking water, not tap water.
Thailand has been one of the countries in which the H5N1 bird flu virus has been detected in humans since 2004. Therefore, contact with live or dead poultry and raw poultry meat should be avoided.
What else should you watch out for?
- Swimming in the ocean during monsoons can be life threatening
- Possession of drugs is punishable by long prison sentences or even the death penalty.
- Due to the ongoing unrest since 2005, a trip to the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani is strongly discouraged. Current information on the homepage of the Federal Foreign Office.
- In Thailand there is left-hand traffic. Most of the time, the motto is "The bigger and stronger wins". Anyone who rents a motorcycle: Never ride without a helmet.
- The Thais always address each other by first name, never by family name. The first name is preceded by the syllable Khun (for Mr. or Mrs.).
- You don't greet each other with a handshake, instead you put your palms together over your chest and bow (this is the greeting that Thai people call the "wai").
- Never touch a Thai on the head, as this is the seat of the soul and is therefore considered the most sacred part of the body.
- Before entering a temple or private house, it is customary to take off your shoes.
- When visiting the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Keo, and other religious sites, the same consideration must be given to clothing and behavior as anywhere else in the world. Beachwear is out of place here.
- Women are not allowed to touch Buddhist monks (and vice versa) and also not give them anything in their bare hands.
- The Thais are a very polite and reserved, but very friendly people. Therefore, never show your anger and always remain calm and polite even in the event of a conflict.
- Avoid making any critical remarks about royalty.
- It is considered gross to stretch your feet in the direction of a person while sitting.
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