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Monday, February 24, 2014

All about Thailand

Full name: Kingdom of Thailand
Population: 69.9 million (UN, 2012)
Capital: Bangkok
Area: 513,115 sq km (198,115 sq miles)
Major language: Thai
Major religion: Buddhism
Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
Main exports: Food including rice, seafood and live animals, office equipment, textiles and clothing, rubber
Internet domain: .th
International dialling code: +66

Thailand officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

Thailand Travel Advice:
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border.

The FCO advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border due to the presence of troops in the area and the risk of outbreaks of fighting.

There is a high threat of terrorism.

Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Some of these have been violent, including the use of firearms, and there have been casualties and deaths. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.

On 21 January the Thai Government declared a 60-day State of Emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas from 22 January.

Protest action in central Bangkok since 13 January is causing significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city. The main protest sites are at the major intersections of Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan and at Government House and the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. Some protest sites are located close to shopping malls. There have been attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and protest marches. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.

The government has signalled its intention to dismantle the protest sites. On 18 February this resulted in violent clashes between the police and protestors at thePhanfa Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Road.

Voting in a national election took place on 2 February. There were protests and some violence during the election period and these may continue until all rounds of the election are completed and the results announced, which may take several months.

You should take extra care and avoid all protests, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches. If you’re travelling to the airport, allow extra time to take account of possible transport delays, and consider using the airport rail link. Monitor local news and social media for developments.

The Thai authorities have set up a Tourist’s Friend Centre to provide information for tourists. Offices are located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station. You can also contact the Tourist’s Friend Centre by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212 (in English – 24 hours).

The majority of road traffic accidents in Thailand involve motorcycles, but accidents involving other vehicles including cars, coaches and mini-buses also occur.

By law you must carry your passport with you at all times. Tourists have been arrested because they were unable to produce their passport.

Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs are severe and can include the death penalty.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.


Over 800,000 British nationals visit Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but incidents of crime (sometimes violent) can affect visitors. 

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