Your DSP Relcoations Asia Office in Thailand

DSP Relocations Thailand
59/44 Soi 26 Sukhumvit Road, Klongton Klongtoey,
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
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Tel        : +66 2 259 0088-49
Fax       : +66 2 258 5281
E-mail  : joe.wong@dsprelocations.com


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THAILAND - FACTS AND FIGURES
Capital : Bangkok
Location : Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
Total Area : 513,120 sq km
Climate : Tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to Sept); dry, cool Northeast Monsoon (Nov – mid March); southern isthmus always hot & humid
Population : 67,091,089 (July 2012 – estimated); Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Government Type : Constitutional Monarchy
Official Languages : Thai, English, Ethnic & regional Dialects
Religions : Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6 %, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1 %
Currency : Baht
Country Code : +66
GENERAL
Known for centuries by outsiders as Siam, Thailand is a Buddhist kingdom almost equidistant between India and China. The country has unparalleled characteristics stem from Indian and Chinese influences, rich ethnic diversity, abundant natural and human resources, over seven hundred years of cherished independence, traditional culture, and loving kindness. The country’s ancient equilibrium and growing modernity mingle in evolving harmony.

In a region that has seen its fair share of war and political turmoil, Thailand has maintained relatively good relations with neighbouring countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Laos) and enjoyed a comparatively peaceful and prosperous history. This stability, as well as the country’s strategic geographic location as the gateway to Indochina, makes Thailand a leading partner in the region’s trade and politics, often providing a vital economic and political link between neighbouring South-East Asian nations.

The country has attracted significant number of foreign investments and a growing number of expatriate communities. With its natural beauty, fascinating culture and friendly people, Thailand has also long been one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
LOCAL CUSTOMS & ETIQUETTE
SPECIAL BELIEFS
Visitors to Thailand should be aware of the following special beliefs :
  • Even numbers are generally considered unlucky, while odd numbers, such as a three and five, are lucky. Nine is especially lucky because in Thai it sounds the same as the expression for ‘step forward’. Four is considered extremely unlucky, as it is associated with death.
  • Black & white are not a preferred colour, as it is associated with funerals.
  • Respect of hierarch is a very important value for Thai people.
  • The head of a person is considered most sacred, while the foot of a person is seen as unholy.
  • The elephant is revered amongst the Thais, as it has played a significant role in the past years as a workhorse and means of transport.
  • Loss of temper is seen as a severe social lapse.
  • Images of Buddha, once monks have blessed them, are considered sacrosanct. Export of such sacred figures from Thailand is illegal.
  • Monks wearing saffron-coloured robes enjoy special status. Certain protocols apply when greeting them and passing objects to them. Seats in trains and buses are often reserved for monks.
  • Great respect is shown at all times to the king and all images of him.
When interacting with Thais, don’t :
  • Outwardly show anger or shout in times of stress.
  • Touch any person, even young children, on the head.
  • Touch or display any form of affection to a Thai woman in public, except to shake hands.
  • Point to or push an object on the ground, with the foot.
  • Cross the legs when seated in the presence of others, where the foot of the crossed leg points towards the head of someone else, and particularly that of an elder or more senior person. Care should be taken that the foot does not inadvertently point towards a religious image or picture of the king.
  • Throw items across to a person.
  • Present items such as name cards, gifts, cash and credit cards using the left hand; use only the right hand or both hands.
  • Belittle the king or deface images of him.
  • Mishandle or desecrate the Thai currency, as this depicts the monarch. In particular do not stand on it, or place the currency in a shoe or sock, as might be done for safekeeping.
  • Use a crooked index finger to beckon someone; rather use the standard Asian method of palm down and flapping the hand.
  • Step over the legs or body of someone seated or lying on the ground – walk around them and bow deferentially while passing by.
  • Discuss Myanmar (Burma), as friction still exists between these two countries.
  • Touch Buddha figurines or amulets, particularly those worn around the neck.
  • Touch a monk. This rule applies particularly for women.
  • Sit next to a monk on a train or a bus, if you happen to be female.
  • Sit with your head higher than that of a monk.