Capital: Bangkok or Krungthepmahanakhon Amornrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharat Ratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit!
Population: 64 million Language: Thai Time: GMT+7 International Dialling Code: +66 Money: Thai Baht (THB) Visa: Not required by UK nationals.
Further Information: Tourism Authority of Thailand , Royal Thai Embassy in London: 020 7589 2944
Further Reading: Bangkok People -James Eckhardt (Asia Books, Bangkok)
When to go: September and October are the wet months and the rest of the year is visiting time. The east coast of southern Thailand is best from May through October and the Western Bay of Bengal coast is best from November through to April.
Music: Pompuang Duangjan was the queen of Luk Thung music a very danceable high tech affair popular in chic Bangkok, it is pretty catchy too. Mor Lam is the music from the Lao north east of the country and has a bluesy, earthy feel to it which this scribe prefers. If you can get to a country wedding in the north east of Thailand you will be in for a serious treat!!
Thailand offers the old and new sitting side by side with beaches and always Bangkok if you require retail therapy! Our Thai Upcountry Adventure takes in Ayutthaya Kanchanaburi with a train ride to mystical Chiang Mai where the people of the hills are hospitable and friendly. Southern Thailand is the beach capital of this region, islands and beaches galore with national parks occupying some of the islands.