Expats in Thailand

Expats in ThailandThailand: An Overview

Thailand has had a constitutional system of government since 1932, although the country's military and monarchy have frequently interfered with domestic affairs. The most recent occasion came in May 2014, when the army declared martial law and used a coup to install General Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister. This was the twelfth successful military coup that Thailand has experienced since 1932 - more than any other country during that period of time - while there have been a further seven unsuccessful coup attempts. The head of state, King Bhumibol, passed away on 13 October, having reigned for 70 years. The country is now in a state of mourning out of respect for their beloved monarch.

▶ Click for more

Thailand, meaning "land of the free", was commonly known as Siam prior to 1949. One reason for the name change was because Thailand is famous as being the only Southeast Asian state to avoid European colonial rule, having acted as a buffer state between French Indochina and the British Empire. It is the world's 51st largest country and the 21st most populous.

Thailand is in the centre of the Indochinese peninsula and shares a border with Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The country, along with neighbouring Cambodia, has the world's greatest concentration of Buddhists, with over 95% of the population adhering to the religion.

Before the arrival of the Portuguese in South-East Asia, modern-day Thailand was a part of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351–1767) which dominated the region. The capital, Ayutthaya, was situated an hour's drive north of Bangkok, and was one of a number of cities given the moniker "the Venice of the East". By 1700, it is estimated that Ayutthaya's population exceeded one million people, which would have made it the world's biggest city at the time.

After the Ayutthaya Kingdom fell to invading Burmese armies, the Rattanak Kingdom saw a period of relative stability for the area, which would last for 150 years until the revolution of 1932. Since then, Thailand has experienced fluctuating fortunes, with times of rapid economic growth interspersed between political upheaval and uncertainty.


Country Name: Thailand
Coordinates: 15°45'N 101°29'E
Capital: Bangkok
Capital Coordinates: 13°45'N 100°29'E
Other Main Cities: Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Hat Yai
Population: 66720153
Area: 513120
Official Language(s): Thai
Ethnic Group(s): 75% Thai, 14% Thai Chinese, 11% Others
Demonym: Thai
Currency: Baht, THB, ฿
GDP: $673.725 billion
Time Zone: (UTC+7)
International Dialling Code: 66
Internet TLD: .th
Electricity Voltage: 220 Volts AC (50Hz)





Moving to Thailand

If you are considering moving to Thailand or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Thailand section including; details of immigration and visas, Thai forums, Thai event listings and service providers in Thailand.


Living in Thailand

From your safety to shoppingliving in Thailand can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Thailand with relevant news and up-to-date information.


Working in Thailand

Working in Thailand can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Thailand, and general Thai culture of the labour market.