Thailand is an independent country located in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Myanmar (aka Burma) to the North and North West, Laos to the North and East, Cambodia to the East and Malaysia to the South. The southern peninsula borders the Andaman Sea (West) and the Gulf of Thailand (East).

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democratic system. King Bhumibol Adulyadej has reigned since 1946, making him the world’s longest-serving monarch.

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not colonized during the colonial period. It served as a buffer between the British and French empires.

Bangkok is the capital and other popular cities include: Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Nakon Ratchasima, Phuket, and Sukhothai. Bangkok in Thai generally means, "City of Angels"

Thai food is known throughout the world for it’s unique blend of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, spicy and biter-often combined in a single dish. Thai food is a reflection of Thailand’s diversity, with influences of many different cuisines from China, Laos, Burma and Malaysia. Thai food generally falls into one of four categories, which correspond to a region in Thailand: Northern, Northeastern (aka Isan), Central and Southern.

Thai’s traditionally eat food with a fork and a spoon-the fork is held in the left hand (spoon in the right), and is used to push the food onto the spoon. Thais often eat “family style” which means that many dishes are ordered for the entire table and everyone shares. This is also a great way to sample many different dishes at a time!

Area: 513,120 sq km (slightly larger than Spain)
Population: 67 million (ranks 20th in the world)
Religion: Buddhist (94.6%), Muslim (4.6%), Christian (0.7%), Other (0.1%)