Thailand – The Land of Smiles

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Most Thai males enter the monkhood for some period of time.

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Working elephants.
Thailand – The Land of Smiles

The Kingdom of Thailand, covering an area of 514,000 square kilometers in the heart of Southeast Asia, lies roughly halfway between India and China. It shares borders with Myanmar (Burma) to the west and north, Laos to the north and northeast, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south.

Thailand has a population of about 60 million. Ethnic Thais form the majority, though the area has historically been a migratory crossroads, and thus strains of Mon, Khmer, Burmese, Laos, Malay, Indian and, most strongly, Chinese stock produce a degree of ethnic diversity. Integration is such, however, that culturally and socially there is enormous unity.

Thailand lies within the humid tropics and remains hot throughout the year. Average temperatures are about 29°C, ranging in Bangkok from
35°C in April to 17°C in December. There are three distinct seasons: the cool season (November to February), the hot season (April to May), and the rainy season (June to October), though downpours rarely last more than a couple of hours.