Weather, Currency, Society
Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid
for the majority of the country during most of the year. The
area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined
by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of
Thailand has only two.
The southern region of Thailand really has only two
seasons -- the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run
at the same time on both the east and west side of the
peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon
brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to
October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls
between September and December.
The Thai baht (THB) is the currency of Thailand. It is
subdivided into 100 satang. The issuance of currency is the
responsibility of the Bank of Thailand.
* You can check the exchange rate at the side table
Bangkok Bank, the commercial bank in
Thai culture has been shaped by many influences,
including Indian, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Chinese.
Its traditions incorporate a great deal of influence from
India, China, Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Thailand's national religion Theravada Buddhism is
important to modern Thai identity. Thai Buddhism has
evolved over time to include many regional beliefs
originating from Hinduism, animism as well as ancestor
worship. The official calendar in Thailand is based on the
Eastern version of the Buddhist Era, which is 543 years
ahead of the Gregorian (western) calendar. For example,
the year AD 2012 is 2555 BE in Thailand.
Like most Asian cultures, respect towards ancestors
is an essential part of Thai spiritual practice. Thais have a
strong sense of hospitality and generosity, but also a
strong sense of social hierarchy. Seniority is an important
concept in Thai culture. Elders have by tradition ruled in
family decisions or ceremonies. Older siblings have duties
to younger ones.
Taboos in Thailand include touching someone's head
or pointing with the feet, as the head is considered the
most sacred and the foot the dirtiest part of the body. Thai
society has been influenced in recent years by its widely
available multi-language press and media. There are some
English and numerous Thai and Chinese newspapers in
circulation; most Thai popular magazines use English
headlines as a chic glamor factor. Many large businesses in
Bangkok operate in English as well as other languages.