The colours are said to stand for nation-religion-king, an unofficial motto of Thailand.
Thailand is divided into four distinct areas: the mountainous North, the fertile Central Plains, the semi-arid plateau of the Northeast, and the peninsula South, distinguished by its many beautiful tropical beaches and offshore islands.
Thailand lies within the humid tropics and remains hot throughout the year. Temperature varies from 19C to 38C. Average temperatures are 29C. There are three 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.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty. Born in December 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA, where his father, Prince Mahidol of Songkhla was studying medicine at Harvard University, H.M. King Bhumibol ascended the throne in 1946 and is already the longest reigning Thai monarch. As a constitutional monarch, he maintains neutrality in times of crisis.
Thai people have a deep and traditional reverence for the Royal Family. To a very large degree, H.M. King Bhumibol’s popularity mirrors his deep interest in his people’s welfare. He concerns himself intimately with every aspect of Thai life. He and his wife, H.M. Queen Sirikit devote much of their time to inspect and improve the welfare of the people.
The Kingdom of Thailand, covering an area of 514,000 square kilometers, lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, roughly equidistant between India and China. It shares borders with Myanmar to the west and north, Lao P.D.R. to the north and northeast, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south.
Thailand has a population of about 60 million (1998) with the capital city of Bangkok having around 7million people. Ethnic Thais form the majority, though the area has historically been a migratory crossroads, and thus strains of Mon, Khmer, Burmese, Lao, 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.
Thai is the national language. English is also understood in most cities.