A Place to Begin...

Before sharing with you about the people, the places and the events that make up our experience of Thailand, we thought you might like to know where it is!  Here are some maps to help you find out and some facts for those of you who like that sort of information:

Where in the World is Thailand?

The Kingdom of Thailand is located in Southeast Asia. The exact location is between latitude 5o27’ & 20o27’ north and between longitude 97o22’ & 105o37’. It covers approximately 512,000 square kilometers (195,000 square miles) which is about two times the size of Wyoming. Approximately 85% of Thailand is within the main continent of Asia and about 15 % forms the southern peninsula.

Political Map of Thailand

The capital of Thailand is Bangkok. The country is made up of 76 provinces. Of those, 23 have coastlines on either the Andaman Sea, which is part of the larger Indian Ocean, or on the Gulf of Thailand, which is part of the larger South China Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Burma lies to the west and northwest. This country is also called Myanmar.

Laos lies to the  northeast;

Cambodia to the southeast.

Malaysia lies to the south of Thailand.

Map source:  CIA World Factbook

Topographical Map of Thailand

Thailand topographical map

Topographical map of Thailand - multiple source composite

Based on data from a number of sources, this map is our attempt to show how high or low the land is above sea level.

  • blue - 10,000’ + above sea level
  • pink - 5,000’ to 10,000’
  • grey-green - 2,000’ to 5,000’
  • tan - 1,000’ to 2,000’
  • light green - 500’ to 1,000’
  • dark green - sea level
  • red lines - country borders
  •  Mountains in the north of Thailand lie at the far eastern edge of the Himalayan Massif.

    Movements of the earth’s tectonic plates that continue to push the Himalayan mountains upward also formed the various mountain chains of ThailandThe twisting and turning of these plates created five more or less parallel mountain chains that create the four main valleys of Thailand. The longest of these ranges forms the spine of the long southern peninsula and creates a natural border between Thailand and Burma. Rivers flowing in the valleys include the Nan, Yom, Wang, and Ping rivers. All of these rivers flow generally southward and converge to become Thailand’s largest river, the Chao Phraya, in the city of Nakhon Sawan, about 250 km north of Bangkok.

    Much of Thailand is less than 1,000 meters above sea level.  The highest areas are in the north.  There, the highest peak (2,565 meters) is Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai Province.  There are a total of five peaks over 2,000 meters and two over 1,900 meters.

    Source: Maitree, 2002

    Quick Facts of Thailand

    Population:  61,797,751   (July 2001 est. based on excess mortality due to AIDS)

    Age structure:   23.43 % of the total population 14 years old or younger,  69.95% is 15 to 64 years old, and 6.62% is over 65 years of age. (2001 est.)

    Population growth rate:  0.91% (2001 est.)

    Birth rate:  The average number of births for every 1000 people is  16.63 . (2001 est.)

    Death rate:  The average number of deaths for every 1000 people is 7.54. (2001 est.)

    Net migration rate:  There is virtually no change in population due to migration. The average change in population for every 1000 people is zero.  (2001 est.)

    Sex ratio:  At birth, the ratio of boys to girls is 1.05:1.  At age 65, the ratio of men to women is 0.78:1

    Infant mortality rate:  There are approximately 30.49 deaths for every 1,000 live births (2001 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:  The average life expectancy of the total population is  68.86 years. For males it is 65.64 years & for females it is 72.24 years   (2001 est.)

    Total fertility rate:  There is an average of 1.87 children born for every one woman in population (2001 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  approximately 2.15% of all adults have HIV/AIDS.  The number of people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS as of 1999 was 755,000 and the number estimated to have died with HIV/AIDS was 66,000 (Note: those numbers have since increased.)

    Ethnic groups:  75% of all people in Thailand are considered to be Thai, 14% are Chinese, and all other groups together make up 11%.

    Religions:  95% of all the people in Thailand are Buddhist ,   3.8% are Muslim,  0.5% are Christian, 0.1% are Hindu, & all other religions make up 0.6% of the total.  (based on 1991 statistics)

    Languages:  Thai is the primary language of the country with various ethnic and regional dialects. English is a secondary language spoken most fluently by the elite. There are also many languages spoken by various hilltribe groups. 

    Literacy: ( Literacy is defined as people who are age 15 or older and can read and write.)  93.8% of all the people in Thailand are literate. This includes 96% of the men and  91.6% of the women. (1995 est.)

    Population below poverty line:  12.5% of all people in Thailand are considered to be living in poverty.  (The definition of poverty was not given.) (1998 est.)

    Jobs: Of all the people working in Thailand 54% work in agriculture, 15% work in industry, 31% work in services (1996 est.)

    Budget:  revenues:  $19 billion expenditures,  $21 billion, including capital expenditures (2000 est.)

    Industries:  tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

    Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel:  91.17%     hydro:  3.81%      nuclear:  0%     other:  5.02%      (1999)

    Agriculture - products:  rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans

    Exports - commodities:  computers and parts, textiles, integrated circuits, rice

    Exports - partners:  US 22%,  Japan 14%,   Singapore 9%, Hong Kong 5%,    Netherlands 4%,  Malaysia 4%, UK 4% (1999)

    Imports - commodities:  capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels

    Imports - partners:  Japan 26%,   US 14%,   Singapore 6%, China 5%,   Malaysia 5%,    Taiwan 5%   (1999)

    Currency:  baht

    Exchange rates:  history of baht per US dollar      2001 - 43.078=$1 U.S. dollar       2000 - 40.112=$1           1999 - 37.814=$1           1998 - 41.359=$1              1997 - 31.364=$1             1996 - 25.343=$1

    Statistics source:  CIA World Factbook

    [Home] [Maps & Facts] [Religion] [Rice] [Daily Life]