Population: 66 million people
Government: Constitutional monarchy with prime minister as head of government. There has been a recent wave of instability and protests against corruption. Still, Thailand is one of the more stable countries in Southeast Asia with a somewhat functional democracy.
Climate: Most of the country is hot year round, with a dry, cooler season lasting from December to March. April is very hot throughout the country. The rains begin in June and last through November. The mountains and far north tend to be much cooler than the southern lowlands, especially during the dry season.
Language: Thai, secondary languages and dialects, some English in tourist areas and among the rich.
When to Go
The tourist high season is during the dry season. For jungle excursions or remote beach camping, this is a good time to be in country. Otherwise, October is a good time to be in Thailand, as there are fewer tourists, the weather is reasonable, and the rains are lighter than at the peak of the wet season. April is unbearably hot for many foreigners.
30 day tourist visa on arrival at airport, no onward ticket required. 15 days for arrival at one of the borders. Officially, this is only renewable up to 90 days during a 6 month period, but in reality a traveler can cross as many times as he likes at certain borders. Working in Thailand can be a real pain in the ass with regard to the visa regulations, probably one of the reasons that no one can speak English…