Thailand in Brief

Thailand in Brief: Background on Thailand


Thailand is a Southeast Asian, predominantly Buddhist, kingdom almost equidistant between India and China. For centuries known to outsiders as Siam, Thailand has been something of a Southeast Asian migratory, cultural and religions crossroads.

With an area of some 200,000 square miles and a population of 66 million, Thailand is about three-fourths the size of Texas. Thailand shares borders with Burma to the west and north, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the east, and Malaysia to the south. There are forested mountains in the north and west, rain-forest in the south, and long, white-sand beaches along the coast. Thailand has coasts on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Hua Hin in one of eight districts in Prachuapkirikhan Province. To the north, Hua Hin borders the other popular beach resort, Cha Am, which is in Petchburi Province. To the east is the Gulf of Thailand, to the west is Burma, and to the south is Pranburi district, another increasingly popular beach resort.

Hua Hin district has a population of just less than 100,000 with about half of those in the town of Hua Hin. During the high season, between November and March, the population increases significantly, especially on weekends with visitors from around the world and Bangkok.


Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with 3 distinct seasons; summer from roughly March through May, rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to September and cool from October through February. The average annual temperature is 28 C (83 F), ranging in Bangkok, for example, from 30 C in April to 25 C in December. The north of Thailand is generally several degrees cooler than the rest of the country whereas Hua Hin tends to get less rain than other regions with the bulk of the rainfall between May and November.


Theravada Buddhism is the religion of more than 90% of all Thais and has a strong influence on all daily life. There are also sizable minorities of Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs freely following their respective faiths.


Thailand enjoys very much its own distinctive culture with drama, literature, music, architecture, sculpture and painting, basket and silk weaving, lacquerware, bronze ware, pottery and jewelry. There is also the unique Thai language and alphabet, cuisine, martial arts, beliefs and attitudes.

There are also four relatively distinct regions of Thailand; the central plains, the north, the northeast and the south. Though the Thai language is spoken throughout the kingdom, each region has its own dialects and culture.


Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliamentarian system. His Majesty, King Bhumipol, is popularly held to be sacred and inviolable, and reigns as Head of State, Upholder of Religions, and Head of the Armed Forces.


Thailand has long been an agricultural country, with almost 40% of the labor force engaged in farming or related activities. Thailand was the world’s largest exporter of rice for over thirty years but this title was lost in 2013 to India and Vietnam. Exports of agricultural products are declining in importance as foreign exchange earners however as exports of computer hard disks and electric circuits, automobiles, plastic products and jewelry increase. Tourism is also an increasingly important part of the economy with over 22,000,000 arrivals expected in 2012.


Spoken and written Thai remain largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. English is widely understood, however, at least in Bangkok and most tourist destinations where English and other European languages are spoken in many hotels, shops and restaurants. Thai-English road and street signs are found almost nationwide. English is understood by many in the tourism related businesses in Hua Hin but you won’t go wrong if you try to pick up some Thai skills to help get you by.

                  Thai Holidays & Festivals

January 1

New Year’s Day

January 2

Hua Hin Centennial Invitation tennis match

                  Mid February

             Makha Bucha Day (Buddhist Holy Day)

Mid to late February

Chinese New Year

Early to mid March

Thai Sky Festival

Early to mid March

Kite Festival

Early April

Cricket Sixes

April 6

Chakri Day

April 13-15

Songkran (Thai New Year)

May 1

National Labor Day

May 5

Coronation Day

Mid May

Visakha Bucha (Buddhist Holy Day)

June 12 – 14

Hua Hin Jazz Festival 2009

Mid July

Asalaha Bucha (Beginning of Buddhist Lent)

August 12

HM the Queen’s Birthday

Mid October

Ok Pansa (End of Buddhist Lent)

October 23

Chulalongkorn Day

Late November

Phra Pathom Chedi Fair, Nakhon Pathom

Late November

River Kwai Bridge Week, Kanchanaburi

November 14

Loy Krathong

December 5

HM the King’s Birthday

December 10

Constitution Day

December 19

Hua Hin Rock Festival

December 24-27

Boat Racing at Khao Tao Lake, Hua Hin

December 28-January 5

Hua Hin Countdown & Food Festival

December 31

New Year’s Eve