Thailand counts a population of 67,741,401 inhabitants divided into 70 different ethnic groups including the Thai, which is the main ethnic group with about 95% of the total population, and numerous other ethnic minority groups. Among these numerous ethnic minority groups, the most important in numbers are the Burmese, Khmer, the Malays and the Hmong. These different ethnic groups also have their own language, but the official language of Thailand is the Thai. The word “Thailand” means “country of free men” or “free country” and was adopted in 1939, the country was also called “Siam kingdom” until 1949.
The kingdom of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the kind is his majesty Rama IX (born Bhumibol Adulyadej). It is worth mentioning that he is the head of state that has reigned over a country for 69 years, which is the longest period of time for ruling a country in the world. The free country counts 11 different parties represented in the House of Representatives, in charge of proposing and voting the laws, and the Senate in charge of modifying the constitution. The country has known 19 “coups d'etat” since the foundation of the Constitutional Monarchy in 1932.
The country's capital is Bangkok, Krung Thep in Thai which means city of Angels, and is by far the largest city in the country 8,280,925 inhabitants (more than 10% of the total country's population). The city is located in the central part of the country in the Chao Phraya River delta. Other significant cities of Thailand by population count are Nonthaburi, with 270,609 inhabitants, Nakhon Ratchasima with 174,332 inhabitants, and the famous city of Chiang Mai in the mountainous regions of the North with 174,235 inhabitants. These numbers differ from one source to another and it is actually difficult to know how many people the capital actually counts as the numbers vary from some sources to other sources from 5 million to more than 8 million!
Thailand is mainly famous for its Southern part, and the sandy beaches of its numerous islands. The Southern part of the country has a long coastline on the Andaman sea, with 740kms, and the Gulf of Thailand with more than 1875kms. The kingdom of Thailand also has a large number of islands which offer an even longer coastline, but with more than 700 islands, it is almost impossible to accurately estimate the country's real coastline length. Those white sandy beaches attract numerous tourists every year, and especially people looking for clear water for diving and scuba diving as well as enjoying some sun, during the dry season, which lasts from November to March on the West Coast and from January to August on the East Coast. You might want to avoid the Southern part of the country (West Coast) during the months of April to October as heavy storms happen, creating intense floods.
But Thailand is not all about the white sandy beaches of Phuket or of the famous Islands of Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phan Ngan, or Koh Lanta. The Northern part of the country, further North from the capital of Bangkok, located in the central part of the country, is a mountainous area, and with the city of Chiang Mai, considered as the cultural capital of Thailand, the North also has a lot to offer. Culture heritage, food, adventure activities, such as treks from Chiang Mai to the mountains and valleys, as well as biking through the ethnic minority grop villages and mountain tribes, there is a lot to discover in and around Chiang Mai. The Northern part of Thailand is divided into three different climates, a dry and cool season from November to February, a warm and dry season from end of February to May. The rainy season is from June to October.