Peace & Quiet
Thai names often seem long to foreigners and even to Thais themselves, who tend to use short nicknames. The simplest correct form of address, regardless of sex, is to add the prefix 'Khun'. Thais have a given or first name and a family or second name. They are never addressed by the family name but always by their given name or nickname. Thus, Puangphet Jinagan, nicknamed 'Maew' ('cat' in Thai) would be addressed as Khun Puangphet or Khun Maew.
Thailand has an area of 513,998sq km or 198,455sq miles. It is generally divided geographically into four areas: the mountainous north, the vast arid plateau of the northeast, the flat central plains dominated by Bangkok, and the peninsular south, famous for its beaches and islands. Bangkok's population fluctuates around 10 million, depending on the time of year, as migrants from rural areas seek off-season work. The capital is more than 40 times larger than any other Thai city and dominates much of the nation's economic, political and cultural life. Climate
Thailand's weather can be divided broadly into three seasons - hot, when the temperature soars to around 35°C everywhere and Bangkok really swelters; rainy, when the southwest monsoon brings life-giving rain and the temperature is over 30°C; and cool, when it is around 29°C during the day and can be quite chilly at night. The timing of these seasons varies across the country. In Bangkok the hot season runs from around March to April, the rainy season from May to October and the cool season from November to February. People
Thailand is an ethnically homogeneous country. Thai (and closely related Lao) people make up more than 75 per cent of the country's 62 million inhabitants. The remainder of the population includes a well-integrated ethnic Chinese minority (about 11 per cent), Malay-speaking Muslims in the deep south (5 per cent), roughly two million native Cambodian speakers in the northeast, and members of perhaps a dozen hill tribes in the north and west, especially Karen, Lisu, Lahu, Akha, Hmong and Yao.