Politics, Economy, Infrastructure, Health, Medical Care, Health Risks, Malaria & Precaution in Thailand.
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Politics, Economy, Infrastructure & Malaria in Thailand
- Thailand Information -
(Malaria-Clinic in Laem Ngop at the mainland in front of Ko Chang in Thailand)
Picture from Thailand in www.KoChangVR.com - virtual travel- & island guide all information for holidays and travels to Thailand
Data, Figures & Facts about Thailand
Capital and seat of government of Thailand: Bangkok (Thai: Krung-theep)
Area of Thailand: 513.115 square kilometre
Thailand’s highest elevation: 2.565m (Doi Inthanon)
Population of Thailand: 62 million (estimated in the year 2000)
Organisation of administration: 73 provinces
National holiday in Thailand: 5.12. (birthday of the king)
Constitution day: 10.12.
Time zone: +6 h compared with CET

Politics in Thailand

The official form of government in Thailand is since 1932 the constitutional monarchy.
Thailand’s head of state is king Bhumipol Adulyadej (Rama IX, born on the 5.12. 1927) since 1946. His official enthronement was held in 1950. Despite several attempted coups Thailand’s king was and is a symbol of national unity and stability. Admittedly he has only little political competences, the governmental power has the Thai prime minister who runs the governmental businesses with the aid of the cabinet.
Thailand’s legislative lies in the national assembly which consists of elected delegates of the representative chamber and appointed members of the senate who must not belong to any party.
The legislative period of the parliamentarians is 4 years.
The general electoral law Thais achieve at the age of 18.
1932 the former Thai king lost his power due to the revolution. Nevertheless the Thai take their hat off the monarchy. For example is it outlawed – despite freedom of speech in political reporting - neither in writing nor verbal to express oneself in an insulting way about the royal house. To the king himself the Thais are very regardful. For example stamps with the image of the king are not licked with the tongue but are moistened with a sponge, bank notes should be stored in the purse with the picture of the king is not upside down. Stepping on a bank note consciously can cause mayor trouble, in worst case can even lead to a prison sentence.

Thailand’s Economy

The cross national product (GNP) amount to 111.327 million dollars in 1998 what is equivalent to a per capita cross national product of 1.820 US dollar. From this agriculture produces about 11 %, industry 41 % and the remaining 48 % by tourism and services. Thailand’s national budget in 1997 accounted for 27.746 million Dollar while costs were 28.750 million Dollar. Currency is the Thai Baht (THB), worth 100 Satang. Not only the continuously expanding tourism brings foreign currencies into the country also Thailand for two decades is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. In the 80th European and American groups invested into Thai companies and concerns what gave a lasting boost to the economy and the exporting industry and in the beginning of the 90th led to a short time economical boom. Traditionally Thailand’s agriculture is the spine of the economy. Thailand is the fifth biggest agrarian exporter in the world mainly natural rubber, tapioca, manioc, sugar and sugar cane, rice and fish are exported. Also corn, coconuts, tobacco and soy-beans are cultivated. Apart from importing wheat Thailand is almost independent from the import of foods. From an industrial point of view machines, electronic devices, textiles and cloths, shoes, jewellery and crafts are manufactured and exported. Furthermore electronic apparatus and accessories, integrated circuits, furniture and plastics are produced. Thailand most important foreign trade partners for exporting are apart from the United States of America, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Imported are mainly chemical and petrochemical products, vehicle parts, iron and steel, consumer goods and food. Thailand’s most important trade partners for importing are apart from Japan and the United States, Germany, Taiwan and also Singapore and Malaysia. As raw material tin, lead, wolfram, manganese, lignite, iron, copper, natural gas, petroleum, natural rubber and wood are to be mentioned.
Thailand’s most important source for devices still is the tourism, which has contributed most to the growth of the service sector.
Despite all these positive developments Thailand is facing mayor problems. Mainly the poor infrastructure and environmental problems must be mentioned. High air pollution and uncontrolled clearing of the forests – even though forbidden since 1989 but still practised – are the main problems must be made responsible for this.

Thailand’s Infrastructure

The Thai road network enfolds about 50.000 km. The railroad traffic is rather inconsiderable, the whole railway system enfolds less than 4.000 km. The harbours in Bangkok, Sattahip, Map Tha Phut, Songkla and Laem Chabang are of great importance for international trade. The international air traffic Thailand’s mainly concentrates apart from Bangkok on Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Thailand’s main means of traffic are busses, in the cities also taxis, tuc-tucs and rickshaws. In Thailand also left-handed traffic is to be considered.

Health, Risks and Malaria in Thailand

- Thailand’s Medical Care

The medical care in Bangkok and in the tourist areas is very good, in the rural regions rather fragmentary. In 1993 there were little over 100.000 sickbeds and less than 14.000 doctors. Which leads to an average of little under 4.500 people per doctor.

- Health Risks in Thailand

The health risk for western tourists in Thailand are relatively small, cautious behaviour suppositional. The hygienic conditions are generally also pretty good, Thais themselves set a high value to cleanness, having a shower several times a day is no rarity.
As in some parts of Thailand the necessary energy for cooling is not available it might happen that food and ingredients lay in the displays without cooling for quite some time. You should thus in these regions try to do without having food from touring dealers, eating unpeeled fruits, drinking insufficiently boiled water or eating fried meat. Vaccinations are not compulsory for Thailand but basically it is not amiss to have cholera, hepatitis B- + C-, tetanus and polio vaccination no mater what Asian countries you travel to.

- Malaria

According to The World Health Organisation, Thailand is listed as a category-C-country, but for travellers and holiday-makers only a very small risk exists. Therefore only the border areas to Cambodia and Laos apply. The south and Bangkok are considered malaria-free.
German travel guides advise against using chemical malaria prophylaxis, while English travel guides endorse these. Many of the mosquitoes that transfer the malarial parasite, are meanwhile resistant to most of the prophylaxis medicines.
Other protection (mosquito-lattice on the windows and doors and/or mosquito-nets) is recommended. Bright clothes, long trousers, long-armed shirts and if necessary mosquito-repellent for the skin also helps prevention. Mosquito-coils (smoking spirals, available in all supermarkets) reduce the risk to be stung as well, however spread a rather unpleasant smell. Mosquito-repellent for skin application is likewise available everywhere.
Information about the malaria situation on Ko Chang: "Ko Chang Information", "Malaria situation, medical care & security on Ko Chang"!

Source: Microsoft Encarta Worldatlas 2001, Data Becker Encyclopedia 2002 and others.
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