INTRODUCTION

Thailand is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in South East Asia. It has borders with a number of countries: to the north Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, to the east Laos and Cambodia and to the south Malaysia. It also has two coastal borders with the Gulf of Thailand Salt harvesting in the south and the Andaman Sea in the west. Thailand is a large country (513,120 sq km)which makes it a little larger than Spain. The north of the country is the mountainous area of the Thai highlands with Doi Inthanon as the highest peak at 2,565 m. The centre of the country is dominated by the flat Chao Phraya river valley running into the Gulf of Thailand. Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus that widens into the Malay Peninsula.Buddhist Temple

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a population of around 65 million. The capital, Bangkok, has a population of more than 5.6 million while the next largest city Nonthaburi has only 260,000 and the main city in the north Chiang Mai 141,000.

The population of Thailand is ethnically very diverse with about 75% of the population Thai, 14% Chinese, 3% Malay together with a number of minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996 and is now an industrialised country, although it is still the largest rice exporter in the world with agriculture providing employment for 49% of the workforce.

The climate of Thailand is tropical and characterised by monsoons. There is a rainy, warm and cloudy southwest monsoon from mid-May to September, as well as a dry, cool northeast monsoon from November to mid-March. The southern isthmus is always hot and humid