Politics & Culture

POLITICS

The current political structure of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government and a hereditary monarch is head of state.

Since the coup in 2006, executive power has been administered by a military junta and its appointed Prime Minister and Cabinet.  Legislative power is vested in a junta-appointed legislature.  The Judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches of the government.  Political activities are currently banned. Prior to the coup, the kingdom was a parliamentary democracy, with an elected bicameral legislature.
 

CULTURE & TRADITION

Thailand is a country of scenic diversity and ancient traditions, of tranquil temples and modern urban excitement.  With a history of independence stretching back more than seven centuries, Thailand has managed to absorb a variety of cultural influences and blend them into something uniquely and memorably its own.

Each of its four major regions offers a distinctive experience for the traveler in search of discovery.  Misty mountains in the north shelter verdant valleys and exotic hill tribes, while in metropolitan centers like Chiang Mai, traditional customs and crafts have been preserved over generations.  Along the coastlines of the east and south lie some of the world's most beautiful beaches and picturesque islands.  Scattered over the northeastern plateau are superb khamer monuments from the time of Angkor Wat and natural parks teeming with wildlife.  In the Central Region can be found the evocative ruins of the ancient Thai capital, as well as modern, bustling Bangkok, with its dynamic, bountiful pleasures.