Monday, November 10, 2008

Thailand Facts #31 (425 facts & statistics to date)

"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
Alec Bourne

• There are approximately 27,000 shrimp farms in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, October 6 2008)

• 3.9 million Europeans and 921,000 Americans visited Thailand in 2007.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• There have been 2,094 reported cases of leptospirosis in Thailand for 2008 resulting in 42 deaths.
(Disease Control Office)

• Thaksin Shinawatra is the only prime minister of Thailand to finish a full term.

• Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s oldest university is ranked the 166th in the 2008 World University Rankings and is the only Thai university to rank under 200.
(THES and QS World University Rankings)

• Thailand is the world’s 11th largest garment exporter.
(Thai Garment Manufacturers Association)

• In 2007 11 million of the 51 million people in Thailand aged over 15 years old were smokers. Of these, 10 million were men and the rest were women. The average age of those who had started smoking was 18 years old. People aged between 25 and 59 years old had the highest smoke rate at 11 cigarettes per day.
(National Statistics Office).

• Thai Airways has to take up to 210,000 litres of fuel on it’s 13,000 kilometre, 17-hour non-stop flight from Bangkok to Los Angeles.
(Bangkok Post, October 29 2008)

• Wikipedia Thai has 52,000 members and around 39,000 articles with 1.4 million users per month.
(Wikipedia Thai)

• There are around 13 million people working in the farm sector in Thailand of which typically 2 million migrant to Bangkok between January and April to supplement their incomes during the non-harvest season.
(Bangkok Post, November 3 2008)

• Approximately 800,000 new graduates enter the Thai workforce each year. (Bangkok Post, November 3 2008)

• Thailand has the world's tallest Buddhist monument at 127 meters (387 feet) and is located in the town of Nakhon Pathom.

• The first westerner known to visit Thailand was Marco Polomin 1288.

• Two out of the reported 5,567 deaths in the world from box jellyfish venom were in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, November 5 2008)

• Thailand is the world's fourth-largest exporter of poultry.

• The Thai "royal language" (rajasap) derives from Khmer.

• 125 factories in Thailand laid off a total off 14,761 workers from January 1 to October 31 2008.
(Labour Protection and Welfare Department)

• Slavery was abolished in Thailand in 1905 by King Chulalongkorn.

• Primary school attendance in Thailand is 98% with 88% of primary pupils making it to lower secondary school and 69% to higher secondary school.
(Bangkok Post, November 6 2008)

• There are over 5,000 varieties of rice in Thailand. (New World Encyclopedia)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thailand Facts #30 (405 facts & statistics to date)

“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.”
Jawaharlal Nehru

• 10% of the Thai population is 60 years or older and by 2027 this figure is expected to increase to 20% of the population.
(Thailand Development Research Institute)

• Bangkok produces 2,000 tons of garbage each day.
(Bangkok Post, September 29 2008)

• A total of 244 fake passports were detected at Suvarnabhumi airport in 2007. Fake Malaysian passports were the highest proportion at 58.
(Suvarnabhumi Immigration Office)

• Surin province is Thailand’s largest producer of Hom Mali (Jasmin) rice.

• There are 630,000 thalassaemia sufferers in Thailand.
(The Nation, September 11 2008)

• Bangkok has had a total of 14 governors over the past 14 years of which only 6 were appointed through elections.
(Bangkok Post, September 15 2008)

• Thailand is the world’s second largest producer of rubber gloves (Malaysia is first) and produces 60 billion pieces per year.

• Around 7,000 to 8,000 new cases of pregnant women infected with HIV/Aids are reported in Thailand each year.
(Bangkok Post, September 22 2008)

• Bangkok is ranked as the 109th best city in the world in terms of quality of living below Kuala Lumpur (75) and above Jakarta (189). Zurich is ranked as the world’s best city.
(Mercer’s 2008 Quality of Living Survey)

• Thailand imported 111.15 tonnes of gold in 2007 worth $1.63 billion. In the first eight months of 2008 Thailand imported 125.29 tonnes of gold worth $3.21 billion.
(Customs Department)

• About 50,000 Thai workers in South Korea are employed legally in factories, construction, agriculture and the fisheries sectors and an estimated 15,000 are working illegally.
(TNA September 25 2008)

• Thailand is the world’s 80th least corrupt country in equal place with Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Burkina Faso. Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand share first place and Somalia the last.
(Transparency International Survey)

• Bangkok has 1,700 slums.
(Bangkok Post, September 29 2008)

• Bangkok is rated Thailand’s worst city for human security with Chiang Mai the safest.
(Human Security and Social Development Ministry)

• Japan is now Thailand’s largest export market.

• A total of 25 people have been infected with bird flu in Thailand resulting in 17 deaths since the first outbreak in 2004.
(Bangkok Post, October 1 2008)

• Each Japanese tourist in Thailand spends approximately 4,706 baht per day compared with 4,700 baht for each Indian visitor and 4,651 baht for each Korean visitor.
(Bangkok Post, October 1 2008)

• 78% of computer software used in Thailand is illegal and Thailand ranks 32nd in the world in terms of use of pirated software. Montenegro is the world’s top software pirate.
(Business Software Alliance)

• Apirak Kosayodhin is only the second governor to win a second consecutive term as governor of Bangkok.

• Mobile phone penetration in Thailand has reached 60 million people (92% of the population.
(Bangkok Post, October 6 2008)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thailand facts #29 (385 facts & statistics to date)

“Pracitical observation commonly consists of collecting a few facts and loading them with guesses”.

• Twenty of every 100,000 women in Thailand are suffering from breast cancer in the second, third and fourth stages, respectively.
(Dr Yaowanuch Kongdan of Ramathibodi Hospital's Department of Surgery)

• There are approximately 24,000 internet cafĂ©’s in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, August 6 2008)

• CPF (Charoen Pokphand Foods) controls approximately 40% of Thailand’s nine million tonne feed industry, one-third of an estimated 520,000 tonnes of shrimp production and 30% of chicken production.
(Bangkok Post, August 4 2008)

• The number of people across Thailand classified as poor declined on a year-on-year basis from 6.1 million in 2006 to 5.4 million in 2007. The poverty line was 1,443 baht per head per month during 2007 up from 1,386 baht in the 2006.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• The income gap in Thailand between the top 20% of the richest people and the poorest 20% of poor people decreased from 9.9 times in 2006 to 8.6 times in 2007.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• The divorce rate in Thailand has increased to 4.35 cases per 1,000 families in 2007, compared with 4.27 cases per 1,000 families in 2006.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• Youth crime rate increased to 5.39 cases per 1,000 people, from 5.05 cases for every 1000 people in 2006 and 3.76 cases per 1,000 people in 2002.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• The number of elderly people living alone in Thailand increased to 7.4 % of the total elderly population in 2007, up from 7.2% in 2006 and just 6.6% in 2002.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• Thailand consumes approximately three million cases of imported whiskey per year worth around 10 billion baht.
(Bangkok Post, August 4 2008)

• Thailand has won eighteen medals (including six gold medals) since it began participating in the Olympic games in 1952.

• Approximately 91,000 new cases of Tuberculosis are reported each year in Thailand and there are currently around 3,000 sufferers with multi-drug resistant varieties.
(Bangkok Post, August 11 2008)

• Compulsory insurance in Thailand costs about 752 baht per year for a passenger car, 1,074 for a pick-up truck and 1,289 for a van. Maximum coverage is 50,000 baht for personal injury caused to a third party and 100,000 baht in case of death. If injured by the driver’s own carelessness, the payout is 15,000 baht for personal injury and 35,000 baht for loss of life.
(Insurance Department)

• 1.4 million health tourists came to Thailand in 2007 with 300,000 coming from Asia, 257,468 from Europe, 152,360 from Middle East and the rest from other countries.
(Bangkok Post, August 18 2008)

• Thailand’s state railway began operation 111 years ago. It covers 4,129 km of rail network, employs 18,000 people and carries 54 million passengers and 14 million tonnes of cargo each year.
(State Enterprises Policy Office)

• In the first six months of 2008 Suvarnabhumi airport handled 21.21 million passengers compared to 18.7 million at Changi Airport (Singpore) and 13.4 million at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur). Suvarnabhumi’s capacity is 45 million passengers and it is expected to reach 44 million this year.
(Bangkok Post, August 11 2008)

• 453,891 visitors from the Middle East came to Thailand in 2007, an increase of 20% from 2006. Average length of stay was 9.48 days with a per capita spend of 4,276.14 baht per day.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• Thailand’s food export volume is expected to grow by 20% in 2008 to reach a record 750 million baht.
(National Food Institute, Federation of Thai Industries and Board of Trade)

• In 2007 8,172 women aged over 18 and 9,579 girls in Thailand suffered abuse last year.
(Health Ministry)

• Thailand produces 730,000 barrels of oil per day.
(Department of Mineral Fuels)

• Heineken has a 93% share of Thailand’s 6.36 billion baht premier beer market.
(Bangkok Post, August 18 2008)

• 77,293 Indonesian tourists came to Thailand in the first six months of 2008.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thailand Facts #28 (365 facts & statistics to date)

“In the spider-web of facts, many a truth is strangled.”
Paul Eldridge

• Thailand’s maize production for 2008 is estimated to be 3.77 million tonnes, a 7.10% increase from 2007.
(Office of Agricultural Economics)

• Bangkok currently has 7.5 million square metres of office space.
(CB Richard Ellis)

• Thailand is the world’s third largest producer of tapioca.

• 2.2 million tonnes of plastic ends up in landfills each year in Thailand.
(National Innovation Agency)

• Bangkok has dropped 10 spots to 105th place in the 2008 Mercer worldwide cost of living survey.

• US-Thai bi-relations began in 1883 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. It was during the reign of King Rama 3 and when Andrew Jackson was the U.S president.

• Some 11 million people in Thailand are over 60 years of age.
(Pramote Prasatkul of Mahidol University)

• 800,000 babies are born each year in Thailand.
(Pramote Prasatkul of Mahidol University)

• The number of broadband users is expected to grow to 1.3 million in 2008 and 5 to 10 million in 2009.
(Bangkok Post, July 28 2008)

• 15% of all Honda products made worldwide are made in Thailand.
(Asia Honda Motoring Company)

• Thailand’s biggest ever year for rice exports was the year 2004 when a total of 10.13 million tonnes of rice shipped.
(Thai Rice Exporters Association)

• Thailand is the world’s 14th largest importer of Swiss watches.
(Bangkok Post, July 30 2008)

• The Theravada tradition of Buddhism came to Thailand from Sri Lanka and is shared by peoples in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and parts of southern China and southern Vietnam.
(Encyclopedia Britanica)

• 93,000 vehicles in Thailand are now running on natural gas (NGV) and this figure is increasing by 400 daily.
(Bangkok Post, July 30 2008)

• In 2007 there were 523 foreign film productions (films, TV series, commercials, music videos, documentaries etc) shot in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, July 30 2008)

• 48 people have died from dengue fever and 41,307 people have been infected in Thailand in the first 7 months of 2008.
(Health Ministry)

• Thailand slipped from 4th to 7th place in the 2008 Lonely Planet Travellers’ Pulse survey for countries most likely to visit next.

• Thailand has an estimated 11 million smokers and each year approximately 50,000 Thais die of tobacco related diseases.
(Bangkok Post, August 4 2008)

• During the period January 1st to July 20th 2008 a total of 143 travellers wanted on arrest warrants were caught at Suvarnabhumi airport. During the same period 101 travellers were arrested for using fake travel documents.
(Immigration Bureau Suvarnabhumi)

• Roughly one-third of Thailand’s total population is classified as urban.
(Encyclopedia Britanica)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thailand Facts #27 (345 facts & statistics to date)

"We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are."
Harry S. Truman

• Approximately 1.9 million people in Thailand are living with disabilities.
(National Satistics Bureau)

• In Thailand at least 35 people are disabled and 350 injured in road accidents averaging 300 cases per day.
(Health Systems Research Institute)

• There are approximately 1,500 advertising billboards in Bangkok.
(Bangkok Post, June 23 2008)

• Thailand ranks 15th in the world for car manufacturing capacity and produces more than a million units per year.
(Bangkok Post, June 23 2008)

• From January through to April 2008 about 190,000 Swedish travellers departed from Stockholm's Arlanda Airport for Thai destinations.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• In 2007, Thailand welcomed 378,387 Swedish visitors. This represents an increase of 23.62 per cent over the previous year.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• Thailand received 1.24 million Japanese tourists last year.
(Bangkok Post, June 25 2008)

• Thailand is the world’s 15th largest food provider and the 2nd largest provider in Asia after China.
(Bangkok Post, June 25 2008)

• Thailand’s first 7-eleven opened in 1989 in Bangkok’s Patpong district.

• In 2007, Thailand received 14.46 million foreign visitors.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• Thailand has 30 prisons housing approximately 170,000 prisoners of which 90,000 are serving time for drug offences.
(Bangkok Post, July 2 2008)

• Gambling transactions in Thailand during the Euro 2008 football championship has been estimated at over 500 million baht.
(Bangkok Post, July 2 2008)

• PTT is the only Thai company to be listed in the Fortune Global 500 largest companies.

• Thailand’s population growth rate estimate for 2008 is 0.64%
(National Statistics Office)

• 66.8% of Thailand’s electricity generation in 2007 was powered by natural gas.

• As of March, 2008 there are a total of 621,437 registered alien workers in Thailand. There are also estimated to be approximately 700,000 illegal aliens within the country.
(Labour Ministry)

• Dutch companies were the second largest foreign investors in Thailand in 2007 after Japan.
(Bangkok Post, July 9 2008)

• The 40 richest people in Thailand are worth USD $25 billion.
(Forbes Magazine)

• A total of 128 teachers, students and education staff have been killed and 213 others wounded in the deep South since the start of the separatist violence there in 2004
(Regional Education Inspector-General's Office).

• Thailand detected its first AIDS case in 1984.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thailand Facts #26 (325 facts and statistics to date)

“When the mind withdraws into itself and dispenses with facts it makes only chaos.”
Edith Hamilton

• Thailand’s sugar crop for 2008 is expected to be around 7.2 million tonnes, an increase of 8.4% from the 2006-2007 season.
(Bangkok Post, May 12 2008)

• There are approximately 2,500 domesticated elephants and 2,000 wild elephants in Thailand.
(Sorinda Salwala, Friends of Asian Elephants)

• From January to May 10, 2008 there have been 14,000 reported dengue cases in Thailand, an increase of 70% for the same period in 2007.
(Office of Disease Prevention and Control)

• Thailand has approximately 130 million rai of farmland of which 63 million rai are rice fields.
(Bangkok Post, May 20 2008)

• Thailand is the 105th most peaceful country in the world. Iceland is ranked number 1 while Iran is ranked 121st.
(Global Peace Index)

• The average daily food requirement for an adult bull elephant is 150kg.
(Bangkok Post, April 21 2008)

• Every kilogramme of municipal waste in Thailand has up to 30% plastic content.
(Prapoth Pholtitattanapong, Single Points Part Plc)

• Opposition party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva has over 200,000 friends registered on his homepage on the hi5 website.

• Bangalore’s new airport was built at one-eight of the cost of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport and has four times the capacity.
(Bangkok Post, May 26 2008)

• There are approximately 10,000 private buses operating in Bangkok.
(Bangkok Post, May 28 2008)

• 42% of Thailand’s business work force are sub-contractors labourers.
(Boonyuen Sukmai, Eastern-Region Labour Union Association)

• There are 15.35 million rai of rubber plantations in Thailand of which 11 million are in the South. Total output is estimated to be 3.2 million tonnes with 370,000 tonnes used for local consumption and the remainder for exports.
(Bangkok Post, May 28 2008)

• Thailand’s vehicle ownership is estimated at 125 vehicles for every 1,000 people from which 12 fatalities are reported for every 10,000 road accidents compared with 2 fatalities per 10,000 road accidents in the United States.
(Bangkok Post, June 2 2008)

• The number of people committing suicide in Thailand has increased from 5.7 per 100,000 people in 2007 to 6.5 in 2008.
(Mental Health Department)

• Currently there are 327 KFC outlets in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, June 4 2008)

• Thailand’s 2008 production of rambutan is estimated to be 415,000 tonnes and estimated production of mangosteen is expected to be 192,000 tonnes.
(Bangkok Post, June 11 2008)

• 90% of Thailand’s mangosteen exports go to China and Hong Kong.
(Bangkok Post, June 11 2008)

• Condom use among Thai’s is 1.5 to 2 per person compared with 4.5 in Japan and 2.5 to 3 in the United States.
(Ansell Thailand)

• Bangkok is ranked 109th in the world for quality of living behind Manila, Jakarta and Kula Lumpa. Zurich is ranked first and Baghdad is ranked 215th (last).
(Mercer World Wide Quality of Living Survey)

• On average Mercedes Benz sells 4,000 cars per year in Thailand.
(Mercedes Benz Thailand)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thailand Facts #25 (305 facts and statistics to date)

“I'm not sure I want popular opinion on my side -- I've noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.”
Benthania McKenstry

• Internet users have increased from 8 million in 2006 to 9 million in 2007.
(Thailand National Statistical Office)

• The number of people in Thailand in possession of mobile phones is 28.29 million or 47 per cent of the total population.
(Thailand National Statistical Office)

• There are 24.3 land line telephone lines per 100 households in Thailand—a decline from 2006 at 24.8 and 2005 at 26.8.
(Thailand National Statistical Office)

• Phuket has a registered population of around 300,000 but the unofficial population is around 1,000,000 with around 6,000,000 visitors per year.
(Niran Kalayanamitr, Phuket Governer)

• 741 workers died in work-related accidents and 198,652 persons were injured or became seriously ill at work in 2007 in Thailand which includes 16 workers who became permanently handicapped, and 3,259 workers who lost body parts, such as hands, arms or legs.
(TNA, May 1 2008)

• Nakhon Pathom had the highest death rate and injury toll in Thailand in 2007.
(TNA, May 1 2008)

• In the first quarter of 2008, 435,069 motorcycles were registered in Thailand with the Land Transport Department.
(Land Transport Department)

• 230,000 LCD TV sets were sold in 2008.
(Bangkok Post, April 25 2008)

• 140,749 Thais visited Macau in 2007 compared to 57,876 in 2005. The first quarter of 2008 has already seen 55,834 visitors.
(Macau Government Tourist Office Bangkok)

• There are approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, April 25 2008)

• Bangkok has approximately 10,685 serviced apartment rooms.
(Bangkok Serviced Apartment Club)

• Thailand exported Bt80 billion worth of frozen shrimp in 2007 with 50% of exports going to the United States.
(Bangkok Post, April 30 2008)

• Overall transport shipment usage in Thailand consists of 85% road transport, 12% marine, 2% rail and 0.9% air.
(Bangkok Post, April 30 2008)

• 16.81 million tourists visited Northeast Thailand in 2007 up from 12.71 million in 2001.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• Thailand is the world’s second largest exporter of sugar with 6.7 million tonnes produced in 2007 of which 4.7 million was exported.
(Office of Cane and Sugar Board)

• Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of tapioca.

• In the first quarter of 2008, Thailand’s food exports totaled US$6.72 billion in value, up 31.4 per cent from the same quarter in 2007.
(TNA, May 14 2008)

• Current consumption of NGV (Natural Gas) is averaging 57.9 million cubic feet per day.
(Energy Policy and Planning Office)

• The use of alternative fuels reduced gasoline and diesel consumption by an average of 3.83 million litres per day in April, 2008.
(Energy Policy and Planning Office)

• Ayutthaya was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1991.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thailand Facts #24 (285 facts and statistics to date)

“Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.”
Dr. Thomas Fuller

• Bangkok and it’s neighbouring provinces of Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Phanom and Nonthaburi have the highest daily minimum wage in Thailand at Bt195 while Nan and Phayao provinces in the north have the lowest at Bt144.
(Labour Ministry)

• In 2007 there were 327 accidents killing 45 people and injuring 143 at Thailand’s railway crossings.
(State Railway of Thailand)

• Thailand’s first woman member of parliament was elected in 1949.

• Approximately 30% of Thailand’s population are carriers of Thalassaemia disease.
(Bangkok Post, April 8 2008)

• Thailand is the third most popular international travel destination for Indian tourists behind Singapore and the United States. 536,356 Indians visited Thailand in 2007.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• Approximately 1 million Chinese visited Thailand in 2007, a decrease of 2.9% from 2006.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• There are approximately 3.6 million rice farming families in Thailand totally around 20 million people.
(Bangkok Post, April 23 2008)

• There are approximately 30,000 registered internet cafes in Thailand using 450,000 computers.
(Mahidol University Institute for Child and Family Development)

• More than 13,000 prisoners of war and 200,000 Asian labourers died during the construction of the “Death Railway” linking Thanbyuzayat in Burma with Ban Pong in Thailand.
(Bangkok Post, April 25 2008)

• Since 2003 there have been 1,006 people reported missing in Thailand, 589 being children and teenagers. 80 children have been reported missing in the first three months of 2008.
(Missing Persons Centre)

• Bhumibol dam in Tak province is Thailand’s largest dam. The current level is 2.89 billion cubic metres.
(Bangkok Post, April 25 2008)

• In 2007 there was an estimated16 million computers users in Thailand (26.8% of the population) up from 15.39 million in 2006.
(Thailand National Statistics Office)

• In 2007 there was an estimated 9 million internet users up from 8 million in 2006.
(Thailand National Statistics Office)

• Thailand's household indebtedness rose to an average Bt116,681 (US$3,700) per family last year from Bt68,405 (US$2166) in 2000.
(Thailand National Statistics Office)

• 757,734 Scandinavians visited Thailand in 2007 up from 645,361 in 2006 of which 374,000 were from Sweden.
(Tourism Authority of Thailand)

• 45% of all Swedish investment in Thailand is in Rayong.
(Colliers International Thailand)

• Kan-Yao durian is the most expensive fruit in Thailand and can retail for up to Bt7,000 per kilogramme.

• Approximately 1.35 million tonnes of rice seeds and 2.35 million tonnes of fertilizers will be required in Thailand for rice production in 2008.
(Agricultural Economics Office)

• Despite being the world’s leading producer of rice Thailand ranks at the bottom of the top 10 world rice producers in terms of rice productivity producing 430kg per rai while China produces 1,000kg per rai, Vietnam 778kg, India 658kg, Brazil 648 and Bangladesh 619kg per rai.
(United States Department of Agriculture)

• Udon Thani is Thailand’s second largest city in terms of population but is still 30 times smaller than the Greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area.
(Encyclopedia Britannica)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thailand Facts #23 (265 facts and statistics to date)

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Aldous Huxley

• Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of shrimp.

• Although Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice it is only the world’s sixth largest producer behind China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
(Rice Exporters Association)

• Thailand is the 22nd highest carbon emitter in the world.
(United Nations Development Programme)

• It is estimated that cross-national marriages have contributed Bt 8.6 billion to the economy of Northeastern Thailand.
(Khon Kaen University research report)

• In 1991, there were 143,000 HIV infections in Thailand. In 2007 the figure was 14,000.
(Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister)

• Bangkok's office space is the third cheapest in Asia with only Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur offering lower office rentals.
(CB Richard Ellis)

• In 1989 3.7% of blood donated to the Thai Red Cross Society was contaminated with HIV/Aids.
(The Nation, March 31 2008)

• Thailand’s health care system has an annual budget of around Bt 2,300 per person.
(Bangkok Post, April 2 2008)

• Thailand is the world’s largest rubber producer with a total output in 2007 of 3,063,000 tonnes.

• In the first quarter of 2008, monthly rent for prime retail space in central Bangkok was Bt 2,458.19 per square metre compared with Bt 34,408.03 for the equivalent in New York.
(Knight Frank)

• There are over 3,000 7-Eleven stores, 492 Tesco Lotus, 59 Big C, 45 Makro and 29 Carrefour outlets in Thailand.
(Business Development Department)

• Thailand has an estimated 1.87 million businesses of which 99% are SME’s.
(The Nation, April 7 2008)

• Currently, there are about 40,000 Thai workers in South Korea.
(TNA, April 8 2008)

• Last year, there were 4,274 road accidents countrywide, killing 361 and injuring 4,805 people during the long holiday.
(Bangkok Post, April 13 2008)

• The sale of alcoholic beverages during the ongoing Songkran festival, Thailand's traditional New Year, is expected to rise to an estimated Bt3.1 billion.
(TNA, April 13 2008)

• The proportion of imported brand PC’s and to locally-branded PC’s was 40 to 60 in 2007 compared with 20 to 80 in 2005.
(Bangkok Post, April 9 2008)

• The total area in Thailand under maize production is more than 7.7 million rai with a total production is around 4.47 million tonnes. The country imported 150,356 tonnes of maize worth Bt495.07 million in 2007. Since early this year, import volumes reached 50,741 tonnes worth Bt164.13.
(The Nation, April 15 2008)

• There are at least 1.24 million single parent families in Thailand out of 17.8 million households.
(Provincial Administration Department)

• Thailand has only 104.7 million rai of fertile forest left out of a total of 320.7 million rai of forest land.
(Natural Resources and Environment Ministry)

• There were 229 deaths and 3,315 injuries during the 2008 Songkran period from April 11 to April 16.
(Road Safety Centre)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thailand Facts #22 (245 facts and statistics to date)

“We’d forgive most things if we knew the facts.”
The Heart of the Matter
, Graham Greene

• The King of Thailand will celebrate his 80th birthday this year.

• Exports now account for 60% of Thailand’s GDP, compared with 29% in 1990.

• The number of patients with heart disease has doubled from 318 to 682 per 100,000 of population and patients with diabetes has more than doubled from 278 to 587 per 100,000, while cancer patients has risen from 80 to 124 per 100,000 population.
(Public Health Ministry)

• In 2007, 42 per cent of Thais aged over 15 years old or about 17 million people were overweight.
(Public Health Ministry)

• About one in five Thai men (20 per cent) and three in five Thai women (60 per cent) are overweight.
(Public Health Ministry)

• In 2006 the attendance rate for Thai middle-school students was 89% compared to the world average of 79%. Thai high school students had an attendance rate of 65% compared to the world average of 51%.
(Unesco Institute for Statistics)

• 74,000 houses were completed and registered in Thailand in 2007 compared with 170,000 in 1996.
(Real Estate Information Centre)

• Sales in the local motorcycle market rose in February for the first time in 12 months with total registrations rising 8% year-on-year to 147,104 units.
(AP Honda Co)

• In 2008, an estimated 85,760 new conscripts will be recruited into the Thai armed forces.
(Bangkok Post, March 19 2008)

• Swedish tourists form the third largest group of visitors to Phuket.
(Bangkok Post, March 19 2008)

• Thailand uses nearly 5.2 billion plastic bags per year making the country the ninth largest user in the world.
(Bangkok Post, March 19 2008)

• Last year, 65,000 Americans went to Bumrungrad Hospital for in-patient or outpatient treatment, up from just 10,000 in 2001.
(Business Week)

• Thailand has an annual rice production of about 19 million tonnes, 10 million tonnes of which are for local consumption and the rest for export.
(Rice Exporters Association)

• Pick-up and passenger vehicle production in Thailand is expected to exceed 1.4 million units this year.
(The Nation, March 24 2008)

• Thailand’s auto industry employs 200,000 workers.
(The Nation, March 24 2008)

• Approximately 500,000 Thais have been infected with HIV, while an average of two people contracting HIV every hour.
(AIDS-prevention advocate, Meechai Viravaidya)

• Thailand produces around 900,000 one-ton trucks per year – about three quarters of global output.
(Bangkok Post, March 26 2008)

• Thailand’s richest person is Chaleo Yoovidhya (Red Bull) with Bt 126 million.

• In 2007 117,395 rai of land in Thailand was damaged due to fire.
(National Park Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department)

• Approximately 90,000 Thai people are infected with Tuberculosis per year and of this 5,000 to 7,000 people are estimated to die from the disease.
(The Nation, March 24 2008)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thailand Facts #21 (225 facts and statistics to date)

“Where facts are few, experts are many”.
Donald R. Gannon

• The Privy Council was established in 1874 at the command of King Rama V to offer advice to the king. Currently there are 16 councillors and former PM Prem Tinsulanonda is the council president.
(The Nation, March 17 2008)

• International reserves have reached an all-time high at $100.5 billion baht as of February 29, 2008.
(Bank of Thailand)

• Thailand's workforce now is seven times that of the retired population, and is projected to drop to 4:1 within 20 years and 2:1 within 40 years,
(Bangkok Post March 28 2008)

• Thaksin Shinawatra is Thailand’s fourth richest person.

• Global Thai food exports reached $10.75 billion in 2007, a 12.7% increase from 2006.
(Export Promotion Department)

• Thailand’s total current workforce is 36.26 million people.
(National Economic and Social Development Board)

• The number of credit cards in use in Thailand as of the end of January surged by 995,763. Of this, 4,668,072 cards were issued by local commercial banks, up by 258,153 cards from the corresponding period of the previous year, 1,301,989 by foreign bank branches, up by 81,842, and 6,028,768 by non-banking institutions, a rise of 655,768 cards.
(TNA, March 3 2008)

• There is estimated to be over 4,000 community radio stations in Thailand.
(National Telecommunications Commission)

• Thailand has 130 million rai of cultivated land and of this 3 million rai is dedicated to palm trees.
(Bangkok Post, March 12 2008)

• Thailand imported 2.1 million tonnes of soybean meal last year worth 20 billion baht a year. Domestic production was only 823,000 tonnes, an increase from 774,000 tonnes a year earlier.
(Bangkok Post, March 13 2008)

• The number of people involved in the agricultural industry in Thailand has fallen significantly to about 25.2 million nationwide, or about 40% of the population compared to 55-60% ten years ago.
(Office of Agricultural Economics)

• 12,492 people died in road accidents in Thailand in 2007.
(Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation)

• Bangkok, a city of 5.7 million vehicles, has reserved less than 5% of its space for roads.
(Time Magazine)

• More than 2,000 vehicles are added to Bangkok's roads each day.
(Time Magazine)

• There are more than 500 franchisers in Thailand and 50,000 to 60,000 franchisees.
(The Nation, March 17 2008)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thailand Facts #20 (210 facts and statistics to date)

“Comments are free but facts are sacred".
Charles Prestwich Scott

• In 2007 out of all provinces Kamphaeng Phet residents were the heaviest in debt at Bt49,465.70 per family per year while Phuket residents were the least in debt at Bt484.40 per family.
(Community Development Department)

• Upon completion Ocean Tower 1 at Jomtien Beach, Pattaya will be Thailand’s tallest residential building. It will have 91 stories and will be 327 metres high.
(Bangkok Post, February 13, 2008)

• The current ex-farm price of pork in Thailand is 59-61 baht a kilogramme with the retail price at 115-120 baht. Last year the price was 44-45 baht ex-farm and 115-120 baht retail.
(Bangkok Post, February 18 2008)

• 2,835 people have fallen ill from dengue fever this year with 4 fatalities. In 2007 there were around 60,000 cases with 29 fatalities.
(Health Ministry)

• There are four types of dengue fever in Thailand.

• 4,373 new companies were registered in Thailand in January.
(Commerce Ministry)

• Over 4.1 million Thais are expected to travel overseas this year, an increase of 10.2 per cent from last year with Laos ,Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea being the most popular destinations.
(Kasikorn Research Center)

• Thailand's exports of agricultural products to Australia in 2007 almost doubled from the previous year with a trade surplus of 2.4 billion baht. Major agricultural products exported to Australia were canned tuna, rice, frozen shrimp, pet food and tropical fruits.
(Office of Agricultural Economics)

• Thailand’s Value Added Tax (VAT) is 7%.

• Thailand’s internet penetration rate is around 15%. Malaysia’s is over 60%.
(Vicahi Bencharongkul, Benchachinda Holdings)

• There are 167 local pharmaceutical makers in Thailand. Imported medicines account for 70% of total pharmaceutical sales.
(Thai Pharmaceutical Club)

• Thailand has 300,000 hotel rooms.

• There are at least 20,000 new cases of lung and breast cancer each year in Thailand.
(Public Health Ministry and National Health Security Office)

• Thailand is the 12th largest food exporter in the world
(Bangkok Post, February 27 2008)

• Koh Samui airport handles around 600,000 passengers a year with a maximum of 36 flights per day. Following the upgrade the airport can now handle 16,000 passengers a day.
(Bangkok Post, March 3 2008)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thailand Facts #19 (195 facts and statistics to date)

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyale

• There are around 250,000 Aids patients in Thailand and the Aids infection rate is 17,000 to 18,000 per year compared to 100 cases in Japan.
(Bangkok Post, January 30, 2008)

• Thailand’s doctor to patient ratio is 3.7 doctors to 10,000 people.
(Teera Chakajnarodom, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association)

• Thai consumer spending on luxury goods in 2007 increased by 24.6% to 400 billion baht.
(Commerce Ministry)

• Cultivated cassava covers 7.47 million rai in Thailand producing 26.41 million tonnes per year.
(Bangkok Post, January 30 2008)

• Suvarnabhumi Airport is ranked the 40th best airport in the world.
(Airports Council International)

• Thailand's film market measured by ticket sales was worth five billion baht last year, of which 1.7 billion was generated by Thai films, up from 1.1 billion baht the year before.
(Bangkok Post, February 7 2008)

• The TAT recorded 1,291,568 Japanese arrivals last year. The figure was down from 1,293,313 in 2006.

• Thailand has become the third most popular destination for Korean tourists, following China and Japan. It is expected that the number of Korean tourists in Thailand this year would increase by 10 per cent from around 1.26 million in 2007 helping to increase the revenue Thailand earns from tourism by 14.8 per cent to Bt39.6 billion baht(US$ 1.2 billion).
(TNA, February 11,2008)

• Thais eat on average 160 eggs per person per year compared with 350 eggs for Japanese, 270-280 for Singaporeans and 230-240 for Malaysians. Total daily consumption in Thailand is 25-26 million eggs and in 2007 222 million eggs were exported.
(Hen-Egg Farmers, Traders and Exporters Association)

• Pattaya, Thailand’s biggest tourism destination saw approximately 6.85 million tourists in 2007 with 20-25% consisting of Thai weekend tourists and the largest overseas group being Russians.
(Nigel Cornick, Raimon Land)

• Mobile phone service subscribers in Thailand for 2007 totaled around 52 million.

• Electricity generated from Liquefied Natural Gas in Thailand costs 2.5 baht per unit compared with 2 baht per unit for gas sourced from Thailand and Burma while electricity generated from hydropower transmitted as power from Laos costs 1.8-.1.9 baht per unit.
(Bangkok Post, February 6 2008)

• Thai jewellry exports are expected to reach 200 billion baht this year up from 185 billion baht in 2007.
(Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association)

• In January Thailand exported 800,000 tonnes of rice, up 25% compared to the same period in 2007.
(Bangkok Post, February 11 2008)

• During the Lunar New Year 120,000 passengers a day departed, transited and arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thailand Facts #18 (180 facts and statistics to date)

“They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.”
Joseph Conrad

• Thailand’s share of the global electronics and electrical market is currently 3%.

• 375 real estate projects were launched in Thailand in 2007 with 83,828 units worth 208.31 billion baht.
(Agency for Real Estate Affairs)

• Thailand has had 25 prime ministers since 1932.

• Domestic car production in Thailand is expected to increase by 10.85% in 2008 to 1.29 million units.
(Federation of Thai Industries)

• Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, covers 543 square kilometres and is surrounded by 32 islands.

• Thailand is ranked 64th (down from 56th) on the UN 2088 e-Government readiness index. Sweden is ranked 1st.

• HSBC is the oldest commercial bank operating in Thailand. In 1889 King Rama V opened a private bank account.

• Thailand’s largest banks in terms of assets are Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank in that order.

• Thailand was ranked 84th out 180 countries for corruption in 2007 with a score of 3.3 out of 10. In previous years it was considered less corrupt placing 59th place in 2005 and 63rd in 2006.
(Transparency International Index)

• Online internet penetration in Thailand was estimated at 10 million users for 2007.
(Bangkok Post, January 23, 2008)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thailand Facts #17 (170 facts and statistics to date)

“The fewer clear facts you have in support of an opinion, the stronger your emotional attachment to that opinion”.

• Thailand's food exports are expected to grow by 7.2% to 664.52 billion baht this year against 9.9% growth last year.
(National Food Institute)

• Thailand's tourism revenue in 2007 increased by 10 per cent year on year to Bt530 billion of which Bt377.8 billion was generated within the country.
(Minister Suvit Yodmani, Tourism and Sports Ministry)

• There are 41 species of native bamboo plants in Thailand.
(“Native Plants and Their Scientific Names”, Dr Tem Smitinand)

• Thailand produces around 1.4 million tones of crude palm oil each year, of which 800,000 to 850,000 tonnes go to cooking oil production and 500,000 for export.
(Bangkok Post, January 16, 2008)

• Dong Phya Yen-Khao Yai forest complex and Thungyai-Huay Kha Kaeng forest complex are the only two areas in Thailand designated as Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

• The Bangkok subway line running from Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue currently carries 195,000 passengers per day. It requires 300,000 daily passengers to generate a profit.
(Bangkok Post, January 21 2008)

• An estimated 60,000 iPhones have been smuggled into Thailand selling for around 22,000 baht each compared with 14,000 baht each in the United States.
(Sanchai Thiewprasertkul, AIS)

• AP Honda sold 1.6 million motorcycles in 2007 down 17% from 2006.
(Zenjiro Sakurai, AP Hondo Co)

• Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power.

• The size of Thailand’s labour force is 37.12 million (2007 est.)
(CIA World Factbook)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thailand Facts #16 (160 facts and statistics to date)

“Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.”
Henry Adams

• The first King of the Chakri Dynasty was Phra Phutthayotfa (Rama 1) who reigned for 27 years from 1782 to 1809.

• A total of 1.042 trillion baht worth of transactions were made online through the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2007 up 99.62% from 2006.
(Bangkok Post, January 14 2008)

• At present Bangkok has three rail lines – two elevated and one underground, carrying 600,000 passengers per day.
(Bangkok Post, January 14 2008)

• A total of 5 million tourists visited Phuket last year and the island has 36,000 hotel rooms.

• There are a total of 47,660 franchised outlets in Thailand with the largest groups being food and beverage (22,000 outlets), education (1,500), services (4,200), retailing (7,500) and the beauty industry (1,550).
(Somjit Likitsataporn, Franchise Focus Ltd)

• 91 teachers have been killed in the three southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani since 2004.

• There is an estimated 1.8million migrant workers in Thailand with Burmese nationals making up around 75%.
(Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare)

• Thailand is the 54th freest economy in the world (50th in 2006). Hong Kong is the freest followed by Singapore and Ireland. North Korea is ranked as having the least freest economy.
(Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal annual report)

• Power consumption in Thailand for the peak period from the end of March to mid-April is expected to reach 23,344 megawatts, up 2.3% year-on-year, or 13.5 billion kilowatt-hours (units).
(Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand)

• More than 50% of household electricity bills in Thailand are from air-conditioners.
(Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thailand Facts #15 (150 facts and statistics to date)

“Practical observation commonly consists of collecting a few facts and loading them with guesses.”

• Housing sales are estimated to have reached 72,000 units last year, down from 78,000 in 2006. The average price per housing unit would remain as last year, at Bt2.3 million.
(The Nation, January 11, 2008)

• Foreign direct investment in Thailand for 2007 consisted of 846 projects worth 502.73 billion baht.

• Ranong is the least most populous province in Thailand and Mae Hong Son is the least mostly densely populated province in Thailand.

• According to Thai belief the following colours are associated with the days people are born – red for Sunday, yellow for Monday, pink for Tuesday, green for Wednesday, orange for Thursday, blue for Friday and purple for Saturday. This belief is thought to have originated from Hindu custom and astrology.

• Thailand shrimp production is expected to reach 530,000 tonnes this year, up from 500,000 tonnes in 2007 with 370,000 tonnes forecasted to be exported.
(Thai Shrimp Association)

• From September 2006 to September 2007 Suvarnabhumi airport handled 41.3 million passengers. It is expected to reach its capacity of 45 million passengers this year.
(Bangkok Post, January 9, 2008)

• In 2007, Thailand produced 1.24 million tonnes of crude palm oil. While 859,363 tonnes were for domestic consumption, 150,000 were exported and 251,130 were for other purposes.
(The Nation, January 14 2008)

• The province of Nan currently has the lowest minimum daily wage rate in Thailand at 143 baht per day.

• Siam Park in Bangkok which opened in 1980 is the oldest running theme park in Thailand.

• Thailand is the world’s largest producer of rambutan. A typical rambutan tree can yield 5000 pieces of fruit.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thailand Facts #14

“What are the facts? Again and again and again - what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars fortell", avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" - what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”
Time Enough for Love,
Robert Heinlein

• Thailand produces around 29 million tonnes of paddy annually which is the equivalent to 18 million tonnes of milled rice.

• An estimated 40,000 new small and medium-sized enterprises will emerge in Thailand this year
(Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion )

• The Mekong river originates from the Tangula Mountains of the Tibetan-Chinghai plateau, approximately 4,975 metres above the sea level.

• The oldest on-going publication in Thailand is the Royal Gazette first published 149 years ago during the reign of King Rama IV.

• Thailand (then Siam) annexed what is now the North-East region of the country in 1827.

• An estimated 8 million Thais pay tax with 1% of taxpayers falling in the 37% bracket.
(Bangkok Post, January 7 2008)

• Bangkok has the fifth cheapest office cost per workstation in the world. Surabaya in Indonesia is the cheapest and London is the most expensive.
(Global Office Occupancy Costs Survey 2008, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung)

• Thailand’s VAT (Value Added Tax) rate is 7%.

• Organic plantations in Thailand currently cover 140,953 rai.
(Bangkok Post, January 9 2008)

• Thailand’s geographic coordinates are 15 00 N, 100 00 E.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thailand Facts #13

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable”.
Mark Twain

• King Rama 1 (1782-1809) moved his capital across to the east side of the Chaophraya river to what is now the current site of Bangkok in order to avoid being vunerable to any Burmese attack from the west.

• Bangkok has 102 private hospitals with combined bed capacity of 15,000, or 43.3% of the country's total beds.
(Bangkok Post, December 27, 2007)

• There are 106 airports in Thailand.

• The least expensive property in Bangkok in 2007 was in Nong Chok district, at 260 baht per square wah.
(Thailand Treasury Department)

• There are around 10 million credit cards circulating in the Thai economy.
(Economic and Business Forecasting Center of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce)

• A single jackfruit can weigh up to 35kg.

• Thailand is forecasted to export 8.7 million tonnes of rice this year.
(Rice Exporters Association)

• The distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is approximately 695 kms.

• 401 people were killed in road accidents nationwide during the seven-day New Year period December 28, 2007 to January 3, 2008.

• 14% of Thailand’s population is Chinese.
(CIA World Fact Book)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thailand Facts #12

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts”.
John Dewey

• King Ramkhamhaeng, who ruled at the end of the thirteenth century, created the first Thai alphabet.

• The top three killers of Thais are aging, heart disease and cancer.
(National Statistics Office)

• Ninety-eight per cent of Thai children enter primary school and 80% secondary school.
(National Statistics Office)

• There are about 20,000 alcohol related deaths in Thailand each year.
(Public Health Ministry)

• Oil consumption has dropped for three consecutive years, from 2.3% in 2005 and 2006 to 1.6% in 2007.
(Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO)

• Thailand’s population growth rate is 0.663%.
(CIA World Fact Book 2007 est)

• A typical rambutan tree can yield around 5,000 pieces of fruit.

• Approximately 49% of Thailand’s labour force is engaged in agriculture. Agriculture contributes 10.7% of the country’s GDP.
(CIA World Fact Book)

• 10.4% of Thai people are considered to be living below the poverty line.
(National Statistical Office and Bank of Thailand)

• Baiyoke Tower 2 in Bangkok at 997 feet is Thailand’s tallest building.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thailand Facts #11

“The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them”.
Samuel McChord Crothers

• A law was passed in 1921 decreying that all white elephants automatically belong to the King, making it illegal for them to be bought, sold or used commercially.

• The Stock Exchange of Thailand rose 26% in 2007.

• Tee Law Su Waterfall in Tak province, is the highest waterfall in Thailand

• The Accor Group is the largest hotel chain operating in Thailand with 34 hotels and 8,770 rooms.

• An estimated 1.673 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) will be consumed in 2008 in Thailand.
(Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO)

• Silom Road, in Bangkok has the most expensive property in Thailand at up to 650,000 baht per square wah.
(Thailand Treasury Department)

• Thailand has 344 hospitals with 35,806 beds.
(Bangkok Post, December 27 2007)

• Only 5.4% of Thai mothers provide six months of breast feeding, compared with 20% in Vietnam, 35% in the Philippines, 60% in Cambodia and nearly 70% in South Korea.
(National Statistics Office)

• The mobile phone penetration rate in Thailand has reached 52 million people, or 80% of the population.
(Bangkok Post, 28 December 2007)

• There are more than one million Burmese working in Thailand.