Thailand is a country located in the centre of Southeast Asia and is the 50th largest country in the world and the 12th largest in Asia, with a population of 68.
86 million and its capital city is Bangkok. In the north region, Thailand shares borders with Myanmar to the west, Laos to the northeast, and Cambodia to the southeast. In addition to that, Thailand stretches south along the Malay Peninsula, and at the very southern edge of the land Thailand borders Malaysia.
Also bordering the Gulf of Thailand from the southeast and east, while it has a shorter water access to the west, touching the Andaman Sea. Thailand is divided into six prominent regions; central Thailand, Eastern Thailand, Northern Thailand, Northeast (Isan), Southern Thailand and Western Thailand. Each region is known for having its own unique geographic features, and culture. The culture is greatly influenced by India, Chinese traditions, and ethnic Thais.
The North is the country’s highlands, it is mountainous with many forests and river valleys. This region is significantly influenced by Burmese culture and the historical Lanna kingdom. The Eastern region is half mountain, half ocean. As you travel to the South, the region is consumed with plenty of alluring beaches and islands in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The area comes with a more tropical climate, which is also home to many fishing communities. The West is mountainous with many woodlands, waterfalls, and dams, which is why there are a number of national parks in the area. North-eastern Thailand, also known as Isan, is largely isolated from the rest of Thailand by a large mountain range .
The majority speak Lao, also the region’s culture is characterized by its agriculture. Central Thailand is predominant which consists the capital city of the country, Bangkok. The plains are very fertile there which immensely aid in the production of the majority of Thailand’s rice, making this region the main core for the economy of the country. The region also holds the greatest population density, and the greatest concentration of the ethnic Thai majority in the country. It is the political, economic, and cultural centre of Thailand. Ethnicity/Identity and Culture There is a diverse range of ethnic groups in Thailand which has been branched into three main groups Ethnic Thai, Thai Chinese and Malay. Three quarters of Thailand’s population consists of Ethnic Thai.
The closest relatives to the Thai are the Lao, Burmans, and Dai (in southern China). The next largest ethnic group in Thailand is the Thai Chinese, who make up nearly 14% of the population. and 3% were ethnically Malay. The remainder of the population falls into small minority groups including hill tribes, Khmers and Mons. The most common religion in Thailand is Buddhism since both Thais and Chinese tend to be Buddhist. The last 5% of the population is primarily Muslim or Christian. Much of Thailand’s culture comes from the ethnic Thai people.
Since Buddhism is the most common religion in the country many of the traditions and beliefs of the people in Thailand stem directly from Buddhist principles hence it has made huge impact on the Thai culture. Hinduism as well made some crucial contributions to Thai culture, and the close links between Thailand and India can be seen in art, literature, and in many Thai customs. Other cultures such as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and China have also played an important role in forming the traditions of Thailand, as have indigenous belief systems such as Animism. Thailand’s main language is Thai which is virtually spoken by everyone in the country; however, some minority group have their own languages such as Hmong.
The closest language to Thai is Lao and Tibet. English is the most commonly taught second language hence it is crucial especially in the business world of Thailand, Bangkok. Population and Demographics According to Countrymeter a real time statistics for current population of any country, daily change rates of Thailand population in 2018 will be the following: • 2,105 live births average per day (87.72 in an hour) • 1,453 deaths average per day (60.55 in an hour) • 56 immigrants average per day (2.35 in an hour) The population of Thailand will be increased by 709 people daily in 2018.As for demographics, according to the Countrymeters “As of 1 January 2018, the population of Thailand was estimated to be 68,612,866 people. This is an increase of 0.
38 % (257,699 people) compared to population of 68,355,167 the year before. In 2017 the natural increase was positive, as the number of births exceeded the number of deaths by 237,192. Due to external migration, the population increased by 20,507. The sex ratio of the total population was 0.970 (970 males per 1 000 females) which is lower than global sex ratio. The global sex ratio in the world was approximately 1 016 males to 1 000 females as of 2017.” Food, Agriculture, Import and Export Thailand is the 20th largest export economy in the world according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).
In 2015, Thailand exported $231B and imported $190B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $40.6B. In 2015 the GDP of Thailand was $395B. The top exports of Thailand are Computers ($18.
3B) followed by Delivery Trucks ($9.9B), Integrated Circuits ($9.8B), Cars ($8.61B) and Refined Petroleum ($6.19B). Its top imports are Crude Petroleum ($17.2B), Integrated Circuits ($7.
57B), Gold ($6.34B), Vehicle Parts ($5.23B) and Petroleum Gas ($5.02B). The top export destinations of Thailand are the United States ($28.
6B), China ($28.5B), Japan ($20.3B), Hong Kong ($11.6B) and Malaysia ($10.6B). The top import origins are China ($40.
9B), Japan ($29.6B), the United States ($12.3B), Malaysia ($11.8B) and Singapore ($7.59B).
Some of the agricultural products that are exported by Thailand are rice, shrimps, tapioca, rubber and sugar. Rice is the major grown crop in Thailand hence it’s the primary agricultural export. The total rice production amounted 17.5 million tons in 2001/02. The main commercial rice-producing areas of Thailand are the Chao Phraya basin and the Khorat Plateau. Along with rice, rubber is also a major export. It is grown on the peninsula and on the southeast coast.
Agricultural production has diversified significantly to meet domestic and world market demand. Other crops grown and produced for the market and to be exported include cassava, corn (maize), kenaf (a jutelike fibre), longans, mangoes, pineapples, durians, cashews, vegetables, and flowers. Similarities and DifferencesIn terms of price Thailand is much cheaper compared to Canada. Living expenses are naturally more expensive in Canada than in Thailand.
While in Thailand a normal plate of rice topped with a single dish and possibly a fried egg costs 30 – 40 THB ($1 – $1.30) and in Canada the same dish would probably be $7 – $10. Spring rolls in North America are very common, usually served with every dish, though in Thailand this is rare at local restaurants. A normal dish in Thailand would have some to little meat, but a small amount compared to the amount of chicken or pork served in a single Thai dish in Canada.
The chicken in America is bigger and the pork is bulkier. In a typical Thai dish in Canada you can find more meat compared to herbs, whereas in Thailand it is the opposite. A major ingredient in a good som tam (green papaya salad) is salty dried shrimp (goong haeng).
They provide extra flavour, but a little bit of a chewy texture. Though in North America they don’t include dried shrimp in their recipes. Thai food in North America is often bland. It’s not that all dishes are lacking completely in flavour, it’s just that some are lacking the proportionate amount of flavour for example they can be not hot enough, not sour enough, not rich enough, not herbaceous enough. Sour food in Thailand are not bearable for North Americans so in Canada sour Thai foods have been toned down a bit.
In Canada it’s possible to eat a dish like green curry with Thai sticky rice. Though in Thailand this combination would be unheard of. Green curry (gaeng keow wan) is eaten with steamed white rice. Som tam (green papaya salad) and other Isaan food dishes are often sided with sticky rice.
These are just some examples. There are much more differences between Thailand Thai food and American Thai food. Fruits and vegetable serving for adults in Canada is 8-10 while in Thailand it’s 3-5. Grains for adults in Canada is 6-8 servings while in Thailand 8-12. Meat and alternatives for adults in Canada is 2-3 servings while in Thailand it’s 6-12. Milk for adults in Canada and Thailand is 1-2 glasses.
Overall, portion sizes are different in both countries, in Canada portions are much larger than in Thailand. Portion Control and Intake, Nutrition Label Assessment, Graphic and Design In 1998, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health executed nutrition labelling on a voluntary basis except for milk and milk products and food products that make nutrient claims. The format of Thailand’s nutrition fact table is much alike to the US Food and Drug Administration, though the table can be complicated which makes it difficult for general consumers to comprehend. Because food labelling is mostly voluntary in Thailand, the nutrition fact table is used to depict the image of a food product rather than to provide its nutrition facts. Thailand’s nutrition fact table illustrate food products in a good manner though having little portrayal on the knowledge of its consumptions and nutritions. In the past twenty years there have been made by consumer protection agencies to the Ministry of Public Health to create a nutrition profile for all food products that included a traffic light designation for at least three nutrients (saturated fatty acids, sugar and sodium).
Some asserted that consumers should have the right to be aided in acknowledging the nutrients of the food they consume. Others condemned the traffic light symbol, stating that the idea was misleading and it caused too much confusion for consumers. As the middleman, Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a guideline for daily amounts (GDA) for these three nutrients on a voluntary basis except for snacks. The Thai GDA is different because the nutrition facts are expressed based on package of the food unlike one serving. The idea is convenient for small snacks that are finished once opened, but for other food products it is incoherent.
The GDA concept is not acceptable to either the food industry or academicians. In contrast to Canadians intake versus the Thai’s, Canadians consume their food in larger portions, the portion size is 2 to 3 times larger in Canada. Today Thailand’s main food guide is a triangular flag hung on a pole which was influenced by the monarchy system.