The Kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography can be divided into four natural regions: the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.
The country comprises 77 provinces that are further divided into districts, sub-districts, and villages.
Bangkok is the capital city and the center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. It is also the seat of Thailand's revered Royal Family, with His Majesty the King recognized as the Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist religion and Upholder of all religions.
Thailand has a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, or King Rama X, the tenth king of the Chakri Dynasty, being the present king.
Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom of Thailand is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.
Despite being a developing country, Thailand is among the leading nations of the Southeast Asia region boasts a fair health care system. Although not every Thai has health insurance, they can easily access to the hospitals and other medical units and can afford the payment for the treatment or other related costs. The health care system here can be divided into 3 systems for different reasons including occupation, socioeconomic status, and convenience.
The first system is the Social Welfare System. This represents both the national level and the organization-specific level. For the national level, the government has recently passed the policy on the Universal Coverage System, which mainly benefits every Thai who are excluded from other specific systems such as the full coverage for the governmental employees. For the organization-specific level, health care payment is covered for specific groups of people, i.e. a military officer will have easy access to the military hospitals.
The second system is the Insurance system. This system includes all health insurance buyers both who independently buy the insurance plans from private insurance companies and employees who are required pay for social insurance according to the governmental policy. In this system, both the insurance provider and owners pay for health care costs, so it is also known as the Co-Payment System.
The third system is the Self Payment System. This is normally used among the groups of high socioeconomic status because of the whole self-payment deal, which mostly takes place in the private hospitals.
Here, the 6-year course is commonly divided into 3 different periods.
The first period, the first year of the pre-medical study. It provides students a broad fundamental scientific knowledge essential for medical science, as well as some liberal arts courses. The subjects normally include Basic Biology, Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, English, Thai for communication, Contemporary Thai Society, and laboratory practices.
The second period, the second and third years are called pre-clinical study. It mainly focuses on the normal and abnormal aspects of the human body and mind. In the second year, students study Anatomy, Microanatomy, Neuroanatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry and other subjects related to the normal state and function of the human being. Then, continue to the third year, which is considered the most intensive year in term of theoretical studies, we study the Pathological state and function. So the subjects that are taught in this particular year are Anatomical Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Medical Genetics, Microbiology, Immunology, Pharmacology, Parasitology, and Preventive and Family Medicine.
The third period, the fourth, fifth and sixth year are known as the clinical study. It allows students to experience in term of practicing and observing up on the patients’ ward both in our university hospitals and other community ones. The students gain most valuable medical experiences in these clinical years from all departments all year round, so they, then, become quite certain of the knowledge combined with the real-time practices.
Also, they would have the option to further their residency training, which usually happens after this 6-year course and another 3-year training internship. Moreover, the fellowship after the residency is also available in many university hospitals.
Transportation forms in Thailand are numerous. Choices of transportation between provinces are airplanes, trains, and buses.
Let's start with airplanes. In Thailand - the national airline is Thai Airways. The main international airport in Bangkok which is the Suvarnabhumi Airport and the main domestic one is Donmeung Airport. Most of the large cities throughout the country have airports with choices of airlines such as Thai Smiles, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways.
Next is the buses. We have the main bus stations in Bangkok for the southern line, northern and north-eastern line, and eastern line. Most of the buses that go between cities in Thailand are air-conditioned, two-storey with onboard service.
The third is the train. Thailand has train route that covers most of the provinces all over the country. The main train station in Bangkok is the Hua Lum Phong Station. Plus, within the city of Bangkok, there are more choices such as Skytrain (BTS), Underground (MRT), Airport Rail link, Tuktuks, motorcycle taxis, taxis, and boats.
There are many world-famous destinations that you should not miss in Bangkok and throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. We couldn't name it all here, so please visit our SCOPE & SCORE web page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exchangethailand for regular updates on many interesting places to visit!
Apart from the fact that we speak Thai and not many Thais are fluent in English, it is also interesting to point out that Buddhism plays an important role in the culture of our country since Thailand is the Buddhist country as 95% of the whole population is Buddhist. Most Thai people believe in the Buddhist way of life, which is to keep doing good, avoid doing bad and stay pure and delighted in our hearts.
We have many ceremonies and traditions related to this religion, for example, there are many national holidays for Thais to go to the temples and participate in religious matters.
Moreover, Thai people are quite famous because of the so-called “Thai smile”. This reflects the typical characteristics of the Thai, which are friendliness, kindness, gentleness, and peacefulness. Many foreigners might find it quite easy to have a chat with Thais and to ask for their help.
Also, Thai culture is very conservative and traditional so some might find it extraordinary when having the first experience. For examples, we pay full respect to the royal family especially His Majesty the King as he is the heart and soul of the nation, we encourage legal marriage with permission from both parents, we maintain the big family relationship, we respect each other regarding the ages and experiences, we take care of the old and never leave them behind, and we maintain the proper distance between boys and girls.
Other cultural differences in places like school or universities are mainly about dressing. The proper uniforms must be worn according to the policy of the place, and the way it looks in the society. Other miscellaneous differences are about food. Here, we normally have three hot meals a day and desserts or fruits are commonly served after the main dish.
If you're planning to arrive during March and April - things that cannot be forgotten are your sunglasses, sunscreen, and swimming suit. It's our summer time!
But if you're visiting during late June to September - it might be a little rainy. Umbrellas or raincoats will be very handy.