Living in Thailand
Thailand is a beautiful country that is very easy to travel to due to its tourist development for foreigners from the west. Telecommunications and internet, financial services and health care are at a high level. With the willingness to learn a little Thai, one can enjoy and appreciate everyday life all the more.
Currency: Baht (THB)
Exchange rate: 35.89 THB per € (November 2020)
Time zone: GMT + 7
Country code (phone): +66
Climate (for capital): subtropical-monsunal
Housing and supply
Due to the developed tourism industry in Thailand it is easy to find a hotel room in all categories, please refer to the relevant travel guides such as Lonely Planet, Stefan Loose or Rough Guide and to wikitravel. If you stay longer, you can alternatively rent an apartment, which you get cheaper if Thai joy helps you search Thai-language websites. You can get along well with English in the touristically developed areas, but it is still worth learning a little Thai. You can start online yourself, or you can use apps download for mobile phone. In Germany language courses are offered at adult education centers, in Thailand there are now many language schools. It is helpful if you also learn the script, because then you can read, but also understand the tones and pronunciation better. Bangkok has a lot to offer for going out and has become a shoppers’ paradise. The markets and malls are open until evening and also on Sunday. When visiting the authorities, you should pay attention to the opening times (9.30am-4.30pm with lunch break) and public holidays. The Thai cuisine is rightly world famous and very cheap locally. In the city you can quickly find yourself at the food stalls on every street cornerEat Kuai Tiao or Phad Thai for 1-2 euros full. And you shouldn’t leave the country again before you ‘ve eaten Tom Yam Gung, Pak Bung Fai Daeng or Som Tam with sticky rice!
The telecommunications industry has been a political issue since Thaksin Shinawatra’s rise. Thaksin sold his telecommunications company Shin Corp to the Singaporean company Temasek – shortly after he had the law on foreign participation in media companies changed accordingly, which was criticized as taking advantage. After the 2006 coup, internet censorship was controversial. On the practical side, Thailand has a well-developed internet. In Bangkok and other cities, access to WiFi in hotels or internet cafes is excellent. For more remote places you can help yourself with a surf stick. For phones and iPhones you should have a Thai SIM cardto buy. LINE Facebook or Whatsapp is preferred as a communication app. Post is relatively reliable throughout Thailand by the formerly state-owned and now privatized Thailand Post Company. Various private providers such as DHL are now active in Thailand.
The practice of religion is generally fairly free in Thailand. The Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand. Islam plays a role especially in the south. Approx. 90% of the population are officially Buddhists and there are around 200,000 monks. Buddhist temples (wat) can be found in almost every village. Theravada Buddhism has been the state religion since the Kingdom of Sukhothai (13th-15th centuries). The Sangha (community of monks) is subordinate to the king, who appoints the “Supreme Patriarch” (Sangharaja). The longtime patriarch Somdet Phra Yanasangwon died in 2013 at the age of 100, his successorhas now become Phra Somdej Maha Muneewong.
The Sangha consists of two main orders, the Mahanikaya Order and the Thammayut Order. Buddhism traditionally served the absolutist rulers and aristocracy of Thailand by declaring their higher social position as a result of karma. For this purpose, Brahmanic ideas were integrated, which represented the king as part of the divine cosmic order. The centralization of a territorial Siam by the reform-oriented kings Mongkut (Rama IV.) And Chulalongkorn (Rama V) was accompanied by corresponding attempts at centralization of religion. Mongkut founded the reformed Thammayut order in the 19th century, around the metaphysical and animistic. To counteract the influences of popular Buddhism in the Mahanikay Order. Since then, through control of the Sangha, attempts have been made to implement a rule-stabilizing and royalist interpretation of Buddhism. The Sangha was centralized, but never uniform. Reform-oriented monks (e.g. Phra Phimontham, Sulak Sivaraksa) repeatedly rejected the authoritarian structure and argued that Buddhism was more in line with a democratic social order. Newer reform movements include the forest monks such as Buddhadasa Bhikkhu or Prajak Khuttajitto, who mobilized against deforestation and forced resettlement, and the Santi-Asoke-Sect promoting a more ascetic practice. Most Thais practice a syncretistic form of Buddhism in everyday life, with superstition, belief in magic, spirits and astrology being incorporated into everyday rituals. This includes, for example, the practice of haunted houses and also a more immediate conception of karma, which is reflected in the “tham bun” (“doing good”). By donating to the Wat or doing other good deeds, one hopes to get happiness in the present life.