ABOUT OUR THAILAND PROGRAMME
Compassion for Orphans is accredited by the Thailand Central Authority (under the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption) to intermediate adoptions from Thailand. Compassion for Orphans was first accredited by the Thailand Central Authority as an adoption agency in 2018.
535,115 km2 (198,115 sq miles)
71 years (men), 79 years (women)
Thailand’s population is approximately 68 million, of which some 8 to 10 million live in the capital city of Bangkok.
About 78 percent of the population is ethnic Thai, but each of the regions has a distinct dialect and customs. Ethnic Chinese make up 11 percent of the population, and are the vast majority of merchants and bankers. The southernmost provinces are the home of ethnic Malays, who make up about 3.5 percent of the population. Hill tribe people comprise only a small part of Thailand’s population, despite the assumptions of many North Americans.
Thailand’s land area is slightly smaller than the state of Texas. There are four distinct regions: Central Thailand, where most people live and more than one rice crop is planted per year; Northern Thailand, which is mountainous and still partially forested; the Northeast, or Isaan, which is a fairly dry plateau and is home to the least-wealthy Thais; and the South, which stretches along the thin Malay Peninsula and is covered with farms, mountains, and rain forests. There are many beautiful islands on the west coast and in the Gulf of Siam that are described by some as “heaven on earth.”
The most dependable features of Thailand’s climate are its heat and humidity. While many newcomers cannot see beyond these factors, it is possible to distinguish three distinct seasons in much of the country.
Temperatures average about 80°F/27°C throughout the year, and drop slightly during December and January. Seasons are controlled by tropical monsoons, which are bands of cumulous clouds and occasional big storms that roll through the country.
The monsoon season does not mean months of continuous rain – precipitation ranges from light to heavy each day. The monsoon season in Central, North, and Northeast Thailand lasts from June through October. It is followed by a period of dry weather with slightly lower temperatures from November to mid-February, and then the hot, dry summer from February to May. Southeastern regions have a “tropical rain forest” climate with little variation in temperature and rain most of the year.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. The hereditary king’s position, though largely symbolic, does hold actual power, for he appoints members to the upper house of the National Assembly. Membership to the lower house, meanwhile, is determined through general elections in which all adults may vote. The prime minister heads the government and is the closest equivalent to an American president.
For administrative purposes, the country is divided into seventy-three changwat (provinces), which are further divided into amphoe (districts), tambon (subdistricts), and muuban (villages)