THAILAND AT A GLANCE
serving in thailand
Today, the fourth generation of the Morses continues to serve God all over Asia. God has called Joni and Nangsar to work in Thailand bringing people to Jesus, establishing churches, developing communities, empowering people, and nurturing Jesus followers. Some of your favorite times will be hearing stories from Joni and Nangsar about the A-MAZING, truly miraculous ways God has worked in the region. The Kae Noi orphanage is home to approximately 40 children who have fled there from Myanmar (Burma) to escape human trafficking or being drafted as child soldiers for tribal/drug wars. They greet us warmly and love to hang out with us wherever we go!
Where is Thailand?
Thailand is located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea. The population of Thailand comprises of roughly 65 million citizens, the majority of whom are ethnically Thai, though peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao origin are also represented to varying degrees. Thailand has a rough geographical area of 200,000 square miles. This makes Thailand roughly equivalent in size to France or Texas.
Approximately 7 million citizens live in the capital city, Bangkok which is the largest city in Thailand.
More than 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of its regional dialects. While the Thai language is the official language of Thailand, as a result of its cosmopolitan capital city and established tourism infrastructure, English is spoken and understood throughout much of Thailand.
94.6% of Thais are Buddhist, 4.6% of Thais are Muslim 0.7% of Thais are Christian.
What is the literacy rate of Thailand? The literacy rate of Thailand 93%. Education is provided by a well-organized school system of kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, numerous vocational colleges, and universities. The private sector of education is well developed and significantly contributes to the overall provision of education which the government would not be able to meet with public establishments. Education is compulsory up to and including age 14, with the government providing free education through to age 17.
Thailand’s economy is export-dependent, consisting primarily of agricultural products, including fish and rice, the latter of which Thailand is the largest exporter of in the world, as well as textiles, rubber, automobiles, jewelry, and computers/electronic appliances.This positions the economy of Thailand as the 2nd largest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, a distinction it has held for many years. With the seventh lowest unemployment rate in the world, and only 10% of the population living below the poverty line, Thailand is a relatively economically developed nation. It is also one of the premier tourist destinations in the world.
OTHER FACTS ABOUT THAILAND
The weather in Thailand is classified as hot and humid, with a long monsoon season. Thailand has three official seasons - hot, cool, and wet. The hot season runs from March through to June, with April and May the hottest months of the year. The wet season may start as early as April or May, although it officially begins in June. The rain isn't constant in the early months of the period as It will rain for one or two hours, and then dry out. But it can rain torrents when it does rain. Be aware that late in the monsoon season (September/October) is when the rains are at their heaviest and most persistent, and flash flooding can occur. The weather is slightly cooler October-February. For our trip in June, We will be entering the start of the rainy season, so the weather will be partly cloudy with intermittent rain showers.
We will be operating out of the town of Kae Noi where we will eat home cooked meals at the orphange. Elsewhere, we will be able to alternate between some western food and really good Thai food. Thai cuisine blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. Some common ingredients used in Thai cuisine include garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemon grass, and fish sauce. The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine variety rice and fried rice which is included at almost every meal.
Cultural Do’s and Don’ts
Thais consider the head to be sacred, so it is not acceptable for a younger person to touch someone else’s head unless first asking permission to do so (even in the case of examining a head wound etc.) A senior person can touch a younger person’s head if it is to bless them, or ruffle their hair out of a sense of playful affection.
It is considered impolite to cross your legs while sitting in a chair, or point to someone or something with your toes. It is considered impolite to step over someone’s legs, arms, or body or to step over food.
Don’t be alone at night. It would be preferable to have a group of 3, one being a male. Don’t be in an isolated place with nationals or with minors. Always stay close to teammates taking care not to get separated from your group. Be on guard, aware of your belongings and what is going on around you. Hold your backpack in front of you when out in public. Don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Don’t carry a lot of valuables on you. Put money in several places on you Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times. You don’t need to carry your passport every day, but make sure to put it in a safe place. If you’re not sure what is allowed, ask your team leader(s) or missionaries.
Time Zone: ICT (15 hrs. ahead of PST)
Country Code: 66
Electrical Outlets: While the outlets will mostly accommodate American plugs, any appliances you bring need to be dual voltage because Thai standard voltage is 230 V while the US uses 110V. The photo shows the wall receptacle design usually found in Thailand. They accommodate both flat prongs (like in the U.S.) and round prongs (like much of Europe.) You may want to bring a Type C plug adapter Note: Some outlets allow only two prongs.
The best shopping available will be in Chiang Mai, where we will have opportunities to visit the famous Night Market where all sorts of items, from local handicrafts, to knock-off branded goods are available. Shopping elsewhere will be mostly village handicrafts. Most of the time bartering is expected so ask your hosts for advice on this.
With regard to clothing, MODESTY is of EXTREME importance. Neither underwear nor midriffs may be shown. And nothing form fitting, guys or gals. No scoop neck/ low necklines for gals. Take your cues from the nationals in the varying situations you find yourself.
Work Clothing: Jeans, “scrubs,” or active wear. Yoga pants are permitted if worn with a long shirt to completely cover the rear. Closed toed, sturdy shoes. T-shirts or basic crew necks. No shorts or sleeveless/tank tops for women. Men may wear shorts. Any writing on shirts should not contain anything offensive, crude, provocative, political or inflammatory.
Casual Clothing/Cultural Dinner: Nicer outfit for outings and excursions, like dark jeans or capris and a polo shirt or nicer crew neck.
Church: Clean jeans with nice t-shirt or polo shirt and tennis, skate or deck shoes for men. Below knee dress/skirt with t-shirt and flip flops or sandals. Note: we don’t want to “out dress” the locals.