A nation with a long and rich history, Thailand has preserved its unique identity and traditions over the centuries, while also welcoming diverse cultures reaching its shores as the Kingdom increased its contacts with the outside world. Thai people are well-known for their friendliness, generosity and tolerance, regardless of gender, race and faith.
Thailand has a population of around 65 million, consisting of around 80 per cent Thais, 10 per cent Chinese and 3 per cent Malays. The rest are minorities, including the Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes people. There are five major religions currently observed. Around 89 per cent of Thais are Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. Muslims are the second largest religious group in Thailand at around 10 per cent. Christians, mainly Catholics, represent 0.7 per cent of the population. There is also a small but influential community of Sikhs in Thailand and some Hindus living in the country’s cities who are mostly engaged in retail commerce, in addition to a small Jewish community dating back to the 17th century. All these groups live in harmony and enjoy freedom to practice their respective beliefs, as guaranteed by the country’s constitution. His Majesty the King, while a Buddhist, is a patron of all religions.