10 Interesting Facts: What Are People from Thailand Called?

If you’ve ever wondered what people from Thailand are called, you’re not alone. The answer is simple: people from Thailand are called Thais. The term Thai refers both to the citizens of Thailand and ethnic Thais, who are related to ethnic Lao in Laos.

Thais are the main ethnic group of Thailand and are part of the larger Tai group of peoples living in Southeast Asia. The Thai language is the common language of Thailand and is sometimes classified as belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family.

It’s important to note that the term “Siamese” was formerly used to refer to the Thai people. However, this term is now considered outdated and is no longer used. Today, you’ll hear people refer to the people of Thailand as Thais.

The Thai People

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia with a rich cultural heritage and a diverse population. The majority of people living in Thailand are known as Thai people. They are part of the larger Tai group of peoples living in Southeast Asia.

The Thai people were formerly known as Siamese, and they have a long and complex history. The origin of the Thai people can be traced back to the ancient Tai-speaking people who migrated from southern China to Southeast Asia over a thousand years ago. Over time, the Thai people developed their unique culture, language, and traditions.

The Thai language is the official language of Thailand, and it is spoken by the majority of the population. The Thai people are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, and they take great pride in their cultural heritage. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand, and it has a significant influence on Thai culture and way of life.

The Thai people have made significant contributions to Southeast Asia and the world. They are known for their unique cuisine, which is a blend of different flavors and spices. Thai cuisine is famous for its use of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables, and it has become popular worldwide.

In conclusion, the Thai people are an essential part of Thailand’s cultural heritage and identity. They have a rich history, culture, and traditions that have been shaped by their unique experiences and interactions with other cultures. The Thai people are friendly, welcoming, and proud of their heritage, and they continue to make significant contributions to Southeast Asia and the world.

Ethnic Groups in Thailand

Thailand is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, home to more than 70 ethnic groups. The majority of the population are Thai people, who make up around 75% of the population. The remaining 25% of the population is comprised of various ethnic minorities, each with their own distinct cultures and traditions.

The ethnic groups in Thailand can be broadly categorized into four main groups: Tai, Mon-Khmer, Chinese, and Malay. The Tai group is the largest and most dominant, and includes the central, southern, and northeastern Thai people. The Mon-Khmer group includes the Khmer, Kuy, and Mon people, while the Chinese group is made up of descendants of Chinese immigrants. The Malay group is found mainly in the southern provinces of Thailand.

Each ethnic group in Thailand has its own unique customs, traditions, and languages. While the Thai language is the official language of the country, many ethnic minorities also speak their own languages, such as Lao, Khmer, and Chinese dialects. Religion also plays an important role in Thai society, with the majority of the population being Buddhist. However, there are also significant Muslim and Christian communities in Thailand, particularly among the Malay and Chinese ethnic groups.

Despite the diversity of ethnic groups in Thailand, there is a strong sense of national identity and unity among the population. The Thai monarchy and the Buddhist religion have historically played a key role in promoting national unity and cultural identity. However, there have also been tensions between the Thai majority and ethnic minority groups, particularly in the southern provinces where there has been a long-standing separatist insurgency among the Malay Muslim population.

Common Thai Names

Thailand is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and Thai names reflect this heritage. Thai naming conventions are unique and can be confusing for outsiders. Traditionally, Thai people did not have surnames, and they identified themselves by referring to their parents’ given names. However, this has changed in modern times, and most Thai people now have surnames.

Here are some of the most common Thai names:

  • Male names: Somchai, Somsak, Sompong, Prasert, Chai, Surachai, Sombat, Prasong, Prayuth, Charoen
  • Female names: Somjit, Sommai, Somrak, Pranee, Pornthip, Siriporn, Supaporn, Nongnuch, Nongluck, Sirilak

It is worth noting that Thai people often have nicknames that are used in everyday life. These nicknames are usually one or two syllables long and are given to the person by their parents or friends. Thai nicknames are often based on physical characteristics, personality traits, or even food.

For example, a person with a round face might be called “Oun” (meaning “fat”), while a person with a sweet personality might be called “Waan” (meaning “sweet”).

Thai names can also be influenced by religion or royalty. For example, names like “Buddha” or “Rama” are common in Thailand, as they are associated with Buddhism and the Thai royal family.

In conclusion, Thai names are unique and reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. Most Thai people now have surnames, but nicknames are still an important part of everyday life in Thailand.


As we have seen, the people from Thailand are called Thais. The name “Thai” means free or independent, and Thailand means the “Land of the Free.” However, some schools of thought believe that Thailand has a second meaning, which is “Land of the Tai People” since an ethnic group in Thailand is called Tai.

Thailand is a country of some 70 ethnic groups, including at least 24 groups of ethnolinguistically Tai peoples, mainly the Central, Southern, Northeastern, and Northern Thais. Additionally, there are 22 groups of Austroasiatic peoples, with substantial populations of Northern Khmer and Kuy, and 11 groups speaking Sino-Tibetan languages (hill tribes), with the largest in population being the Karen.

Thailand was never brought under European colonial domination. Independent Siam was ruled by an absolute monarchy until a revolution there in 1932. Since then, Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy, and all subsequent constitutions have provided for an elected parliament. Political authority, however, has often been held by the military.