Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and extends almost two-thirds down the Malay Peninsula. Thailand has a tropical climate, In most of the country, the temperature rarely falls below 55°F or rises past 95°F. It is divided into five major parts: the central valley, fronting the Gulf of Thailand; the continental highlands of the north and northwest, containing Thailand’s highest point, Doi Inthanon; the northeast, much of it often called the Khorat Plateau; the small southeast coastal region facing the Gulf of Thailand; and the Malay Peninsula, extending almost 600 miles from the central valley in the north to the boundary of Malaysia in the south.
Thailand was called Siam until 1930. It was the only Southeast Asian country never colonized by the West this helped them to maintain their own culture and special cooking styles. The Thai people migrated to Thailand from southern China about 2,000 years ago. They brought with them their unique cooking style like the spicy cooking of their native Yunnan province, as well as its dietary staple rice. Other Chinese influences on Thai cooking included the use of noodles, dumplings, soy sauce, and other soy products. The Chinese and the Thais based their recipes on the blending of five basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and hot. Since 1970, Thai cooking has become popular in North America and Britain.
Thais eat two kinds of rice: the standard white kind and glutinous, or sticky, rice. Rice is eaten at almost every meal and also made into flour used in noodles, dumplings, and desserts. Thai food is known for its unique combinations of seasoning. It is hot and spicy, Thai cooking is balanced to bring out all the different flavors in a dish.