About Thailand

posted on 31 Dec 2009 10:37 by leklinker


Kingdom of Thailand
Flag Emblem
AnthemPhleng Chat Thai
Royal anthemPhleng Sansoen Phra Barami
Location of  Thailand  (green)

in Southeast Asia  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

(and largest city)
13°45′N 100°29′E / 13.75°N 100.483°E / 13.75; 100.483
Official languages Thai[1]
Official scripts Thai alphabet
Demonym Thai
Government Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
 -  Monarchy of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej
 -  Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
 -  Sukhothai Kingdom 1238 - 1448 
 -  Ayutthaya Kingdom 1351 - 1767 
 -  Thonburi Kingdom 1768 - 1782 
 -  Rattanakosin Kingdom 6 April 1782 
 -  Constitutional Monarchy 24 June 1932 
 -  Later Constitution 24 August 2007 
 -  Total 513,115 km2 (50th)
198,115 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.4 (2,230 km2)
 -  2009 estimate 63,389,730 (21st)
 -  2000 census 60,606,947[2] 
 -  Density 132.1/km2 (85th)
342/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $547.060 billion[3] (24th)
 -  Per capita $8,239[3] (86th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $273.313 billion[3] (33rd)
 -  Per capita $4,116[3] (92nd)
Gini (2002) 42 
HDI (2007) 0.783[4] (medium) (87th)
Currency Baht (฿) (THB)
Time zone (UTC+7)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .th
Calling code +66
1 ^ Thai name: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep. The full name is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
2 ^ According to the Department of Provincial Administration's official register, not taking into account unregistered citizens and immigrants.

Thailand  is an independent country that lies in the heart of 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 and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The country is a kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning Thai monarch in Thai history.[5] The king is officially titled as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths. The largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.

Thailand is the world's 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain), with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay;[6] the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand.[7] Thailand has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.[8] The country's official language is Thai.

Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 94.7% of all Thais. Muslims make up 4.6% of the population and 0.7% belong to other religions.[9] Culture and traditions in Thailand are significantly influenced by India, as are Burma, Laos and Cambodia. Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to world-class tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Bangkok, and Phuket, and exports contributing significantly to the economy