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Thailand

Country of Thailand Flag

Capital: Bangkok

Population: 67,091,089

Brief History of Thailand:

The Khmer Empire ruled Thailand for many years starting the 800s until the 13th century. In the 13th century the local Thai Chiefs united and expelled the Khmer Empire. They established the Thai Kingdom in 1238.

In 1350 the Thai Kingdom of Ayutthaya emerged. Its first King was Rama Thibodi. King Thibodi made Theravada Bhuddhism the official religion and established the Dharamshastra rule of law.

The Kingdom of Ayutthaya ruled the land for over 400 years. In 1767, Burmese armies invaded and burned its capital. In 1782 the Chakri dynasty emerged at the city of Chao Phraya, which is where Bangkok is today. Rama I was the first king of the Chakri dynasty. The Chakri dynasty still rules Thailand and current the current ruler, King Adulyadej, has ruled since 1946. Thailand was called Siam and the people the Siamese by European explorers. Thailand avoided being colonized by any European country during the colonization period.

Thailand allied with Japan in World War II, but became an ally of the United States in 1954. Thailand fought along side the US in the Korean War. In recent years Thailand has seen some unrest in its government, including a military coup in 2006.



Country of Thailand Map

The Geography of Thailand

Total Size: 514,000 square km

Size Comparison: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming

Geographical Coordinates: 15 00 N, 100 00 E

World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia

General Terrain: central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere

Geographical Low Point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m

Geographical High Point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m

Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid

Major cities: BANGKOK (capital) 6.902 million (2009), Nonthaburi, Pak Kret

The People of Thailand

Type of Government: constitutional monarchy

Languages Spoken: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects

Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)

National Holiday: Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5 December (1927)

Nationality: Thai (singular and plural)

Religions: Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000 census)

National Symbol: garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure); elephant

National Anthem or Song: Phleng Chat Thai (National Anthem of Thailand)

Economy of Thailand

Major Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Agricultural Products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans

Natural Resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land

Major Exports: textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances

Major Imports: capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels

Currency: baht (THB)

National GDP: $602,200,000,000




** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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