Thailand

Thailand[lower-alpha 1] (/ˈtlænd, ˈtlənd/ TY-land, TY-lənd), historically known as Siam[lower-alpha 2][9][10] (/sˈæm, ˈsæm/) and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, spanning 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi), with a population of almost 70 million.[11] The country is bordered to the north by Myanmar 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 extremity of Myanmar. Thailand also shares maritime borders with Vietnam to the southeast, and Indonesia and India to the southwest. Bangkok is the nation's capital and largest city.

Kingdom of Thailand
  • ราชอาณาจักรไทย (Thai)
  • Ratcha-anachak Thai
Anthem: เพลงชาติไทย
"Thai National Anthem"
Royal anthem: สรรเสริญพระบารมี
"Glorify His Prestige"
Location of Thailand (green)

 in Asia (light green & dark grey)
 in ASEAN (light green)

Capital
and largest city
Bangkok
13°45′N 100°29′E
Official language
and national language
Thai[1]
Spoken languagesThai, Isan, Lanna, Dambro, Karen, Pattani Malay, Bangkok Malay
Ethnic groups
Religion
(2018)[2]
Demonym(s)Thai, Siamese
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary semi-democratic[3] constitutional monarchy
 Monarch
Vajiralongkorn
(Rama X)
Prayut Chan-o-cha
LegislatureNational Assembly
Senate
House of Representatives
Formation
1238–1448
1351–1767
1767–1782
6 April 1782
24 June 1932
6 April 2017
Area
 Total
513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) (50th)
 Water (%)
0.4 (2,230 km2)
Population
 2022 estimate
69,648,117[4] (20th)
 2010 census
64,785,909[5] (21st)
 Density
132.1/km2 (342.1/sq mi) (88th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
 Total
$1.480 trillion[6] (23rd)
 Per capita
$21,114[6] (73rd)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
 Total
$534.758 billion[6] (28th)
 Per capita
$7,631[6] (89th)
Gini (2020) 35.0[7]
medium
HDI (2021) 0.800[8]
very high · 66th
CurrencyBaht (฿) (THB)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (BE)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+66
ISO 3166 codeTH
Internet TLD

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as the Kingdoms of Ngoenyang, Sukhothai, Lan Na and Ayutthaya, which also rivalled each other. European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, which became a regional power by the end of the 15th century. Ayutthaya reached its peak during the 18th century, until it was destroyed in the Burmese–Siamese War. Taksin quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the current Chakri dynasty. Throughout the era of Western imperialism in Asia, Siam remained the only nation in the region to avoid colonization by foreign powers, although it was often forced to cede territory, trade and legal concessions in unequal treaties.[12] The Siamese system of government was centralised and transformed into a modern unitary absolute monarchy in the reign of Chulalongkorn. In World War I, Siam sided with the Allies, a political decision made in order to amend the unequal treaties. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, it became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to Thailand, becoming an ally of Japan in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. Thailand became a major ally of the United States, and played an anti-communist role in the region as a member of the failed SEATO, but from 1975 sought to improve relations with Communist China and Thailand's neighbours.

Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. Since the 2000s the country has been caught in continual bitter political conflict between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra, which resulted in two coups (in 2006 and 2014), along with the establishment of its current constitution, a nominally democratic government after the 2019 Thai general election, and large pro-democracy protests in 2020–2021 which included unprecedented demands to reform the monarchy. Since 2019, it has been nominally a parliamentary constitutional monarchy; in practice, however, structural advantages in the constitution have ensured the military's hold on power.[13]

Thailand is a middle power in global affairs and a founding member of ASEAN, and ranks very high in the Human Development Index. It has the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia and the 22nd-largest in the world by PPP. Thailand is classified as a newly industrialised economy, with manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism as leading sectors.[14][15]


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