Thailand Facts

THE OVERVIEW OF THAILAND

The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist kingdom almost equidistant between India and China. For centuries known by outsiders as Siam, Thailand has been something of a Southeast Asian migratory, cultural and religious cross-roads. With an area of some 510,000 square kilometres and a population of some 57 million, Thailand is approximately the same size as France, and shares borders with Myanmar to the west and north, Laos to the north-east, Kampuchea to the west, and Malaysia to the south. Geographically speaking, Thailand is divided into six major regions: the mountainous north where elephants work forests and winter temperatures are sufficiently cool to permit cultivation of temperate fruits such as strawberries and peaches; the sprawling north-east plateau, largely bordered by the Mekong River, where the world's oldest Bronze Age civilisation flourished some 5,000 years ago; the central plain, one of the world's most fertile rice and fruit-growing areas; the eastern coastal plain, where fine sandy beaches support the growth of summer resorts; western mountains and valleys, suitable for the development of hydro-electric power: and the peninsular south where arresting scenic beauty complements economically vital tin mining, robber cultivation and fishing.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch. Thailand embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.

THAILAND FAST FACTS

CapitalKrung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok)13°44'N 100°30'E
Largest cityBangkok
Official languagesThai
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy under Military junta
KingHM The King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Prime MinisterYingluck Shinawatra
President of the Council of National SecurityGeneral Sonthi Boonyaratglin
Independence- Sukhothai kingdom 1238–1368 - Ayutthaya kingdom 1350–1767 - Thonburi kingdom 1767 to April 7, 1782 - Ratanakosin kingdom April 7, 1782 to date - from Khmer Empire
Area- Total: 514,000 km² (49th) - Water: (%) 0.4
Population- July 2005 estimate: 65,444,3711 (19th) - 2000 census : 60,916,441 - Density: 126/km² (80th2)/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate- Total: $560.7 billion (21st) - Per capita: $8,300 (69th)
HDI (2004)0.784 (medium) (74th))
CurrencyBaht (THB)
Time zoneUTC+7
InternetTLD .th
Calling code+ 66