Coordinates : 15°24′N 101°18′E / 15.4°N 101.3°E / 15.4; 101.3
Kingdom of Thailand ราชอาณาจักรไทย (Thai ) _Ratcha-anachak Thai_
_ Flag Emblem
ANTHEM: Phleng Chat Thai _ (English: "Thai National Anthem")
ROYAL ANTHEM : _
Sansoen Phra Barami
Location of Thailand (green)
and largest city
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES Thai
ETHNIC GROUPS (2009; 2011 :95–99)
DEMONYM Thai Siamese (archaic)
* Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy (_de jure_)
• PRIME MINISTER
LEGISLATURE National Legislative Assembly (acting as National Assembly )
• SUKHOTHAI KINGDOM 1238–1448
• AYUTTHAYA KINGDOM 1351–1767
• THONBURI KINGDOM 1768–1782
• RATTANAKOSIN KINGDOM 6 April 1782
• CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY 24 June 1932
• CURRENT CONSTITUTION 6 April 2017
• TOTAL 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) (50th )
• WATER (%) 0.4 (2,230 km2)
• 2015 ESTIMATE 67,959,000 (20th )
• 2010 CENSUS 64,785,909
• DENSITY 132.1/km2 (342.1/sq mi) (88th )
GDP (PPP ) 2017 estimate
• TOTAL $1.226 trillion
• PER CAPITA $17,750
GDP (NOMINAL) 2017 estimate
• TOTAL $432.898 billion
• PER CAPITA $6,265
GINI (2010) 39.4 medium
HDI (2015) 0.740 high · 87th
CURRENCY Baht (฿) (THB )
TIME ZONE ICT (UTC +7)
DRIVES ON THE left
ISO 3166 CODE TH
You may need rendering support to display the Thai text in this article correctly.
THAILAND (/ˈtaɪlænd/ _TY-land_ ), officially the KINGDOM OF
THAILAND and formerly known as SIAM, is a country at the centre of the
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has switched between
parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades, the latest
coup being in May 2014 by the
National Council for Peace and Order
The Thai economy is the world's 20th largest by GDP at PPP and the 27th largest by nominal GDP. It became a newly industrialised country and a major exporter in the 1990s. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. It is considered a middle power in the region and around the world.
* 1 Etymology
* 1.1 Etymology of "Siam" * 1.2 Etymology of "Thailand" * 1.3 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 20th century * 2.2 World War II * 2.3 Modern history * 2.4 Historical gallery
* 3 Politics and government
* 4 Administrative divisions
* 4.1 Regions * 4.2 Southern region
* 5 Foreign relations * 6 Armed forces
* 7 Geography
* 7.1 Climate * 7.2 Environment * 7.3 Wildlife
* 8 Education
* 9 Science and technology
* 9.1 Internet
* 10 Economy
* 10.1 Recent economic history * 10.2 Exports and manufacturing * 10.3 Tourism * 10.4 Agriculture * 10.5 Energy * 10.6 Transportation
* 11 Demographics
* 12 Culture
* 12.1 Cuisine * 12.2 Media * 12.3 Units of measurement
* 13 Sports
* 13.1 Sporting venues
* 14 International rankings * 15 See also
* 16 References
* 16.1 Bibliography
* 17 External links
THAILAND (/ˈtaɪlænd/ _TY-land_ or /ˈtaɪlənd/ _TY-lənd_ ;
Thai : ประเทศไทย, rtgs : _Prathet Thai_, pronounced
(_ listen )), officially the KINGDOM OF THAILAND (Thai :
ราชอาณาจักรไทย, rtgs : Ratcha-anachak
Thai_ (_ listen )), formerly known as SIAM (Thai : สยาม,
rtgs : Sayam_ ), is a country at the centre of the Indochinese
ETYMOLOGY OF "SIAM"
The country has always been called _
The signature of
ETYMOLOGY OF "THAILAND"
According to George Cœdès , the word _Thai_ (ไทย) means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs." A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai (ไท) simply means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" (คน) for people.
The "Kingdom of Thailand" is the official English name of the country.
Official names DATE NAME THAI NAME NOTES
1238–1438 KINGDOM OF SUKHOTHAI อาณาจักรสุโขทัย
1351–1767 KINGDOM OF AYUTTHAYA อาณาจักรอยุธยา
1768–1782 KINGDOM OF THONBURI อาณาจักรธนบุรี
1782–1939 KINGDOM OF RATTANAKOSIN อาณาจักรรัตนโกสินทร์ (Siam)
1939–1946 KINGDOM OF THAILAND ราชอาณาจักรไทย
1946–1949 ROYAL KINGDOM OF SIAM พระราชอาณาจักรสยาม
1949–present KINGDOM OF THAILAND ราชอาณาจักรไทย
History of Thailand
There is evidence of human habitation in
Thailand that has been dated
at 40,000 years before the present, with stone artifacts dated to this
Tham Lod Rockshelter
Indian influence on Thai culture was partly the result of direct
contact with Indian settlers, but mainly it was brought about
indirectly via the indianized kingdoms of
According to George Cœdès, "The Thai first enter history of Farther
After the fall of the
Following the decline and fall of the Khmer empire in the 13th–15th
century, the Buddhist Tai kingdoms of Sukhothai,
Ayutthaya's expansion centred along the
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 to the Burmese,
Territorial losses to western powers by year
Despite European pressure,
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian
nation to never have been colonized. This has been ascribed to the
long succession of able rulers in the past four centuries who
exploited the rivalry and tension between the French and British
Empire . In 1896, Britain and
France guaranteed of the Chao Phraya
valley as their buffer state (not the whole of Siam), while the
remaining parts of
As part of the concessions which the
In 1917, Siam joined the
Allies of World War I
In 1939, the name of the kingdom, "Siam", was changed to "Thailand".
WORLD WAR II
Thailand in World War II
During World War II, the
Empire of Japan
Thailand declared war on the
United States and the
United Kingdom on 25 January 1942, and undertook to "assist"
its war against the Allies, while at the same time maintaining an
Free Thai Movement
History of Thailand
The history of
Thailand from 1932 to 1973 was dominated by military
dictatorships which were in power for much of the period. The main
personalities of the period were the dictator Luang Phibunsongkhram
(better known as Phibun), who allied the country with
Japan during the
Second World War, and the civilian politician
A succession of military dictators followed Pridi's ousting —
Thailand helped the USA and South
In 1973, there was a popular uprising which resulted in the end of the ruling military dictatorship of anti-communist Thanom Kittikachorn and altered the Thai political system . Notably, it highlighted the growing influence of Thai university students in politics.
For most of the 1980s,
Thailand was ruled by prime minister Prem
Tinsulanonda , a democratically-inclined strongman who restored
parliamentary politics. Thereafter the country remained a democracy
apart from a brief period of military rule from 1991 to 1992. The
Thai Rak Thai
The immense 19-metre-high (62-foot) gilded statue of a seated Buddha
Wat Phanan Choeng
A 15 metres (49 feet) Buddha image in Sukhothai , Phra Achana, built in the 13th century *
Napoleon III receiving Siamese envoys, 1864
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
The politics of
Thailand is currently conducted within the framework
of a constitutional monarchy , whereby the Prime Minister is the head
of government and a hereditary monarch is head of state . The
judiciary is supposed to be independent of the executive and the
legislative branches, although judicial rulings are suspected of being
based on political considerations rather than on existing law.
Since the political reform of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand has had 19 constitutions and charters. Throughout this time, the form of government has ranged from military dictatorship to electoral democracy, but all governments have acknowledged a hereditary monarch as the head of state.
Prior to 1932, the Kingdom of Siam did not possess a legislature, as
all legislative powers were vested in the person of the monarch. This
had been the case since the foundation of the
The "Draft Constitution" of 1932 signed by King
Since May 2014
Thailand has been ruled by a military junta , the
National Council for Peace and Order
The King of Thailand, King
Thailand is divided into 76 provinces (จังหวัด,
changwat), which are gathered into five groups of provinces by
location. There are also two specially-governed districts: the capital
Each province is divided into districts and the districts are further
divided into sub-districts (tambons). As of 2006 there were 877
districts (อำเภอ, amphoe) and the 50 districts of Bangkok
(เขต, khet). Some parts of the provinces bordering
Main article: Regions of Thailand
Thai provinces are administrated by regions, the regions that
Thailand usually uses to division the provinces is four-region
division system, It divides the country into the four regions:
Northern Thailand ,
Northeastern Thailand ,
In each regions has it own different Historical Background, Culture, Language and People.
Thai local people in the four regions ideally admire the administration of the regions based on Administrative divisions in Germany and British Devolved administrations such as Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland .
In contrast to the administrative divisions of the Provinces of
Thailand controlled the
Mostly the northern states of the Malay Sultanate presented annual
gifts to the Thai king in the form of a golden flower —a gesture of
tribute and an acknowledgement of vassalage. The British intervened in
the Malay State and with the Anglo-Siamese Treaty tried to build a
railway from the south to Bangkok.
Thailand relinquished sovereignty
over what are now the northern Malay provinces of
The Malay peninsular provinces were occupied by the Japanese during
World War II, and infiltrated by the
Malayan Communist Party (CPM)
from 1942 to 2008, when they sued for peace with the Malaysian and
Thai governments after the CPM lost its support from
The foreign relations of Thailand are handled by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Thailand participates fully in international and regional
organisations. It is a major non-NATO ally and Priority Watch List
Special 301 Report of the United States. The country remains an active
In recent years, Thailand has taken an increasingly active role on the international stage. When East Timor gained independence from Indonesia, Thailand, for the first time in its history, contributed troops to the international peacekeeping effort. Its troops remain there today as part of a UN peacekeeping force. As part of its effort to increase international ties, Thailand has reached out to such regional organisations as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Thailand has contributed troops to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thaksin initiated negotiations for several free trade agreements with China, Australia, Bahrain, India, and the US. The latter especially was criticised, with claims that uncompetitive Thai industries could be wiped out.
Thaksin also announced that
Thailand would forsake foreign aid, and
work with donor countries to assist in the development of neighbours
in the Greater
Abhisit appointed Peoples Alliance for
Royal Thai Armed Forces
Royal Thai Armed Forces
The Thai Armed Forces have a combined manpower of 306,000 active duty
personnel and another 245,000 active reserve personnel. The head of
the Thai Armed Forces (จอมทัพไทย, _Chom Thap Thai_)
is the king, although this position is only nominal. The armed forces
are managed by the Ministry of Defence of
Thailand , which is headed
by the Minister of Defence (a member of the cabinet of
Thailand ) and
commanded by the
Royal Thai Armed Forces
According to the constitution, serving in the armed forces is a duty of all Thai citizens. However, only males over the age of 21, who have not gone through reserve training of the Army Reserve Force Students , are given the option of volunteering for the armed forces, or participating in the random draft. The candidates are subjected to varying lengths of training, from six months to two years of full-time service, depending on their education, whether they have partially completed the reserve training course, and whether they volunteered prior to the draft date (usually 1 April every year).
Candidates with a recognised bachelor's degree serve one year of full-time service if they are conscripted, or six months if they volunteer at their district office (สัสดี, _satsadi_). Likewise, the training length is also reduced for those who have partially completed the three-year reserve training course (ร.ด., _ro do_). A person who completed one year out of three will only have to serve full-time for one year. Those who completed two years of reserve training will only have to do six months of full-time training, while those who complete three years or more of reserve training will be exempted entirely.
Royal Thai Armed Forces
Geography of Thailand
Thailand comprises several distinct geographic regions, partly
corresponding to the provincial groups. The north of the country is
the mountainous area of the
Thai highlands , with the highest point
Doi Inthanon in the
Thanon Thong Chai Range at 2,565 metres
(8,415 ft) above sea level . The northeast,
Isan , consists of the
Khorat Plateau , bordered to the east by the
Plans have resurfaced for a canal which would connect the Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand, analogous to the Suez and the Panama Canals . The idea has been greeted positively by Thai politicians as it would cut fees charged by the Ports of Singapore , improve ties with China and India, lower shipping times, and eliminate pirate attacks in the Strait of Malacca , and support the Thai government's policy of being the logistical hub for Southeast Asia. The canal, it is claimed, would improve economic conditions in the south of Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism income, and it would also change the structure of the Thai economy by making it an Asia logistical hub. The canal would be a major engineering project and has an expected cost of US$20–30 billion.
Thailand's climate is influenced by monsoon winds that have a seasonal character (the southwest and northeast monsoon). :2 The southwest monsoon, which starts from May until October is characterized by movement of warm, moist air from the Indian Ocean to Thailand, causing abundant rain over most of the country. :2 The northeast monsoon, starting from October until February brings cold and dry air from China over most of Thailand. :2 In southern Thailand, the northeast monsoon brings mild weather and abundant rainfall on the eastern coast of that region. :2 Most of Thailand has a "tropical wet and dry or savanna climate" type (Köppen 's Tropical savanna climate ). The south and the eastern tip of the east have a tropical monsoon climate .
Thailand is divided into three seasons. :2 The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country. :2 This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year. :2 This can occasionally lead to floods. :4 In addition to rainfall caused by the southwest monsoon, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and tropical cyclones also contribute to producing heavy rainfall during the rainy season. :2 Nonetheless, dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July. :4 This is due to the northward movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone to southern China. :4 Winter or the northeast monsoon starts from mid–October until mid–February. :2 Most of Thailand experiences dry weather during this season with mild temperatures. :2:4 The exception is the southern parts of Thailand where it receives abundant rainfall, particularly during October to November. :2 Summer or the pre–monsoon season runs from mid–February until mid–May and is characterized by warmer weather. :3
Due to its inland nature and latitude, the north, northeast, central
and eastern parts of
Thailand experience a long period of warm
weather. :3 During the hottest time of the year (March to May),
temperatures usually reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) or more with the
exception of coastal areas where sea breezes moderate afternoon
temperatures. :3 In contrast, outbreaks of cold air from
bring colder temperatures; in some cases (particularly the north and
northeast) close to or below 0 °C (32 °F). :3
Most of the country receives a mean annual rainfall of 1,200 to 1,600 mm (47 to 63 in). :4 However, certain areas on the windward sides of mountains such as Ranong province in the west coast of southern Thailand and eastern parts of Trat Province receive more than 4,500 mm (180 in) of rainfall per year. :4 The driest areas are on the leeward side in the central valleys and northernmost portion of south Thailand where mean annual rainfall is less than 1,200 mm (47 in). :4 Most of Thailand (north, northeast, central and east) is characterized by dry weather during the northeast monsoon and abundant rainfall during the southwest monsoon. :4 In the southern parts of Thailand, abundant rainfall occurs in both the northeast and southwest monsoon seasons with a peak in September for the western coast and a peak in November–January on the eastern coast. :4
Thailand has a mediocre but improving performance in the global
Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with an overall ranking of 91
out of 180 countries in 2016. This is also a mediocre rank in the Asia
Pacific region specifically, but ahead of countries like
The elephant is Thailand's national symbol . Although there were 100,000 domesticated elephants in Thailand in 1850, the population of elephants has dropped to an estimated 2,000. Poachers have long hunted elephants for ivory , meat , and hides. Young elephants are often captured for use in tourist attractions or as work animals, although their use has declined since the government banned logging in 1989. There are now more elephants in captivity than in the wild, and environmental activists claim that elephants in captivity are often mistreated.
Poaching of protected species remains a major problem. Hunters have
decimated the populations of tigers , leopards , and other large cats
for their valuable pelts. Many animals (including tigers, bears,
crocodiles , and king cobras ) are farmed or hunted for their meat,
which is considered a delicacy, and for their supposed medicinal
properties. Although such trade is illegal, the famous
The practice of keeping wild animals as pets threatens several species. Baby animals are typically captured and sold, which often requires killing the mother. Once in captivity and out of their natural habitat, many pets die or fail to reproduce. Affected populations include the Asiatic black bear , Malayan sun bear , white-handed lar , pileated gibbon and binturong .
In 2014 the literacy rate was 93.5%. Education is provided by a well-organized school system of kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, numerous vocational colleges, and universities. The private sector of education is well developed and significantly contributes to the overall provision of education which the government would not be able to meet with public establishments. Education is compulsory up to and including age 14, with the government providing free education through to age 17. Chulalongkorn University , established in 1917, is the oldest university in Thailand.
Teaching relies heavily on rote learning rather than on student-centred methodology. The establishment of reliable and coherent curricula for its primary and secondary schools is subject to such rapid changes that schools and their teachers are not always sure what they are supposed to be teaching, and authors and publishers of textbooks are unable to write and print new editions quickly enough to keep up with the volatility. Issues concerning university entrance has been in constant upheaval for a number of years. Nevertheless, Thai education has seen its greatest progress in the years since 2001. Most of the present generation of students are computer literate. Thailand was ranked 54th out of 56 countries globally for English proficiency, the second-lowest in Asia.
Students in ethnic minority areas score consistently lower in
standardised national and international tests. This is likely due
to unequal allocation of educational resources, weak teacher training,
poverty, and low
Extensive nationwide IQ tests were administered to 72,780 Thai students from December 2010 to January 2011. The average IQ was found to be 98.59, which is higher than previous studies have found. IQ levels were found to be inconsistent throughout the country, with the lowest average of 88.07 found in the southern region of Narathiwat Province and the highest average of 108.91 reported in Nonthaburi Province . The Ministry of Public Health blames the discrepancies on iodine deficiency and steps are being taken to require that iodine be added to table salt, a practice common in many Western countries.
In 2013, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology announced that 27,231 schools would receive classroom-level access to high-speed internet .
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Main article: List of Thai inventions and discoveries
The National Science and Technology Development Agency is an agency of the government of Thailand which supports research in science and technology and its application in the Thai economy .
The Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI) is a Thai synchrotron light source for physics, chemistry, material science, and life sciences. It is at the Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), in Nakhon Ratchasima , about 300 kilometres (190 miles) northeast of Bangkok. The institute, financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), houses the only large scale synchrotron in Southeast Asia. It was originally built as the SORTEC synchrotron in Japan and later moved to Thailand and modified for 1.2 GeV operation. It provides users with regularly scheduled light.
In Bangkok, there are 23,000 free public Wi-Fi Internet hotspots. The Internet in Thailand includes 10 Gbit /s high speed fibre-optic lines that can be leased and ISPs such as KIRZ that provide residential Internet services.
The Internet is censored by the Thai government, making some sites unreachable. The organisations responsible are the Royal Thai Police , the Communications Authority of Thailand , and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT ).
Economy of Thailand
Thailand is an emerging economy and is considered a newly
industrialised country .
Thailand had a 2013 GDP of US$673 billion (on
a purchasing power parity basis).
Thailand is the 2nd largest
Thailand functions as an anchor economy for the neighbouring developing economies of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. In the third quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate in Thailand stood at 0.84% according to Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
RECENT ECONOMIC HISTORY
BTS Skytrain passes through
Sathon , the business district
Thailand experienced the world's highest economic growth rate from 1985 to 1996 – averaging 12.4% annually. In 1997 increased pressure on the baht , a year in which the economy contracted by 1.9%, led to a crisis that uncovered financial sector weaknesses and forced the Chavalit Yongchaiyudh administration to float the currency . Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was forced to resign after his cabinet came under fire for its slow response to the economic crisis. The baht was pegged at 25 to the US dollar from 1978 to 1997. The baht reached its lowest point of 56 to the US dollar in January 1998 and the economy contracted by 10.8% that year, triggering the Asian financial crisis .
Thailand's economy started to recover in 1999, expanding 4.2–4.4% in 2000, thanks largely to strong exports. Growth (2.2%) was dampened by the softening of the global economy in 2001, but picked up in the subsequent years owing to strong growth in Asia, a relatively weak baht encouraging exports, and increased domestic spending as a result of several mega projects and incentives of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra , known as Thaksinomics . Growth in 2002, 2003, and 2004 was 5–7% annually.
Growth in 2005, 2006, and 2007 hovered around 4–5%. Due both to the
weakening of the US dollar and an increasingly strong Thai currency,
by March 2008 the dollar was hovering around the 33 baht mark. While
Thaksinomics has received criticism, official economic data reveals
that between 2001 and 2011, Isan's GDP per capita more than doubled to
US$1,475, while, over the same period, GDP in the
With the instability surrounding major 2010 protests, the GDP growth of Thailand settled at around 4–5%, from highs of 5–7% under the previous civilian administration. Political uncertainty was identified as the primary cause of a decline in investor and consumer confidence. The IMF predicted that the Thai economy would rebound strongly from the low 0.1% GDP growth in 2011, to 5.5% in 2012 and then 7.5% in 2013, due to the monetary policy of the Bank of Thailand, as well as a package of fiscal stimulus measures introduced by the former Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Following the Thai military coup of 22 May 2014, the AFP global news agency published an article that claimed that the nation was on the verge of recession. The article focused on the departure of nearly 180,000 Cambodians from Thailand due to fears of an immigration clampdown, but concluded with information on the Thai economy's contraction of 2.1% quarter-on-quarter, from January to the end of March 2014.
EXPORTS AND MANUFACTURING
Automotive production in Thailand , 2004–2013 A proportional representation of Thailand's exports
The economy of Thailand is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP). Thailand exports over US$105 billion worth of goods and services annually. Major exports include rice , textiles and footwear, fishery products, rubber, jewellery, cars, computers, and electrical appliances.
Substantial industries include electric appliances, components,
computer components, and vehicles. Thailand's recovery from the
Asian financial crisis depended mainly on exports, among
various other factors. As of 2012 , the Thai automotive industry was
the largest in
Most of the vehicles built in
Thailand are developed and licensed by
foreign producers, mainly Japanese and South Korean . The Thai car
industry takes advantage of the
Tourism in Thailand
Tourism makes up about 6% of the economy.
Thailand was the most
visited country in
Asian tourists primarily visit
Thailand's attractions include diving , sandy beaches, hundreds of
tropical islands , nightlife, archaeological sites, museums, hill
tribes , flora and bird life, palaces, Buddhist temples and several
World Heritage sites. Many tourists follow courses during their stay
in Thailand. Popular are classes in Thai cooking,
Thai massage . Thai national festivals range from Thai New
Year Songkran to
Loy Krathong . Many localities in
Thailand also have
their own festivals. Among the best-known are the "
Elephant Round-up "
in Surin , the "
Rocket Festival " in
Yasothon and the "Phi Ta
Prostitution in Thailand and sex tourism also form a _de facto_ part of the economy. Campaigns promote Thailand as exotic to attract tourists. Cultural milieu combined with poverty and the lure of money have caused prostitution and sex tourism in particular to flourish in Thailand. One estimate published in 2003 placed the trade at US$4.3 billion per year or about 3% of the Thai economy. According to research by Chulalongkorn University on the Thai illegal economy, prostitution in Thailand in the period between 1993 and 1995, made up around 2.7% of the GDP. It is believed that at least 10% of tourist dollars are spent on the sex trade. The head of Buddha, Wat Mahathat, at Ayutthaya Historical Park , World Heritage Site .
Thailand is at the forefront of the growing practice of sex-reassignment surgery (SRS). Statistic taken from 2014, illustrated the country's medical tourism industry attracting over 2.5 million visitors per year. In 1985–1990, only 5% of foreign transsexual patients visited Thailand for sex-reassignment surgery. In more recent years, 2010–2012, more than 90% of the visitors traveled to Thailand for SRS.
Forty-nine per cent of Thailand's labour force is employed in
agriculture . This is down from 70% in 1980. Rice is the most
important crop in the country and
Thailand had long been the world's
leading exporter of rice, until recently falling behind both
Agriculture has been experiencing a transition from labour-intensive and transitional methods to a more industrialised and competitive sector. Between 1962 and 1983, the agricultural sector grew by 4.1% per year on average and continued to grow at 2.2% between 1983 and 2007. The relative contribution of agriculture to GDP has declined while exports of goods and services have increased.
Further information: Energy in Thailand
75% of Thailand's electrical generation is powered by natural gas in 2014. Coal-fired power plants produce an additional 20% of electricity, with the remainder coming from biomass, hydro, and biogas.
Thailand produces roughly one-third of the oil it consumes. It is the second largest importer of oil in SE Asia. Thailand is a large producer of natural gas, with reserves of at least 10 trillion cubic feet. After Indonesia, it is the largest coal producer in SE Asia, but must import additional coal to meet domestic demand.
Main articles: Transport in Thailand and List of airports in Thailand
Demographics of Thailand
Thailand had a population of 66,720,153 as of 2013 . Thailand's
population is largely rural, concentrated in the rice-growing areas of
the central, northeastern, and northern regions.
Thailand had an urban
population of 45.7% as of 2010 , concentrated mostly in and around the
Thailand's government-sponsored family planning program resulted in a dramatic decline in population growth from 3.1% in 1960 to around 0.4% today. In 1970, an average of 5.7 people lived in a Thai household. At the time of the 2010 census, the average Thai household size was 3.2 people.
Thai nationals make up the majority of Thailand's population, 95.9% in 2010. The remaining 4.1% of the population are Burmese (2.0%), others 1.3%, and unspecified 0.9%.
According to the Royal Thai Government's 2011 Country Report to the UN Committee responsible for the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination , available from the Department of Rights and Liberties Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Justice, :3 62 ethnic communities are officially recognised in Thailand. Twenty million Central Thai (together with approximately 650,000 Khorat Thai ) make up approximately 20,650,000 (34.1 percent) of the nation's population of 60,544,937 at the time of completion of the Mahidol University _Ethnolinguistic Maps of Thailand_ data (1997).
Thailand Country Report provides population numbers for
mountain peoples ('hill tribes') and ethnic communities in the
Northeast and is explicit about its main reliance on the Mahidol
University Ethnolinguistic Maps of
Thailand data. Thus, though over
3.288 million people in the Northeast alone could not be categorised,
the population and percentages of other ethnic communities circa 1997
are known for all of
Thailand and constitute minimum populations. In
descending order, the largest (equal to or greater than 400,000) are
a) 15,080,000 Lao (24.9 percent) consisting of the Thai Lao (14
million) and other smaller Lao groups, namely the Thai Loei
(400–500,000), Lao Lom (350,000), Lao Wiang/Klang (200,000), Lao
Khrang (90,000), Lao Ngaew (30,000), and Lao Ti (10,000; b) six
Increasing numbers of migrants from neighbouring Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, as well as from Nepal and India, have pushed the total number of non-national residents to around 3.5 million as of 2009 , up from an estimated 2 million in 2008, and about 1.3 million in 2000. Some 41,000 Britons live in Thailand.
Further information: List of cities in Thailand
* v * t * e
Largest municipalities in Thailand See template
RANK NAME PROVINCE POP. RANK NAME PROVINCE POP.
Pak Kret City
Hat Yai City
9 Chaophraya Surasak City Chonburi 128,664 19 Chiang Rai City Chiang Rai 74,226
Languages of Thailand
YEAR POP. ±%
1910 8,131,247 —
1919 9,207,355 +13.2%
1929 11,506,207 +25.0%
1937 14,464,105 +25.7%
1947 17,442,689 +20.6%
1960 26,257,916 +50.5%
1970 34,397,371 +31.0%
1980 44,824,540 +30.3%
1990 54,548,530 +21.7%
2000 60,916,441 +11.7%
2010 65,926,261 +8.2%
Source: National Statistical Office of Thailand
The official language of
Thailand is Thai , a Tai–Kadai language
closely related to Lao , Shan in Myanmar, and numerous smaller
languages spoken in an arc from
The largest of Thailand's minority languages is the Lao dialect of
Isan spoken in the northeastern provinces. Although sometimes
considered a Thai dialect, it is a Lao dialect, and the region where
it is traditionally spoken was historically part of the Lao kingdom of
Numerous tribal languages are also spoken, including many
English is a mandatory school subject, but the number of fluent speakers remains low, especially outside cities.
Religion in Thailand
RELIGION IN THAILAND, 2010
Thailand's prevalent religion is Theravada Buddhism , which is an integral part of Thai identity and culture. Active participation in Buddhism is among the highest in the world. According to the 2000 census, 94.6% of the country's population self-identified as Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. Muslims constitute the second largest religious group in Thailand, comprising 4.9% of the population.
Islam is concentrated mostly in the country's southernmost provinces:
Culture of Thailand
Thai culture has been shaped by many influences, including Indian, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Chinese.
Its traditions incorporate a great deal of influence from India,
China, Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Thailand's national
Theravada Buddhism, is central to modern Thai identity. Thai
Buddhism has evolved over time to include many regional beliefs
Several different ethnic groups, many of which are marginalised,
populate Thailand. Some of these groups spill over into Myanmar, Laos,
The traditional Thai greeting, the _wai _, is generally offered first
by the younger of the two people meeting, with their hands pressed
together, fingertips pointing upwards as the head is bowed to touch
face to fingertips, usually coinciding with the spoken words "sawatdi
khrap" for male speakers, and "sawatdi kha" for females. The elder may
then respond in the same way. Social status and position, such as in
government, will also have an influence on who performs the _wai_
first. For example, although one may be considerably older than a
provincial governor, when meeting it is usually the visitor who pays
respect first. When children leave to go to school, they are taught to
_wai_ their parents to indicate their respect. The wai is a sign of
respect and reverence for another, similar to the namaste greeting of
As with other Asian cultures, respect towards ancestors is an essential part of Thai spiritual practice. Thais have a strong sense of hospitality and generosity, but also a strong sense of social hierarchy. Seniority is paramount in Thai culture. Elders have by tradition ruled in family decisions or ceremonies. Older siblings have duties to younger ones.
Taboos in Thailand include touching someone's head or pointing with the feet, as the head is considered the most sacred and the foot the lowest part of the body.
Further information: Cuisine of Thailand
Thai cuisine blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. Common ingredients used in Thai cuisine include garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemon grass, coriander , galangal , palm sugar, and fish sauce (_nam pla_). The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine variety rice (also known as "hom Mali" rice) which forms a part of almost every meal. Thailand was long the world's largest exporter of rice, and Thais domestically consume over 100 of milled rice per person per year. Over 5,000 varieties of rice from Thailand are preserved in the rice gene bank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in the Philippines. The king of Thailand is the official patron of IRRI.
Further information: Media of Thailand
Thai society has been influenced in recent years by its widely
available multi-language press and media. There are some English and
numerous Thai and Chinese newspapers in circulation. Most Thai popular
magazines use English headlines as a chic glamour factor. Many large
Thailand is the largest newspaper market in
UNITS OF MEASUREMENT
Further information: Thai units of measurement
Thailand generally uses the metric system , but traditional units of measurement for land area are used, and imperial units of measurement are occasionally used for building materials, such as wood and plumbing fixtures. Years are numbered as B.E. (Buddhist Era ) in educational settings, the civil service, government, and on contracts and newspaper datelines. In banking, and increasingly in industry and commerce, standard Western year (Christian or Common Era) counting is the standard practice.
Muay Thai (Thai : มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, , lit. "Thai boxing") is a native form of kickboxing and Thailand's signature sport. It incorporates kicks, punches, knees and elbow strikes in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing and this has led to Thailand gaining medals at the Olympic Games in boxing .
Association football has overtaken muay Thai as the most widely
followed sport in contemporary Thai society.
football team has played the
AFC Asian Cup six times and reached the
semifinals in 1972 . The country has hosted the Asian Cup twice, in
1972 and in 2007 . The 2007 edition was co-hosted together with
Volleyball is rapidly growing as one of the most popular sports. The women\'s team has often participated in the World Championship , World Cup , and World Grand Prix Asian Championship . They have won the Asian Championship twice and Asian Cup once. By the success of the women's team, the men team has been growing as well.
Takraw (Thai: ตะกร้อ) is a sport native to Thailand, in which the players hit a rattan ball and are only allowed to use their feet, knees, chest, and head to touch the ball. Sepak takraw is a form of this sport which is similar to volleyball. The players must volley a ball over a net and force it to hit the ground on the opponent's side. It is also a popular sport in other countries in Southeast Asia. A rather similar game but played only with the feet is buka ball .
Snooker has enjoyed increasing popularity in Thailand in recent years, with interest in the game being stimulated by the success of Thai snooker player James Wattana in the 1990s. Other notable players produced by the country include Ratchayothin Yotharuck , Noppon Saengkham and Dechawat Poomjaeng .
Rugby is also a growing sport in
Thailand with the
rugby union team rising to be ranked 61st in the world. Thailand
became the first country in the world to host an international 80
welterweight rugby tournament in 2005. The national domestic Thailand
Rugby Union (TRU) competition includes several universities and
services teams such as
Chulalongkorn University , Mahasarakham
Kasetsart University ,
Prince of Songkla University ,
Thailand has been called the golf capital of Asia as it is a popular destination for golf. The country attracts a large number of golfers from Japan, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and Western countries who come to play golf in Thailand every year. The growing popularity of golf, especially among the middle classes and immigrants, is evident as there are more than 200 world-class golf courses nationwide, and some of them are chosen to host PGA and LPGA tournaments, such as Amata Spring Country Club , Alpine Golf and Sports Club, Thai Country Club, and Black Mountain Golf Club.
Basketball is a growing sport in Thailand, especially on the
professional sports club level. The Chang
Thailand Slammers won the
Other sports in Thailand are slowly growing as the country develops its sporting infrastructure. The success in sports like weightlifting and taekwondo at the last two summer Olympic Games has demonstrated that boxing is no longer the only medal option for Thailand.
Thammasat Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bangkok. It is
currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 25,000.
It is on Thammasat University's Rangsit campus. It was built for the
1998 Asian Games by construction firm Christiani and Nielsen, the same
company that constructed the
Rajamangala National Stadium is the biggest sporting arena in Thailand. It currently has a capacity of 65,000. It is in Bang Kapi, Bangkok. The stadium was built in 1998 for the 1998 Asian Games and is the home stadium of the Thailand national football team .
The well-known Lumpini Boxing Stadium will host its final Muay Thai boxing matches on 7 February 2014 after the venue first opened in December 1956. Managed by the Royal Thai Army, the stadium was officially selected for the purpose of muay Thai bouts following a competition that was staged on 15 March 1956. From 11 February 2014, the stadium will relocate to Ram Intra Road, due to the new venue's capacity to accommodate audiences of up to 3,500. Foreigners typically pay between 1,000–2,000 baht to view a match, with prices depending on the location of the seating.
Main article: International rankings of Thailand
ORGANISATION SURVEY RANKING
The Heritage Foundation Indices of Economic Freedom 60 of 179
Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index, 2014 130 of 180
HSBC International Expat Explorer Survey (2012) 2 of 30
* Book: Thailand
Outline of Thailand
Index of Thailand-related articles
Royal Thai Police
Law of Thailand
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* ^ Paul, Lewis M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. (2013),
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Barbara A. West (2009), _Encyclopedia of the Peoples of
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* ^ "Religious Composition by Country, 2010–2050". 2 April 2015.
* ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings
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* ^ (in Thai) National
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Thailand".
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* ^ _Global 2016 Human Development Report Overview – English_
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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2017.
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Thailand and the World Bank, World Bank on
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* ^ Jonathan H. Ping Middle Power Statecraft (p 104)
* ^ "Merriam-Webster Online". Merriam-webster.com. 25 April 2007.
Retrieved 25 April 2010.
* ^ Charles Eliot (1921). _The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hinduism
and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3) _. London: Routledge
citing in turn Footnote 189: The name is found on Champan inscriptions
of 1050 CE and according to Gerini appears in
Ptolemy 's Samarade =
Sâmaraṭṭha. See Gerini, Ptolemy, p. 170. But Samarade is near
* Cœdès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. _The Indianized States of Southeast Asia_. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1 .
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