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Facts about Thailand

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Where is Thailand located ?
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia along the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand.

What countries border Thailand ?
Thailand shares borders with Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia. Thailand controls the only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore. Across the the Gulf of Thailand is Vietnam, and across Andaman Sea are Indonesia and India.

When was Thailand founded ?
As the only country in Southeast Asia to never have been colonized, Thailand has a long history, beginning in 1238. Thailand was first formed as Sukhothai after the fall of the Khmer empire.

What is Thailand’s national holiday ?
Because Thailand never fought for its freedom, the country does not have an independence day. Instead, the country celebrates the birthday of King Phumiphon on December 5.

When did Siam become Thailand ?
On June 23, 1939, Siam was renamed Thailand. The government claimed that it was better to call their country the name of the majority ethnic group (Thai), in turn, distancing the country from its past. From 1945 to 1949, its name was changed back to Siam, ultimately returning to Thailand in 1949. Today, there is a growing movement in Thailand to return the country’s name to Siam, because it better represents the history and diversity of the country.

What form of government does Thailand have ?
Thailand has a constitutional monarchy, with a Prime Minister as head of government, and the king as head of state. The king is a hereditary monarch.

Who are the political leaders of Thailand ?
The Chief of State is King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been king since June 9, 1946. He is the longest reigning head of state currently in office, and the longest reigning monarch Thailand has had.

The Prime Minister has been Yingluck Shinawatra since August 5, 2011.

What form of currency is used in Thailand ?
Thailand uses baht (THB) as its currency.

What is the capital of Thailand ?
Bankok is Thailand’s capital and largest city. As a bustling, multicultural city, Bangkok is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Bangkok is located along the Chao Phraya River where it meets the Bay of Bangkok.

What is the major religion of Thailand ?
There is no official religion of Thailand, but over 90% of Thailand’s population practices Theravada Buddhism, one of the highest percentages of Buddhists in the world. Islam is the next most prevalent religion, followed by Christianity. Sikhs, Hindus, and Jews also have a presence in Thailand.

What languages are spoken in Thailand ?
Thailand’s official language is Thai, which uses the Thai alphabet (derived from the Khmer alphabet). There are various dialects of Thai spoken around the country, but the central Thai dialect is the standard.

Minority languages include Isan, Yawi, Chinese dialects, and tribal languages like Mon, Khmer, Viet, and Cham. English is usually taught in school.

What is the population of Thailand ?
Thailand’s population is about 69 million.

What are the major ethnic groups of Thailand ?
About three-quarters of Thailand’s population is Thai. The next largest ethnic group are the Chinese, followed by minority groups like the Mons and Khmers.

What are Thailand’s main economic features ?
Thailand has the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. The country enjoyed economic growth spurts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, until it dropped significantly in 1997, along with the economies of many other Asian countries. Its strong recovery has placed Thailand ahead as one of the top 25 economies in the world. Thailand currently ranks in the top 5 for countries with the lowest unemployment rates.

Thailand is an export-based economy, and is estimated to become one of the top auto exporters in the world. Tourism is another important aspect of Thailand’s economy, along with agriculture.

What are some aspects of Thai culture ?
Thai culture is influenced by India, Laos, Burma, China, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian cultures.

Muay Thai, a style of boxing, is Thailand’s national sport, though soccer is gaining popularity.

Thai food is marked by curries, fish sauce, citrus, and rice, and is known for having the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, sour, and salty flavors.

Thai New Year is celebrated from April 13 to April 15 every year, marking the change from dry season to hot season. The celebrations involve throwing water, more recently using squirt guns.

Thailand Map


Last Updated : March 22, 2014

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