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Thailand

Facts about Thailand

Approx. 66 million inhabitants (world’s 20 largest)
Continent: Asia
Capital: Bangkok with approximately 10 million inhabitants (Greater Bangkok)
Currency: Bath (THB), Satang
Language: Thai with own characters
Religion: Buddhism 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, others 0.1% (2000)
National Day: December 5, which is the late King Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadej birthday
Area: 511 770 km2 (land), 2,239 km2 (water) (world top 50)
Highest mountain: Doi Inthanon (2595 m o.h.)
Conventional long name: Kingdom of Thailand
Conventional short name: Thailand
Local long name: Ratcha Anachak Thai
Local short name: Prathet Thai
Former name: Siam
King: Rama X King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun

The head of state is the king who had the throne since 2016. King also has a council called the Privy Council. Control form is constitutional monarchy.

Traditionally regarded as independent since 1238. Thailand has never been colonized. The land is part of what is called Indochina. The name originates from the French colonized Indochina which included Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In addition, the Indochina countries today are Burma, parts of South China and the part of Malaysia which belongs to the Asian mainland.

Thailand has 76 provinces. In addition considered Bangkok as the 77 province. The provinces are usually the same name as the province capitals. The provinces are divided into districts, which are divided into sub-districts. In 2006, there were 877 districts (Amphoe) in Thailand. In addition, Bangkok are divided into 50 districts (Khet). The provinces are divided into 5 groups that are north, northeast (Isan), Central, East and South.

.: Statistics and facts:.
Land boundaries: total 4,863 km, Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km
Coastline: 3 219 km
Life expectancy: men 70.24 years, women 74.98 years (2007)
Fertility rate: 1.65 children per woman (2009)
Population Growth: 0.663 (2007)
Population Density: 128.22 inhabitants per km2
Infant mortality: 18.85 deaths per. 1,000 live births (2007)
People living with HIV / AIDS: 610,000 (2007)
HIV / AIDS deaths: 30 000 (2003)
Government Age: 18 years
Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Independence: 1238, has never been colonized
Constitution: signed by King on 24 August 2007 (the 17th since 1932)
Legal System: Civil law. The Supreme Court is the highest body of judges appointed by the king
GDP: 272.1 billion USD (2008), growth 3.6%
GDP per capita: 8 500 USD (2008)
GDP by sector: Agriculture 11.4%, industry 44.5%, services 44.1% (2008)
Inflation: 5.5% (2008), 2.2% (2007)
Labour force: 37.78 million (2008)
Unemployment: 1.2% (2008)
Employment: Agriculture 42.6%, industry 20.2%, services 37.1% (2005)
Production of electricity: 148,400,000,000 kWh (2008)
Electricity consumption: 138.6 billion kWh (2008)
Oil production: 348,600 barrels per day (2007)
Oil consumption: 928,600 barrels per day (2006)

Facts and statistics taken from the CIA factbook.

.: Technology:.
Landlines: 7,024 million (2007)
Mobile phone: 51 377 000 000 (2007)
Telephony Country Code: 66
Radio stations: AM 238, FM 351, shortwave 6 (2007)
TV stations: 111 (2006)
Internet users: 13,416 million (2008)
Internet Country Code:  .th

.: Climate:.
The tropical monsoon climate. From May to September is the rainy season with high rainfall. Annual mean temperature in Bangkok 28 ° C. Climate-wise, the best time to travel to Thailand in December and January. At this time the temperature is lowest at around comfortable 30 degrees Celsius. There is little rainfall although one may be surprised by the storm where it rains a lot in a short period.

In late February the temperature starts to rise and Thailand are at its warmest in April and May. In Bangkok, it is not uncommon for temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees.

In May, the temperature begins to drop and the monsoon season begins. During this period, Thailand has a warm monsoon with some precipitation even if it does not rain all the time. Bangkok has a normal annual rainfall of about 1400 millimeters.

.: History:.
It is estimated that people began to settle in the area 10,000 years ago. In the north, archaeologists have found evidence of rice cultivation which dates from the year 4000 before Christ. It also found evidence that it was made objects in bronze 3000 years BC. This is 1,000 years earlier than other findings in China.

Khmer era that began in the 7’ende century brought religion, art and culture of Thailand. Khmer had not control of the whole area but had power through governors.

Sukothai era was the basis of the first kingdom. In 1238, two brothers from high Siamese nobility got together and declared independence from Khmer. One of these, “Si Inthrahit” was regent for the region. The capital was located 350 km from Chiang Mai. Traditionally one considers this as the first Thai or Siamese state.

The king had two sons, Phor Khun Ban Muang and Phor Khun Ramkhamhaeng. After the King’s death Ban Muang took throne first, but his brother was inserted in 1278. King Ramkhamhaeng introduced a writing system that is the basis for the modern Thai alphabet. The scripture was a revision of the different Khmer fonts. He was a great warrior and incorporated many of its neighbors in the kingdom. The kingdom lasted until 1583.

Lanna era began when King Mengrai came to the throne in 1259. His kingdom bordered with Laos in the north and west into today’s Burma. The King preferred to stay in Chiang Rai who then was the capital. He invited two of his friends King Ngarm Muang from Payao and King Ramakampeng from Sukothai. Together they tied a blood bond that insured that there was never any war between the kingdoms as long as these kings reigned. Chiang Mai later became the capital.

Lanna was repeatedly attacked by troops from Laos and Burma in the 1400’s and also had several wars against the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The kingdom was alternately under Burmese and central Siamese control. In 1556 the Burmese took control of the region and it was not incorporated into Siam again before the end of 1700.

In 1351, the capital of Ayutthaya was founded. The name means City of Kings. This was the beginning of Ayutthaya era. The area was geographically formed by an island lying in the middle of the Chao Praya River. The city was described by traders as the largest and richest cities in the east.

In the mid 16’ende century capitals of Chang Mai and Ayutthaya was taken by the Burmese. But the Siamese regained control before the end of the century. In 1767, Burmese soldiers attacked Ayutthaya again. This time they destroyed temples, sculptures and manuscripts. This represented the end of the kingdom.

After the fall of Ayutthaya declared general “Phaya Taksin” the king. He ruled from the new capital of Thonburi area located on the opposite side of the Chao Praya River. He was later executed in 1782. This year starts Rattanakosin era. This laid the foundation of the Chakri dynasty that has had the crown until today. Rama I moved the capital to a small village called Bangkok. He had his residence in the Grand Palace which has been a royal residence until Rama IX days.

Siam was a absolute monarchy until 1932 but is constitutional monarchy after a bloodless revolution. In 1939 the country’s name was changed to Thailand. In Thai the country is named Prathet Thai.

.: Transportation:.
Thailand has a well developed road network of 180,053 km. There are 450 km highway (2006). The railway network is 4,071 km. In total there are 104 airports where 64 of these are paved. The country’s main airport Suvarnabhumi took over from Don Muang on 28 September 2006.

Bus transport is the main method of traveling far and in the capital. Bangkok has an expanded SkyTrain going on concrete bridges in the air and also has metro system underground.

Tuk-tuk is a motorized tricycle which is very popular and affordable transportation. Songthaew is a type of pickup or small truck with seating behind the. In English, this vehicle popularly called Bath Bus. In cities there are also common with motorcycle taxi. All these transport modes require that the price agreed in advance.

Bangkok also has taxi as we know from the West. Cars with the sign Taxi Meter is a meter that counts the distance. In cars with taxi sign on the roof the price must be negotiated in advance. It is often very difficult for tourists to negotiate price in a city you do not know so Taxi Meter should be preferred.

Thailand has four airlines. This is Thai Airways, Krabi Airline, Nok Air and One-Two-GO.

.: Symbols:.
Garuda is half bird and half human. It consists of human body and arms, bird claws and wings, with demo face. It is dressed with gold crown, gold bracelets and collars. The Garuda stems from Hindu mythology where it is a god.

This symbol characterizes most public securities and is both a national symbol and the symbol of the king. The Garuda are distributed as a royal Notice to companies that have caused a great profit to Thai economy. The symbol is a protective spirit and symbolizes kindness and bravery.

The Thai flag got its form in 1917 by Rama VI. “Chat Thai Thong” or tricolor is tricolor of red, white and blue. The blue stripe in the center represents the monarchy, the two white stripes stand for Therevada Buddhist religion and the red stripes represent the nation.

The Elephant is known as a strong animal that has been important in fighting to defend the country. The elephant has been honored for centuries. A Thai legend says that a marriage is like an elephant – the anterior leg is the man who chooses the direction and the rear legs are like the wife who gives power.

Traditionally, the king must have a white elephant that the kingdom will be blessed with peace and prosperity. The white elephant is also a sign that the King reigns in righteousness and power.

The music of the nathional anthem was composed by Professor Phra Jenduriyang in 1932 and the text was written in 1939 by Colonel Luang Saranuprabhandi.

.: Culture, education and sports:.
Thais are a friendly and welcoming nation. Buddhism is strong and they are very generous towards their fellow human beings. Traditionally, the older high respect in society. They also have great respect for their ancestors. Culture influences from the rest of Southeast Asia and especially from India, China and Cambodia.

Thai Boxing is the national sport locally Muay Thai. It is uncertain origin but it is said that it derives from a native technique royal soldiers fighting unarmed trained. These were often Buddhist monks after soldier’s career. Thais have a strong affiliation to Buddhism and traditionally young boys sent to be taught by monks. Muay were often taught in the temples.

The national football team was founded in 1915. First it was called Siam national football team but when the country was renamed in 1949 the name was changed to the Football Association of Thailand. Thailand also has a women’s national team.

Thailand has over 200 first-class golf facility and is often called the Golf Capital of Asia. Golfers from around the world come to play and the country also hosts major tournaments.

The education system was associated with temples but since 1921 it has been compulsory schooling. The children will attend school for 9 years and the education is free. Illiteracy is among the lowest in Asia. After primary school, it is possible to have a secondary education lasting for three years. The country also has a number of universities and colleges. The oldest university, Chulalongkorn University, was established in 1917.

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