The Kingdom of Thailand is an independent country in Southeast Asia’s heart.
It is bordered to the north by Laos and Myanmar (Burma), 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 Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The capital and largest city of Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the country’s center of political, commercial, industrial, and cultural activities.
Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain), with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with about 64 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay; the rest belong to minority groups, including Mons, Khmers, and various hill tribes. There are an estimated 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand. Thailand has also attracted many expatriates from developed countries in the West. The country’s official language is Thai.
Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 94.7% of all Thais. Muslims comprise 4.6% of the population, and 0.7% belong to other faiths. Culture and traditions in Thailand are significantly influenced by India, as are Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the tenth king of the House of Chakri, as the ruling monarch. The king is officially titled the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Supreme Supporter of all faiths.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth and today is a newly-industrialized country with an emphasis on exports and a flourishing tourism industry, thanks to various world-famous tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Bangkok, and Phuket.
Thailand is famous for many things. Thailand is well known for its art, food, diverse culture, traditional medicine (Thai Traditional Medicine– Nuad or conventional Thai medical massage), martial arts, and fighting arts such as Krabi-krabong, Muay Boran, and Muay Thai.