The Kingdom of Thailand or Thailand (Land of the Free) , with Bangkok as the present capital since 1782, was previously known to Europeans in 16th century as Siam.
Thailand, a country of mountains, flat plains and tropical rain forests with land area approximately 514,000 sq. km. and sea territory approximately 428,000 sq. km. , situated on Central Mainland Southeast Asia, is bordered by Myanmar to the north and west, Lao PDR to the north and east, Kingdom of Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south. The tropical climate distinguishes three seasons, a hot and dry season from February to May, a monsoon season from June to October and a cooler, dry season from November to January. Average temperature is between a low of 23.0 C and a high of 32.2 C.
Thailand is a multi-ethnic nation and Thai population of 63.4 million speak Thai which is the national and official language. Other languages are Chinese and Malay. English, a compulsory subject in school, is widely spoken and understood in Bangkok, other cities and major towns. Thai is a tonal language. Its script was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Thai belongs to one of the five main language families in Southeast Asia, spoken over a wide area covering southern China, northern Vietnam, Lao PDR, Thailand, northern and northeastern Myanmar, and Assam in India.
Five horizontal bands of red, white and blue represent unity of the nation, the purity of religion and the monarchy, respectively
The Thai monarchy is revered and regarded as the central, unifying element among the pillars of the nation.
Known as a Buddhist Kingdom or “Kingdom of the Yellow Robes”, although other major religions are practiced. These include Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. The Constitution makes no mentioned of any religion or sect. It grants freedom to worship.
The Sala Thai (Thai pavilion) is the country’s architectural symbol and represents the skills of Thai craftsmen.
Chang Thai (Thai elephant or Elephant maximus) is a symbol historically and traditionally associated with Thailand.
The national plant is the Rachaphruek (Cassia fistula Linn), in English known as the Piper Tree or Indian Laburnum.
A constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government.
GDP per capita at current market prices US$ 4,110 (NESDB 2008) Main exports Food, including rice, seafood and live animals, office equipment, auto-parts, computer parts, textiles and clothing, rubber, cassava and sugar.
Education Comprising fifteen years of free basic education – three years of kindergarten and twelve years of secondary education. There are 38, 313 schools in Thailand, 36,148 under the Ministry of Education, 78 state universities. There are 68 privately-operated universities, colleges and institutions in Thailand offering diplomas and degrees.