Thailand

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"Siam" redirects here. Thailand_sentence_0

For other uses, see Siam (disambiguation). Thailand_sentence_1

Thailand_table_infobox_0

Kingdom of ThailandThailand_header_cell_0_0_0
Capital

and largest cityThailand_header_cell_0_1_0

BangkokThailand_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesThailand_header_cell_0_2_0 ThaiThailand_cell_0_2_1
Spoken languagesThailand_header_cell_0_3_0 Thailand_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groupsThailand_header_cell_0_4_0 Thailand_cell_0_4_1
ReligionThailand_header_cell_0_5_0 Thailand_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)Thailand_header_cell_0_6_0 Thai

Siamese (historic)Thailand_cell_0_6_1

GovernmentThailand_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchyThailand_cell_0_7_1
MonarchThailand_header_cell_0_8_0 Maha VajiralongkornThailand_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterThailand_header_cell_0_9_0 Prayut Chan-o-chaThailand_cell_0_9_1
Senate PresidentThailand_header_cell_0_10_0 Pornpetch WichitcholchaiThailand_cell_0_10_1
House SpeakerThailand_header_cell_0_11_0 Chuan LeekpaiThailand_cell_0_11_1
LegislatureThailand_header_cell_0_12_0 National AssemblyThailand_cell_0_12_1
Upper houseThailand_header_cell_0_13_0 SenateThailand_cell_0_13_1
Lower houseThailand_header_cell_0_14_0 House of RepresentativesThailand_cell_0_14_1
FormationThailand_header_cell_0_15_0
Sukhothai KingdomThailand_header_cell_0_16_0 1238–1448Thailand_cell_0_16_1
Ayutthaya KingdomThailand_header_cell_0_17_0 1351–1767Thailand_cell_0_17_1
Thonburi KingdomThailand_header_cell_0_18_0 1768–1782Thailand_cell_0_18_1
Rattanakosin KingdomThailand_header_cell_0_19_0 6 April 1782Thailand_cell_0_19_1
Constitutional monarchyThailand_header_cell_0_20_0 24 June 1932Thailand_cell_0_20_1
Current constitutionThailand_header_cell_0_21_0 6 April 2017Thailand_cell_0_21_1
Area Thailand_header_cell_0_22_0
TotalThailand_header_cell_0_23_0 513,120 km (198,120 sq mi) (50th)Thailand_cell_0_23_1
Water (%)Thailand_header_cell_0_24_0 0.4 (2,230 km)Thailand_cell_0_24_1
PopulationThailand_header_cell_0_25_0
2019 estimateThailand_header_cell_0_26_0 66,558,935 (22nd)Thailand_cell_0_26_1
2010 censusThailand_header_cell_0_27_0 64,785,909 (21st)Thailand_cell_0_27_1
DensityThailand_header_cell_0_28_0 132.1/km (342.1/sq mi) (88th)Thailand_cell_0_28_1
GDP (PPP)Thailand_header_cell_0_29_0 2019 estimateThailand_cell_0_29_1
TotalThailand_header_cell_0_30_0 $1.390 trillionThailand_cell_0_30_1
Per capitaThailand_header_cell_0_31_0 $20,474Thailand_cell_0_31_1
GDP (nominal)Thailand_header_cell_0_32_0 2019 estimateThailand_cell_0_32_1
TotalThailand_header_cell_0_33_0 $516 billionThailand_cell_0_33_1
Per capitaThailand_header_cell_0_34_0 $7,607Thailand_cell_0_34_1
Gini (2015)Thailand_header_cell_0_35_0 36

mediumThailand_cell_0_35_1

HDI (2018)Thailand_header_cell_0_36_0 0.765

high · 77thThailand_cell_0_36_1

CurrencyThailand_header_cell_0_37_0 Baht (฿) (THB)Thailand_cell_0_37_1
Time zoneThailand_header_cell_0_38_0 UTC+7 (ICT)Thailand_cell_0_38_1
Driving sideThailand_header_cell_0_39_0 leftThailand_cell_0_39_1
Calling codeThailand_header_cell_0_40_0 +66Thailand_cell_0_40_1
ISO 3166 codeThailand_header_cell_0_41_0 THThailand_cell_0_41_1
Internet TLDThailand_header_cell_0_42_0 Thailand_cell_0_42_1

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country in Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_2

Located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, it is composed of 76 provinces, and covers an area of 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi), and a population of over 66 million people. Thailand_sentence_3

Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country by land area, and the 22nd-most-populous country in the world. Thailand_sentence_4

The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand_sentence_5

Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, 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 the southern extremity of Myanmar. Thailand_sentence_6

Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Thailand_sentence_7

Nominally, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy; however, in recent history, its government has experienced multiple coups and periods of military dictatorships. Thailand_sentence_8

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century; the oldest known mention of their presence in the region by the exonym Siamese dates to the 12th century. Thailand_sentence_9

Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon kingdoms, Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as the Kingdoms of Ngoenyang, Sukhothai, Lan Na and Ayutthaya, which rivalled each other. Thailand_sentence_10

Documented European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, which became a regional power by the end of the 15th century. Thailand_sentence_11

Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign (1656–1688), gradually declining thereafter until being ultimately destroyed in the 1767 Burmese–Siamese War. Thailand_sentence_12

Taksin (r. 1767–1782) quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. Thailand_sentence_13

He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (r. 1782–1809), the first monarch of the current Chakri dynasty. Thailand_sentence_14

Throughout the era of Western imperialism in Asia, Siam remained the only nation in the region to avoid being colonized by foreign powers, although the Siamese government was often forced to cede both territory and trade concessions in unequal treaties. Thailand_sentence_15

The Siamese system of government was centralized and transformed into modern unitary absolute monarchy in the reign of Chulalongkorn (r. 1868–1910). Thailand_sentence_16

Siam joined World War I siding with the allies, a political decision to amend the unequal treaties. Thailand_sentence_17

Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". Thailand_sentence_18

Thailand was a satellite of Japan in World War II. Thailand_sentence_19

In the late 1950s, a military coup under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. Thailand_sentence_20

Thailand became a major ally of the United States, and played a key anti-communist role in the region as a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Thailand_sentence_21

Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. Thailand_sentence_22

Since the 2000s, Thailand has been caught in a bitter political conflict between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra, which culminated in two coups, most recently in 2014 and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution and faces the ongoing 2020 Thai protests. Thailand_sentence_23

Thailand is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand_sentence_24

Despite comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a middle power in global affairs. Thailand_sentence_25

With a high level of human development, the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, and the 20th-largest in the world by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy; manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. Thailand_sentence_26

Etymology Thailand_section_0

Thailand (/ˈtaɪlænd/ TY-land or /ˈtaɪlənd/ TY-lənd; Thai: , RTGS: Prathet Thai, pronounced [pratʰêːt tʰaj (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Thailand (Thai: , RTGS: Ratcha-anachak Thai [râːtt͡ɕʰaʔaːnaːt͡ɕàk tʰaj (listen)), formerly known as Siam (Thai: , RTGS: Sayam [sajǎːm), is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_27

Etymology of Siam Thailand_section_1

The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. Thailand_sentence_28

By outsiders, prior to 1949, it was usually known by the exonym Siam (Thai: RTGS: sayam, pronounced [sajǎːm, also spelled Siem, Syâm, or Syâma). Thailand_sentence_29

The word Siam may have originated from Pali (suvaṇṇabhūmi, 'land of gold') or Sanskrit श्याम (śyāma, 'dark') or Mon ရာမည(rhmañña, 'stranger'). Thailand_sentence_30

The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word. Thailand_sentence_31

The word Śyâma is possibly not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Thailand_sentence_32

Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late 14th century. Thailand_sentence_33

The Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." Thailand_sentence_34

A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves syem as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. Thailand_sentence_35

The signature of King Mongkut (r. 1851–1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut Rex Siamensium (Mongkut King of the Siamese), giving the name Siam official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to "Thailand". Thailand_sentence_36

Thailand was renamed Siam from 1946 to 1948, after which it again reverted to "Thailand". Thailand_sentence_37

Etymology of "Thailand" Thailand_section_2

According to George Cœdès, the word Thai () means 'free man' in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs". Thailand_sentence_38

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 () for people. Thailand_sentence_39

According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai-Tai (or Thay-Tay) would have evolved from the etymon *k(ə)ri: 'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *daj (Proto-Southwestern Tai) > tʰaj (in Siamese and Lao) or > taj (in the other Southwestern and Central Tai languages classified by Li Fangkuei). Thailand_sentence_40

Michel Ferlus's work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for the most part by William H. Baxter (1992). Thailand_sentence_41

While Thai people will often refer to their country using the polite form prathet Thai (Thai: ประเทศไทย), they most commonly use the more colloquial term mueang Thai (Thai: เมืองไทย) or simply Thai; the word mueang, archaically referring to a city-state, is commonly used to refer to a city or town as the centre of a region. Thailand_sentence_42

Ratcha Anachak Thai (Thai: ราชอาณาจักรไทย) means 'kingdom of Thailand' or 'kingdom of Thai'. Thailand_sentence_43

Etymologically, its components are: ratcha (Sanskrit: राजन्, rājan, 'king, royal, realm'); -ana- (Pali āṇā 'authority, command, power', itself from the Sanskrit आज्ञा, ājñā, of the same meaning) -chak (from Sanskrit cakra- 'wheel', a symbol of power and rule). Thailand_sentence_44

The Thai National Anthem (Thai: เพลงชาติ), written by Luang Saranupraphan during the patriotic 1930s, refers to the Thai nation as prathet Thai (Thai: ประเทศไทย). Thailand_sentence_45

The first line of the national anthem is: prathet thai ruam lueat nuea chat chuea thai (Thai: ประเทศไทยรวมเลือดเนื้อชาติเชื้อไทย), 'Thailand is the unity of Thai flesh and blood'. Thailand_sentence_46

History Thailand_section_3

Main article: History of Thailand Thailand_sentence_47

Prehistory Thailand_section_4

Main articles: Prehistoric Thailand, Early history of Thailand, and Tai peoples Thailand_sentence_48

There is evidence of continuous human habitation in present-day Thailand from 20,000 years ago to the present day. Thailand_sentence_49

The earliest evidence of rice growing is dated at 2,000 BCE. Thailand_sentence_50

Bronze appeared circa 1,250–1,000 BCE. Thailand_sentence_51

The site of Ban Chiang in northeast Thailand currently ranks as the earliest known centre of copper and bronze production in Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_52

Iron appeared around 500 BCE. Thailand_sentence_53

The Kingdom of Funan was the first and most powerful Southeast Asian kingdom at the time (2nd century BCE). Thailand_sentence_54

The Mon people established the principalities of Dvaravati and Kingdom of Hariphunchai in the 6th century. Thailand_sentence_55

The Khmer people established the Khmer empire, centred in Angkor, in the 9th century. Thailand_sentence_56

Tambralinga, a Malay state controlling trade through the Malacca Strait, rose in the 10th century. Thailand_sentence_57

The Indochina peninsula was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India from the time of the Kingdom of Funan to that of the Khmer Empire. Thailand_sentence_58

The Thai people are of the Tai ethnic group, characterised by common linguistic roots. Thailand_sentence_59

Chinese chronicles first mention the Tai peoples in the 6th century BCE. Thailand_sentence_60

While there are many assumptions regarding the origin of Tai peoples, David K. Wyatt, a historian of Thailand, argued that their ancestors which at the present inhabit Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, India, and China came from the Điện Biên Phủ area between the 5th and the 8th century. Thailand_sentence_61

Thai people began migrating into present-day Thailand around the 11th century, which Mon and Khmer people occupied at the time. Thailand_sentence_62

Thus Thai culture was influenced by Indian, Mon, and Khmer cultures. Thailand_sentence_63

According to French historian George Cœdès, "The Thai first enter history of Farther India in the eleventh century with the mention of Syam slaves or prisoners of war in Champa epigraphy, and "in the twelfth century, the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat" where "a group of warriors" are described as Syam. Thailand_sentence_64

Early states and Sukhothai Kingdom Thailand_section_5

Main articles: Initial states of Thailand and Sukhothai Kingdom Thailand_sentence_65

After the decline of the Khmer Empire and Kingdom of Pagan in the early-13th century, various states thrived in their place. Thailand_sentence_66

The domains of Tai people existed from the northeast of present-day India to the north of present-day Laos and to the Malay peninsula. Thailand_sentence_67

During the 13th century, Tai people had already settled in the core land of Dvaravati and Lavo Kingdom to Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south. Thailand_sentence_68

There are, however, no records detailing the arrival of the Tais. Thailand_sentence_69

Around 1240, Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao, a local Tai ruler, rallied the people to rebel against the Khmer. Thailand_sentence_70

He later crowned himself the first king of Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238. Thailand_sentence_71

Mainstream Thai historians count Sukhothai as the first kingdom of Thai people. Thailand_sentence_72

Sukhothai expanded furthest during the reign of Ram Khamhaeng (r. 1279–1298). Thailand_sentence_73

However, it was mostly a network of local lords who swore fealty to Sukhothai, not directly controlled by it. Thailand_sentence_74

He is believed have invented Thai script and Thai ceramics were an important export in his era. Thailand_sentence_75

Sukhothai embraced Theravada Buddhism in the reign of Maha Thammaracha I (1347–1368). Thailand_sentence_76

To the north, Mangrai, who descended from a local ruler lineage of Ngoenyang, founded the kingdom of Lan Na in 1292, centered in Chiang Mai. Thailand_sentence_77

He unified the surrounding area and his dynasty would rule the kingdom continuously for the next two centuries. Thailand_sentence_78

He also created a network of states through political alliances to the east and north of the Mekong. Thailand_sentence_79

While in the port in Lower Chao Phraya Basin, a federation around Phetchaburi, Suphan Buri, Lopburi, and the Ayutthaya area was created in the 11th century. Thailand_sentence_80

Ayutthaya Kingdom Thailand_section_6

Main article: Ayutthaya Kingdom Thailand_sentence_81

According to the most widely accepted version of its origin, the Ayutthaya Kingdom rose from the earlier, nearby Lavo Kingdom and Suvarnabhumi with Uthong as its first king. Thailand_sentence_82

Ayutthaya was a patchwork of self-governing principalities and tributary provinces owing allegiance to the King of Ayutthaya under the mandala system. Thailand_sentence_83

Its initial expansion was through conquest and political marriage. Thailand_sentence_84

Before the end of the 15th century, Ayutthaya invaded the Khmer Empire three times and sacked its capital Angkor. Thailand_sentence_85

Ayutthaya then became a regional power in place of the Khmer. Thailand_sentence_86

Constant interference of Sukhothai effectively made it a vassal state of Ayutthaya and it was finally incorporated into the kingdom. Thailand_sentence_87

Borommatrailokkanat brought about bureaucratic reforms which lasted into the 20th century and created a system of social hierarchy called sakdina, where male commoners were conscripted as corvée labourers for six months a year. Thailand_sentence_88

Ayutthaya was interested in the Malay peninsula, but failed to conquer the Malacca Sultanate which was supported by the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Thailand_sentence_89

European contact and trade started in the early-16th century, with the envoy of Portuguese duke Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511, Portugal became an allied and ceded some soldiers to King Rama Thibodi II. Thailand_sentence_90

The Portuguese were followed in the 17th century by the French, Dutch, and English. Thailand_sentence_91

Rivalry for supremacy over Chiang Mai and the Mon people pitted Ayutthaya against the Burmese Kingdom. Thailand_sentence_92

Several wars with its ruling dynasty Taungoo Dynasty starting in the 1540s in the reign of Tabinshwehti and Bayinnaung were ultimately ended with the capture of the capital in 1570. Thailand_sentence_93

Then was a brief period of vassalage to Burma until Naresuan proclaimed independence in 1584. Thailand_sentence_94

Ayutthaya then sought to improve relations with European powers for many successive reigns. Thailand_sentence_95

The kingdom especially prospered during cosmopolitan Narai's reign (1656–1688) when some European travelers regarded Ayutthaya as an Asian great power, alongside China and India. Thailand_sentence_96

However, growing French influence later in his reign was met with nationalist sentiment and led eventually to the Siamese revolution of 1688. Thailand_sentence_97

However, overall relations remained stable, with French missionaries still active in preaching Christianity. Thailand_sentence_98

After a bloody period of dynastic struggle, Ayutthaya entered into what has been called the Siamese "golden age", a relatively peaceful episode in the second quarter of the 18th century when art, literature, and learning flourished. Thailand_sentence_99

There were seldom foreign wars, apart from conflict with the Nguyễn Lords for control of Cambodia starting around 1715. Thailand_sentence_100

The last fifty years of the kingdom witnessed bloody succession crises, where there were purges of court officials and able generals for many consecutive reigns. Thailand_sentence_101

In 1765, a combined 40,000-strong force of Burmese armies invaded it from the north and west. Thailand_sentence_102

The Burmese were under the new Alaungpaya dynasty quickly rose to be a new local power by 1759. Thailand_sentence_103

After a 14-month siege, the capital city's wall fell and the city was burned in April 1767. Thailand_sentence_104

Thonburi Kingdom Thailand_section_7

Main article: Thonburi Kingdom Thailand_sentence_105

The capital and much territories lied in chaos after the war. Thailand_sentence_106

The former capital was occupied by the Burmese garrison army and five local leaders declared themselves overlords, including the lords of Sakwangburi, Pimai, Chanthaburi, and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Thailand_sentence_107

Chao Tak, a capable military leader, proceeded to make himself a lord by right of conquest, beginning with the legendary sack of Chanthaburi. Thailand_sentence_108

Based at Chanthaburi, Chao Tak raised troops and resources, and sent a fleet up the Chao Phraya to take the fort of Thonburi. Thailand_sentence_109

In the same year, Chao Tak was able to retake Ayutthaya from the Burmese only seven months after the fall of the city. Thailand_sentence_110

Chao Tak then crowned himself as Taksin and proclaimed Thonburi as temporary capital in the same year. Thailand_sentence_111

He also quickly subdued the other warlords. Thailand_sentence_112

His forces engaged in wars with Burma, Laos, and Cambodia, which successfully drove the Burmese out of Lan Na in 1775, captured Vientiane in 1778 and tried to install a pro-Thai king in Cambodia in the 1770s. Thailand_sentence_113

In his final years there was a coup, caused supposedly by his "insanity", and eventually Taksin and his sons were executed by his longtime companion General Chao Phraya Chakri (the future Rama I). Thailand_sentence_114

He was the first king of the ruling Chakri Dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom on 6 April 1782. Thailand_sentence_115

Modernisation and centralisation Thailand_section_8

Main article: Rattanakosin Kingdom Thailand_sentence_116

Under Rama I (1782–1809), Rattanakosin successfully defended against Burmese attacks and put an end to Burmese incursions. Thailand_sentence_117

He also created suzerainty over large portions of Laos and Cambodia. Thailand_sentence_118

In 1821, Briton John Crawfurd was sent to negotiate a new trade agreement with Siam – the first sign of an issue which was to dominate 19th century Siamese politics. Thailand_sentence_119

Bangkok signed the Burney Treaty in 1826, after the British victory in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Thailand_sentence_120

Anouvong of Vientiane, who mistakenly held the belief that Britain was about to launch an invasion of Bangkok, started the Lao rebellion in 1826 which was suppressed. Thailand_sentence_121

Vientiane was destroyed and a large number of Lao people was relocated to Khorat Plateau as a result. Thailand_sentence_122

Bangkok also waged several wars with Vietnam, where Siam successfully regained hegemony over Cambodia. Thailand_sentence_123

From the late-19th century, Siam tried to rule the ethnic groups in the realm as colonies. Thailand_sentence_124

In the reign of Mongkut (1851–1868), who recognised the potential threat Western powers posed to Siam, his court contacted the British government directly to defuse tensions. Thailand_sentence_125

A British mission led by Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong, led to the signing of the Bowring Treaty, the first of many unequal treaties with Western countries. Thailand_sentence_126

This, however, brought trade and economic development to Siam. Thailand_sentence_127

The unexpected death of Mongkut from malaria led to the reign of underage Prince Chulalongkorn, with Somdet Chaophraya Sri Suriwongse (Chuang Bunnag) acting as regent. Thailand_sentence_128

Chulalongkorn (r. 1868–1910) initiated centralisation, set up a privy council, and abolished slavery and the corvée system. Thailand_sentence_129

The Front Palace crisis of 1874 stalled attempts at further reforms. Thailand_sentence_130

In the 1870s and 1880s, he incorporated the protectorates up north into the kingdom proper, which later expanded to the protectorates in the northeast and the south. Thailand_sentence_131

He established twelve krom in 1888, which were equivalent to present-day ministries. Thailand_sentence_132

The crisis of 1893 erupted, caused by French demands for Laotian territory east of Mekong. Thailand_sentence_133

Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonised by a Western power, in part because Britain and France agreed in 1896 to make the Chao Phraya valley a buffer state. Thailand_sentence_134

Not until the 20th century could Siam renegotiate every unequal treaty dating from the Bowring Treaty, including extraterritoriality. Thailand_sentence_135

The advent of the monthon system marked the creation of the modern Thai nation-state. Thailand_sentence_136

In 1905, there were unsuccessful rebellions in the ancient Patani area, Ubon Ratchathani, and Phrae in opposition to an attempt to blunt the power of local lords. Thailand_sentence_137

The Palace Revolt of 1912 was a failed attempt by Western-educated military officers to overthrow the Siamese monarchy. Thailand_sentence_138

Vajiravudh (r. 1910–1925) responded by propaganda for the entirety of his reign. Thailand_sentence_139

He promoted the idea of the Thai nation. Thailand_sentence_140

In 1917, Siam joined the First World War on the side of the Allies as there were concerns that the Allies might punish neutral countries and refuse to amend past unequal treaties. Thailand_sentence_141

In the aftermath Siam joined the Paris Peace Conference, and gained freedom of taxation and the revocation of extraterritoriality. Thailand_sentence_142

Constitutional monarchy, World War II and Cold War Thailand_section_9

Main articles: Thailand in World War II and History of Thailand (1932–1973) Thailand_sentence_143

A bloodless revolution took place in 1932, carried out by a group of military and civilian officials Khana Ratsadon. Thailand_sentence_144

Prajadhipok was forced to grant the country's first constitution, thereby ending centuries of absolute monarchy. Thailand_sentence_145

The combined results of economic hardships brought on by the Great Depression, sharply falling rice prices, and a significant reduction in public spending caused discontent among aristocrats. Thailand_sentence_146

In 1933, a counter-revolutionary rebellion occurred which aimed to reinstate absolute monarchy, but failed. Thailand_sentence_147

Prajadhipok's conflict with the government eventually led to abdication. Thailand_sentence_148

The government selected Ananda Mahidol, who was studying in Switzerland, to be the new king. Thailand_sentence_149

Later that decade, the army wing of Khana Ratsadon came to dominate Siamese politics. Thailand_sentence_150

Plaek Phibunsongkhram who became premier in 1938, started political oppression and took an openly anti-royalist stance. Thailand_sentence_151

His government adopted nationalism and Westernisation, anti-Chinese and anti-French policies. Thailand_sentence_152

In 1940, there was a decree changing the name of the country from "Siam" to "Thailand". Thailand_sentence_153

In 1941, Thailand was in a brief conflict with Vichy France resulting in Thailand gaining some Lao and Cambodian territories. Thailand_sentence_154

On 8 December 1941, the Empire of Japan launched an invasion of Thailand, and fighting broke out shortly before Phibun ordered an armistice. Thailand_sentence_155

Japan was granted free passage, and on 21 December Thailand and Japan signed a military alliance with a secret protocol, wherein the Japanese government agreed to help Thailand regain lost territories. Thailand_sentence_156

The Thai government declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom. Thailand_sentence_157

The Free Thai Movement was launched both in Thailand and abroad to oppose the government and Japanese occupation. Thailand_sentence_158

After the war ended in 1945, Thailand signed formal agreements to end the state of war with the Allies. Thailand_sentence_159

Most Allied powers had not recognised Thailand's declaration of war. Thailand_sentence_160

In June 1946, young King Ananda was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Thailand_sentence_161

His younger brother Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne. Thailand_sentence_162

Thailand joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) to become an active ally of the United States in 1954. Thailand_sentence_163

Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat launched a coup in 1957, which removed Khana Ratsadon from politics. Thailand_sentence_164

His rule (premiership 1959–1963) was autocratic; he built his legitimacy around the god-like status of the monarch and by channelling the government's loyalty to the king. Thailand_sentence_165

His government improved the country's infrastructure and education. Thailand_sentence_166

After the United States joined the Vietnam War in 1961, there was a secret agreement wherein the U.S. promised to protect Thailand. Thailand_sentence_167

The period brought about increasing modernisation and Westernisation of Thai society. Thailand_sentence_168

Rapid urbanisation occurred when the rural populace sought work in growing cities. Thailand_sentence_169

Rural farmers gained class consciousness and were sympathetic to the Communist Party of Thailand. Thailand_sentence_170

Economic development and education enabled the rise of a middle class in Bangkok and other cities. Thailand_sentence_171

In October 1971, there was a large demonstration against the dictatorship of Thanom Kittikachorn (premiership 1963–1973), which led to civilian casualties. Thailand_sentence_172

Bhumibol installed Sanya Dharmasakti (premiership 1973–1975) to replace him, making it the first time that the king intervened in Thai politics directly since 1932. Thailand_sentence_173

The aftermath of the event marked a short-lived parliamentary democracy, often called the "era when democracy blossomed." Thailand_sentence_174

(ยุคประชาธิปไตยเบ่งบาน) Thailand_sentence_175

Contemporary history Thailand_section_10

Main articles: History of Thailand (1973–2001) and History of Thailand since 2001 Thailand_sentence_176

See also: South Thailand insurgency Thailand_sentence_177

Constant unrest and instability, as well as fear of a communist takeover after the fall of Saigon, made some ultra-right groups brand leftist students as communists. Thailand_sentence_178

This culminated in the Thammasat University massacre in October 1976. Thailand_sentence_179

A coup d'état on that day brought Thailand a new ultra-right government, which cracked down on media outlets, officials, and intellectuals, and fuelled the communist insurgency. Thailand_sentence_180

Another coup the following year installed a more moderate government, which offered amnesty to communist fighters in 1978. Thailand_sentence_181

Fueled by Indochina refugee crisis, Vietnamese border raids and economic hardships, Prem Tinsulanonda launched a successful coup and became the Prime Minister from 1980 to 1988. Thailand_sentence_182

The communists abandoned the insurgency by 1983. Thailand_sentence_183

Prem's premiership was dubbed "semi-democracy" because the Parliament was composed of all elected House and all appointed Senate. Thailand_sentence_184

The 1980s also saw increasing intervention in politics by the monarch, who rendered two coup attempts against Prem failed. Thailand_sentence_185

Thailand had its first elected prime minister in 1988. Thailand_sentence_186

Suchinda Kraprayoon, who was the coup leader in 1991 and said he would not seek to become prime minister, was nominated as one by the majority coalition government after the 1992 general election. Thailand_sentence_187

This caused a popular demonstration in Bangkok, which ended with a military crackdown. Thailand_sentence_188

Bhumibol intervened in the event and Suchinda then resigned. Thailand_sentence_189

The 1997 Asian financial crisis originated in Thailand and ended the country's 40 years of uninterrupted economic growth. Thailand_sentence_190

Chuan Leekpai's government took an IMF loan with unpopular provisions. Thailand_sentence_191

The populist Thai Rak Thai party, led by prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, governed from 2001 until 2006. Thailand_sentence_192

His policies were successful in reducing rural poverty and initiated universal healthcare in the country. Thailand_sentence_193

A South Thailand insurgency escalated starting from 2004. Thailand_sentence_194

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami hit the country, mostly in the south. Thailand_sentence_195

Massive protests against Thaksin led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) started in his second term as prime minister and his tenure ended with a coup d'état in 2006. Thailand_sentence_196

The junta installed a military government which lasted a year. Thailand_sentence_197

In 2007, a civilian government led by the Thaksin-allied People's Power Party (PPP) was elected. Thailand_sentence_198

Another protest led by PAD ended with the dissolution of PPP, and the Democrat Party led a coalition government in its place. Thailand_sentence_199

The pro-Thaksin United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) protested both in 2009 and in 2010. Thailand_sentence_200

After the general election of 2011, the populist Pheu Thai Party won a majority and Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's younger sister, became prime minister. Thailand_sentence_201

The People's Democratic Reform Committee organised another anti-Shinawatra protest after the ruling party proposed an amnesty bill which would benefit Thaksin. Thailand_sentence_202

Yingluck dissolved parliament and a general election was scheduled, but was invalidated by the Constitution Court. Thailand_sentence_203

The crisis ended with another coup d'état in 2014, the second coup in a decade. Thailand_sentence_204

Since then, the country has been led by the National Council for Peace and Order, a military junta led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha. Thailand_sentence_205

Civil and political rights were restricted, and the country saw a surge in lèse-majesté cases. Thailand_sentence_206

Political opponents and dissenters were sent to "attitude adjustment" camps. Thailand_sentence_207

Bhumibol, the longest-reigning Thai king, died in 2016, and his son Vajiralongkorn ascended to the throne. Thailand_sentence_208

The referendum and adoption of Thailand's current constitution happened under the junta's rule. Thailand_sentence_209

In 2019, the junta agreed to schedule a general election in March. Thailand_sentence_210

Prayut continued his premiership with the support of Palang Pracharath Party-coalition in the House and junta-appointed Senate, amid allegations of election fraud. Thailand_sentence_211

The pro-democracy 2020 Thai protests were triggered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and enforcement of the lockdown Emergency Decree. Thailand_sentence_212

Politics and government Thailand_section_11

Main articles: Politics of Thailand, Constitutions of Thailand, Government of Thailand, and Elections in Thailand Thailand_sentence_213

Prior to 1932, Thai kings were absolute monarchs. Thailand_sentence_214

During Sukhothai Kingdom, the king was seen as a Dharmaraja or 'king who rules in accordance with Dharma'. Thailand_sentence_215

The system of government was a network of tributaries ruled by local lords. Thailand_sentence_216

Modern absolute monarchy and statehood was established by Chulalongkorn when he transformed the decentralized protectorate system into a unitary state. Thailand_sentence_217

On 24 June 1932, Khana Ratsadon (People's Party) carried out a bloodless revolution which marked the beginning of constitutional monarchy. Thailand_sentence_218

Thailand has had 20 constitutions and charters since 1932, including the latest and current 2017 Constitution. Thailand_sentence_219

Throughout this time, the form of government has ranged from military dictatorship to electoral democracy. Thailand_sentence_220

Thailand has had the fourth-most coups in the world. Thailand_sentence_221

"Uniformed or ex-military men have led Thailand for 55 of the 83 years" between 1932 and 2009. Thailand_sentence_222

Most recently, the National Council for Peace and Order ruled the country between 2014 and 2019. Thailand_sentence_223

The politics of Thailand is conducted within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby a hereditary monarch serves as head of state. Thailand_sentence_224

The current King of Thailand is Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X), who has reigned since October 2016. Thailand_sentence_225

The powers of the king are limited by the constitution and he is primarily a symbolic figurehead. Thailand_sentence_226

The monarch is head of the armed forces and is required to be Buddhist as well as the Defender of the Faith. Thailand_sentence_227

He has the power to appoint his heirs, the power to grant pardons, and the royal assent. Thailand_sentence_228

The king is aided in his duties by the Privy Council of Thailand. Thailand_sentence_229

However, the monarch still occasionally intervenes in Thai politics, as all constitutions pave the way for customary royal rulings. Thailand_sentence_230

The monarchy is widely revered and lèse majesté is a severe crime in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_231

Government is separated into three branches: Thailand_sentence_232

Thailand_unordered_list_0

Military and bureaucratic aristocrats fully controlled political parties between 1946 and 1980s. Thailand_sentence_233

Most parties in Thailand are short-lived. Thailand_sentence_234

Between 1992 and 2006, Thailand had a two-party system. Thailand_sentence_235

Since 2000, two political parties dominated Thai general elections: one was the Pheu Thai Party (which was a successor of People's Power Party and the Thai Rak Thai Party), and the other was the Democrat Party. Thailand_sentence_236

The political parties which support Thaksin Shinawatra won the most representatives every general election since 2001. Thailand_sentence_237

Later constitutions created a multi-party system where a single party cannot gain a majority in the house. Thailand_sentence_238

Lèse majesté Thailand_section_12

See also: Human rights in Thailand and Lèse majesté in Thailand Thailand_sentence_239

The 2007 constitution was partially abrogated by the military dictatorship that came to power in May 2014. Thailand_sentence_240

Thailand's kings are protected by lèse-majesté laws which allow critics to be jailed for three to fifteen years. Thailand_sentence_241

After the 2014 Thai coup d'état, Thailand had the highest number of lèse-majesté prisoners in the nation's history. Thailand_sentence_242

In 2017, the military court in Thailand sentenced a man to 35 years in prison for violating the country's lèse-majesté law. Thailand_sentence_243

Thailand has been rated not free on the Freedom House Index since 2014. Thailand_sentence_244

Thai activist and magazine editor Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, who was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment for lèse-majesté in 2013, is a designated prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Thailand_sentence_245

Geography Thailand_section_13

Main article: Geography of Thailand Thailand_sentence_246

Totalling 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi), Thailand is the 50th-largest country by total area. Thailand_sentence_247

It is slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain. Thailand_sentence_248

Thailand comprises several distinct geographic regions, partly corresponding to the provincial groups. Thailand_sentence_249

The north of the country is the mountainous area of the Thai highlands, with the highest point being Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai Range at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft) above sea level. Thailand_sentence_250

The northeast, Isan, consists of the Khorat Plateau, bordered to the east by the Mekong River. Thailand_sentence_251

The centre of the country is dominated by the predominantly flat Chao Phraya river valley, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand_sentence_252

Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus that widens into the Malay Peninsula. Thailand_sentence_253

Politically, there are six geographical regions which differ from the others in population, basic resources, natural features, and level of social and economic development. Thailand_sentence_254

The diversity of the regions is the most pronounced attribute of Thailand's physical setting. Thailand_sentence_255

The Chao Phraya and the Mekong River are the indispensable water courses of rural Thailand. Thailand_sentence_256

Industrial scale production of crops use both rivers and their tributaries. Thailand_sentence_257

The Gulf of Thailand covers 320,000 square kilometres (124,000 sq mi) and is fed by the Chao Phraya, Mae Klong, Bang Pakong, and Tapi Rivers. Thailand_sentence_258

It contributes to the tourism sector owing to its clear shallow waters along the coasts in the southern region and the Kra Isthmus. Thailand_sentence_259

The eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand is an industrial centre of Thailand with the kingdom's premier deepwater port in Sattahip and its busiest commercial port, Laem Chabang. Thailand_sentence_260

The Andaman Sea is a precious natural resource as it hosts popular and luxurious resorts. Thailand_sentence_261

Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang, and their islands, all lay along the coasts of the Andaman Sea and, despite the 2004 tsunami, they remain a tourist magnet. Thailand_sentence_262

Climate Thailand_section_14

Thailand's climate is influenced by monsoon winds that have a seasonal character (the southwest and northeast monsoon). Thailand_sentence_263

Most of the country is classified as Köppen's tropical savanna climate. Thailand_sentence_264

The majority of the south as well as the eastern tip of the east have a tropical monsoon climate. Thailand_sentence_265

Parts of the south also have a tropical rainforest climate. Thailand_sentence_266

Thailand is divided into three seasons. Thailand_sentence_267

The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October), which is caused by southwestern wind from Indian Ocean. Thailand_sentence_268

Rainfall is also contributed by Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and tropical cyclones. Thailand_sentence_269

August and September being the wettest period of the year. Thailand_sentence_270

The country receives a mean annual rainfall of 1,200 to 1,600 mm (47 to 63 in). Thailand_sentence_271

Winter or the northeast monsoon occurs from mid–October until mid–February. Thailand_sentence_272

Most of Thailand experiences dry weather with mild temperatures. Thailand_sentence_273

Summer or the pre–monsoon season runs from mid–February until mid–May. Thailand_sentence_274

Due to its inland nature and latitude, the north, northeast, central and eastern parts of Thailand experience a long period of warm weather, where temperatures can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) during March to May, in contrast to close to or below 0 °C (32 °F) in some areas in winter. Thailand_sentence_275

Southern Thailand is characterised by mild weather year-round with less diurnal and seasonal variations in temperatures due to maritime influences. Thailand_sentence_276

It receives abundant rainfall, particularly during October to November. Thailand_sentence_277

Thailand is among the world's ten countries that are most exposed to climate change; in particular, it is highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather events. Thailand_sentence_278

Environment and wildlife Thailand_section_15

See also: Environmental issues in Thailand Thailand_sentence_279

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. Thailand_sentence_280

The environmental areas where Thailand performs worst (i.e., highest ranking) are air quality (167), environmental effects of the agricultural industry (106), and the climate and energy sector (93), the later mainly because of a high CO2 emission per KWh produced. Thailand_sentence_281

Thailand performs best (i.e., lowest ranking) in water resource management (66), with some major improvements expected for the future, and sanitation (68). Thailand_sentence_282

The population of elephants, the country's national symbol, has fallen from 100,000 in 1850 to an estimated 2,000. Thailand_sentence_283

Poachers have long hunted elephants for ivory and hides, and now increasingly for meat. Thailand_sentence_284

Young elephants are often captured for use in tourist attractions or as work animals, where there have been claims of mistreatment. Thailand_sentence_285

However, their use has declined since the government banned logging in 1989. Thailand_sentence_286

Poaching of protected species remains a major problem. Thailand_sentence_287

Tigers, leopards, and other large cats are hunted for their pelts. Thailand_sentence_288

Many are farmed or hunted for their meat, which supposedly has medicinal properties. Thailand_sentence_289

Although such trade is illegal, the well-known Bangkok market Chatuchak is still known for the sale of endangered species. Thailand_sentence_290

The practice of keeping wild animals as pets affects species such as Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, white-handed lar, pileated gibbon, and binturong. Thailand_sentence_291

Administrative divisions Thailand_section_16

Main articles: Organization of the government of Thailand and Provinces of Thailand Thailand_sentence_292

See also: Regions of Thailand Thailand_sentence_293

Thailand is a unitary state; the administrative services of the executive branch are divided into three levels by National Government Organisation Act, BE 2534 (1991): central, provincial and local. Thailand_sentence_294

Thailand is composed of 76 provinces (จังหวัด, changwat), which are first-level administrative divisions. Thailand_sentence_295

There are also two specially governed districts: the capital Bangkok and Pattaya. Thailand_sentence_296

Bangkok is at provincial level and thus often counted as a province. Thailand_sentence_297

Each province is divided into districts (อำเภอ, amphoe) and the districts are further divided into sub-districts (ตำบล, tambons). Thailand_sentence_298

The name of each province's capital city (เมือง, mueang) is the same as that of the province. Thailand_sentence_299

For example, the capital of Chiang Mai Province (Changwat Chiang Mai) is Mueang Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai. Thailand_sentence_300

All provincial governors and district chiefs, which are administrators of provinces and districts respectively, are appointed by the central government. Thailand_sentence_301

Thailand's provinces are sometimes grouped into four to six regions, depending on the source. Thailand_sentence_302

Foreign relations Thailand_section_17

Main article: Foreign relations of Thailand Thailand_sentence_303

The foreign relations of Thailand are handled by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Thailand_sentence_304

Thailand participates fully in international and regional organisations. Thailand_sentence_305

It is a major non-NATO ally and Priority Watch List Special 301 Report of the United States. Thailand_sentence_306

The country remains an active member of ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Thailand_sentence_307

Thailand has developed increasingly close ties with other ASEAN members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, whose foreign and economic ministers hold annual meetings. Thailand_sentence_308

Regional co-operation is progressing in economic, trade, banking, political, and cultural matters. Thailand_sentence_309

In 2003, Thailand served as APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) host. Thailand_sentence_310

Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, currently serves as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Thailand_sentence_311

In 2005 Thailand attended the inaugural East Asia Summit. Thailand_sentence_312

In recent years, Thailand has taken an increasingly active role on the international stage. Thailand_sentence_313

When East Timor gained independence from Indonesia, Thailand, for the first time in its history, contributed troops to the international peacekeeping effort. Thailand_sentence_314

Its troops remain there today as part of a UN peacekeeping force. Thailand_sentence_315

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_sentence_316

Thailand has contributed troops to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thailand_sentence_317

Thaksin initiated negotiations for several free trade agreements with China, Australia, Bahrain, India, and the US. Thailand_sentence_318

The latter especially was criticised, with claims that uncompetitive Thai industries could be wiped out. Thailand_sentence_319

Thaksin also announced that Thailand would forsake foreign aid, and work with donor countries to assist in the development of neighbours in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Thailand_sentence_320

Thaksin sought to position Thailand as a regional leader, initiating various development projects in poorer neighbouring countries like Laos. Thailand_sentence_321

More controversially, he established close, friendly ties with the Burmese dictatorship. Thailand_sentence_322

Thailand joined the US-led invasion of Iraq, sending a 423-strong humanitarian contingent. Thailand_sentence_323

It withdrew its troops on 10 September 2004. Thailand_sentence_324

Two Thai soldiers died in Iraq in an insurgent attack. Thailand_sentence_325

Abhisit appointed Peoples Alliance for Democracy leader Kasit Piromya as foreign minister. Thailand_sentence_326

In April 2009, fighting broke out between Thai and Cambodian troops on territory immediately adjacent to the 900-year-old ruins of Cambodia's Preah Vihear Hindu temple near the border. Thailand_sentence_327

The Cambodian government claimed its army had killed at least four Thais and captured 10 more, although the Thai government denied that any Thai soldiers were killed or injured. Thailand_sentence_328

Two Cambodian and three Thai soldiers were killed. Thailand_sentence_329

Both armies blamed the other for firing first and denied entering the other's territory. Thailand_sentence_330

Armed forces Thailand_section_18

Main article: Royal Thai Armed Forces Thailand_sentence_331

The Royal Thai Armed Forces (กองทัพไทย; RTGS: Kong Thap Thai) constitute the military of the Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand_sentence_332

It consists of the Royal Thai Army (กองทัพบกไทย), the Royal Thai Navy (กองทัพเรือไทย), and the Royal Thai Air Force (กองทัพอากาศไทย). Thailand_sentence_333

It also incorporates various paramilitary forces. Thailand_sentence_334

The Thai Armed Forces have a combined manpower of 306,000 active duty personnel and another 245,000 active reserve personnel. Thailand_sentence_335

The head of the Thai Armed Forces (จอมทัพไทย, Chom Thap Thai) is the king, although this position is only nominal. Thailand_sentence_336

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 Headquarters, which in turn is headed by the Chief of Defence Forces of Thailand. Thailand_sentence_337

Thai annual defense budget almost tripled from 78 billion baht in 2005 to 207 billion baht in 2016, accounting for approximately 1.5% of 2019 Thai GDP. Thailand_sentence_338

Thailand ranked 16th worldwide in the Military Strength Index based on the Credit Suisse report in September 2015. Thailand_sentence_339

The military is also tasked with humanitarian missions, such as escorting Rohingya to Malaysia or Indonesia, ensuring security and welfare for refugees during Indochina refugee crisis. Thailand_sentence_340

According to the constitution, serving in the armed forces is a duty of all Thai citizens. Thailand_sentence_341

Thailand still use active draft system for males over the age of 21. Thailand_sentence_342

They are subjected to varying lengths of active service depending on the duration of reserve training as Territorial Defence Student and their level of education. Thailand_sentence_343

Those who have completed three years or more of reserve training will be exempted entirely. Thailand_sentence_344

The practice has long been criticized, as some media question its efficacy and value. Thailand_sentence_345

It is alleged that conscripts end up as servants to senior officers or clerks in military cooperative shops. Thailand_sentence_346

In a report issued in March 2020, Amnesty International charged that Thai military conscripts face institutionalised abuse systematically hushed up by military authorities. Thailand_sentence_347

Critics observed that Thai military's main objective is to deal with internal rather than external threats. Thailand_sentence_348

Internal Security Operations Command is called the political arm of the Thai military, which has overlapping social and political functions with civilian bureaucracy. Thailand_sentence_349

It also has anti-democracy mission. Thailand_sentence_350

The military is also notorious for numerous corruption incidents, such as accusation of human trafficking, and nepotism in promotion of high-ranking officers. Thailand_sentence_351

The military is deeply entrenched in politics. Thailand_sentence_352

Most recently, the appointed senators include more than 100 active and retired military. Thailand_sentence_353

In 2017, Thailand signed and ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Thailand_sentence_354

Education Thailand_section_19

Main article: Education in Thailand Thailand_sentence_355

In 2018 the literacy rate was 93.8%. Thailand_sentence_356

The youth literacy rate was 98.1% in 2015. Thailand_sentence_357

Education is provided by a well-organised school system of kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools, numerous vocational colleges, and universities. Thailand_sentence_358

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. Thailand_sentence_359

Education is compulsory up to and including age 14, with the government providing free education through to age 17. Thailand_sentence_360

Thailand is the 3rd most popular study destination in Asean. Thailand_sentence_361

The number of international degree students in Thailand increased by fully 979% between 1999 and 2012, from 1,882 to 20,309 students. Thailand_sentence_362

The most of international students come from Asian neighbor countries from China, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand_sentence_363

The number of higher education institutions in Thailand has grown strongly over the past decades from just a handful of universities in the 1970s to 156 officially. Thailand_sentence_364

The two top-ranking universities in Thailand are Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University. Thailand_sentence_365

Thai universities research output still relatively low by international ranking comparison, Recent initiatives, such as the National Research University from 9 universities around the country and Graduate research intensive university: VISTEC, designed to strengthen Thailand's national research universities, however, appear to be gaining traction. Thailand_sentence_366

Thailand's research output, as measured by journal publications, increased by 20% between 2011 and 2016. Thailand_sentence_367

Teaching relies heavily on rote learning rather than on student-centred methodology. Thailand_sentence_368

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. Thailand_sentence_369

Issues concerning university entrance has been in constant upheaval for a number of years. Thailand_sentence_370

Nevertheless, Thai education has seen its greatest progress in the years since 2001. Thailand_sentence_371

Most of the present generation of students are computer literate. Thailand_sentence_372

Thailand was ranked 74th out of 100 countries globally for English proficiency. Thailand_sentence_373

Thailand has the second highest number of English-medium private international schools in Southeast Asian Nations, according to the International School Consultancy Group 181 schools around the country in 2017 compared to just 10 international schools for expatriate children in 1992. Thailand_sentence_374

Students in ethnic minority areas score consistently lower in standardised national and international tests. Thailand_sentence_375

This is likely due to unequal allocation of educational resources, weak teacher training, poverty, and low Thai language skill, the language of the tests. Thailand_sentence_376

Extensive nationwide IQ tests were administered to 72,780 Thai students from December 2010 to January 2011. Thailand_sentence_377

The average IQ was found to be 98.59, which is higher than previous studies have found. Thailand_sentence_378

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. Thailand_sentence_379

The Ministry of Public Health blames the discrepancies on iodine deficiency, and as of 2011 steps were being taken to require that iodine be added to table salt, a practice common in many Western countries. Thailand_sentence_380

In 2013, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology announced that 27,231 schools would receive classroom-level access to high-speed internet. Thailand_sentence_381

Science and technology Thailand_section_20

Main article: List of Thai inventions and discoveries Thailand_sentence_382

In modern times, Thai scientists have made many significant contributions in various fields of study. Thailand_sentence_383

For example, In chemistry, Krisana Kraisintu as known as the "Gypsy pharmacist". Thailand_sentence_384

She developed one of the first generic ARV fixed-dose combinations and dedicated her life to making medicines more affordable and accessible. Thailand_sentence_385

Her efforts have saved countless lives in Africa,GPO-VIR has now been chosen by World Health Organization as the first regimen treatment for HIV/AIDS patients in poor countries. Thailand_sentence_386

In Thailand, this drug (GPO-VIR) is used in the national HIV/AIDS treatment programme, making it free of charge for 100,000 patients. Thailand_sentence_387

while Pongrama Ramasoota, He discoveries production of therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies against dengue virus and the world's first Dengue fever medication, include DNA vaccine development for dengue and Canine parvovirus. Thailand_sentence_388

Thailand has also made significant advances technology in the development of Medical Robotics. Thailand_sentence_389

Medical robots have been used and promoted in Thailand in many areas, including surgery, diagnosis, rehabilitation and services. Thailand_sentence_390

and their use has been increasing. Thailand_sentence_391

such as, an elderly care robot made by Thai manufacturer that Japanese nursing homes are widely using. Thailand_sentence_392

In surgery, back in 2019, The Medical Services Department has unveiled Thailand's robot created to help surgeons in brain surgery on patients afflicted with epilepsy. Thailand_sentence_393

back in 2017, Ramathibodi Hospital, a leading government hospital in Bangkok and a reputable medical school, successfully performed the first robot-assisted brain surgery in Asia. Thailand_sentence_394

For rehabilitation and therapy robots, were developed to help patients with arm and leg injuries perform practiced movements aided by the robots is the first prize winner of the i-MEDBOT Innovation Contest 2018 held by Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS). Thailand_sentence_395

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Thailand devoted 1% of its GDP to science research and development in 2017. Thailand_sentence_396

Between 2014 and 2016, Research and development workforce in Thailand increased from 84,216 people to 112,386 people. Thailand_sentence_397

The Thai government is developing new growth hubs by starting with the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) to accelerating human resource and research development. Thailand_sentence_398

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. Thailand_sentence_399

Economy Thailand_section_21

Main article: Economy of Thailand Thailand_sentence_400

Thailand_table_infobox_1

Economic indicatorsThailand_header_cell_1_0_0
Nominal GDPThailand_cell_1_1_0 ฿14.53 trillion (2016)Thailand_cell_1_1_1 Thailand_cell_1_1_2
GDP growthThailand_cell_1_2_0 3.9% (2017)Thailand_cell_1_2_1 Thailand_cell_1_2_2
Inflation
 Headline
 CoreThailand_cell_1_3_0
0.7% (2017)

0.6% (2017)Thailand_cell_1_3_1

Thailand_cell_1_3_2
Employment-to-population ratioThailand_cell_1_4_0 68.0% (2017)Thailand_cell_1_4_1 Thailand_cell_1_4_2
UnemploymentThailand_cell_1_5_0 1.2% (2017)Thailand_cell_1_5_1 Thailand_cell_1_5_2
Total public debtThailand_cell_1_6_0 ฿6.37 trillion (Dec. 2017)Thailand_cell_1_6_1 Thailand_cell_1_6_2
PovertyThailand_cell_1_7_0 8.61% (2016)Thailand_cell_1_7_1 Thailand_cell_1_7_2
Net household worthThailand_cell_1_8_0 ฿20.34 trillion (2010)Thailand_cell_1_8_1 Thailand_cell_1_8_2

Thailand is an emerging economy and is considered a newly industrialised country. Thailand_sentence_401

Thailand had a 2017 GDP of US$1.236 trillion (on a purchasing power parity basis). Thailand_sentence_402

Thailand is the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Thailand_sentence_403

Thailand ranks midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia as it is the 4th richest nation according to GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia. Thailand_sentence_404

Thailand functions as an anchor economy for the neighbouring developing economies of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Thailand_sentence_405

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). Thailand_sentence_406

Recent economic history Thailand_section_22

Thailand experienced the world's highest economic growth rate from 1985 to 1996 – averaging 12.4% annually. Thailand_sentence_407

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. Thailand_sentence_408

Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was forced to resign after his cabinet came under fire for its slow response to the economic crisis. Thailand_sentence_409

The baht was pegged at 25 to the US dollar from 1978 to 1997. Thailand_sentence_410

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_sentence_411

Thailand's economy started to recover in 1999, expanding 4.2–4.4% in 2000, thanks largely to strong exports. Thailand_sentence_412

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. Thailand_sentence_413

Growth in 2002, 2003, and 2004 was 5–7% annually. Thailand_sentence_414

Growth in 2005, 2006, and 2007 hovered around 4–5%. Thailand_sentence_415

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. Thailand_sentence_416

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 Bangkok area increased from US$7,900 to nearly US$13,000. Thailand_sentence_417

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. Thailand_sentence_418

Political uncertainty was identified as the primary cause of a decline in investor and consumer confidence. Thailand_sentence_419

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. Thailand_sentence_420

Following the Thai military coup of 22 May 2014. Thailand_sentence_421

In 2017, Concluded with information on the Thai economy's grew an inflation-adjusted 3.9%, up from 3.3% in 2016, marking its fastest expansion since 2012. Thailand_sentence_422

Income, poverty and wealth Thailand_section_23

Thais have median wealth per one adult person of $1,469 in 2016, increasing from $605 in 2010. Thailand_sentence_423

In 2016, Thailand was ranked 87th in Human Development Index, and 70th in the inequality-adjusted HDI. Thailand_sentence_424

In 2017, Thailand's median household income was ฿26,946 per month. Thailand_sentence_425

Top quintile households had a 45.0% share of all income, while bottom quintile households had 7.1%. Thailand_sentence_426

There were 26.9 million persons who had the bottom 40% of income earning less than ฿5,344 per person per month. Thailand_sentence_427

During 2013–2014 Thai political crisis, a survey found that anti-government PDRC mostly (32%) had a monthly income of more than ฿50,000, while pro-government UDD mostly (27%) had between ฿10,000 and ฿20,000. Thailand_sentence_428

In 2014, Credit Suisse reported that Thailand was the world's third most unequal country, behind Russia and India. Thailand_sentence_429

The top 10% richest held 79% of the country's assets. Thailand_sentence_430

The top 1% richest held 58% of the assets. Thailand_sentence_431

Thai 50 richest families had a total net worth accounting to 30% of GDP. Thailand_sentence_432

In 2016, 5.81 million people lived in poverty, or 11.6 million people (17.2% of population) if "near poor" is included. Thailand_sentence_433

Proportion of the poor relative to total population in each region was 12.96% in the Northeast, 12.35% in the South, and 9.83% in the North. Thailand_sentence_434

In 2017, there were 14 million people who applied for social welfare (yearly income of less than ฿100,000 was required). Thailand_sentence_435

At the end of 2017, Thailand's total household debt was ฿11.76 trillion. Thailand_sentence_436

In 2010, 3% of all household were bankrupt. Thailand_sentence_437

In 2016, there were estimated 30,000 homeless persons in the country. Thailand_sentence_438

Exports and manufacturing Thailand_section_24

The economy of Thailand is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP). Thailand_sentence_439

Thailand exports over US$105 billion worth of goods and services annually. Thailand_sentence_440

Major exports include cars, computers, electrical appliances, rice, textiles and footwear, fishery products, rubber, and jewellery. Thailand_sentence_441

Substantial industries include electric appliances, components, computer components, and vehicles. Thailand_sentence_442

Thailand's recovery from the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis depended mainly on exports, among various other factors. Thailand_sentence_443

As of 2012, the Thai automotive industry was the largest in Southeast Asia and the 9th largest in the world. Thailand_sentence_444

The Thailand industry has an annual output of near 1.5 million vehicles, mostly commercial vehicles. Thailand_sentence_445

Most of the vehicles built in Thailand are developed and licensed by foreign producers, mainly Japanese and American. Thailand_sentence_446

The Thai car industry takes advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to find a market for many of its products. Thailand_sentence_447

Eight manufacturers, five Japanese, two US, and Tata of India, produce pick-up trucks in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_448

As of 2012, Thailand was the second largest consumer of pick-up trucks in the world, after the US. Thailand_sentence_449

In 2014, pick-ups accounted for 42% of all new vehicle sales in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_450

Tourism Thailand_section_25

Further information: Tourism in Thailand Thailand_sentence_451

Tourism makes up about 6% of the country's economy. Thailand_sentence_452

Thailand was the most visited country in Southeast Asia in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organisation. Thailand_sentence_453

Estimates of tourism receipts directly contributing to the Thai GDP of 12 trillion baht range from 9 percent (1 trillion baht) (2013) to 16 percent. Thailand_sentence_454

When including the indirect effects of tourism, it is said to account for 20.2 percent (2.4 trillion baht) of Thailand's GDP. Thailand_sentence_455

Asian tourists primarily visit Thailand for Bangkok and the historical, natural, and cultural sights in its vicinity. Thailand_sentence_456

Western tourists not only visit Bangkok and surroundings, but in addition many travel to the southern beaches and islands. Thailand_sentence_457

The north is the chief destination for trekking and adventure travel with its diverse ethnic minority groups and forested mountains. Thailand_sentence_458

The region hosting the fewest tourists is Isan. Thailand_sentence_459

To accommodate foreign visitors, a separate tourism police with offices were set up in the major tourist areas and an emergency telephone number. Thailand_sentence_460

Thailand ranks 5th biggest medical tourism destination of inbound medical tourism spending, according to World Travel and Tourism Council, attracting over 2.5 million visitors in 2018. Thailand_sentence_461

The country is also Asia's number one. Thailand_sentence_462

The country is popular for the growing practice of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and cosmetic surgery. Thailand_sentence_463

In 2010–2012, more than 90% of medical tourists travelled to Thailand for SRS. Thailand_sentence_464

Prostitution in Thailand and sex tourism also form a de facto part of the economy. Thailand_sentence_465

Campaigns promote Thailand as exotic to attract tourists. Thailand_sentence_466

One estimate published in 2003 placed the trade at US$4.3 billion per year or about 3% of the Thai economy. Thailand_sentence_467

It is believed that at least 10% of tourist dollars are spent on the sex trade. Thailand_sentence_468

Agriculture and natural resources Thailand_section_26

Further information: Agriculture in Thailand Thailand_sentence_469

Forty-nine per cent of Thailand's labour force is employed in agriculture. Thailand_sentence_470

This is down from 70% in 1980. Thailand_sentence_471

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 India and Vietnam. Thailand_sentence_472

Thailand has the highest percentage of arable land, 27.25%, of any nation in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Thailand_sentence_473

About 55% of the arable land area is used for rice production. Thailand_sentence_474

Agriculture has been experiencing a transition from labour-intensive and transitional methods to a more industrialised and competitive sector. Thailand_sentence_475

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. Thailand_sentence_476

The relative contribution of agriculture to GDP has declined while exports of goods and services have increased. Thailand_sentence_477

Furthermore, access to biocapacity in Thailand is lower than world average. Thailand_sentence_478

In 2016, Thailand had 1.2 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, a little less than world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. Thailand_sentence_479

In contrast, in 2016, they used 2.5 global hectares of biocapacity – their ecological footprint of consumption. Thailand_sentence_480

This means they use about twice as much biocapacity as Thailand contains. Thailand_sentence_481

As a result, Thailand is running a biocapacity deficit. Thailand_sentence_482

Transportation Thailand_section_27

Main articles: Transport in Thailand and List of airports in Thailand Thailand_sentence_483

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) operates all of Thailand's national rail lines. Thailand_sentence_484

Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong Station) is the main terminus of all routes. Thailand_sentence_485

Phahonyothin and ICD Lat Krabang are the main freight terminals. Thailand_sentence_486

As of 2017 SRT had 4,507 km (2,801 mi) of track, all of it meter gauge except the Airport Link. Thailand_sentence_487

Nearly all is single-track (4,097 km), although some important sections around Bangkok are double (303 km or 188 mi) or triple-tracked (107 km or 66 mi) and there are plans to extend this. Thailand_sentence_488

Rail transport in Bangkok includes long-distance services, and some daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour, but passenger numbers have remained low. Thailand_sentence_489

There are also three rapid transit rail systems in the capital. Thailand_sentence_490

Thailand has 390,000 kilometres (240,000 miles) of highways. Thailand_sentence_491

According to the BBC Thailand has 462,133 roads and many multi-lane highways. Thailand_sentence_492

As of 2017 Thailand has 37 million registered vehicles, 20 million of them motorbikes. Thailand_sentence_493

A number of undivided two-lane highways have been converted into divided four-lane highways. Thailand_sentence_494

A Bangkok – Chon Buri motorway (Route 7) now links to the new airport and Eastern Seaboard. Thailand_sentence_495

There are 4,125 public vans operating on 114 routes from Bangkok alone. Thailand_sentence_496

Other forms of road transport includes tuk-tuks, taxis—as of November 2018, Thailand has 80,647 registered taxis nationwide—vans (minibus), motorbike taxis and songthaews. Thailand_sentence_497

As of 2012, Thailand had 103 airports with 63 paved runways, in addition to 6 heliports. Thailand_sentence_498

The busiest airport in the county is Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thailand_sentence_499

Energy Thailand_section_28

Further information: Energy in Thailand Thailand_sentence_500

75% of Thailand's electrical generation is powered by natural gas in 2014. Thailand_sentence_501

Coal-fired power plants produce an additional 20% of electricity, with the remainder coming from biomass, hydro, and biogas. Thailand_sentence_502

Thailand produces roughly one-third of the oil it consumes. Thailand_sentence_503

It is the second largest importer of oil in SE Asia. Thailand_sentence_504

Thailand is a large producer of natural gas, with reserves of at least 10 trillion cubic feet. Thailand_sentence_505

After Indonesia, it is the largest coal producer in SE Asia, but must import additional coal to meet domestic demand. Thailand_sentence_506

Informal economy Thailand_section_29

Thailand has a diverse and robust informal labour sector—in 2012, it was estimated that informal workers comprised 62.6% of the Thai workforce. Thailand_sentence_507

The Ministry of Labour defines informal workers to be individuals who work in informal economies and do not have employee status under a given country's Labour Protection Act (LPA). Thailand_sentence_508

The informal sector in Thailand has grown significantly over the past 60 years over the course of Thailand's gradual transition from an agriculture-based economy to becoming more industrialised and service-oriented. Thailand_sentence_509

Between 1993 and 1995, ten percent of the Thai labour force moved from the agricultural sector to urban and industrial jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector. Thailand_sentence_510

It is estimated that between 1988 and 1995, the number of factory workers in the country doubled from two to four million, as Thailand's GDP tripled. Thailand_sentence_511

While the Asian Financial Crisis that followed in 1997 hit the Thai economy hard, the industrial sector continued to expand under widespread deregulation, as Thailand was mandated to adopt a range of structural adjustment reforms upon receiving funding from the IMF and World Bank. Thailand_sentence_512

These reforms implemented an agenda of increased privatisation and trade liberalisation in the country, and decreased federal subsidisation of public goods and utilities, agricultural price supports, and regulations on fair wages and labour conditions. Thailand_sentence_513

These changes put further pressure on the agricultural sector, and prompted continued migration from the rural countryside to the growing cities. Thailand_sentence_514

Many migrant farmers found work in Thailand's growing manufacturing industry, and took jobs in sweatshops and factories with few labour regulations and often exploitative conditions. Thailand_sentence_515

Those that could not find formal factory work, including illegal migrants and the families of rural Thai migrants that followed their relatives to the urban centres, turned to the informal sector to provide the extra support needed for survival—under the widespread regulation imposed by the structural adjustment programs, one family member working in a factory or sweatshop made very little. Thailand_sentence_516

Scholars argue that the economic consequences and social costs of Thailand's labour reforms in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis fell on individuals and families rather than the state. Thailand_sentence_517

This can be described as the "externalisation of market risk", meaning that as the country's labour market became increasingly deregulated, the burden and responsibility of providing an adequate livelihood shifted from employers and the state to the workers themselves, whose families had to find jobs in the informal sector to make up for the losses and subsidise the wages being made by their relatives in the formal sector. Thailand_sentence_518

The weight of these economic changes hit migrants and the urban poor especially hard, and the informal sector expanded rapidly as a result. Thailand_sentence_519

Today, informal labour in Thailand is typically broken down into three main groups: subcontracted/self employed/home-based workers, service workers (including those that are employed in restaurants, as street vendors, masseuses, taxi drivers, and as domestic workers), and agricultural workers. Thailand_sentence_520

Not included in these categories are those that work in entertainment, nightlife, and the sex industry. Thailand_sentence_521

Individuals employed in these facets of the informal labour sector face additional vulnerabilities, including recruitment into circles of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Thailand_sentence_522

In general, education levels are low in the informal sector. Thailand_sentence_523

A 2012 study found that 64% of informal workers had not completed education beyond primary school. Thailand_sentence_524

Many informal workers are also migrants, only some of which have legal status in the country. Thailand_sentence_525

Education and citizenship are two main barriers to entry for those looking to work in formal industries, and enjoy the labour protections and social security benefits that come along with formal employment. Thailand_sentence_526

Because the informal labour sector is not recognised under the Labour Protection Act (LPA), informal workers are much more vulnerable labour to exploitation and unsafe working conditions than those employed in more formal and federally recognised industries. Thailand_sentence_527

While some Thai labour laws provide minimal protections to domestic and agricultural workers, they are often weak and difficult to enforce. Thailand_sentence_528

Furthermore, Thai social security policies fail to protect against the risks many informal workers face, including workplace accidents and compensation as well as unemployment and retirement insurance. Thailand_sentence_529

Many informal workers are not legally contracted for their employment, and many do not make a living wage. Thailand_sentence_530

As a result, labour trafficking is common in the region, affecting children and adults, men and women, and migrants and Thai citizens alike. Thailand_sentence_531

Demographics Thailand_section_30

Main article: Demographics of Thailand Thailand_sentence_532

Thailand had a population of 66,558,935 as of 2019. Thailand_sentence_533

Thailand's population is largely rural, concentrated in the rice-growing areas of the central, northeastern and northern regions. Thailand_sentence_534

About 45.7% of Thailand's population lived in urban areas as of 2010, concentrated mostly in and around the Bangkok Metropolitan Area. Thailand_sentence_535

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. Thailand_sentence_536

In 1970, an average of 5.7 people lived in a Thai household. Thailand_sentence_537

At the time of the 2010 census, the average Thai household size was 3.2 people. Thailand_sentence_538

Ethnic groups Thailand_section_31

Further information: Ethnic groups in Thailand Thailand_sentence_539

Thai nationals make up the majority of Thailand's population, 95.9% in 2010. Thailand_sentence_540

The remaining 4.1% of the population are Burmese (2.0%), others 1.3%, and unspecified 0.9%. Thailand_sentence_541

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, 62 ethnic communities are officially recognised in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_542

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_sentence_543

The 2011 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. Thailand_sentence_544

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. Thailand_sentence_545

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 million Khon Muang (9.9 percent, also called Northern Thais); c) 4.5 million Pak Tai (7.5 percent, also called Southern Thais); d) 1.4 million Khmer Leu (2.3 percent, also called Northern Khmer); e) 900,000 Malay (1.5%); f) 500,000 Nyaw (0.8 percent); g) 470,000 Phu Thai (0.8 percent); h) 400,000 Kuy/Kuay (also known as Suay) (0.7 percent), and i) 350,000 Karen (0.6 percent). Thailand_sentence_546

Thai Chinese, those of significant Chinese heritage, are 14% of the population, while Thais with partial Chinese ancestry comprise up to 40% of the population. Thailand_sentence_547

Thai Malays represent 3% of the population, with the remainder consisting of Mons, Khmers and various "hill tribes". Thailand_sentence_548

The country's official language is Thai and the primary religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practised by around 95% of the population. Thailand_sentence_549

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. Thailand_sentence_550

Some 41,000 Britons and 20,000 Australians live in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_551

Population centres Thailand_section_32

Further information: List of cities in Thailand Thailand_sentence_552

Language Thailand_section_33

Main article: Languages of Thailand Thailand_sentence_553

The official language of Thailand is Thai, a Kra–Dai language closely related to Lao, Shan in Myanmar, and numerous smaller languages spoken in an arc from Hainan and Yunnan south to the Chinese border. Thailand_sentence_554

It is the principal language of education and government and spoken throughout the country. Thailand_sentence_555

The standard is based on the dialect of the central Thai people, and it is written in the Thai alphabet, an abugida script that evolved from the Khmer alphabet. Thailand_sentence_556

Sixty-two languages were recognised by the Royal Thai Government in the 2011 Country Report to the UN Committee responsible for the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which employed an ethnolinguistic approach and is available from the Department of Rights and Liberties Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Justice. Thailand_sentence_557

Southern Thai is spoken in the southern provinces, and Northern Thai is spoken in the provinces that were formerly part of the independent kingdom of Lan Na. Thailand_sentence_558

For the purposes of the national census, which does not recognise all 62 languages recognised by the Royal Thai Government in the 2011 Country Report, four dialects of Thai exist; these partly coincide with regional designations. Thailand_sentence_559

The largest of Thailand's minority languages is the Lao dialect of Isan spoken in the northeastern provinces. Thailand_sentence_560

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 Lan Xang. Thailand_sentence_561

In the far south, Kelantan-Pattani Malay is the primary language of Malay Muslims. Thailand_sentence_562

Varieties of Chinese are also spoken by the large Thai Chinese population, with the Teochew dialect best-represented. Thailand_sentence_563

Numerous tribal languages are also spoken, including many Austroasiatic languages such as Mon, Khmer, Viet, Mlabri and Orang Asli; Austronesian languages such as Cham and Moken; Sino-Tibetan languages like Lawa, Akha, and Karen; and other Tai languages such as Tai Yo, Phu Thai, and Saek. Thailand_sentence_564

Hmong is a member of the Hmong–Mien languages, which is now regarded as a language family of its own. Thailand_sentence_565

English is a mandatory school subject, but the number of fluent speakers remains low, especially outside cities. Thailand_sentence_566

Religion Thailand_section_34

Main article: Religion in Thailand Thailand_sentence_567

Thailand's most prevalent religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is an integral part of Thai identity and culture. Thailand_sentence_568

Active participation in Buddhism is among the highest in the world. Thailand_sentence_569

Thailand has the second-largest number of Buddhists in the world after China. Thailand_sentence_570

According to the 2000 census, 94.6% and 93.58% in 2010 of the country's population self-identified as Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. Thailand_sentence_571

Muslims constitute the second largest religious group in Thailand, comprising 4.29% of the population in 2015. Thailand_sentence_572

Islam is concentrated mostly in the country's southernmost provinces: Pattani, Yala, Satun, Narathiwat, and part of Songkhla Chumphon, which are predominantly Malay, most of whom are Sunni Muslims. Thailand_sentence_573

Christians represented 1.17% (2015) of the population in 2015, with the remaining population consisting of Hindus and Sikhs, who live mostly in the country's cities. Thailand_sentence_574

There is also a small but historically significant Jewish community in Thailand dating back to the 17th century. Thailand_sentence_575

The constitution does not name official state religion, and provides for freedom of religion. Thailand_sentence_576

Even the authority formally does not register new religious groups that have not been accepted and limit the number of missionaries, unregistered religious organisations as well as missionaries who are allowed to operate freely. Thailand_sentence_577

There have been no widespread reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice. Thailand_sentence_578

Health Thailand_section_35

Main articles: Health in Thailand, Healthcare in Thailand, and Hospitals in Thailand Thailand_sentence_579

Thailand ranks world's 6th, and Asia's 1st in the 2019 Global Health Security Index of global health security capabilities in 195 countries, making it the only developing country on the world's top ten. Thailand_sentence_580

Thailand had 62 hospitals accredited by Joint Commission International. Thailand_sentence_581

In 2002, Bumrungrad became the first hospital in Asia to meet the standard. Thailand_sentence_582

Health and medical care is overseen by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), along with several other non-ministerial government agencies, with total national expenditures on health amounting to 4.3 percent of GDP in 2009. Thailand_sentence_583

Non-communicable diseases form the major burden of morbidity and mortality, while infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis, as well as traffic accidents, are also important public health issues. Thailand_sentence_584

The current Minister for Public Health is Anutin Charnvirakul. Thailand_sentence_585

In December 2018 the interim parliament voted to legalise the use of cannabis for medical reasons. Thailand_sentence_586

Recreational use remained unlawful. Thailand_sentence_587

The National Legislative Assembly had 166 votes in favour of the amendment to the Narcotics Bill, while there were no nay votes and 13 abstentions. Thailand_sentence_588

The vote makes Thailand the first Southeast Asian country to allow the use of medical cannabis. Thailand_sentence_589

Culture Thailand_section_36

Main article: Culture of Thailand Thailand_sentence_590

Thai culture and traditions incorporate a great deal of influence from India, China, Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_591

Thailand's national religion, Theravada Buddhism, is central to modern Thai identity. Thailand_sentence_592

Thai Buddhism has evolved over time to include many regional beliefs originating from Hinduism, animism, as well as ancestor worship. Thailand_sentence_593

The official calendar in Thailand is based on the Eastern version of the Buddhist Era (BE). Thailand_sentence_594

Thai identity today is a social construct of Phibun regime in 1940s. Thailand_sentence_595

Several ethnic groups mediated change between their traditional local culture, national Thai, and global cultural influences. Thailand_sentence_596

Overseas Chinese also form a significant part of Thai society, particularly in and around Bangkok. Thailand_sentence_597

Their successful integration into Thai society has allowed them to hold positions of economic and political power. Thailand_sentence_598

Thai Chinese businesses prosper as part of the larger bamboo network. Thailand_sentence_599

Wai is traditional Thai greeting, and is generally offered first by person who is younger or lower in social status and position. Thailand_sentence_600

Respects for elderly (by age, position, monks, or certain professions) is Thai mores. Thailand_sentence_601

As with other Asian cultures, respect towards ancestors is an essential part of Thai spiritual practice. Thailand_sentence_602

Thais have strong sense of social hierarchy, reflecting in many classes of honorifics. Thailand_sentence_603

Seniority is paramount in Thai culture. Thailand_sentence_604

Elders have by tradition ruled in family decisions or ceremonies. Thailand_sentence_605

Older siblings have duties to younger ones. Thailand_sentence_606

Thais have a strong sense of hospitality and generosity. Thailand_sentence_607

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. Thailand_sentence_608

Art Thailand_section_37

Main article: Thai art Thailand_sentence_609

The origins of Thai art were very much influenced by Buddhist art and by scenes from the Indian epics. Thailand_sentence_610

Traditional Thai sculpture almost exclusively depicts images of the Buddha, being very similar with the other styles from Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_611

Traditional Thai paintings usually consist of book illustrations, and painted ornamentation of buildings such as palaces and temples. Thailand_sentence_612

Thai art was influenced by indigenous civilisations of the Mon and other civilisations. Thailand_sentence_613

By the Sukothai and Ayutthaya period, thai had developed into its own unique style and was later further influenced by the other Asian styles, mostly by Sri Lankan and Chinese. Thailand_sentence_614

Thai sculpture and painting, and the royal courts provided patronage, erecting temples and other religious shrines as acts of merit or to commemorate important events. Thailand_sentence_615

Traditional Thai paintings showed subjects in two dimensions without perspective. Thailand_sentence_616

The size of each element in the picture reflected its degree of importance. Thailand_sentence_617

The primary technique of composition is that of apportioning areas: the main elements are isolated from each other by space transformers. Thailand_sentence_618

This eliminated the intermediate ground, which would otherwise imply perspective. Thailand_sentence_619

Perspective was introduced only as a result of Western influence in the mid-19th century. Thailand_sentence_620

Monk artist Khrua In Khong is well known as the first artist to introduce linear perspective to Thai traditional art. Thailand_sentence_621

The most frequent narrative subjects for paintings were or are: the Jataka stories, episodes from the life of the Buddha, the Buddhist heavens and hells, themes derived from the Thai versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, not to mention scenes of daily life. Thailand_sentence_622

Some of the scenes are influenced by Thai folklore instead of following strict Buddhist iconography. Thailand_sentence_623

Architecture Thailand_section_38

Main article: Architecture of Thailand Thailand_sentence_624

Architecture is the preeminent medium of the country's cultural legacy and reflects both the challenges of living in Thailand's sometimes extreme climate as well as, historically, the importance of architecture to the Thai people's sense of community and religious beliefs. Thailand_sentence_625

Influenced by the architectural traditions of many of Thailand's neighbours, it has also developed significant regional variation within its vernacular and religious buildings. Thailand_sentence_626

The Ayutthaya Kingdom movement, which went from approximately 1350 to 1767, was one of the most fruitful and creative periods in Thai architecture The identity of architecture in Ayutthaya period is designed to display might and riches so it has great size and appearance. Thailand_sentence_627

The temples in Ayutthaya seldom built eaves stretching from the masterhead. Thailand_sentence_628

The dominant feature of this style is sunlight shining into buildings. Thailand_sentence_629

During the latter part of the Ayutthaya period, architecture was regarded as a peak achievement that responded to the requirements of people and expressed the gracefulness of Thainess. Thailand_sentence_630

Buddhist temples in Thailand are known as "wats", from the Pāḷi vāṭa, meaning an enclosure. Thailand_sentence_631

A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world. Thailand_sentence_632

Wat architecture has seen many changes in Thailand in the course of history. Thailand_sentence_633

Although there are many differences in layout and style, they all adhere to the same principles. Thailand_sentence_634

Literature Thailand_section_39

Main article: Thai literature Thailand_sentence_635

Thai literature has had a long history. Thailand_sentence_636

Even before the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom there existed oral and written works. Thailand_sentence_637

During the Sukhothai, Most literary works were written in simple prose with certain alliteration schemes. Thailand_sentence_638

Major works include King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription. Thailand_sentence_639

King Ram Khamhaeng's Stone Inscription is considered the first Thai literary work in Thai script. Thailand_sentence_640

It gives an account of the life of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, the way of life of Thai people in general, laws, religion, economic and political stability. Thailand_sentence_641

Trai Phum Phra Ruang, was written in 1345 by King Maha Thammaracha I, the fifth king of Sukhothai. Thailand_sentence_642

It expounds Buddhist philosophy based on a profound and extensive study with reference to over 30 sacred texts. Thailand_sentence_643

The work could be considered the nation's first piece of research dissertation. Thailand_sentence_644

It was written in beautiful prose rich in allusions and imagery. Thailand_sentence_645

It is a treatise on Buddhist cosmology, ethics, biology and belief system. Thailand_sentence_646

During the Ayutthaya, The period produced a variety of forms on diverse subjects. Thailand_sentence_647

New poetic forms were created, with different rhyme schemes and metres. Thailand_sentence_648

It is common to find a combination of different poetic forms in one poetic work. Thailand_sentence_649

Lilit Yuan Phai is a narrative poem describing the war between King Borommatrailokkanat of Ayutthaya and Prince Tilokkarat of Lan Na. Thailand_sentence_650

One of the most beautiful literary works is Kap He Ruea composed by Prince Thammathibet comparing the scenic beauty to that of his beloved lady on a boat journey in the nirat tradition. Thailand_sentence_651

Traditionally, the verse is sung during the colourful royal barge procession. Thailand_sentence_652

It has been the model for subsequent poets to emulate. Thailand_sentence_653

The same prince also composed the greatly admired Kap Ho Khlong on the Visit to Than Thongdaeng and Kap Ho Khlong Nirat Phrabat. Thailand_sentence_654

Despite its short period of 15 years, Thon Buri Period produced Ramakian, a verse drama to which King Taksin the Great contributed his poetic talent. Thailand_sentence_655

The revival of literature at this time is remarkable since the country had not quite recovered from the aftermath of war. Thailand_sentence_656

Some poets who later became a major force in the early Rattanakosin Period had already begun writing at this time. Thailand_sentence_657

During the 18th century Rattanakosin Period. Thailand_sentence_658

After sporadic fighting at the beginning of the period, the country gradually returned to normal. Thailand_sentence_659

It is only natural that many of the early Rattanakosin works should deal with war and military strategy. Thailand_sentence_660

Some examples are Nirat Rop Phama Thi Tha Din Daeng, Phleng Yao Rop Phama Thi Nakhon Si Thammarat.In the performing arts, perhaps the most important dramatic achievement is the complete work of Ramakian by King Rama I. Thailand_sentence_661

In addition, There were also verse recitals with musical accompaniment, such as Mahori telling the story of Kaki, Sepha relating the story of Khun Chang Khun Phaen. Thailand_sentence_662

Other recitals include Sri Thanonchai. Thailand_sentence_663

The most important Thai poet in this period was Sunthorn Phu (สุนทรภู่) (1786–1855), widely known as "the bard of Rattanakosin" (Thai: กวีเอกแห่งกรุงรัตนโกสินทร์). Thailand_sentence_664

Sunthorn Phu is best known for his epic poem Phra Aphai Mani (Thai: พระอภัยมณี), which he started in 1822 (while in jail) and finished in 1844. Thailand_sentence_665

Phra Aphai Mani is a versified fantasy-adventure novel, a genre of Siamese literature known as nithan kham klon (Thai: นิทานคำกลอน). Thailand_sentence_666

Music and dance Thailand_section_40

Main articles: Music of Thailand and Dance in Thailand Thailand_sentence_667

Aside from folk and regional dances (southern Thailand's Menora (dance) and Ramwong, for example), the two major forms of Thai classical dance drama are Khon and Lakhon nai. Thailand_sentence_668

In the beginning, both were exclusively court entertainments and it was not until much later that a popular style of dance theatre, likay, evolved as a diversion for common folk who had no access to royal performances. Thailand_sentence_669

Folk dance forms include dance theater forms like likay, numerous regional dances (ram), the ritual dance ram muay, and homage to the teacher, wai khru. Thailand_sentence_670

Both ram muay and wai khru take place before all traditional muay Thai matches. Thailand_sentence_671

The wai is also an annual ceremony performed by Thai classical dance groups to honor their artistic ancestors. Thailand_sentence_672

Thai classical music is synonymous with those stylized court ensembles and repertoires that emerged in their present form within the royal centers of Central Thailand some 800 years ago. Thailand_sentence_673

These ensembles, while being influenced by older practices are today uniquely Thai expressions. Thailand_sentence_674

While the three primary classical ensembles, the Piphat, Khrueang sai and Mahori differ in significant ways, they all share a basic instrumentation and theoretical approach. Thailand_sentence_675

Each employs small ching hand cymbals and krap wooden sticks to mark the primary beat reference. Thailand_sentence_676

Thai classical music has had a wide influence on the musical traditions of neighboring countries. Thailand_sentence_677

The traditional music of Myanmar was strongly influenced by the Thai music repertoire, called Yodaya (ယိုးဒယား), which was brought over from the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Thailand_sentence_678

As Siam expanded its political and cultural influence to Laos and Cambodia during the early Rattanakosin period, its music was quickly absorbed by the Cambodia and Lao courts. Thailand_sentence_679

Entertainment Thailand_section_41

Main articles: Cinema of Thailand and Thai television soap opera Thailand_sentence_680

Thai films are exported and exhibited in Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_681

Thai cinema has developed its own unique identity and now being internationally recognized for their culture-driven. Thailand_sentence_682

Films such as Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003) and Tom-Yum-Goong (2005), starred Tony Jaa, feature distinctive aspects of Thai martial arts "Muay Thai". Thailand_sentence_683

Thai horror has always had a significant cult following, unique take on tales from beyond the grave. Thailand_sentence_684

More recently, horror films such as Shutter (2004), was one of the best-known Thai horror movies and recognized worldwide. Thailand_sentence_685

Other examples include The Unseeable (2006), Alone (2007), Body (2007), Coming Soon (2008), 4bia (2008), Phobia 2 (2009), Ladda Land (2011), Pee Mak (2013), and The Promise (2017). Thailand_sentence_686

Thai heist thriller film Bad Genius (2017), was one of the most internationally successful Thai film, It broke Thai film earning records in several Asian countries, Bad Genius won in 12 categories at the 27th Suphannahong National Film Awards, and also won the Jury Award at the 16th New York Asian Film Festival with a worldwide collection of more than $42 million. Thailand_sentence_687

Thailand television dramas, known as Lakorn, Lakorn have become popular in Thailand and its neighbors. Thailand_sentence_688

Many dramas tend to have a romantic focus, such as Khluen Chiwit, U-Prince, Ugly Duckling, The Crown Princess and teen dramas television series, such as 2gether: The Series, The Gifted, Girl From Nowhere, Hormones: The Series. Thailand_sentence_689

The Entertainment industries (film and television) are estimated to have directly contributed $2.1 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the Thai economy in 2011. Thailand_sentence_690

They also directly supported 86,600 jobs. Thailand_sentence_691

Amongst several Dance-pop artists who have made internationally successful can be mentioned "Lisa" Lalisa Manoban and Tata Young. Thailand_sentence_692

Cuisine Thailand_section_42

Further information: Cuisine of Thailand Thailand_sentence_693

Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. Thailand_sentence_694

Thai food blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. Thailand_sentence_695

The herbs and spices most used in Thai cooking themselves have medicinal qualities such as garlic, lemongrass, Kaffir lime, galangal, turmeric, coriander, coconut milk. Thailand_sentence_696

Each region of Thailand has its specialities: kaeng khiao wan (green curry) in the central region, som tam (green papaya salad) in the northeast, khao soi in the north, Massaman curry in the south. Thailand_sentence_697

In 2017, seven Thai dishes appeared on a list of the "World's 50 Best Foods"— an online poll of worldwide by CNN Travel. Thailand_sentence_698

Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. Thailand_sentence_699

They were: tom yam goong (4th), pad Thai (5th), som tam (6th), Massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and mu nam tok (36th). Thailand_sentence_700

The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine rice (also known as hom Mali) which forms part of almost every meal. Thailand_sentence_701

Thailand is a leading exporter of rice, and Thais consume over 100 kg of milled rice per person per year. Thailand_sentence_702

Units of measurement Thailand_section_43

Further information: Thai units of measurement Thailand_sentence_703

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. Thailand_sentence_704

Years are numbered as B.E. Thailand_sentence_705

(Buddhist Era) in educational settings, civil service, government, contracts, and newspaper datelines. Thailand_sentence_706

However, in banking, and increasingly in industry and commerce, standard Western year (Christian or Common Era) counting is the standard practice. Thailand_sentence_707

Sports Thailand_section_44

See also: Thailand at the Olympics, Rugby union in Thailand, Golf in Thailand, Football in Thailand, and List of sporting events held in Thailand Thailand_sentence_708

Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, [muaj tʰaj, lit. Thailand_sentence_709

"Thai boxing") is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Thailand_sentence_710

Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the late-20th to 21st century, when Westernized practitioners from Thailand began competing in kickboxing and mixed rules matches as well as matches under muay Thai rules around the world, Famous practitioners such as Buakaw Banchamek, Samart Payakaroon, Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn and Apidej Sit-Hirun. Thailand_sentence_711

Buakaw Banchamek has probably brought more international interest in Muay Thai than any other Muay Thai fighters ever had. Thailand_sentence_712

Association football has overtaken muay Thai as the most widely followed sport in contemporary Thai society. Thailand_sentence_713

Thailand national football team has played the AFC Asian Cup six times and reached the semifinals in 1972. Thailand_sentence_714

The country has hosted the Asian Cup twice, in 1972 and in 2007. Thailand_sentence_715

The 2007 edition was co-hosted together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Thailand_sentence_716

It is not uncommon to see Thais cheering their favourite English Premier League teams on television and walking around in replica kit. Thailand_sentence_717

Another widely enjoyed pastime, and once a competitive sport, is kite flying. Thailand_sentence_718

Volleyball is rapidly growing as one of the most popular sports. Thailand_sentence_719

The women's team has often participated in the World Championship, World Cup, and World Grand Prix Asian Championship. Thailand_sentence_720

They have won the Asian Championship twice and Asian Cup once. Thailand_sentence_721

By the success of the women's team, the men team has been growing as well. Thailand_sentence_722

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. Thailand_sentence_723

Sepak takraw is a form of this sport which is similar to volleyball. Thailand_sentence_724

The players must volley a ball over a net and force it to hit the ground on the opponent's side. Thailand_sentence_725

It is also a popular sport in other countries in Southeast Asia. Thailand_sentence_726

A rather similar game but played only with the feet is buka ball. Thailand_sentence_727

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. Thailand_sentence_728

Other notable players produced by the country include Ratchayothin Yotharuck, Noppon Saengkham and Dechawat Poomjaeng. Thailand_sentence_729

Rugby is also a growing sport in Thailand with the Thailand national rugby union team rising to be ranked 61st in the world. Thailand_sentence_730

Thailand became the first country in the world to host an international 80 welterweight rugby tournament in 2005. Thailand_sentence_731

The national domestic Thailand Rugby Union (TRU) competition includes several universities and services teams such as Chulalongkorn University, Mahasarakham University, Kasetsart University, Prince of Songkla University, Thammasat University, Rangsit University, the Thai Police, the Thai Army, the Thai Navy and the Royal Thai Air Force. Thailand_sentence_732

Local sports clubs which also compete in the TRU include the British Club of Bangkok, the Southerners Sports Club (Bangkok) and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Thailand_sentence_733

Thailand has been called the golf capital of Asia as it is a popular destination for golf. Thailand_sentence_734

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. Thailand_sentence_735

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. Thailand_sentence_736

Basketball is a growing sport in Thailand, especially on the professional sports club level. Thailand_sentence_737

The Chang Thailand Slammers won the 2011 ASEAN Basketball League Championship. Thailand_sentence_738

The Thailand national basketball team had its most successful year at the 1966 Asian Games where it won the silver medal. Thailand_sentence_739

Other sports in Thailand are slowly growing as the country develops its sporting infrastructure. Thailand_sentence_740

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. Thailand_sentence_741

Sporting venues Thailand_section_45

The well-known Lumpinee Boxing Stadium originally sited at Rama IV Road near Lumphini Park hosted its final Muay Thai boxing matches on 8 February 2014 after the venue first opened in December 1956. Thailand_sentence_742

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. Thailand_sentence_743

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. Thailand_sentence_744

Foreigners typically pay between 1,000 and 2,000 baht to view a match, with prices depending on the location of the seating. Thailand_sentence_745

Thammasat Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bangkok. Thailand_sentence_746

It is currently used mostly for football matches. Thailand_sentence_747

The stadium holds 25,000. Thailand_sentence_748

It is on Thammasat University's Rangsit campus. Thailand_sentence_749

It was built for the 1998 Asian Games by construction firm Christiani and Nielsen, the same company that constructed the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. Thailand_sentence_750

Rajamangala National Stadium is the biggest sporting arena in Thailand. Thailand_sentence_751

It currently has a capacity of 65,000. Thailand_sentence_752

It is in Bang Kapi, Bangkok. Thailand_sentence_753

The stadium was built in 1998 for the 1998 Asian Games and is the home stadium of the Thailand national football team. Thailand_sentence_754

See also Thailand_section_46

Thailand_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand.