About Thailand

General information
Form of government Constitutional Monarchy
Area approx 513,115 km²
Population 67,222,972 as of July 2014
75% ethnic Thai, 14% Chinese, the rest Khmer, Lao, Mon, Malay, Indian, mountain people
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the largest city in the country.
Approximately 8 million inhabitants (metropolitan area 10 million inhabitants)

It is typically only called Bangkok in English. In Thai, it is often called Krung Thep Maka Nakhon, or just Krung Thep. Its full name is "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit."

What it means is "The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn."

Other major cities are Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Had Yai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Chonburi, Pattaya.

Tropical climate
Monthly average temperature 30 degrees Celsius (varying from 25 degrees C to 34 degrees C). In the northern provinces in the winter partly cooler weather. There are three seasons: hot and dry from March to May / June, the rainy season from June to October, and relatively cool and dry from November to February. The average daily temperature in Bangkok is 32.5 degrees C, the average relative humidity at about 80 percent.

Thailand has a total area of 513,115 km². The border length is 5326 km and the land area is reminiscent in shape of an elephant's head. Thailand is divided into six regions with 76 provinces. The maximum expansion in north-south direction is 1770 km in east-west direction at 780 km away. The coastline in Andaman sea is 937 km in the Gulf of Thailand 1878 km.

The territory of Thailand
The territory of Thailand is about the size of Spain or the US state of California. The territory occupies a significant portion of the land area of Southeast Asia. Thailand extends southeast of the last spur of the Himalayas to the Malay Peninsula and encloses the Gulf of Thailand which is a marginal sea of the South China Sea.

The northern Thailand
The northern Thailand is hilly and dominated by several mountain systems. There is also the highest point of the country, the Doi Inthanon 2565 m. Due to the higher altitude, temperatures are usually considerably lower than in Central Thailand and in the mountains it can even come in the winter to night frosts. The Golden Triangle is known which is a region on the border of the states Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

The Northeast
The Northeast is the Khorat Plateau which is also called Isan. The local population is poorer than the average of the country since the summer dust-dry and flooded in the rainy season landscape leaves no intensive agriculture. A plus is that the originality and beauty of this area makes ecotourism arise. In the north and east of the Isan Mekong forms the border with Laos

The central region
The central region is largely determined by the Chao Phraya, Mekong and Salween which beside the largest and most important river of Thailand and is south of Bangkok empties into the Gulf of Thailand. The soils in the region are very fertile and well-developed irrigation system contributes to the fact that the central region has become the most important producer of agricultural products in Thailand.

Historical overview
A long time was the Kingdom of Thailand (until 1939: Siam), the dominant political power in Southeast Asia. Until the 14th century, Sukhothai was the capital, was superseded by later Sukhothai Ayutthaya as the capital and Kingdom. The new kingdom was in the following four centuries expand his sphere of influence. It was to the east into the field of Khmer and the Malay States expanded in the south, the boundaries corresponded almost those of today's Thailand. In Europe it was as Siam bekannt.1767 Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese, the royal court and the people fled downriver, where on the area of today's Bangkok the new capital was built.

19th century
In the 19th century Siam resisted the colonial powers France and England, which gained a foothold in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia. Thailand remained politically independent, was the absolute monarchy was but beeinflusst.1932 economically by the colonial powers replaced by a constitutional monarchy, it exists to this day. As before, the king plays an important role in public life and acts in difficult times as a social stabilizer and moral authority. The reigning monarch Bhumibol I ruled since 1946th.

Membership in international organizations
WTO, ASEAN, APEC, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. United Nations and its subsidiary organizations. Thailand held the presidency of UNCTAD by the end of 2004. Bangkok is home to the ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).

Are grown here with the seemingly endless array of tropical fruits and vegetables, rice, corn and sugar cane. The eastern part of the region is agriculturally and industrially strongly influenced and faces the Gulf of Thailand. The beautiful beaches and offshore islands led to increased tourism. The central level, Bangkok and the surrounding area are the economic engine of Thailand, the favorable economic conditions and the proximity to the coast and its harbor have the industry is moving in the industrial zones of Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong to invest.

Oil industry
The Thai oil industry is located there. The southern region is on the elongated Malay Peninsula and separates the Pacific Ocean from the Indian Ocean. The narrowest point between the two oceans is only 64 km wide. The area is of its very varied topography there alternate when driving through this area scenes as mountain landscapes, rainforest and beautiful beaches on one another.

Things cultural, the diversity of Thai culture is hard to grasp. But it is heavily influenced in their rituals of the ancient cultures of those peoples that before the arrival of Thai populated the country, as well as from its neighbors. Buddhism is the state religion in Thailand. Approximately 94% of the Thai population are Theravada Buddhists but also Chinese culture, the Indian and the Cambodian culture play a role.

Mixed with religious ideas from Buddhism but also Hinduism, ancestor worship, animism and the Chinese folk beliefs are deeply rooted in the daily lives of Thais spiritual thinking and acting. Thais touch others never at the head because the head is the most sacred part of the body. The feet shall be regarded as dirty; over climb over someone or something to hold the foot is considered an insult.

Seniority plays a very significant role in Thai society. Older siblings are younger compared obliged in return the Younger owed the elder obedience. The Wai is a traditional gesture that is common in Thailand. It is both a greeting act as a witness and a sign of respect special gratitude or apology. The Wai consists of a juxtaposition of the palms, which easily touch the body somewhere between upper body and head. The higher the hands are held, the greater the respect and courtesy of the executive in relation to the receiving person.
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