Thailand ,officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma 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 Burma. 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 is a monarchy headed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX. The king is the ninth of the House of Chakri, and has reigned since 1946 as the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the country’s longest-reigning monarch. The King of Thailand’s titles include Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Adherent of Buddhism, and Upholder of religions.
With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country. It is the 21st-most-populous country in the world, with around 65 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, which is Thailand’s political, commercial, industrial, and cultural hub. About 75–95% of the population is ethnically Thai, which includes four major regional groups:Central Thai (Khon Pak Klang): 30%; Northeastern Thai (Khon [Lao] Isan): 22%, Northern Thai (Khon Lanna): 9%; and Southern Thai (Khon Tai): 7%. 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. Thai Malays represent 3% of the population, with the remainder consisting of Mons, Khmers and various “hill tribes”. The country’s official language is Thai and the primary religion is Buddhism, which is practised by around 95% of the population.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996, becoming a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. Among the ten ASEAN countries, Thailand ranked second in the best quality of life in ASEAN.