Thailand

Human Development Index 2009 Rank:
87 out of 182.
Geographic Subdivision: Changwat

From Wikipedia
The Kingdom of Thailand
It is bordered to the north by Laos and Myanmar, 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 Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The capital and largest city of Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.

Thailand is the world's 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain), with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay;[5] the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand.[6] Thailand has also attracted a small number of expatriates from developed countries.[7] The country's official language is Thai.

Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 94.7% of all Thais. Muslims make up 4.6% of the population and 0.7% belong to other religions.[8] Culture and traditions in Thailand are significantly influenced by India, as are Burma, Laos and Cambodia.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, as the ruling monarch. The king has reigned for more than sixty-three years, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch and the longest reigning current monarch in the world. The king is officially titled as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all faiths.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and today is a newly industrialized country with an emphasis on exports and a flourishing tourism industry, thanks to various world-famous tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Bangkok, and Phuket.[9][10]

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