|Kingdom of Thailand
Ratcha Anachak Thai
|Anthem: Phleng Chat Thai
Royal anthem: Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami
and largest city
|Bangkok (Thai: Krung Thep)1
|Official scripts||Thai alphabet|
|Ethnic groups (2009)||Thai (75%)
• Northeastern Thai (Isan) (34.2%)
|Government||Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Prayuth Chan-ocha|
|-||Lower house||House of Representatives|
|-||Rattanakosin Kingdom||6 April 1782|
|-||Constitutional monarchy||24 June 1932|
|-||2007 Constitution||24 August 2007|
|-||Total||513,120 km2 (51st)
198,115 sq mi
|-||Water (%)||0.4 (2,230 km2)|
|-||2011 estimate||66,720,1532 (20th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|-||Total||$616.783 billion (24th)|
|-||Per capita||$9,598 (84th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|-||Total||$332.47 billion (30th)|
|-||Per capita||$5,174 (89th)|
|HDI (2011)|| 0.682
medium · 103rd
|Currency||Baht (฿) (THB)|
|Drives on the||left|
|Internet TLD||.th, .ไทย|
|1.||Thai name: กรุงเทพมหานคร Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep. The full name is กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์ Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.|
|2.||According to the Department of Provincial Administration's official register, not taking into account unregistered citizens and immigrants.|
Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbours are Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Myanmar. The country's name was Siam until June 24 1939. It was again called Siam between 1945 and May 11 1949, when it changed back to Thailand. The word Thai (ไทย) comes from the ethnic group in the centre of Thailand. The capital city is Bangkok. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not ruled by Western countries as it served as a buffer zone between English and French colonies.
Most of the people of Thailand (95%) follow the philosophy called Buddhism. However, a small number, mostly in the southern part of the country, follow the religion Islam. Other religions in Thailand are Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Now, some of the Muslims in the south have begun fighting the government of Thailand, because they want to be more independent (free of the control of another country).
A century later, a bigger Thai kingdom named Ayuthaya appeared in the South of Sukhothai. Later Sukhothai became a part of Ayuthaya. Ayuthaya existed for more than 400 years before its fall by the attack of a Burmese kingdom.
A Thai soldier of Chinese origin then founded a new capital city at Thonburi, and became King Tāksin. Thonburi was the capital for a short period.
The current era, Rattanakosin, started on the foundation of Bangkok as the capital city by King Rama I of Chakri Dynasty.
Before 1932, Thailand was an absolute monarchy, meaning the King had total power in the country. On June 24, 1932, a group of people staged a coup and changed Thailand to a constitutional monarchy. It was not until 1973 that Thai people voted for a Prime Minister in an election. There were coups both before and after this year.
In May 2014, a new military coup d'état removed another government.
Between 1932 and 2014, Thailand had 12 coup d'état.
Thailand is divided into 76 provinces (จังหวัด, changwat), which make up 5 groups of provinces. There are also 2 special governed districts: the capital Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon) and Pattaya. Bangkok is often wrongly counted as a province. The 76 provinces including Bangkok are as follows:
- Ang Thong
- Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Special Governed District of
- Chai Nat
- Nakhon Nayok
- Nakhon Pathom
- Pathum Thani
- Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
- Prachuap Khiri Khan
- Samut Prakan
- Samut Sakhon
- Samut Songkhram
- Sing Buri
- Suphan Buri
- Sa Kaeo
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Kamphaeng Phet
- Mae Hong Son
- Nakhon Sawan
- Uthai Thani
- Amnat Charoen
- Bueng Kan
- Buri Ram
- Khon Kaen
- Maha Sarakham
- Nakhon Phanom
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nong Bua Lamphu
- Nong Khai
- Roi Et
- Sakon Nakhon
- Si Sa Ket
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Udon Thani
- Nakhon Si Thammarat
- Phang Nga
- Surat Thani
NOTE: In italics , that province represents the Greater Bangkok sub-region; in italics , that province represents the West sub-region.
Images for kids
People's Alliance for Democracy, yellow shirts, rally on Sukhumvit Road in 2008
The HTMS Chakri Naruebet, an aircraft carrier of the Royal Thai Navy
Chulalongkorn University, established in 1917, is the oldest university in Thailand.
The BTS Skytrain passes through Sathon, the business district of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and the country's largest commercial and financial centre.
Statue of a mythical Kinnon, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok
Theravada Buddhism, highly practised in Thailand
Muay Thai, Thailand's signature sport
Painting of Ayutthaya C 1665, by Johannes Vingboons, ordered by the Dutch East India Company
Thailand Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.