|– Mueang Thai|
|Road network length||62,985 km|
|Length of highway network||632 km|
|Motorway name||ทางด่วน – Thang Duan|
|License plate code||THA|
Thailand (Thai: ประเทศไทยPratheṣ̄thịy), in full the Kingdom of Thailand (Thai: ราชอาณาจักรไทยRāch xāṇācạkr thịy) is a country in Southeast Asia. The country has almost 70 million inhabitants and is 12 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Bangkok.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Thailand has a somewhat distinctive geography, with a large central part and a good part of the southern peninsula of Malacca. The country measures a maximum of 1,650 kilometers from north to south and 800 kilometers from east to west. However, the narrowest part on the Malacca Peninsula is only 12 kilometers wide. The country borders Myanmar to the west, Laos to the north and east and Cambodia to the southeast. The southern border is formed by Malaysia. The capital Bangkok is centrally located in the country. It’s also the country’s only truly large city, 10 times the size of the next largest metropolitan area; that of Pattaya. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s third largest city.
The country consists of a large central plain, intersected by several low ridges. The border with Laos is largely formed by the Mekong River. Given the region, this central plain has very little forest, the neighboring countries are considerably more densely forested. The north of Thailand is mountainous, with the Doi Inthanon being the highest point at 2,565 meters. To the south, the border area with Myanmar remains mountainous, with the mountains on the Malacca Peninsula merging into the sea. The peninsula is 12 kilometers wide in Thai territory at its narrowest, and 200 kilometers at its widest. This area consists of hills and low mountains, covered with tropical rainforest.
Thailand has a somewhat variable climate, the north including the Bangkok region has a tropical savanna climate, the south has a monsoon climate. There is a wet and dry season. About 1,650 mm of rainfall per year falls in Bangkok, double that of the Netherlands. Precipitation is unevenly distributed, in the period November – March there is almost no precipitation, while in May and August – October there is a lot of precipitation. The average maximum temperature in Bangkok is 32-35°C all year round.
Thailand’s population tripled from 20 million in 1950 to 63 million in 2000. However, population growth has slowed down since the 1980s, mainly due to a declining birth rate. See Thailand population density. About half of the population lives in cities, but Thailand has only one really big city, the capital Bangkok and its suburbs. The other cities outside the Bangkok region are much smaller, the ratio between Bangkok and the largest cities outside it is one of the most unusual in the world. The Bangkok metropolitan area is 100 times the size of Hat Yai, Thailand’s largest city outside the Bangkok region. It is the only mega-conurbation of more than 10 million inhabitants in the world that is so dominant over other cities in the country.
Thailand is a relatively heterogeneous country, the Thais make up 96% of the population, of other groups only Burmese still make up 2%. However, the number of migrant workers is increasing. Thai is spoken in Thailand, a language that has strong similarities with Lao. Thai has its own script. The Thai script also has its own characters for numbers, but in practice the Western numbers are also often used. The script has similarities with Lao, but it has fewer characters than Thai. There is no single system for transliterating Thai, so Thai is often written in different ways. English is taught in schools but the number of speakers with more than basic knowledge is relatively low, especially outside of Bangkok and other tourist areas.
Thailand is one of the emerging markets. From the mid-20th century, Thailand was considered one of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia, partly because it was not involved in the many wars in the region. The country is not focused on one commodity and has a diverse export of electronics, machinery, rubber, agriculture and limited mining products. Tourism also plays an important role, Thailand is historically the most important tourist destination in Southeast Asia, this was already the case during the 60s-70s when wars were fought in many neighboring countries.
Nearly half of the population is still employed in agriculture, especially outside the Bangkok region. Thailand has long been the world’s leading rice exporter, but has been overtaken by other Asian countries in recent years. Thailand has large areas of fertile land, the highest share in the entire Mekong region. However, the importance of agriculture in the Thai economy is shrinking.
Thailand also has a large informal sector, it is estimated that almost two thirds of workers in Thailand work in the informal sector. In the 1990s, many people moved from rural areas to Bangkok to find work as street vendors. Many workers in the informal economy have a low level of education. Many migrant workers also work in the informal sector.
Beginning in the 11th century, the Tai migrated from inland southern China to what is now Thailand. They have been referred to as Siamese since the 12th century. Several kingdoms have ruled over the area. European influence emerged from 1511 when a Portuguese mission was established. Thailand was not colonized, however, a series of kingdoms held power, despite pressure from the French and British. The country was known as Siam from the 18th century. After a revolution in 1932, the country became a constitutional kingdom and changed its name to Thailand. From the 1950s onwards, Thailand became an important ally of the Americans and was at the center of the anti-communist struggle in Southeast Asia. Thailand has known an alternation of a democratic monarchy and a military dictatorship since 1932, even today.