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Thailand

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country in southeastern Asia The region of Thailand has been continuously occupied for 20,000 years. It was part of the Mon and Khmer kingdoms from the 9th century AD. Thai-speaking peoples immigrated from China after 10th century. During the 13th century two Thai states emerged: the Sukhothai kingdom, founded 1220 AD after a successful revolt against the Khmer, and Chiang Mai (which evolved into the kingdom of Lan Na with Chiang Mai as its capital), founded in 1296 after defeating the Mon. In 1351 the Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya succeeded the Sukhothai. The Burmese were its most powerful rival, occupying it briefly in the 16th century and destroying it in 1767. The Chakri dynasty came to power in 1782, moved the capital to Bangkok, and extended its empire along the Malay Peninsula and into Laos and Cambodia. The empire was named Siam in 1856. Although Western influence increased during the 19th century, Siam's rulers avoided colonization by granting concessions to European countries; it was the only Southeast Asian country able to do so. In 1917 Siam entered World War I on the side of the Allies. Following a military coup in 1932, it became a constitutional monarchy and was officially renamed Thailand in 1939. It was occupied by Japan in World War II. It participated in the Korean War as a member of the UN forces and was allied with South Vietnam in the Vietnam War. (Wikipedia) - Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country located at the center of 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 in the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The country is a kingdom, with most recorded reigns in the world; a constitutional monarchy with King Rama IX, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths. 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 km (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people. The largest city is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay; the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. The country's official language is Thai. The primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of all Thais. Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to well-known tourist destinations such as Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, and Ko Samui, and exports contributing significantly to the economy. There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand. Thailand ha

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