Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country located 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 in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
Thailand is a monarchy currently headed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX and governed by a military junta that took power in May 2014. 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. Although a constitutional system was established in 1932, the monarchy and military have continued to intervene periodically in politics.
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. Its large population and growing economic influence have made it a middle power in the region and around the world.
Among the ten ASEAN countries, Thailand ranked second in the best quality of life in ASEAN.
There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000 years before the present. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the 1st century CE to the Khmer Empire.