Thailand


Thailand is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Myanmar 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 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 region known as Thailand has been inhabited by humans for at least 4,000 years. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, it was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the kingdom of Funan around the 1st century CE. After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 13th century, various states thrived there, such as the various Tai, Mon, Khmer and Malay kingdoms, as seen through the numerous archaeological sites and artifacts that are scattered throughout the Siamese landscape. Prior to the 12th century however, the first Thai or Siamese state is traditionally considered to be the Buddhist kingdom of Sukhothai, which was founded in 1238.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995, and is presently a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Tourism also contributes significantly to the Thai economy, as the country is home to a number of well-known tourist destinations, including Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Ko Samui. There are approximately 5.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand, and the country has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries.

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