Thailand

Priyanka B. Per 6

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Thailand is a country located in Southeast Asia. The people in Thailand are called Thai. In the past, Thailand was mainly agricultural and even today most people live in rural areas. Thailand has a fast paced, "rapidly changing" economy, so more people are moving to cities. Bangkok, Thailand's capital, has over 6 million people as residents. It is a beautiful country with a free enterprise system, and has the lowest unemployment rates in the world. Since the 1980s, many companies have made factories based in Thailand to make products. 62.4 million people live in Thailand.

"Thailand- The Place to Be Because it is the Land of the Free"

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Geography and Climate

Thailand has a great geography and climate. The Central Plain, which extends from the Gulf of Thailand to the "foothills of the north" has VERY fertile soil. In fact, the soil is so fertile that more rice is made there than anywhere else in the country. The Chao Phraya ( พระยาเจ้า), Thailand's main river, runs through the central plains, provide an excellent source of irrigation transportation. Thailand has a tropical climate which you might enjoy and monsoons. Broadleaf and Evergreen tree forests cover the "mountainous north." This region has the Ithanon Peak, Thailand's highest peak. Rivers running south cut the mountains and form fertile valleys where farmers can grow EVEN MORE rice.

People and Culture

Most people in Thailand belong to the Thai ethnic group. About two-thirds of the 62.4 million people in Thailand live in rural areas (hence the farming). Since the 1960s, many Thai people moved to cities to find jobs. Approximately 95% of the Thai people Buddhists.


Thai law requires children to go to school from age 6 to 14. The government does provide FREE public elementary and secondary education. Thailand has more than 20 public universities.Almost ALL of Thailand's adult population can read and write.Thai has four main dialects, or varieties. There is Central Thai, the official language, which is also taught in schools. Many people also speak Malay, or Chinese. English is also often used.


In Thailand, most villagers live on houses on stilts to protect against floods. The stilts are normally 2-3 meters tall. In towns, shop owners,(especially the Chinese) live in two story buildings. Their shops are on the first floor and they live on the second. In Bangkok and its suburbs most of the middle-class Thai live in apartments. They eat rice with almost every meal and include with it curries, fish, vegetables,and/or stir-fry dishes. Noodles are also very popular (and yummy!)


Thai people prize the art of having fun. The national sport is Muay Thai (boxing), also known as kickboxing, in which opponents fight with their feet as well as their hands. In another popular sport, called takraw, the players try to keep a ball made of woven palm stems in the air by using their head, legs, and feet. Soccer is also popular.





Government and Citizenship


Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. A constitution was approved in 2007 that provides for a monarch, a prime minister, and a legislature called the National Assembly. The House selects the prime minister from among its members.The prime minister is then formally appointed by the monarch. The monarch has an advisory role as head of state, and the prime minister heads the government. Thai citizens 18 years old or older are required to vote. Thai political parties often have been organized around leaders rather than common political philosophies, and few parties have lasted. The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest court, like the U.S. The entire court meets only for special cases. The Court of Appeals, the second highest court, reviews decisions of lower courts.The armed forces of Thailand have an army, a navy, and an air force.


For someone to gain citizenship in Thailand, it is not difficult.They must be of the age of majority, be of good character, be gainfully employed, have continuously lived in Thailand for not less than FIVE years and have knowledge of the Thai language.It’s an advantage to be married to a Thai citizen and having children born in Thailand or having studied in a local university/college as an undergraduate.



Economy

The Thai economy is based on free enterprise, in which businesses can operate without government control. In the past, the main economic activities were agriculture and forestry. But the economy is changing rapidly. Today, agriculture and fishing make up only about 10 percent of the country's GDP, or the value of all goods and services produced in the country in a year. Manufacturing and service industries each make up about 45 percent of the GDP. As I said before, Thailand has one of the WORLD'S LOWEST unemployment rates.


Farming takes up about 35% of Thailand's land, and 40% of all of Thailand's workers are farmers. The main crop is rice, and Thailand is one of the WORLD'S LARGEST producers and exports of rice. Fishing is also a big "mainstay" of the Thai economy. Throughout the country, people catch fish for local consumption and sale. Commercial fisheries in the south and southeast fish by trawling, pulling a funnel-shaped net through the sea. Leading fishing catches include anchovies, mackerels, sardinellas, scad, and tuna. Some farmers convert their land into ponds to raise fish and shrimp.


There is also manufacturing, mainly textile production, in Thailand.Other manufactured products include cars, cement, computer parts and other electronic and electrical goods, motor vehicle parts, processed foods, and steel. Since the mid-1980's, many foreign (not Thai) companies have built factories in Thailand to make products for export.


Did You Know??? Siam is the former name for Thailand!

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