Thailand

Mallika C. 2nd Period

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Introduction

Thailand is a fascinating country with beautiful landscape, rivers, and culture. There are many temples and ancient ruins depicting their Buddhist religion. In Bangkok, the capital, stunning temples and royal palaces stand next to modern buildings and skyscrapers. A perfect combination for those people looking deep into Thailand's ruins and roaming the modern, crowded streets of Thailand. Don't know anyone in Thailand? Not a problem. Thailand has a population of more than 62.4 million, so making friends will be easy! Thailand main agricultural exports are rubber and teakwood. Thailand cares about their environment and they have taken steps to limit deforestation to protect their industries. Thailand is also one of the world's leading exporters of tin and gemstones. We assure that Thailand is the place for you!

Slogan

"Thailand- the land of smiles and where unique tradition, people, and beauty are found."

Thailand's Geography and Climate

Geography- The geography of Thailand is beautiful and picturesque. There is the Khorat Plateau in the east with scattered mountains. Thailand borders the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Malaysia. Thailand's main waterway is the gorgeous Chao Phraya River.


Climate- Thailand has a nice tropical climate. From March to May, its a beautiful, really warm season. From June to October, its warm and wet. From November to February, its pleasant and cool. Areas near mountains are a bit colder. Monsoons from May to October cause rains throughout Thailand.

Thailand's People and Culture

Thailand is one of the most original places on Earth to visit. It is said that you should not visit Thailand until you have toured the rest of the world because you will keep returning to Thailand. The unique identity, warm climate, and friendly nature of Thai people, are said to be irresistible to foreigners. Thailand, formerly the Kingdom of Siam, is the only country in Southeast Asia that hasn't been a European colony. Thais speak their own language and their polite, friendly nature has led the country to be dubbed Land of Smiles.


Most of Thailand's 70 million people belong to the Thai ethnic group and practice Buddhism. Buddhist monks- holy men- walk among the people to receive food offerings. Hundreds of Buddhist temples called wats dot the countryside and cities. Buddhism is the religion of about 95% of Thais. However, there are a small number of Muslims, 4%, Christians make up 1%, and many other religions are practiced throughout the country. About 80% of Thais live in rural villages, though thousands of people look for jobs in Bangkok and are quite successful most of the time.


Thailand's customs are also distinctive. One Thai custom is the wai. It shows greeting, acknowledgement, and farewell. It looks like a prayer-like gesture with your hands and smiling is an important symbol of refinement in Thailand. Another custom is that in Thailand, touching someone's head is considered very rude because they believe that the head is very sacred. It is also rude to place your feet above somebody's head. This is because Thais believe the foot to be the lowliest part of the body, so they sit with their feet pointing away from others, or tucked to the sides or behind them.


Thailand's Government and Citizenship

Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy system since 1932. The Revolution of 1932 brought an end to the absolute monarchy and replaced it with a constitutional democracy. However from then on the democratic system has been weak and the country was ruled by a succession of military leaders installed after coups d’etat, the most recent in 2006. The Government of Thailand was established. Thailand has so far had seventeen constitutions; however the basic structure of government has remained the same. The Government of Thailand is made up of three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. All branches of the government are located within Bangkok.


The current King of Thailand- King Bhumibol Adulyadej- is the world's largest reining monarch (since 1946). The Constitution states that even though the supremacy of the state is vested in the citizens, the King will exercise such powers through the three branches of the Thai government. Under the constitution the King is given very little power, but remains a figurehead and symbol of the Thai nation.

Economy of Thailand

Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. Most manufacturing is located near or in Bangkok. Workers make cement, textiles, clothing, and metal products and tourism is an important industry as well. Thailand is a heavily export-dependent economy, and there exports make up more than two thirds of their GDP- gross domestic product. Some of Thailand's exports are rubber, teakwood, tin, and gemstones.