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Kingdom in Southeast Asia
Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country in Southeast Asia. Located in the center of the Indochinese peninsula, it consists of 76 provinces, and covers an area of 513.120 square kilometers (198,120 sq mi) and a population of over 66 million people. Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by land area, and the 22-most populous country in the world. The capital and largest city is Bangkok special administrative area. Thailand 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 tip of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea in the south. Nominal Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy; However, in recent history, the government experienced several coups and periods of military dictatorships. Tai peoples migrated from the southwest China mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century, the oldest known mention of its presence in the region through exonym Siamese dates to the 12th century. Various Indianised kingdoms like Mon kingdoms Rouge kingdom and Malay states ruled region compete with Thai state as kingdoms Ngoenyang, Sukhothai, Lan Na and Ayutthaya, which rivaled each other. Documented European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese mission to Ayutthaya, which became a regional power in the late 15th century. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai reign (1656-1688), then gradually decreases until finally destroyed in 1767 Burma-Siamese war. Taksin (r. 1767-1782) quickly reunited the divided territory and established short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. He was succeeded in 1782 by the Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (r. 1782-1809), the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. By the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam facing imperialist pressure from France and Britain, including many unequal treaties with the Western powers and forced concessions of territory; there still remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Siamese government systems centralized and transformed to modern uniform autocracy in the reign of Chulalongkorn (r. 1868-1910). Siam was World War siding with the Allies, a political decision to change the unequal treaties. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam was a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". Thailand was a satellite in Japan during World War II. In late 1950, a military coup under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat revived monarchy historically influential role in politics. Thailand became a US ally and played an important anti-communist role in the region as a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. Since the 2000s, Thailand has been caught in a bitter political conflict between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra, culminating in two coups, 2014 and the determination of its current and 20 Constitution. Thailand is one of the founders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and remains an important ally to the United States. Despite comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, and the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy; manufacturing, agriculture and tourism are the leading sectors of the economy. .... Learn more at Wikipedia
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) operates all of Thailand's national railway lines. Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong Station) is the primary end of all routes. Phahonyothin and ICD Lat Krabang are the main freight terminals. From 2017 SRT had 4507 km (2801 mi) track, all the meter gauge except the Airport Link. Almost everything is single (4097 km), although some important parts near Bangkok's double (303 km or 188 mi) or triple tracked (107 km or 66 mi) and there are plans to expand it. Rail transport in Bangkok including long-distance and some daily commuter train that runs from the outskirts of the city during rush hour, but the number of passengers has remained low. There are also three rapid transit rail system in the capital. Thailand has 390,000 kilometers (242.335 miles) of highways. According to the BBC Thailand has 462.133 roads and many multi-lane highways. From 2017, Thailand has 37 million registered vehicles, 20 million of them motorcycles. A number of undivided two-lane highways have been converted into four-lane divided highways. A Bangkok - Chon Buri motorway (Route 7) now connect to the new airport and the east coast. There are 4,125 public vans operating on 114 routes from Bangkok alone. Other forms of road transport including tuk-tuks, taxis-with the November 2018 Thailand 80.647 registered taxis wide-vans (minibus), motorcycle taxis and songthaews. From 2012, Thailand had 103 airports with paved runways 63, in addition to 6 helicopters. The busiest airport in the county is Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.