Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand

Thailand - Do You Know These Facts?
By:Joe T Peters

Thailand was known as Siam until 1939. Thailand is situated within the tropics and cover over 511,770 square kilometers and has 76 provinces. The provinces are also known as Changwat.

Thailand has a population of 63 million people. Thais are made up of 75% ethnic Thais, 14% Chinese and 1% immigrants from neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam and hill tribe people.

The majority of the population is concentrated in the mostly rural, rice-growing areas in the Central, Northeast and Northern regions. As the industrialization of Thailand continues, the urban population grows as people migrate to the cities. Bangkok is where most of the other population growth is highest.

Thailand has started a family planning program has been quite successful in reducing the population growth from 3.1% to less than 1% today. The expected lifespan of Thais is 72 years. Today, it has been estimated that 1.4% of Thais are infected with AIDS and HIV.

Do you also know that tourism is the main industry Thailand? The biggest exports of Thailand computers and components, vehicles and vehicle parts, textiles and rubber.

Do you also know that Phasaa Thai is the national language of Thailand?

The national religion of Thailand is Theravada Buddhism and it is practiced by 85% of Thais. The next major religion is Islam which is the largest of the minorities. Spirit worship and animism and Hindu-Brahmic rituals are also widely practiced.

Do you know that since 1932, Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy? The King of Thailand, King Bhumibol, sometimes also known as Rama IX, is the 9th ruler of the Chakri dynasty. He has been on the throne since 1946. King Bhumibol still commands popular respect and moral authority among the Thais, which he has used on occasions to resolve political crises that have endangered national stability.

In 1932, a bloodless coup has resulted in transforming Thailand from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) accepted the change and said that the obligation of his ruling was to reign for the good of the whole people and not just for a select few.

In the Constitution, Thailand is led by a prime minister and 200 members of the Senate (Wuthisapha). The national elected assembly, also known as Rathasapha, has 500 members of parliament in the House of Representatives.

Although Thailand was a democracy after 1932, Thailand was ruled by a series of military governments and democracy.

Although the elections in Thailand ended in July 2011 and Ms Yingluck will become Thailand's first female prime minister. Ms Yingluckis the younger sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a coup in 2006. The situation in Thailand is still volatile. It would be dangerous to be in Bangkok in times of protests. Tourists are encouraged to stay away.

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