Translated from the Thai language Thailand means "land of the free." Indeed, it is the only country in South-East Asia, which has never been a colony, which is a source of special pride of the Thai people. At the end of the XIX century England and France attempted to colonize Siam, but thanks to the wise policy of the royal house kingdom managed to maintain its sovereignty. The capital of Thailand, Bangkok (Krung Thep Thai - "City of Angels") - the largest city in the state, which has a population of 7 million people.
The geographical position of Thailand
Thailand (historical name - Siam) is located on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, occupying an area of about 517,000 square meters. km. The outlines of the country on the map resembles the head of an elephant's trunk which hangs down (the Malay Peninsula). Thais often called the Land of Thailand elephant, besides a white elephant is a royal symbol. In the north and west of the state borders with Myanmar (Burma) to the north-east - Laos, south-east - with Cambodia in the south - with Malaysia. In the south-east by the Gulf of Thailand, in the southwest - the Andaman Sea. On the coast there are hundreds of clean sandy beaches. In addition, the territory of Thailand, there are about 70 national parks and reserves. The total length of the country from north to south is about 1,860 km. In Thailand, there are a variety of geographic reliefs - like flat territory and hilly plateaus and mountains. The state owns a host of small and large islands in the coastal areas of Andaman and South China Seas. The biggest of them: Phuket (543 sq. Km), Chang (417 sq. Km), Koh Samui (228 sq. Km).
The population of Thailand
The current population of Thailand is approximately 68 million people. The most numerous ethnic group - Thais. The second place is occupied by the number of Chinese, most of whom are concentrated in the cities. The kingdom is also home to Malays, Mon, Khmer and several other nationalities. Ethnically Thailand is divided into several regions, each of which speak differing dialects. Residents of the Chao Phraya River Delta, the most populous region of the country, forming a small province around Bangkok, are a group that owns and ruling royal house. The dialect of the group recognized as an official language of the state. Moreover, many of the features inherent in the central regions of the country are considered typical for the whole of Thailand. The fact that the language and culture of the inhabitants of the northern regions of the kingdom similar to Lao, is due to the proximity of Laos. Besides, Thai northerners lighter skin, so they are in the country is very beautiful. In the south of Thailand is very much Malay-Islamic influence. Thais-Southerners say incredibly fast and are rarely removed from the settled places, unlike residents of other areas. Thais - a very religious nation. The overwhelming majority of the residents of Thailand (94%) are Buddhist - is the most widespread religion in the kingdom. Buddhist monks enjoy great respect from the people, to give alms to a monk is considered a holy deed and great merit lay. And carelessness when visiting temples and incontinence behavior deserve universal condemnation. About 4% of the population are Muslims, the remaining 2% - is the Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, animists and atheists. According Kostitutsii King acts as a patron and protector of all religions.
The political system in Thailand
Since 1932, the Kingdom of Thailand (local name - Pratet Tai) is a constitutional monarchy. At the head of state is nominally king. However, the functions are performed by the highest legislative body - the bicameral National Assembly consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives. The executive power is vested in the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister. The country is administratively divided into 76 provinces (changvatov). The composition of each part of several districts (amphoi), which in turn split into sub-districts (tambon) and villages (from Mumbai). Administration is headed by the Governor of Bangkok. He also appoints the representatives of the authorities to control the other 75 provinces. National flag of Thailand consists of five horizontal stripes - two red (on the edges), two white and blue center (it is twice as wide as the others). Blue color is the personification of the monarchy, white has always been a symbol of Buddhism, and the red is the color of the nation.
King - the unconditional leader, a national symbol of Thailand. He stands above politics, and therefore interfere in the political affairs only in exceptional cases where it is essential, for example if it is required to prevent the bloodshed. Now the throne of the kingdom belongs to the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty representative Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thais genuinely revered not only His Majesty, but the entire royal family. Among the population in any case not allowed not that condemnation or criticism of the actions and statements of members of the royal family, but even this discussion. The popularity of the king and the royal house show to love and respect are explained by his deep interest in the people's livelihood and well-being of the nation. The royal couple is making great efforts to ensure that the improved well-being of the Thai people.
The monetary unit in Thailand is the baht (international designation - THB). Course: the value of $ 1 is in the range from 33 to 36 baht. A baht is divided into 100 satang. Banknotes come in denominations of 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple), 1000 baht (brown). In circulation are coins of denomination of 25 yellow alloy and 50 satang, nickel - in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 baht and bimetallic (mid - yellow alloy rim - nickel) 10 baht coin. The most favorable exchange rate - in the tourist centers. In the hotels he usually lower than offered by banks and official exchange offices. An important caveat: the exchange of 100-dollar bills, issued before 1996 may be difficult. It should also be borne in mind that in Thailand the exchange of money of different denomination is produced by a different rate: the lower the face value, the lower the rate - so it's better to change large bills. Most banks, shopping centers and hotels can use major international credit cards such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa.
The official language of Thailand - taycky (Siamese). In the cities, widespread as English, Chinese and Japanese. Thai language consists mainly of monosyllabic words. And as different sound combinations to form syllables is small enough to use multiple speech tone combination. In this regard, the majority of geographical names rather difficult to understand foreigners and, say, Europe, and in the Russian transcription have multiple spellings and pronunciations. Writing is different abundance of graphic symbols for the transmission of sounds and tones. For example, 21 Thai consonant denoted 44 letters. Plus numerous diacritical marks of longitude sound of a sound. The consonants are written horizontally from left to right, the vowels - top, bottom, left or right of the consonant.
The essence of the economic policies of Thailand is to actively engage in the domestic market, foreign investment, to expand the volume and structure of exports, planned to create the most favorable conditions for private enterprise to develop international tourism. Main industries that bring income to the state, - agriculture and marine fisheries. The agricultural sector employs more than half of the population of Thailand. Agricultural products (especially rice, tapioca, rubber, coconuts), is a major component of national exports. An extensive fish and seafood exports was made possible by the active development of the fishing fleet and processing enterprises of food industry. A significant role in the country's economy is also played by modern industries: textiles, jewelry (precious stones), electronics industry. Since the late 1980s, an important source of foreign exchange earnings has become tourism. Most tourists come to Thailand from countries of Southeast Asia, primarily from China, Japan, and Taiwan Sinapura. But in recent years significantly increased the flow of tourists from the CIS countries.