Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a southeastern country extended almost two-thirds down the Malay Peninsula. The total area of the country is comprised of 514,000 sq km. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. The population of the country estimated by United Nations in 2005 was 65,002,000 which placed it on 19th position by population among the 193 countries in the world. The country gains an important position in the continent and is considered as a developed country.
Thailand is divided into 5 major physical regions; the central valley, the continental highlands of north and northwest, the southeast coast, the northeast and the peninsula.
The main religion of Thailand is Theravada Buddhism. According to the government statistics, Buddhism is the religion of about 94% people living here. While other religion believers like Muslims, Jews, Christians are minority over here.
Thailand is the member of United Nations since 6 December, 1946 and is the headquarters for ESCAP and is also belongs to some other non-regional specialized agencies like UNESCO, UNHCR, FAO, ILO, IAEA, the WHO and the World Bank. The country is also has deep relationship with its own continent’s countries and is the member of Asian Development Bank ASEAN, the Colombo Plan, the WTO and G-77. Thailand has a good image in many agencies and is considered as an authentic member. It has an observed status in OAS and the Organization of the Islamic conference and is the Partner of OSCE. The country has an alliance with United States that is why it is identified more closely than most Asian countries with the Western countries.
The culture of Thailand is influenced by different culture including Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Lao and Cambodian culture. Like other Asian countries respect towards ancestors is an important part of Thai spiritual practice. Thai people have a great sense of hospitality, social hierarchy and generosity. Elders have the power to make family decision and are ruled own ceremonies.
Thai cuisine is basically the amalgamation of five fundamental tastes including bitter, salty, sweet, sour and spicy. The main ingredients used in Thai cuisine include chilies, lemon grass, garlic, lime juice, coriander, palm sugar and fish sauce. Rice is quiet popular food in Thailand particularly jasmine variety rice and is the part of almost every meal. Thailand is the world’s largest rice exporter and people of Thailand themselves domestically consumed over 100kg of milled rice per person per year. Over five thousand varieties of rice are preserved in the rice gene bank of the international rice research institute from Thailand.
Muay Thai that is Thai boxing is the most popular and in fact the signature sport of Thailand. It is similar to western style boxing and this makes Thailand to gain medals at the Olympic Games in boxing. Association football is now the most widely followed sport in contemporary Thai society. The country had hosted the Asian cup twice in 1972 and 2007. Volleyball is also becoming popular in the country. Takraw, snooker and rugby are some other growing sports in Thailand. The country is also known as the golf capital of Asia and is quiet notorious destination of golf lovers. The country allures a wide number of golf players from Singapore, South Africa, Japan, Korea and western countries.
The literacy rate of Thailand according to the 2014 studies was 93.5%. Education system is based on well organized school system of kindergartens, primary, secondary school, vocational colleges and universities. Free education is provided through to age of 17.
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