Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. Bordered by Burma, Laos and, Cambodia. With the square mileage of about 198,120 Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world. Amongst the rest of southeast Thailand is the third largest country behind Myanmar and, Indonesia. Thailand has a coast on the Pacific Ocean. The Gulf of Thailand off of the South China Sea is roughly 497 miles long. The gulf is home to a very large amount of coral reefs. Sadly due to pollution most of these reefs are infertile and have had Coral bleaching. The water quality of the gulf has fallen victim to a large amount of pollution. Plastic pollution has gotten so rampant in Thailand that is now ranked of one of the worst plastic polluting countries.
There two main river systems in Thailand they are the Chao Phraya, and Mekong. These rivers are mainly supplied by rainfall, and they branch off into many other different basins. The Chao Phraya is 231 miles long and runs from the plains through the capital Bangkok into the Gulf. This is the largest river in Thailand and supplies much of the Western half with its water supply.
Thailand’s broken into six different regions. Northern, Northeastern, Central, eastern, western, and southern Thailand. In the northern region of Thailand there are mountains and deep river valleys. The Valleys allow for rice patties to form thanks to the water flow from the rivers and down from the mountains. Northeastern Thailand has almost unusable soil for agriculture. Is extremely flat and is most notably known for its silk and sugarcane production. Central Thailand holds a large amount of the population. With a flat landscape and profitable soil a large amount of agriculture is done here. It has been nicknamed “The Rice Bowl” of Asia due to the irrigation systems for rice farming. Eastern Thailand is well known for its fruit production and being on the coast. Tourism the large part of the economy between the mountain ranges and the accessibility to the Gulf. Western Thailand is similar to Northern Thailand’s geography. It has several large mountain ranges, and a fairly untouched forest. With all of the mountains mining is an important part of this region. Southern Thailand is the tail end of the country. A peninsula that makes up and closes off the Gulf from the rest of the ocean. This part of Thailand is more tropical than the rest. Rubber and palm trees are harvested in this region.
Thailand as of 2016 has a population of 68,863,514. Making it one of the larger countries in southeast Asia ranking fourth. The population density is 132 people per square kilometer. The population is almost equally split between urban and rural with 45.7% living in urban cities. The capital Bangkok has a population of 5,686,646. According to the last census the average Thai household has 3.2 people. The birth rate is 1.48 births per woman. According to the population pyramid below most Thai people are between 35-50 years old. This is a sign that there was a boom in the mid-1960’s to the mid-1970’s. 95.9% of the population is of Thai national descent. The only other nationality large enough to make a percentage is Burmese with 2%. That being said there are 62 ethnic communities that are recognized by Thailand.
Linguistic and religious geography
The main spoken language in Thailand is Siamese Thai. This is spoken by around 80% of the population. It is said that Thai has come from a combination of the languages spoken in Vietnam and Southern China. There’s several different dialects of the Thai language based on the situation in which is spoken. Some examples would be “Common Thai” which is normally spoken by most people in the streets of Thailand. The language has a range all the way to “Royal Thai” which is only to be used when speaking to or about members of the royal family.
The main religion in Thailand is Buddhism, over 95% of the population are Buddhists. It is said Buddhism was introduced to Thailand between 304–232 BC. The specific type of Buddhism practiced is Theravada Buddhism. Some of the main beliefs in theravada Buddhism are to let go of your “desires, cravings, an, ego” in order to find “Nirvana” in the next life. With so many of the Thai people practicing this religion there are plenty of places in which to worship it. A rough estimate puts the amount of Buddhist temples around 30,000. These temples stand as a place to not only worship to Buddha but also are cultural hotspots. With many gatherings and celebrations happening there. Many disciples also include a library of religious works.
Thailand is a very large exporter of goods. The exports make up two-thirds of the gross domestic product (GOP). With roughly 105 billion dollars worth of exports being sent to the United States alone. A large supplier of jobs are the factories that manufacture technology and electronics based products. This being said as of 2016 the poverty rate was at 8.61% and, the unemployment rate was at 1.2%. While technology manufacturing is a large part of the job market it is nowhere close to agriculture. Nearly half of all Thailand labor force is involved in agriculture industry. This is more than likely due to the third most popular export out of Thailand being rice. As mentioned before the United States is Thailand’s largest export at 10.9% of total exports. Close behind the U.S. is China at 10.6% and Japan at 10.3%. The current economy in Thailand’s growing with a 3.9% growth in 2017.
Thailand like many other Asian countries has had a monarch for most of its history. In the 12th century the rule of king Sri Indraditya began. The early Kings of Thailand we’re said to have been connected to Buddha himself and Hindu gods. Originally the Kings ruled with military power until king Ramkhamhaeng introduced “parental rule”. This is more in line with the Buddhist beliefs where instead of military power it was more like a father looking over his children. Through the long rain of the monarchy there had been seven dynasties to rule over Thailand.
While there is still a royal family and King in Thailand the head of government is now the prime minister. In 1932 there was a “bloodless” revolution for Thailand to adopt a prime minister, and a cabinet of 35 Ministers of State to oversee the government. In a similar form as the United States government there is a House of Representatives and senate in Thailand. Both the Senate and House of Representatives are made up of members they’re both elected and appointed seats. The most popular political parties in Thailand are the Pheu Thai Party, and the Democrat Party.