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Thailand - Introduction

Introduction to Thailand

Congregation at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, near Chiang Mai

The Kingdom of Thailand draws more visitors than any other country in Southeast Asia with its virtually irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty, inspiring temples, renowned hospitality, robust cuisine and ruins of fabulous ancient kingdoms.

Full country name: Kingdom of Thailand
Area: 517,000 sq km
Population: 62 million
Capital City: Bangkok (pop 6 million)
People: 75% Thai, 11% Chinese, 3.5% Malay, also Mon, Khmer, Phuan and Karen minorities
Language: Thai
Religion: 95% Buddhism, 4% Muslim
Government: constitutional monarchy
Head of State: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
GDP: US$166 billion
GDP per capita: US$2,168
Annual Growth: 3.5%
Inflation: 2%
Major Industries: Computers, garments, integrated circuits, gems, jewellery
Major Trading Partners: ASEAN, USA, European Union

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