The Kingdom of Thailand (ราชอาณาจักรไทย)


The Kingdom of Thailand (Thai: ราชอาณาจักรไทย Ratcha Anajak Thai) is an independent country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia.

The capital and largest city of Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. Bangkok is known in Thai as "Krung Thep Mahanakorn," or, more colloquially, "Krung Thep."

Thailand is the world's 51st-largest country in terms of total area, with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 63 million people.The country's official language is Thai.

Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by more than 95% of all Thais.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, as the ruling monarch. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch. The King is recognized as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and Defender of the Faith. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a European power. However, during the Second World War, and while claiming neutrality, Thailand was occupied by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan who built the infamous 'Death Railway' using captured Allied Prisoners of War and slave Asian labourers.

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