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Thailand

Thailand is a unified kingdom, previously known by the name Siam. It was officially established in 1238 AD, the traditional founding date. The kingdom is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. It is located in Southeast Asia, southeast of Burma, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, and covers an area of 514,000 kmē, whereof 511,770 kmē is land and 2,230 kmē is water. Of 4,000 km water ways 3,701 km are navigable throughout the year by boats with a draught up to 0.9 meters. Its land boundaries total 4,863 km, bordering 1,800 km to Burma, 803 km to Cambodia, 1,754 km to Laos and 506 km to Malaysia, whilst its coastline is 3,219 km long. The climate is tropical to subtropical, that is, rainy, warm and cloudy during the southwest monsoon from mid-May to September, dry and cool during the northeast monsoon from November to mid-March, whilst the southern isthmus is always hot and humid. The highest point is Doi Inthanon, with an altitude of 2,565.33 meters. The population reaches nearly 65 million, of which 75% is Thai, 14% Chinese, and 11% other, with a 33.4 million strong workforce of which 49% work in agriculture, 14% in the industry and 37% in services. The main industries are tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry, electric appliances and components, computers and parts, furniture and plastics, whilst also being the world's second-largest tungsten producer, and third-largest producer of tin. The main agriculture products are rice, cassava, rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts and soybeans. Natural resources include tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite and arable land. Thailand has a free-enterprise economy and welcomes foreign investment. Exports feature textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances. With 95%, the majority of the people practice Buddhism, mainly the Theravada school; other religions include 3.8% Islam, 0.5% Christianity, 0.1% Hinduism, and 0.6% others. Besides the capital Bangkok, which is not a province but a special administrative area that is administered as a province, there are 77 provinces. The Thai currency is the ‘baht. In Chinese, known as Tai Guo.