Portal:Thailand
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Portal:Thailand
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Phra Khrut Pha  / Welcome to the Thailand Portal Erawan

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Thailand (Thai: ), known formerly as Siam and officially as the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula, spanning 513,120 square kilometres (198,120 sq mi), with a population of almost 70 million people. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. It also shares maritime borders with Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Bangkok is the nation's capital and largest city. Nominally, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy; however, in recent history, its government has experienced multiple coups and periods of military dictatorships.

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century; the oldest known mention of their presence in the region by the exonym Siamese dates to the 12th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon kingdoms, Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as the Kingdoms of Ngoenyang, Sukhothai, Lan Na and Ayutthaya, which rivalled each other. Documented European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, which became a regional power by the end of the 15th century. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign, gradually declining thereafter until being ultimately destroyed in the 1767 Burmese-Siamese War. Taksin quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the current Chakri dynasty.

Throughout the era of Western imperialism in Asia, Siam remained the only nation in the region to avoid being colonized by foreign powers, although it was often forced to cede both territory and trade concessions in unequal treaties. The Siamese system of government was centralized and transformed into a modern unitary absolute monarchy in the reign of Chulalongkorn. In World War I, Siam sided with the allies, a political decision to amend the unequal treaties. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, it became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to Thailand, which was a satellite of Japan in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup under Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. Thailand became a major ally of the United States, and played an anti-communist role in the region as a member of the failed SEATO, but since 1975, had sought to improve relations with Communist China and Thailand's neighbors. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. Since the 2000s, it has been caught in a series of bitter political conflict between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra, which culminated in two coups, most recently in 2014 and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution and faces the ongoing pro-democracy protests. (Full article...)

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Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker (May 11, 1811–January 17, 1874) were the twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term Siamese twins. They were born in Siam (now Thailand), in the province of Samutsongkram, to a Chinese father (Ti-eye) and a half-Chinese/half-Cham mother (Nok).

The Bunkers were joined at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage. Their livers were fused but independently complete. Although 19th century medicine did not have the means to, modern advances in surgical technology would have easily allowed them to be separated today. In 1829, they were discovered in Siam by British merchant Robert Hunter and exhibited as a curiosity during a world tour. Upon termination of their contract with their discoverer, they successfully went into business for themselves. In 1839, while visiting Wilkesboro, North Carolina with P.T. Barnum, the twins were attracted to the town and settled there, becoming naturalized United States citizens.

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Credit: Heinrich Damm (User:Hdamm) Figures of garudas holding n?gas at Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok.

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Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen (Thai: , RTGSWat Paknam Phasi Charoen) is a royal wat ('temple') located in Phasi Charoen district, Bangkok, at the Chao Phraya River. It is part of the Maha Nikaya fraternity and is the origin of the Dhammakaya tradition. It is a large and popular temple, supported by prosperous community members.

Wat Paknam was established in 1610, during the Ayutthaya period, and received support from Thai kings until the late nineteenth century. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the temple had become nearly abandoned and had fallen into disrepair. The temple underwent a major revival and became widely known under the leadership of the meditation master Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro, who was abbot there in the first half of the twentieth century. Seven years after Luang Pu's death, Somdet Chuang Varapuñño [th] became the new abbot. Somdet Chuang made international headlines from 2015 onward, when his appointment as Supreme Patriarch (acting head of the Thai monastic community) was stalled and finally withdrawn, due to reasons generally interpreted as political. This has led to heated debate and protests in Thailand. As part of this process, Somdet Chuang and his assistant were accused of tax fraud. It turned out that there was not sufficient reason to charge Somdet Chuang, however. As for the charges remaining against his assistant, the latter was later acquitted due to lack of evidence, two days after Somdet Chuang's nomination as Patriarch was withdrawn. (Full article...)

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Miang Kham before wrapping
Miang kham (Thai: , RTGSmiang kham, pronounced [mîa km]) is a traditional Southeast Asian snack from Thailand and Laos (Lao: ? Lao pronunciation: [m?a:?]). It was introduced to the Siamese court of King Rama V by Princess Dara Rasmi. In Malaysia it is called Sirih Kaduk. The name miang kham translates to 'one bite wrap', from miang ('food wrapped in leaves') and kham ('a bite'). (Full article...)

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General images
The following are images from various Thailand-related articles on Wikipedia.

Thailand topics

History: Ayutthaya Kingdom, Chakri dynasty, Constitution of Thailand, Early history of Thailand, Effect of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on Thailand, Hariphunchai, History of Thailand (1768-1932), History of Thailand (1932-1973), History of Thailand (1973-2001), History of Thailand since 2001, Lan Na, Nakhon Si Thammarat Kingdom, Pattani Kingdom, Plaek Pibulsonggram, Pridi Phanomyong, Sarit Dhanarajata, Siamese coup d'état of 1932, South Thailand insurgency, Srivijaya
Politics: 1997 Constitution of Thailand, 2006 interim constitution of Thailand, Administrative divisions of Thailand, Cabinet of Thailand, Constitution of Thailand, Constitutional Court of Thailand, Foreign relations of Thailand, Government of Thailand, National Assembly of Thailand, People's Alliance for Democracy, Sonthi Boonyaratglin, South Thailand insurgency, Pridiyathorn Devakula, Prem Tinsulanonda, Surayud Chulanont, 2006 Thai coup d'état, Thai 2006 interim civilian government, Thai Rak Thai, Thaksin Shinawatra, Samak Sundaravej
Economy: Agriculture in Thailand, Baht, Bank of Thailand, List of banks in Thailand Bureau of the Crown Property, Stock Exchange of Thailand, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Airways, Thaksinomics, Tourism in Thailand, Transport in Thailand, US-Thailand Free Trade Agreement, Rail transport in Thailand, Thai motorway network
Geography: Bangkok Metropolitan Area, Chao Phraya River, Demographics of Thailand, Doi Inthanon, Gulf of Thailand, Khao Lak, Khao Yai National Park, Khorat Plateau, Ko Chang, Ko Samet, Ko Samui, Kra Isthmus, Kwai river, Mekong, Patong Beach, Phi Phi Islands, Three Pagodas Pass
Provinces: Bangkok, Chiang Mai Province, Chiang Rai Province, Chonburi Province, Kanchanaburi Province, Khon Kaen Province, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Narathiwat Province, Pattani Province, Phuket Province, Songkhla Province, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Udon Thani Province, Yala Province
Culture: Thai art, Buddhism in Thailand, Buddhist temples in Thailand, Cinema of Thailand, Cuisine of Thailand, Dance in Thailand, Education in Thailand, Farang, Flag of Thailand, Kathoey, Lakorn, Literature in Thailand, Thai language, Loi Krathong, Media of Thailand, Muay Thai, Music of Thailand, List of television stations in Thailand, Thai names, National Museum, Thai New Year, Public holidays in Thailand, Ramakien, Royal Flags of Thailand, Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, Thai greeting, Thai-style dresses, Traditional Thai musical instruments
Others: Pridi Banomyong, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Communications in Thailand, Elephant Nature Park, Environmental issues in Thailand, Grand Palace, Bangkok, Prostitution in Thailand, Queen Sirikit, Military of Thailand, Thai royal and noble titles, List of shopping malls in Thailand, Thai studies

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