Principal languages: Thai (official)
Ethnicity/race: Thai Chinese 90%, Khmer and Mon-Khmer 6%, Malay 3%
Literacy rate: 95%
Economic summary: GDP/PPP GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,900 (2013 est.). Real growth rate: 2.9%. Inflation: 1.3%. Unemployment: 0.6%. Arable land: 32.9%. Labor force: 39,873,480 Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewellery and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer. Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land. Exports: US $229.1 billion (2013) Imports: US$223 billion (2013)Major trading partners: China, US, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia.
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
Communications (Thailand): Telephones: main lines in use: 5,687,038; mobile cellular: 97.6 million. Radio broadcast stations: AM 204, FM 334, shortwave 6 (1999) Television broadcast stations: 6 free. Internet users: 8.6 million
Transportation: Railways (Thailand): total: 4,346 kilometers. Highways: total: 180,053 km (2006); paved: 98%. Waterways: 3,701 km. Ports and harbors: 9.
Separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011 Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand; 140,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval and economic stagnation in Burma live in remote camps in Thailand near the border.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is one of the world's top tourist destination cities. MasterCard ranked Bangkok as the global top destination city by international visitor arrivals in its Global Destination Cities Index, with 15.98 million projected visitors in 2013. The city is ranked fourth in cross-border spending, with 14.3 billion dollars projected for 2013, after New York, London and Paris. Euromonitor International ranked Bangkok sixth in its Top City Destinations Ranking for 2011. Bangkok has also been named "World's Best City" by Travel + Leisure magazine's survey of its readers for three consecutive years since 2010.
As the principal gateway for arriving visitors, Bangkok is visited by the majority of international tourists to the country. Domestic tourism is also prominent. The Department of Tourism recorded 26,861,095 Thai and 11,361,808 foreign visitors to Bangkok in 2010. Lodgings saw 15,031,244 guests, who occupied 49.9 percent of the city's 86,687 hotel rooms. Chinese visitors spend a lot of money and most goes to retailers in Bangkok. Chinese visitors stayed an average of one week in Thailand, spending US$1,000-1,300 each or US$167 per day each.
Bangkok's sights, attractions, and city life appeal to diverse groups of tourists. Royal palaces and temples as well as museums constitute its major historical and cultural tourist attractions. Shopping and dining experiences offer a range of choices and prices.