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The Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." (Baker and Phongpaichit, A History of Thailand, 8) A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves 'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. 1851–1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut King of the Siamese, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand.
The first line of the national anthem is: prathet thai ruam lueat nuea chat chuea thai (Thai: There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000 years before the present, with stone artifacts dated to this period at Tham Lod Rockshelter in Mae Hong Son.
Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy.), is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has switched between parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades, the latest coup being in May 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order. It 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.
Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
European traders arrived in the early 16th century, beginning with the envoy of Portuguese duke Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511, followed by the French, Dutch, and English.
The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767) left Ayutthaya burned and sacked by King Hsinbyushin Konbaung.
(198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country.
It is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around 69 million people.
The word Śyâma is possibly not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion.
Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century.
Western influence nevertheless led to many reforms in the 19th century and major concessions, most notably the loss of a large territory on the east side of the Mekong to the French and the step-by-step absorption by Britain of the Shan and Karen people areas and Malay Peninsula.