According to George Cœdès, the word Thai (ไทย) means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs.") means "kingdom of Thailand" or "kingdom of Thai".
Etymologically, its components are: ratcha (Sanskrit राजन्, rājan, "king, royal, realm") ; -ana- (Pali āṇā "authority, command, power", itself from the Sanskrit आज्ञा, ājñā, of the same meaning) -chak (from Sanskrit चक्र cakra- "wheel", a symbol of power and rule).
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.
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 to the Burmese, Taksin moved the capital to Thonburi for approximately 15 years.
The current Rattanakosin era of Thai history began in 1782 following the establishment of Bangkok as capital of the Chakri dynasty under King Rama I the Great.
(198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country.
In 1287, three Thai chiefs, Mangrai, Ngam Muang, and Ram Khamhaeng formed a "strong pact of friendship".
Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the 1st century CE to the Khmer Empire.