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Thailand (/ˈtaɪlænd/ ty-land or /ˈtaɪlənd/ ty-lənd; Thai: ประเทศไทย, RTGS: Prathet Thai), officially the Kingdom of Thailand (Thai: ราชอาณาจักรไทย, RTGS: Ratcha Anachak Thai; IPA: [râːt.tɕʰā ʔāːnāːtɕàk tʰāj] ), is a country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbours are Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Myanmar. The country’s name was Siam until June 24 1939. It was again called Siam between 1945 and May 11 1949, when it changed back to Thailand. The word Thai (ไทย) comes from the ethnic group in the centre of Thailand. The capital city is Bangkok. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not ruled by Western countries as it served as a buffer zone between English and French colonies.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. It has a King as a head of state. The present king is Bhumibol Adulyadej. He has been the head of state for longer than other heads of state (kings) today.
Most of the people of Thailand (95%) follow the philosophy called Buddhism. However, a small number, mostly in the southern part of the country, follow the religion Islam. Other religions in Thailand are Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Now, some of the Muslims in the south have begun fighting the government of Thailand, because they want to be more independent (free of the control of another country).