Thailand: The Future Home of IGo

thailand-map

The Kingdom of Thailand, previously known as Siam, is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia with Bangkok as its capital city. It shares a border with Burma to the east, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the west, and Malaysia to the south. Thailand is around 198,114 square miles, or roughly the size of the state of Texas. The country is divided into four natural regions: the north, northeast, the central plain, and the south. The north is a mountainous region comprised of ridges, natural forest, and deep, narrow alluvial valleys. The northeast is an arid region characterized by a rolling surface and undulating hills. Central Thailand is a lush, fertile valley and possesses the richest and most extensive rice-producing area in the country. The south is hilly with thick forests and rich deposits of minerals and iron ores.

Chiang Mai, the largest city located in the Northern Region, is, according to many, the cultural center of Thailand. It is home to many of the hill tribes which inhabit the mountains of the North. By using Chiang Mai as it’s base of operations, IGo will give students the opportunity to minister to the Lesu, Hmong, Shan, Wa, Karen and other tribes which inhabit the hills surrounding this ancient city. Chaing Mai, which is home to over 300 Buddhist temples, is also uniquely positioned as a gateway to the countries of the infamous Golden Triangle — Burma, Laos, as well as China.

As of 2003, the population of Thailand stood at around 64.2 million, about 8 million of whom live in the capital city of Bangkok. The largest ethnic minority is the Chinese. Other ethnic groups present in Thailand include Malays, Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Indians. The official language, spoken by almost 100 percent of the population, is Thai.

Buddhism is the faith of approximately 95 percent of the population. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and other faiths are also openly practiced and protected under the Constitution, yet represent a very small percentage of the population.

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized, although Thailand has been heavily influenced by the British — as visitors will quickly observe from the way driving patterns have been established in the country.

The Kingdom of Thailand is a country blessed with political stability and economic prosperity. The Kingdom, a society that is also free, cohesive, and open, remains one of the most attractive places in the world to visit and conduct business.

(Source: The Thai Embassy)

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