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NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2019 Google Inc.Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:20:33 GMTGoogle News
Thailand's 'Green Rush'  The Diplomat

With the legalization of marijuana, Thailand hopes to carve out a stake in the global cannabis industry.

The Diplomat
Is Thailand truly the Land of Smiles? Not while smog chokes country  South China Morning Post

Poor air quality, caused by weather patterns, vehicle emissions and the burning of crops and rubbish, threatens to affect visitor numbers Tourists urged to wear ...

South China Morning Post
Thailand election 2019: Princess disqualified from prime minister bid  CNN

Officials have disqualified a Thai princess from running for prime minister in next month's general election after her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, said her ...

Thailand and US launch annual Cobra Gold military exercise  Military Times

Thailand and the United States on Tuesday hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the biggest activity of its type in the ...

Military Times
Boom boom on the border – Thailand’s unlikely red-light district  The Thaiger

PHOTO: The attractions of Thailand's southern border town usually become apparent after sunset. On one side of the Thai/Malaysian border is Sungai Golok, on ...

The Thaiger
Refugee footballer freed by Thailand returns to Australia  Fox News

CANBERRA, Australia – A refugee soccer player thanked Australians on his return home Tuesday hours after the threat of extradition to Bahrain was lifted and ...

Fox News
Chinese investors are spending billions on Thai property despite a turbulent political scene  CNBC

Thailand was the fourth-most-popular country for Chinese property investment in 2018, according to online Chinese real estate portal Juwai.com, with $2.3 ...

Thailand suspends TV channel linked to ex-PM Thaksin ahead of poll  Channel NewsAsia

Thailand's telecoms regulator on Tuesday suspended the operating licence of a television channel linked to ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin ...

Channel NewsAsia
Smog in Thailand set to ease, but summer brings water shortage fears  The Straits Times

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Winter in Thailand will be over next week, the Meteorological Department announced on Monday (Feb 11).

The Straits Times
Nail-Biting Viral Video Shows A 4-Year-Old Dangling From A Hospital Building In Thailand  India Times

A four-year-old girl who was spotted hanging from the roof of a hospital in Thailand was rescued after a loose-fitting dress she was wearing prevented her fall.

India Times
Will Thai King prevent sister from running to be next prime minister?  CNN

A Thai political party has nominated the King's sister as its candidate for prime minister in March elections -- an unprecedented move that could upend the ...

How Holster built a cult following in Thailand  Ragtrader

Noosa-based footwear brand, Holster, has been experiencing approximately 15% growth year-on-year in the Asian market. The brand found success and a ...

Bahrain refugee soccer player freed by Thailand, heads home  battlefordsNOW

BANGKOK - A refugee soccer player was freed by Thailand and left on a flight to Australia early Tuesday after ...

'Water from Air' Aims to Turn Back Thailand's Tide of Plastic  VOA News

A startup company partnered with Marriott, the world's largest hotel brand, in January 2017 to come up with a sustainable alternative to the plastic bottles of ...

VOA News
Girl saved after dress snags on building sign in Thailand four-year-old girl who fell  9news.com.au

four-year-old girl who fell from a hospital roof in Thailand was saved when her dress snagged on a sign.

Meth 'disaster' for region as seizures surge in Thailand  Channel NewsAsia

BANGKOK: Seizures of high-purity crystal methamphetamine have surged more than tenfold in Thailand over the past two years, statistics show, a ...

Channel NewsAsia
Freed Hakeem al-Araibi boards plane leaving Thailand for Australia – video  The Guardian

The refugee Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has boarded a flight to Australia after Thai authorities withdrew an extradition case against him.

The Guardian
Thailand ends lower; Vietnam rises most in over two months - Business News  The Star Online

BENGALURU: Thai stocks closed lower on Monday, falling most in the Southeast Asia region amid political turmoil in the country, while Vietnam markets surged ...

The Star Online
Ethnic Kazakh Man Who Fled China Sent Back to Thailand  Radio Free Asia (RFA)

Authorities in Uzbekistan have sent an ethnic Kazakh man with Chinese nationality back to Thailand in spite of Beijing's attempts to have him repatriated, RFA ...

Radio Free Asia (RFA)
Thailand gets 5-day weekend this year for Songkran  AsiaOne

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to make April 12 an extra holiday for Songkran, making the Songkran weekend a five-day holiday period.

Thailand Bans Critical TV Station: Daily Brief  Human Rights Watch

A Thai television station, Voice TV, provided airtime to candidates critical of Thailand's military government and was then banned for 15 days during which it will ...

Human Rights Watch
What Uganda can learn from Thailand’s medical tourism  Daily Monitor

Medical tourism is the new trend in health care. Thailand, for instance, has made strides in improving its medical tourism scene, positioning herself among the ...

Daily Monitor
Thailand takes steps to improve transport safety for tourists  TTG Asia

The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) is joining hands with state agencies including the Department of Land Transport, Marine Department and Tourism ...

TTG Asia
Bank of Thailand extends debt clinic  Bangkok Post

The Bank of Thailand expects debtors at non-bank financial institutions to participate in the central bank's Debt Clinic by the second quarter of this year.

Bangkok Post
Thailand election: Many hope vote ends military rule  Aljazeera.com

As Thailand begins another episode of its turbulent political story, many hope a new government will reverse a military crackdown on free speech.

Air in Thailand's North is dangerous to breathe  AsiaOne

Residents in many northern provinces were on Tuesday breathing air containing more than double the country's official safe limit of PM2.5, particulates of 2.5 ...

Swedish duo caught in Thailand for laundering 250 million baht  The Thaiger

PHOTO: INN. Thai police have announced the arrest of 51 year old Jan Olof Norlander for alleged money laundering following the arrest of his accomplice last ...

The Thaiger
Western Union Debuts New Payment Option for Amazon.com Shoppers in Thailand  Associated Press

BANGKOK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 12, 2019--The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, today ...

Associated Press
Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear  CNBC

Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building ...

Thailand tells Australia and Bahrain to cooperate over Hakeem al-Araibi  The Guardian

Thai government says it is stuck in the middle of the case and wants a 'win-win' solution to the impasse.

The Guardian
BOI introduces “Thailand Investment Year" incentive package for tech  OpenGov Asia

According to a recent report, Thailand is making tremendous progress towards stimulating big investments in technology-advanced targeted industries that will ...

OpenGov Asia
Malaysia’s role in Thailand’s deadlock with Muslim separatists  South China Morning Post

Over the past 15 years, a violent conflict in Thailand's southernmost provinces has claimed more than 7000 lives.

South China Morning Post
Thailand-Russia Security Ties in the Headlines With Foreign Ministers Meeting  The Diplomat

Last week, Thailand's foreign minister paid a visit to Russia. Though the scheduled interaction was just one of many between the two sides, it nonetheless ...

The Diplomat
Thailand to investigate disappearance of Vietnamese asylum-seeker  Channel NewsAsia

BANGKOK: Thailand will investigate the disappearance of a dissident Vietnamese journalist after a rights group said he may have been abducted from ...

Channel NewsAsia
Thailand morning news for February 13, 2019  AEC News Today

All the #Thailand #news you need to know for February 13, 2019. Thailand English news, Thailand business news, Thailand news today, Thailand latest news, ...

AEC News Today
Thailand PM Prayuth says he will run in Mar 24 elections  Channel NewsAsia

The head of Thailand's military junta, Prayuth Chan-ocha, said on Friday he will contest March 24 elections as a candidate for prime minister.

Channel NewsAsia
Football: 'He is a free man': Thailand releases refugee Bahraini footballer after extradition bid dropped  The Star Online

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand on Monday freed a jailed refugee Bahraini footballer with residency status in Australia, after Bahrain abandoned its bid to seek ...

The Star Online
Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi arrives at court in Thailand – video  The Guardian

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi arrived at court in Bangkok on Monday, as the campaign against his possible extradition to Bahrain continued.

The Guardian
This princess may be the next prime minister of Thailand  CNN

A Thai political party has nominated the King's sister as its candidate for prime minister in March elections -- an unprecedented move that could upend the ...

How the EU stamped down on decades of illegal fishing in Thailand  Euronews English

The measures Thailand has now adopted to satisfy the EU range from new rules to vessel monitoring systems and a satellite-based system of tracking the ...

Euronews English
Thailand's Nathalin linked to Hadjiyiannis VLCC  TradeWinds

Deal said to still be on subjects to owner who has previously said it is in the market for tonnage.

Thailand loses its ‘cheap living’ reputation – Numbeo  The Thaiger

Many of Thailand's most popular tourist and retiree destinations are becoming the most expensive places in Southeast Asia to settle down, being beaten by ...

The Thaiger
Two Remittance Firms Go Live With Ripple-Based Payments to Thailand  CoinDesk

Remittance firms UAE Exchange and Unimoni have gone live with blockchain-based payments using Ripple technology. Finablr, which owns the two brands, ...

A Taste Of True Thailand Cuisine: Nara  Philippine Tatler

A constant favourite of Thai locals as well as visitors from across the globe, Nara prides itself on its excellent fare. That's why Roku Group Inc. found it fitting to fly ...

Philippine Tatler
Horror on Thailand beach as two headless bodies and a woman’s head wash up  NEWS.com.au

Two headless bodies and a woman's head have washed up on a popular tourist beach in Thailand.

Cobra Gold, one of world's largest multinational military exercises, kicks off in Thailand  Stars and Stripes

One of the world's largest and longest-running international military exercises officially began this week in Thailand.

Stars and Stripes
A political game: Why Thailand's election will be a win for the military  CNN

When Thailand officials hinted that scheduled elections to end military rule would be postponed for the fifth time in almost as many years, anger and frustration ...

Thailand’s ‘Smokin’ Jo Nattawut is still getting used to wearing four ounce gloves for Muay Thai  Sportskeeda

Thailand's “Smokin” Jo Nattawut is one of the most decorated Muay Thai practitioners to take his talents to the ONE Super Series stage.

Asian Insider Feb 8: Royal rumble in Thailand, Asia News & Top Stories  The Straits Times

TGIF! Today, Thai politics gets turned upside down, the US-China trade talks don't appear to be going well and we take a look at the reborn beachside resort of ...

The Straits Times
Attacks in Thailand's deep south: Who, why and what's next?  Aljazeera.com

Burst of violence deepens concerns the situation in the conflict-hit region could deteriorate in the coming months.

Where is the US-Thailand Alliance Amid the 2019 Cobra Gold Military Exercises?  The Diplomat

The interaction will spotlight the state of the alliance and the challenges both sides face in managing it this year and beyond.

The Diplomat
Vietnamese blogger vanishes after fleeing to Thailand  The Guardian

Radio Free Asia editors last heard from Truong Duy Nhat on 26 January, a day after he applied for refugee status with the UN. AFP in Washington. Tue 5 Feb ...

The Guardian
Thailand's health ministry: Massage can be dangerous for pregnant women - Asean Plus  The Star Online

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Massage can be dangerous for women at different stages of their pregnancy, the Public Health Ministry warned ...

The Star Online
Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed - Security - Telco/ISP  iTnews

Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building ...

Yu Nakamura: A sweet affinity between Japan and Thailand  The Japan Times

An entrepreneur and cultural innovator, Yu Nakamura helps Thai farmers with her coconut sugar business.

The Japan Times
Fifa: Former Thailand FA president Worawi Makudi has ban overturned  BBC Sport

A former Fifa executive member has had his ban from football overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

BBC Sport
Why so many Russians live in Pattaya, Thai city renowned for red light district  South China Morning Post

The arrest of two 'sex trainers' – one claiming to have inside info on Trump's election – has shone an unwanted spotlight on the Thai city's Russian community ...

South China Morning Post
Thailand: Dangerous air quality conditions descend upon Bangkok  AccuWeather.com

The city of Bangkok, Thailand, entered the ranks as one of the world's top 10 most polluted cities this past week, and there is no significant relief in sight.

Thailand's political 'bombshell' - The World  ABC News

Andrew MacGregor Marshall, journalist and lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, on the political shake-up after Thai Princess Ubolratana Mahidol ...

ABC News
Thailand's king calls his sister's candidacy for PM 'inappropriate' - World  The Star Online

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn said on Friday his elder sister's announcement she is running for prime minister in March elections ...

The Star Online
Cle de Peau Beaute debuts in Thailand  Retail News Asia

Japanese luxury skincare brand Cle de Peau Beaute has opened its first location in Thailand. Launching in the Helix building, Emquartier, the new store.

Retail News Asia
Thailand-based American Emilio Urrutia aims to snap out of slump in Bangkok  FanSided

American grappler Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia took ONE Championship by storm back in 2017, scoring impressive wins over Edward Kelly and Bruno ...

Massage can be dangerous for pregnant women: Thailand's health ministry  The Straits Times

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Massage can be dangerous for women at different stages of their pregnancy, the Public Health Ministry has ...

The Straits Times
Politicos register for Thailand's first election since 2014 coup  Channel NewsAsia

Hundreds of aspiring politicians including a masked costumed hero registered on Monday for Thailand's first election since the 2014 coup, ...

Channel NewsAsia
Global push to free Bahrain soccer player in Thailand after extradition request issued  CNN

Activists campaigning for the release of Bahraini refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who has been detained in Thailand since November, warn his situation ...

Thailand: Hundreds of schools closed as toxic smog chokes Bangkok  Aljazeera.com

Toxic smog forced hundreds of schools to close in Thailand's capital as authorities struggle to manage a pollution crisis that has stirred widespread health fears ...

Tsunami-inspired floating car on sale in Thailand  Fox News

A floating electric car aimed at flood-prone areas has been launched in Phuket, Thailand, which has many roads that can be inundated during the rainy season ...

Fox News
Thaksin-Linked Party Is Talk of Thailand on Premier Rumor  Bloomberg

A party linked to Thailand's exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has become the talk of the country amid rumors it will soon announce a shock prime ...

What's survived Thailand's brutal crackdown on Bangkok's iconic street food scene  New Zealand Herald

Your next trip to Bangkok is going to look very different. The city's iconic street food scene has been devastated by a brutal military crackdown — for ...

New Zealand Herald
Thailand central bank holds fire as economic risks increase - Business News  The Star Online

BANGKOK: Thailand's central bank on Wednesday kept its benchmark rate steady after December's tightening, saying an accommodative policy would support ...

The Star Online
How Thailand’s Generals Rule by Numbers and the Stars  The New York Times

The junta has tightened its control while trying to bask in the popularity, mystique and beliefs that surround the monarchy.

The New York Times
Bank of Thailand Keeps Key Rate on Hold as Inflation Dives  Bloomberg

Thailand's central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as expected, as slower inflation and a soaring currency give policy makers room to pause ...

'Time to start talking about consent': Thailand's nascent #MeToo moment  The Guardian

A web project that let people share stories of sexual assault is growing into an influential force for change.

The Guardian
Air pollution rise in northern Thailand attributed to 149 controlled forest fires  The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation. Concern grows as the air pollution problem in the North and North-east regions of Thailand threatens to affect the health of the public.

The Thaiger
Thailand makes Siamese fighting fish national aquatic animal  ABS-CBN News

Tiny, testy and eye-catching with a colourful fin plumage, the Siamese fighting fish was on Tuesday named Thailand's national aquatic animal.

Thailand is headed for another political crisis and it can’t stop itself  INQUIRER.net

Thai prime minister and junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha (R) delivers a speech to members of the National Legislative Assembly at the parliament in Bangkok on ...

Thailand must postpone election again, until March: Officials  Channel NewsAsia

BANGKOK: Thailand's long-delayed general election to end military rule will have to be postponed from its Feb 24 date and will likely be held in March, two ...

Channel NewsAsia
Hakeem Al-Araibi to be released by Thailand court  SkySports

A Thai court has ordered the release of refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain.

Thailand's Central Group confirms US$200m investment in Grab's Thai entity  Channel NewsAsia

Commuters walk past a Grab transport booking *service* app advertisement at a train station in Singapore February 10, 2016. (File Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su).

Channel NewsAsia
Hakeem AlAraibi's wife asks Thailand's Prime Minister to 'please help my husband come home'  ABC News

Drawing parallels with the high-profile asylum case of Saudi teen Rahaf Alqunun, Mr AlAraibi's wife says she only wants her husband to be treated the same ...

ABC News
Thailand just can't quit populism  Nikkei Asian Review

Thailand's leaders make it all too easy for economists on the hunt for populists.That, unfortunately, includes the current military regime, which grab.

Nikkei Asian Review
Missing refugee wanted by China 'flew to Thailand'  Bangkok Post

BEIJING: The US Embassy in Beijing says it is following the case of a Chinese-born Kazakh man who had been fighting attempts by Beijing to return him to ...

Bangkok Post
Thailand signals major shift in refugee policy after Rahaf Mohammed case  The Guardian

Immigration chief says country 'will now follow international norms' yet is still considering extraditing refugee Hakeem al-Araibi.

The Guardian
Belarusan model who touted evidence of Trump-Russia ties pleads guilty in Thailand  The Washington Post

The model never produced purported tapes of alleged meetings between Americans and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

The Washington Post
Thailand wins ice sculpture contest again  The Nation

Thailand has again won the grand prize at the 46th International Snow Sculpture contest in Sapporo, Japan, this time with an ice sculpture depicting Siamese ...

The Nation
Questions raised over Thailand and Bahrain's 'close ties' as Hakeem Al-Araibi's detention continues  SBS News

While the refugee footballer continues to fight for his release, SBS News can reveal a long history of close economic and political ties between two of the ...

SBS News
Thailand is using drones to combat air pollution in Bangkok | Watch News Videos Online  Globalnews.ca

A fleet of drones on Thursday sprayed water to try to reduce dust and the high levels of harmful particles in the air around Bangkok while the governor invited ...

Instagram Influencer Says ‘Konnichiwa’ to Fans While Traveling, But She’s in Thailand  NextShark

A Canadian Instagram influencer with more than five million followers on the platform has been slammed with negative comments after captioning a post with ...

Gunmen kill two Buddhist monks in Thailand's troubled south  Reuters

Unknown gunmen shot dead two Buddhist monks and injured two others in an attack at a temple in Thailand's mainly Muslim south, the first such killing of a ...

Thailand to hold elections on 24 March  The Guardian

After repeated postponements, polls will be first since military coup in 2014.

The Guardian
Thailand yoga retreat in sexual assault scandal reopens  The Guardian

Teacher accused of misconduct has returned and report into school has not been published.

The Guardian
Bangkok running out of air purifiers as toxic smog grips Thailand  The Straits Times

Bangkok is grappling with a second year of spiking seasonal air pollution, prompting people to snap up so many filters and masks that supplies are dwindling.

The Straits Times
Thailand signals more tolerant refugee policy after Saudi case  Channel NewsAsia

Thailand's immigration chief vowed Wednesday not to force refugees to return home "involuntarily", after a Saudi woman's desperate plea for ...

Channel NewsAsia
Thailand suspends patent applications for medical marijuana  The Seattle Times

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military government on Monday suspended the licensing of commercial marijuana-based products for medical use amid concern ...

The Seattle Times
How Thailand's case against alleged poaching kingpin Boonchai Bach fell apart  National Geographic

Boonchai Bach is only the most recent example of an alleged high-ranking wildlife criminal evading prosecution.

National Geographic
Taking the Kiwi to Thailand: Wellington students volunteer to teach English  Stuff.co.nz

An eye-opening experience in Thailand has left eight students with a different perspective on life.

Creating What Could Be The First 3-Star Michelin Restaurant In Thailand  Forbes

Go behind the scenes look at what it takes to create an award-winning fine dining restaurant, and how one hotel in Bangkok is using food and beverage and ...

Thailand-Myanmar anti-human trafficking deal endorsed  http://en.vietnamplus.vn/

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - The cabinet approved an agreement between the governments of Thailand and Myanmar to suppress human trafficking and eliminate the ...

6 proposed conditions on which Saudis can travel to Thailand  Saudi Gazette

They can also visit their kin serving the Saudi Embassy in Thailand after presenting a letter attested by the Embassy.

Saudi Gazette

Thailand Videos

RoV Pro League Season 3 Presented by TrueMove H : Week 1 Day 1
RoV Pro League Season 3 Presented by TrueMove H : Week 1 Day 1
Giant CRISPY POMFRET at 1 MICHELIN STAR - Thai Food Restaurant! | Bangkok, Thailand
Giant CRISPY POMFRET at 1 MICHELIN STAR - Thai Food Restaurant! | Bangkok, Thailand
MNL48 at AsiaFest_Bangkok, Thailand
MNL48 at AsiaFest_Bangkok, Thailand
Morning in Walking Street Pattaya
Morning in Walking Street Pattaya
ഇങ്ങനെയും  ഒരു ഭക്ഷണരീതി |Thai BBQ Buffet, Pattaya | Thailand
ഇങ്ങനെയും ഒരു ഭക്ഷണരീതി |Thai BBQ Buffet, Pattaya | Thailand
While Waiting For Customers - Pattaya Thailand
While Waiting For Customers - Pattaya Thailand
Biyahe ni Drew: 'Biyahe ni Drew' goes to Bangkok, Thailand (Full episode)
Biyahe ni Drew: 'Biyahe ni Drew' goes to Bangkok, Thailand (Full episode)
Waiting for a Miracle - Pattaya Thailand
Waiting for a Miracle - Pattaya Thailand

Thailand Images

Angkorian Temple near Korat, Phimai, Thailand | Phimai ...
Angkorian Temple near Korat, Phimai, Thailand | Phimai ...
Bangkok View point | View of Bangkok skyline and Chao ...
Bangkok View point | View of Bangkok skyline and Chao ...
Visitors to Thailand
Visitors to Thailand
World Conference Education for All, 1990
World Conference Education for All, 1990
Gallery pics other species
Gallery pics other species
Angkor 2
Angkor 2
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia :: Pictures of Malaisie
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia :: Pictures of Malaisie
Cymbidium finlaysonianum Wallich ex Lindley
Cymbidium finlaysonianum Wallich ex Lindley
Kids Club at the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn | Oyster.com
Kids Club at the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn | Oyster.com
Willkommen bei Proud
Willkommen bei Proud

Thailand WebSites


Thailand Wiki

Thailand (Thai: ประเทศไทย) ( TY-land, -⁠lənd), officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam (Thai: สยาม), is a country at the center of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand 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. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship.Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century; the oldest known mention of their presence in the region by the exonym Siamese dates to the 12th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other. European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign (1656–88), gradually declining thereafter until being ultimately destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century.Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but nevertheless it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta.Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, and the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy; manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy.