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Ayutthaya became one of the most vibrant trading centres in Asia.
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.
However, a century later, the power of Sukhothai was overshadowed by the new Kingdom of Ayutthaya, established in the mid-14th-century in the lower Chao Phraya River or Menam area.
Ayutthaya's expansion centred along the Menam while in the northern valleys the Lanna Kingdom and other small Tai city-states ruled the area.
The Thai economy is the world's 20th largest by nominal GDP and the 27th largest by GDP at PPP.
Thailand was renamed Siam from 1945 to , after which it again reverted to Thailand.