The kingdom of Thailand is a south east Asian country bordering Myanmar to the west, Malaysia to the south and Cambodia and Laos to the east. Thailand emerged as an independent country first in the 14th century, following the decline and fall of the Khmer empire. Thailand was never colonized by a western power. Thailand is an emerging economy heavily dependent on exports, with exports accounting for more than 2/3 of its gross domestic product. It is an anchor economy for the neighboring developing economies of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. In 2007 manufacturing contributed to 44% of Thailand’s GDP. Thailand has a very large tourism sector (6% of GDP) and received 11 million tourists in 2004. The main attractions of Thailand are its beautiful beaches and islands in the south, its historical sights, its culture and the friendliness of its people. The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, which also acts as a regional travel hub, giving easy access to the other countries in the region.