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Thailand photos index page

Southeast Asia

Thailand facts & history in brief

Thailand is a kingdom in Southeast Asia was also known as Siam, bounded by Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand.
The high mountains in the north slope south to the wide plain of the Menam and its tributaries in the south.
Rice, rubber, teak and tin are the main resources.
Tin, wolfram, rubies and sapphires are mined and tourism a also a significant foreign exchange earner.
The Thais, probably, originated in the Yunnan province of southwest China.
Their name means 'free'.
The Mongol treat forced them south.
Established their kingdom in Sukhotai and Chiengmai, Khmer rule, adopted an Indian script and became Buddhists.
Around 1350 Ayuthia became the capital, at times ruled Cambodia, Laos and northern Malaya.
In 1767 the Burmese destroyed Ayuthia for their coveted sacred white elephants.
In 1684 Thai envoys presented the French king Louis XIV with elephants, rhinoceroses, and letters engraved on gold to appease him.
Thai policy of appeasement like this kept the country independent and uncolonised.
In 1777 General Taskin, managed to expel the Burmese.
His successor, General Chakri Rama I, founder of the Chakri dynasty ruling over Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and northern Malaya, established Bangkok as his capital.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, surrendered Laos and Cambodia to France and succeeded in maintaining their country's independence through a policy of conciliation.
During the reigns of Mongkut 1851 -1868 and Chulalongkorn 1868-1910 Thailand underwent major modernisation in administrative and economic matters.
In 1932 a bloodless coup established a constitutional government and left the Chakri dynasty on the throne.
During World War II, Thailand was allied to Japan but maintained western friendship as well through guerrilla resistance to Japanese forces.
Until 1973 the country was ruled by the army, when large scale rioting forced a partial move to civilian government with the introduction of a democratic constitution in 1974.
In 1991 a military coup was followed by a new constitution and a general election in 1992.
General Suchinda Kraprayoon was appointed Prime Minister, and he imposed a military crackdown.
More riots, arrests, and the killing of demonstrators, King Bhumibol managed to restore stability with new elections in September 1992 and has been governed by succeeding coalition governments since.
The population is around 60 million.
The total area is 513,115 km2.

The capital is Bangkok.

The official is languages is Thai.

The predominant religion is Buddhism.

Hui Chin, Endre and I visited Thailand in 1999.

We spent a few days in Bangkok visiting all the sights by Rickshaw.
Taken a good look at the City, the 'Snake Farm', 'Ancient City', 'Thai Boxing' and cruised along the River.

Took time out to see 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', at Kanchanaburi and the waterfalls further up north.

Later we went to see Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand by train.

Hui Chin and I visited Thailand again in 2000.
This time we visited Pattaya twice.
It is a seaside tourist/holiday resort with many attractions, including paragliding with jetboats, jet-skiing and many, many more.
On our first occasion we were too scared to do any of those 'young things', but on the way back to Bangkok and during the night we regretted our cowardice and we promptly went back the next day.

Disregarding our ages this time we did it all.
Unfortunately while we had a beautiful sunny, warm day the first day, it was raining quite heavily the second.
It did dampen our enjoyment and spirits a little bit, but we were really fired up anyway.

We had lots of fun on both occasions.

List of my photo pages in this series.

Ancient City        Ayutthaya        Bangkok 1999 & 2000

The Bridge On The River Kwai or Kanchanaburi        Crocodile Farm

Kanchanaburi or The Bridge On The River Kwai        Pattaya

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