Thailand facts & history
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
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
In 1767 the Burmese
destroyed Ayuthia for their coveted sacred
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
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
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.
Bangkok 1999 & 2000
The Bridge On The River
Kwai or Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi or The
Bridge On The River Kwai
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