History and Some Information of Thailand

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Meaning of Thai {ty}

          The Thai, or Siamese, are the dominant ethnic group of Thailand, constituting nearly 80 percent of the population. Their language, which is tonal and largely monosyllabic, is grouped with Lao in the Tai family. Most Thai are rural rice-growers, although an increasing number live in towns and cities. Genealogical descent is traced through both parents. The family is the most important social and economic unit. Social class differences are based on age, occupation, education, and wealth. Most Thai are Buddhists, although the Thai also traditionally believe in spirits and ghosts that influence their lives in many ways. Thai art forms are highly developed.


          Thailand means "land of the free", and throughout our 800-year history, Thailand can boast the distinction of being the only country in Southeast Asia never to have been colonized. Our country's history divides into five major periods:
  • Nanchao Period (650-1250 A.D.)
  • Sukhothai Period (1238-1378 A.D.)
  • Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767)
  • Thonburi Period (1767-1772)
  • Rattanakosin Period (1782- )

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Thailand & Its People

          Thailand, known as Siam until 1949, emerged in the 1200s when two Thai chieftains rebelled againt the khmer ruler and established the Thai kingdom in Sukhothai. However, it declined during the 1300s and became a vassal state of Ayutthaya.
          Ayutthaya became the center of the kingdom for about 350 years.
          In 1767, Ayutthaya was destroyed by Burmese invaders.
          In 1782, King Rama I established his new capital in Bangkok.
          Since 1932, Thailand has had a constitutional monarchy.
          At present, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 9th King of the Chakri Dynasty, who is loved and greatly respected, rules the country.
          Buddism is the predominant religion, and Thai is the national language.
          The rich blench and ethnic diversity of Thai, Chinese, Malay, Mon, Lao and various hilltribes create the unique character of the Thai people.
          In 1994, the population of Thailand was about 60 million.

(Do you want to know more?) find out at Tourism Authority of Thailand

About Bangkok

          Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and its largest city--officially Krung Thep ("City of Angels")--is famous for its beautiful Buddhist temples. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keo), seen here, probably the city's best-known temple, is one of the nation's most important religious shrines. Gold leaf is used extensively in decorating all Thai temples.

About Chiang Mai {jee-ahng' my}

          Chiang Mai, Thailand's fourth-largest city, is at the terminus of the northern railroad line, about 580 km (360 mi) north of the capital, Bangkok. It has a population of 170,269 (1992 est.). Situated on the Ping River, Chiang Mai attracts many tourists. Silver hammering, carving teak statuary, and food processing are important economically. Founded in its present location in 1296 by King Mengrai, Chiang Mai was once the capital of a Lao kingdom, for whose control the Burmese and Thai frequently fought. This is evidenced by elaborate fortifications. The city has many temples, notably Wat Phra Dhat Doi Suthep.


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