According to its geographical location, it borders Laos and Cambodia to the east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to the south, and the Andaman Sea and Burma to the west.
Due to its geographical location, Thai culture has traditionally been influenced by the cultures of China and India. However, Thailand has generated different indigenous cultures since the Baan Chiang period.
The Buddhist kingdom of Sukhothai is conventionally considered the first Thai state in the region. It is founded in 1238, and its development coincides in time with the debacle and fall of the Khmer Empire, between the 13th and 15th centuries.
A century later, in the mid- 14th century, the kingdom of Ayutthaya replaces Sukhothai as the dominant power in Siam. Following Ayutthaya’s sack of Angkor in 1431, much of the Khmer court was forced into exile in Ayutthaya, bringing with them their Khmer rituals and customs, of Hindu inspiration. Many of these customs are later assimilated by the Ayutthaya culture.
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, Thonburi became the capital of Thailand for a brief period under King Taksin the Great, until the coup of 1782.
The current era (Ratthanakosin) of Thai history begins in 1782, during the reign of Rama I the Great, of the Chakri dynasty, who establishes the capital of Siam in Bangkok.
European powers begin to establish contacts with Thailand in the 16th century. Despite European pressure, Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized by a European power. The main explanation for this is that, throughout the 19th century, Thailand had a long succession of skilled rulers, who demonstrated an enormous ability to use the Franco-British rivalry in the region to their advantage.
As a result, the country acquired the status of a buffer state between the countries of French Southeast Asia (Indochina) and India and Burma, held by Great Britain. Despite its independence, Western influence led to many reforms during this period, including the granting of major concessions in favor of British commercial interests. One such concession was the handover of the three southern provinces of Thailand, which are currently part of Malaysia.
In 1932, a bloodless revolution resulted in the establishment of a new constitutional monarchy. During World War II, Thailand allied with Japan. After the defeat of the Japanese and the end of the war, Thailand realigned, becoming an ally of the United States of America.
Since the start of the Cold War and until the 1980s, Thailand has remained a politically unstable country. During this period there is a succession of changes of government as a result of individual coups. After overcoming this period, the country is configured, from the last military coup in 1991, as a modern participatory democracy.
In 1997, the Asian financial crisis hit Thailand harshly. The value of the Thai baht plummets, from 25 baht per dollar to 56 baht per dollar. The economic crisis caused by this event has already been overcome. GDP growth in 2003 was 7%.
In 2001, Thaksin Shinawatra of the Thai Rak Thai party (Thais love Thais) became Prime Minister of Thailand, after winning the elections held that same year. In 2005, Thaksin renewed his mandate for another four years. However, during this same period, the accusations of, among other things, coercion of press freedom, vote buying, use of power to favor their companies, police abuses in the war against drug trafficking, and inability to stop the Islamist insurgency in the south of the country.
In April of 2006 re-elections and Thaksin revalida back office. However, after the boycott of the opposition to the new government, the Thai Supreme Court ruled the annulment of the electoral results and the calling of a new appointment with the polls. On September 19, 2006, while Thaksin was in New York, the military of the self-styled “Council for Democratic Reform”, under the command of Sondhi Boonyaratglin, took power, ending fifteen years of democracy in the country.
Later, normality returned to Thailand and Thaksin’s party prevailed, ruling until October 2008 when the followers of APD, dressed in their yellow shirts, blocked the airport in Bangkok and forced the entry into the government of the PDN. To this day, Thaksin’s supporters continue to demonstrate for what they consider to be an unfairly imposed government.
According to OXFORDASTRONOMY, the Karen tribe is located 40 km from Mae Hong Song in Thailand. They follow an ancient tradition that consists of having the neck as long as possible. To achieve their goal they use golden rings that surround the neck until it is lengthened to incredible dimensions. The transformation begins from an early age, by placing earrings on the neck, gradually as the years go by. The lives of these women are marked by their necklaces. They never take them off. Neither to sleep, nor to wash, nor to eat…
A forensic museum turned macabre attraction
In the heart of Bangkok, on the banks of the Chao Praya River and very close to some of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, there is a fascinating and sinister place created by the department of forensic medicine at Siriraj Hospital, the forensic hospital of the same name.
Mummies of executed murderers, malformed fetuses and organs preserved in formaldehyde are some of the attractions of this macabre Thai museum.