EARLY HISTORY The Thais entered their present territory from south-western China at a comparatively late date. The earliest reports of their presence come from Chinese annals, which, however, are very vague until about 650 A.D., when we hear more definite accounts with the foundation of the first important Thai state of Nan Chao (though this […]

SUKHOTHAI PERIOD The region of Sukhothai was at first a province of the Khmer Kingdom, but the power of the Cambodian governor did not extend very far. Thus, when the Kingdom of Angkor was in decline, two Thai governors were able to stage a successful revolt and declare the independence of Sukhothai (1238). One of […]

AYUTTHAYA PERIOD In the 14th century the centre of gravity of Thai settlement had shifted farther south from Sukhothai. In 1350 a prince of U-Thong and Lopburi founded the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, which annexed Sukhothai by the end of the 14th century and grew into a powerful state. The Thais now entered regions which had […]

BANGKOK PERIOD The Burmese left no garrisons behind, and within a few months various small Thai principalities were formed, all claiming the inheritance of the King of Ayutthaya. However a general of half Chinese blood, Phya Taksin, soon defeated all his rivals, and as early as 1769, with the aid of the few loyal survivors […]

20TH CENTURY His successor King Chulalongkorn (Somdetj Phra Chula Chom Klao, Rama V, 1868-1910) continued his father’s reforms. He is considered the great reformer of Thailand. During his 42-year reign the country gained extraordinarily in prosperity. The first western-style postal service was established, the first roads and the first railways were built. The King succeeded […]