are conflicting opinions as to the origins of the Thais. Three
decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the
Thais originated in Northwestern Szechuan in China about 4,500
years ago and later migrated down to their present homeland.
However, this theory has been altered by the discovery of
remarkable prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in
the Nong Han District of Udon Thani Province in the .
These include evidence of bronze metallurgy going back 3,500
years, as well as other indications of a far more sophisticated
culture than any previously suspected by archaeologists. It now
appears that the a Thais might have originated here in Thailand
and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including some
parts of China.
is the name by which the country was known to the world until
1939 and again between 1945 and 1949. On May 11, 1949, an
official proclamation changed the name of the country to "Prathet
Thai", or "Thailand", by which it has
since been known. The word "Thai" means "free",
and therefore "Thailand" means "Land of the
Kingdom of Thailand, located in Southeast Asia on the Gulf of
Thailand and the Andaman Sea, shares boundaries with Myanmar (Burma)
on the west and northwest, Laos on the east and northeast,
Cambodia (Kampuchea) on the southeast, and Malaysia on the south.
Thailand, although rich in rubber and in mineral resources, was
never colonized by Europeans and has existed as a since 1350. The capital, BANGKOK, an attractive
blend of Western and Thai architecture, was established in 1782.
covers a land area of 513,115 square kilometers, from North 5°
30¨ to 21° and from East 97° 30¨ to 105° 30¨,
and extends about 2,500 kilometers from north to south and 1,250
kilometers from east to west, with a coastline of approximately
1,840 kilometers on the Gulf of Thailand and 865 kilometers
along the Indian Ocean.
is divided into four natural regions:
climate is tropical with long hours of sunshine and high
humidity. There are three seasons:
Hot from March to June
from July to October
from November to February
low temperature is 20°c and high temperature is 37°c.
The geographic and climatic conditions make the country suitable
for the cultivation of a wide range of tropical and semi-tropical
country has a population of approximately 58.6 million (1994),
of which around 6 million live in the capital city, Bangkok. The
most important ethnic minority are Chinese. Other minority
groups include Malays, Cambodians, Indians, non-Thai hill tribes,
and some Vietnamese. Immigration is controlled by a quota system.
flag of the Kingdom of Siam was created during the reign
of King Rama II and flew on all Siamese sea-going vessels
The symbol of on a red background was chosen because white
elephants are considered very auspicious by Thais. was known as the 'White Elephant King' as he
had three of these noble animals in his possession during
five horizontal stripes of three colors-red, white, and
blue-have very significant meanings. Red signifies the
life-blood of Thai people; the white stripe symbolizes the
purity of Buddhism, the national religion; and the
dominant blue stripe, the monarchy and the important part
it plays in the daily life of the Thai people.
present national flag , the "Trai-rong"
or three colors , was designed by King Rama VI and was
first used on September 28, 1917.
flag is raised daily at 8.00 am and lowered at 6.00 pm at
all official buildings, public places, large private
enterprises, and schools, usually to the accompaniment of
the Thai National Anthem. The flag is also flown
nationwide on national holidays.
Thai national and royal symbol is the Garuda, a mythical
half-bird half-human figure [steed of the Hindu god Vishnu]
that adorns King Bhumibol Adulyadej's scepter and royal
standard. Many ministries and departments have
incorporated the Garuda into their insignias. Moreover,
the Garuda is signification of being "By Royal
Appointment" and is awarded, at the personal
discretion of His Majesty the King, as a sign of royal
approval to companies that have rendered outstanding
economic and charitable services to Thailand. Such an
award is rarely bestowed and is considered a great honor.
has no official national colors, although the use of red, white,
and blue, inspired by the colors of the Thai flag, are used by
Thai international sporting teams, as well as on other
national anthem is played on all ceremonial 0 of national flag
is being raised and lowered . Its music was composed in 1932 by
Professor Phra Jenduriyang, while the lyrics, as presently
constituted, were written in 1939 by Colonel Luang
Saranuprabhands. A literal translation is as follows:
is the unity of Thai blood and body.
The whole country belongs to the Thai people, maintaining thus
far for the Thai.
All Thais intend to unite together.
Thais love peace, but do not fear to fight.
They will never let anyone threaten their independence.
They will sacrifice every drop of their blood to contribute to
the nation, will serve their country
with pride and prestige-full of victory. CHAI YO.
there is no official national dress, the traditional dress has
been adopted as the unofficial national costume and can be seen
on both formal and informal occasions. For women, it is a full
length "pha sin" -a rectangular piece of cloth
worn like a skirt or sarong- generally made of Thai silk.
pasin can be of any color and generally has contrasted bands
aroud the hem. It is worn with a long-sleeved silk blouse. on
formal 0 a sash may be worn across the breast from the left
shoulder to the right part of the waist. For men, the 0 dress is
trouser with a "seur phra ratchathan", a short-sleeved
shirt [ long- sleeved for formal occasions] with a high 0 neck.
On formal occasions, a cummerbund is tied around the waist.
5, the birthday of His Majesty , is generally regarded as national day.
This day is a public holiday.
national holidays and festivals are of a religious nature and
serve to evoke a sense of the ,
the religion, and the nation. Some are celebrated by the
calendar and thus vary in date from year to year, while others
are celebrated according to the solar calendar.
Boxing or "Muey Thai" as referred to by
locals, is an art of self defence that comes naturally to
Thai boys, unlike other martial arts in which training is
essential. Thai boys know the arts of kinging and boxing
in Muey Thai style even 0 are very little,usually urged on
by their elders. Muey Thai is an ancient art of self 0,
and it is believed that many of the deadlier forms of this
arts have been lost over the centuries, as each teacher or
"Archarn Muey" has been said to have kept the
highest forms to himself to prevent his students from
other martial arts, Muey Thai has musical accompaniment
which consists of a drum or "Krong" small brass
cymbals called "Ching Chup" and a Thai clarinet
commonly called " Pee." At the being of each
fight the contenders dance to the rhythm of the music
around the ring to pay homage to their respective Archarn
or Kru Muey [teacher], usually for five to ten minutes.
culinary heritage is blessed with an abundant amount of
food found in the seas and in the fields which offers
ample oportunity to the adventurous cook to use his 1 and
resourcefulness in concocting a variety of nutritious and
food in general is rather spicy with the most commonly
used ingredients being ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, knob
khaa, coriander leaves and roots, cumin seed, manglak
leaves and seeds, lemon grass and basil leaves. Equally
important in bringing out the distinctive Thai flavor are
prepared curry paste, nam prik, biachan, and the 0 high
quality Thai nam pla.
is a paradise for tropical fruits. At any time during the
year at least a dozen different kinds can be found in the
market. Their strong aromas and distinctive tastes are
addictive once more acquires a liking for them. These
include the durian , rambutan, magosteen, longans, lychee,
langsat and many others.
the most common way fruit is eaten in Thailand is simply
by removing the skin and biting into it, for very special
occasions the fruits are intricately carved and sometimes
stuffed one into another or simply mixed to give a blend
of tastes. Alt hough Thais prefer to eat fruits in their
fresh state and a little unripe, they turn a lot into jams
and juices and other preserved foods.
the generally uninspiring Western side - dishes, Thai
salads are a significant part of most meals, often
combining with meat and seafood to become the main course.
In a country where presentation is the key to culinary
pleasure, cooks take great pride in making a colourful,
multi - textured plate of freshly picked vegetables,
aromatic herbs and exotic fruits, all chopped, spiced and
commonly topped with peanuts, various shredded leaves and
strips of chilli.
expect the insipid lettuce and carrot variety of most
Western cuisines. One popular dish is the Thai beef salad,
where thin strips of beef are mixed with coriander, soy,
lime juice and black pepper. This is then cooked with
onions and the essential chillis, and served with a
garnish of lettuce and coriander leaves.
for Visitors to
visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or acceptable
travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the
country. Visitors from certain countries are permitted to stay
for up to 15 day without visas, provided they possess tickets
confirming departure within 15 days, while visitors from several
other countries are allowed to apply for tourist visas at all
ports of entry. Transit visas are granted for up to 30 days and
tourist visas for up to 60 days. 1, diplomatic and official
visas are valid for up to 90 days.
and pornographic materials are strictly prohibited. Permits must
be obtained for firearms and certain species of animals and
plants. The export of Buddha images, images of deities and
antiques is strictly forbidden without first obtaining approval
from the Fine Arts Department. Any amount of foreign Currency
may be brought in for personal use.
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