Kingdom of THAILAND<br />By: John Ferreria<br />
Geography<br />There are several distinct geographical regions in Thailand. The north is mountainous at 8,415 ft. above sea level. The northeast is where the Khorat Plateau is located. And to the east is the famous Mekong River in which the largest fresh water fishes have been caught. <br />The pictures on the right are Khorat Plateau (Top Right) and Mekong River (Bottom Right). <br />
Geography Cont. <br />Not only does Thailand consist of mountainous regions and farmland, but Thailand has one of the most pristine beaches that are flocked by tourists every year. <br />Patong Beach (Top Right) and Patong Beach after the tsunami in 2004. (Bottom Right)<br />
People<br />Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain). <br />Thailand has approximately 64 million people. Of those people, 75% is ethnically Thai. 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay. The rest belong to minority groups such as Mons, Khmers and other tribes in the region. <br />
People <br />The official language of Thailand is of course Thai. But it is closely related to Lao (Laos) and Shan (Burma or Myanmar). The Thai language has two different dialects that differ between Northern and Southern Thailand. There are other several minority languages spoken in various regions of Thailand but English is a mandatory subject in schools. <br />
Culture <br />The culture of Thailand has been influenced by Chinese, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian and Indian and so they incorporate a lot of various traditions from each of these different cultures. <br />Thai cuisine is famous for blending of four fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Thai cuisine uses a lot of herbs, spices, fruit, including: chili, galangal, garlic, lime leaves, basil, sweet basil, lime, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, turmeric, and shallots. <br />Tomyumsoup: hot soup with <br />Shrimp and various veggies. <br />
Culture cont. <br />Thailand’s national religion is Theravada Buddhism and it has evolved from its origins of Hinduism, animism and as well as ancestor worship. <br />The official calendar in Thailand is based on the Eastern version of the Buddhist Era and it is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian (western) calendar. <br />
History<br />Thailand has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period which is about 10,000 years ago. The people were heavily influenced early on by India which started with the kingdom of Funan in 1st Century CE (Common Era). <br />Before the 12th century, the first Thai or Siamese state is considered to be the Buddhist kingdom of Sukhothai which was founded in 1238. But the most successful time of Thailand was under Ayutthaya in which he expanded the country’s borders and also traded with the Portuguese, French, Dutch and English. <br />
History Cont. <br />As Ayutthaya prospered, he did not foresee his demise in 1767 to the Burmese, King Taksin the Great and the current Rattanakosin era of Thai history began in 1782 and established Bangkok as the capital under King Rama the great. <br />Even though many of the Southeast Asian countries were colonized by European countries, Thailand was the only nation never to be colonized. It was believed that Thailand served as a buffer zone between French Indochina and the British Empire. <br />WatChaiwatthanaram was one of <br />the temples burned down by the <br />Burmese army in 1767. <br />
Sources <br />Amazing Thailand <br />www.thailand.net.au/.../north/chiangrai.php<br />Wikipedia: History of Thailand <br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand#History<br />Wikipedia: Culture of Thailand <br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand<br />Wikipedia: Geography of Thailand <br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand#Geography<br />Wikipedia: Thailand <br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand<br />
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