Thailand is the third largest country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Burma/Myanma. It has 513.115 square kilometers and has around 70 million inhabitants.
Thailand’s borders include Laos to the east and northeast, Kampuchea to the east and southeast, Burma/Myanma to the west and northwest, Malaysia to the south, and the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean to the southwest.
Thailand consists of the mainland and a long peninsula in the south that extends to the Malay Peninsula. About 40% of the area is mountainous. The rest is flat. According to the topography and the climate, Thailand can be divided into 6 large regions.
The north of Thailand is mountainous and overgrown with tropical rainforests. The highest mountain in the country, Doi Inthanon (2,565 meters), is located in this region.
The main city for trade and tourism is Chiengmai. Other important cities are Lampang, Chiengrai, and Lampon. With the exception of the large city of Chiengmai, the north is sparsely populated.
Central Thailand is a fertile lowland area flooded by the Chao Phra Ya river. Central Thailand consists of two parts: the upper central region (from the northern border to Nakorn Sawan) and the lower central region (from Chainaat, Sing Buri, and Lopburi to the Gulf of Thailand).
In the upper central region, there are some mountains, but the lower central plain is the main growing area for rice.
The country’s capital, Bangkok, is located in this region. Other important cities are Phitsanulok, Samutprakarn, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, and Supanburi.
This region borders the East Coast, which is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Pattaya, Rayong, and Trat.
The north-east consists mainly of the Korat plateau. It is about 100 to 200 meters above sea level. The northeast is relatively dry and poor in vegetation.
Rice (mostly sticky rice) is only grown in the river valleys. The important cities are Nakorn Ratcha Srima (korat), Kon Kaen, Ubon Rat Cha Tha Ni, and Udonthani.
Like the north, the west is mountainous. The west is known for the river Kwai (or Kwai River), the bridge over which was built by prisoners during World War II and made famous by the famous American film.
The south is also mountainous. There are many islands in front of the coast lines in the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean, e.g., Phuket, the largest island in Thailand. Many islands are excellent areas for scuba diving.
The climate in the south is humid due to the coastal location and fairly regular rainfall. In the south, especially in Phuket, there was mining. Tin, tungsten, petroleum, and natural gas were extracted here.
In the south, provinces like Songkla, Surat Thani, Nakorn Sri Thammarat, Yala, Phuket, and Phang Nga.
Thailand has a tropical climate with high humidity. The average daily temperature in central Thailand is 28 degrees Celsius. At night, the temperature rarely drops below 17–20 degrees Celsius.
You can clearly distinguish the three seasons.
Historians have long been interested in this question. The old thesis that the Thais came from the Altai mountains in Mongolia, south of China, is no longer valid.
The first says that the Thais come from South China (near Canton, Kwang Si, Yunnan). Almost 10 million Thais still live in this area today. Around 650 Thai tribes founded the Nan Chao Empire in western Yunnan, China.
The empire was smashed in the 13th century by an invasion of the Mongols under Gublei-Khan. But before that, many Thais had migrated south into the valleys and plains of Indochina.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Paul Benedict, an American archaeologist, has put forward another hypothesis: the ancestors of the Thais were Austronesians who originally lived at the level of the equator. They emigrated to South China, but later returned to the Indochinese peninsula.
The discovery of skeletal bones, pottery shards, vases, weapons made of iron and bronze, jewelry, and other devices in the small village of Ban Chieng in northeast Thailand leads to the third hypothesis that the Thais have always settled in Indochina. It was found that all the areas found were up to 7000 years old.
All three of these are still controversial. They need to be proved.
The national language of Thailand is Thai, or Thai.
Thai is a tonal language. Many words can be pronounced in five different pitches or pitches. Like other isolating languages, the structure of Thai is like a mosaic.
A sentence is formed by stringing together several individual words. There is no article, no grammatical cases such as nominative or accusative etc. Nouns Verbs, pronouns, and adjectives are not inflected. A sentence consists of uninflected words that are put together in a certain order. This should be illustrated by his example:
The meaning of time, namely present, past, and future, is usually differentiated and expressed in Thai by the adverbs of time available in the sentences, whereby all verb forms remain unchanged.
King Ramkhamhaeng created the first Thai alphabet in 1283, which was based on Mon Khmer and old South Indian characters. Real Thai words are mostly monosyllabic.
Polysyllabic words come mainly from Sanskrit, Pali, and Khmer. At the time of King Ramkhamhaeng, consonants and vowels were written on the same line.
With the Sukhothai period came the influence of the Khmer, and the way of writing was changed: vowels were written either above, below, before or after consonants.
The Thai script is written and read horizontally from left to right. In contrast to European scripts, it has no punctuation marks and no space between words.
The end of the sentence is only indicated by a space. The alphabet of the Thai language consists of 44 consonants and 32 vowels.
Thai culture is based on the ancient Thai way of life, mixed with the culture of the peoples with whom they had contact. Cultural life, as such, is adapted, modernized and handed down to the next generations, which is mainly reflected in the language, literature and art.
For the cultural development of Thailand, Indians, Mon, Khmer, Chinese, and Europeans play a decisive role.
Before the founding of the kingdom of Siam, the Mon and Khmer were rulers in the areas of Southeast Asia, whose culture is visible in the Thai religion, art tradition, and administration.
The influence of Mons Theravada Buddhism Sculptures and art of the Dvaravadi period, the influence of the Khmer (the Thai script invented by King Ramkhamhaeng in the Sukhothai period), the absolute monarchy, and sculptures and art of the Lopburi period.
Even the culture of the Mon and Khmer is strongly influenced by Indian culture.
The influence of Indian culture on Thai culture is both direct and indirect. The Brahmanic teachings and rituals were indirect through the Brahmins who came to Thailand. Immediately, the Thai got to know about the Mon and the Khmer, the Indian culture.
Furthermore, it was the Chinese whose cultural traits had an impact on Thai culture, especially in terms of art and tradition. During the reign of King Rama III, due to the intensive trade between Siam and China, the elements of Chinese architecture were adopted, which are represented in the architectural style of numerous royal temples and statues that are used as decorations in the courtyards of Buddhist temples.
The influence from the west only became apparent in Thailand in the earlier Bangkok period, in the time of Rama III, although the Thais had been in contact with the Europeans through trade since the Ayutthaya period.
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