Listen to the Thai Anthem

Thailand embraces in its bosom all people of Thai blood.
Every inch of Thailand belongs to the Thais.
It has long maintained its sovereignty,
Because the Thais have always been united.
The Thai people are peace-loving,
But they are no cowards at war.
They shall allow no one to rob them of their independence,
Nor shall they suffer tyranny.
All Thais are ready to give up every drop of blood
For the nation's safety, freedom and progress.

Beloved Thai Monarchs

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great is the world's longest reigning monarch. In 1996, the Thai Kingdom celebrated His Majesty's 50th year on the Throne. His Majesty was born 72 years ago in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He began His reign at the age of 19. During the past 53 years, King Bhumibol has traveled throughout the Kingdom to witness directly the living conditions in the provinces where most of His subjects live and work. His Majesty has consistently provided not only moral support and encouragement to the Thai people, He has also made available various types of assistance, through charitable foundations under His patronage, for rural development projects designed to improve His subjects' livelihood. His Majesty has an enlightened vision for a modern Thailand. His vision has provided inspiration for successive governments throughout His reign. He is committed to the development of democracy and defends its principles in the government of Thailand. His Majesty's resolve and dedication to the welfare of the Thai people have contributed greatly to the political stability and economic growth that Thailand has enjoyed over the past 50 years. King Bhumibol has truly earned the love and reverence of his people, who regard Him as the soul of the Thai Kingdom. Biography of a his majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

King Chualongkorn, Rama V

King Chualongkorn, Rama V, (born 1853, enthroned 1868, died 1910) is one of Thailand's most beloved and revered kings. Many Thai people wear necklaces with his picture and have Buddhist shrines in that contain his picture. In the 1880s Chualongkorn implemented the reforms that he considered vital for the kingdom to survive the threats and demands of Western nations. He announced the gradual abolition of slavery, began the creation of a modern army, overhauled the revenue system, reorganized the provincial administration and extended the capital's control in outlying regions, began a modern education system, and reformed the bureaucracy. With improving transportation facilities (e.g. modern railways) available to international trade, Western-style law codes and administration in place, and a growing reputation for progressive aspirations, Siam gained sufficient Western goodwill to retain its independence during an era where hostile European nations would have otherwise carved the country into pieces. Other links to chakri dynasty kings include Kings of the Chakri dynasty and Thailand celebrates Chakri.

King Mongkut, Rama IV

King Mongkut, Rama IV (reigned 1851-1868) is known as 'The Father of Thai science'. Along with his son Chulalongkorn, Rama V (reigned 1868-1910), guided Thailand through the latter half of the 19th century, a dangerous period for Thailand given pressures from expansionist British and Dutch forces. Mrs Anna Leonowen was hired to teach English lessons to his royal children. The famous book 'The King and I' was written by her. Despite the lovely score written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, 'The King and I' is not at all a factual account. Mrs. Leonowen was only mentioned in the meticulous annals of the Thai court once, and only then in a footnote to a shopping list for the palace school. 'The King and I' is viewed as an insulting series of lies by the Thai people, and it is banned in Thailand. The Thai ambassador to the U.S., Mr Nitya Pibulsonggram, makes the Thai point of view clear in his letter to Mr Christopher Cox of the Boston Herald.

Thai people are fierce monarchists. Insulting the King is perhaps the single quickest way to wear out your welcome!

(Beloved Thai Monarchs an excert from the Thai Boxing Association - USA)

Thai People

The Thai people are a happy go lucky people, with their favourite phrase being 'If its not fun, why are you doing it!?!' Their lives evolve around being happy, and gaining merit for their next life, by either being good, or doing good for others. From the North, North East, Central and to the South, you will find Thailand's people to be completely different. Their foods, thoughts, religious ceremonies and day to day activities vary hugely from one region to the next. They are a very complex and beautiful race, with so much diversity, that you could spend a lifetime studying them, and you would only start to scratch the surface.

Thai Culture

Ninety percent of Thais are Buddhists, and they actively take steps to make this known in ninety-nine percent of their daily routine. They will either be wearing, or have a symbolic Buddhist item on their person. Many rural men will have 'magic tattoos', which are tapped into their skin with the sharp end of a bamboo stick dipped in ink. This is done only by a few highly ranked and revered monks, who will chant a mantra as they perform the task. You will often find Buddhist script and symbolic images scrolled on the roofs of taxis, bus's, tuk-tuks, desks of office workers, around a Thai persons waist and neck. The images, script, and symbolic items are found everywhere, even wrapped around old trees, prow of boats, back of elephants, and on revered pets.

You will no doubt see Thai's smiling most of the time, even when it appears to be inappropriate or distasteful to us. Their smile is not as simple as a western smile; it can mean many different things. One may smile because they are happy, one may smile because they are sad and don't wish for you to be burdened with their misfortune. Another may smile, because they do not wish for you to loose face, say when you trip over something. They are not laughing at you, they are trying to turn it into a comical act, that you was performing for them very well, so that you do not loose face in front of other people who may have seen you trip.

Thai Way

Taking that Thailand is on the other side of the planet to us, you would think it would be obvious that the Thais are different to us. Some of there nuances run spookily parallel to our own; lets say the handshake and the Wai. Both forms of greeting, completion of business, accomplishment and level of stature. But some of their behaviour, thought and customs are completely on their head compared to ours.

For instance if we find ourselves with nothing to do with our hands, we are told to put them in our pockets. The Thais take this as a great offence, as they think you are trying to hide something from them, they would much rather see you pulling hairs out of your nose. And no, its not rude to pick your nose in public, a lot of Thais seem spend most of their life with a finger up their nose.

How about the more popular comparison of zebra crossings, you know the one. The comparison where in the West we stop when someone is close to a zebra crossing, to let them pass. But in the East, I dare you to step out in hope of the traffic coming to a stop. It just isn't going to happen, not even if you're a monk or a police officer!

Thai Food

Some of the most sensational food found on this here planet Earth, has to be Thai food!

There are basically five types of Thai food:

Thai Thai dishes - Papaya salad, Sweet red & crispy back pork, Prawns in spicy soup.
Isan Thai dishes - Bamboo soup, Deep Fried frog, Broiled spicy pork (with a lot of chillies).
Khmen Thai dishes - BBQ buffalo dung, Scorpions, Dog, Snake, anything that moves!
Thai Chinese dishes - Sweet pork ham hock, Thick noodle gravy, Duck - anyway you like.
Western Thai dishes - Green chicken curry, Cashew nut with chicken, Chicken & ginger.

It would be fair to say that you could eat a different Thai dish everyday for two years, without eating the same food twice. Thai's love very spicy foods, mainly because they love to be able to taste the food that they have just eaten for some time after the occasion. They love and revere their rice, as much as they do their King and Buddha, don't ever leave rice, ever!

The Thai's are communal people, they very rarely eat alone, usually waiting and going hungry rather than to eat on their own. This is an impressive feat, seems they spend most of the morning, brunch, lunch, tea, supper, dinner, midnight snack, thinking about what they are going to eat next. It would be fair to say that most Thais spend their time thinking about two things, 'what am I going to eat next' and 'what am I going to eat now!'

Thai Synopsis

The Thai culture, people, food and life! Have been covered by hundred's of thousands of books, and the above is just a visual snap into the daily life of Thai's. I highly recommend that if you wish to understand the people of Thailand, reading a book, or hundreds of books, will not help. It will more than likely confuse you! The best way to understand the people is to live with the people, see the day to day monotonous tasks, and the over flamboyant activities, then you will begin to understand Thai's and Thailand!

Thai Currency

Never make the mistake of trying to stand on your money as it blows away in the wind. You will be driven to the floor with such force by a smiling police officer, that you will think your whole world has come to an end. Do not disrespect the King by standing on his image, you may live to regret it, then again, you may not live!

Muay Thai Stamps

Issued in 1973

Issued in 1996

Issued in 2003

Evolution of Siam to Thailand ~ from BC 1238 - Present

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