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Thai Culture

Thailand, or Siam?

Siam or Thailand brief historyThailand, or Siam?

Thailand, or Siam, as it was called until 1939, has never been colonized by a foreign power, unlike its South-East Asian neighbours. It is true that it has suffered periodic invasions by the Burmese and the Khmers, and was briefly occupied by the Japanese in WWII, but the kingdom was never externally controlled for long enough to dampen the Thais‘ individualism.

Although the Thais are often depicted as fun-loving, happy-go-lucky folk (which they often are), they are also very strong minded and have struggled for centuries to preserve their independence of spirit.

Of course Thailand, like other Asian countries, has been influenced by contact with foreign cultures. But the ever-changing spirit of Thai culture has remained dominant, even in modern city life.

The end result is that Thailand has much to interest the traveller: from trekking in the North’s picturesque mountains to chilling out on one of the many exotic islands in the South.

In Bangkok, a city moving to a frenetic pace, travellers can ride longtail boats along the myriad of canals, visit ornate temples, join the crowd at a Muay Thai match or shop in one of the many markets.

Culture enthusiasts will enjoy the lively arts or visiting the ruins of ancient cities, and all travellers will appreciate the tradition of friendliness and hospitality to strangers and one of the world’s most exciting cuisines.

Travel in this tropical country is comfortable and down-to-earth. The rail, bus and air travel network are extensive and every place worth visiting is easily accessible. There are many places that warrant a stop, many sights to see, a multifaceted culture to experience and it is more affordable than ever by today’s international travel standards.


By Prae
Thai Language Teacher