Thailand – A Brief History
The first evidence of human inhabitants in Thailand date back to 40,000 years ago. Like its neighbouring countries, the culture, and beliefs of India heavily influenced Thailand. Starting all the way back with the Funan Kingdom in the 1st century CE to the Khmer empire, which ruled over Thailand in its early days. The Hindu influence can be felt to this day among Thais.
Khmer Influence (9th to 11th Century)
The Mon civilization known as Dvaravati, occupied Thailand’s western and central regions from the 9th to the 11th century. The Mon shared a similar heritage as the Khmers in southern Burma and spread their religion, art, and language to the northeast regions of the country, primarily in the cities of Lopbury and Kanchanaburi.
Sukhothai Era (1238 -1438)
Overshadowed by the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 14th Century, The Sukhothai Kingdom was founded in the year 1238 by Tai Chieftain (Khun Pa Muang). It is traditionally considered to be the first Siamese State prior to the 12th century. Although the kingdom was short lived, this era was the most prosperous period in the country and has had significant impact on the country’s history. Their writing system created by king Ramkhamheng, who ascended the throne after the death of Khun Pa Muang in 1279, as evolved into today’s Thai alphabet.
Ayutthaya Era (1350 -1767)
Founded in the year 1350, the city state of Ayutthaya established its capital in 1351 on the Chao Phraya River. The name Ayutthaya was derived from the Indian city of Ayodhaya. In effort to distinguish his kingdom from the Hindu Angkor Kingdom, King Uthong –Ayutthaya’s first ruler – declared Theravada Buddhism as the official religion of the country. Later, he compiled a legal code based on Hindu legal texts and Thai custom which remained in effect until the 19th century. In the early 18th century, the Kingdom entered its Golden age and flourished peacefully before its capital city and was destroyed by the invading Burmese forces in 1767.
Thon Buri Era (1767-1782)
Thai general Phraya Taksin, proclaimed himself king after defeating the Burmese invaders who had invaded the Ayutthaya Kingdom. He then established a new capital at Thon Buri, located across the river to modern day Bangkok. By 1781 Taksin had become mentally troubled and was executed in 1782.
Rattanakosin Era (1782 -Present)
In 1782 Taksin was succeeded by general Chakri, whom changed his name to Yot Fa. The court was relocated across the river to the village of Bangkok; the kingdom’s economy flourished and what remained of Ayutthaya’s artistic heritage was preserved. In this era, the country boomed into what is known today as Thailand (Changed in 1939 from Siam) Defined in Thai as ‘Prathet Thai’, the term ‘Prathet’ means ‘country’ and ‘Thai’ means ‘free’. Relations between the USA and the European nations were established and Schools, Roads, Railways, and the country’s first Post office were built; new laws were also put in place to improve the rights of women and children. A bloodless revolution lead by army officers took place in 1932, thus ending 800 years of absolute monarchy.
Towns & Cities in Thailand
Thailand has no shortage of captivating destination to visit on your holiday. Refer to our Towns & cities guide to plan the perfect trip.
Our Favourite Hotels in Thailand
There are so many beautiful hotels to choose from in Thailand. So we have selected a few of our most favourite and characterful hotels; giving you a taste of what you can expect.
Our most popular Activities in Thailand
Browse through our Thailand Activity suggestions and get some inspiration.
We can then add any activity you want and tailor-make a Thailand holiday just for you!