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Dating back 800 years, Thailand is an amazing country that has a strong foundation.  The country began during the 13th Century with the Sukhotahi Kingdom.  At this time, the people of Thailand, Thais, were first united as a nation, which set them apart as a distinct group of people. 

One of the interesting things about this country is that the history of the land is defined by its borders.  In fact, the borders of Thailand can be traced all the way back to pre-historic days.  Over the years and through many excavation digs, strong evidence has been uncovered showing that the people inhibiting Thailand during that era were quite civilized and ingenious. 

For instance, these digs have unearthed several settlements from the Stone Age, specifically in the provinces of Khon Kaen and Kanchanaburi.  One of the most valued of all digs took place in Udon Thani, which is situated in the northeastern portion of the country.  Here, iron tools, jewelry, bronze pieces, and painted pottery were found that could be dated to 3600 BC.  The experts believe this particular settlement was in existence until 250 BC, at which time the people just vanished. 

Once this civilization disappeared, other cultures from India were found in the 3rd Century.  For example, in the 6th to 10th Centuries, there were the Mons and Khmers.  These tribes left there mark on Thailand, leaving behind magnificent stone sanctuaries all over the Kingdom.  However, the Thai people were not unified until the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. 

The current monarchy is governed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been on the throne for more than 50 years.  Under his reign, diversity of religion is strongly supported and encouraged.  However, it is the Prime Minister, the cabinet, and a legislature of house representatives and senates that hold power over the country. 

Then in the 16th Century, the constitution was changed, which was then enforced in 1998.  One of the major changes was that the senators that had at one time been appointed by the Prime Minister were not elected by the Thai people.  Additionally, a new election system for the House of Representatives was also put into place. 

In all, Thailand has 76 provinces, with each of these being controlled by a governor that was appointed by the Ministry of Interior.  For each of the provinces, they are then divided into districts, which are divided by tambons, or groups of villages, and then finally, individual villages. 

While Thailand has been traditionally an agriculture country that grows rice as the primary crop along with sugar cane, sorghum, corn, nuts, and soybeans, you will also find some tropical fruits and rubber plants grown in the eastern and southern regions of the country.  However, in the mid-1980s, the country was transformed from strictly one of agriculture to an agro-industrial country.  Because of this, the country has experienced a huge economic boom and foreign investors have taken special interest. 

By 1996, the majority of exports came from products that were manufactured, traded primarily with other Asian countries, Japan, and the United States.  This boom continued for several years until 1997 when the growth was met with a sudden halt.  With problems going on with the Baht currency, the bubble had finally burst and the country of Thailand was back to its old economy standing.  The suffering was significant with families experiencing massive pay cuts, jobs lost, and a huge recession.  Leaning on their strong belief in Buddhism, the people moved forward with a great attitude. 

Today, the country of Thailand is one filled with warm, hospitable people.  The country offers a perfect blend of old, rich history and modern technology.  When visiting, you can see old ruins, ancient temples, excavation sites all while heading back to a contemporary hotel with air conditioning and telephones.  If you are looking for  an intriguing destination, you certainly want to consider the beautiful country of Thailand.


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