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The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767) left Ayutthaya burned and sacked by King Hsinbyushin Konbaung.

The first line of the national anthem is: prathet thai ruam lueat nuea chat chuea thai (Thai: There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000 years before the present, with stone artifacts dated to this period at Tham Lod Rockshelter in Mae Hong Son.

Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the 1st century CE to the Khmer Empire.

As a result, the country remained a buffer state between parts of Southeast Asia that were colonised by the two colonial powers, Great Britain and France.

Western influence nevertheless led to many reforms in the 19th century and major concessions, most notably the loss of a large territory on the east side of the Mekong to the French and the step-by-step absorption by Britain of the Shan and Karen people areas and Malay Peninsula.

The Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." (Baker and Phongpaichit, A History of Thailand, 8) The signature of King Mongkut (r.

1851 – 1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut King of the Siamese, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand.

As part of the concessions which the Chakri dynasty offered to the British Empire in return for their support, Siam ceded four predominantly ethnic-Malay southern provinces to the British Empire in the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909.

These four provinces (Kelantan, Tringganu, Kedah, Perlis) would later became Malaysia's four northern states.

In 1431, the Khmer abandoned Angkor after Ayutthaya forces invaded the city.

Thailand retained a tradition of trade with its neighbouring states, from China to India, Persia, and Arab lands.

Indian influence on Thai culture was partly the result of direct contact with Indian settlers, but mainly it was brought about indirectly via the Indianized kingdoms of Dvaravati, Srivijaya, and Cambodia.