History

Thailand is one of the oldest countries of the world. Homo erectus, dated to between 1.6-0.5 million years ago, has been discovered here. Later prehistoric periods include the emergence of agriculture some 6,000-7,000 years ago, the Bronze Age around 4,000 years ago, and an early form of urbanization at about 2,300-2,500 years ago.

Chinese records also mentioned the existence of towns and cities in many parts of Thailand. An early peak in population was reached between 600 and 1400 CE with towns and large settlements built with walls and moats as enclosures.

The Kingdom of Sukhothai, Lan Na and other Thai states were firmly established by the 13th century when the classic and distinctively Thai style of art, crafts and architecture was formed.

Greater political and cultural achievements were reached with the emergence of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (1350-1767 CE), known historically for its international diplomacy and commerce.

Following the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767, the Thais moved south to Thon Buri to regroup and restore their Kingdom.

The centre of power moved across the Chao Phraya River and Krung Thep was founded in 1782. From that time, the Royal House of Chakri has reigned over the Kingdom.

Thailand was the only country in Southeast Asia to escape Western colonialism during the 19th and 20th centuries, thanks to the wisdom and diplomacy of King Mongkut and his son King Chulalongkorn. The current monarch is the ninth King of the Royal House of Chakri. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch is revered by his people for his total dedication to the nation.

Source: Thailand Executive Diary 2008