The German Thai Link

Geographical and Historical Overview

Historical Background
There are conflicting opinions as to the origins of the Thais. Three decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the Thais originated in northwestern Szechuan in China about 4,500 years ago and later migrated down to their present homeland. However, this theory has been altered by the discovery of remarkable prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in the Nong Han District of Udon Thani Province in the Northeast. These include evidence of bronze metallurgy going back 3,500 years, as well as other indications of a far more sophisticated culture than any previously suspected by archaeologists. It now appears that the Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including some parts of China. "Siam" is the name by which the country was known to the world until 1939 and again between 1945 and 1949. On May 11, 1949, an official proclamation changed the name of the country to "Prathet Thai", or "Thailand", by which it has since been known. The word "Thai" means "free", and therefore "Thailand" means "Land of the Free".
Situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland and covering an area of 513,115 sq. km., form North 5 ? 30" to 21 ? and from East 97 ? 30" to 105 ? 30'', Thailand borders the Lao People's Domocratic Republic and Myanmar to the north, Cambodia and the Gulf of Thiland to the east, Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the west, and Malaysia to the south. Thailand has maximum dimensions of about 2,500 km. north to south and 1,250 km. east to west, with a coastline of approximately 1,840 km. on the Gulf of Thailand and 865 km. along the Indian Ocean. Topography Thailand is divided into four natural regions:(1) the North, (2) the Central Plain, or Chao Phraya River Basin, (3) the Northeast, or the Korat Plateau, and (4) the South, or Southern Peninsula










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06.03.2004 13:21

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