Ancient Siam: A Trip Through Thailand's Past

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Ancient Siam

Credit: Jesse Lewis
In the lowlands beneath me the rice fields bake in the hot sun. Sweat quickly beads on foreheads, and the air is lethargic and warm, tropical. From this…Read More »

high perch I have to bundle up my jacket though, shivering in cold winds at eye level with the clouds. I'm at the summit of Doi Inthanon, which at 8,415 feet (2,565 meters) is the highest point in the kingdom of Siam, better known today as Thailand.

Encompassing over 198,120 square miles (513,129 square kilometers) Thailand is the world's fifth largest landmass and home to over 67 million people. It is a land that spans high rolling hills in the north to the glistening blue waters of the Andaman Sea in the south, then encompasses a long ithmus along the South China Sea to the edge of the great Mekong River on its eastern borders with Cambodia and Laos.

At the heart of this land, slow moving rivers flow over vast flood plains freckled with rice fields and small villages. It was here along the great Chao Praya River that the ancient kingdoms of Siam first rose to power through the ascension of a number of powerful kingdoms culminating in the ancient capital of Ayuthaya in the 14th century.   Less «
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