Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thailand Facts #4

“…The most important of Taksin’s assets in those troubled times was a compelling personal charisma, an ability to convince others that he was indeed a ‘man of merit,’ one whose karma from previous existences and meritorious actions was so strong as to allow him to lead other men and vanquish all opponents…”
“…Monks who refused to bow to Taksin, to worship him as a god, were demoted in status, and hundreds were flogged and sentenced to menial labour.”
“…it is likely that by the end of 1781 some consensus had begun to emerge within the elite that Taksin had to be replaced – for the good of all, for the fate of Buddhism, for the future of Siam.”
“In their haste to correct Taksin’s excesses, few spared the time to consider his monumental accomplishments. At the very least, Taksin had provided the energetic leadership that Siamese had needed to pull themselves out of the dire straits into which they had fallen in 1767…”
Thailand, A Short History,
David K. Wyatt

• In 1767 an official by the name of Taksin defeated a sizeable Burmese force to establish a base in Thonburi on the Chao Phraya River. Taksin became the King of Thonburi and shortly after his reign the capital was moved across the river to what is now Bangkok.

• For Thai children over 1 year old, drowning and road accidents cause more deaths than all other diseases combined.
(Thai National Injury Survey 2007)

• Thailand has a 3,219km coastline.

• Thailand is the world's second largest sugar exporting country after Australia.

• The founding year of the nation of Siam (now Thailand) was 1238.

• Passenger traffic for Koh Samui airport: 2001= 755,961, 2006=1,430,000, 2007 est = 1,500,000
(Bangkok Post, December 23 2007)

• The music to the Thai national anthem was composed by Professor Phra Jenduriyang in 1932 (the year the Constitutional Monarchy was adopted.

• In 2006 there were 9,000 Thai restaurants in foreign countries. By 2008 this number is expected to expand to 20,000.
(MCOT News, September 5 2006)

• Thailand is located almost equidistant between India and China.

• The Thai national and royal symbol is the Garuda, a half-bird, half-human figure from Hindu mythology.