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Thailand - Beyond the Beach

Originally known as Siam, The Kingdom of Thailand is a small, Southeast Asian country which is renowned for its deliciously spicy food, beautiful beaches, and, more recently, its political instability. We've got the 411 on this sunny get-away in the midst of one serious show-down.

Thailand - Where is It?

Thailand is in Southeast Asia where it borders Laos and Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south. The Andaman Sea and Myanmar (formerly Burma) sit to the west of Thailand.

Thailand - A Very Brief History

Indigenous Thai cultures have existed from around 4000 BC onwards but the country's culture has been heavily influenced by Cambodia, China and India. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to be overtaken by a European nation. However, it did give up three of is southern provinces to Malaysia after pressure from the British in the 19th century. In 1932, the Thai people revolted against the monarchy, resulting in a constitutional monarchy, in which the government is elected and the royal family acts more as a figurehead or national ambassadors (much like in the UK). Shortly afterward, the country changed its name from Siam to Thailand. "Thai" means freedom in the Thai language. In the coming years, Thailand experienced a number of coups (sudden, usually armed, overthrowing of the government), but moved towards democracy from the 1980s on. In December 2004, thousands of people were killed and even more were displaced by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Thailand - Recent Conflicts

On September 19, 2006, Thai military leaders staged a coup while the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was in the US for a United Nations convention. The crisis traces its roots back to January 2006 when the Prime Minister sold his family's stake in a telecoms firm. Many Thais became angry because they said the family had avoided paying tax and had passed control of an important national asset to foreign investors. In an effort to show he still had the support of the voters, the Prime Minister called a snap election in April. The Prime Minister won 57 percent of the vote but the vote was declared unconstitutional. Eventually, an armed group decided to take matters into their own hands. They say they will call a new election soon and restore democracy to the nation.

Thailand - Did U Know?

  • The Siamese cat was brought to Britain from Thailand in 1884 by the British Consul General of Bangkok.
  • The Beach, the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is set in Thailand.
  • A popular tourist activity in Thailand is riding elephants.
  • The fifth season of Survivor was shot in Thailand.
  • King Ramkhamhaeng, who ruled at the end of the 13th century, created the first Thai alphabet.
  • In Thailand, there is a law against leaving your house without wearing underwear.
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simran88 posted in Debating:
"esthery27" wrote: "simran88" wrote: "esthery27" wrote: I would rather be happy. It is much obvious that in this society nowadays smart people have the most advantages of being successful and socially acccepted based on their careers, position, personal success, fame, power and all that upper middle class stuff. But at the same time while being 'smart', they are also facing all kinds of stress and struggles such as trying the best at showing the perfect them to the society, mantaining all the success, fame and power all the time while the list goes on and on. But happy people on the other hand, or in other words, are happy because they live in the moment. They don't care , or don't need to care what others think of them because they are not living under the eyes and sayings of other people. They enjoy being themselves in their way. Although nothing is perfect, but they tend to make the best out of the many things. And they don't get easiy tired of trying to become the best of the bests, as most smart people tend to do. So if i would choose, i would rather be happy than smart. Well, then the 'smart' people you've spoken about are not really all that smart after all,  are they? Cuz if they were really all that smart they would've realised that they shouldn't care about what others think about them. Am I right? Great point ! Thanks for the reminder ! But smart people as i mentioned above ,they still have to face all kinds of turbulence, stress, and difficulties in life. They may be able to go through them with their intelligence, but there are still things such as depression as results to the circumstances they have to face that might be inevitable to them. Happy people on the other hand, even though there will still be difficult times, but they are still happy anyway. It is already a certainty to them , it is literally the way of living their lives ! What could be better than that? Hmm yes. But the way I perceive a smart person to be, the person has the smartness to deal with all the problems in life and knows how to react, what to accept and what to forget and ignore from the inevitable situations and circumstances. So, being smart automatically makes you happy, or something very close to happy which I feel is good enough. :)
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