Thailand is one of the oldest countries of the world. Homo erectus, dated 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. And early peak in population was reached between 600 and 1400 AD with towns and large settlements built with walls and moats and enclosures.
The kingdoms of Sukhothai, Lan Na and other Thai states were firmly established by the 13th century when the classic and distinctively Thai style of arts, crafts and architecture was formed.
Greater political and cultural achievements were reached with the emergence of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (1350-1767 AD), known historically for its international diplomacy and commerce.
Following the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1761, the Thais moved south to Thon Buri to regroup and restore their kingdom.
The center of power moved across the Chao Phraya River and Krung Thep, or the present Bangkok, was formed in 1782. Since then the Royal House of Chakri has reigned over the kingdom.
Thailand was the only country in Southeast Asia to escape the Western colonialism during the 19th and 20th centuries, thanks to wisdom and diplomacy of King Mongkut and his son, King Chulalongkorn. The current monarch is the ninth King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch, is revered by his people for his total dedication for the nation.