Ayutthaya’s Fall, Bangkok’s Rise

With the exception of King Boromokot (1733-1758), throughout whose reign Thai monks visited Ceylon to purify Sinhalese Buddhism, Narai’s successors became increasingly ineffectual even though, ominously, Burmese kings grew stronger. With the kingdom at its lowest ebb, the Burmese invaded and in 1767, following a fifteen-month siege, irreparably destroyed Ayutthaya. Temples and palaces have been emptied of priceless treasures and most written histories of the Thai men and women were lowered to ashes in an orgy of vandalism. Many survivors of the holocaust had been marched off to Burma as prisoners, and a after-resplendent city of one particular million was left with some ten,000 inhabitants.

Ayutthaya’s destruction was as dramatic a loss to the Thais as the obliteration of Paris would have been to the French, or London to the English. Indeed, to a much less spirited race, the loss may possibly have proved traumatic but, displaying extraordinary resilience, the Thais rallied and a single of their generals, Phya Taksin, established a new capital in Thonburi, now the location of Bangkok Metropolis occupying the west bank of the Chao Phya river.

Taksin spent the next 10 years pacifying and reuniting the fragmented Thai kingdom, expelling the Burmese and reviving a centralized government. Nevertheless, ten years’ continual military campaigning proved excessively burdensome and Tak-sin’s behaviour became increasingly erratic. In 1782, a profitable coup was mounted and the Thai throne was offered to Taksin’s leading common, Phya Chakri, who became the initial monarch of the present Chakri dynasty and was crowned with the title of Rama I. (The present Thai monarch, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the ninth Chakri king, or Rama IX).
Feeling Thonburi too vulnerable to attack, Rama I moved his capital across the river to Bangkok which has remained the Thai capital ever since. The first 3 Chakri kings devoted themselves to Thailand’s all round reconstruction and prepared the groundwork for the country’s eventual modernization.

Colonialism averted,
Modernization embraced
The Chakri dynasty has offered some of Thailand’s most outstanding kings. Two, in certain, warrant particular mention Rama IV (1851-1868), far better recognized to the West as Mongkut, the monarch erroneously maligned as a frivolous autocrat in the musical comedy, “The King and I”, and his son, Rama V (1868-1910) otherwise known as King Chulalongkorn.
Mongkut’s imaginative diplomacy ensured that Thailand alone remained independent whilst neighbouring countries were helplessly toppled by the effective tides of 19th century colonialism. Chulalongkorn consolidated Thailand’s singular independence by initiating the social re-forms crucial for vigorous modernization.

Mongkut was the very first Thai monarch openly receptive to western influences and ideas. Forty-eight years old when crowned, Mongkut’s preceding 27 years had been spent as a reform-minded Buddhist monk. An exceptional scholar, he mastered Latin and English which gave him an important window on the outdoors world. Thereafter, he eagerly studied Western history, geography, mathematics, modem science and astronomy (his favourite topic and, indirectly, the result in of his death).
Mongkut travelled extensively as a monk. His individual make contact with with common folk – denied prior Thai monarchs whose secluded lives precluded such get in touch with- was a humbling encounter. It made him regard himself as an ordinary human becoming and coloured his innovative reign, which was distinguished by an open, humane attitude towards his subjects.
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Thailand is a land of smiles and sunshine, the gem of Asia. A fascinating land of contrast, chaotic traffic, serene temples, poverty, wealth, hustle and contemplation.The metropolis of Bangkok boasts a lot of superb sights such as Wat Phra Kaeo, the Temple Of The Emerald Buddha, that is hugely revered by the Thai individuals. The city’s most essential landmark is also its most gorgeous temple complex, a great operate of art comprising golden Chedis and many resplendent buildings. The River Kwai Bridge: the film of the very same name produced the bridge planet renowned. In Kanchanaburi the railway spans the wide River Kwai and this bold construction consists of steel and concrete, not wood as was depicted in the film. A bridge that symbolises the brutality of war built by thousands of prisoners of war below the command of the Japanese. Thirteen kilometres north of Bang-In is the former capital of ancient Thailand, Ayutthaya. The most popular historic internet site in Thailand has retained its exotic appearance. The Wat Mahathat was constructed in about 1380. Its primary function is a mighty banyan tree whose roots grow about a severed Buddha head. Chiang Mai is the most critical city in northern Thailand and is located inside a fertile river valley three hundred metres above sea level. The centre of the initial independent kingdom in Thailand situated within the famous Golden Triangle. The Hmong are the largest of the northern mountain tribes. They originated in Laos and Southern China and it is believed that this tribe, divided into clans, when had its own kingdom. Thailand is a mysterious land full of contrast, organic beauty and superlative exotica!