The only Southeast Asian Country never to have
been colonized by a European country, Siam changed its name to Thailand
- meaning the Land of the Free. The emergence of Thailand as a unified
kingdom probably dates back to the 13th century, at which time,
the Lanna Kingdom (in the area which is now called Chiang Mai) and
the Sukhothai Kingdom, under King Ramkamhaeng, were united in their
constant campaigns against the Burmese and Cambodian Kingdoms. It
was not until the middle of the 14th century that Ayuthaya came
into prominence, the beginning of a golden era.
Following the total destruction of Ayuthaya by
the Burmese in 1767, King Taksin the Great moved the capital to
Thonburi, opposite the village of Bangkok, at the mouth of the Chao
Phraya River. In 1782, King Ramathibodi, better known as King Rama
1, moved across the river to Bangkok and thus started the Chakri
Dynasty. The present monarch, King Bhumipol Adulyadej is King Rama
IX of that dynasty. Actually, the culture of the area presently
known as Thailand, goes back more than 5000 years. It is known that
the working of copper and bronze were part of the culture of this
area at least that long ago. This has been determined by the findings
of archeological "digs" in the northeastern part of the
Kingdom at Ban Chiang and Ban Prasat. It is postulated by some of
the archeologists that this culture pre-dates any similar culture
Kingdom of Cambodia
Cambodia is the successor state of the once
mighty Khmer Empire, which ruled much of what is now Vietnam, Laos
and Thailand. Among the achievements of Khmer civilisation
are the magisterial temples of Angkor.
The most spectacular sights are the awesome
remains of the once mighty Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom,
temples of unbelievable majesty and scale, which have been described
as man's greatest expression of religious faith.
There is no other historical site in South-East Asia that matches
the grandeur of this ancient complex.
Apart from the wonders of Angkor, Cambodia has
a rich and proud culture, a charming French-era capital (albeit
a little weathered) and impressive natural scenery. In addition,
the open-air markets, museum and tropical-colonial atmosphere of
the capital, Phnom Penh, are delightful and unusual.
People's Democratic Republic
Luang Prabang is the oldest city in Lao PDR, it is ideally located
in a basis surrounded by mountains and hills which are populated
by several ethnic groups speaking their own dialect, wearing their
own style of custume, and practicing different traditions and lifestyles.
In 1995 Luang Prabang was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,
confirming the fact that Luang Prabang its exceptional value as
a cultural site deserving protection.
Myanmar is truly the land that time forgot. After three decades
of self-imposed isolation, the unspoiled beauty of Myanmar is a
rare treasure to behold. Here is a place where Buddhist traditions
have been preserved and where close family ties, respect for elders,
reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress are the order of
the day. Here is a place where one can walk safely down the street
at night, where laughter of children is drowned out only by the
strumming of the guitar and the accompaniment of rich Myanmar song.
And here is a place destined for change.
Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam a country ravaged by war for independence
fighting against the French colonism and then intruders from the
USA. This is a land of proud people and natural beauty, a country
that will excite your senses by all the sights, sounds, tates and
smells of an ancient civilisation mixed with westerin influences.
Discover the countryside, a patchwork of rice paddies tended by
women in conical hats, 3260 km of coastline, mountains, rainforests,
and more hilltribes than any other country in Asia. You will also
be amazed by the different cultures and heritage of this country.
2003 Arlymear Travel Company, Ltd. 6th Floor, CCT Building, 109 Surawong
Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Telephone: (66) 02 236 9317 to 20 and Fax: (66) 02 236 2929, 02 237 6873
and 02 237 6874
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