Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand and known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country; the capital and largest city is a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar, its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other.
European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign declining thereafter until being destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom, he was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's influential role in politics.
Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta. Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy. Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was known by the exonym Siam; the word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word; the word Śyâma is not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century; the Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. The signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed to Siam from 1946 to 1948. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs".
A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai/Tai would have evolved from the etymon *kri:'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *dajA > tʰajA2 or > tajA2. Michel Ferlus' work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for t
Cambodia the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest; the sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 16 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by 95 percent of the population; the country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political and cultural centre of Cambodia; the kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985. In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name "Kambuja"; this marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire, which flourished for over 600 years, allowing successive kings to control and exert influence over much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth.
The Indianised kingdom facilitated the spread of first Hinduism and Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia and undertook many religious infrastructural projects throughout the region, including the construction of more than 1,000 temples and monuments in Angkor alone. Angkor Wat is designated as a World Heritage Site. After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand. Cambodia gained independence in 1953; the Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970 which installed the right-wing pro-US Khmer Republic, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge; the Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were ousted by Vietnam and the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea, supported by the Soviet Union in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed by a United Nations mission. The UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots; the 1997 factional fighting resulted in the ousting of the government by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People's Party, who remain in power as of 2018. Cambodia is a member of the United Nations since 1955, ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement and La Francophonie. According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy". While per capita income remains low compared to most neighboring countries, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with growth averaging 7.6 percent over the last decade.
Agriculture remains the dominant economic sector, with strong growth in textiles, construction and tourism leading to increased foreign investment and international trade. The US World Justice Project's 2015 Rule of Law Index ranked Cambodia 76 out of 102 countries, similar to other countries in the region; the "Kingdom of Cambodia" is the official English name of the country. The English "Cambodia" is an anglicisation of the French "Cambodge", which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer កម្ពុជា kampuciə. Kampuchea is the shortened alternative to the country's official name in Khmer ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə; the Khmer endonym Kampuchea derives from the Sanskrit name कम्बोजदेश kambojadeśa, composed of देश deśa and कम्बोज kamboja, which alludes to the foundation myths of the first ancient Khmer kingdom. The term Cambodia was in use in Europe as early as 1524, since Antonio Pigafetta cites it in his work Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo as Camogia.
Colloquially, Cambodians refer to their country as either ស្រុកខ្មែរ srok khmae, meaning "Khmer's Land", or the more formal ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា prɑteih kampuciə "Country of Kampuchea". The name "Cambodia" is used most in the Western world while "Kampuchea" is more used in the East. There exists sparse evidence for a Pleistocene human occupation of present-day Cambodia, which includes quartz and quartzite pebble tools found in terraces along the Mekong River, in Stung Treng and Kratié provinces, in Kampot Province, although their dating is unreliable; some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherers inhabited the region during Holocene: the most ancient archaeological discovery site in Cambodia is considered to be the cave of L'aang Spean, in Battambang Province, which belongs to the Hoabinhian period. Excavations in its lower
Khmer people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia, accounting for over 97% of the country's 15.9 million people. They speak the Khmer language, part of the larger Austroasiatic language family found in parts of Southeast Asia, parts of central and north eastern India, parts of Bangladesh in South Asia, in parts of Southern China and numerous islands in the Indian Ocean; the majority of the Khmer are followers of the Khmer style of Buddhism, a syncretic version that blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism and veneration of the dead. Significant populations of Khmers reside in adjacent areas of Thailand and the Mekong Delta region of neighboring Vietnam, while there are over one million Khmers in the Cambodian diaspora living in France, the United States, Australia; the majority of the world's Khmer people live in Cambodia, the population of, over 90% Khmer. There are significant Khmer populations native to Thailand and Vietnam. In Thailand, there are over one million Khmer in Surin and Sisaket provinces.
Estimates for the number of Khmer in Vietnam vary from the 1.1 million given by government data to seven million advocated by the Khmer Krom Federation. Due to migration as a result of the Cambodian Civil War, there is a large Khmer diaspora residing in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France. According to one Khmer legend attributed by George Coedes to a tenth century inscription, the Khmer race arose from the union of the brahmin Kambu Swayambhuva and the apsara Mera, their marriage is said to have given rise to the name Khmer and founded the Varman dynasty of ancient Cambodia. A more popular legend, reenacted to this day in the traditional Khmer wedding ceremony and taught in elementary school, holds that Cambodia was created when an Indian Brahmin priest named Kaundinya married Princess Soma, a Naga princess. Kaundinya sailed to Southeast Asia following an arrow. Upon arrival he found an island called kok thlok and, after conquering Soma's Naga army, he fell in love with her.
As a dowry, the father of princess Soma drank the waters around the island, revealed to be the top of a mountain, the land below, uncovered became Cambodia. Kaundinya and Soma and their descendents became known as the Khmer and are said to have been the rulers of Funan and the Khmer Empire; this myth further explains why the oldest Khmer wats, or temples, were always built on mountaintops, why today mountains themselves are still revered as holy places. The Khmers, an Austroasiatic people, are one of the oldest ethnic groups in the area, having filtered into Southeast Asia from southern China Yunnan, around the same time as the Mon, who settled further to the west and to whom the Khmer are ancestrally related. Most archaeologists and linguists, other specialists like Sinologists and crop experts, believe that they arrived no than 2000 BCE bringing with them the practice of agriculture and in particular the cultivation of rice; this region is one of the first places in the world to use bronze.
They were the builders of the Khmer Empire, which dominated Southeast Asia for six centuries beginning in 802, now form the mainstream of political and economic Cambodia. The Khmers developed the Khmer alphabet, the earliest alphabet still in use in Southeast Asia, which in turn gave birth to the Thai and Lao alphabets; the Khmers are considered by archaeologists and ethnologists to be indigenous to the contiguous regions of Isan, southern Laos and South Vietnam. That is to say the Khmer have been a lowland people who lived close to one of the tributaries of the Mekong River; the reason they migrated into Southeast Asia is not well understood, but scholars believe that Austroasiatic speakers were pushed south by invading Tibeto-Burman speakers from the north as evident by Austroasiatic vocabulary in Chinese, because of agricultural purposes as evident by their migration routes along major rivers, or a combination of these and other factors. Like the other early peoples of Southeast Asia such as the Pyu, Chams and Javanese, the Khmer were part of Greater India, adopting Indian religions and customs and borrowing from their languages.
The first powerful trading kingdom in Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Funan, was established in southeastern Cambodia and the Mekong Delta in the first century, although extensive archaeological work in Angkor Borei District near the modern Vietnamese border has unearthed brickworks, canals and graves dating to the fifth century BCE. The Kingdom of Funan is considered to be the mother of all Southeast Asian kingdoms. During the Funan period the Khmer acquired Buddhism, the concept of the Shaiva imperial cult of the devaraja and the great temple as a symbolic world mountain; the rival Khmer Chenla Kingdom emerged in the fifth century and conquered the Kingdom of Funan. Chenla was an upland state whose economy was reliant on agriculture whereas Funan was a lowland state with an economy dependent on maritime trade; these two states after conquest by Chenla in the sixth century, were at war with each other and smaller principalities. During the Chenla period, Cambodians left the world's earliest known zero in one of their temple inscriptions.
Only when King Jayavarman II declared an independent and united Cambodia in 802 was there relati
Ko Wai is a small island in Ko Chang Archipelago, Trat Province, eastern Thailand. The island has nice views over the other islands in the vicinity. Ko Wai Island is 3 km long and 1 km wide at the widest point; the east part of the island is encircled by coral reef and has sand beaches while the west part is more rugged and hilly, serves as a nesting ground for birds. The interior is covered by forest jungle. There are four bungalow operations on the island and daily boat connections to Ko Chang, Ko Mak, the mainland, during the season; the island is a protected area. List of islands of Thailand Detailed report on Ko Wai at Tezza's Beaches and Islands
Koh Tang known as Tang Island, is the biggest of a group of Cambodian islands off the coast of Sihanoukville Province in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is situated 52 km off the southwest coast of Cambodia. There are no permanent civilian inhabitants living on the island; the Cambodian military maintain a base with a sizable number of personnel. The Khmer word Koh, means'island', Tang can be loosely translated to "legend"; the island is rock fringed with its highest point at its northern extremity. Two shallow coves press into the western neck of its northern plateau; the eastern cove has a long shallow coral sand beach. The small islet Koh Mul/Tuich lies about 1.3 km to the East and Koh Domloung island about 2.2 km to the South. The islets Koh Tee Mui and Koh Tee Bpi complete the Koh Tang archipelago. In May 1975, Khmer Rouge troops landed on nearby Thổ Chu Island and kidnapped 513 Vietnamese civilians to Koh Tang, where they were forced to do hard labor until they were all executed; the island is the site of the last combat action of the Vietnam War and the only ground combat between U.
S. forces and the Khmer Rouge. On May 15, 1975, U. S. Marines on board U. S. Air Force helicopters landed on Koh Tang in the hope of freeing the crew of the SS Mayagüez, captured by Khmer Rouge gunboats on May 12, 1975; the crew of the Mayaguez was not on Koh Tang, but had been taken to the Cambodian mainland and were released during the rescue operation. In the course of the operation the Khmer Rouge shot down three CH-53 helicopters on or near Koh Tang and 15 Marines and Air Force crewmen were killed and another 3 Marines were inadvertently left behind and executed. An estimated 13-25 Khmer Rouge were killed during the battle. On the evening of August 13, 1978 the Foxy Lady, a Chinese sailing junk, blown off course while sailing from Singapore to Bangkok, was discovered taking shelter on the western side of Koh Tang by Khmer Rouge gunboats; the gunboats fired on the Foxy Lady killing Canadian crewman Stuart Glass. The other two crewmen, Englishman John Dewhirst and New Zealander Kerry Hamill dived into the water and were picked up by the Khmer Rouge boats.
Dewhirst and Hamill were transported to S-21 prison in Phnom Penh where they were tortured and forced to write confessions. Dewhirst was executed in late August and Hamill was executed in October 1978. List of islands of Cambodia Koh Rong Sanloem Koh Rong Sihanoukville Island Database/List of islands Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization
People's Army of Vietnam
The People's Army of Vietnam known as the Vietnamese People's Army, is the military force of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The PAVN is a part of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces and includes: Ground Force, Air Force, Border Defence Force, Coast Guard. However, Vietnam does not have a separate Ground Army branch. All ground troops, army corps, military districts and specialised arms belong to the Ministry of Defence, directly under the command of the Central Military Commission, the Minister of Defence, the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army; the military flag of the PAVN is the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with the words Quyết thắng added in yellow at the top left. During the French Indochina War, the PAVN was referred to as the Việt Minh. In the context of the Vietnam War, the army was referred to as the North Vietnamese Army; this allowed writers, the U. S. military, the general public, to distinguish northern communists from the southern communists, or Viet Cong.
However, both groups worked under the same command structure. The Viet Cong was considered a branch of the VPA by the North Vietnamese. In 2010 the PAVN undertook the role of leading the 1,000th Anniversary Parade in Hanoi by performing their biggest parade in history, it is recognized as one of the most battle-hardened and best trained militaries in Asia. The first historical record of Vietnamese military history dates back on the era of Hồng Bàng, the first recorded state in ancient Vietnam to have assembled military force. Since military plays a crucial role on developing Vietnamese history due to its turbulent history of wars against China, Cambodia and Thailand; the Southern expansion of Vietnam resulted with the destruction of Champa as an independent nation to a level that it didn't exist anymore. In most of its history, the Royal Vietnamese Armed Forces was regarded to be one of the most professional, battle-hardened and trained armies in Southeast Asia as well as Asia in a large extent.
The PAVN was first conceived in September 1944 at the first Revolutionary Party Military Conference as "armed propaganda brigades" to educate and mobilise the Vietnamese to create a main force to drive the French colonial and Japanese occupiers from Vietnam. Under the guidelines of Hồ Chí Minh, Võ Nguyên Giáp was given the task of establishing the brigades and the Armed Propaganda Unit for National Liberation came into existence on 22 December 1944; the first formation was made up of thirty one men and three women, armed with two revolvers, seventeen rifles, one light machine gun, fourteen breech-loading flintlocks. The United States' OSS agents, led by Archimedes Patti –, sometimes referred as the founding father of the PAVN due to his role, had provided ammunitions as well as logistic intelligence and equipments and they had helped training these soldiers, become the vital backbone of the Vietnamese military to fight the Japanese occupiers as well as the future wars; the group was renamed the "Vietnam Liberation Army" in May 1945.
In September, the army was again renamed the "Vietnam National Defence Army". At this point, it had about 1,000 soldiers. In 1950, it became the People's Army of Vietnam. Võ Nguyên Giáp went on to become the first full general of the VPA on 28 May 1948, famous for leading the PAVN in victory over French forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and being in overall command against U. S. backed South Vietnam at the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. On 7 January 1947, its first regiment, the 102nd'Capital' Regiment, was created for operations around Hanoi. Over the next two years, the first division, the 308th Division well known as the Pioneer Division, was formed from the 88th Tu Vu Regiment and the 102nd Capital Regiment. By late 1950 the 308th Division had a full three infantry regiments, when it was supplemented by the 36th Regiment. At that time, the 308th Division was backed by the 11th Battalion that became the main force of the 312th Division. In late 1951, after launching three campaigns against three French strongpoints in the Red River Delta, the PAVN refocused on building up its ground forces further, with five new divisions, each of 10–15,000 men, created: the 304th Glory Division at Thanh Hóa, the 312th Victory Division in Vinh Phuc, the 316th Bong Lau Division in the northwest border region, the 320th Delta Division in the north Red River Delta, the 325th Binh Tri Thien Division in Binh Tri Thien province.
In 1951, the first artillery Division, the 351st Division was formed, before Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, for the first time in history, it was equipped by 24 captured 105mm US howitzers supplied by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The first six divisions became known as Iron' divisions. In 1954 four of these divisions defeated the French Union forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, ending 83 years of French rule in Indochina. Soon after the 1954 Geneva Accords, the 330th and 338th Divisions were formed by southern Vietminh members who had moved north in conformity with that agreement, by 1955, six more divisions were formed: the 328th, 332nd, 350th in the north of the DRV, the 305th and the 324th near the DMZ, the 335 Division of soldiers repatriated from Laos. In 1957, the theatres of the war with the French were reorganis