Descriptions of Old Siam

Descriptions of Old Siam

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Siam, known from 1939 to 1945 and since 1948 as Thailand, was first written about by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, by the Dutch and the French in the seventeenth, and by numerous visitors of all nationalities from the middle of the nineteenth century, when, under the influence, first of King Mongkut, and then his son and successor, King Chulalongkorn, the country opened up and residents and visitors became more common. The accounts of these early diplomats, merchants, missionaries, and plain tourists make fascinating reading and allow the modern reader to see both the continuities and changes in the country renowned for its exoticism. Michael Smithies has selected generously from these accounts in order to give a picture of the country as a whole, not just its capital, at first Ayutthaya, then Bangkok, where the kings held sway, but also the different regions of the country: the south, the north, and the north-east.For the contemporary visitor in search of earlier impressions, this volume will be revealing and instructive, and will complement the standard travel guide in an unusual, informative, and often amusing way.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 129 x 196 x 12.7mm | 337g
  • Malaysia
  • English
  • 20 b&w line illustrations
  • 9676530832
  • 9789676530837

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