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Thailand History Empires and Kingdoms


Taksin Monument Bangkok


  • The remaining art and architecture styles we see today of each of these Empires is distinct. Each ethnic tribe spoke a separate language and had separate cultures. All the Empires were Buddhist with the exception of the Khmers who accepted Buddhism but additionally subjugated their inhabitants to subscribe to Hindu concepts of the divine rights of their kings (who regarded themselves as Gods) and Hindu mythology. These differences are explained in detail in the links opposite.
  • The periods of the political Empires or Kingdoms does not necessarily correspond to the artistic and cultural periods of influence of these tribes, for example the Khmer were culturally significant in Thailand during the pre-Angkorian Empire period (7th to 10th centuries) and this cultural influence continues to today.
  • Various Tai tribes invaded the region and formed Kingdoms in Nan, Phayao, Lan Na and Lan Xang (which was the historical basis for modern Laos). Further South in Lower North Tai formed the Kingdom of Sukhothai.
  • The Mon tribes formed the Kingdoms of Lop Buri, Dvaravati and Haripunchai and the Kingdoms of Chenla and the Angkor Empire were those of the Khmer (now called Cambodians). In South Thailand, the Srivajaya Empire was ruled by Indonesians from Sumatra and Java. In the opposite links you can find a national perspective to Thailand history and also a regional one in that some tribes and kingdoms only inhabited but a small part of what is now Thailand.