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Ban Chiang, The Bronze Age village

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 14, 2007 at 16:36:01 :: Thailand

In the northeastern part of Thailand, at the confluence of three small tributary streams in Udon Thani province, lies the Bronze Age village and cemetery site of Ban Chiang.

Ban Chiang Temple and Archeological Site, Udon Thani, Thailand

Legend has it that Ban Chiang was discovered by a clumsy American college student, who fell in the road of the present town of Ban Chiang, and found ceramics eroding out of the road bed. The first excavations at the site were conducted in 1967 by archaeologist Vidya Intakosai, and this and subsequent excavations by the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok and the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Chester F. Gorman and Pisit Charoenwongsa have revealed evidence of prehistoric occupation beginning possibly as early as 3600 B.C. and continuing, probably intermittently, until about A.D. 200.

Ban Chiang Excavation Site, Udon Thani

The site is among the largest prehistoric Bronze Age sites in this part of Thailand, measuring at least 20 acres (8 hectares) in size. Ban Chiang is remarkable in that before its discovery, mainland southeast Asia was considered a cultural backwater during the Bronze Age; archaeological research at the site has revealed a fully developed Bronze Age metallurgy, but lacking the weaponry so often associated with it in Europe and the rest of the world.

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The Surin Elephant Round-Up Show

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 26, 2006 at 08:10:01 :: Thailand

The Surin Elephant Round-Up Show in Surin, Thailand, was first held in 1960 and reflects Surin's historical status as a region renowned for the capturing and training of wild elephants.

The folks here are well recognized for their skill in capturing and rounding up wild elephants as well as training and taming them. Surin is often known as the 'province of elephants'. For centuries, elephants have been used as beasts of burden, in battle and as a means of transport in this part of Asia. The event is now a famous tourist attraction that each year attracts visitors from all over the world.

Surin Elephant Round-up & Elephant Show, Srinarong Stadium, Surin, Thailand

Every year, on the third weekend of November, more than 200 elephants and more than 1000 inhabitants take part in this event.

Popular events include demonstrations, elephant football matches, parades and a tug-of-war between representatives of the Thai Army and an elephant.

Elephants downtown Surin, Surin, Thailand

See photos of the show and visit Surin now on Landolia!
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Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 24, 2006 at 11:55:26 :: Thailand

3 soldiers are standing in front of the Democracy Monument, in Bangkok, Thailand, after the September 19th 2006 "Coup d'Etat".

The Democracy Monument (in Thai: อนุสาวรีย์ประชาธิปไตย Anusawari Prachathipatai) is a public monument in the centre of Bangkok, Thailand

The Democracy Monument is located in the centre of Bangkok, on a traffic circle on the wide east-west boulevard Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang. The monument was commissioned in 1939 by the military ruler of Thailand, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram (known as Phibun), to commemorate the June 1932 military coup which led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in what was then the Kingdom of Siam. Phibun saw the monument as the centre of what he envisaged as a new, westernised Bangkok, "making Thanon Ratchadamnoen the Champs-Élysées and the Democracy Monument the Arc de Triomphe." (source Ka F. Wong, Visions of a Nation: Public Monuments in Twentieth-Century Thailand, White Lotus, Bangkok 2006, 65).

Bangkok has been the theatre of recent troubles, but the bloodless "Coup" did not really afraid the people. On the photo below, Thai people are taking photos of relatives and friends in front of the army tanks deployed in the streets of Thailand's capital.

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