Thailand: Holder of the Kingdom, Strength of the Land

THAILAND

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Seen on a soft spring night, the luminous spires of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha seem to float over Bangkok scarcely touched by the blare of traffic, the neon slashes of bars and the ragged hurly-burly of mainland Southeast Asia's largest city. So too does the Kingdom of Thailand, proud heir to virtually seven centuries of uninterrupted independence, seem to soar above the roiling troubles of the region all around it. Neighboring Laos is half in Communist hands, Cambodia hapless host to the Viet Cong, Burma a xenophobic military backwater. The Chinese talons are less...

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