Thailand ('Land of the Free') as a whole has a fascinating history. The country (Siam until 1939) was never colonized by a foreign power, unlike all of its neighbors in southeastern Asia. Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932 in a bloodless revolution. Since 1946, the king of Thailand has been Bhumibol Adulyadej, or Rama IX. While the King may have little direct power, he is overwhelmingly revered by the Thai people.
Thailand's capital was moved to Bangkok in 1782 and at that time was called Bang Makok or 'Place of Olives'. Bangkok's other nickname is 'City of Angels', which was the shortened form of the 164 letter name the city had in 1785 - quite a mouthful by anyone's standards!