National Geographic : 1961 Jun
HS EKTACHROMESAND KODACHROME(OPPOSITE, ABOVE)BY W. ROBERTMOORE, NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSTAFF kok and taught science in a college there, I have been back many times. Each time I have seen more evidence of change and innovation. One of the country's changes, of course, has been its name - from Siam to Thailand, an adaptation from Prathet Thai: Free Nation, as the people proudly call their country. Among all the lands of Southeast Asia, only theirs has maintained its independence dur ing the seven centuries of its growth. Today, with Communism casting a red shadow over much of Asia, the Thai are on guard as never before. They have seen Com The Author: W. Robert Moore taught in Bangkok for seven years before joining the NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC staff in 1931. Since then, his assignments have taken him to nearly every country on every continent, and have included seven visits to Thai land, which he has come to know better than his native State of Michigan. 812 munist propaganda and infiltration at work in the countries about them-in turbulent Laos, with which they share a 1,000-mile long border, in Malaya, and in divided Viet Nam (map, page 817).* From southern China, too, have come ominous echoes of a "Free Thai" movement. The Thai want none of it. "Since our country lies practically on the front line in the struggle between conflicting camps," Dr. Thanad Khoman, the Foreign Minister, told me, "we naturally are preoccu pied with our security -with our survival as a free and independent nation. Fortunately, we enjoy a deep and abiding solidarity among the three components of the nation *See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "Little Laos, Next Door to Red China," by Elizabeth Perazic, Janu ary, 1960; "War and Quiet on the Laos Frontier," May, 1954, and "Strife-torn Indochina," October, 1950, both by W. Robert Moore; and "Indochina Faces the Drag on," by George W. Long, September, 1952. N.G.S.