Because of this openness, Siam was the only nation in Southeast Asia to escape colonial rule:
Thailand has not escaped military coupsCmore than a dozen since 1932, when a revolution transformed the government from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. Resentment against leaders of the most recent coup, in 1991, sparked demonstrations by a pro-democracy movement. Investments from Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea powered an economic surge during the late 1980s (Thailand's QuikFacts, 1995, 177).
Although turned into a song in the musical, one of King Mongkut's long letters to Ms. Leuenowens, who actually spent more time teaching the king than the children, reflects some of the confusion of a thinking person:
When I was a boy, world better spot. What was so was so, what not so, not so. Now I am man and world has changed too lot. Some things 'nearly so.' Other things 'nearly not.' Now find confusion in conclusion long ago concluded. In my head be many, many facts of which am being wishing to know whether true or not (Leuenowens, 1898, 113).
In a way, that 1867 letter from the King of Siam sounds much like today's economists trying to puzzle out the macroeconomic crisis in Thailand. Let us continue, then, examining Thailand within the model of the "Triangle of Impossibility."
Triangle Leg 1: Thailand's Fixed Foreign Exchange Regime