The History of the Thai-Chinese launch

Posted on the 30th March 2015 by Lindsay
Location:  Bangkok

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EDM's Thailand office is pleased to annouce the launch of its latest book The History of the Thai-Chinese.

A History of the Thai-Chinese will be officially launched at SCB’s classic Talad Noi Branch, Bangkok on 30 March in the presence of the Guest of Honor, Khun Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand. The book is being launched 40 years after the historic restoration of formal ties between Thailand and China in 1975. It will be distributed worldwide through leading bookstores at the recommended retail price of US$39.90.

The Book's Synopsis

This is the remarkable story of how a people and a country embraced the opportunities provided by each other, a tale that ultimately left the identities and success of both inextricably linked. For many centuries, Chinese migrated to many ports, cities and provinces of Thailand. There were traders, skilled laborers, adventurers and the near destitute who dreamed of a better life. Over time, they came to form one of the largest and most influential diasporas in the world. Some Chinese would advise Thai monarchs and be accepted at the Thai court. Many intermarried, became nobles and ran businesses integral to the economy. From tin mining to railway-building to rice trading, their skills helped the country develop and prosper. One son of a Chinese father and a Thai mother even became king. To attain such success, the community overcame no shortage of personal, cultural and social challenges. In the end, they became Thai themselves, an integral part of almost all the kingdom’s affairs through the present day. This is the extraordinary history of the Thai-Chinese.

About the Authors

Jeffery Sng and Pimpraphai Bisalputra have dedicated much of their lives to the study of Chinese and Thai history. Sng studied philosophy and literature at Singapore University and went to Cornell University for post-graduate studies at the Institute of Southeast Asian studies. Over the 30 years that he has lived in Bangkok, Sng has written many articles on the Chinese diaspora, Thai-Chinese business community, Chinese handicrafts, Chinatown and other topics related to the subject of this book. Pimpraphai graduated from the London School of Economics and also went to Cornell University for her post-graduate studies. She has published extensively on the Chinese in Thailand in the Thai language. Her popular books include Sampao Siam Tumnan Jek Bangkok (2001), Nai Mae (2003) and Kra Buang Tuay Kra La Taek (2007). The pair previously collaborated on the work, Bencharong & Chinawares in the Court of Siam, The Surat Osathanugrah Collections. 



The History of the Thai-Chinese

Posted on the 25th March 2015 by Lindsay

Praise for The History of the Thai-Chinese

The Chinese in Thailand have sunk deep roots and shared a rich history with Thai peoples at all levels. How and why this happened has been an inspiration to Chinese and other communities in the region for a long time. But no book illustrates and explains this phenomenon as well as this one. Its insights on what Thai-Chinese have contributed to their country as Sino-Thai are the most illuminating I have read and should reach the widest audience possible.

Wang Gungwu
University Professor 
National University of Singapore


The success of Southeast Asia remains a key mystery. One key to solving this mystery is to study the role of the Chinese diaspora. No country in Southeast Asia has been as successful as Thailand in integrating its Chinese community. This book provides deep insights into this process and should provide illuminating reading for anyone interested in Southeast Asian success stories. It is a must-read.

Kishore Mahbubani
Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
The author of The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World


A History of the Thai Chinese, does a splendid job of filling the long-neglected gap in the studies of the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. Despite not having been fully colonized by the West and despite the relatively unproblematic ethnic and cultural assimilation, the anomalous history of the mysterious ethnic Chinese of Siam has been thoroughly investigated in the most meticulous and comprehensive manner. Thanks to Pimpraphai Bisalputra and Jeffrey Sun, this masterpiece has truly opened a much needed and much anticipated new horizon in the studies of the Chinese Diaspora.

Wasana Wongsurawat PhD.
Department of History
Faculty of Arts
Chulalongkorn University