King to various departments which have built up each an administrative tradition, and under these the country is governed. Thus the land is the absolute property of the Crown; but title to land can be obtained and registered. Gradually such blots on a peoplea s fame as slavery and debt-slavery and sale of children have been abolished. The manhood of the nation is subject to military conscription nowadays instead of to forced labour. Generally speaking, the Siamese, who calls himself in his own language the Thai or free, is really free and has not yet come to use his liberty as a cloak of maliciousness. He is, however, well policed, and travel everywhere is comparatively safe. In Bangkok a great deal is seen of the bright and smartly-worn uniforms of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and there are a number of garrison towns in the country.
Bangkok is the only seaport of more than local consideration. Its principal exports are rice and teak. Other ports that may be mentioned are : Chantabun (rice), Petriew (rice), Chumporn (fish), Nakon Sri Dhammaraj (rice, fish and tin), Patani (bullocks, fish and copra), and Puket (tin) ; all frequented by coasting steamers, Chinese junks, and Malay schooners.
The principal towns are Bangkok (650,000) in Central Siam, Chiengmai (35,000) in Northern Siam, Puket (25,000) in Southern Siam, and Korat (7,000) in Eastern Siam.
In Bangkok everything that a traveller will want is readily supplied, and it is difficult to think of anything he is likely to want and not to get in the smaller townsa unless it be pure water, for Bangkok is the only town whose piped and filtered water supply can be trusted. Elsewhere, either Bangkok soda water or water which the traveller has actually seen boiled should alone be trusted. Outside Bangkok there are at present no hotels, but there are railway rest-houses or Government rest-houses in the smaller towns. Tourist traffic is at present small, and catering for tourists is not as yet a recognised business, except in Bangkok. Tt is well, therefore, to map out a tour and to give notice of the intended arrival by telegram to the
Elephant in Timber Yard.
authority concerned at least 24 hours in advance.
There are now 2,215 kilometres of railway. The rolling stock is good ; travelling is perfectly comfortable and the railway rest-houses are well-appointed, clean, the food good, and the service, too. But travel away from the railway must be either by water in a boat, a launch or a motorboat, or by riding ponies or elephants, and if the traveller decides upon this method of seeing those parts of the country not immediately accessible from the railway, he will need to make the most careful arrangements through someone who understands the country, and he will also need an interpreter, since only in the towns can he expect to find English or other European languages spoken. As for motoring, the Department of Ways has under maintenance and improvement 84 kilometres of first, 89 of second, 669 of third-class roads, with 1,972 kilometres of cart tracks in Northern, Central and Southern Siam. This is, at first sight, extremely little, but the reason is obvious. Ihe original methods of getting about Siam were, and are still, first, by the waterways, the innumerable rivers, canals and streams which seam the alluvial flats in every direction. Many of these are being upkept, extended and improved by the Irrigation Department. Next came and still comes by the cart tracks, which are almost more numerous than the waterways. In