Elephants and Teak Log.
Siam produces a considerable range of stones and gems which are made up into jewellery of all kinds except, at present, the long chain which the mode of Europe and America now demands and Asia does not supply. Stones and gems can be set to order or bought already set or bought loose. The more interesting are the spinel ruby (thab thim), not so pigeon-blood as the ruby of Burma, agate (moralai) on boxlids, the sapphire (nin si kram kawn) in divers colours and in white and in black, crystals (keao kelaup), brilliants (phet), emeralds (mora kut), the garnet (thap thin nam khun), topaz (busyarokham) and the opal (muk da). Buyers should beware of foreign (farang) imitation stones and a farang a influence in art generally. Thai (Siamese) work, Chinese (Chin) work, or Burmese (Phaa ma) work should be distinguished early. No a Thai a work should have a Chinese stamp on it, all a Chin a work should have the usual Chinese a chop,a and the principal Burmese work is repousse silver. With the help of a knowledge of the numerals, plenty of time, patience and good manners, the traveller should have no difficulty in forming a collection representative of the arts now prevailing in Siam, at a price perhaps not wholly out of proportion to their real value. He should include, of course, for merit, a Buddha,
even if only quite a little Buddha, even, and he knows it not, if a Buddha of Birmingham, gilded in Siam.
Let no traveller arrive in the belief that the Siamese can speak no language but their own. There are a number of schools in Bangkok giving a good education in English, and every year sees boys leaving to be educated in the United Kingdom. As a result the knowledge of English is widely spread, and may be found amongst all classes in the towns. If the Siamese specially favour the institutions of any particular foreign nation, that nation is probably the British, which may be due to the accident that relations with the British Empire are older and more intimate than with any other people. But the intelligenzia of Siam, led by the King, has wisely committed itself to the adoption of only those foreign methods that lend themselves best to amalgamation with Siamese ways, and it is very far from adopting the institutions of any one nation from sentimental reasons to the exclusion of those of all others. Now that Siam and British Malaya connect by rail and British subjects will be travelling through British possessions and British protectorates to reach Siam, it will be as well to remember that Siam is an independent kingdom and a member of the League of Nations; that, far from being run by any other nation, she is run, and very efficiently run, by Siamese on a modicum of advice from the few Europeans retained for that purpose ; that her people in all ranks are known for the politeness of their manners, and that the distinguished courtesy of the upper classes and the aristocracy is unrivalled in the world ; that her people, like most people, have no particular love for foreigners, but are ready as hosts to show every consideration to considerate guests. Bearing these things in mind, the competent and well-conducted traveller