The Remarkable History of the Portuguese in Thailand

The Portuguese had a significant impact on Siamese food.

Siam Rat Blog

These days the community of Westerners resident in Thailand is dominated by British, Americans, Germans, French or Scandinavians. But in fact the western community with by far the longest history in Thailand is the Portuguese who first arrived in 1511 some one hundred years before any other European nation. This is the story of this remarkable enduring relationship.

Empire Building

Through the fifteenth century the Portuguese led an extraordinary global exploration which opened Europe up to Asia. Their motivation was trade and particularly finding a sea route to the fabled spice islands where riches could be made.

The Portuguese exploration started in 1415 with the capture of Cueta on the North African coast. From there the Portuguese slowly moved further and further south down the west coast of Africa driven by trade opportunities and the belief that perhaps there may be a sea route through to Asia.

This belief was…

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