Chinese and Middle Eastern Trade in Southern Thailand during the 9th Century A.D.
The 9th century ports of Ko Kho Khao and Laem Pho in Southern Thailand are uniquely rich in fragments of Chinese porcelain and Middle Eastern glass and glazed pottery. These two “boom towns” yield more Middle Eastern material than any other sites in Southeast Asia. And no site outside China contains such a quantity and variety of late Tang wares. Situated on opposite sides of the Thai Peninsula, the two sites are thought to have been major trading posts on the main international trade route between China and the Middle East, which seems to have run across the Peninsula rather than via the Straits of Malacca to the south. The likelihood that here the so-called “Silk Road of the Sea” ran across dry land offers a rare opportunity to understand more about how goods were transported on this route.