These negotiations continued all through 1908 and resulted in a treaty, signed and ratified in 1909, by which Siam ceded to Great Britain her suzerain rights over the dependencies of Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu and Perlis, Malay states situated in southern Siam just north of British Malaya, containing in all about a million inhabitants and for the most part flourishing and wealthy, and obtained the practical abolition of British jurisdiction in Siam proper as well as relief from any obligations which, though probably very necessary when they were incurred, had long since become mere useless and vexatious obstacles to progress towards efficient government.
The same period probably also witnessed the liberation of the Thais or inhabitants of Siam from the yoke of the Khmers, to whom they had for long been subject, and the expulsion of the now declining race from the basin of the Menam.
The extraction of teak from the forests of northern Siam employs a large number of people.
In its flora and fauna Siam combines the forms of Burma and the Shan States with those of Malaya, farther south, and of Cambodia to the south-east.
Among the innumerable ruins may be seen those of palaces, pagodas, churches and fortifications, the departed glories of which are recorded in the writings of the early European travellers who first brought Siam within the knowledge of the West, and laid the foundations of the present foreign intercourse and trade.
The geography of the region in which the mountains of Cochin-China and Siam join Tibet is still imperfectly known, but there is no ground left for doubting that the great river of eastern Tibet, the Tsanpo, supplies the main stream of the Brahmaputra.
The prose literature of Siam consists largely of mythological and historical fables, almost all of which are of Indian origin, though many of them have come to Siam through Cambodia.
In 1893 the question of Siam came near to causing serious trouble with France, but by the exercise of a combination of firmness and forbearance on Lord Rosebery's part the crisis was averted, and the lines were laid down for preserving Siam, if possible, as a buffer state between the English and French frontiers in Indo-China.
The insects of all southern Asia, including India south of the Himalaya, China, Siam and the Malayan Islands, belong to one.
Pali, though only a form of Hindu literature, has a separate history, for it died in India and was preserved in Ceylon, whence it was imported to Burma and Siam as the language of religion.