This may be somewhat rambling, I'll do my best to keep it short.
I make great Thai coconut curry at home. I make it like I see it at every American Thai restaurant (only better, in most cases). The end result is a rich, soup-esque dish with whatever I feel like adding as ingredient. I use the "authentic" ingredients (kaffir lime leaves, etc). I have even been to Thailand -- honeymoon, almost exclusively tourist islands. There I found the exact same curries (red, green, Massaman, panang, etc) served and tasting nearly the same as I see here in the States.
But I have doubts: is this type of curry preparation actually typical to the country, or is it something exported to the US, altered to local tastes, and then re-exported back to Thailand for the tourists? Like American Chinese food? I'm aware that Thailand has distinct culinary regions. The one time I went "off-piste" in Thailand was a small town called Trang, where I found nothing like "Thai coconut curry" (instead, I ate other very delicious things, of course).
For example, I've been told that Thai people eat their rice separate from their curry. How, then, would they eat a big bowl of rich coconut curry? Spoon it like a soup, on its own? Seems unlikely, to me.
Anyway, I'm hoping someone who knows Thailand well will give me the lowdown on the issue.