Thailand

IINTRODUCTION Thailand, formerly Siam, officially Kingdom of Thailand, kingdom in Southeast Asia, bounded by Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) on the north and west, by Laos on the northeast, by Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand (Siam) on the southeast, by Malaysia on the south, and by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar on the southwest. The total area of Thailand is 513,115 sq km (198,115 sq mi). Bangkok is the capital and largest city.
IILAND AND RESOURCES Thailand lies within the Indochinese Peninsula (see Indochina), except for the southern extremity, which occupies a portion of the Malay Peninsula. The country’s extreme dimensions are about 1770 km (about 1100 mi) from north to south and about 800 km (about 500 mi) from east to west. The physiography is highly diversified, but the mountain systems are the predominant feature of the terrain. A series of parallel ranges, with a north-south trend, occupy the northern and western portions of the country. Extreme elevations occur in the westernmost ranges, which extend along the Myanmar frontier and rise to 2595 m (8514 ft) atop Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand. The peninsular area, which is bordered by narrow coastal plains, reaches a high point of 1790 m (5860 ft) atop Khao Luang. Another mountain system projects, in a northern and southern direction, through central Thailand. At its southern extremity, the system assumes an east-west trend and extends to the eastern frontier. Doi Pia Fai (1270 m/4167 ft) is its highest peak. The region to the north and east of this system consists largely of a low, barren plateau, called the Khorat Plateau. Making up about one-third of the country, the plateau is bordered by the Mekong River valley. Between the central and western mountains is a vast alluvial plain traversed by the Chao Phraya, the chief river of Thailand. This central plain, together with the fertile delta formed by the Chao Phraya near Bangkok, is the richest agricultural an…

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