Thailand Essay Research Paper IINTRODUCTION Thailand formerly

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Thailand Essay, Research Paper 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 and most densely populated section of the kingdom. AClimate Thailand has a moist, tropical climate, influenced chiefly by monsoon winds that vary in direction according to the season. From April to October the winds are mainly from the southwest and are moisture laden; during the rest of the year they blow from the northeast. Temperatures are higher, ranging

from about 26? to 37? C (about 78? to 98? F), while the country is under the influence of the southwestern winds. During the remainder of the year the range is from about 13? to 33? C (about 56? to 92? F). Temperatures are somewhat higher inland than they are along the coast, except at points of great elevation. Annual rainfall is about 1520 mm (about 60 in) in the northern, western, and central regions, about 2540 mm (about 100 in) or more on the Thai portion of the Malay Peninsula, and about 1270 mm (about 50 in) or less on the Khorat Plateau. Most rain falls in summer (June through October). BNatural Resources. Thailand is rich in natural resources. Among the known mineral deposits are coal, gold, lead, tin, tungsten, manganese, zinc, and precious stones. The rich alluvial

soil along the Chao Phraya and other rivers constitutes another important resource. Natural gas deposits were discovered offshore in the 1970s, reducing Thailand’s reliance on imported petroleum. CPlants and Animals Jungles and swamps, scattered through the coastal areas of Thailand, have extensive tracts of tropical trees, including mangrove, rattan, ironwood, sappanwood, ebony, and rosewood. The upland areas are also heavily wooded, the most valuable species being teak, agalloch, and oak. In addition, a wide variety of tropical plants and fruit trees, including orchid, gardenia, hibiscus, banana, mango, and coconut, occur in Thailand. Many species of animal inhabit the jungles and forests. Elephants, widely used as beasts of burden, are abundant. Other large animals include