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Thailand Location and Topography

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Covering an area of approximately 514,000 square kilometers (200,000 sq miles), Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world, roughly in size to Spain.

Geographically, Thailand is situated in the heart of South-East Asia. The geography of Thailand features many natural borders with neighboring countries: a mountainous border with Myanmar (Burma) to the north and west; a long stretch of the Mekong River separating Thailand from Laos to the north and east; and the Mekong River and the Dongrak Mountains outlining the border of Cambodia to the east. In the south is the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand is home to several distinct geographic regions. The north of the country boosts the mountainous area of the Thai highlands with parallel north-south mountains and fertile valleys. The highest point is Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai Range peaking at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft) above sea level. The northeast, Issan, consists of the Khorat Plateau, largely bordered by the Mekong River, where the world's oldest Bronze Age civilisation flourished some 5,000 years ago. The central region is dominated by the Central Plains, the “Rice Basket of Asia,” through which the Chao Phraya River feeds lush rice fields and then enters the bustling capital of Bangkok before emptying into the Gulf of Thailand. The southern region of Thailand, which stretches for hundreds of miles along the Malay Peninsula, abounds with stunning beaches and scores of tropical islands.

In addition to these natural geographical regions, Thailand is divided into 76 political provinces, with Bangkok serving as the political, commercial, industrial, educational, and entertainment capital of the country.

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