Natural conditions of Thailand
Thailand consists of three basic geographical areas. The center of the country is filled by the floodplain of the Chao Phraya (Menam) River, representing the most densely populated part of the country. The area suffers from regular seasonal flooding. The entire eastern part is occupied by the low Korat plateau with sandstone hills, bordered on the west and south along the border with Cambodia by the low Dangrek ridge and the spurs of the Kardamon Mountains (up to 1650 m). Its eastern border with Laos is the Mekong River. The vast and rugged mountainous region in the north continues with a chain of mountain ranges along the border with Burma to the narrow isthmus of the Kra Malay Peninsula. On the western side, the Phuket mountain range slopes steeply into the Andaman Sea. The eastern coast, along the Gulf of Thailand (Siam), is milder and is lined with hundreds of sandy beaches along its entire length. Both coasts are lined with beautiful islands: the largest is Phuket.
According to Citypopulationreview, Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate; most of the annual rainfall falls between May and September. The highest (around 3000 mm) are on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, the lowest (over 1000 mm) on the Korat Plateau.
Agricultural activity has caused a great loss of forests, which now only make up a little more than 25% of the land area. Contiguous surfaces are in hard-to-reach areas in the north. Heavy teak wood and rubber trees grow in them. Deforestation and hunting have reduced wildlife populations considerably. Leopards and tigers are endangered, rhinoceroses and tapirs have almost disappeared. Only monkeys, birds and reptiles are numerous.
Economy of Thailand
Thailand is one of the most dynamically developing countries in the world. Less than half of the active population already works in agriculture, a significant part on extensive rice fields. Rice is the staple crop, but Thailand is also the world’s largest producer of cassava, pineapples and the 4th largest producer of sugar cane. Corn, bananas, coconut palms, groundnuts, jute and soybeans and beans are also grown. Mountain peoples in northern Thailand (in the area of the so-called golden triangle) traditionally grow poppies and produce opium. Recently there have been attempts to introduce the cultivation of alternative cash crops such as tea and tobacco. Cattle and buffalo are mainly used for draft, pigs and poultry are raised for meat. Both marine and freshwater fish form a major part of the Thai diet. In fishing, Thailand ranks 9th in the world. Logging and rubber production are important.
Thailand is one of the important producers of tin, ores of zinc, lead, tungsten and rare minerals of tantalum, zircon, niobium and titanium (ilmenite) are also mined, as well as limestone and gypsum in large quantities. There are also numerous deposits of precious and semi-precious stones in the country. The most important fuel is natural gas extracted from the sea shelf, lower is oil and lignite extraction. Industry is already a decisive sector and produces energy equipment, motorcycles, electronics, cement, artificial fertilizers and fibres, traditionally sugar, fish and wood products, textiles, clothing and footwear for export. With the exception of the food industry, the decisive capacities of the industry are concentrated in the agglomeration of the capital Bangkok-Thonburi. Tourism is a very important source of income. Every year, 5 million tourists visit the country, attracted by its beautiful beaches and nightlife.
Bangkok is the center of the radial transport system. Despite the great development, the railway network is not enough to meet the demands. Transport along rivers and canals is traditional. Only Bangkok with an important international airport is a significant port. The regular air connection has 25 seats.
Broadcasting of radio and television is controlled by the government, several radio and television stations are owned by the military. More than 30 dailies are published, some of which are in Chinese.
The social security system is insufficient, some help is provided to the poorest. The government is trying to provide basic medical care in the country, but there are still major health problems. Education is compulsory and free for children aged 7 to 15, the level of education is high.