Rivers in Thailand

The central river of Thailand is the Chao Phraya, also known in Thailand as Menam (“Mother of Waters”) Chao Phraya. Along with a number of shifting, unstable distributaries, the Chao Phraya drains the central plain into the Gulf of Thailand. The river forms at Nakhon Sawan, the head of the central plain, where it receives the waters of four other important rivers, the Nan, Ping, Wang, and Yom. These rivers flow out from the northern mountains.

Downstream, the Chao Phraya is fed by waters from the Pa Sak River flowing from the edge of the Khorat Plateau in the east. At its mouth, the Chao Phraya is tidal and is fringed with nipa palms. The river is subject to both flooding and drought. In areas subject to such frequent flooding, the inhabitants adapted by developing the traditional Thai stilt house. Thailand’s other important rivers are the Chi and the Mun, which drain the Khorat Plateau eastward into the Mekong River.

Thailand has a long and intricate coastline measuring 3,200 km (2,000 mi). It faces the Andaman Sea in the west and the Gulf of Thailand in the east and south.

The coast is characterized both by rocky shoreline and more gentle shorelines with mangrove swamps, beaches, and offshore coral reefs. Resorts built on Thailand’s beaches are popular tourist destinations, and some, such as Pattaya in the southeast and Hua Hin in the south, have become particularly famous. Encarta
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