Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to COUNTRYAAH, Northern Thailand is mountainous with elongated, parallel mountain ranges in the Himalayan extension to the south. The highest peak, Doi Inthanon, is 2,558 meters above sea level. Granite ridges and uneven limestone areas with caves occur. The valleys and streams are permeated by tributaries to Thailand’s main river Chao Phraya. To the east, the Korat Plateau is spreading, where faults have created north-south ridges and steep rock walls. At the far south, however, are east – west ridge ridges. It is a wavy landscape with some high peaks along the border with Cambodia.
The large rivers Mun and Chi unite near the border with Laos and fall into the Mekong, boundary river to the east. The central plains are Thailand’s core land with backland and fertile lowlands. The long strip of land on the Malacca peninsula is mostly mountainous. The Gulf of Thailand in the south has several sandy bays with known bathing places.
Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate except on the Malacca peninsula in the south, where there is a tropical rainforest climate with two rainy seasons per year. May-October, the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean sweeps humid air masses over the land. November – February dominates the winter monsoon, which brings in drier and colder air from the north. March – April is the hottest time in Thailand. The annual average temperature is 24-30 ° C, 29-31 ° C in April – May and 20-25 ° C in December – January. The topography means that the west sides can get over 3,000 mm of precipitation per year, while in the east there is about 1,000 mm. Snow can fall in the high mountains.
Three flora areas meet in Thailand, which has given the country a rich flora with 10,000 to 15,000 species. However, the number of endemic species is relatively low. The central plain of the Chao Phraya River has been used for rice cultivation, which has led to the disappearance of the original swamp forest vegetation. The natural forests are 30% evergreen and 55% deciduous. Both types are rich in dipterocarpus plants. The Korat Plateau is now almost forestless, but in some places dry monsoon forests remain, which at a higher altitude turn into evergreen rainforest. The high-lying northern parts have evergreen forests of oaks, stock plants and magnolia oils, and conifers such as Podocaʹrpus and Dacryʹdium. On higher ridges are the pines Piʹnus merkuʹsii andPinus keʹsiya.
Along the border with Burma south of Kranäset there are rainforests, which were previously rich in teak. The vegetation on the mountain slopes is dominated by secondary bamboo and grass vegetation. The peninsula south of Kranäset is very rainy, and the largest area is occupied by cultivated land. Once upon a time, the area was covered by vast evergreen rainforests; nowadays they are mainly in the mountains. Swamp forests occur most commonly in sinks in the interior; in these grow e.g. rambutan and various palm species. A rich mangrove occurs on the peninsula’s coast.
Wildlife is rich with 270 species of mammals (including 110 species of bats), 300 species of reptiles, 110 species of amphibians, approximately 600 species of freshwater fish and more than 900 species of observed birds, of which approximately 615 are nesting. However, wildlife has been hit very hard by logging and other biotope destruction as well as by hard hunting. Formerly more or less widespread species such as tiger, leopard, Indian elephant, scab rag paper, sumatranos horn and (wild) water buffalo now have very small populations. The endemic Schomburg’s deer (Ceʹrvus schombuʹrgki) has been extinct since the 1930s.
Smaller areas with still rich fauna are found especially in the rainforest area in the south, in the mountains in the southeast (towards Cambodia), in the Tenasser Mountains in the west (towards Burma) and in the mountains of the Korat Plateau. Here you will find Malay bear and collar bear, ox banteng and gaur, and many more primates such as macaques, langur, gibbon (including larks) and laurels.
Bird groups that are well represented include pheasants, cuckoos, pigeons, kingfishers, beards and flycatchers. There have been three species of crocodiles: delta crocodile (in coastal waters), Siamese crocodile (Crocodyʹlus siameʹnsis; now practically extinct but cultivated in monkeys) and false gavial (in the Perak River).
About 16% of the country’s area enjoys nature protection; There are 113 national parks in this area. Thailand was the first country to ban logging of anything other than planted forest.