Thailand


Thailand is a country in South East Asia. Its neighboring countries are
Cambodia on the east, Burma (now called Myanmar) on the west, Laos on the north,
and Malaysia on the south. The main river in Thailand is the Chao Phraya River
which flows south out of the Mae Nam River. The word nam means water in Thai.
Most of the rivers in Thailand start with Mae Nam something. For example: Mae
Nam Ping, Mae Nam Yom, Mae Nam Wang, Mae Nam Songkram, Mae Nam Ngao, Mae Nam
Tapi and Many others. The Chao Phraya River (pronounced chow pee-ah) starts
near the city of Singha Buri and flows south through Bangkok, the capital, and
into the Gulf of Siam (Aowthai).
The country of Thailand is a little bit less than 200,000 square miles
in area. Texas is relatively the same size as Thailand. The size of
Massachusetts is 8,000 square miles. That makes Thailand 25 times bigger than
Massachusetts. The entire United States, however, is about 3.6 million square
miles or 450 times bigger than Thailand.
Thailand\'s population is 57,200,000 people. The population of the
United States is 260,000,000 people. That means that the United States has 4
1/2 times more people than Thailand. Thailand\'s population density is 285
people per square mile. The population density of the United States is 72.22
people per square mile. Thailand, even though it has a much smaller population
and land area than the United States, has a much greater population density.
The population of Massachusetts is 6,000,000 people or 9.53 times smaller than
Thailand. Massachusetts population density is 750 people per square mile.
Massachusetts population density is about 2.75 times larger tha that of Thailand.

The climate of Thailand is mainly sub tropical. Thailand has a mild
winter, hot dry spring, hot wet summer, and jumps straight into winter again
with no fall. This climate covers most of the northern part of Thailand. On
the peninsula that juts out on the southern side the climate becomes totally
tropical with a hot, wet, year-long summer.
The capital of Thailand is Bangkok which is located in the middle of the
Central Region on the Gulf of Siam. Bangkok is Know as the "Venice of the east"
because of its many canal/streets. On one of these canals is the famous
floating market. The floating market is a place where people bring their boats
full of produce or souvenirs or whatever they are selling. The tourists and
other citizens then buy their wares. Bangkok is also famous for its many
Buddhist temples and the Royal Palace. The three most famous temples are the
Wat Phra Keo (Royal Chapel of the Emerald Buddha), the Wat Po (Reclining Buddha),
and, across the river, the Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). The word wat means temple
in Thai. The picture on the cover is of the Wat Phra Keo. The two statues are
garudas (temple guards). The Wat Po (Reclining Buddha) actually has a giant
statue of a god lying down.
Chieng Mai (chang my), the next largest city to Bangkok, has a
population of about 160,000 people. Bangkok has a population of 5,500,000
people. That means that Bangkok is 34.4 times larger than the next largest city.
When the first largest city is much bigger than the second largest city this is
called urban primacy. Thailand is the best example of urban primacy in the
world. This is why Thailand has only one other major city; all the other cities
have under 100,000 people in them. It is also the capital of the North Region.
Chieng Mae is located near the top-center of the North Region of Thailand.
95% of the Thai population is Buddhist. People who follow the Buddhist
religion are almost all very orthodox in their ways. They believe that pain and
evil are caused by desire and that to conquer desire is to attain Nirvana.
Nirvana is the highest attainable state of bliss in Buddhism, in which all
desire and suffering are extinguished and the soul is absorbed into the supreme
universal soul. The other 5% of the people are Moslems or followers of Islam.
They face the holy city of Mecca and pray five times a day. They believe that
if they die in a jihad (holy war) then they will go straight to heaven. Another
way to get a "free ticket" to heaven is to make a trip to the holy city of Mecca
sometime during their life. For one month out of the year they fast for Ramadan.
The major language of Thailand is of course Thai. The secondary
language is Chinese.