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)