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Thailand is a modern democratic Nation in Central South East Asia. '' Thai '' is the Tai word for '' free ''. The '' Thai '' identity was formed in the late 13 th C at Sukhothai and is not to be confused with '' Tai '' the name of the ethnic groups of people who migrated from Yunnan in the 12th & 13th Centuries. The character of the Thai Nation today and of its people can only be appreciated by exploring its 2000 years of recorded history and the cultures of the various peoples who live here. Thailand's natural landscape includes tropical wet evergreen forests in Southern Thailand to temperate deciduous forests in North Thailand and we explore these in the Thailand National Parks. Thailand art architecture and decorative objects need to be considered with regard to the influences of religion, mythological beliefs and regional artistic styles. Thailand is so large and diverse we detail all about Thailand in separate regions, North or Northern Thailand, South or Southern Thailand, Central Thailand and North East Thailand [ I 'san ]. North Thailand Travel & Places Of Interest The Thailand Government defines North Thailand as consisting of both [ 1 ] the 84,000 square kilometres comprising 8 provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Lampang, Lamphun, Phrae and Mae Hong Son, which area originally comprised the Lan Na principalities detailed in the North Thailand History link [ the Upper North ], and [ 2 ] the 86,000 square kilometres of the Lower North, comprising the provinces of Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit Phitsanulok and Phetchabun, which area originally comprised the Kingdoms of Sukhothai and later the northern parts of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Thon Buri and Bangkok Kingdoms. The Differences Between The Upper North Thailand And The Lower North Thailand One discernable difference between the Upper and Lower North Thailand is topography. Upper North Thailand is characterised by long valleys generally running north south. The climate has three seasons, hot [ April to May ] cool and rain [ July to September ]. Approximately 72% of the area is mountainous, 21% upland and 8% lowland. The lowland is cultivated by the Tai people to produce wet rice. Lower North Thailand has 45% of its total land mass less than 150 metres above sea level and is thus similar to Thailand's Central region. However the two mountain extensions of the Upper North, [ 1 ] Thanon Thang Chai Range to the west and, [ 2 ] Petchabun Range to the east attract an extension of swidden hill tribe communities as in the Upper North, all part of the exodus from China of these ethnic minorities over the past hundreds of years. The geographic differences in topography need to be appreciated as the ethnic, sociological and cultural differences are essentially between lowlanders and highlanders [ Hill tribes ]. These classifications and detailed explanations are discussed in North Thailand People .

About Central Thailand Central Thailand is situated on the central plains of the Chao Phraya River and the Meklong River valley. The first substantial civilisation here was that of the Mon people and during the 6th - 9th C its Buddhist Kingdom was referred to in chinese records and on silver coins as '' Dvaravati ''. Influences from India when merged with Mon characteristics formed the basis of religion, art, architecture and public administration. About South Thailand South Thailand comprises the Southern Peninsula with the Andaman Sea to the West and the Gulf of Siam to the East. It is a mountainous region and the Phuket Mountain Range is the most important on the West from Chumphon to Krabi and to the East is the Nakhon Si Thammarat Mountain Range from Surat Thani to Satun. Between these ranges are the plains and limestone hills and to the South the Sannkalakhiri Mountains which divide Malaysia and Thailand. Thailand has in excess of 138 wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks. The major locations are listed in the opposite links and we detail 20 National Parks and eco tourism locations. Thailand is home to over 15,000 species of vascular plants and 16,000 species of animals Thailand travel and tourism to Thailand places of interest is not a matter of a few choices as is the case with many Asia destinations. Thailand is large and diverse with a large selection of travel and holiday options. In 2005 over 14 million tourists visited Thailand and their range of interests varied.

James Andrew is of the writers at Thailand's World. To know more about Thailand, you can check out for more info.

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