Thailand displays considerable geographical and climatic variety in it's four major regions.
The far north.
Where the nation's borders meet those of Burma and Laos, is mountainous with valleys watered by a number of rivers and streams; during the winter months temperatures are cool enough to permit the cultivation of such temperate-zone crops as coffee, lychees, and strawberries.
The rolling northeastern
plateau, by contrast, suffers from frequent droughts, although these are being alleviated by an increasing number of reservoirs and other man-made water facilities.
The central plains region,
through which flows the Cho Phraya River, is one of the most fertile rice growing areas in the world and has been the scene of Thailand's greatest historical development.
The narrow southern peninsula,
stretching to Malaysia, has coastlines with spectacular beaches along both the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean and lofty jungled mountains in many areas. Traditional and modern edifices coexist harmoniously in today's Bangkok.
The country is blessed with an equal varity of natural resources. Though logging is now resteucted in the teak forests of the north, the region contains rich deposits of flourite, wolfram, and tungsten and its riverine valleys support a large number of orchards and farms. Potash is plentifol in the northeast, and mulberry planrarions have traditionally sustained the cultivation of silkworms. Both flourite and gems are mined in the west, while some of the finest sapphires in the world come from the mountains of the finest sapphires in the world come form the mountains of irrigation canals which supply water not only to countless rice fields but also to vegetable farms and fruit orchards. Natural gas deposits in the Gulf of Thailand are supplying energy for many development projects, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to a plentiful supply of seafood, the south has extensive deposits of tin and huge plantations of coconuts, cashews, and other fruits.
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