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 Home > About Thailand > Four areas of Thailand

Four areas of Thailand

For cultural purposes, Thailand may be divided into four areas, namely the Northern, the North-Eastern, the Central and the Southern areas.

The Northern area is a mountainous region and its pre-dominant people are Thai, usually called Thai Nuea or Northern Thai. The Thai live in the lowland of the valleys while on the uplands live a number of primitive tribes belonging mostly to the two linguistic families the Mon-Khmer and the Thibeto-Burmans.

The North- Eastern area is a vast plateau tilted towards south-east and drained by the river Mekhong which forms the eastern boundary between Thailand and French Indo-china. The people in this legion are also predo minantly Thai usually called the Lao. Across the river Mekhong on the left bank also live the Laos of Lao State. Living in isolated groups are the Phutai, another tribe of Thai stock whose former home was in French Indo-China, and a number of minoritie s mostly of the Mon-Khmer family.

The Central area consists of one vast lowland plain watered by the Menam, or, to call it by the real name, the river Chao Phya, and other river systems. Here live the Thai or Siamese. There are in this area small c ommunities of Mons and Cam-bodians of the Mon-Kkmer family, Annamites, Malays and Burmans mostly Tavoyans, a tribe akin to the Aracanese of Burma.

In the Southern area, throughout the Malay Peninsula, are the Thai, but in the southernmost parts the people are mostly of Malayan blood. (See further details of the physical features and ethnology of Thailand in Siam, Nature and Industry published by the Ministry of Commerce and Communications, Bangkok 1930).

Ethnologically and culturally, these fore areas overlap one another and affect reciprocally also Thailand's neighbours i.e. the Cambodians in the southeast, the Burmans in the north-east, and the Malayans in the south. Later on come other races, the Chinese, the Indians, the Indonesians, and other Asiatic races, and lastly but in no way of least importance, the Europeans and Americans who affect radically the traditional culture of Thailand.

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