Geographical characteristics in each region of Thailand as well as the borders of neighboring countries; Regional resources; Geographic factors which cause local change, including careers, permanent settlements and important tourist destinations; Fieldwork is part of the course.
Typical day at the beach in Phuket during the Southwest Monsoon. Onshore winds and waves with passing heavy showers | Thai Geography
Typical day at the beach in Phuket during the Northeast Monsoon, with light winds and calm seas | Thai Geography
Students are expected to understand and be able to express their own ideas in the following areas:
- The location, size and borders of Thailand.
- Physical and human resources of Thailand.
- Characteristics of Thailand in a regional context.
- Various map projections and thematic maps of Thailand.
- Important domestic and international tourist attractions in Thailand.
- Geographic terms and concepts in the Thai context, including location, space, and area.
- Geographical factors causing local change, including occupations, settlements, and migration.
Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. J. (2020). Sourcing Thai geography literature for ASEAN and international education. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 41(1) 61–85.
Abstract: This study surveys the available English-language literature and learning resources covering the field of Thai geography, and provides historical review of Thai geography education and an inventory of relevant, accessible materials for ASEAN and international undergraduate students, educators and researchers. We note that the discipline and context of Thai geography has shifted toward new technologies, particularly geographic information systems (GIS), and this has left a void in practical and accessible text for high school and undergraduate students in gaining broad and traditional knowledge of the field. Our study finds that the accessibility of introductory English-language texts on Thai geography is limited, and that existing texts appear mainly in the grey literature or widely dispersed across various disciplines of study. The paper provides a platform to help future researchers and to facilitate future production of English-language textbooks and other study materials in the field of Thai geography.
2018 | Conference Presentation
Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. (2018).Towards an ASEAN community: A scoping study and case for teaching the geography of Thailand in the English language. Proceedings of the PSU Phuket International Conference 50th Anniversary Celebration: Creativity and Innovations for Global Development (p. 54). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, March 11–12.
INTRODUCTORY PRESENTATIONS AND PHOTO ALBUMS
PDFs and Photos for Viewing and Downloading
- A Case for Teaching Thai Geography in English – 2mb pdf
- Intro to Karst Topography and the Andaman Coast, Thailand – 18mb pdf
- Intro to Map Projections – 6mb pdf
- Intro to Map Types and Themes (Emphasis on Thailand) – 8mb pdf
- Koh Yao Noi, Phang Nga – Google Photos
- Koh Yao Yai, Phang Nga – Google Photos
- Nai Yang Beach, Phuket (Field Trip) – 17mb pdf
- Phuket Aquarium – Google Photos
- Site Visit in Ubon Ratchathani (Sao Chaliang) – 5mb pdf
- Site Visits in Ubon Ratchathani (Emerald Triangle) – 11mb pdf
- Surf Resource Sustainability (Phuket, Thailand) – 4mb pdf
- Trash Talking (Marine Debris on the Andaman Coast) – 400kb pdf
THE SIX REGIONS OF THAILAND
The 76 Provinces of Thailand | Kids Learning Tube
HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY | THE BAN CHIANG ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE AND MUSEUM
We visited this site on July 8, 2022
In the photos below, note the '3 periods' of Ban Chiang archaeological research on interpretation signage (as defined by American archaeologist Joyce White).
Some items on display are from other areas of Thailand and serve to broaden our thinking of Ban Chiang as a single location to include historical geography and cultural markers from across the region.
Ban Chiang World Heritage Site | NHK
According to UNESCO (2018), the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is considered the "Most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution. The site presents the earliest evidence of farming in the region and of the manufacture and use of metals."
Ban Chiang is located in Udon Thani Province in northeast Thailand, within the watershed of the Mekong River, and was continuously occupied from 1495 BC until c. 900 BC, placing it among the earliest scientifically-dated prehistoric farming and habitation sites in Southeast Asia. Research indicates that wet rice agriculture, associated technological complex of domesticated farm animals, ceramic manufacture, and bronze tool-making technology, represent a well-defined cultural complex distinctive from anything that preceded it.
Through it, we can "Trace the spread and development of prehistoric society and its development into the settled agricultural civilizations which came to characterize the region throughout history which still continue up to the present day" (UNESCO – Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, 2018).
Winichakul, T. (1997). Siam mapped: A history of the geo-body of a nation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Thongchai Winichakul's 1997 book, Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-body of a Nation (with English and Thai versions), explores the Siamese understanding of territory and state before the delineation of geographic boundaries in the modern sense. Winichakul notes that as a Western discipline, modern geography was originally embraced by King Mongkut (1804-1868), and the field of study provided impetus to the overall educational reform process in Thailand.
Kermel-Torres, D. (2004). Atlas of Thailand: Spatial structures and development. Paris: IRD Editions.
Atlas of Thailand, Spatial structures and Development, is a comprehensive English language resource featuring spatial maps. Scans provided below are intended for Thai Geography students and academic purposes only.
Aiemchareon, W. Phurahong, S., & Chuaywong, S. (2010). Thailand atlas. Bangkok: Aksorncharoentat.
Thailand Atlas is an introductory Thai language resource for students of Thai Geography. Scans provided below are intended for students and academic purposes only.
GMS – Greater Mekong Subregion
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program (greatermekong.org) supports a variety of development projects, including the production of maps and other geographic information in the six nations that share the Mekong River. The high-resolution maps provided below are intended for students and academic purposes only.
- GMS Thailand (Country Page)
- GMS Atlas of the Environment (2012) [Download 24mb]
- Ethnic Groups (Continental Southeast Asia) – 1mb
- Relief & Provincial Capitals (Thailand) – 1mb
- Topography (Continental Southeast Asia) – 1mb
- Tourism (Continental Southeast Asia) – 1mb
- Transport Corridors (Continental Southeast Asia) – 1mb
ICEM – International Centre for Environmental Management
Established in 1999, International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM), is an independent technical service centre that assists government, private sector and communities to enact policies for sustainable development. The organization specializes in biodiversity conservation, climate change, water resources management, strategic environmental assessment, and environmental and social economics. The maps provided below are intended for Thai Geography students and academic purposes only.
Relevant Thailand country maps – Archived from 2000 (low res only)
- BOBLME – Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (2008-2017)
- GMS – Greater Mekong Subregion
- ICEM – International Centre for Environmental Management – Thailand
- IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature – Thailand
- MRC – Mekong River Commission for Sustainable Development
- UNESCO – The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture – Thailand
- US-Aid – United States Agency for International Development – Thailand
- WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature – Thailand
Governmental Departments and Organizations under the Thai Ministries (in Thai)
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
- Department of Mineral Resources
- Department of Water Resources
- Department of Groundwater Resources
- Department of Marine and Coastal Resources
- Royal Forest Department
- Land Development Department
- Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Ministry of Tourism and Sports
Ministry of Science and Technology
- Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization)
English Summaries of Thai Literature on the Geography of Thailand
Aiemchareon, W. & Aiemnor, A. (2008). Geography. Bangkok: Aksornchareontat. [วิโรจน์ เอี่ยมเจริญ และ อภิสิทธ์ เอี่ยมหน่อ. (2551). ภูมิศาสตร์. กรุงเทพมหานคร: อักษรเจริญทัศน์].
- Aiemchareon and Aiemnor (2008) published Geography, an overview of Asian geography commonly used in first and second year Thai high school education and includes a chapter identifying six key areas in Thai geography: economics, society and culture, population, physical geography, interaction and environment, and the preservation of natural resources.
Aiemchareon, W. Phurahong, S., & Chuaywong, S. (2010). Thailand atlas. Bangkok: Aksorncharoentat. [วิโรจน์ เอี่ยมเจริญ และคณะ. (2553). ไทยแลนด์ แอตลาส (พิมพ์ครั้งที่ 5). กรุงเทพมหานคร: อักษรเจริญทัศน์].
- Aiemchareon et al. (2010) provide an illustrated geography in terms of an atlas with images and maps which illustrate and overview physical and human features and resources of the country, including hydrologic, agricultural, mineral, and transportation. The book includes a map-based historical geography of the Kingdom and discussion on each of Thailand’s provinces. At the time of writing, Thailand has 77 provinces (76 provinces and Bangkok representing a special administrative area structured as a province).
Boonchai, S. (2006). Thai geography. Bangkok: Odeon store. [สุภาพ บุญไชย. (2549). ภูมิศาสตร์ประเทศไทย (พิมพ์ครั้งที่ 2). กรุงเทพมหานคร: โอเดียนสโตร์.]
- Boonchai (2006) provides an overview of the study of geography in Thai, aimed mainly at secondary school students. The research includes an overview of Thailand’s physical regional geography. Of particular interest, the book identifies Thai aquifers and references the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) website and other academic resources.
Thai Geography Publications by Course Instructor
- Martin, S. A. (2009). Rethinking the monsoon: Sustainable surf tourism in Thailand. Paper presented at the International Tourism Conference on Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism Management: Beyond the Global Recession. Silpakon University, Bangkok, Thailand, May 14–15.
- Martin, S. A. (2010). Coastal currents in Phuket. Thailand Surfrider, (4) (pp. 44–46). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2010). Coastal resource assessment for surf tourism in Thailand. Master’s thesis. Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand.
- Martin, S. A. (2010). Surfing the southern gulf: Exploratory research on the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand Surfrider, (4) (pp. 20–27). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2010). The conservation of coastal surfing resources in Thailand: The Andaman Sea. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Environment and Natural Resources (ICENR) 2010 – The Changing Environment: Challenges for Society (pp. 262–280), Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Bangkok, Thailand, November 10–12.
- Martin, S. A. (2010). Coastal resource and surfing in Thailand. Thailand Surfrider, (1) (pp. 42–50). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2011). Climate Change and the environment in Thailand: What’s going on with the weather?Thailand Surfrider, (5) (pp. 28–30). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2011). Surf science of the Andaman Sea, Part I: A surfer’s guide to wind, water & waves. Thailand Surfrider, (7) (pp. 42–45). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2011). Trash talking: Exploring marine debris on the Andaman Coast, Thailand. Thailand Surfrider, (6) (pp. 48–50). Thalang, Phuket: Purple Diamond Ltd.
- Martin, S. A. (2013). A surf resource sustainability index for surf site conservation and tourism management. Ph.D. dissertation. Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand.
- Martin, S. A. (2013). Surf tourism and resource sustainability in Phuket, Thailand. Scholarly presentation [PowerPoint]. Global Surf Cities Conference: Destination Innovation Collaboration, Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, Gold Coast, QLD, February 28 – March 1. Gold Coast: Gold Coast Surf City, Inc.
- Martin, S. A. (2013). The surf resource sustainability index and Thailand case trial. Scholarly presentation [PowerPoint]. Global Surf Cities Conference: Destination Innovation Collaboration, Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, Gold Coast, QLD, February 28 – March 1. Gold Coast: Gold Coast Surf City, Inc.
- Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2008). Interdisciplinary approaches toward sustainable surf tourism in Thailand. Paper presented at the 1st PSU Sustainability Conference. Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, Thailand, November 19–21.
- Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2011). Beach and coastal survey of Thailand: What future for surf tourism. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 3(1), 77–87. https://ir.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/44409/
- Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2013). Developing a surf resource sustainability index as a global model for surf beach conservation and tourism research. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 19(7) 760–792. https://doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2013.806942
- Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2015). Measuring the conservation aptitude of surf beaches in Phuket, Thailand: An application of the surf resource sustainability index. International Journal of Tourism Research, 17(2) 105–117. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.1961
- Martin, S. A., & O'Brien, D. (2017). Part 2: A systems approach – Chapter 2. Surf resource system boundaries. In G. Borne and J. Ponting (Eds.), Sustainable surfing. Routledge: London.
- Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. J. (2019). A social science index and conceptual framework for assigning weights in surf tourism planning and development. Tourism Planning and Development, 16(3) 281–303. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568316.2018.1470999
- Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. (2018). Towards an ASEAN community: A scoping study and case for teaching the geography of Thailand in the English language. Proceedings of the PSU Phuket International Conference 50th Anniversary Celebration: Creativity and Innovations for Global Development (p. 54). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, March 11–12.
- Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. J. (2020). Sourcing Thai geography literature for ASEAN and international education. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 41(1) 61–85.
Thank you for visiting my Thai Geography course page.
If you feel motivated to know more about Thai geography, or would like to arrange for me to give a public talk, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you.
NEW PHUKET AQUARIA | Dr Steven A Martin | Thai Geography | University Filmworks | พิพิธภัณฑ์สัตว์น้ำ | ภูเก็ต
When Phuket "Aquaria" opened in August, 2019, and we were among the first to visit and make this short video for our Thai Geography students. The new aquarium, located in the basement of Central Phuket Floresta, is the largest in Thailand, and features fresh and saltwater fish and turtles, otters, sharks, giant groupers, penguins, stingrays, jellyfish, lizards, insects, and snakes. พิพิธภัณฑ์สัตว์น้ำที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในประเทศไทย | เซ็นทรัลฟลอเรสต้า