Thai Geography

Thai Geography

Karst Topography at Phang Nga Bay, Southern Thailand [please click the photo to view this lecture in PDF] 18MB


Course description

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.

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THAILAND © Steven A Martin [click to enlarge] 7MB

Course objectives

Students are expected to understand and be able to express their own ideas in the following areas:

  1. The location, size and borders of Thailand.
  2. Physical and human resources of Thailand.
  3. Characteristics of Thailand in a regional context.
  4. Various map projections and thematic maps of Thailand.
  5. Important domestic and international tourist attractions in Thailand.
  6. Geographic terms and concepts in the Thai context, including location, space, and area.
  7. Geographical factors causing local change, including occupations, settlements, and migration.


Low Resolution PDFs for Viewing and Easy Downloading

  • Intro to Karst Topography, with Emphasis on the Andaman Coast, Thailand – 37MB PDF
  • Intro to Map Projections – 12MB PDF
  • Intro to Map Types and Themes, with Emphasis on Thailand – 16MB PDF
  • Nai Yang Beach Field Trip – 18MB PDF
  • Site Visits in Ubon Ratchathani Province, Northeast Thailand – 12MB PDF
  • Surf Resource Sustainability in Phuket, Thailand – 5MB PDF


POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THAILAND – SIX REGIONS w/ 77 PROVINCES (including Bangkok as a special administrative zone) © Steven A Martin [click to enlarge] 3MB

1. NORTHERN Thailand – Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai – Highest peak in Thailand, at 2,565 m (8,415 ft) – Geologically classified as granite batholith

2. NORTHEASTERN Thailand – Haew Narok Waterfall, Nakhon Ratchasima – Khao Yai National Park

3. CENTRAL Thailand – Phra Prang Sam Yot, Lopburi

4. EASTERN Thailand – Mu Ko Chang National Park

5. WESTERN Thailand – Phra Nakhon Khiri Temple, Petchaburi

6. SOUTHERN Thailand – Phi Phi Island, Krabi


Witherick, Ross, & Small. (2001). A modern dictionary of Geography. London: Arnold. [29MB]

Thailand Base Maps

Based maps provided here are intended for Thai Geography students and academic purposes only.

Thai Geography 2012 Class Photo – Emerald Pool (Sra Morakot), Krabi, Thailand [click on photo to download Physical Geography Terms PDF]

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 ( 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.

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

United States University Websites

International Organizations

  • BOBLME – Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project
  • 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

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

Ministry of Tourism and Sports

Ministry of Science and Technology

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

Thank you for visiting my Thai Geography page.

Steven A. Martin

Sam Pun Boak (3,000 Holes) along the Mekong River, a geographic wonder in Ubon Ratchathani province, Thailand [click on photo to Thailand Photo Journal page]