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Overview

Straddling the extremely fertile Chao Phraya River Delta, Central Thailand produces more export-quality rice than any region in the world. Bangkok, drawing together the very essence of everything that is sacred and profane in Thailand, serves as much more than the country's political capital. Gilded temple spires and gleaming shopping malls stand alongside tented noodle stands and blanket-on-the-pavement palm-readers. When night falls, 2,000-person-capacity nightclubs vie with massage parlors drenched in red neon for the attention of the orbiting inhabitants of a city that never sleeps. The mental overload is easily neutralized by a long ...

Straddling the extremely fertile Chao Phraya River Delta, Central Thailand produces more export-quality rice than any region in the world. Bangkok, drawing together the very essence of everything that is sacred and profane in Thailand, serves as much more than the country's political capital. Gilded temple spires and gleaming shopping malls stand alongside tented noodle stands and blanket-on-the-pavement palm-readers. When night falls, 2,000-person-capacity nightclubs vie with massage parlors drenched in red neon for the attention of the orbiting inhabitants of a city that never sleeps. The mental overload is easily neutralized by a long boat ride up the Chao Phraya River and into the intricate network of canals that turns certain sections of Bangkok into a modern-day Waterworld. The kingdom's inland national parks offer a broad range of opportunities for hikers, birders, and other nature lovers. In avian life alone, Thailand records over 1000 resident and migratory bird species, or around 10% of all known bird varieties worldwide. Khao Yai National Park in northeast-central Thailand, considered one of the top five national parks in the world, conserves one of Asia's largest monsoon forests and is teeming with wild Asian elephants, hornbills, and deer.

Joe Cummings
About the Expert

Joe Cummings has contributed to more than 35 guidebooks, maps, atlases, phrasebooks and photographic works, including his bestselling Lonely Planet Thailand and Buddhist Stupas of Asia: The Shape of Perfection.

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Joe Cummings for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Central Thailand is a region of Thailand, covering the broad alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. It is separated from North-East Thailand (Isan) by the Phetchabun mountain range, and another mountain range separates it from Myanmar to the west.
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: Thai Baht
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November through February (cool and dry), June to October (warm and rainy)