Thailand is a country of many blessings.
One of them is its geographic location, which packs an extremely varied
landscape into an area smaller than the state of Texas.
fan-wise around the fertile central plain of the Chao Phraya River, the
country's four distinct geographical regions include the relatively high
and dry plateau of the northeast, the northsouth alignment of the mountain
ranges of the north and west, and the narrow southern isthmus. In this
last region, there are numerous lush tropical forests teeming with wildlife.
All of this means that
the country has at least eight distinct types of forest, which include
not only tropical rainforests with mixed deciduous forests and tidal mangroves,
but bamboo, pine, and some temperate forests above 1,600 meters.
This astonishing abundance
of vegetation is the habitat of an equally amazing wealth of wildlife.
Tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, bears, gibbons, leopards, and the massive
gaur, the world's largest species of wild ox standing two meters or more
at the shoulder, co-exist with thousands of species of beetles, butterflies,
With this and through the
country's preservation efforts, Thailand has a total of 79 national parks,
89 wildlife and "non-hunting' sanctuaries, and 35 forest reserves. 18
parks protect the marine resources of island and mangrove coasts.
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