Central Thailand (Central Plain) 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 the Tenasserim Hills separate it from Myanmar to the west. In the north it is bound by the Phi Pan Nam Range, one of the hilly systems of Northern Thailand. The area was the heartland of the Ayutthaya kingdom, and is still the dominant area of Thailand. Central Thailand contains the Thai capital of Bangkok and it is the most populated region in the country.
The grouping of Thai provinces into regions follow two major systems, in which Thailand is divided into either four or six regions. In the six-region system, commonly used in geographical studies, Central Thailand extends from Sukhothai and Phitsanulok provinces to the north to the provinces bordering the Gulf of Thailand to the south, excluding the mountainous provinces bordering Myanmar to the west and the coastal provinces of the East. The four-region system covers provinces only as north as Chai Nat, Sing Buri and Lop Buri, and extends west and east to the borders of Myanmar and Cambodia.
- Greater Bangkok: Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon
- Sub-Central Thailand region: Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Chainat, Lopburi, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi, Singburi
- Western Thailand region: Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Suphanburi
- Eastern Thailand region: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chonburi, Rayong, Prachinburi, Sa Kaeo, Trat
The eastern region is sometimes listed as a separate region distinct from central Thailand – sometimes only the four coastal provinces, sometimes the above list excluding Nakhon Nayok. None of these regions are actually administrative subdivision, they are only geographical or statistical groupings.
- List according to Wolf Donner, Thailand, ISBN 3-534-02779-5
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