Many Swedes have visited, or dreamed of visiting, the Gulf of Thailand, which includes incredibly beautiful islands such as Koh Samui and Koh Tao. This bay, also known as the Gulf of Thailand or the Gulf of Siam, is part of the northwestern part of the South China Sea, which is a tributary of the Pacific Ocean. However, it is not only Thailand that has a coast to the bay, it is surrounded by other countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. The northern part of the bay is called Bangkok Bay, so you can clearly say that there is a certain Thai dominance in the area, but there is a lot of discussion about how the borders should be drawn between the different countries.
Geography and climate
The Gulf of Thailand is a fairly shallow sea part where the deepest depth measures about 80 meters and most parts do not get deeper than about 40 meters. The bay is surrounded by the countries Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. In the far north is Bangkok Bay, where three of Thailand’s largest rivers flow, namely the Chao Phraya, Mae Klong and Bang Pa Kong rivers. This bay has most likely once been a mainland and due to higher sea levels later became a bay.
The Gulf of Thailand hides oil fields and pockets of natural gas, but not to the same extent as what can be found elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Because the water in the bay is so shallow and you get so much water from rivers, the salinity here is quite low. The climate in the area is tropical but the weather is varied depending on the season and also a lot depends on exactly where in the Gulf of Thailand you are.
A popular tourist area
There are many islands and coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand and these attract tourists and especially Swedish tourists. Among Swedes, destinations such as Koh Samui in Surat Thani province located in this bay are incredibly popular. These are places where you can experience the unique environment that exists along the coast of Thailand with white beaches and clean and clear bathtub warm water. The coral reefs and the unique fish species found in the Gulf of Thailand attract divers from all corners of the world. Some of the most famous tourist areas in this bay are:
- Koh Phangan
- Hua Hin
- Koh Samet
- Koh Chang
- Koh Tao
Conflict over territory
As elsewhere in the Pacific, there is also a discussion about territory in the Gulf of Thailand. Malaysia and Thailand have chosen to work together to develop areas located in areas where they can not really agree on who has the right to water and islands, such as the islands of Ko Kra and Ko Losin. Cambodia and Vietnam have long discussed the island of Phu Quoic in the Gulf of Bangkok and Koh Tral in Khmer along the coast of Cambodia.