The Chao Phya - River in Transition by Steve Van Beek
Steve Van Beek travels the river's length exploring its past, its present and its future
Flowing through theheart of Thailand, the copious waters of the Chao Phya River system provide a key to understanding the Thai people, their history, culture, and probable future. The Chao Phya, with its four tributaries, has enabled the Thai people to create a prosperous economy and a stable political environment. More than any other river system in Asia, it has served as the source of life for a flourishing agricultural sector, provided the foundation for a political system, served as a communications and transportation highway, and protected its cities from enemies. Moreover, it has made a profound contribution in shaping Thai perceptions of themselves and the world.
In recent years, however, the role of the Chao Phya River has been changing in ways detrimental to its future. Far from declining in importance, it is more vital than ever, but its benefits are being compromised by modes of usage that threaten not only Thailand's economic health but also its social stability.
Steve Van Beek, resident in Asia for 34 years (31 of those in Thailand), is a writer on culture and the environment. He is a Fellow of The Explorers Club, elected for his river explorations.
Hard Cover K.L. 1995
Oxford University Press
Illustrated - 32 Col. 80 B&W
6 Tables 14 maps
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