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Kra Isthmus

Coordinates: 10°11′00″N 98°53′00″E / 10.18333°N 98.88333°E / 10.18333; 98.88333
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Kra Isthmus
Kra Isthmus is located in Thailand
Kra Isthmus
Location in Thailand
Coordinates: 10°11′00″N 98°53′00″E / 10.18333°N 98.88333°E / 10.18333; 98.88333
LocationRanong and Chumphon, Thailand

The Kra Isthmus (Thai: คอคอดกระ, pronounced [kʰɔ̄ː kʰɔ̂ːt kràʔ]; Malay: Segenting Kra) in Thailand is the narrowest part of the Malay Peninsula.[1] The western part of the isthmus belongs to Ranong Province and the eastern part to Chumphon Province, both in Southern Thailand. The isthmus is bordered to the west by the Andaman Sea and to the east by the Gulf of Thailand.[citation needed]

The Kra Isthmus marks the boundary between two sections of the mountain chain which runs from Tibet through the Malay peninsula. The southern part is the Phuket Range, which is a continuation of the Tenasserim Hills, extending further northwards for over 400 km (250 mi) beyond the Three Pagodas Pass.[2]

The Kra Isthmus is in the Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rain forests ecoregion. Dipterocarps are the dominant trees in the ecoregion.[3]

Pacific War[edit]

On 8 December 1941 local time, the Imperial Japanese army landed in Songkhla, invading Thailand. Because of the International Date Line, this actually occurred hours before the 7 December (Hawaii time) attack on Pearl Harbor, making it the first major action of the Pacific War. Japanese forces then moved south towards Perlis and Penang as part of the Malayan campaign, which culminated in the capture of Singapore.[4]

Kra Canal[edit]

The Thai Canal is a long-standing proposal to join the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.[5] Various routes were proposed[6] to shortcut voyages from India to China, and avoiding the Strait of Malacca. The northernmost route was championed by Edward O'Riley (1821-1856), a government official in Burma, and Henry Wise, in England, when it was the subject of a report to the British Parliament in 1859 by Consul Robert Schomburk from Bangkok.[7] A later crossing is related by Loftus.[8]


  1. ^ "Kra, Isthmus of". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  2. ^ Gupta, A. The Physical Geography of Southeast Asia
  3. ^ Wikramanayake, Eric; Eric Dinerstein; Colby J. Loucks; et al. (2002). Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a Conservation Assessment. Washington, DC: Island Press.
  4. ^ Parfitt, Allen. "Bicycle Blitzkreig [sic] The Japanese Conquest of Malaya and Singapore 1941-1942". MilitaryHistoryOnline.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 9 Aug 2012.
  5. ^ Griffith University (23 March 2010). "Thai Canal Project: Over 300 years of conceptualising and still counting". Asian Correspondent. Hybrid News. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  6. ^ Perry, John Curtis (2017), Singapore: Unlikely Power, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-046950-4
  7. ^ 1859 Session 2 [2572] Despatch relative to the projected ship-canal across the Isthmus of Kraa (sic.)
  8. ^ Loftus, Alfred John (1883). Notes of a journey across the Isthmus of Krà.