Kra Isthmus

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Coordinates: 10°11′N 98°53′E / 10.183°N 98.883°E / 10.183; 98.883

Kra Isthmus is located in Thailand
Kra Isthmus
Kra Isthmus
Location of Kra Isthmus

The Kra Isthmus (Thai: คอคอดกระ, pronounced [kʰɔ̄ː kʰɔ̂ːt kràʔ]; Malay: Segenting Kra/Segenting Kera) is the narrowest part of the Malay Peninsula, in southern Thailand.[1]


The western part of the isthmus belongs to Ranong Province and the eastern part to Chumphon Province, both in Thailand. The isthmus is bordered to the west by the Andaman Sea and to the east by the Gulf of Thailand.

The narrowest part, between the estuary of the Kra River and the Bay of Sawi near the city Chumphon has a width of 44 km (27 mi), and the elevation can exceed 400 m (1,300 ft) above sea level.

The Kra Isthmus marks the boundary between two sections of the central cordillera, the mountain chain which runs from Tibet through the Malay peninsula. The southern part is called the Phuket chain, which is a continuation of the greater Tenasserim range, extending further northwards for over 400 km (250 mi) beyond the Three Pagodas Pass.[2] The Titiwangsa Mountains are to the south, 45 km (28 mi) from Songkhla.

History and culture[edit]

On 8 December 1941 local time, just before December 7 (Hawaii time) attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Army landed near Songkhla, Thailand and Kota Bharu, Malaya, thus beginning the Pacific War, and launching both the invasion of Thailand and the Malayan campaign, the latter of which culminated in the capture of Singapore.[3]

Thai canal[edit]

The Thai canal is a proposal to join the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea. It was originally envisioned as crossing the isthmus. Today other locations to the south are being considered.[4]


  1. ^ "Kra, Isthmus of". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  2. ^ The Physical Geography of Southeast Asia, Avijit Gupta
  3. ^ Parfitt, Allen. "Bicycle Blitzkreig The Japanese Conquest of Malaya and Singapore 1941-1942". Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  4. ^ Griffith University (23 March 2010). "Thai Canal Project: Over 300 years of conceptualising and still counting". Asian Correspondent. Hybrid News. Retrieved 14 April 2013.