At a point a little more than halfway down its course, the Menam Chao Phaya receives the waters of its only tributary, the Nam Sak, a good-sized stream which rises in the east of northern Siam and waters the most easterly part (the Pechabun valley) of that section of the country.
All these valleys, except Morrope and Chao, are watered by rivers which have their sources far in the recesses of the mountains, and which furnish an abundant supply in the season when irrigation is needed.
Chao rises 450 ft.
(For map, see Indo-China.) The country may be best considered geographically in four parts: the northern, including the drainage area of the four rivers which unite near Pak-Nam Po to form the Menam Chao Phaya; the eastern, including the drainage area of the Nam Mun river and its tributaries; the central, including the drainage area of the Meklong, the Menam Chao Phaya and the Bang Pakong rivers; and the southern, including that part of the country which is situated in the Malay Peninsula.
The Menam Chao Phaya, the principal river of Siam, flows from the point where it is formed by the junction of the rivers of northern Siam almost due S.
The whole course of the Menam Chao Phaya lies through a perfectly flat country.
In central Siam, after Bangkok and Ayuthia, places of importance on the Menam Chao Phaya are Pak-Nam at the river mouth, the seat of a governor, terminus of a railway and site of modern fortifications; Paklat, the seat of a governor, a town of Mohns, descendants of refugees from Pegu; Nontaburi, a few miles above Bangkok, the seat of a governor and possessing a large market; Pratoomtani, Angtong, Prom, Inburi, Chainat and Saraburi, all administrative centres; and Lopburi, the last capital before Ayuthia and the residence of kings during the Ayuthia period, a city of ruins now gradually reawakening as a centre of railway traffic. To the west of the Menam Chao Phaya lie Suphanburi and Ratburi, ancient cities, now government headquarters; Pechaburi (the Piply of early travellers), the terminus of the western railway; and Phrapatoom, with its huge pagoda on the site of the capital of Sri Wichaiya, a kingdom of 2000 years ago, and now a place of military, agricultural and other schools.
The number of teak logs brought out via the Salween and Menam Chao Phaya rivers average 160,000 annually, Siam being thus the largest teak-producing country of the world.
The choice was sometimes made early in the reign, when the heir held the title of "Chao Uparach" or "Wang Na," miscalled "Second King" in English, and sometimes was left until the death of the king was imminent.
The arrangement was fraught with danger to the public tranquillity, and one of the reforms of the last sovereign was the abolition of the office of "Chao Uparach and a decree that the throne should in future descend from the king to one of his sons born of a queen, which decree was immediately followed by the appointment of a crown prince.
X) through the intermediate sounds kj, fj, ~j: chamar (c 1 a m a r e), chao (p 1 a if u s), chamma (f 1 a m m a).
The word was suggested by the Gr.)(etas, chaos, for he also writes: "I have called this spirit gas, it being scarcely distinguishable from the Chaos of the ancients" ("halitum illum Gas vocavi, non longe a Chao veterum secretum").
The Kwei-kiang, on the other hand, takes a southerly course, and passes the cities of Kwei-lin, Yang-so Hien, ring-le Fu, Chao-Ong Hien, and so finds its way to Wu-chow Fu, where it joins the waters of the Si-kiang.