Thailand Battles Historic Floods

By Eric Roston - 2011-11-24T06:09:22Z

Photograph by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images

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Highway Loop

Fifty-eight highways, in nine provinces, were impassable by mid-November. In Bangkok, pictured here, cars pulled over to the side of partially inundated roads.

Bangkok sits on the Chao Phraya River, which originates in northern mountains and spills into the Gulf of Thailand about 20 miles south of the capital city. The river's basin covers 30 percent of Thailand's land, including the agriculture-rich plain that gives this tropical nation its nickname, the rice bowl of Asia. Two-thirds of Thailand's gross domestic product is produced in the Chao Phraya corridor. Electronics and auto manufacturing propel economic activity closer to Bangkok.