The Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and southeast Asia, bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern tip of Burma.
The majority of the country is tropical and humid, with temperatures averaging 31°C all year round. The area north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons while the southern peninsular region has only two. Both experience heavy rainfall during the monsoon season.
Teak is indigenous to Thailand. Although its distribution region covers an area of 170,000 km2 (17.0 million ha), naturally occurring teak forest within the region is only about 25,000 km2 (2.5 million ha). These areas are confined to the mixed deciduous forests of northern Thailand. Since 1939 teak forests were managed under a selection system with a prescribed girth limit of 213cm and a felling cycle of 30 years. However all teak logging in natural forests has since been banned and concessions were terminated in 1983; only improvement felling and thinning of plantations is now permitted.
The first teak plantation in Thailand was established in 1906. A large-scale planting programme was initiated in 1945 and extensive commercial plantations were established, mainly in northern Thailand. There were about 170,000 hectares of plantations in Thailand by the end of 1990. These belong to three major organizations: the Royal Forest Department (RFD), the Forest Industry Organization (FIO) and the Thai Plywood Company (TPC).