Thailand, or officially The Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in southeast Asia, that borders on Laos and Cambodia eastward, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia southward, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar westward. Thailand is known as Siam, which was the official name of this country until 1949. The word 'thai' means 'free' in the Thai language. It is also the name of the Thai people that still use the name Siam. Thailand has several distinct geographic regions that partly correspond to the provincial groups. There are mountains to the north of the country, with the highest point - the Doi Inthanon (2,576 m). Northeast there is the Khorat Plateau that borders on the Mekong river. The predominantly flat Chao Phraya river valley is situated in the center of Thailand, the river runs into the Gulf of Thailand. The local climate is tropical with characteristic monsoons. From mid-May to September there is rainy, warm weather with a cloudy southwest monsoon, and from November to mid-March there is a dry, cool northeast monsoon. The isthmus in the south is always hot and humid. Beside the capital Bangkok there are such most visited cities as Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai, and Songkhla. Since Thailand is a tourist country there is a lot of hotels that are waiting for tourists and are ready to present their apartments.