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Several small ethnic groups in the northeast speak Mon-Khmer languages; the largest of these groups is the Kuy (about 235,000).These groups have been largely assimilated into the Tai-speaking populations.The country is commonly divided into four main regions and borders Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.The northern region is hilly, with much of its population concentrated in upland valleys and the flood plains of rivers; the dominant geographic feature is the Khorat Plateau.Other Thai groups speak related southern and east-central Thai languages.
The main Austronesian language is Pattani Malay, which is spoken by about 2.5 million people in the southern region.The Malay-speaking Muslims live near to the border with Malaysia. There are communities of Korean- and Urdu-speaking peoples in Bangkok, and there is a small population of Mon in central Thailand.Various peoples, commonly designated as hill tribes, inhabit the northern mountain areas.The Lanna Thai account for about 8 percent of the national population.The Pak Thai constitute about 8 percent of the population.
In the south, there are small groups of so-called sea gypsies and aboriginal Malays (about 6,000 people).