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Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and the city that holds most inhabitants in the whole country. Bangkok stretches out over 1.569 square kilometers (606 square miles). Bangkok is located in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand. With a population of over eight million, 12.6% of the country's total population. The surrounding Bangkok metropolitan Area holds over 14 million people (22.2%), making Bangkok an extremeimportant city. Bangkok is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, ranked 3rd after London and Paris.
The beginning of Bangkok dates back to the 15th century when, during Ayutthaya Kingdom, a small trading post on the West bank of the Chao Phraya River eventually grew to become an urban area with two cities, Thinburi and Rattanakosin (respectively in 1768 and 1782). Because of the strategic location at the mouth of the river, the settlement slowly grew in importance. In 1688 the French were expelled from the area. In 1767, King Taksin established his capital at the town. His successor, King Phutthayotfa Chulalok, moved the capital to the east bank of the river in 1782 where the city pillar was erected on the 21st of April. This is the date, which is regarded as the foundation of the city of Bangkok. The economy of Bangkok slowly grew through international trade with China. Trade with the West started when Western merchants returned in the early to mid 19th century. Bangkok was the centre of Siam's modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late 19th century. It saw the introduction of the printing press, rail transport, steam engine, infrastructure, formal education and healthcare.
Throughout the 20th century, after the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, several uprisings and coups caused political struggles also under the pressure of the West. Bangkok was occupied by the Japanese and suffered Allied bombing during World War II. Due to the development aid from the US and government supported investments, Bangkok grew in the post war period and was at the heart this modernization and grew especially fast during the 60s throughout the 80s. The population grew enormously during the 60s, from 1.8 to 3 million. When the US pulled out of Vietnam, Japanese businesses invested in the city’s manufacturing plants. Due to this export oriented industry, caused the financial markets to grow rapidly. Bangkok now exerts a significant influence among Thailand's economy, education, media, politics and modern society. As Bangkok was an important destination for US military personnel, this caused the launch of the tourism industry as well as sex industry and trade.
During the 80s and 90s, many international businesses and multinationals, located their regional headquarters in Bangkok. This period is also referred to as the Asian investment boom. However, 1997 caused a stand still due to the Asian financial crisis. Nowadays, Bangkok is an important and influential city in finance and business. Bangkok is an international center for healthcare and transport and is uprising as a regional centre for fashion, entertainment and arts. The city's lively street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its infamous red light districts have given Bangkok its exotic appeal. The Grand Palace and many Buddhist temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun, stand in contrast with other tourist attractions and nightlife found in Khaosan Raos and Patpong.
Because the administration of Bangkok was split in several provinces back in 1915, the administrative boundaries led to little urban planning and regulation. This caused the chaotic cityscape and very insufficient road and rail networksystems. There are limited roads, but despite an extensive expressway network there is chronic traffic congestion. As a result, the 90s saw a severe air pollution problem. Since then, the city has invested heavily in public transport in an attempt to tackle this problem. Four transit lines with fast connections are in operation and more construction is ongoing. Book your hotel accommodation in Bangkok here.
Temples: Bangkok has many breathtaking Temples and visiting one or more of them are a must do when you stay in Bangkok. Read more>>
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