The City of Bangkok
Bangkok Attractions | Bangkok sightseeing and attractions
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a key economic, political and cultural hub of Southeast Asia. Nowhere in South East Asia compares with the City of Bangkok’s size, it's style, excitement, nightlife and rich cultural heritage. Bangkok is a city like no other.
The founding of the city of Bangkok dates back to the Ayutthaya kingdom (1350-1767), when it emerged as a port and trading center, along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It was founded in 1782 by Rama I the Great, the founder and first king of Thailand's ruling Chakri dynasty. He also gave the city its ceremonial name: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon," or "the City of Angels." The name Bangkok, is believed to derive from the Thai words Bang a Thai name for riverside towns, and Koh - which means "island."
Unlike many of its Asian neighbours, Thailand was never colonized. Bangkok has thus has been able to sustain its unique cultural heritage, even as it has evolved into a sophisticated, modern metropolis. It has very successfully been able to merge the ancient with the modern. Today, it boasts one of the world's fastest rates of high-rise building construction, and has been drastically modernized.
Located near the Gulf of Thailand, it is just over 1,500 square kilometres in size. Bangkok Thailand is home to more than 10% of the entire nation's population, with over 10 million residents.
The most distinctive feature of Bangkok's topography is the Chao Phraya River. Dubbed "the River of Kings," it winds its way through the city, and its waterways and deltas crisscrossing the city's landscape. This feature, and its ubiquitous use as a means of transportation, gave rise to the appellation "Venice of the East," to describe Bangkok.
The city has a tropical weather that is largely influenced by the monsoon winds. It has three seasons: the cool, dry season(November to March), the hot, humid season (April through May), and the rainy season (June through October). The cool season is the ideal time to visit Bangkok, and is the city's peak tourist season. A small note here the prices for the hotels change by season so you can get great deals when the weather is not double optimal.
Bangkok has emerged as one of the world's leading tourist spots, and is in fact, Asia's top tourist destination. The city plays host to more than 15 million tourists each year. It boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites are a huge draw for tourists. Luxury hotels abound and some of the most famous, like The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok, are down by the Chao Praya River.
Bangkok Grand Palace
One of the most visited sites is the Bangkok Grand Palace, which is also the king's official residence. The Wat Phra Kaeo is located on the grounds of this complex. It is considered the most important temple in all of Thailand, and houses the famous and revered Emerald Buddha. Other cultural sites include Bangkok's magnificent palaces, its numerous temples and splendidly ornamented Royal Barges.