Bangkok city, the capital of Thailand, is also known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Mahanakhon, or Krung Thep.
Bangkok was founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. It is now the country’s spiritual, cultural, diplomatic, commercial and educational hub. It covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometers, and it is home to approximately ten million people or more than 10% of the country’s population.
A No. 1. Bangkok is one of the world’s greatest cities
Over the last few decades, Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, has changed into a modern, exciting and sophisticated city. It offers to visitors not only the cosmopolitan amenities they would expect from other big cities, but also a unique treasure trove of cultural attractions. Thailand, in the heart of Southeast Asia, was never colonized and thus kept its unique culture and heritage intact. Bangkok offers visitors the opportunity to experience fascinating glimpse of Thailand’s gentle culture amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis. This great city has had astounding success in combining the ancient and modern world.
For tourists, Bangkok has a feast of attractions to offer. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty and fascination, magnificent palaces, classical dance extravaganzas, numerous shopping centers and traditional ways of life, especially along the “Venice of the East” timeless canals and the Chao Phraya River of the “River of Kings” winding through the city. It is worth taking a trip along its waters before exploring further into different canals to take a glimpse of old Bangkok.
The full ceremonial name of Bangkok given by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, and later edited by The King Mongkut, is:
“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.”
The full name in Thai is: กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธ
River and canals network
An elaborate network of canals known as khlongs gave Bangkok the nickname “Venice of the East” at a time when most transportation was by boat. Today, nearly all of the canals have been filled in and converted into streets. While many khlongs still exist with people living along them and markets often being operated along the banks, most are severely polluted. A notable khlong market is the floating market in Taling Chan district. Through downtown Bangkok runs the Khlong Saen Saeb, which has a canal boat service. The wide river Chao Phraya, flowing through the city, has several cross-river ferries and the Chao Phraya Express Boat with as many as thirty stops along the both banks extending as far as the northern suburb of Nonthaburi.
Roads in Bangkok
Several elevated highways, newly rebuilt intersections, and many partially finished road and rail projects dot the landscape around greater Bangkok, but have done little to overcome the notorious traffic jams on Bangkok’s surface roads as private vehicle usage continues to outstrip infrastructure development.
Due to a large number of traffic jams in Bangkok, the elevated highway (“express way”), linking most road networks in Bangkok together, is another choice for the rush. However, tax is to be paid for utilizing the highway depending on size of the vehicle. This highway also leads to some outskirts of Bangkok including Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Bangkok has long been notorious for its massive traffic jams, which are still a serious problem. The recent construction of the elevated second-level, third-level and fourth-level expressways, many tunnels and flyovers, BTS and MRT systems, four new SRT lines and BRT Bangkok has eased some of the congestion along specific corridors, but has done little to alleviate overall congestion. The major reason is the continued popularity of private automobiles, and extensive consumer credit for automobile purchases.
Environmental issues such as air pollution, a large part of which is caused by the traffic and dirt left on streets from construction projects, was a major problem. Industrial pollution has also contributed to poor air and water quality. Though sulfur dioxide and ozone levels have fallen substantially, PM (particulate matter) still exceeds health standards in some areas. However, the large volume of trash in the canals must be cleaned out by other means. Mold growth is ubiquitous in Bangkok, as the wet tropical climate makes it grow, and many residents simply ignore it.
As in many other Asian cities, the sale of illegally copied copyright-protected material, mostly software and DVD movies, is widespread in Bangkok, but technically illegal.
What to see in Bangkok
Dusit Zoo, Bangkok
Dusit Zoo has a very good collection of animals from around the world.
Aksra Hun Lakon Lek at Aksra Theatre
The various performances of the Thai Puppets together with Thai Orchestra Band.
The first and only industrial estate for Gems and Jewelry in Thailand, occupying 800 rai of land.
Siam Discovery Museum
A learning centre on ethnology, anthropology, and other fields related to Thai society.
Joe Louis, Traditional Thai Puppet Thea
Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, the last of the kingdom’s traditional Thai small puppets troupe.
Queen Sirikit Park
Located near Chatuchak Weekend Market, between Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road and Kamphaeng Phet 3 Road.
The Grand Palace
Every visitor to Bangkok should see the magnificent buildings within the Grand Palace compound to get a feeling of the grandeur architectural style.
Make sure you set aside one late afternoon to see and photograph this imposing sight at sunset with the Chao Phraya River in the foreground.
This is possibly the most interesting temple in Thailand as it combines history, medical science and is a center for meditation and traditional massage training.
The National Museum
A visit to the National Museum reveals the history of Thailand.
The City Pillar Shrine
According to an old Thai tradition, a city pillar had to be built upon the establishment of a new city.
An outstanding example of 19th century architecture.
Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing
A visit to Wat Suthat Thep Wararam, situated almost in the center of old Bangkok.
With 21-metre height, painted in red color and the unique structure of wooden pillars.
Wat Sa Ket and The Golden Mount
This landmark, on the only hill in Bangkok, is of great significance for all followers of The Lord Buddha.
Located on Mahachai Road, the temple was built in the reign of King Rama III in 1846.
Located on Mahachai Road, the temple was built in the reign of King Rama III.
Royal Barge National Museum
The Royal Barge Procession is one of the most spectacular events in the world.