Bangkok - Facts
- The capital of Thailand
- Inhabitants: more than 14,5 millions
- River: Chao Phraya
- Became the capital of Thailand in 1782
- The city’s Thai name is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon which can be translated to ”The city of Angels”
Before Bangkok was Bangkok the area, which was a kingdom in its own right, was called Ayutthaya between 1351 and 1767. This was a well-known place amongst traders from all over the world, people knew that Ayutthaya was a safe place where everybody was welcomed. In old descriptions Ayutthaya, or Siam, in mentioned as one of the richest and most developed and beautiful places in the Eastern world.
No one is exactly sure about when the first settlers came to the area where Bangkok now lies, but because of its brilliant location people probably came here for trading and cultivation. As early as during the 15th century this was already an important area for sea trade.
Strategically Bangkok has a superb location just by the mouth of the big Chao Phraya river. It’s because of the location that Bangkok grew so fast and became the country’s capital so early on. When Bangkok had been proclaimed capital of Thailand the growth continued to increase - the interest for the city spread fast. Bangkok continued to grow and develop, a trend that never seems to stop.
Thailand, or Siam as it is often also referred to, underwent a modernization during the second half of the 20th century and it was the strong forces in Bangkok that lead the way. During WW2 Bangkok was bombed by the allied troops.
Today Bangkok is the epicentre of political Thailand and during the recent years the city has seen numerous revolts and coup d’états.
A couple of years ago, in 2014, we followed Bangkok via the News as the Thai military pushed down revolting masses and took charge of the country creating a military junta called National Council for Peace and Order. Today the political situation in Bangkok, and the rest of Thailand, is stable.
Bangkok has grown a lot in recent years which has a very negative effect on the environment in the city. The pollution levels are very high, even after measures like the Bangkok Mass Transit System, that works as a metro in the air, have been put into place.
Thailand is a much loved country and as the capital city of “the paradise land” Bangkok attracts a great deal of tourists; it is one of the world’s most visited tourist capitals.
Many Thailand visitors spend a few days in Bangkok at the beginning or end of their stay, even if their primary destination is elsewhere in Thailand. They do some sightseeing, some shopping, some eating and maybe some clubbing while in the “City of Angels”.
Get here and get around
It’s very easy to find flights to Bangkok, it’s a well-visited city and a great hub for international air lines - just like it was a hub for seafarers in the older days.
In Bangkok you can get around by taxi or Tuk-Tuk, risking getting stuck in traffic, or by Sky Train, Express Boat, Subway or public buses (usually not a favourite option).