Bangkok, the Thai capital, is a city much admired in the world for its beauty, monuments and shrines rich in decorative elements. For several years now, it has been the most visited city in the world, ahead of London and Paris.
This important commercial and cultural center of Thailand is the country’s only cosmopolitan city. It brings together several small villages. Let’s take a look at what makes this Southeast Asian metropolis special.
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Geographical and demographic situation
Bangkok is a city located in the delta of the river chao phraya, about 40 km from the Gulf of Thailand. This river divides it into two zones: the right bank is crossed by channels called “khlongs”, and the left bank where all the tourist attractions of the megalopolis are located. The abundance of canals on the left bank has earned the city the nickname “Venice of the East”. The metropolis has an area of 7,762 km² for the entire city located at an altitude of 2 m.
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This city has about 8.5 million inhabitants and continues to grow due to the phenomenon of rural exodus. The majority of the city’s population is of Thai descent. The Chinese are by far the largest minority, but there are significant communities of Asians, North Americans and Europeans.
Despite their small size, foreign communities tend to live in certain areas. The Chinese are concentrated in the commercial area of Sam Peng, the Indians gather around the mosques in the Wang Burapha section, and Western and Japanese communities live in the modern, affluent eastern part of the city.
Detour in history
Wat Arun – Bangkok – Instagram © @the.travelling.teeth
The megapolis of Bangkok was a former French colony at the end of the 17th century. It was officially ceded on December 1, 1687 by the king of Ayuthia. After the fall of this king, the capital was handed over to Thonburi by King Taksin. He was overthrown in a coup and in turn replaced by General Chakri. It is the Chakri dynasty that rules Bangkok to this day.
For reasons of defense of the city, he decided to transfer it to the left bank and started large construction works. April 6, 1782 marks the city’s founding date. Today the city is called city of angels or krung thep. The name Bangkok is used by Thais in official documents in English, but the name used in Thai official documents is Krungthep Mahanakhon.
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The city with the longest name in the world
In February 2022, the Thai government approved a change of the capital’s name to the detriment of its current name. Specifically, the Thai name takes precedence over the Western one. Bangkok therefore becomes “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon” or simply “krung Thep”, the version shortened by the inhabitants.
If the government-approved version is to be translated exactly into French, it reads: “The city of angels, great city, residence of the emerald Buddha, impregnable city of the God Indra, great capital of the world chiseled with nine precious stones , happy city, rich in the huge royal palace similar to the celestial residence, lordship of the reincarnated god, city offered to Indra and built by Vishnukarn.” It is about longest place name in the world according to a Guinness World study.
What to visit in Bangkok?
Yaowarat Road – Bangkok – Instagram © @the.travelling.teeth
If you’re traveling to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you don’t necessarily need the sitemap for an unforgettable walk. Here are 5 places you absolutely must visit.
The royal palace or Wat phra kaew
The first temple to attract attention in this metropolis is Wat Phra. It is a center that highlights art in all its specificity and beauty. There is an emerald Buddha sitting on an altar specially designed for him. The place is also full of hundred buildings, statues, frescoes, etc. It is a place of faith for the Thai people.
wat pho temple
When you arrive in Thailand’s capital, don’t leave without visiting Wat Pho. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bangkok. On his deathbed lies a gigantic statue of Buddha. It is also the ideal place for massage lovers. It is indeed the traditional Thai massage center.
Located in the Silom district, Lumpini Park covers an area of approximately 60 hectares. It is the largest park in Bangkok. This place has a school, a homeless center, a library and a sports center. In the morning you can meet people who practice Taiji and in the evening aerobics fans.
The shopping center terminal 21
It is one of the most beautiful shopping centers in the city. It stands out from the others with its architecture that resembles that of an airport. These different floors also represent the major cities of the world such as Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood. It is richly decorated and contains more than 600 fashion boutiques.
In the heart of the city of angels, rice is the foundation of the kitchen. From breakfast to dinner you have a variety of dishes made from rice accompanied by pork, crab, shrimp or beef. Noodles are also a must in Bangkok cuisine. Many traditional restaurants in the city are open day and night for all your taste needs.
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