"Keeweechic's Bangkok" Bangkok by keeweechic
Bangkok Travel Guide: 10,366 reviews and 23,038 photos
Bangkok, Thailands capital and largest city, has to be one of the grimiest cities on the planet but one of the most magnetic. An estimated 6 million people live there. You either end up hating it or love and appreciate it by the time you leave. It is polluted from toxic clouds of carbon monoxide emitted by millions of cars, buses, motorcycles and tuk tuks and pedestrians take the precaution of wearing surgical masks to keep from inhaling the pollutants. Its noisy and crowded, since the 1960's the population has increased sixfold. The traffic problem is so extreme that it is sometimes quicker to walk. The climate is very hot and humid and there is no let up. But on the upside, Bangkok known as the 'City of Angels' is an orchestra of sounds and a tapestry of color. There is nonstop entertainment, fabulous food from all cultures and for all budgets and amazing (also sometimes risky) bargains on silk, handicrafts, jewellery, and a thousand other items. The wats (temples) found throughout the area are really inspiring. There are few other cities in which you can find this kind of spirituality, art, history, politics, and the pressures of urban life as closely mingled as in Bangkok and few other places are as generally good-natured as Bangkok. The Thai people are incredibly friendly and graceful, if not a little too curious at times which is a little unnerving until you get used to it.
Four hundred years ago, Bangkok and Thonburi, an area on the west bank of the Chao Phraya, were just small villages. At that time they served as ports for ships sailing up the river to Ayuthaya, the former capital of what was then called Siam. As ships got larger and the river got shallower, the villages grew in importance. The kingdom's capital was relocated to Thonburi when Ayuthaya fell to Burmese armies in 1767. King Rama I moved the capital across the river to Bangkok in 1782, because the main Burmese threat to the Thai came from the west, on the Thonburi side of the river. The city continued to grow in all directions through the 19th and 20th centuries, eventually encompassing Thonburi. Bangkok remained a quiet city until the 1960s, when the country's economy and society began rapid expansion (due, in part, to the Vietnam War). Bangkok's population increased by about 1 million people between the 1980 and 1990 censuses alone. The greater metropolitan Bangkok extends for more than 32 kms (20 miles) in all directions. It includes much of five neighboring provinces (Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Songkhram) and covers an area of 7,758 square kms (2,995 square miles). Until the end of World War II, much of the population was comprised of Chinese immigrants from the South China seacoast, but today the city's population is predominantly Thai. The city also has significant minorities of Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Malays, Europeans, and Americans.
Bangkok is a city that it takes time to appreciate fully. It's a frame of mind, you first have to submit to its annoyances and get past them to really appreciate its beauty. Bangkok has something for everyone, a wide range of art and culture, colourful neighbourhoods, great food, endless shopping, luxurious hotels, and non-stop nightlife (some a little dodgy at times). However the pace can be tiring and when you have done your dash with Bangkok, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to explore the outer areas of the Capital like the ruins of Ayuthaya and Nakhom Pathom or just relax at one of the beach resorts.
More pictures in my Travelogue.
I put this in as a warning only because it happened to me and not to suggest that this is common practise. The tour... more travel advice
The rooms were very comfortable and service from the housemaids was very prompt when I needed it. Every effort was made... more travel advice
keeweechic's Related Pages
Bangkok Travel Guide
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