Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Thai: กรุงเทพมหานคร, pronounced [krūŋtʰêːp máhǎːnákʰɔːn] ( listen)), or กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep ( (listen) (help·info), meaning "City of the Deity") for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It came to the forefront of Siam when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya. However, the current Rattanakosin Kingdom did not begin until 1782 when the capital was moved across the river by Rama I after the death of King Taksin. The Rattanakosin capital is now more formally called "Phra Nakhon" (Thai: พระนคร), pertaining to the ancient boundaries in the metropolis' core and the name Bangkok now incorporates the urban build-up since the 18th century which has its own public administration and governor.
Since its inception as the capital of Siam, it was at the center of European Colonial plans, but due to its strategic location in Indochina, it acted as a buffer-zone and brokered power between the European forces. Through this, it gained notoriety in the world as an independent, dynamic, and influential city. And in the span of over two hundred years, Bangkok has grown to become the political, social and economic center of Thailand, Indochina and one of Southeast Asia.
As a direct result of the 1980s and 1990s Asian investment boom, numerous multinational corporations base their regional headquarters in Bangkok and the city has become a regional force in finance and business. Its increasing influence on global politics, culture, fashion, and entertainment underlines its status as a global city. In 2009, it was the second most expensive city in South-East Asia behind Singapore.
The city's wealth of cultural landmarks and attractions in addition to its notorious entertainment venues has made it synonymous with exoticism. Its historic wealth coincides with its rapid modernization, reflected in the cityscape and the urban society. The Grand Palace, Vimanmek Palace Complex, its thousands of temples, and the city's notorious red-light districts combine draw in 11 million international visitors each year, trailing just Paris and London.
Bangkok has a population of approximately 6,355,144 residents while the greater Bangkok area has a population of 11,971,000 (January 2008). The capital is part of the heavily urbanized triangle of central and eastern Thailand which stretches from Nakhon Ratchasima along Bangkok to the heavily Industrialized Eastern Seaboard. Bangkok borders six other provinces: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom, and all five provinces are joined in the conurbation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area. It is served by two international airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport, four rapid transit lines operated by the BTS, MRT, and the SRT, with plans to add eight more by 2020.
Bangkok, sometimes called "The Big Chilli", is considered to be one of the world's tourist hotspots.
Bangkok is called Krung Thep in Thai, which translates to City of Angels. The tourism board calls the city "the Big Mango," in homage to the Big Apple. There is little similarity between the Thai capital and Los Angeles or New York, other than its sprawling layout, traffic jams, and heavy dose of American pop culture. Bangkok is definitely another world.
Google Groups: rec.travel.asia
From: surreal pagoda
Subject: Re: Have 4 months to travel. Where would you go?
Richard S. Ehrlich Asia Correspondent
Bangkok, Thailand: *The Big Mango* phone (66 2) 286 2434
The Big Mango by Jake Needham
What happened to the Bank of Vietnam's $400 Million?
From the Big apple, to the Big Orange, to the Big Mango. It had a kind of nutty logic to it, he figured. Bangkok was about as far as he could get from California without falling off the edge of the world. Although at times, he thought that was exactly what he had done.
Eddie Dare was a middle-aged San Francisco lawyer with a sinking feeling that the best part of his life was behind him. But back in 1975, when Saigon slid down the toilet, he'd been a young marine guarding a warehouse behind the U.S. Embassy.
Hong Kong 2002
My Thai: Living and travelling in Thailand
Thursday, January 06, 2005 :: Chris
The Big Mango
I hated Bangkok when I first arrived here two years ago.
And it's not just for the "Big Mango," as Bangkok is known: Frankel has made Groovy Maps for Singapore, Shanghai, Bali, the Thai trekking paradise of Chiang Mai and other destinations across Southeast Asia.
Nicknames of Other Places • Big Mango (Bangkok, Thailand nickname) • (4) Comments • Thursday, February 16, 2006 • Permalink