The population and culture of Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok – the capital of Thailand, scattered its bustling neighborhoods along the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River, near its inflow into the Gulf of Thailand. Brimming with technology, a million lights and as many contradictions, crowded with people and skyscrapers lost in the clouds, this Asian metropolis seems like a giant anthill, “dissolving” everything in it.

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Highlights

Bangkok, like nowhere else in the world, knows how to combine the incongruous, and the urban development is a clear proof of that. Only in the Thai capital from behind the futuristic buildings of business centers may look shabby shacks and gilded pagodas above the rails, on which the train rumbles. The city has struggled lately to catch up with and overtake giants like Singapore and Hong Kong, but it’s doing so wisely and without losing its historic image.

Whatever goals you set for your trip, modern Bangkok is sure to mix up the cards, forcing you to wander its winding streets 24 hours a day, taste the local culture in numerous restaurants and zero in on credit cards in the giant shopping malls. Well, the nightlife of this contrasting “Asian” is worthy of a separate article. There are the most spectacular girls, who “yesterday” were boys, and unusual nightclubs, where the visitor is allowed everything and even a little more. However, it is better to see all this splendor with their own eyes, the “path” to the Thai capital has long been treaded more than a million Russians.

Bangkok Night Streets in Bangkok

History of Bangkok

Like most modern megacities, Bangkok grew up from a small, unremarkable settlement. Up to the middle of XVIII century this place didn’t play a significant role in the political life of the country remaining, in fact, a small river port on the back of the official capital of the kingdom – Ayutthaya. But after the Burmese massacred the royal residence in 1767, destroying the city almost to the ground, the capital had to be moved to Thonburi, which at that time was an independent city and on whose territory was located Bangkok. In 15 years the administrative center of the kingdom moved to the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River and settled on the site of the port itself, gradually growing and absorbing the nearest settlements and even entire provinces.

Bangkok 1822 Bangkok today

From the point of view of the locals, the name Bangkok is considered outdated. Modern Thais call their capital no other than Krung Thep (Krung Thep), although the full name of the metropolis consists of as many as 20 words: Krung Thep-Mahanakon-Amon-Rapanakosin-Ayutthaya-Ma-hinthara-Mahadilok-Phop-Noppharat-Ratchathani-Burirom-Udomratchanivet-Mahasathan-Amon-Piman-Avathan-Sathit-Saccathathagiya-Vitsanukam-Prasit, that is “City of Angels, the highest treasury of divine jewels, the great invincible country, the outstanding state, the magnificent royal capital adorned with the nine heavenly gems, the highest royal throne and palace, the shelter of the gods and the home of reborn souls. It is easy to notice that since time immemorial Thai national pride went beyond the limit, as they “modestly” dubbed their capital the “eternal treasure”, the “city of angels” and the “abode of the gods”. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest name of all the existing names of the cities is Bangkok, and not every local resident knows what it means, because most of the lexical units forming it are archaisms.

Best time to go

Bangkok is located in a zone of pronounced subequatorial climate, so you can warm up here all year round. The best time to tour the Thai capital is considered the period from November to February, when the city is clear and moderately warm weather (about +26 ° C) and rain, if it rains, it is short. Spring in Bangkok is dry and extremely hot, with an average thermometer around +40 ºC, and in the summer the city is systematically drowned by tropical showers and blowing hurricanes. Local fall – a logical continuation of the Thai summer with its endless rain and an average daytime temperature of 27 º C, so to appear in this part of Asia, between June and October without an umbrella, raincoat and rubber boots – a real extreme.

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The Streets of Bangkok during Rainy Season

Major tourist destinations

A total of 50 districts in Bangkok, which are referred to here as khet. Each khet is divided into smaller administrative units – khwengi, which in the capital of more than a hundred and fifty. The most interesting in terms of religious attractions is the historical center of the metropolis (Rattanokosin Island area), situated on a bulk piece of land, which includes the main national heritage of Thais: the Royal Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the shrine of Wat Pho, the Temple of the Golden Buddha and the National Museum.

View of the Royal Palace in Bangkok from the Chao Phraya River Tuk-tuk and bus in Bangkok

The Banglampu area also belongs to old Bangkok and has a lot to offer, from Golden Mountain, formerly the highest point in the city, to the remains of an ancient fort, as well as several Buddhist temples. If you’re not a fan of traditional sightseeing and have come to Bangkok for simple pleasures, don’t pass by Chinatown, whose estates start literally a few kilometers from the Royal Palace. Eat on a budget, buy cheap souvenirs and local jewelry, hang out in dubious bars – it’s better to do it all in Chinatown. Strawberry hunters who flock to Bangkok prefer to settle in Sukhumvit Road. By the way, in addition to spicy 18+ establishments, this street offers a lot of other, quite decent entertainment, including inexpensive shopping.

Russians in Bangkok are particularly fond of Pratunam. The reason for this affection is simple: it is quite inexpensive housing and a good level of service, which for the Thai capital is not such a common occurrence. Besides, in Pratunam you can spend a good time strolling through the numerous stores and mini-markets.

Pratunam District Banglampu District

Shopaholics with big wallets and lovers of pretentiousness usually flock to the downtown metropolis – Silom. This is where the biggest deals are made and the most money is spent. In addition, this square has a decent amount of nightlife for the local business elite and wealthy tourists. Even more stores can offer the main shopping artery of the capital – Siam Square. In contrast to the same Silom with its boutiques and jewelry galleries, designed for stylish snobs, here are ruled by large shopping centers, which can get enough of not even the most affluent traveler.

Silom Siam Square

Sightseeing and Entertainment in Bangkok

The first place in the top Bangkok attractions belongs to the palace ensemble in the old part of the city, on Rattanakosin Island. In addition to the Royal Palace, must-see intricate pagodas (there are exactly 95) and the temple complex Wat Pho with its 46-meter-high reclining Buddha statue. Temple of the Emerald Buddha is also on the list of major tourist must-see. Statue of the creator, however, it is not so outstanding: only 66 cm, but it is made of natural jadeite (according to another version – from jadeite). Three times a year, the emerald deity cardinally changes his closet, and it is not just anyone who changes the statue, but the king himself.

Royal Palace in Bangkok

On a side note: there are a number of requirements for visitors to the capital’s shrines. In particular, it is recommended to enter temples barefoot and also in modest clothing. Shorts and short skirts are categorically discouraged.

In general, Thais are very religious people, as can be easily guessed from the number of metropolitan temples. Although there are a lot of Buddhist shrines in Bangkok, most of them are like twin brothers. The white marble Benchamabophit with a roof lined with Chinese tiles and Wat Arun (Temple of the Morning Dawn), reminiscent of the Aztec pyramid with a facade decorated with painted porcelain tiles are nice exceptions to the general rule. By the way, a visit to the latter can be a good cardio workout, as the steps leading to the interior of the attraction are phenomenally steep. Walking in the area of Golden Mountain, you can look at Wat Saket – in the past the tallest structure of the capital, but today – just another authentic sanctuary with spectacular golden spires. The altar of the goddess Tabtim appeals more to the fairer sex of humanity. In exchange for the fulfillment of their desires, female parishioners leave statuettes in the form of male dignity to the deity, making the altar an attraction with an age limit of 18+.

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Benchamabophit Temple Wat Arun temple lit up at night National Museum of Bangkok

Of the local museums, the National Museum deserves special attention, located in the old part of Bangkok and offering its guests non-boring exhibitions on historical topics. An incredible collection of historical artifacts, including precious pieces of porcelain, paintings and figurines, is located in the Jim Thompson House Museum. The museum has a store where you can buy natural silk products and other high-end Thai souvenirs after the tour.

Traveler who wants a cultural program, it is recommended to look at the local theaters. The plays they put on have little in common with European theatrical art, which only fuels the audience’s interest. According to reviews, the National Theater and the Royal Theater, as well as the Siam Niramit Theater offer the richest performances. For those who came for the notorious Thai exoticism, the doors of the capital’s transvestite shows like “Calypso” cabaret are open. Just keep in mind that eager to visit these events is always a lot, so if you do not want to find yourself on the sidelines, it is better to book tickets in advance.

Siam Niramit Theater. Calypso Cabaret, Bangkok

For a quiet family vacation with children suits the capital’s zoo “Dusit”, where you can not only gaze at the representatives of fauna, but also cuddle their babies, as well as take part in the feeding local residents. If you want to change the location abruptly, welcome to the amusement park Dream World, which tourists call the Bangkok Disneyland. There are amusement rides for all ages and tastes, and the park is also packed with fun sculptures and designs that make a great backdrop for selfies.

Siam Ocean World Dusit Zoo in Bangkok

Have fun at Siam Ocean World, with over 30,000 species of marine mammals and fish in glass tanks. Since you can’t snorkel with a snorkel and action camera on your own in Bangkok, Siam Ocean World is quite capable of making up for this little disappointment. Safari World offers visitors a more extensive program, including a classic safari through the natural areas, all kinds of shows with animals, and feeding the park’s inhabitants. A fascinating dive into the world of children’s fantasies offers a museum-factory of dolls Bangkok Dolls, whose exhibition contains unique toys, which dream not only of the younger generation, but also adult collectors. Slightly join the local realities can be at the floating market Taling Chan. Of course, the place is purely tourist, so the prices of souvenirs bargainers significantly overpriced, but you can eat here relatively cheap.

10 Facts about Bangkok | Thailand

Bangkok

Bangkok – the largest and most famous city in Southeast Asia, the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. It is one of the fastest growing modern metropolitan areas in the world. Compared with the second city of Thailand, Chiang Mai, it is more dynamic and interesting in terms of city life. The opportunities provided by the capital attract many people from all over the world. A lot of people dream to see Bangkok and experience the Thai traditions and culture here. Before you travel to the city of contrasts, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the basic facts about it. In this article, we have collected to help the tourist all that it is desirable to know about Bangkok – the most interesting information about it.

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Basic information:

Name Bangkok, or Krung Thep Maha Nakhon in Thai
Where is it In the central part of the Kingdom of Thailand on the Indochina Peninsula, on the eastern bank of the Chao Praya River, at its confluence with the Gulf of Thailand
What is it The city of Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the largest modern metropolis in the region. It is a political and spiritual center, and a major tourist hub
GPS coordinates 13 ° 45′ 0″ N, 100 ° 28′ 0″ E 13.75, 100.466667
Date of foundation April 21, 1782 (on the site of the settlement of the XV century)
Height above sea level 1,5 м
Area 1,570 sq. km
Population 8.5 million people
Population density 5,300 people/square kilometre
Climate Tropical
Number of tourists About 20 million annually
Official website http://www.bangkok.go.th/

Bangkok Facts The name Bangkok

The name Bangkok originates from the settlement of Chinese merchants (Bang Kok is translated from Thai as “village of olives”), which was located on the site of the modern capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. Under that name, Bangkok got into European geographical atlases and maps back in the XVI century. After King Thaksin in 1782, founded a new capital of Siam, it, according to Thai tradition, has received a name appropriate to its position (although the whole world has remained Bangkok).

Today the Thai name of Bangkok consists of 72 words and is included in the Guinness Book of World Records, but in everyday life there is its short version – Krung Thep, which means City of Angels, coinciding with the unofficial name of Los Angeles – the largest city on the West Coast of the United States.

Where is Bangkok?

The port city of Bangkok is located in Southeast Asia on the Indochina Peninsula in the delta of the Chao Phraya River, which flows into the Gulf of Thailand, in the Kingdom of Thailand. Geographic coordinates: 13 ° 45″ N, 100 ° 28″ E.

Bangkok on the map:

Population of Bangkok

The population of Bangkok is about 7 million people. The official language in Bangkok is Thai, but most residents of the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand speak English.

Greater Bangkok

Greater Bangkok is Thailand’s 7,762 km2 area consisting of the city of Bangkok and five provinces: Nonthaburi, Samutprakan, Pathumthani, Samutsakkhon and Nakhonpatom (a similar agglomeration is found in the United States – Greater Los Angeles). In terms of the standard of living and income of its residents, it is the most developed part of the country, which constantly attracts new residents from other provinces and even countries. The population of Greater Bangkok is about 16 million people and exceeds the population of the neighboring country, the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Distance from Moscow to Bangkok

The distance from Moscow to Bangkok is 7065 kilometers. This is significantly less than the flight Moscow – Los Angeles, and about the same as the flight to the Maldives. Planes to Bangkok fly regularly, several times a day. You can fly without a connection, or you can have connecting flights or a technical stopover at Urumqi airport for refueling.

The flight time to Bangkok by Aeroflot direct flight is about 9.5 hours.

By car from Moscow to Bangkok by road the distance is about 10500 kilometers. But it is still almost impossible to travel without special agreements of the ground route with the official representatives of the various states. To organize such a trip it is necessary to make it as a road trip, to register and confirm, which makes it little realistic at the moment.

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Airports in Bangkok

Bangkok has two airports. The main one is the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where most tourists from around the world arrive. It is one of the largest airports in Southeast Asia. It is located to the east of Bangkok, on the road to Bang Na.

  • If you need to stay overnight in Bangkok near Suvarnabhumi Airport, I can recommend an inexpensive hotel with free shuttle service – Gold Airport Suites . There are 3 hotels at BKK Airport itself, the best of which is Novotel .

The second airport of the Thai capital is Don Muang , which also serves international flights but mainly specializes in domestic flights. It is located in the north of Bangkok and is home to low-cost airlines. Southeast Asia’s largest low-cost airline, Air Asia, operates regular flights from Don Muang Airport in Bangkok to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Mandalay, Yangon, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar.

  • The Amari Hotel, located right in front of the passenger terminal, is the best place to stay overnight at Don Mueang Airport.

There is a free shuttle bus service between both airports in Bangkok and a new air express train service will soon be available. The Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport online scoreboard can be found at: http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/ru/landings/flightinfo

Downtown Bangkok

The historical center of Bangkok is Rattanakosin – an area on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River where many of Thailand’s most famous landmarks are concentrated. Here are the Royal Palace, the Temple of the reclining Buddha Wat Pho and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Wat Phra Keo, as well as many parks, stores, cafes and restaurants, clubs and entertainment venues.

The best hotels in Bangkok are in the Old Town:

  • Sala Arun Hotel, located right on the beach in front of the Wat Arun Temple
  • Elegant mansion with a garden and Italian interiors in peace and quiet – Praya Palazzo
  • Modern New York style hotel near Lumpini Park – The St. Regis Bangkok

The main financial center of Bangkok is on Tanon Silom Street. The business center of Bangkok is considered the areas of Silom Street, neighborhoods around Siam Square and Lumpini Park. Here are the most expensive hotels in Bangkok and the best restaurants, shopping malls and offices of large companies, embassies and representative offices of the world’s largest corporations.

I recommend hotels in Bangkok for shopping and entertainment:

  • A 4* hotel with good breakfasts, located in Siam Square close to shopping malls and subway – Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square
  • Best family friendly hotel in a skyscraper with rooftop pool and restaurant with panoramic city and skyline views – Centara Grand Central World
  • Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit 5* with rooftop bar and great views

Cabs in Bangkok

An almost ubiquitous form of public transport in Bangkok, cabs are not terribly expensive and are a popular form of public transport in the car-crowded Asian city. As an official city cab in the city of Bangkok are cars such as Toyota-Corolla, the fare is calculated on the meter and depends on the distance covered and the time of the trip.

  • For a trip of the big company by a cab you can order a minibus. There are also limousine cabs, which provide services to wealthy passengers who prefer business cars.
  • For a faster ride through the city’s perpetually jammed traffic, you can use a motorcycle cab, joining a motorcycle cab driver dressed in a special red vest as a passenger.
  • And if you want something exotic, there is even a boat cab, which will take you along the river and canals of the city straight to where you need, bypassing all traffic jams! There are also tuk-tuks in Bangkok, but as a cab they are inconvenient and too expensive compared to regular cabs.

Bangkok traffic

The cabs in Bangkok look like this: the pink Toyotas are the Bangkok cabs.

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Canals in Bangkok

Thailand’s capital city is sometimes called the Venice of the East, and for good reason. Bangkok has many canals (they are called klongs) separating the central areas of the city and providing better drainage during the rain. Long-tailed boats float on them and all sorts of river transport runs.

Over the canals of Bangkok built a lot of bridges of different sizes and heights, under some of them the roof of the boat is lowered, and the passengers need almost duck. A trip on the klongs can be interesting if you are in no hurry and want to get an impression of Bangkok’s urban life from a new angle.

Bangkok’s districts

The Thai capital has 50 administrative districts (khet), which are divided into 154 subdistricts (kwang). For tourists, however, it is much more useful to understand the division of Bangkok into districts by their concept or purpose:

  • Rattanakosin is the historical center of Bangkok, or, as it is also called, Old Town. The Royal Palace is located here. This area is visited by almost all tourists. It is located here the main attractions of Bangkok, including the temple of Wat Pho.
  • Chinatown – Chinatown is an area famous for its markets, Chinese and Vietnamese temples. It’s also home to the Hua Lampong Railway Station, a building of great historical value.
  • Khao San Road is an area of cheap hotels, stores, bars, and clubs. It’s also called the backpacker district.
  • Sukhumvit – This area of Bangkok is the most exclusive in Bangkok and home to most of the tourists. There are many hotels and nightclubs.
  • Silom – Bangkok’s business center, skyscraper district. It has a large number of offices, shopping centers, government agencies and banks. It is also the financial center of Thailand. And at night it is in this area open red light districts.
  • Dusit – this district is built in the European style and is the modern political center of Thailand. The King and Queen’s residences, political offices, wide streets and lush gardens can be found here.
  • Riverside – one of the oldest districts of Bangkok, located on the waterfront of the Chao Phraya River. Not to be confused with the city of Riverside in California, USA. There are many of the most expensive hotels in the capital.
  • Thonburi is a district located on the west bank of the Chao Praya River, and is mostly visited by tourists to see the Wat Arun Temple, the National Royal Boat Museum, and one of Bangkok’s floating markets.
  • Siam Square – The commercial center of Bangkok, an area of shopping malls where you can buy anything you can.
  • Pratunam – An area of small stores and clothing markets. Also the Victory Monument and the famous Bayok Skyscraper Hotel.
  • Ratchadaphisek is an area of shopping and popular nightclubs.
  • Chatuchak is named after the park of the same name, but has become well known for one of Asia’s largest low-cost markets. Also here is the northern bus station Mo Chit – the gateway to almost all destinations in Thailand.
Cheap Flights to Bangkok

If you want to visit the capital of Thailand – Bangkok, it is most convenient to buy a ticket and fly to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. There are direct flights from Moscow to Bangkok several times a day. We recommend you check the prices for flights to Bangkok on Aviasales.ru .

Hotels in Bangkok

Find and book a hotel in Bangkok at a great price with Booking.com (link).

For more information on which hotel to choose, read the article about hotels in Bangkok .

What else do I need to know about Bangkok?

That’s basically all the most important things we wanted to tell you. But we have a lot more interesting things to know about Bangkok, stay tuned! For more information about the city and its attractions, read the articles on our website as well:

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