Bangkok, known to the Thais as "Krung Thep"
(which means the City of Angels), was established in 1782 by King Rama I as capital of Siam. Over the past two centuries,
it has developed into a great metropolis with a population of over 5,000,000. Like other modern cities in the world, Bangkok boasts lots of massive building, numerous luxurious hotels,
shopping centres, and a modern international airport. But, Bangkok has its charm. It is a mixture of East and West, the traditional and the modern.
So, despite its modernization, Bangkok is still best suited for a glimpse of the traditional arts, architecture, religion, and culture of the Thai people.
View Wat Phra Kaeo from Sanamchai
Bangkok , capital and principal city of Thailand, south
central Thailand, on the Chao Phraya River, near the Gulf of Siam. The city incorporates
Krung Thep, which is regarded as Bangkok
proper, on the eastern bank of the river, and Thon Buri, which before 1971 was a separate
city, on the river's western bank. Bangkok is a major commercial and transportation center
of Southeast Asia. It is a railroad junction and a port, handling a high percentage of
Thailand's total imports and exports. It is located in a rice-growing lowland plain, and rice
milling is one of the most important of the city's industries. Other industries include the
assembly of motor vehicles, petroleum refining, and the manufacture of processed foods,
textiles, cement, and jewelry.
Located here are the headquarters of the United Nations (UN)
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, as well as other UN regional offices.
Bangkok is a city of numerous canals (known as khlong), although some have been filled in
to provide more roads for the city's growing number of motor vehicles. However, the
floating market—the selling of produce from boats—still thrives. Another distinguishing
feature of the city is the more than 400 richly decorated wats, or temples. The most
magnificent of these is Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), located within
the walls of the Grand Palace (both completed in 1785).
Bangkok is a center of Thai culture and education and is the seat of six universities—
including Chulalongkorn (1917), Thammasat (1933), and Silpakorn (1943) universities—and
several technical institutes.
The National Museum (1926) houses a large collection of Thai archaeology and art.
Bangkok was founded in 1782 when General Pya Chakri, on assuming the throne of
Siam as Rama I, moved the capital from Thon Buri on the western bank of the river where
it had been since 1767.
The city was named Krung Thep (City of Angels) and was planned
around a network of canals so as to resemble the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. During
World War II the city was occupied (from 1941 to 1945) by the Japanese and was subjected
to Allied bombing in 1944 and 1945.
Floral Float Procession, thousands of beautiful
flowers and hundreds of beautiful girls clad in traditional costumes, will share the spotlight in a grand parade
passing some of the capital's most famous landmarks along Ratchadamnoen Avenue and
at Sanam Luang.
Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavilion
This is located within the Grand Palace compound on the right hand side before entering the palace's inner gate. The
pavilion displays exotically designed coins and other monetary exchange units used in Thailand since the early 11th Century
A.D. In the same building, adjacent to the coin collection, is a display room for Royal regalia, decorations and medals. Most of the items seen were used in former
royal courts. Some are made of gold and are elaborately patterned. The pavilion is open every day from 9.00 am. to 3.30 pm.
Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall (The Support Museum), a one-story teak build built in the reign of King Rama V is
situated on the east wing of Vimanmek Throne Hall. Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall is now Thailand's first handicraft masterpieces where
Her Majesty The Queen collects handicraft masterpieces created by members of SUPPORT Foundation. In the museum,
visitors find such handicrafts as niellowares. Thai silk with various unique designs. "Lipao" basketry like beautiful trays and handbags are studded withjewels in different designs
such as green beetle.
The compound is open daily from 9.00 am. to 4.00 pm. Admission fee is 50 baht per person. Free guide tour available.
Bus No. 18, 27, 70
Air-conditioned Bus No. 10
Music art Center
The Center shares the same building with the Bankok Bank Ltd., Phan Fa Branch. Performances] discussions and
activities are taken place on Friday with fee admission. Call 282-2396 for more information.
Bus No. 2, 5, 10, 12, 15, 47, 56, 60, 70, 201
Air-conditioned Bus No. 2, 3, 9, 11, 12, 39, 79
Located near Wa Suki Peir on Samsen Road, it provides service on data searching. Apart from the Vajirayan
Building, where stone inscriptions and scripture cabinets are kept, the National Library houses Thun Kramom Boriphat Music
Library and the ancient archives room. Other activities are documentary projection, discussions and exhibitions. It is open daily
during 9.30 am. to 7.30 pm. except for national holidays. (Tel : 281-5313, 281-5212)
Bus No. 3, 9, 32, 33, 64
Air-conditioned Bus No. 3, 5, 6
Located on Sukhumvit Soi 101, this is the highest pagoda in Bangkok. The Pagoda, 94.78 metres high, has 14
storeys and elevator to enable visitors, particularly elderly people, to go to the top of the building. Relics and a hair of the
Lord Buddha, kept in the pagoda, were presented by the Supreme Patriach of Bangladesh.
Bus No. 2, 23, 25, 38, 46
Air-conditioned Bus No. 2, 7, 8, 11, 13
Hall of Railways Heritage
It is located on Kamphaeng Phet Road, on of Chatuchak Park near a multi-purposed parking lot.
It is where railway information is collectioned for publicity. Stream engines, train models and miniature trains of various sizes are exhibited there along
with photographs and paintings depicting development of world railway systems and several other related objects. The Hall of Railways Heritage is
open every Sunday between 5.00-1200 am. Admission is fee. For more information contact the Thai Railfan Club. Tel : 243-2037-9.
Bus No. 134, 136, 145
Air-conditioned Bus No. 134, 145
Located in Bangkhunphrom area on Wisutkrast Road. Wat Indravihan is well-known for a huge standing Buddha image.
This image of "Buddhasiariyametriya" is 32 metres tall (108.99 feet) and 10 metres and 24 inches wide (40.09 feet).
This Buddhist monument was built during the reign of King Rama IV.
The topknot of the Buddha image contains a relic of Lord Buddha brought from Sri Lanka. The temple is open to the public everday.
Bus No. 49
The museum is on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Postal Bureau (North) behind Sam Sen Nai Post Office, Saphan
Khwai. Open daily from Tuesday to Sunday during 90.. am. to 4.00 pm. No admission fee. Thai and foreign stamps of the old
ages are on display. The collections of post books in both Thailand foreign languages are available at the library. Stamps
and accessories for stamp collection are on sale. (Tel : 271-2439, 233-1050)
Bus No. 8, 23, 26, 28, 34, 38, 44, 96, 122, 145
Air-conditioned Bus No. 2, 3, 13, 38, 39, 44, 59
The National Gallery Museum
Situating on Chhao Fa Road opposite the National Theatre, the National Gallery Museum exhibits traditional and contemporary
works of art by Thai artists. The gallery is open to the public everyday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. except Mondays, Tuesdays and public holidays.
Admission fee is 80 Baht.
Ban Kamthieng is an old house, originally constructed in Chiang Mai more than 200
years ago and donated to the Siam Society by its owners and later was brought of reconstruction in Bangkok. A very large variety of Thai flora and fauna
can be seen in the garden of the house, which is at 131 Soi Asok (Soi 21) Sukhumvit Road. Also on display are items used daily by Thai farmers and fishermen.
It is open dialy from 9.00 am. to 5.00 pm except sunday and national holidays. An admission fee of 100 baht is charged to help maintain the property
and grounds. ( Tel : 661-6470-7 )
Bus No. 38, 98, 136
Air-conditioned Bus No. 22, 38
Museum of Imaging Technology
The first camera and photograph museum to be established in Thailand and Asia, is located in the same building as the Department of Photographphic Science
and Printing Technology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University. Historic photographs and imaging equipment as well as
its technological evolution are collected and displayed in the form of camera and imaging technology museum. Modern photographic arts and techniques as well as
advanced technology of three dimensional photographs, electronic photograph and printing technology are also exhibited. The museum is open on Thursday from
10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Admission fee is Bt 100 each. ( Tel : 218-5583 )
Bus No. 29, 34, 36, 40
Air-conditioned Bus No. 1, 29, 36
Bangkok Dolls & Museum
All kinds of Thai dolls are made in this factory situated on Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng) off Ratchaprarop, in the Pratunam area. It is open to visitors
who may inspect and buy dools every day from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm except Sundays and public holidays. ( Tel : 245-3008 )
Bus No. 14, 140, 204
Air-conditioned Bus No. 13, 15, 73
This boxing is both a sport and a mean of self-defence. Contestants are allowed to use almost any part of their body: feet, elbows, legs, knees, shoulders,
are all "weapons". The playing of traditional music during bouts makes for even greater excitement. There are three venues for this type of sport.
Ratchadamnoen Stadium (Tel : 281-4205)
Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue every Monday and Wednesday at 6 pm. Thursday at 5 pm. and 9 pm and Sunday at 4 pm. and 8 pm.
Bus No. 201
Air-conditioned Bus No. 8, 93
Lumphini Stadium (Tel : 251-4303) at Rama IV Road, every Tuesday and Friday at 6 pm. and Saturday at 5 pm.
The real name for Krungthep, or Bangkok, is the longest place name in the world. In English,
Krungthep means : "city of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent jewelled city of the gold
Indra, seat of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, city of gleaming temples, city of
the King's most excellent Palace and dominions, home of Vishnu and all the gods."
In Thai, all of this is represented by a single word of 152 letters.
Before Bangkok became the capital city in 1782, it was known simply as Bang Makok.
Bang means village and makok is a kind of olive or plum, the trees of which grew plentifully in the
area. Bangkok was the shortened form of Bang Makok.
When King Phrajai of Ayutthaya (1534-1546) sent teams of corv'ee labourers to open a
channel in the Chao Phraya river to make it easier for sea shipments to reach his capital, he
opened up the canal called Klong Bangkok Yai.
King Taksin moved his capitol from ayutthaya to Thonburi in 1769, the town opposite Bangkok
on the shore of the Chao Phraya river. Rama I decided to move his capital to Bangkok. To remind
his people of the glory of Ayutthaya he modelled his creation after the former island capital.
Bangkok was perfectly placed.
On April 21, 1782 at exactly 54 minutes past sunrise, Rama I erected the city pillar,
the Lak Muang, and only two weeks after founding the ChaKri dynasty, established the new capital city