Bangkok

กรุงเทพมหานคร
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Special administrative area
A composite image, consisting of the following, in clockwise fashion: a skyline with several skyscrapers; a tall gate-like structure, painted in red; a monument featuring bronze figures standing around the base of an obelisk, surrounded by a large traffic circle; a cable-stayed bridge with a single pylon on one side of the river it spans; a temple with a large stupa surrounded by four smaller ones on a river bank; and a stately building with a Thai-style roof with three spires
Clockwise from top: Si LomSathon business district, the Giant Swing, Victory Monument, Rama VIII Bridge, Wat Arun, and the Grand Palace
A round seal bearing the image of Indra riding Airavata among clouds, with the words "Krung Thep Maha Nakhon" (in Thai) across the top
Seal
Map of Thailand, with a small highlighted area near the centre of the country, near the coast of the Gulf of Thailand
Location within Thailand
Coordinates: 13°45′09″N 100°29′39″E / 13.75250°N 100.49417°E / 13.75250; 100.49417Coordinates: 13°45′09″N 100°29′39″E / 13.75250°N 100.49417°E / 13.75250; 100.49417[1]
CountryThailand
RegionCentral Thailand
Settledc. 15th century
Founded as capital21 April 1782
Re-incorporated13 December 1972
Founded byKing Rama I
Governing bodyBangkok Metropolitan Administration
Government
 • TypeSpecial administrative area
 • GovernorAswin Kwanmuang
Area
 • City1,568.737 km2 (605.693 sq mi)
 • Metro7,761.6 km2 (2,996.8 sq mi)
Elevation1.5 m (4.9 ft)
Population
 (2010 census)[4]
 • City8,305,218
 • Density5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
14,626,225
 • Metro density1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Bangkokian
Time zoneUTC+07:00 (ICT)
Postal code
10###
Area code(s)02
ISO 3166 codeTH-10
Websitewww.bangkok.go.th

Bangkok[a] is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon[b] or simply Krung Thep.[c] The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people (22.2 percent) lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok the nation's primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.

Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam, later renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule, and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.[citation needed]

The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a centre for the arts, fashion, and entertainment. The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts. The Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations, and has been named the world's most visited city consistently in several international rankings.

Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. An inadequate road network, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem. Five rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

History

An engraved map titled "A Map of Bancock", showing a walled settlement on the west of a river, and a fort on the east