Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Mahanakhon or Krung Thep for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Bangkok came to the forefront of Siam when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya.
Bangkok is the world's 22nd largest city by population with over 8 million registered residents. However, similar to most regional centers, due to large unregistered permanent migrants from the North East of Thailand and other Asian nations in combination with those who commute to Bangkok during the day for work, the population of greater Bangkok is estimated to be closer to 15 million people. This has in turn shifted the country from being a rather homogeneous Thai population to an increasingly vibrant mix of Western, Indian and Chinese people, in doing so, giving the city of Bangkok a cosmopolitan status.
According to Travel and Leisure magazine it is Asia's best tourist destination, the third in the world in 2006 and overall best city in the world in 2008. It is also voted the best city in Asia according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Bangkok is Thailand's major tourist gateway, which means that the majority of foreign tourists arrive in Bangkok. The city boasts some of the country's most visited historical venues such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. There are numerous projects to maintain Bangkok's historic sites in the Rattanakosin area and river districts.
Thailand has become one of the most popular places to visit in recent years, and although Bangkok remains the most popular place, all of the provinces have become tourist hotspots. The country has really benefited from the relative political calm and has now entered western popular culture with a fun and exciting reputation.
The Bangkok Province 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.
Bangkok Currency: Baht (1 USD = 34 THB)
Bangkok Time Difference: UTC/GMT +7 hours