Bangkok serves as the capital of Thailand, and with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, it's the largest city by far. Bangkok is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities, with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone. It's a city of extremes with heavy traffic, thumping music and intense heat, combined with a scenic river, serene temples and a vibrant culture.
At first Bangkok was just a small trading post on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This was until King Rama I, the first monarch of the present dynasty, transformed it into the capital of Siam in 1782, after the burning of Ayutthaya by Burmese invaders. In the years since, Bangkok has become Thailand's spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational, and diplomatic center.
Head to Pratunam or Siam Square for premier shopping, or unwind in the gardens of Dusit. Take a visit to Thon Buri, which is home to the stunning Wat Arun temple. In Phra Nakhon, you can find the Wat Pho temple of the Reclining Buddha. Just a short walk away is the Grand Palace, the most beautiful and historic landmark in Bangkok. From culture and history to shopping and nightlife, there's something in Bangkok for everyone.