Bangkok is the capital of Thailand in south Asia. The city is called Krung Thep Mahanakhon in Thai. It covers an area of 1,568.7 sq km and had a population of 8,280,925 in 2010.
The low flat plain of the Chao Phraya River extends to the Gulf of Thailand. Bangkok is located on the western bank of this river in the central plains. The average elevation is only 1.5 mts above sea level which makes flood a serious problem in the city. The area was originally marshy. Several canals were constructed to drain the land and make it fit for agriculture and settlements. Many of these canals still serve as drainage and transport channels. Bangkok is surrounded by the Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakan to the south, Nakhon Nayok to the north, Nakhon Pathom to the west, and Chachoengsao to the east.
The city enjoys a tropical wet and dry climate. It comes under the influence of monsoons from May to October and receives heavy rainfall. It is one of the hottest cities of the world and summers are generally dry.
How to reach (transport)
You can travel to Bangkok in the following ways:
- The Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main airport of Bangkok and the busiest in Asia. It is located 30 kms to the east of the city. Flights are available to various destinations in Thailand as well as to all the major cities of the world.
- The city is also served by the Don Muang Airport which is located 30 kms to the north of downtown Bangkok. Most Asian flights depart from here.
- There are three bus stations in Bangkok and the city is well connected to various parts of Thailand with regular routes.
- The State Railway of Thailand connects Bangkok to a vast number of destinations within the country.
- Bangkok has 4 kms of coast and you'll often find cruise ships here.
The best time to visit Bangkok is during the winter which lasts from November to February as the weather is dry and cool during this time.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions
A number of events and festivals are celebrated in Bangkok. Some of them are as follows:
- The Chinese New Year is a major festival, mostly celebrated on the Yaowarat Road. It is celebrated with lion and dragon dances, music, Chinese costumes etc. Exotic foods are served.
- The Kite Flying Festival is held in March with an annual kite flying race.
- Thai New Year or Songhkran is celebrated from 13th to 15th April. A huge water fight is held. There are parades of music and other performances.
- The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held on 9th May presided over by the king. The ceremony is aimed at praying for a good harvest and the beginning of a new planting season.
- Loy Krathong is celebrated on 28th November. This is the occasion when the Goddess of water is worshipped. Beautiful lotus shaped vessels decorated with flowers and lights are set afloat.
- Makha Pucha is celebrated on 11th March to commemorate the day when Buddha began his preaching. A candle ceremony is performed at the Buddhist temples.
The main places to see in Bangkok are as follows:
- The Grand Palace is the best known sight in Bangkok and it is huge. The most sacred Buddhist temple of Wat Phra Kaew is located within the palace grounds. The huge Emerald Buddha should not be missed.
- Wat Pho is the home of the largest reclining Buddha of the world.
- The Wat Arun is another major Buddhist temple in Thailand. It is beautifully decorated with pieces of colorful broken Chinese porcelain.
- There are several other temples like the Wat Suthat and the Golden Mountain.
Vast varieties of accommodation are available in Bangkok for people with all kinds of budgets. The 5-star hotels include The Sukhothai, InterContinental, Grand Hyatt, The Peninsula Bangkok, and Shangri-La Hotel. The 4-star hotels include Dusit Thani, Rembrandt Hotel, Marvel Hotel, and The Davis Bangkok Hotel. A wide variety of budget accommodations are also available in the city including the Khaosan Baan Thai, Bangkok Loft Inn, and Tara Place.
Last Updated : December 21, 2013