Bangkok Travel Guide, Thailand

Bangkok is not a beautiful city, nor at first glance is it obviously Oriental. But it is unquestionably captivating, exerting an irresistible charm as the epitome of all things Thai.

Alec Waugh captured its essence perfectly in his book on the Thai capital : 'Bangkok has been loved,' he wrote,'because it is an expression of the Thais themselves, of their lightheartedness, their love of beauty, their reverence for tradition, their sense of freedom, their extravagance, their devotion to their creed - to characteristics that are constant and continuing in themselves.'

Bangkok MBK Shopping Centre

MBK Shopping Centre, Bangkok

In its contradictory impulses towards love for the old and lust for the new, Bangkok is a huge paradox. Hence the madcap mix of gorgeous temples and glitzy departmental stores, of serene Buddha images and snarling traffic, or religious devotion and sensual pleasure, of cultural refinement and modern chaos.

Yet above all it is the Thais exceptional tolerance that gives the city a real sense of freedom.

Bangkok, One Of The Famous Cities In Asia

Bangkok is indeed one of the most intense and exciting cities in Asia. Explore its people, entertainment & nightlife, markets, elephants and daily life in the 'City of Angels'

Bangkok Geography and Location

Sprawling over a flat alluvial plain, stretching back from the banks of the Chao Phraya River some 40 km (25 miles) from its mouth on the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok is a confusing city.

The unrelieved flatness of the location permits virtually no topographical distinction, while the city itself lacks any single central area. The Chao Phraya divides the city into Bangkok proper, on the east bank, and Thonburi (now part of the metropolitan area) on the west. Otherwise Bangkok comprises a cluster of districts with no obvious logical connection.

Old Royal City

The original city centre, the old royal city, lies on the east bank of the Chao Phraya, its borders defined by the river and Krung Kasem road and canal, the latter connecting with the Chao Phraya and forming what is sometimes called Ratanakosin Island.

Immediately north is the Dusit area, the 'new' royal city where the official royal residence, Chitralada Palace, is located.

Bangkok New Road

Extending southeast and then south of Ratanakosin Island is New Road (Charoen Krung Road - no longer 'new' but Bangkok's first proper road) which cuts throughout the old trade quarter of Chinatown.

Silom Area In Bangkok

To the south is the Silom area, a business, shopping and tourist district where you'll find clusters of delightful street stalls, while to the east, beyong Rama VI Road, are the Ploenchit and Sukhumvit areas, mixing commercial and residential.

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