Welcome to the magnificent City of Angels.Bangkok offers every foreign vistor with
a very unique holiday experience.
Founded more than 200 years ago,Bangkok was a fertile township gently nested along side the Chao Phraya River Detta. Stone by ston,the city grew to be a very suitable capital for the Thai kingdom.
As Bangkok confidently step forth along side international cities as dynamic metropolis in any present terms,great aspects of the old is still well preserved and cherished. No where else will you find such a great age-old civilization and people that is genuinely proud,gentle and ready to please all at the same time.
Thailand's current capital was founded under strange circumstances. Some say it all began with a quarrel about white elephants in the 15th century. The king of Burma asked for a white elephant from the king of Siam,but got rebuffed.This led to a war that lasted for 300 years and that destroy Ayutthaya,the Siamese capital,in 1767. The king of Siam died in the siege and one of his generals,Taksin,took over.
Taksin destroyed the Burmese stronghold and founded Thonburi as the new capital.In 1782,the critical year for Thailand's history,King Taksin the Great was dethroned after he showed signs of insanity. Thailand's leading elite decided to replace the king for the greater good of Siam.He was put inside a sack and beaten to death with sandalwood clubs,making sure that no royal blood touched the ground.
His successsor,Chaopraya Chakri (1782-1809),aka Rama I,founder of the Chakri dynasty,relocated the capital from Thonburi (western shore of Chao Phraya River) to Bang Makok(eastern shore of Chao Phraya River).Bang Makok was deemed a better location as it was safer from foreign invasions because it was separated by the river from the west bank.It had also a bigger area.
The founder went to great lengths to construct the new capital such that it would resemble Ayutthaya.Canals were dug aroud the city (starting from the expansion of Banglamphu and Ong Ang canals to the east) because Ayutthaya was alsosurrounded by water.They even used stones from the old capital.
During the reign of King Rama I,the Grand Palace was built and today, it is a major tourist attraction. The Grand Palace complex is also home to the Emerald Buddha,a famous statue brought to Siam by Taksin from the Laotian city of Vientienne.
The king gave the new capital the most auspicious name "Krungthep mahanakhon bowon rattanakosin mahintara ayuthaya mahadilok popnopparat ratchathani burirom udomratchanivet mahasathan amonpiman avatansathit sakkathatiya visnukampasit."It means "Great city of angels, the repository of divine gems ,the great land unconquerable,the grand and prominent realm,the royel and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems,the highest dwelling and grand palace,the divine shelter and living place of reincarnated spirits."
The name was shortened was shortened to Krungthep Mahanakhon or simply Krungthep.Older Thai people don't really call the capital Bangkok.They prefer to call it Krungthep.which means "The City of Angles."
Talking of Bangkok .its name came from a small village called BangMakok, which means "Place of Olives or Plums."Thai place was a Chinese trading settlement and port commumity. In the early Rattanakosin period(1782-1851)Bang Makok was a very quiet city,covered with lish vegetation.The major transportation was basically through the waterways.
The capital underwent development based on Western models during the reign of King Mongkutaka RamaIV (1851-1868).In 1868-1910,the great reform occurred(reign of King Rama V[Chulalongkorn],who modernized education,administration,justic,communication and public health.During this period,the country was also divided into several monthhon(subdivisions) and Bankok was one of them.
In 1932 when the country became a constitutional monarchy, Bangkok on the east bank (known as Krungthep or Phra Nakon)became a province and Thonburi on the west bank another one.In 1971,the two provinces were merged and named"Nakon Lunag Krung Thonburi," or Bangkok Thonburi metropolis.A year later the metropolis was organized and the province obtained a new name "Krungthep Maha Nakon " or Krungthep " for short.
Currently,Bangkok comprises 50 districts, or khet. Thonburi,a former capital,is now a district under the administration of the Bangkok.
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