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Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of
Thailand ) , royal_anthem = ''Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok , coordinates = , largest_city = Bangkok , official_languages = ThaiThai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies in the
Chao Phraya River The Chao Phraya ( or ) ( th, แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา , or ) is the major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand. Etymo ...
delta in
central Thailand Central Thailand (central plain) is one of the regions of Thailand, covering the broad alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. It is separated from northeast Thailand (Isan) by the Phetchabun mountain range. The Tenasserim Hills separate it from ...
and has an estimated population of 10.539 million as of 2020, 15.3 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people (22.2 percent) lived within the surrounding
Bangkok Metropolitan Region200px, Map of Bangkok Metropolitan Area The Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) ( th, กรุงเทพมหานครและปริมณฑล; ; ), may refer to a government-defined "political definition" of the urban region surrounding ...
at the 2010 census, making Bangkok an extreme
primate city A primate city (Latin: 'prime', 'first rank') is a neologism used to refer to the largest city in its country, province, state, or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.Goodall, B. (1987) The Penguin Dictionary of ...
, dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in both size and importance to the national economy. Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the
Ayutthaya Kingdom#REDIRECT Ayutthaya Kingdom#REDIRECT Ayutthaya Kingdom {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
in the 15th century, which eventually grew and became the site of two capital cities:
Thonburi __NOTOC__ 300px, The village of Thonburi, on the right (west) bank of the Chao Phraya (here in the lower left corner of the map), facing the fortress of Bangkok, during the 1688 Siege of Bangkok. Thonburi ( th, ธนบุรี) is an area o ...
in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam, later renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule, and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings. The city, incorporated as a special administrative area under the
Bangkok Metropolitan AdministrationThe Bangkok Metropolitan Administration ( th, กรุงเทพมหานคร; ) (BMA) is the local government of Bangkok (also called ''Krung Thep Maha Nakhon'' in Thai), which includes the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. The government i ...
in 1972, grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a centre for the arts, fashion, and entertainment. The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts are particula ...
s. The
Grand Palace The Grand Palace ( th, พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Royal Institute of Thailand. (2011). ''How to read and how to write.'' (20th Edition). Bangkok: Royal Institute of Thailand. .) is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangk ...
and
Buddhist temple A Buddhist temple or Buddhist monastery, is the place of worship for Buddhists, the followers of Buddhism. They include the structures called vihara, chaitya, stupa, wat and pagoda in different regions and languages. Temples in Buddhism represent ...
s including
Wat Arun Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan ( th, วัดอรุณราชวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร ) or Wat Arun (, "Temple of Dawn") is a Buddhist temple (''wat'') in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailan ...
and
Wat Pho Wat Pho ( th, วัดโพธิ์, ), also spelled Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace. Known also as the Temple of the Reclining ...
stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of
Khaosan Road Khaosan Road or Khao San Road ( th, ถนนข้าวสาร; , ) is a short ( long) street in central Bangkok, Thailand constructed in 1892 during the reign of Rama V. It is in the Bang Lamphu area of Phra Nakhon District about north of th ...

Khaosan Road
and
Patpong Patpong ( th, พัฒน์พงศ์, ) is an entertainment district in Bangkok's Bang Rak District, Thailand, catering mainly, though not exclusively, to foreign tourists and expatriates. While Patpong is internationally known as a red light di ...

Patpong
. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations, and has been named the world's most visited city consistently in several international rankings. Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, a ...
has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. Despite an extensive expressway network, an inadequate road network and substantial private car usage have led to chronic and crippling
traffic congestion Traffic congestion is a condition in transport that is characterised by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. Traffic congestion on urban road networks has increased substantially, since the 1950s. When traffic dema ...
, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem, operating five rapid transit lines and building other public transit, but congestion still remains a prevalent issue. The city faces long-term environmental threats such as land
subsidence Castleton,_Derbyshire.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="shear stress">shear, near Castleton, Derbyshire">Castleton, Derbyshire">shear stress">shear, near Castleton, Derbyshire">Castleton, Derbyshire Subside ...
, which contributes to frequent flooding, an issue expected to be exacerbated by
sea level rise Tide gauge measurements show that global sea level rise began around the start of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 2016, the globally averaged sea level rose by . More precise data gathered from satellite radar measurements reveal an acceler ...
and other effects of climate change.


History

The history of Bangkok dates at least back to the early 15th century, when it was a village on the west bank of the
Chao Phraya River The Chao Phraya ( or ) ( th, แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา , or ) is the major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand. Etymo ...
, under the rule of Ayutthaya. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town gradually increased in importance. Bangkok initially served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, and was the site of in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly crowned King
Taksin Taksin ( th, สมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช, , ) or the King of Thonburi ( th, สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี, ; ; Teochew: Dên Chao; Vietnamese: ''Trịnh Quốc ...
established his capital at the town, which became the base of the
Thonburi Kingdom The Kingdom of Thonburi (Thai: ธนบุรี ) was a Siamese kingdom after the downfall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by the Konbaung Burmese invaders. The kingdom was founded by King Taksin the Great, who relocated the capital to Thonburi. The ...
. In 1782, King
Phutthayotfa Chulalok Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok Maharaj (), born Thongduang () and also known as Rama I (20 March 1737 – 7 September 1809), was the founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty of Siam (now Thailand). H ...
(Rama I) succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern bank's
Rattanakosin Island Rattanakosin Island ( th, เกาะรัตนโกสินทร์) is a historic area in the Phra Nakhon District in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. It is bordered by the Chao Phraya River to the west and various canals to the east that were ...
, thus founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom. The
City Pillar Lak mueang ( th, หลักเมือง) are city pillars found in most cities of Thailand. Usually housed in a shrine ( th, ศาลหลักเมือง) which is also believed to house Chao Pho Lak Mueang (), the city spirit deity. I ...
was erected on 21 April 1782, which is regarded as the date of foundation of the present city. Bangkok's economy gradually expanded through international trade, first with China, then with Western merchants returning in the early-to-mid 19th century. As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siam's modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late-19th century. The reigns of Kings
Mongkut Mongkut, also known as King Rama IV, reigning title Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua) (18 October 18041 October 1868), was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851 to 1868. Posthumously, he was known as Phra S ...
(Rama IV, 1851–68) and
Chulalongkorn Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, reigning title Phra Chula Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua) (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์; RTGS: Chunlalongkorn ; 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910), was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Cha ...
(Rama V, 1868–1910) saw the introduction of the steam engine, printing press, rail transport and utilities infrastructure in the city, as well as formal education and healthcare. Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932. As Thailand allied with Japan in World War II, Bangkok was subjected to Allied bombing, but rapidly grew in the post-war period as a result of US aid and government-sponsored investment. Bangkok's role as a US military R&R destination boosted its tourism industry as well as firmly establishing it as a sex tourism destination. Disproportionate urban development led to increasing income inequalities and migration from rural areas into Bangkok; its population surged from 1.8 million to 3 million in the 1960s. Following the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, Japanese businesses took over as leaders in investment, and the expansion of export-oriented manufacturing led to growth of the financial market in Bangkok.Baker & Pongpaichit 2005, pp. 37–41, 45, 52–71, 149–150, 162, 199–204. Rapid growth of the city continued through the 1980s and early 1990s, until it was stalled by the
1997 Asian financial crisis The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of East Asia and Southeast Asia beginning in July 1997 and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion. The crisis started in Thailand (kno ...
. By then, many public and social issues had emerged, among them the strain on infrastructure reflected in the city's notorious traffic jams. Bangkok's role as the nation's political stage continues to be seen in strings of popular protests, from the student uprisings in
1973 Events January * January 1 ** The United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark enter the European Economic Community, which later becomes the European Union. ** CBS sells the New York Yankees for $10 million to a 12-person syndicate led by Georg ...
and
1976 Events January * January – The Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, is released by Seymour Cray's Cray Research. * January 1 – PDVSA, nationalization from Corporacion Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP) in Venezuela. * J ...
, anti-military demonstrations in 1992, and frequent street protests since 2006, including those by groups opposing and supporting former prime minister
Thaksin Shinawatra Thaksin Shinawatra ( th, ทักษิณ ชินวัตร; ; ; Chinese: 丘達新; cnr, Taksin Šinavatra / Таксин Шинаватра; born 26 July 1949) is a Thai businessman, politician and visiting professor. He served in the T ...
from 2006 to 2013, and a renewed student-led movement in 2020. Administration of the city was first formalized by King Chulalongkorn in 1906, with the establishment of
Monthon''Monthon'' ( th, มณฑล) were administrative subdivisions of Thailand at the beginning of the 20th century. The Thai word ''monthon'' is a translation of the word ''mandala'' (', literally "circle"), in its sense of a type of political formatio ...
Krung Thep Phra Maha Nakhon () as a national subdivision. In 1915, the ''monthon'' was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed. The city in its current form was created in 1972 with the formation of the
Bangkok Metropolitan AdministrationThe Bangkok Metropolitan Administration ( th, กรุงเทพมหานคร; ) (BMA) is the local government of Bangkok (also called ''Krung Thep Maha Nakhon'' in Thai), which includes the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand. The government i ...
(BMA), following the merger of Phra Nakhon Province on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi Province on the west during the previous year.


Name

The origin of the name ''Bangkok'' (, pronounced in Thai as ), is unclear. ''Bang'' is a Thai word meaning 'a village on a stream', and the name might have been derived from ''Bang Ko'' (), ''ko'' meaning 'island', stemming from the city's watery landscape. Another theory suggests that it is shortened from ''Bang Makok'' (), ''makok'' being the name of ''
Elaeocarpus hygrophilus ''Elaeocarpus hygrophilus'' is a species of plant in the Elaeocarpaceae family. It is distributed in Southeast Asia. The tree is 10–25 meters tall. The fruits are olive-like. The fruits are used as foods in some Southeast Asian countries like Th ...
'', a plant bearing olive-like fruit. This is supported by the former name of
Wat Arun Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan ( th, วัดอรุณราชวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร ) or Wat Arun (, "Temple of Dawn") is a Buddhist temple (''wat'') in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailan ...
, a historic temple in the area, that used to be called ''Wat Makok''. Officially, the town was known as ''Thonburi Si Mahasamut'' (, from
Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the ''Pāli Canon'' or ''Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of ''Theravāda'' Buddhism. The earlies ...
and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had d ...
, literally 'city of treasures gracing the ocean') or ''Thonburi'', according to the '' Ayutthaya Chronicles''. ''Bangkok'' was likely a colloquial name, albeit one widely adopted by foreign visitors, who continued to use it to refer to the city even after the new capital's establishment. When King Rama I established his new capital on the river's eastern bank, the city inherited Ayutthaya's ceremonial name, of which there were many variants, including ''Krung Thep Thawarawadi Si Ayutthaya'' () and ''Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Si Ayutthaya'' (). Edmund Roberts, visiting the city as envoy of the United States in 1833, noted that the city, since becoming capital, was known as ''Sia-Yut'hia'', and this is the name used in international treaties of the period. Today, the city is known in Thai as ''Krung Thep Maha Nakhon'' (กรุงเทพมหานคร) or simply ''Krung Thep'' (กรุงเทพฯ), a shortening of the ceremonial name which came into use during the reign of King Mongkut. The full name reads as follows: Reproduced in The name, composed of
Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the ''Pāli Canon'' or ''Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of ''Theravāda'' Buddhism. The earlies ...
and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had d ...
root words, translates as: The name is listed in ''
Guinness World Records ''Guinness World Records'', known from its inception in 1955 until 1999 as ''The Guinness Book of Records'' and in previous United States editions as ''The Guinness Book of World Records'', is a reference book published annually, listing world r ...
'' as the world's longest place name, at 168 letters. Thai school children are taught the full name, although few can explain its meaning as many of the words are archaic, and known to few. Many Thais who recall the full name do so because of its use in the 1989 song "Krung Thep Maha Nakhon" by Thai rock band Asanee–Wasan, the lyrics of which consist entirely of the city's full name, repeated throughout the song. The city is now officially known in Thai by a shortened form of the full ceremonial name, ''Krung Thep Maha Nakhon'', which is colloquially further shortened to ''Krung Thep''. ('' Krung'' is a Thai word of Khmer origin, meaning 'capital', while '' thep'' is from Pali/Sanskrit, meaning 'deity' or 'god' and corresponding to '' deva''.) Bangkok is the city's official English name, as reflected in the name of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.


Government

The city of Bangkok is locally governed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). Although its boundaries are at the provincial (''
changwat The Provinces of Thailand are part of the government of Thailand that is divided into 76 provinces ( th, จังหวัด, , ) proper and one special administrative area ( th, เขตปกครองส่วนท้องถิ่นรู ...
'') level, unlike the other 76 provinces Bangkok is a special administrative area whose governor is directly elected to serve a four-year term. The governor, together with four appointed deputies, form the executive body, who implement policies through the BMA civil service headed by the Permanent Secretary for the BMA. In separate elections, each district elects one or more city councillors, who form the Bangkok Metropolitan Council. The council is the BMA's legislative body, and has power over municipal ordinances and the city's budget. However, after the coup of 2014 all local elections have been cancelled and the council was appointed by the government on 15 September 2014. The current Bangkok Governor is Police General
Aswin Kwanmuang Aswin Kwanmuang ( th, อัศวิน ขวัญเมือง, ; ; born February 15, 1951) is a Thai politician who is serving as the governor of Bangkok from 2016 to present. Personal life and education He graduated from secondary level f ...
, who was appointed by the military government on 26 October 2016 following the suspension of the last elected governor M.R.
Sukhumbhand Paribatra Mom Rajawongse Sukhumbhand Paribatra ( th, ม.ร.ว.สุขุมพันธุ์ บริพัตร; , ; born 22 September 1953) is a Thai politician belonging to the Democrat Party. From 2009 to 2016 he was the Governor of Bangkok. He ...
. The four deputy governors are Kriangyos Sudlabha, Sakol Pattayakul, Sukdeechai Boonma, and Police Lieutenant General Sopan Putiwong. Silipasuay Raveesangsoon is the Permanent Secretary for Bangkok since 1 October 2016. Bangkok is divided into fifty districts (''khet'', equivalent to ''
amphoe An amphoe (sometimes also ''amphur'', th, อำเภอ, ) is the second level administrative subdivision of Thailand. Usually translated as "district". ''Amphoe'' make up the provinces, and are analogous to counties. The chief district officer i ...
'' in the other provinces), which are further subdivided into 180 sub-districts (''khwaeng'', equivalent to ''
tambon ''Tambon'' ( th, ตำบล, ) is a local governmental unit in Thailand. Below district (''amphoe'') and province (''changwat''), they form the third administrative subdivision level. there were 7,255 tambons, not including the 180 ''khwaeng'' of ...
''). Each district is managed by a district director appointed by the governor. District councils, elected to four-year terms, serve as advisory bodies to their respective district directors. The BMA is divided into sixteen departments, each overseeing different aspects of the administration's responsibilities. Most of these responsibilities concern the city's infrastructure, and include city planning, building control, transportation, drainage, waste management and city beautification, as well as education, medical and rescue services. Many of these services are provided jointly with other agencies. The BMA has the authority to implement local ordinances, although civil law enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the
Metropolitan Police Bureau Metropolitan Police Bureau () is a unit in the Royal Thai Police, and is responsible for maintaining security in Bangkok - the capital of Thailand. There are a total of 14 divisions (command units) and 2 direct divisions which report directly to th ...
. The seal of the city shows
Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as a ge ...

Hindu
god
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit: इन्द्र) is an ancient Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity (''Indā'' in Pali) in Buddhism and the king of the highest heaven called ''Saudharmakalpa'' in Jainism. He is also an important deity worshipped in ...
riding in the clouds on
Airavata Indra (alias Sakra) and Shachi riding the five-headed Divine Elephant Airavata, Folio from a Jain text, Panch Kalyanaka (Five Auspicious Events in the Life of Jina Rishabhanatha), c. 1670–1680, Painting in LACMA museum, originally fro ...
, a divine
white elephant A white elephant is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. In modern usage, it is an object, building project, scheme, business venture, facility, ...
known in Thai as Erawan. In his hand Indra holds his weapon, the ''
vajra A vajra (or dorje in Tibetan) is a ritual weapon symbolizing the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). The vajra is a type of club with a ribbed spherical head. The ribs may meet in a ball-shaped to ...

vajra
''. The seal is based on a painting done by
Prince Naris Prince Chitcharoen, the Prince Narisara Nuwattiwong ( th, นริศรานุวัดติวงศ์ ; 28 April 1863 – 10 March 1947), Prince Naris for short, né Chitcharoen (), was a member of the royal family of Siam (now Thailand), m ...
. The tree symbol of Bangkok is ''
Ficus benjamina ''Ficus benjamina'', commonly known as weeping fig, benjamin fig or ficus tree, and often sold in stores as just ficus, is a species of flowering plant in the family Moraceae, native to Asia and Australia. It is the official tree of Bangkok. A rec ...
''. The official city slogan, adopted in 2012, reads: As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the seat of all branches of the national government. The
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. The name is also used in some other countries. It generally serves ...
, Parliament House and Supreme, Administrative and
Constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these principl ...
Courts are all in the city. Bangkok is the site of the
Grand Palace The Grand Palace ( th, พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Royal Institute of Thailand. (2011). ''How to read and how to write.'' (20th Edition). Bangkok: Royal Institute of Thailand. .) is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangk ...
and
Dusit Palace Dusit Palace ( th, พระราชวังดุสิต, ''Phra Ratcha Wang Dusit'') is a compound of royal residences in Bangkok, Thailand. Constructed over a large area north of Rattanakosin Island between 1897 and 1901 by King Chulalongkorn ...
, respectively the official and ''de facto'' residence of the king. Most government ministries also have headquarters and offices in the capital.


Calls to move the capital

Bangkok is faced with multiple problems—including congestion (see ( below), and especially subsidence and flooding (see )—which have raised the issue of moving the nation's capital elsewhere. The idea is not new: during World War II Prime Minister
Plaek Phibunsongkhram Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram ( th, แปลก พิบูลสงคราม ; alternatively transcribed as ''Pibulsongkram'' or ''Pibulsonggram''; 14 July 1897 – 11 June 1964), locally known as Marshal P. ( th, จอมพล ป.;) ...
planned unsuccessfully to relocate the capital to
Phetchabun Phetchabun is a town (''thesaban mueang'') in Thailand, capital of Phetchabun Province. It covers the ''tambon'' Nai Mueang of the Phetchabun District, along the Pa Sak River. As of 2005, it had a population of 23,823. Phetchabun lies north of ...
. In the 2000s, the
Thaksin Shinawatra Thaksin Shinawatra ( th, ทักษิณ ชินวัตร; ; ; Chinese: 丘達新; cnr, Taksin Šinavatra / Таксин Шинаватра; born 26 July 1949) is a Thai businessman, politician and visiting professor. He served in the T ...
administration assigned the
Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) is a national economic planning agency of Thailand. It is a government department reporting directly to the Office of the Prime Minister. The NESDC maintains four regional o ...
(NESDC) to formulate a plan to move the capital to
Nakhon Nayok Province Nakhon Nayok ( th, นครนายก, ) is one of the central provinces (''changwat'') of Thailand, established by the Act Establishing Changwat Samut Prakan, Changwat Nonthaburi, Changwat Samut Sakhon, and Changwat Nakhon Nayok, Buddhist Era 24 ...
. The 2011 floods revived the idea of moving government functions from Bangkok. In 2017, the military government assigned NESDC to study the possibility of moving government offices from Bangkok to
Chachoengsao Province Chachoengsao Province ( th, ฉะเชิงเทรา, ) is one of Thailand's seventy-six provinces (''changwat'') lies in eastern Thailand. History ''Chachoengsao'' or ''Paet Riu'' ('eight stripes') is a province in eastern Thailand. It ha ...
in the east.


Geography

Bangkok
city proper A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits. The term, ''proper'', is not exclusive to cities; it can describe the geographical area within the boundaries of any given locality. The United Nations defines the term as "the si ...
covers an area of , ranking 69th among the other 76 provinces of Thailand. Of this, about form the built-up urban area. It is ranked 73rd in the world in terms of land area. The city's
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban areas of housing, commercial development, and roads over large expanses of land, with little concern for urban planning. In addition to d ...
reaches into parts of the six other provinces it borders, namely, in clockwise order from northwest:
Nonthaburi Nonthaburi ( th, นนทบุรี, ) is the principal city of the district and province of the same name in Thailand. On 15 February 1936 Nonthaburi town municipality (''thesaban mueang'') was established, which only covered Suan Yai subdis ...
,
Pathum Thani Pathum Thani ( th, ปทุมธานี, ) is a town (''thesaban mueang'') in central Thailand, directly north of Bangkok. It is the capital of the Pathum Thani Province, Thailand as well as the Mueang Pathum Thani district. As of 2005, it has a ...
,
Chachoengsao Chachoengsao ( th, ฉะเชิงเทรา, ) is a town (''thesaban mueang'') in central Thailand, capital of Chachoengsao Province. It is on the banks of the Bang Pakong River. It includes ''tambon'' Na Mueang and parts of Ban Mai, Bang Tin ...
,
Samut Prakan In Hellenistic and Roman Arabia and Egypt, a ''hydreuma'' (plural ''hydreumata'') was an enclosed (and often fortified) "watering station" (Classical Latin ''hydreuma'' Lewis, C.T. & Short, C. (1879). ''A Latin dictionary founded on Andrews' edition ...
,
Samut Sakhon Samut Sakhon ( th, สมุทรสาคร, Pronunciation is a City in Thailand, capital of Samut Sakhon Province. It is a stop on the Maeklong Railway. Samut Sakhon is 48 km from Bangkok. It is part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. N ...
, and
Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Pathom ( th, นครปฐม, ) is a city (''thesaban nakhon'') in central Thailand, the former capital of Nakhon Pathom Province. One of the most important landmarks is the giant Phra Pathom Chedi. The city is also home to Thailand's onl ...
. With the exception of Chachoengsao, these provinces, together with Bangkok, form the greater
Bangkok Metropolitan Region200px, Map of Bangkok Metropolitan Area The Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) ( th, กรุงเทพมหานครและปริมณฑล; ; ), may refer to a government-defined "political definition" of the urban region surrounding ...
.


Topography

Bangkok is in the Chao Phraya River delta in Thailand's central plain. The river meanders through the city in a southerly direction, emptying into the
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea, bounded between the southwestern shores of the Indochinese Peninsula and the northern half of the Malay Peninsula. It is around in len ...
approximately south of city centre. The area is flat and low-lying, with an average elevation of
above sea level Above may refer to: *Above (artist), Tavar Zawacki (born 1981), contemporary urban artist *''Above'' (magazine), an American environmental magazine 2009–2010 *''Above'' (Mad Season album), 1995 *''Above'' (Pillar album), 2000 *''Above'' (Samael a ...
. Most of the area was originally
swampland A swamp is a forested wetland.Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p. Swamps are considered to be transition zones because both land and water play a role in c ...
, which was gradually drained and irrigated for agriculture by the construction of canals (''
khlong 200px, thumbnail, Damnoen Saduak floating market, Ratchaburi Province A khlong (also commonly spelled ''klong''; th, คลอง, ) commonly refers to a canal in Thailand. These canals are spawned by the Chao Phraya, the Tha Chin, the Mae Klong Rive ...
'') which took place from the 16th to 19th centuries. The course of the river as it flows through Bangkok has been modified by the construction of several shortcut canals. The city's waterway network served as the primary means of transport until the late 19th century, when modern roads began to be built. Up until then, most people lived near or on the water, leading the city to be known during the 19th century as the "
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are ...
of the East". Many of these canals have since been filled in or paved over, but others still criss-cross the city, serving as major drainage channels and transport routes. Most canals are now badly polluted, although the BMA has committed to the treatment and cleaning up of several canals. The geology of the Bangkok area is characterized by a top layer of soft
marine clay Marine clay is a type of clay found in coastal regions around the world. In the northern, deglaciated regions, it can sometimes be quick clay, which is notorious for being involved in landslides. Marine clay is a particle of soil that is dedicated ...
, known as "Bangkok clay", averaging in thickness, which overlies an
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater can be extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization ...
system consisting of eight known units. This feature has contributed to the effects of
subsidence Castleton,_Derbyshire.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="shear stress">shear, near Castleton, Derbyshire">Castleton, Derbyshire">shear stress">shear, near Castleton, Derbyshire">Castleton, Derbyshire Subside ...
caused by extensive ground water pumping. First recognized in the 1970s, subsidence soon became a critical issue, reaching a rate of per year in 1981. Ground water management and mitigation measures have since lessened the severity of the situation, although subsidence is still occurring at a rate of per year, and parts of the city are now below sea level. There are fears that the city may be submerged by 2030. A study published in October 2019 in ''
Nature Communications ''Nature Communications'' is a peer-reviewed, open access, scientific journal published by Nature Research since 2010. It is a multidisciplinary journal and it covers the natural sciences, including physics, chemistry, earth sciences, medicine, an ...
'' corrected earlier models of coastal elevations and concluded that up to 12 million Thais—mostly in the greater Bangkok metropolitan area—face the prospect of annual flooding events. Subsidence has resulted in increased flood risk, as Bangkok is already prone to flooding due to its low elevation and an inadequate drainage infrastructure, often compounded by blockage from rubbish pollution (especially plastic waste). The city now relies on flood barriers and augmenting drainage from canals by pumping and building drain tunnels, but parts of Bangkok and its suburbs are still regularly inundated. Heavy downpours resulting in
urban runoff Urban runoff is surface runoff of rainwater created by urbanization. This runoff is a major source of flooding and water pollution in urban communities worldwide. Impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots and sidewalks) are constructed during land ...
overwhelming drainage systems, and runoff discharge from upstream areas, are major triggering factors. Severe flooding affecting much of the city occurred in 1995 and
2011 A series of protests and government overthrows, known as the Arab Spring, swept through the Middle East in 2011. 2011 was designated as: *International Year of Forests *International Year of Chemistry *International Year for People of Africa ...
. In 2011, most of Bangkok's northern, eastern and western districts were flooded, in some places for over two months. Coastal erosion is also an issue in the gulf coastal area, a small length of which lies within Bangkok's
Bang Khun Thian District Bang Khun Thian District ( th, บางขุนเทียน, ) is one of the 50 districts (''khet'') of Bangkok, Thailand. Its neighbors, clockwise from the north, are Bang Bon, Chom Thong, and Thung Khru Districts of Bangkok, Phra Samut Chedi D ...
.
Global warming Climate change includes both global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century hu ...

Global warming
poses further serious risks, and a study by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to sti ...

OECD
has estimated that 5.138 million people in Bangkok may be exposed to
coastal flooding Coastal flooding normally occurs when dry and low-lying land is submerged by seawater. The range of a coastal flooding is a result of the elevation of floodwater that penetrates the inland which is controlled by the topography of the coastal land ex ...
by 2070, the seventh highest figure among the world's port cities. There are no mountains in Bangkok. The closest mountain range is the
Khao Khiao Massif The Khao Khiao Massif ( th, เขาเขียว) is a moderately high mountain range near Chonburi, eastern Thailand. This massif has the last substantial forested zone in Chonburi Province, a region that is much affected by urbanization and o ...
, about southeast of the city. Phu Khao Thong, the only hill in the metropolitan area, originated with a very large chedi that King
Rama III Nangklao ( th, พระบาทสมเด็จพระนั่งเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) or Rama III (31 March 1788 – 2 April 1851) was the third monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, ruling from 21 July ...

Rama III
(1787–1851) built at Wat Saket. The chedi collapsed during construction because the soft soil could not support its weight. Over the next few decades, the abandoned mud-and-brick structure acquired the shape of a natural hill and became overgrown with weeds. The locals called it ''phu khao'' (), as if it were a natural feature. In the 1940s, enclosing concrete walls were added to stop the hill from eroding.


Climate

Like most of Thailand, Bangkok has a
tropical savanna climate Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories ''Aw'' (for a dry winter) and ''As'' (for a dry summer). The driest month has less than of precipitatio ...
(Aw) under the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by German-Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably i ...
and is under the influence of the
South Asian monsoon File:Monsoon annual trends for India over 110 years, average precipitation over the nation.png, 390px, Annual average monsoon precipitation in India over 110 years. The long-term average has been 899 millimeters of precipitation. However, the mon ...
system. It experiences three seasons: hot, rainy, and cool, although temperatures are fairly hot year-round, ranging from an average low of in December to an average high of in April. The rainy season begins with the arrival of the southwest monsoon around mid-May. September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of . The rainy season lasts until October, when the dry and cool northeast monsoon takes over until February. The hot season is generally dry, but also sees occasional summer storms. The surface magnitude of Bangkok's
urban heat island An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperature difference is usually larger at night than during the day, and is most ap ...
has been measured at during the day and at night. The highest recorded temperature of Bangkok metropolis was in March 2013, and the lowest recorded temperature was in January 1955. The Climate Impact Group at NASA's
Goddard Institute for Space Studies The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center affiliated with the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New Y ...
projected severe weather impacts on Bangkok caused by
climate change Climate change includes both global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century hu ...
. It found that Bangkok in 1960 had 193 days at or above 32 °C. In 2018, Bangkok can expect 276 days at or above 32 °C. The group forecasts a rise by 2100 to, on average, 297 to 344 days at or above 32 °C.


Districts

Bangkok's fifty districts serve as administrative subdivisions under the authority of the BMA. Thirty-five of these districts lie to the east of the Chao Phraya, while fifteen are on the western bank, known as the Thonburi side of the city. The fifty districts, arranged by district code, are:


Cityscape

Bangkok's districts often do not accurately represent the functional divisions of its neighbourhoods or land usage. Although
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, a ...
policies date back to the commission of the "Litchfield Plan" in 1960, which set out strategies for land use, transportation and general infrastructure improvements, zoning regulations were not fully implemented until 1992. As a result, the city grew organically throughout the period of its rapid expansion, both horizontally as
ribbon development Ribbon development is building houses along the routes of communications radiating from a human settlement. The resulting ribbons of development are clearly visible on land use maps and aerial photographs, giving cities and the countryside a parti ...
s extended along newly built roads, and vertically, with increasing numbers of high rises and skyscrapers being built in commercial areas. The city has grown from its original centre along the river into a sprawling metropolis surrounded by swaths of suburban residential development extending north and south into neighbouring provinces. The highly populated and growing cities of
Nonthaburi Nonthaburi ( th, นนทบุรี, ) is the principal city of the district and province of the same name in Thailand. On 15 February 1936 Nonthaburi town municipality (''thesaban mueang'') was established, which only covered Suan Yai subdis ...
,
Pak Kret Pak Kret ( th, ปากเกร็ด) is a city (''thesaban nakhon'') in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand. It lies in the Central Thai plains on the east bank of the lower Chao Phraya River, bordering Bangkok to the east, Nonthaburi City to the so ...
,
Rangsit Rangsit ( th, รังสิต) is a city and neighbourhood in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand. Rangsit is a metropolitan city that supports the expansion of Bangkok in the north. Rangsit has become a departure point for travel to provinces in nor ...
and Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan are effectively now suburbs of Bangkok. Nevertheless, large agricultural areas remain within the city proper at its eastern and western fringes. Land use in the city consists of 23 percent residential use, 24 percent agriculture, and 30 percent used for commerce, industry, and government. The BMA's City Planning Department (CPD) is responsible for planning and shaping further development. It published master plan updates in 1999 and 2006, and a third revision is undergoing public hearings in 2012. Bangkok's historic centre remains the
Rattanakosin Island Rattanakosin Island ( th, เกาะรัตนโกสินทร์) is a historic area in the Phra Nakhon District in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. It is bordered by the Chao Phraya River to the west and various canals to the east that were ...
in Phra Nakhon District. It is the site of the Grand Palace and the City Pillar Shrine, primary symbols of the city's founding, as well as important Buddhist temples. Phra Nakhon, along with the neighbouring Pom Prap Sattru Phai and Samphanthawong Districts, formed what was the city proper in the late 19th century. Many traditional neighbourhoods and markets are found here, including the Chinese settlement of Sampheng. The city was expanded toward Dusit District in the early 19th century, following King Chulalongkorn's relocation of the royal household to the new
Dusit Palace Dusit Palace ( th, พระราชวังดุสิต, ''Phra Ratcha Wang Dusit'') is a compound of royal residences in Bangkok, Thailand. Constructed over a large area north of Rattanakosin Island between 1897 and 1901 by King Chulalongkorn ...
. The buildings of the palace, including the neoclassical Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, as well as the Royal Plaza (Thailand), Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Avenue which leads to it from the Grand Palace, reflect the heavy influence of European architecture at the time. Major government offices line the avenue, as does the Democracy Monument. The area is the site of the country's seat of power as well as the city's most popular tourist landmarks. In contrast with the low-rise historic areas, the business district on Si Lom Road, Si Lom and Sathon Road, Sathon Roads in Bang Rak and Sathon Districts teems with skyscrapers. It is the site of many of the country's major corporate headquarters, but also of some of the city's
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts are particula ...
s. The Siam area, Siam and Ratchaprasong areas in Pathum Wan are home to some of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia. Numerous retail outlets and hotels also stretch along Sukhumvit Road leading southeast through Watthana and Khlong Toei Districts. More office towers line the streets branching off Sukhumvit, especially Asok Montri Road, Asok Montri, while upmarket housing is found in many of its soi, ''soi''s ('alley' or 'lane'). Bangkok lacks a single distinct central business district. Instead, the areas of Siam and Ratchaprasong serve as a "central shopping district" containing many of the bigger malls and commercial areas in the city, as well as Siam Station, the only transfer point between the city's two elevated train lines. The Victory Monument (Bangkok), Victory Monument in Ratchathewi District is among its most important road junctions, serving over 100 bus lines as well as an elevated train station. From the monument, Phahonyothin Road, Phahonyothin and Ratchawithi Road, Ratchawithi / Din Daeng Roads respectively run north and east linking to major residential areas. Most of the high-density development areas are within the area encircled by the Ratchadaphisek Road, Ratchadaphisek inner ring road. Ratchadaphisek is lined with businesses and retail outlets, and office buildings also cluster around Ratchayothin Intersection in Chatuchak District to the north. Farther from the city centre, most areas are primarily mid- or low-density residential. The Thonburi side of the city is less developed, with fewer high rises. With the exception of a few secondary urban centres, Thonburi, in the same manner as the outlying eastern districts, consists mostly of residential and rural areas. While most of Bangkok's streets are fronted by vernacular shophouses, the largely unrestricted building euphoria of the 1980s has transformed the city into an urban area of skyscrapers and high rises of contrasting and clashing styles. There are 581 skyscrapers over tall in the city. Bangkok was ranked as the world's eighth tallest city in 2016. As a result of persistent economic disparity, many slums have emerged in the city. In 2000 there were over one million people living in about 800 informal settlements. Some settlements are Squatting in Thailand, squatted such as the large slums in Khlong Toei District. In total there were 125 squatted areas.


Parks and green zones

Bangkok has several parks, although these amount to a per capita total park area of only in the city proper. Total green space for the entire city is moderate, at per person. In the more densely built-up areas of the city these numbers are as low as per person. More recent numbers claim that there is of green space per person, compared to an average of in other cities across Asia. In Europe, London has 33.4 m2 of green space per head. Bangkokians thus have 10 times less green space than is standard in the region's urban areas. Green belt areas include about of rice paddies and orchards on the eastern and western edges of the city, although their primary purpose is to serve as flood detention basins rather than to limit urban expansion. Bang Kachao, a conservation area on an oxbow of the Chao Phraya, lies just across the southern riverbank districts, in Samut Prakan Province. A master development plan has been proposed to increase total park area to per person. Bangkok's largest parks include the centrally located Lumphini Park near the Si Lom – Sathon business district with an area of , the Suanluang Rama IX in the east of the city, and the Chatuchak Park, Chatuchak–Queen Sirikit Park, Queen Sirikit–Wachirabenchathat Park, Wachirabenchathat park complex in northern Bangkok, which has a combined area of . More parks are expected to be created through the Green Bangkok 2030 project, which aims to leave the city with of green space per person, including 30% of the city having tree cover.


Demography

The city of Bangkok has a population of 8,305,218 according to the 2010 census, or 12.6 percent of the national population, while 2020 estimates place the figure at 10.539 million (15.3 percent). Roughly half are internal migrants from other Thai provinces; population registry statistics recorded 5,676,648 residents belonging to 2,959,524 households in 2018. Much of Bangkok's daytime population commutes from surrounding provinces in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, the total population of which is 14,626,225 (2010 census). Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city; the census showed that it is home to 567,120 expatriates from Asian countries (including 71,024 Chinese and 63,069 Japanese nationals), 88,177 from Europe, 32,241 from the Americas, 5,856 from Oceania and 5,758 from Africa. Migrants from neighbouring countries include 216,528 Burmese, 72,934 Cambodians and 52,498 Lao. In 2018, numbers show that there are 370,000 international migrants registered with the Department of Employment, more than half of them migrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Following its establishment as capital city in 1782, Bangkok grew only slightly throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. British diplomat John Crawfurd, visiting in 1822, estimated its population at no more than 50,000. As a result of Western medicine brought by missionaries as well as increased immigration from both within Siam and overseas, Bangkok's population gradually increased as the city modernized in the late 19th century. This growth became even more pronounced in the 1930s, following the discovery of antibiotics. Although family planning and birth control were introduced in the 1960s, the lowered birth rate was more than offset by increased migration from the provinces as economic expansion accelerated. Only in the 1990s have Bangkok's population growth rates decreased, following the national rate. Thailand had long since become highly centralized around the capital. In 1980, Bangkok's population was fifty-one times that of Hat Yai and Songkhla, the second-largest urban centre, making it the world's most prominent
primate city A primate city (Latin: 'prime', 'first rank') is a neologism used to refer to the largest city in its country, province, state, or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.Goodall, B. (1987) The Penguin Dictionary of ...
. The majority of Bangkok's population identify as Thai people, Thai, although details on the city's ethnic make-up are unavailable, as the national census does not document race. Bangkok's cultural pluralism dates back to the early days of its founding: several ethnic communities were formed by immigrants and forced settlers including the Khmer people, Khmer, Northern Thai people, northern Thai, Isan people, Lao, Vietnamese people, Vietnamese, Mon people, Mon and Malays in Thailand, Malay. Most prominent were the Chinese, who played major roles in the city's trade and became the majority of Bangkok's population—estimates include up to three-fourths in 1828 and almost half in the 1950s. Chinese immigration was restricted from the 1930s and effectively ceased after the Chinese Revolution (1949), Chinese Revolution in 1949. Their prominence subsequently declined as younger generations of Thai Chinese integrated and adopted a Thai identity. Bangkok is still nevertheless home to a large Chinese community, with the greatest concentration in Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown. The majority (93 percent) of the city's population is Buddhist, according to the 2010 census. Other religions include Islam (4.6 percent), Christianity (1.9 percent), Hinduism (0.3 percent), Sikhism (0.1 percent) and Confucianism (0.1 percent). Apart from Yaowarat, Bangkok also has several other distinct ethnic neighbourhoods. The Indian community is centred in Phahurat, where the Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, founded in 1933, is located. Ban Khrua on Saen Saep Canal is home to descendants of the Cham people, Cham who settled in the late 18th century. Although the Portuguese people, Portuguese who settled during the Thonburi period have ceased to exist as a distinct community, their past is reflected in Santa Cruz Church (Bangkok), Santa Cruz Church, on the west bank of the river. Likewise, Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok, Assumption Cathedral on Charoen Krung Road is among many European-style buildings in the Old Farang Quarter, where European diplomats and merchants lived in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Nearby, the Haroon Mosque is the centre of a Muslim community. Newer expatriate communities exist along Sukhumvit Road, including the Japanese community near Soi Phrom Phong and Soi Thong Lo, and the Arab and North African neighbourhood along Soi Nana. Sukhumvit Plaza, a mall on Soi Sukhumvit 12, is popularly known as Korea Town.


Economy

Bangkok is the Economy of Thailand, economic centre of Thailand, and the heart of the country's investment and development. In 2010, the city had an economic output of 3.142 trillion baht (US$98.34 billion), contributing 29.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). This amounted to a per-capita GDP value of 456,911 Thai baht, baht ($14,301), almost three times the national average of 160,556 baht ($5,025). The Bangkok Metropolitan Region had a combined output of 4.773 trillion baht ($149.39 billion), or 44.2 percent of GDP. Bangkok's economy ranked as the sixth among Asian cities in terms of per-capita GDP, after Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka–Kobe and Seoul, as of 2010. Wholesale and retail trade is the largest sector in the city's economy, contributing 24 percent of Bangkok's gross provincial product. It is followed by manufacturing (14.3 percent); real estate, renting and business activities (12.4 percent); transport and communications (11.6 percent); and financial intermediation (11.1 percent). Bangkok alone accounts for 48.4 percent of Thailand's service sector, which in turn constitutes 49 percent of GDP. When the Bangkok Metropolitan Region is considered, manufacturing is the most significant contributor at 28.2 percent of the gross regional product, reflecting the density of industry in the Bangkok's neighbouring provinces. Automotive industry in Thailand, The automotive industry based around Greater Bangkok is the largest production hub in Southeast Asia. Tourism is also a significant contributor to Bangkok's economy, generating 427.5 billion baht ($13.38 billion) in revenue in 2010. The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is on Ratchadaphisek Road in inner Bangkok. The SET, together with the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) has 648 listed companies as of the end of 2011, with a combined market capitalization of 8.485 trillion baht ($267.64 billion). Due to the large amount of foreign representation, Thailand has for several years been a mainstay of the Southeast Asian economy and a centre of Asian business. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranks Bangkok as an "Alpha -" world city, and it is ranked 59th in Z/Yen's ''Global Financial Centres Index 11''. Bangkok is home to the headquarters of all of Thailand's major commercial banks and financial institutions, as well as the country's largest companies. Many multinational corporations base their regional headquarters in Bangkok due to the lower cost of labour and operations relative to other major Asian business centres. Seventeen Thai companies are listed on the Forbes 2000, all of which are based in the capital, including PTT Public Company Limited, PTT, the only Fortune Global 500 company in Thailand. Income inequality is a major issue in Bangkok, especially between relatively unskilled lower-income immigrants from rural provinces and neighbouring countries, and middle-class professionals and business elites. Although absolute poverty rates are low—only 0.64 percent of Bangkok's registered residents were living under the poverty line in 2010, compared to a national average of 7.75 percent—economic disparity is still substantial. The city has a Gini coefficient of 0.48, indicating a high level of inequality.


Tourism

Bangkok is one of the world's top tourist destinations. Of 162 cities worldwide, MasterCard ranked Bangkok as the top destination city by international visitor arrivals in its ''Global Destination Cities Index 2018'', ahead of London, with just over 20 million overnight visitors in 2017. This was a repeat of its 2017 ranking (for 2016). Euromonitor International ranked Bangkok fourth in its Top City Destinations Ranking for 2016. Bangkok was also named "World's Best City" by ''Travel + Leisure'' magazine's survey of its readers for four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013. As the main gateway through which visitors arrive in Thailand, Bangkok is visited by the majority of international tourists to the country. Domestic tourism is also prominent. The Department of Tourism recorded 26,861,095 Thai and 11,361,808 foreign visitors to Bangkok in 2010. Lodgings were made by 15,031,244 guests, who occupied 49.9 percent of the city's 86,687 hotel rooms. Bangkok also topped the list as the world's most popular tourist destinations in 2017 rankings. Bangkok's multi-faceted sights, attractions and city life appeal to diverse groups of tourists. Royal palaces and temples as well as several museums constitute its major historical and cultural tourist attractions. Shopping and dining experiences offer a wide range of choices and prices. The city is also famous for its dynamic nightlife. Although Bangkok's sex tourism scene is well known to foreigners, it is usually not openly acknowledged by locals or the government. Among Bangkok's well-known sights are the Grand Palace and major Buddhist temples, including Wat Phra Kaew,
Wat Pho Wat Pho ( th, วัดโพธิ์, ), also spelled Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace. Known also as the Temple of the Reclining ...
, and
Wat Arun Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan ( th, วัดอรุณราชวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร ) or Wat Arun (, "Temple of Dawn") is a Buddhist temple (''wat'') in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailan ...
. The Giant Swing and Erawan Shrine demonstrate Hinduism's deep-rooted influence in Thai culture. Vimanmek Mansion in Dusit Palace is famous as the world's largest teak building, while the Jim Thompson House provides an example of traditional Thai architecture. Other major museums include the Bangkok National Museum and the Royal Barge National Museum. Cruises and boat trips on the Chao Phraya and Thonburi's canals offer views of some of the city's traditional architecture and ways of life on the waterfront. Shopping venues, many of which are popular with both tourists and locals, range from the shopping centres and department stores concentrated in Siam and Ratchaprasong to the sprawling Chatuchak Weekend Market. Taling Chan Floating Market is among the few such markets in Bangkok. Yaowarat is known for its shops as well as street-side food stalls and restaurants, which are also found throughout the city. Khao San Road has long been famous as a destination for backpacker tourism, with its budget accommodation, shops and bars attracting visitors from all over the world. Bangkok has a reputation overseas as a major destination in the sex industry. Although Prostitution in Thailand, prostitution is technically illegal and is rarely openly discussed in Thailand, it commonly takes place among massage parlours, saunas and hourly hotels, serving foreign tourists as well as locals. Bangkok has acquired the nickname "Sin City of Asia" for its level of sex tourism. Issues often encountered by foreign tourists include scams, overcharging and dual pricing. In a survey of 616 tourists visiting Thailand, 7.79 percent reported encountering a scam, the most common of which was the gem scam, in which tourists are tricked into buying overpriced jewellery.


Culture

The culture of Bangkok reflects its position as Thailand's centre of wealth and modernisation. The city has long been the portal of entry of Western concepts and material goods, which have been adopted and blended with Thai values to various degrees by its residents. This is most evident in the lifestyles of the expanding middle class. Conspicuous consumption serves as a display of economic and social status, and shopping centres are popular weekend hangouts. Ownership of electronics and consumer products such as mobile phones is ubiquitous. This has been accompanied by a degree of secularism, as religion's role in everyday life has rather diminished. Although such trends have spread to other urban centres, and, to a degree, the countryside, Bangkok remains at the forefront of social change. A distinct feature of Bangkok is the ubiquity of street vendors selling goods ranging from food items to clothing and accessories. It has been estimated that the city may have over 100,000 hawkers. While the BMA has authorised the practice in 287 sites, the majority of activity in another 407 sites takes place illegally. Although they take up pavement space and block pedestrian traffic, many of the city's residents depend on these vendors for their meals, and the BMA's efforts to curb their numbers have largely been unsuccessful. In 2015, however, the BMA, with support from the National Council for Peace and Order (Thailand's ruling military junta), began cracking down on street vendors in a bid to reclaim public space. Many famous market neighbourhoods were affected, including Khlong Thom, Bangkok, Khlong Thom, Saphan Lek, and the flower market at Pak Khlong Talat. Nearly 15,000 vendors were evicted from 39 public areas in 2016. While some applauded the efforts to focus on pedestrian rights, others have expressed concern that gentrification would lead to the loss of the city's character and adverse changes to people's way of life.


Festivals and events

The residents of Bangkok celebrate many of Thailand's annual festivals. During Songkran (Thailand), Songkran on 13–15 April, traditional rituals as well as water fights take place throughout the city. Loi Krathong, usually in November, is accompanied by the Golden Mount Fair. New Year celebrations take place at many venues, the most prominent being the plaza in front of CentralWorld. Observances related to the royal family are held primarily in Bangkok. Wreaths are laid at King Chulalongkorn's equestrian statue in the Royal Plaza on 23 October, which is King Chulalongkorn Memorial Day. The present king's and queen's birthdays, respectively on 5 December and 12 August, are marked as Thailand's national Father's Day and national Mother's Day. These national holidays are celebrated by royal audiences on the day's eve, in which the king or queen gives a speech, and public gatherings on the day of the observance. The king's birthday is also marked by the Thai Royal Guards parade, Royal Guards' parade. Sanam Luang is the site of the Thai Kite, Sport and Music Festival, usually held in March, and the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which takes place in May. The Red Cross Fair at the beginning of April is held at Suan Amporn and the Royal Plaza, and features numerous booths offering goods, games and exhibits. The Chinese New Year (January–February) and Vegetarian Festival (September–October) are celebrated widely by the Chinese community, especially in Yaowarat.


Media

Bangkok is the centre of Media of Thailand, Thailand's media industry. All national newspapers, broadcast media and major publishers are based in the capital. Its 21 national newspapers had a combined daily circulation of about two million in 2002. These include the mass-oriented ''Thai Rath'', ''Khao Sod'' and ''Daily News (Thailand), Daily News'', the first of which currently prints a million copies per day, as well as the less sensational ''Matichon'' and ''Krungthep Thurakij''. The ''Bangkok Post'' and ''The Nation (Thailand), The Nation'' are the two national English language dailies. Foreign publications including ''The Asian Wall Street Journal'', ''Financial Times'', ''The Straits Times'' and the ''Yomiuri Shimbun'' also have operations in Bangkok. The large majority of Thailand's more than 200 magazines are published in the capital, and include news magazines as well as lifestyle, entertainment, gossip and fashion-related publications. Bangkok is also the hub of Television in Thailand, Thailand's broadcast television. All six national terrestrial channels, Channels Channel 3 (Thailand), 3, Channel 5 (Thailand), 5 and Channel 7 (Thailand), 7, Modernine TV, Modernine, National Broadcasting Services of Thailand Television, NBT and Thai PBS, have headquarters and main studios in the capital. With the exception of local news segments broadcast by the NBT, all programming is done in Bangkok and repeated throughout the provinces. However, this centralised model is weakening with the rise of cable television, which has many local providers. There are numerous cable and satellite List of television stations in Bangkok, channels based in Bangkok. TrueVisions is the major subscription television provider in Bangkok and Thailand, and it also carries international programming. Bangkok was home to 40 of Thailand's 311 FM radio stations and 38 of its 212 AM stations in 2002. Broadcast media reform stipulated by the 1997 Constitution of Thailand, 1997 Constitution has been progressing slowly, although many community radio stations have emerged in the city. Likewise, Bangkok has dominated the Thai film industry since its inception. Although film settings normally feature locations throughout the country, the city is home to all major film studios. Bangkok has dozens of List of cinemas in Thailand, cinemas and multiplexes, and the city hosts two major film festivals annually, the Bangkok International Film Festival and the World Film Festival of Bangkok.


Art

Traditional Thai art, long developed within religious and royal contexts, continues to be sponsored by various government agencies in Bangkok, including the Department of Fine Arts (Thailand), Department of Fine Arts' Office of Traditional Arts. The SUPPORT Foundation in Chitralada Palace sponsors traditional and folk handicrafts. Various communities throughout the city still practice their traditional crafts, including the production of ''khon'' masks, alms bowls, and classical musical instruments. The National Gallery of Thailand, National Gallery hosts permanent collection of traditional and modern art, with temporary contemporary exhibits. Bangkok's contemporary art scene has slowly grown from relative obscurity into the public sphere over the past two decades. Private galleries gradually emerged to provide exposure for new artists, including the Patravadi Theatre and H Gallery. The centrally located Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, opened in 2008 following a fifteen-year lobbying campaign, is now the largest public exhibition space in the city. There are also many other List of museums and art galleries in Bangkok, art galleries and museums, including the privately owned Museum of Contemporary Art (Bangkok), Museum of Contemporary Art. The city's performing arts scene features traditional theatre and dance as well as Western-style plays. ''Khon'' and other traditional dances are regularly performed at the National Theatre (Thailand), National Theatre and Salachalermkrung Royal Theatre, while the Thailand Cultural Centre is a newer multi-purpose venue which also hosts musicals, orchestras and other events. List of theatres in Bangkok, Numerous venues regularly feature a variety of performances throughout the city.


Sport

As is the national trend, association football and Muay Thai dominate Bangkok's spectator sport scene. Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United, Bangkok United F.C., Bangkok United, BG Pathum United F.C., BG Pathum United, Port F.C., Port and Police Tero F.C., Police Tero are major Thai League (football), Thai League clubs based in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, while the Rajadamnern Stadium, Rajadamnern and Lumpini Stadium, Lumpini stadiums are the main kickboxing venues. While sepak takraw can be seen played in open spaces throughout the city, football and other modern sports are now the norm. Western sports introduced during the reign of King
Chulalongkorn Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, reigning title Phra Chula Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua) (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์; RTGS: Chunlalongkorn ; 20 September 1853 – 23 October 1910), was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Cha ...
were originally only available to the privileged, and such status is still associated with certain sports. Golf is popular among the upwardly mobile, and there are several courses in Bangkok. Horse racing, highly popular at the mid-20th century, still takes place at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. There are many public List of sport venues in Bangkok, sporting facilities located throughout Bangkok. The two main centres are the National Stadium (Thailand), National Stadium complex, which dates to 1938, and the newer Hua Mak Sports Complex, which was built for the 1998 Asian Games. Bangkok had also hosted the games in 1966 Asian Games, 1966, 1970 Asian Games, 1970 and 1978 Asian Games, 1978; the most of any city. The city was the host of the inaugural 1959 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, Southeast Asian Games in 1959, the 2007 Summer Universiade and the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup.


Transport

Although Bangkok's canals historically served as a major mode of transport, they have long since been surpassed in importance by land traffic. Charoen Krung Road, the first to be built by Western techniques, was completed in 1864. Since then, the road network has vastly expanded to accommodate the sprawling city. A complex elevated expressway network helps bring traffic into and out of the city centre, but Bangkok's rapid growth has put a large strain on infrastructure, and traffic jams have plagued the city since the 1990s. Although rail transport was introduced in 1893 and Trams in Bangkok, trams served the city from 1888 to 1968, it was only in 1999 that Bangkok's first rapid transit system began operation. Older public transport systems include an extensive bus network and Water transport in Bangkok, boat services which still operate on the Chao Phraya and two canals. Taxis appear in the form of cars, motorcycles, and "''tuk-tuk''" auto rickshaws. Bangkok is connected to the rest of the country through the Thai highway network, national highway and Rail transport in Thailand, rail networks, as well as by domestic flights to and from the city's two international airports. Its centuries-old maritime transport of goods is still conducted through Khlong Toei Port. The BMA is largely responsible for overseeing the construction and maintenance of the road network and transport systems through its Public Works Department and Traffic and Transportation Department. However, many separate government agencies are also in charge of the individual systems, and much of transport-related policy planning and funding is contributed to by the national government.


Roads

Road-based transport is the primary mode of travel in Bangkok. Due to the city's organic development, its streets do not follow an organized grid structure. Forty-eight major roads link the different areas of the city, branching into smaller streets and lanes (''soi'') which serve local neighbourhoods. Eleven bridges over the Chao Phraya link the two sides of the city, while several expressway and Thai motorway network, motorway routes bring traffic into and out of the city centre and link with nearby provinces. Bangkok's rapid growth in the 1980s resulted in sharp increases in vehicle ownership and traffic demand, which have since continued—in 2006 there were 3,943,211 in-use vehicles in Bangkok, of which 37.6 percent were private cars and 32.9 percent were motorcycles. These increases, in the face of limited carrying capacity, caused severe traffic congestion evident by the early 1990s. The extent of the problem is such that the Thai Traffic Police has a unit of officers trained in basic midwifery in order to assist deliveries which do not reach hospital in time. While Bangkok's limited road surface area (8 percent, compared to 20–30 percent in most Western cities) is often cited as a major cause of its traffic jams, other factors, including high vehicle ownership rate relative to income level, inadequate public transport systems, and lack of transportation demand management, also play a role. Efforts to alleviate the problem have included the construction of intersection bypasses and an extensive system of elevated highways, as well as the creation of several new rapid transit systems. The city's overall traffic conditions, however, remain poor. Traffic has been the main source of air pollution in Bangkok, which reached serious levels in the 1990s. But efforts to improve air quality by improving fuel quality and enforcing emission standards, among others, had visibly ameliorated the problem by the 2000s. Atmospheric particulate matter levels dropped from 81 micrograms per cubic metre in 1997 to 43 in 2007. However, increasing vehicle numbers and a lack of continued pollution-control efforts threatens a reversal of the past success. In January–February 2018, weather conditions caused bouts of haze to cover the city, with particulate matter under 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) rising to unhealthy levels for several days on end. Although the BMA has created thirty signed bicycle routes along several roads totalling , cycling is still largely impractical, especially in the city centre. Most of these bicycle lanes share the pavement with pedestrians. Poor surface maintenance, encroachment by hawkers and street vendors, and a hostile environment for cyclists and pedestrians, make cycling and walking unpopular methods of getting around in Bangkok.


Buses and taxis

Bangkok has an extensive bus network providing local transit services within the Greater Bangkok area. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) operates a monopoly on bus services, with substantial concessions granted to private operators. Buses, minibus vans, and song thaeo operate on a total of List of bus routes in Bangkok, 470 routes throughout the region. A separate bus rapid transit system owned by the BMA has been in operation since 2010. Known simply as the Bangkok BRT, BRT, the system currently consists of a single line running from the business district at Sathon to Ratchaphruek on the western side of the city. The Transport Co., Ltd. is the BMTA's long-distance counterpart, with services to all provinces operating out of Bangkok. Taxis are ubiquitous in Bangkok, and are a popular form of transport. , there are 106,050 cars, 58,276 motorcycles and 8,996 auto rickshaw, tuk-tuk motorized tricycles cumulatively registered for use as taxis. Meters have been required for car taxis since 1992, while tuk-tuk fares are usually negotiated. Motorcycle taxis operate from regulated ranks, with either fixed or negotiable fares, and are usually employed for relatively short journeys. Despite their popularity, taxis have gained a bad reputation for often refusing passengers when the requested route is not to the driver's convenience. Motorcycle taxis were previously unregulated, and subject to extortion by organized crime gangs. Since 2003, registration has been required for motorcycle taxi ranks, and drivers now wear distinctive numbered vests designating their district of registration and where they are allowed to accept passengers.


Rail systems

Bangkok is the location of Hua Lamphong Railway Station, the main terminus of the national rail network operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). In addition to long-distance services, the SRT also operates a few daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour. Bangkok is served by three rapid transit systems: the BTS Skytrain, the MRT (Bangkok), MRT, and the elevated Airport Rail Link (Bangkok), Airport Rail Link. Although proposals for the development of rapid transit in Bangkok had been made since 1975, it was only in 1999 that the BTS finally began operation. The BTS consists of two lines, Sukhumvit Line, Sukhumvit and Silom Line, Silom, with 43 stations along . The MRT opened for use in July 2004, and currently consists of two lines, the MRT Blue Line, Blue Line and MRT Purple Line, Purple Line. The Airport Rail Link, opened in August 2010, connects the city centre to Suvarnabhumi Airport to the east. Its eight stations span a distance of . Although initial passenger numbers were low and their service area was limited to the inner city until the 2016 opening of the MRT Purple Line, Purple Line, which serves the Nonthaburi area, these systems have become indispensable to many commuters. The BTS reported an average of 600,000 daily trips in 2012, while the MRT had 240,000 passenger trips per day. , construction work is ongoing to extend the city-wide transit system's reach, including the construction of the SRT Light Red Line, Light Red grade-separated commuter rail line. The entire Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region consists of eight main lines and four feeder lines totaling to be completed by 2029. In addition to rapid transit and heavy rail lines, there have been proposals for several monorail systems.


Water transport

Although much diminished from its past prominence, water-based transport still plays an important role in Bangkok and the immediate upstream and downstream provinces. Several water buses serve commuters daily. The Chao Phraya Express Boat serves thirty-four stops along the river, carrying an average of 35,586 passengers per day in 2010, while the smaller Khlong Saen Saep boat service serves twenty-seven stops on Saen Saep Canal with 57,557 daily passengers. Long-tail boats operate on fifteen regular routes on the Chao Phraya, and passenger ferries at thirty-two river crossings served an average of 136,927 daily passengers in 2010. Bangkok Port, popularly known by its location as Khlong Toei Port, was Thailand's main international port from its opening in 1947 until it was superseded by the deep-sea Laem Chabang Port in 1991. It is primarily a cargo port, though its inland location limits access to ships of 12,000 deadweight tonnes or less. The port handled of cargo in the first eight months of the 2010 fiscal year, about 22 percent the total of the country's international ports.


Airports

Bangkok is one of Asia's busiest Airline hub, air transport hubs. Two commercial airports serve the city, the older Don Mueang International Airport and the newer Suvarnabhumi Airport. Suvarnabhumi, which replaced Don Mueang as Bangkok's main airport after its opening in 2006, served 52,808,013 passengers in 2015, making it the world's 20th List of busiest airports by passenger traffic, busiest airport by passenger volume. This volume exceeded its designed capacity of 45 million passengers. Don Mueang reopened for domestic flights in 2007,"In With the Old", ''Aviation Week & Space Technology'', 1 January 2007. and resumed international service focusing on low-cost carriers in October 2012. Suvarnabhumi is undergoing expansion to increase its capacity to 60 million passengers by 2019 and 90 million by 2021.


Health and education


Education

Bangkok has long been the centre of modern education in Thailand. The first schools in the country were established here in the later 19th century, and there are now 1,351 List of schools in Bangkok, schools in the city. The city is home to the country's five oldest universities, Chulalongkorn University, Chulalongkorn, Thammasat University, Thammasat, Kasetsart University, Kasetsart, Mahidol University, Mahidol and Silpakorn University, Silpakorn, founded between 1917 and 1943. The city has since continued its dominance, especially in higher education; the majority of the country's universities, both public and private, List of universities in Bangkok, are located in Bangkok or the Metropolitan Region. Chulalongkorn and Mahidol are the only Thai universities to appear in the top 500 of the ''QS World University Rankings''. King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, also located in Bangkok, is the only Thai university in the top 400 of the 2012–13 ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings''. Over the past few decades the general trend of pursuing a university degree has prompted the founding of new universities to meet the needs of Thai students. Bangkok became not only a place where immigrants and provincial Thais go for job opportunities, but also for a chance to receive a university degree. Ramkhamhaeng University emerged in 1971 as Thailand's first open university; it now has the highest enrolment in the country. The demand for higher education has led to the founding of many other universities and colleges, both public and private. While many universities have been established in major provinces, the Greater Bangkok region remains home to the greater majority of institutions, and the city's tertiary education scene remains over-populated with non-Bangkokians. The situation is not limited to higher education, either. In the 1960s, 60 to 70 percent of 10- to 19-year-olds who were in school had migrated to Bangkok for secondary education. This was due to both a lack of secondary schools in the provinces and perceived higher standards of education in the capital. Although this discrepancy has since largely abated, tens of thousands of students still compete for places in Bangkok's leading schools. Education has long been a prime factor in the centralization of Bangkok and will play a vital role in the government's efforts to decentralize the country.


Healthcare

Much of Thailand's medical resources are disproportionately concentrated in the capital. In 2000, Bangkok had 39.6 percent of the country's doctors and a physician-to-population ratio of 1:794, compared to a median of 1:5,667 among all provinces. The city is List of hospitals in Bangkok, home to 42 public hospitals, five of which are university hospitals, as well as 98 private hospitals and 4,063 registered clinics. The BMA operates nine public hospitals through its Medical Service Department, and its Health Department provides primary care through sixty-eight community health centres. Thailand's universal Healthcare in Thailand, healthcare system is implemented through public hospitals and health centres as well as participating private providers. Research-oriented medical school affiliates such as Siriraj Hospital, Siriraj, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, King Chulalongkorn Memorial and Ramathibodi Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospitals are among the largest in the country, and act as Tertiary referral hospital, tertiary care centres, receiving referrals from distant parts of the country. Lately, especially in the private sector, there has been much growth in medical tourism, with hospitals such as Bumrungrad Hospital, Bumrungrad and Bangkok Hospital, among others, providing services specifically catering to foreigners. An estimated 200,000 medical tourists visited Thailand in 2011, making Bangkok the most popular global destination for medical tourism.


Crime and safety

Bangkok has a relatively moderate crime rate when compared to urban counterparts around the world. Traffic accidents are a major hazard while natural disasters are rare. Intermittent episodes of political unrest and occasional terrorist attacks have resulted in losses of life. Although the crime threat in Bangkok is relatively low, non-confrontational crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and credit card fraud occur with frequency. Bangkok's growth since the 1960s has been followed by increasing crime rates partly driven by urbanisation, migration, unemployment and poverty. By the late 1980s, Bangkok's crime rates were about four times that of the rest of the country. The police have long been preoccupied with street crimes ranging from housebreaking to assault and murder. The 1990s saw the emergence of vehicle theft and organized crime, particularly by foreign gangs. Drug trafficking, especially that of ''ya ba'' methamphetamine pills, is also chronic. According to police statistics, the most common complaint received by the Metropolitan Police Bureau in 2010 was housebreaking, with 12,347 cases. This was followed by 5,504 cases of motorcycle thefts, 3,694 cases of assault and 2,836 cases of embezzlement. Serious offences included 183 murders, 81 gang robberies, 265 robberies, 1 kidnapping and 9 arson cases. Offences against the state were by far more common, and included 54,068 drug-related cases, 17,239 cases involving prostitution and 8,634 related to gambling. The Thailand Crime Victim Survey conducted by the Office of Justice Affairs of the Ministry of Justice found that 2.7 percent of surveyed households reported a member being victim of a crime in 2007. Of these, 96.1 percent were crimes against property, 2.6 percent were crimes against life and body, and 1.4 percent were information-related crimes. Political demonstrations and protests are common in Bangkok. The historic uprisings of 1973, 1976 and 1992 are infamously known for the deaths from military suppression. Most events since then have been peaceful, but the series of major protests since 2006 have often turned violent. Demonstrations during March–May 2010 ended in a 2010 Thai military crackdown, crackdown in which 92 were killed, including armed and unarmed protesters, security forces, civilians and journalists. Terrorist incidents have also occurred in Bangkok, most notably the 2015 Bangkok bombing, bombing in 2015 at the Erawan shrine, which killed 20, and also a 2006 Bangkok bombings, series of bombings on the 2006–07 New Year's Eve. Traffic accidents are a major hazard in Bangkok. There were 37,985 accidents in the city in 2010, resulting in 16,602 injuries and 456 deaths as well as 426.42 million baht in damages. However, the rate of fatal accidents is much lower than in the rest of Thailand. While accidents in Bangkok amounted to 50.9 percent of the entire country, only 6.2 percent of fatalities occurred in the city. Another serious public health hazard comes from Stray dogs in Bangkok, Bangkok's stray dogs. Up to 300,000 strays are estimated to roam the city's streets, and dog bites are among the most common injuries treated in the emergency departments of the city's hospitals. Rabies is prevalent among the dog population, and treatment for bites pose a heavy public burden.


International relations

The city's formal international relations are managed by the International Affairs Division of the BMA. Its missions include partnering with other major cities through sister city agreements, participation and membership in international organizations, and pursuing cooperative activities with the many foreign diplomatic missions based in the city.


International participation

Bangkok is a member of several international organizations and regional city government networks, including the Asian Network of Major Cities 21, the Japan-led Asian-Pacific City Summit, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the ESCAP-sponsored Regional Network of Local Authorities for Management of Human Settlements in Asia and Pacific (CITYNET), Japan's Council of Local Authorities for International Relations, the World Association of the Major Metropolises and Local Governments for Sustainability, among others. With its location at the heart of mainland Southeast Asia and as one of Asia's hubs of transportation, Bangkok is home to many international and regional organizations. Among others, Bangkok is the seat of the Secretariat of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), as well as the Asia-Pacific regional offices of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (International Organization for Migration, IOM), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).


Sister cities

Bangkok has made sister city and/or friendship agreements with thirty-six other cities in nineteen countries, . They are: * Aichi Prefecture, Aichi, Japan (9 July 2012) * Ankara, Turkey (21 March 2012) * Beijing, China (26 May 1993) * Brisbane, Australia (7 May 1997) * Budapest, Hungary (20 February 1997) * Busan, South Korea (14 March 2011) * Chaozhou, China (23 November 2005) * Chengdu, China (10 May 2017) * Chonqing, China (26 September 2011) * Daegu, South Korea (17 August 2017) * Dalian, China (19 July 2016) * Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, Japan (8 February 2006) * George Town, Penang, George Town, Malaysia (5 April 2012) * Guangzhou, China (13 November 2009) * Hanoi, Vietnam (25 February 2004) * Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (3 April 2015) * Jakarta, Indonesia (21 January 2002) * Lausanne, Switzerland (29 December 2009) * Lisbon, Portugal (19 January 2016) * Manila, Philippines (24 June 1997) * Moscow, Russia (19 June 1997) * Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (11 June 2004) * Phnom Penh, Cambodia (4 January 2013) * Porto, Portugal (30 July 2016) * Saint Petersburg, Russia (20 June 1997) * Seoul, South Korea (16 June 2006) * Shandong, China (7 July 2013) * Shanghai, China (10 May 2012) * Shenzhen, China (10 July 2015) * Tehran, Iran (27 November 2012) * Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Vietnam (5 August 2016) * Tianjin, China (27 February 2012) * Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (27 July 2017) * Vientiane, Laos (24 May 2004) * Washington, D.C., United States (1962, 15 July 2002) * Wuhan, China (20 November 2013)


See also

* Outline of Bangkok * World's largest cities


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * *


Further reading

* * *


External links


Bangkok Metropolitan Administration official website

bangkoktourist.com – Official travel guide by the BMA Culture, Sports and Tourism Department

Tourism Authority of Thailand (Bangkok)
{{Authority control Bangkok, Capitals in Asia Cities and towns in Thailand Populated places established in the 18th century Provinces of Thailand Gulf of Thailand 18th-century establishments in Asia Populated places on the Chao Phraya River