According to Abbreviationfinder, Bangkok is the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand, one of the emerging economies in Southeast Asia. Thailand has remained a monarchy to this day. The “city of angels” is full of contradictions. The exotic beauty of the temples, pagodas and markets is in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the noisy city with increasing motorization and air pollution. The city’s sewers, the Klongs, have to be drained to a large extent due to poor hygiene. The city’s sex tourism brings major hygiene and health problems to Thailand.
Bangkok or Krung Thep has 7 million residents, the entire metropolitan area is home to around 12.1 million people.
Bangkok is the administrative and economic center of Thailand and, with two universities, it is also an educational center of the country, with many museums and theaters. Bangkok has also been the royal residence since 1787.
Today Bangkok is a city of contradictions. On the one hand, it is the epitome of exotic beauty with its multitude of magnificent pagodas and temples, the boats that glide past stilt houses on canals and lively Asian markets. On the other hand, Bangkok is noisy, hectic, the traffic is scary and the air is full of exhaust fumes.
The name Bangkok means “City of Angels”. In the 18th century it was built by the then king after the destruction of the old metropolis as the new capital of the Kingdom of Siam, which has been called Thailand since 1939.
The Chao Praya River divides Bangkok into two districts:
On the right side of the river is the Thonbieri district, which was a separate city until 1971. Thonbieri is famous for the Wat Arun temple with its 84 m high tower, which was built around 1770. This “Temple of Dawn” clearly shows Hindu elements.
The actual city center, the center of old Bangkok, is formed by the district surrounded by the Chao Praya in a semicircle on the other bank.
This is dominated by the royal palace with its palace walls. In the palace area is also the temple Wat Phra Keo, the temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is the focal point of every sightseeing tour and the biggest tourist attraction. In the south, the Wat Po monastery borders the great palace. With an area of almost 8 hectares, it represents the largest temple district in Bangkok in terms of area. Around 300 monks still live here permanently. The temple of the resting Buddha is the most important part of the monastery complex.
The University of Fine Arts, the National Library, the University and the National Theater are only a few hundred meters away from the Palace, Wat Phra Keo and Wat Po. The National Museum is one of the largest and most interesting in Southeast Asia. Almost in the center of the city on the more than 4 km long boulevard of Bangkok, Raigdamnoen Avenue, stands the Monument to Democracy. It was established in 1932 after a coup d’état that led to the democratization of Siam and sealed the end of absolute monarchy.
The Chinese city is located near the royal residence. The former rulers of Thailand brought Chinese traders and craftsmen into the country. Two thirds of Bangkok’s residents were Chinese at the end of the 19th century. The Chinese city grew with the arrival of poor Thais in the 20th century. The Chinese are still the largest group of all minorities in Thailand. The Chinese Quarter is now a shopping center for gold and jewelry, which is offered in countless small shops.
Urban development problems
In Europe, Bangkok was previously called the “Venice of the East”. Just like the lagoon city, Bangkok is also criss-crossed by countless canals, the klongs.
This canal system once served to drain the urban area. This was necessary because the Chao Praya flooded the plain every year during the rainy season. The water could drain through the klongs.
The growing population and the increased volume of traffic have led to many canals being filled in and replaced by roads in the last few decades. This was absolutely necessary due to the poor hygiene of the brackish water in the clongs.
However, this also seriously disrupted the drainage of the low-lying and continuously sinking urban area (10 cm / year). As a result, Bangkok is once again a victim of flooding.
The famous floating markets of Bangkok take place on the still existing Klongs.
As a result of increasing motorization in Bangkok, the city also suffers from extremely high levels of air pollution. The traffic in the city center is close to that in the USA. The number of mopeds and cars is constantly increasing, as Bangkok is one of the richest regions in the emerging country of Thailand. Downtown Bangkok is almost hopelessly congested during rush hour.
Another big problem for Thailand and Bangkok is sex tourism. Prostitution is officially forbidden, but it is tolerated as the numerous tourists from Europe, the USA and Japan bring foreign currency into the country. The spread of AIDS is therefore increasing rapidly. Probably more than two thirds of prostitutes are already HIV positive.