Bangkok

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand and has a population of over 10 million, with over 16 million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

Bangkok’s rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. An inadequate road network, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem. Five rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned.

Bangkok is faced with flooding, and several times during its history the issue of moving the nation’s capital and government functions elsewhere have been raised.

Chao Phraya River, Sleeping Buddha and Grand Palace
Bangkok, January 2007

We took a Chao Phraya Express Boat from a pier near our hotel, which was quicker than by car, and the air is relatively fresher on the river. Our first stop was the Sleeping Buddha, thereafter we took a taxi to the Grand Palace.

Sky Train, Shopping in Siam Area and Night Market
Bangkok, January 2007

One evening we took the Sky Train to the Siam Center. We walked around for a few hours, and had a coffee in a coffee shop. Thereafter we took the Sky Train to Sukhumvit Road to experience the shopping stalls along the road. We ended up with having dinner in a nice garden in a side street. 

Floating Market (Outside Bangkok)
Bangkok, January 2007

We joined a tour to the Floating Market. They picked us up at our hotel, and drove us out of the city. We boarded long-tail boats and raced through klongs (canals) to the floating market area. There we disembarked and walked along the river watching vendors in small boats selling all kinds of goods. There were also market stalls on shore. What a colorful place!