Bangkok is a vibrant city, filled with incredibly interesting opportunities, from fabulous shopping, to visiting the floating market, trying the fabulous Thai cuisine, or cruising up the bustling Chao Phrya River up to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a fantastic historical experience! It is well worth taking a longtail river taxi along its waters before exploring further into different canals to take a glimpse of old Bangkok. For vacationers, Bangkok has a extraordinary amount attractions to offer. The city ihas over 400 dazzling Buddhist temples of exquisite beauty and fascination, magnificent royal palaces, Thai dance extravaganzas, lots and lots of great shopping centres.
Most budget travellers head for the Banglamphu district, which is just a short walk from the dazzling Grand Place and Wat Phra Kaeo and the very worthwhile National Museum . For livelier scenes, explore the dark alleys of Chinatown's bazaars or head for the water: the great Chao Phraya River is the backbone of a network of canals and a useful way of crossing the city.
Bangkok is a relatively young capital, established in 1782 after the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya, the former capital. A temporary base was set up on the western bank of the Chao Phraya, in what is now Thonburi, before work started on the more defensible east bank. The first king of the new dynasty, Rama I, built his palace at Ratanakosin , within a defensive ring of two (later expanded to three) canals, and this remains the city's spiritual heart. Initially, the city was largely amphibious: only the temples and royal palaces were built on dry land, while ordinary residences floated on thick bamboo rafts on the river and canals, and even shops and warehouses were moored to the river bank. In the late nineteenth century, Rama IV and Rama V modernized their capital along European lines, building roads and constructing a new royal residence in Dusit, north of Ratanakosin.