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Bangkok

Originally a small village on the Chao Phraya river King Rama I made it the capital of Siam in 1782. Bangkok is now the cultural, political and commercial centre of Thailand. Modern corporate offices blend with traditional commerce and the building of fast rail links and a new airport shows Bangkok means business.

Visitors are immediately confronted by the heat, the pollution, the noise and the smells of the street food vendors. It is a fast paced high rise business hub thai style. The city centre abounds with glitzy malls and hotels, excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs with many popular nightspots such as Soi Cowboy and Nana Entertainment Plaza.

Bangkok has over 450 temples and a large number of royal palaces, many open to the public. Within the grounds of the Grand Palace (the King's official residence) is the Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the Emerald Buddha and is considered the most important temple in Thailand.