Bangkok

Situated in the delta where the River Chao Phraya reaches the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. When the last census was carried out in 2010, well over 8.2 million people were reported as residents of Bangkok, and for the wider metropolitan area the number was 14.6 million.

In Thai, the city is commonly called Krung Thep, although the full formal name is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.

Bangkok is the financial center of Thailand.  Most large banks and financial institutions are located here.  Thailand has a well developed FOREX regulation and a number of FOREX brokers that are located in Bangkok.   FOREX Brokers operating in Thailand are not allowed to offer currency pairs that include the Thai currency, the Baht.   FOREX brokers that are popular in Thailand include Forex.com and IQ options. Forex-3D is also popular in Thailand but this broker is unregulated and might be a scam.

Short facts about Bangkok

Coordinates

13°45′09″N 100°29′39″E

City population 8,280,925 (2010 census)
Metropolitan area population 14,626,225 (2010 census)
Time zone UTC +7 (ICT)
ISO 3166 code TH-10

Getting to Bangkok by air

getting to thailandThere two main aiports for the Bangkok area are:

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport)IATA: BKK, ICAO: VTBSOpened in 2006, this is now Thailand’s main international airport. In the year 2015, it served over 52.8 million passengers, despite being designed for handling 45 million passengers.
  • Don Mueang International AirportIATA: DMK, ICAO: VTBDThis is the older of the two airports. It is still in use and is the main hub for several airlines. It is currently being expanded to increase its capacity to 60 million passengers by 2019 and 90 million by 2021.

Geography

The Venice of the East

Bangkok was founded in the delta of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand’s central plain region, where the river reaches the Gulf of Thailand. This part of Thailand is flat and low-lying; the average elevation is just 1.5 metres above sea level.

The Bangkok city proper is roughly 1,568 square kilometres in size, of which about 700 square kilometres from the built-up urban area along the Chao Phraya River. Due to urban sprawl, the Bangkok Metropolitan Region is much larger and extends into the neighbouring provinces.

The Chao Phraya River meanders through the city in a southward direction and reaches the ocean roughly 25 km south of the city centre. There is a lot of land here that used to be swampland, but from the 16th century and onward, the swamps have been destroyed through draining and build-up to provide more room for agriculture and other human activities. Several short-cut canals have been created to modify how the river runs toward the sea.

Up until the late 1800s, an extensive network of canals served the primary mode of goods transportation within Bangkok. Most people lived near them, earning Bangkok the nickname “Venice of the East”. Since then, quite a few of the canals have been filled in to make more land, but there are still many canals left and they are still utilized both for drainage and transport. Regrettably, they are very polluted.

The Phu Khao Thong

bangkokThere are no mountains in Bangkok, and the only hill – the Phu Khao Thong – is man-made. The closest mountain range, the Khao Khiao, is located about 40 km to the southeast of Bangkok.

It was King Rama III (1787-1851) that decided to built a very large chedi at Wat Saket in Bangkok. But the soft delta soil of Bangkok proved unsuitable for building such a heavy structure, and it collapsed during construction. The collapsed mud-and-brick structure was left to its own devices, and eventually began looking more like a natural hill. The locals even started calling it phu khao, as if it was a true hill and not a collapsed building. In the 1940s, a concrete wall was erected around phu khao to prevent erosion.

Bangkok climate

Climate: Tropical savanna climate

Rainy season: From mid-May to mid-October

The rainiest month: September, with an average rainfall of over 334 mm

Dry and cool season: From mid-October to mid-February

Hot season and fairly dry season: From mid-February to Mid-May. This season is fairly dry, but with rainstorms now and then.

Temperatures

The temperatures are fairly warm year-round, from 22.0 °C in December to an average high exceeding 35 °C in April.

Bangkok is a pronounced urban heat island, and this effect is especially pronounced at night.

In March 2013, a new heat record was set for the Bangkok metropolis: 40.1 °C. The cold record is much older: 9.9 °C measured in January 1955.