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Travel Links |Airport
Bangkok On Line Travel Guide
and Thailand Virtual Tour
by looking at these great photos and
these photos of
Bangkok. and Thailand. View this Bangkok
Northern Thai people.
complete you virtual tour listen and listen to and see clips
of Thai music.
foreigner's reaction to
capital is often
as confused as the city's geography. Bangkok has no downtown, and
streets, like the traffic, seem to veer off in every direction. There's
even confusion about the city's name: though to Thais it is Krung Thep,
the City of Angels, foreigners call it Bangkok.
settlement -- dominated by the Grand Palace and bordered by the Chao
Phraya and semicircular klongs (canals) -- is called Ratanakosin and is
today a jumble of streets that lead to palaces, government buildings,
temples, and museums. In the last 25 years, the city has changed
enormously. Before Bangkok became the destination for American
servicemen during the Vietnam War, it had a population of 1.5 million.
Then, as U.S. dollars attracted the rural poor and development began,
it grew to more than 10 million, nearly 15% of the population and 40
times the size of any other city in Thailand.
space in which to live and breathe is inadequate. Bangkok is infamous
for its traffic-jammed streets and sois (side streets and alleys), and
its air pollution is among the worst in the world (policemen directing
traffic wear masks). When the economy collapsed in 1997 the traffic
situation improved as people sold their cars instead of driving them,
and the population shrunk as many returned to the countryside. But as
the economy bounces back so does congestion. The skytrain, which opened
in December 1999, makes some difference, and a subway system scheduled
to open in 2002 should help. However, some streets, particularly
Sukhumvit Road and other major arteries, still look like parking lots
during much of the day, and as construction reawakens with the reviving
economy, the traffic will only get worse. Even with its growing pains,