Welcome to Bangkok
Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, is the capital, largest urban area and primate city of Thailand. It was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom and came to the forefront of Thailand when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayuthaya. Bangkok is considered to be one of the world's top tourist hotspots. It is voted the best city in Asia according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Bangkok is Thailand's major tourist gateway, which means that the majority of foreign tourists arrive in Bangkok. The city boasts some of the country's most visited historical venues such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. There are numerous projects to maintain Bangkok's historic sites in the Rattanakosin area and river districts. A number of deluxe hotels can be found in Bangkok, such as the Peninsula Bangkok, which recently made the top 10 in Travel and Leisure magazine's top 100 hotels list, coming in at #4, while the Oriental Hotel claimed the ninth spot. Sukhumvit Road hosts a series of international chains such as JW Marriott, The Landmark, Intercontinental, Sheraton, and many boutique hotels such as The Davis, Unico Grande Sukhumvit. The Banyan Tree on Sathon, one of Bangkok's tallest hotels, features the tallest bar and restaurant in the city, Vertigo. Bangkok also offers a number of smaller boutique hotels for discerning travelers seeking uniquely designed lodgings and personalized service. There are large numbers of inexpensive hotels scattered throughout the city such as Yaowarat Road, most notably in the backpackers' paradise of Khao San Road. Unlike Western cities, motels are uncommon in Bangkok. However, a fast and growing business is bed and breakfasts adapted to suit the Asian lifestyle. A variety of these small houses can be found in Phloenchit, Watthana and Khlong Toei.