Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep for short, is the capital, largest city, and primate city of Thailand. It is located on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. The western bank is locally referred to as ‘Fung Thon’ or Thon side whilst the eastern side which pertains the majority of Bangkokians is called subjectively as Krung Thep, the name of the city itself (also called ‘Pranakhorn’ side).
Bangkok is the 22nd most populous city in the world.
Bangkok province or the areas bounded by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), has a registered population nearing 6 million people, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, which covers five provinces surrounding the capital province in the central region of Thailand registers a little over 10 million. However, like many large cities, the city has seen a great flux of immigrants who are not properly listed in the city’s administration. The population is therefore much more realistic in the band of 15-20 million.
Bangkok is a magnet for foreigners escaping turmoil in their homeland or simply for business, or can just be for people who want to enjoy its many wonders. It has long been the gateway to Asia for foreign interests seeking new markets. The city is a major economic and financial center of Southeast Asia and has one of the fastest rates in the world for construction of high rise buildings. The city’s wealth of cultural sites makes it one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The capital is part of the heavily urbanized triangle of central and eastern region of Thailand which stretches from Nakhon Ratchasima along Bangkok to the industrialized eastern seaboard. This urbanized area contains 20 million registered Thais in addition to millions of illegal aliens searching for work in the most prosperous region in Indochina.
The Bangkok Province borders six other provinces: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom.