Bangkok, official name Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, is the capital of Thailand and, with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, by far its largest city. Its high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife may not immediately give you the best impression — but don't let that mislead you. It is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone.
Just under 14 degrees north of the equator, Bangkok is a tropical metropolis and one of the most traveler-friendly cities in Asia. A furious assault on the senses, visitors are immediately confronted by the heat, the pollution, the flamboyant culture and the irrepressible smiles that accompanies many Thais. Despite sensationalized international news reports and first impressions, the city is surprisingly safe (except from some petty crimes), more organised than it initially appears, and full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The high relative humidity and warm temperature favour the growth of tropical plants. You'll find orchids and delicious fruit everywhere. Bougainvillea and frangipani bloom practically all over the city. Thai cuisine is justifiably famous, spicy, varied, and affordable. Bangkok for many represents the quintessential Asian capital. Saffron-robed monks, garish neon signs, graceful Thai architecture, spicy dishes, colourful markets, traffic jams and the tropical climate come together in a happy coincidence. It is difficult to leave with lukewarm impressions of the city.