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Bangkok Travel Guide

Bangkok is the capital and primary city of Thailand. By far, Bangkok is the largest city and is a thriving commercial center set in the heart of Southeast Asia. Bangkok is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities and created as the Thai capital in 1792 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. Most of Bangkok's sights are focused in the Old City on Rattanakosin Island. The popular attractions in Bangkok are the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Bangkok's population is approximately 6.3 million in the city and 11.9 million in the metropolitan area. Most of the city's population are ethnic Thais and the Chinese are by far the largest minority. A vast majority of the population comprises of 92% Buddhist and 6% Muslim.

The city has a tropical wet and dry climate with a daytime temperature reaching 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). November and February is the driest time of the year and the most popular with tourists to visit. March, April, and May are the hottest months, and the rainy season runs from May to October. The average winter temperature is 79 degrees F (26 degrees C) and 84 degrees F (29 degrees C) during the summer. Most precipitation that Bangkok receives is at 59 inches (1,500 mm).

Bangkok is considered to be one of the world's tourist hotspots. The most impressive of all of the attractions is the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is a series of buildings in Bangkok that serves as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from 18th century onwards. The construction began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I. Although the Royal Family no longer resides there, the Palace is still used for ceremonial purposes and most of it remains closed to the public.

Not far south from the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, Bangkok's oldest and largest temple. This temple houses the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Phra Chetuphon and it's the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage. It is also located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace. The reclining Buddha is 157 feet long and 49 feet high, gold-plated and inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl on the soles of its feet. Wat Pho is also Thailan'd oldest learning center and a respected Thai massage school that teaches techniques to the eager and providing massages to the weary.

The Wat Arun, also known as the 'Temple of Dawn,' was named after the Indian God of Dawn, Aruna. This temple features a porcelain-encrusted, 259 foot central pagoda, Phra Prang that sparkles in the sun. The corners are surrounded by 4 smaller satellite prangs that are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain.

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