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Bangkok (English pronunciation: /ˈbæŋkɒk/) is the capital and most populous city of Thailand.
It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร, pronounced [krūŋ tʰêːp mahǎː nákʰɔ̄ːn] ( listen)) or simply About this sound Krung Thep (help·info).
The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population.
Over 14 million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.
The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong.
Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations.
It is named the most visited city in Master Card's Global Destination Cities Index, and was named "World's Best City" for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Bangkok's rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems.
Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782.
Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernization, during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West.
The city was the centre of Thailand's political struggles, throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings.