Bangkok, known in Thai as "Krung Thep Maha Nakhon", is the capital of Thailand with a population of over eleven million inhabitants. Occupying 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, 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.
Tracing its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, Bangkok eventually 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 also the centre of Thailand's political struggles, throughout the 20th century, as the country discontinued absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.
Bangkok has three seasons, hot, rainy and cool, ranging from an average low of 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) in December to an average high of 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) in April. The rainy season begins around mid-May. September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 334.3 millimetres (13.16 in). The rainy season lasts until October, when the dry and cool northeast monsoon takes over until February.
Bangkok is served by two airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport. Suvarnabhumi Airport is used by all airlines in Thailand except for Nok Air, Orient Thai and Air Asia, which use the old Don Muang Airport. Both these airports are about 30 km (19 mi) from the city centre.
There are many different ways to move around Bangkok, such as using buses, taxis, ferries, boats, or the public transit systems of BTS and MRT. Due to traffic jams, it may be worthwhile combining public transport by different means.