Do you ever dream of traveling around the world? Earth is such a WONDERful home, isn't it? You probably know your home town or city fairly well. You may have even traveled quite a bit around your home state or region. But what about the far ends of Earth?
So where are we headed? To Asia, of course! Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. If fact, Bangkok is home to over 10 million people, which makes it the only major city in a country that's made up of mostly small towns and villages.
Bangkok was established as the capital of Thailand way back in 1767. It has been the cultural and historical center of Thailand ever since that time. Located on the Chao Phraya, one of southeastern Asia's most important rivers, Bangkok is a major center of commerce that has grown into a large modern city over the past several hundred years.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bangkok is just a shortened version of the city's full ceremonial name, which holds the world record for longest name of a place: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. We think we'll just stick with Bangkok!
If you're going to Bangkok, you'll probably want to wear shorts. The city's subtropical climate stays warm most of the year, leading it to be named the hottest city in the world by the World Meteorological Organization.
Another thing that's hot in Bangkok is the cuisine. Thai food is popular around the world. It's known for being spicy, so be sure to have a tall glass of water on hand when you try authentic Pad Thai with jasmine rice. If you're up for a culinary adventure, you might also try a local exotic specialty, such as fried cockroaches and caterpillars!
After a spicy meal, you might want to get some exercise by walking around Bangkok and taking in its many fascinating sights. Sometimes called “Temple City," Bangkok's streets are filled with beautiful Buddhist temples. For example, Wat Pho features the biggest Buddha statue in all of Thailand!
Other must-see sights include Wat Arun, the Ancient City, the Grand Palace, and the Dusit Zoo. A short trek outside Bangkok will take you into areas of rainforest where you can ride a zip line or see an incredible variety of wildlife!
As you travel around Bangkok, you're sure to meet many friendly people. Thailand is actually known as the “Land of Smiles." Its people are known for their welcoming spirit and warmth. Its friendly nature probably contributed to Bangkok being named “World's Best City" in 2008 by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.