The History of Bangkok, Thailand
The history of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, Asia since 1782, is quite fascinating and also informs us how the royal family came to be and how they have remained a ceremonious factor to this day.
The original name of the city was Krung Thep, which meant "City of Angels". Bangkok means "plum orchard", and that was appropriate because it was once a tiny trading village in the midst of wild plum trees. Also, Bangkok means "village on the bank of a river" and kok means "wild olive". The city's very long real name also means The Magnificent City of the Nine Stories, The King's Throne, The Immortal's Great City, etc.
Bangkok is now one of Asia's most beautiful cities. Also known as The City of Royal Palaces, that is very true. The Grand Palace is on the Rattanakosin Island, where spectacular palaces, temples, monuments, and statues were built after the then royal city was moved across the river in 1782 for better fortification against Burma. Thai generals engaged in a fifteen-year war with the Burmese, Laotians and Vietnamese. Once the latter were driven out of the country, General Takain assumed the throne but was executed. General Chakri then took over and assumed the name of King Rama I.
Maintaining the Buddhism religion is the responsibility of the king. King Mongkut (Rama IV, who was portrayed by Yul Brenner in "The King and I") and his son (Rama V) busily kept on building improvements as well as railways, the city's first paved street, and roads. The present King Rama 9 (who began serving at the age of 18) continues with improvements. He and the Queen are revered and well-loved and have their pictures, as well as those of Buddhas and monks, displayed all over Thailand.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok has grounds containing various palaces including the Coronation Hall, Throne Hall, Royal Guest House, and more. The palace is huge, colored brilliantly, is detail decorated, and was begun in 1782 as both a royal residence and as the offices of the government administration. There are sculptures, pagodas, and frescos to be viewed in awe.
The Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is the most famous structure on the grounds of the palace and is the most sacred Buddhist temple. The Emerald Buddha, although only 17 inches tall. is the most revered Thailand object and was carved from just one beautiful large block of jade. His costume is made of solid gold, and Rama 9 presides over the ceremonies when the costume is changed for the three seasons of Winter, Summer, and Rainy Season. This Buddha was found in 1434 and was hidden in plaster so it looked ordinary and wouldn't be stolen.
When entering the Grand Palace or any of Thailand's temples, it is required that hats and shoes be removed, men not wear shorts, women not go sleeveless, and dress be conservative. You can rent the proper clothes if necessary. Also, no photographs can be taken inside the temples.
- Learn about getting married in Thailand and the unique ceremonies.