February 13, 2012

Although the precise date of Bangkok’s existence is unknown, it is said to have been formed in the 15th century. At this time, it was part of the Siamese kingdom known as Ayutthaya which was created in 1350 and lasted until 1767. Bangkok quickly grew in stature because of its close proximity to the Chao Phraya River.
The Ayutthaya Empire fell when Burmese forces defeated it. Phraya Tak was the strongest Burmese general and he declared himself king. In 1768, he made Bangkok his empire’s capital though the region was known as Thonburi at that time. He became known as King Taksin but was to be overthrown in 1782 by the general Chao Phraya Chakri. The city of Bangkok was formally created on 21 April of that year when it became known as Rattanakosin.
Since the late 18th century, the majority of Bangkok’s history has been dominated by the creation of new Buddhist temples and the renovation of old ones. This is because the ruling King of Thailand has a divine responsibility to keep the Buddhist religion alive. Bangkok was almost unknown to foreign visitors until the middle of the 19th century when North American and European traders and missionaries arrived. The city became more modernized by the end of the 19th century with city roads, tramways and a railway line created. (more…)