Thailandís capital, known internationally as Bangkok but to Thais as Krung Thep (City of Angels) sprawls over an area of some 1,500 square kilometers on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. Established in 1782 by King Rama I, founder of the Chakri Dynasty, Bangkok has been the home of the Royal Family ever since. Today, Bangkok is home to over 6 million people.  Here also are located all government ministries, the police and military headquarters, the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhist faith, the most prestigious universities and schools, the best medical facilities, important international organizations, and the greatest collections of art, museums, newspaper publishers and television stations.


  • Bangkok 2000



Though the great majority of Thailandís 61 million people are ethnically Thai and Buddhist, the country has a substantial number of minority groups who have historically lived together in harmony.  Of these, the Chinese are perhaps the most numerous (particularly in urban areas), though they have become so thoroughly assimilated it would be difficult to isolate them as a distinct group.  Similarly, while there are Lao and Khmer groups in the Northeast and East, nearly all regard themselves as Thai, culturally as well as by nationality.  More clearly defined as an ethnic group are the Muslims, who are mainly concentrated in the southern provinces, and assorted hill tribes who live in the far North; there are also sizeable communities of Hindus and Sikhs in large cities like Bangkok.   

Some 80 percent of all Thais are connected in some way with agriculture which, in varying degrees, influences and is influenced by the religious ceremonies and festivals that make Thailand such a distinctive country.




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