Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.
As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience, at times served up in an apparently chaotic manner, but always with a gracious smile.
Modern Bangkok has developed a strong spectator sport culture. While muay Thai kickboxing matches at Rajadamnern and Lumpini Stadiums are regularly broadcast on television, the sport has mostly been overtaken in popularity by association football. Several foreign leagues and competitions, especially England's Premier League, have large followings in Bangkok as well as other Thai urban centres. In recent years, the Thai League has been gaining popularity. Police Tero based in Bangkok and Muangthong United based in the Bangkok Metropolian Region are leading clubs.
Western sports were introduced during the reign of King Chulalong Korn, and were originally only available to the privileged. Such status is still associated with certain sports. Golf is popular among the upwardly mobile, and while Thailand's more famous clubs are in the countryside, there are several courses in Bangkok itself. Horse riding takes place in a couple of exclusive clubs in the city. Horse racing is very popular in Bangkok and betting on horses is legal. There are two racecourses in Bangkok: "Royal Bangkok Sports Club" and "Royal Turf Club of Thailand".
The culture of Bangkok reflects its position as Thailand's centre of wealth and modernisation. The city has long been the portal of entry of Western concepts and material goods, which have been adopted and blended with Thai values to various degrees by its residents. This is most evident in the lifestyles of the expanding middle class. Conspicuous consumption serves as a display of economic and social status, and shopping centres are popular weekend hangouts. Ownership of electronics and consumer products such as mobile phones is ubiquitous. This has been accompanied by a degree of secularism, as religion's role in everyday life has rather diminished. Although such trends have spread to other urban centres, and, to a degree, the countryside, Bangkok remains at the forefront of social change.
A distinct feature of Bangkok is the ubiquity of street vendors selling goods ranging from food items to clothing and accessories. It has been estimated that the city may have over 100,000 hawkers. While the BMA has authorised the practice in 287 sites, the majority of activity in another 407 sites takes place illegally. Although they take up pavement space and block pedestrian traffic, many of the city's residents depend on these vendors for their meals, and the BMA's efforts to curb their numbers have largely been unsuccessful.
Shopping in Thailand is hands-down one of the premier activities for visitors to the kingdom. Some favorite items when shopping in Thailand are Thai silk, leather goods, silver & gold, precious and semi-precious gems, pearls, furniture, antiques, and all sorts of exotic handicrafts.
As the sun goes down, Bangkok opens its eyes to transform into the liveliest capital in South-East Asia. An electrifying atmosphere pervades the city as it comes to life in an explosion of lights, music and dance. Add to that its carefree vibe, a dose of madness, and an insane party culture, and voila – you have the craziest nightlife in all of Thailand.
Bangkok is a sensory overload even for the most hardcore party animals. Its not all action, though – there are plenty of amazing cultural experiences to be had in the night. But choosing where to go and what to do can be overwhelming when there are a million things to do and when everything seems tempting
With a stay at The Mixx Hostel in Bangkok (Bangkok City Centre), you'll be within a 10-minute drive of Grand Palace and Khaosan Road. This family-friendly hostel is 3.5 mi (5.7 km) from Wat Arun and 1 mi (1.6 km) from Wat Suthat