THE BEST DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD : BANGKOK
The history of Bangkok dates at least to the early fifteenth century, when it was under the rule of Ayutthaya. The name then applied only to a small village on the west side of the river. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, the village gradually increased in importance, serving as a customs outpost, and became the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Kingdom in 1767, the newly declared King Taksin established his capital at the village. King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, who succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern bank in 1782, which is the accepted date for the founding of the present city.
Over the years since then, Bangkok has undergone tremendous changes, growing rapidly in the second half of the 20th century to become Thailand's main city. It was the centre of Siam's modernisation in the late 19th century, including the introduction of rail transportation and utilities infrastructure in the reigns of Kings Mongkut and Chulalongkorn. It was subjected to Allied bombing during World War II, and is the modern nation's central political stage, with a series of protests and coups d'état taking place occasionally on its streets.