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is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep, 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 over 8 million, as of 2010. Over 14 million live within the surrounding Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok a primate city, dwarfing other urban centres in both size and importance to the national economy.
Bangkok traces roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which then grew and became the site of two capitals: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at heart of Siam's modernization during late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggle throughout the 20th century, as the country adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew during the 1960s to 1980s as US aid resulted in urbanization, and the Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a regional force in finance and business and an international hub for transport and health care, as well as the arts, fashion and entertainment. Known for its street life, cultural landmarks and red-light districts, tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace and numerous Buddhist temples stand in contrast with the nightlife scenes of Khaosan and Patpong.
Bangkok has been named the most visited city in several rankings. Growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. An inadequate road network, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, had led to chronic, crippling traffic congestion that caused air pollution. The city has since turned to public transport: five rapid transit lines in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Chiang Mai from Thai: Chiang Mai sometimes written as Chiengmai or Chiangmai, is the largest city in northern Thailand and the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok near the highest mountains in the country.
Chiang Mai (meaning "New City" in Thai) was founded in 1296 as the new capital of Lan Na, succeeding the former capital, Chiang Rai. : 208–209 The city's strategic location on the Ping River (a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River) and its proximity to major trading routes contributed to its historic importance.
Although the city (thesaban nakhon, "city municipality") of Chiang Mai only officially covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai District, with a population of 160,000, the city's sprawl extends into several neighboring districts. The Chiang Mai metropolitan area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province.
The city is subdivided into four khwaeng (electoral wards): Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is on the east bank. Nakhon Ping District includes the northern part of the city. Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the western, southern, and eastern parts, respectively. The city center — within the city walls — is mostly within Srivijaya ward.
Chiang Rai (Thai: เมืองเชียงราย, pronounced [mɯəŋ tɕʰiəŋ raːj]; Mueang Jiang Hai; Lao: ເມືອງຊຽງຮາຍ,Lao pronunciation: [mɯəŋ tɕʰiəŋ haːj]) is the northernmost large city in Thailand, with a population of about 200,000 people. It is located in Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai Province. Chiang Rai was established as a capital city in the reign of King Mangrai, in 1262 CE.
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