Travel to Thailand: Bangkok: Photo 1
The city was established in 1782, 15 years after the Burmese had destroyed Ayutthaya. (The name Ayutthaya, which in Sanskrit means "invincible," apparently hadn't been of much help). Perhaps it was easier to start anew than to erase the shame of that defeat; certainly the new city, closer to the sea, would also make it easier to welcome the Chinese and Europeans who would soon be playing a major role in the development of the country. The site was on the left bank of a wide curve of the Chao Phraya River and was encircled by the river on the west and two widely separated but concentric moats on the east. The city was called Krung Thep ("city of angels")--that's the short form of a much longer formal name--and at its bull's-eye stood a grand palace. No wonder: part of the city's formal name in fact includes the phrase "the Happy City Abounding in Great Royal Palaces which Resemble the Heavenly Above Wherein Dwell the Reincarnated Gods..." Even now, the core of Bangkok, bounded by the moats, is known as Ko Rattanakosin, "the emerald island of Indra." The inner part in particular--dominated by the palace--has been in pristine shape since the 1980s and their discovery of Moradok Thai ("Thai heritage").
Back to Thailand: Bangkok chapter
Short link for this page: http://www.greatmirror.com?justpic=4503
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