Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
Bangkok is home to the headquarters of all of Thailand’s major commercial banks and financial institutions, as well as the country’s largest companies. A large number of multinational corporations base their regional headquarters in Bangkok due to the lower cost of labour and operations relative to other major Asian business centres. Seventeen Thai companies are listed on the Forbes 2000, all of which are based in the capital including PTT, the only Fortune Global 500company in Thailand.
Wholesale and retail trade is the largest sector in the city’s economy, contributing 24 percent of Bangkok’s gross provincial product. It is followed by manufacturing (14.3 percent); real estate, renting and business activities, transport and communications (11.6 percent); and financial intermediation (11.1 percent). Bangkok alone accounts for 48.4 percent of Thailand’s service sector, which in turn constitutes 49 percent of GDP.
Bangkok is a city of contrasts with action at every turn. Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world.
Marvel at the gleaming temples, catch a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat through floating markets. Food is another Bangkok highlight, from local dishes served at humble street stalls to haute cuisine at romantic rooftop restaurants.