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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 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population.

Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernization, during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West.

The city was the centre of Thailand's political struggles, throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings.

The city is well known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts.

The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong.

There are 581 high-rise buildings in the city, ranking number 5 in the world.

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Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782.

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