Bangkok is the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Thai: กรุงเทพมหานคร, pronounced [krūŋ tʰêːp máhǎː nákʰɔ̄ːn] ( listen)), or กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep (About this sound [listen]) (help·info), meaning "city of angels" for short, it was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It came to the forefront of Siam when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya. However, the current Rattanakosin Kingdom did not begin until 1782 when the capital was moved across the river by Rama I after the death of King Taksin. The Rattanakosin capital is now more formally called "Phra Nakhon" (Thai: พระนคร), pertaining to the ancient boundaries in the metropolis' core and the name Bangkok now incorporates the urban build-up since the 18th century which has its own public administration and governor.
Since its inception as the capital of Siam, it was at the center of European Colonial plans, but due to its strategic location in Indochina, it acted as a buffer-zone and brokered power between the European forces. Through this, it gained notoriety in the world as an independent, dynamic and influential city. And in the span of over two hundred years, Bangkok has grown to become the political, social and economic center of Thailand, Indochina and one of Southeast Asia.
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