Thailand's capital is divided by the Chao Phraya River and is nestled in one of the world's most fertile rice-producing deltas.
Bangkok's 579 square miles (1,500 sq km) are criss-crossed by a series of canals carrying passengers and cargo, its roads clotted with endless traffic jams, while the city sprawls in all directions with a hodge-podge of urban, commercial and industrial buildings. A new overland metropolitan railway speeds above the city, providing visitors with a relaxed and efficient way to observe the hustle and bustle below.
Despite its pollution and overcrowding, Bangkok is undoubtedly one of Asia's most exciting cities, and one of the world's largest, promising to reveal to each traveller the wild and untamed mysteries of the east. On the banks of the Chao Phraya visitors will find the Grand Palace as well as Wat Phra Kaeo, the palace temple housing the Emerald Buddha, constructed entirely from translucent green jade. Slightly upriver are the exquisitely ornamented Royal Barges, still used today for special floating processions.