capital city of Thailand, lies close to the mouth of the Chao
Phraya River at the center of a fertile alluvial plain. With
an area of 1,565.2 sq km, Bangkok ranks 68th in size out of
the country's 76 provinces, but has the greatest population
and population density of any province. It is surrounded by
Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakan to the south, Nakhon Pathom
to the west, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Nakhon Nayok to
the north, and Chachoengsao to the east. Bangkok also has
a 4.4 km stretch of coastline. Parts of the surrounding provinces
have been swallowed up by Bangkok's sprawling metropolitan
known as 'Venice of the East', Bangkok is criss-crossed by
a network of natural and man-made canals called 'klongs' all
of which link to the Chao Phraya. The canals were the only
means of transport in former times. Today, they help drain
the pancake-flat city during the rainy season.
is subject to a tropical monsoon climate with three distinct
seasons. The cool season, generally considered the best time
to visit, lasts from November to February and is characterized
by cooler temperatures, low humidity, clear skies and very
little rainfall. Day-time temperatures are far from cool,
around 28° C, but evenings and early mornings
may feel chilly. The highest temperatures, as much as 40°
C, are recorded during the hot season from March to mid June.
April, at the time of the Songkran water festival, is the
hottest month of the year.
rains begin in mid June and continue through to October. Some
areas of Bangkok and the surrounding provinces are prone to
flooding at this time. The heaviest rains in Bangkok are usually
in August and September. In 1997, annual rainfall was 1,064
mm with a mean temperature of 29.4° C.
If you visit Bangkok in the rains, there's a good chance you'll
encounter floods. Most Bangkokians wear rubber sandals and
carry an umbrella. Strip down rather than dress up. Rain coats
offer scant protection in a heavy deluge and are too uncomfortable
in the heat.
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