Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a bustling city mixing both modern and ancient Thai architecture. The site of the city was selected for its position as a natural defense from enemies and its rich supply of water. Today, it is a renown, expansive capital, with large, looming sky scrapers combined by European-style parks, neon-lits and traditional Thai temples.

In the early 17th century, Bangkok consisted of a small, grouping of ramshackle huts in a swampy delta. The city began to grow when the French first arrived in Siam in 1665. Bangkok remains to this day a city surrounded by canals and thus, one of the best ways to tour the architecture is from one of the traditional Thai boat taxis. However, its architecture is a combination of traditional Thai temples and modern sky rises. On one of the boat tours, tourists can see the way that native Thais live; collecting rainwater in buckets in front of their homes and decorating their homes with a miniature replica of their house for good luck to the gods.

In Bangkok, there are a multitude of famous temples to visit. Wat Arun is an architectural recreation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology.  The four-corner prang, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, buttresses the symbolism.

Meanwhile, another famous temple, Wat Benjamabopit or the Marble Temple, was constructed in 1899 in the Dusit area of Bangkok, an area surrounded by 19th century buildings. The temple is planned symmetrically with various layered roofs and marvelously fair proportion, all made of impressive Italian carrara marble. Its halls are made of large marble tiles and decorated with European-style stucco (very popular at the time). The roofs are roofed with glazed Chinese terracotta tiles. The refined surfaces of these materials and the long-established gold-lacquered finish provide the temple with a luminance that is unforgettable.