Which city is called the ‘Venice of the East’ and why?

Thailand is an ancient kingdom in eastern Asia that was known as Siam until 1948. Its capital city, Bangkok, is a beautiful place situated on the banks of the river Maenam, about 33 kilometres from the sea. Bangkok is criss-crossed by many canals which have won the city the name of ‘Venice of the East’. Bangkok is also famous for its gardens and the hundreds of pagodas, tall, ornamental towers. The canals of the city are thronged with people on sampans, the traditional boat of Thailand, which are used to carry goods, and as shops and even homes for families.

About a fifth of the population of Bangkok lives on the waterways, working, trading, shopping, cooking, eating and sleeping on sampans. Few of the streets and modern buildings are more than fifty years old for it was only after 1900 that most of the modern buildings were constructed. Bangkok has several hundred Buddhist temples. Among the most famous are Wat Pho which has a huge gilded reclining Buddha, and the marble temple of Wat Benchamabopit. The vast Grand Palace includes the Dusit throne hall and the king’s chapel which contains a sacred jasper image of Buddha. These shrines are one reason why Bangkok attracts many tourists every year.


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