For centuries Bangkok, Thailand's capital, was a city of boats. To travel from one part of Bangkok to another, Thai people paddled canoes along the Menam river and its canals. But late in the 19th century, the people adopted Western ways and modernised the city. The new city surrounded by high walls has been laid out around the royal palace and its parks. The modern aspect of Bangkok contrasts strangely with the 400 Buddhist temples, whose gilded spires and decorated roofs of carved teak wood are found everywhere.
Caren Weiner Campbell writes on art for the New York Times. Having edited several guides on Asia, she went on to travel throughout the continent. Her descriptions of Bangkok convey her passion for the city's unique culture.
Klaus H. Carl is the author of numerous works on the history of great cities, and is also a well-known photographer of flora and fauna. A teacher by profession, he is currently devoting himself to a monumental history of art.
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