Bangkok Period (from 1782)

The town of Bangkok began as a small trading center and port community on the
west bank of the Chao Phraya River serving the Ayutthaya Kingdom, the precursor
of modern Thailand which existed from 1350 to 1767. It is believed that the
town's name derived from either Bang Makok,
bang being the Central Thai name for towns or villages situated on the bank of a
river, and makok being the Thai name of either Spondias pinnata (L.f.)
Kurz or Elaeocarpus hygrophilus Kurz, or Bang Koh, koh meaning
island, a reference to the area's landscape which was carved by rivers and
After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Kingdom in 1767, the newly
declared King Taksin established a new capital in the area of then-Bangkok,
which became known as Thonburi. When Taksin's reign ended in 1782, King Buddha
Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) reconstructed the capital on the east bank of the river
and gave the city a ceremonial name (see below) which became shortened to its
current official name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (which means "city of angels").
The new city, however, also inherited the name Bangkok, which continued to be
used by foreigners to refer to the entire city and became its official English
name, while in Thai the name still refers only to the old district on the west
bank of the river. The city has since vastly modernized and undergone numerous
changes, including the introduction of transportation and utility infrastructure
in the reigns of King Mongkut (Rama IV)and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), and
quickly developed into the economic centre of Thailand.