The political, commercial and cultural hub of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the most celebrated cities in entire Southeast Asia. The architecture, cityscape, lifestyle and especially the nightlife of Bangkok highlight its multinational image. Steeped with modern tourism delights, it is a favorite getaway amongst vacationers worldwide. However, apart from its urban sensations, some other things that make Bangkok a tourism magnet include its deep-rooted traditional beliefs and multifarious culture, earning it the status of one of the most racially homogenous cities of Asia.
Bangkok is a highly populous city, with about 6 million inhabitants.
However, including the nearby provinces, the overall population of the
city escalates to approximately 9 million. Thus, the total population of
Bangkok is nearly 49 times more than the second largest city of Chiang
Mai, with the population segregating to numerous religions, races,
castes and creeds. Therefore, Bangkok witnesses widespread diversity in
terms of religion and culture, which lends the city its enviable
vibrancy and resplendence.
Most of the people of Bangkok are ethnic Thai, practicing Theravada
Buddhism, also including maximum immigrants from China and India. The
Thai population is about 85-90%, whereas Chinese are the largest
minority group, comprising nearly 8-9% of the population. In fact, the
Chinese who immigrated to Thailand during the 19th and the 20th century
occupy a significant presence among all the non-Thai religious
communities of the place. They are considered the closest relatives of
the Thais, allowing intermarriage between the two communities.
Another major religion of Bangkok is Islam, comprising around 5% of the
total population. Some other important faiths include Hinduism,
Christianity, Confucianism and Sikhism. Many people also practice
animism and spirit worship. Even though, various religions peacefully
co-exist in the place, the predominance of Buddhism in Bangkok cannot be
denied. Monks are highly venerated by the people. Besides, the tangible
aspect of the religion manifests in the form of the Wats (monasteries),
surrounding the city. These Wats not only form important religious
centers, but also occupy centre stage in the social lives of all the
people of Bangkok.