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The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok.
After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly declared King Taksin established his capital at the town, which became the base of the Thonburi Kingdom.Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s.The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem.Disproportionate urban development led to increasing income inequalities and unprecedented migration from rural areas into Bangkok; its population surged from 1.8 million to 3 million in the 1960s.Following the United States' withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, Japanese businesses took over as leaders in investment, and the expansion of export-oriented manufacturing led to growth of the financial market in Bangkok.The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong.
Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations.
In 1915 the monthon was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed.
The city in its current form was created in 1972 with the formation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), following the merger of Phra Nakhon Province on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi Province on the west during the previous year.
Bangkok's economy gradually expanded through busy international trade, first with China, then with Western merchants returning in the early-to-mid 19th century.
As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siam's modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late 19th century.
It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a regional centre for the arts, fashion and entertainment.