Bangkok, the capital of Siam, stands on the Menam, 20 miles from its mouth, in 13° 38' N. lat. and 100° 34' E. long., and stretches for some 6 or 7 miles along both sides of the river, here a wide and noble stream. The pop. is about 600,000, half of whom are Chinese, in whose hands is centred nearly all the trade, which is large, the exports exceeding 2,000,000, and the imports 3,800,000. The approach to Bangkok by the Menam is exceedingly beautiful, with its temples, gardens, noble trees, and palaces. A large number of the houses float on rafts moored to the banks of the river and its many canals; and the ordinary houses of the city, which are almost wholly of bamboo or other wood, are raised upon piles. The internal traffic is chiefly carried on by means of canals, there being only a few passable streets in the whole city. Bangkok is the constant residence of the king. The palace is surrounded by high walls, and is nearly a mile in circumference. It includes temples, public offices, huge barracks, and a theatre; the famous white elephants have also a place within the palace. The temples are innumerable, and decorated in the most gorgeous style. In the neighbourhood of Bangkok are iron-mines and forests of teak-wood. Among evidences of progress, specially rapid after 1895, may be mentioned the promotion of educational institutions, the erection of steam-mills, the introduction of gas and electricity, regular mails (since 1884), telegraph connection with Burma and Cambodia, railways to Korat and Paknam (1900). In 1893 French war-ships forced their way, in spite of an ineffective defence, to Bangkok, and secured here a treaty making important concessions to France. See Siam.