During Songkran on 13—15 April, traditional rituals as well as water fights take place throughout the city.
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New Year celebrations take place at many venues, the most prominent being the plaza in front of CentralWorld. Observances related to the royal family are held primarily in Bangkok. The present king's and queen's birthdays, respectively on 5 December and 12 August, are marked as Thailand's national Father's Day and national Mother's Day.
These national holidays are celebrated by royal audiences on the day's eve, in which the king or queen gives a speech, and public gatherings on the day of the observance. The king's birthday is also marked by the Royal Guards' parade. The Red Cross Fair at the beginning of April is held at Suan Amporn and the Royal Plaza, and features numerous booths offering goods, games and exhibits. Bangkok is the centre of Thailand's media industry. All national newspapers, broadcast media and major publishers are based in the capital.
Its 21 national newspapers had a combined daily circulation of about two million in These include the mass-oriented Thai Rath , Khao Sod and Daily News , the first of which currently prints a million copies per day,  as well as the less sensational Matichon and Krungthep Thurakij. Bangkok is also the hub of Thailand's broadcast television. With the exception of local news segments broadcast by the NBT, all programming is done in Bangkok and repeated throughout the provinces.
However, this centralised model is weakening with the rise of cable television, which has many local providers. There are numerous cable and satellite channels based in Bangkok. TrueVisions is the major subscription television provider in Bangkok and Thailand, and it also carries international programming. Likewise, Bangkok has dominated the Thai film industry since its inception.
Although film settings normally feature locations throughout the country, the city is home to all major film studios.
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Bangkok has dozens of cinemas and multiplexes , and the city hosts two major film festivals annually, the Bangkok International Film Festival and the World Film Festival of Bangkok. Traditional Thai art , long developed within religious and royal contexts, continues to be sponsored by various government agencies in Bangkok, including the Department of Fine Arts ' Office of Traditional Arts.
Various communities throughout the city still practice their traditional crafts, including the production of khon masks, alms bowls, and classical musical instruments.
The National Gallery hosts permanent collection of traditional and modern art, with temporary contemporary exhibits. Bangkok's contemporary art scene has slowly grown from relative obscurity into the public sphere over the past two decades. Private galleries gradually emerged to provide exposure for new artists, including the Patravadi Theatre and H Gallery. The centrally located Bangkok Art and Culture Centre , opened in following a fifteen-year lobbying campaign, is now the largest public exhibition space in the city. The city's performing arts scene features traditional theatre and dance as well as Western-style plays.
Khon and other traditional dances are regularly performed at the National Theatre and Salachalermkrung Royal Theatre , while the Thailand Cultural Centre is a newer multi-purpose venue which also hosts musicals, orchestras and other events. Numerous venues regularly feature a variety of performances throughout the city. Modern Bangkok has developed a strong spectator sport culture.
While muay Thai kickboxing matches at Rajadamnern and Lumpini Stadiums are regularly broadcast on television, the sport has mostly been overtaken in popularity by association football. Several foreign leagues and competitions, especially England's Premier League , have large followings in Bangkok as well as other Thai urban centres. In recent years, the Thai League has been gaining popularity. While sepak takraw can be seen played in open spaces throughout the city, especially by the working class, football and other modern sports are now more of the norm. Western sports were introduced during the reign of King Chulalongkorn , and were originally only available to the privileged.
Such status is still associated with certain sports.
Golf is popular among the upwardly mobile, and while Thailand's more famous clubs are in the countryside, there are several courses in Bangkok itself. Horse riding takes place in a couple of exclusive clubs in the city.
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Horse racing is very popular in Bangkok and betting on horses is legal. There are many public sporting facilities located throughout Bangkok. The two main centres are the National Stadium complex, which dates to , and the newer Hua Mak Sports Complex , which was built for the Asian Games. Bangkok had also hosted the games in , and ; the most of any city. Although Bangkok's canals historically served as a major mode of transport, they have long since been surpassed in importance by land traffic. Charoen Krung Road , the first to be built by Western techniques, was completed in Since then, the road network has vastly expanded to accommodate the sprawling city.
A complex elevated expressway network helps bring traffic into and out of the city centre, but Bangkok's rapid growth has put a large strain on infrastructure, and traffic jams have plagued the city since the s. Although rail transport was introduced in and electric trams served the city from to , it was only in that Bangkok's first rapid transit system began operation.
Older public transport systems include an extensive bus network and boat services which still operate on the Chao Phraya and two canals. Taxis appear in the form of cars, motorcycles, and " tuk-tuk " auto rickshaws. Bangkok is connected to the rest of the country through the national highway and rail networks , as well as by domestic flights to and from the city's two international airports. Its centuries-old maritime transport of goods is still conducted through Khlong Toei Port. The BMA is largely responsible for overseeing the construction and maintenance of the road network and transport systems through its Public Works Department and Traffic and Transportation Department.
However, many separate government agencies are also in charge of the individual systems, and much of transport-related policy planning and funding is contributed to by the national government. Road-based transport is the primary mode of travel in Bangkok.
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Due to the city's organic development, its streets do not follow an organized grid structure. Forty-eight major roads link the different areas of the city, branching into smaller streets and lanes soi which serve local neighbourhoods. Eleven bridges over the Chao Phraya link the two sides of the city, while several expressway and motorway routes bring traffic into and out of the city centre and link with nearby provinces. Bangkok's rapid growth in the s resulted in sharp increases in vehicle ownership and traffic demand, which have since continued—in there were 3,, in-use vehicles in Bangkok, of which The extent of the problem is such that the Thai Traffic Police has a unit of officers trained in basic midwifery in order to assist deliveries which do not reach hospital in time.
thobapreleahigh.gq The city's overall traffic conditions, however, remain poor. Traffic has been the main source of air pollution in Bangkok, which reached serious levels in the s. But efforts to improve air quality by improving fuel quality and enforcing emission standards, among others, had visibly ameliorated the problem by the s.
Atmospheric particulate matter levels dropped from 81 micrograms per cubic metre in to 43 in Most of these bicycle lanes share the pavement with pedestrians. Poor surface maintenance, encroachment by hawkers and street vendors, and a hostile environment for cyclists and pedestrians, make cycling and walking unpopular methods of getting around in Bangkok.
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Bangkok has an extensive bus network providing local transit services within the Greater Bangkok area. Buses, minibus vans, and song thaeo operate on a total of routes throughout the region. Known simply as the BRT , the system currently consists of a single line running from the business district at Sathon to Ratchaphruek on the western side of the city. The Transport Co. Taxis are ubiquitous in Bangkok, and are a popular form of transport. Motorcycle taxis operate from regulated ranks, with either fixed or negotiable fares, and are usually employed for relatively short journeys.
Despite their popularity, taxis have gained a bad reputation for often refusing passengers when the requested route is not to the driver's convenience. Since , registration has been required for motorcycle taxi ranks, and drivers now wear distinctive numbered vests designating their district of registration and where they are allowed to accept passengers. In addition to long-distance services, the SRT also operates a few daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour. Although proposals for the development of rapid transit in Bangkok had been made since ,  it was only in that the BTS finally began operation.
Although initial passenger numbers were low and their service area has long remained limited to the inner city, these systems have become indispensable to many commuters. As of July [update] , construction work is ongoing to extend the city-wide transit system's reach, including the construction of the Light Red grade-separated commuter rail line. In addition to rapid transit and heavy rail lines, there have been proposals for several monorail systems. Although much diminished from its past prominence, water-based transport still plays an important role in Bangkok and the immediate upstream and downstream provinces.
Several water buses serve commuters daily.
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