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The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok.
The city is now a major regional force in finance and business.
The reigns of Kings Mongkut (Rama IV, 1851–68) and Chulalongkorn (Rama V, 1868–1910) saw the introduction of the steam engine, printing press, rail transport and utilities infrastructure in the city, as well as formal education and healthcare.
Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932.
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.
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 city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.In 1915 the monthon was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed.