Rattanakosin (Thai: รัตนโกสินทร์), also known as Rattanakosin Island, is the historic centre of Bangkok, where most of Bangkok's "must see" sights can be found, including the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Rattanakosin was established in 1782 when King Rama I moved the Siamese capital across the river from Thonburi, starting a period in Thai history known as the Rattanakosin Period. Spending a few days in this remarkable district does not just show you dozens of traditional Buddhist temples, palaces, museums, parks and monuments, but also gives you a better understanding of the culture, history and religion of the Thai people.
The Rattanakosin Kingdom was the fourth Thai Kingdom, after the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Thonburi Kingdoms. When the powerful Ayutthaya Kingdom was destroyed and burnt by Burmese armies in 1767, a short period of chaos and Burmese occupation ensued in the lands of Siam. The resistance was led by General Taksin, a capable military leader who defeated the Burmese in one year and established the new Siamese capital in Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River from Rattanakosin. Instead of just re-conquering Siam, he also took hold of western Cambodia, almost the entire Malay peninsula, Lanna (modern Northern Thailand), and Laos.