The city of Bangkok thoroughly reflects its status in the country as the capital of wealth and modernization. Western ideologies and belief systems have been blended into the Thai families and the blend is different depending on the particular family. Bangkok drives social change in the country. As the influence of Western has taken a hold of Bangkok and much of Thailand, there is much laid in the materialism and the possession of electronics and Western goods. Possessions become somewhat of a status symbol and are inadvertently used to separate the classes which is very evident amongst Thai people in Bangkok. A distinct feature of Bangkok is the city's massive population of street vendors who sell virtually everything and are willing to bargain. However, they will take advantage of Westerners so be prepared to bargain.
There are many street festivals and artistic exhibitions throughout the city. Thai culture itself has many influences: Indian, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Chinese. The country's national religion is known as Thai Buddhism which has evolved over time and included the influence of other religions such as Hinduism, animism, and ancestor worship. Overseas Chinese have become a significant part of Thai and their successful integration have allowed them to be in the upper echelons of society.