On January 7 the Chinese trading quarter of Bangkok, Siam, Asia, was devastated by fire. It is estimated that the loss will amount to about $3,000,000. Bangkok is the capital of Siam, and situated twenty miles from the mouth of the Menam river, which empties into the head of the gulf of Siam. Many of the houses are built upon rafts, a single raft frequently supporting eight or ten houses. But, as there is no means of utilising the water for fire protective purposes, the flames have it all their own way with such flimsy bamboocane-built structures. Part of the city, however, is of modern construction, having electric illumination and electric cars, while lines of steam railway run in various directions. The business of Bangkok is largely in the hands of the Chinese, who are about as numerous as the native Siamese. The estimates of the population vary between 250,000 and 600,000.