Unveiling Bangkok’s True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand’s Capital City?

Bangkok—the thriving capital of Thailand—is a hubbub of sounds, smells, sights, and culture, making it a top destination for travellers who want to experience heritage without straying too far from the comforts of the urban jungle. Many important events have taken place in the city, which has a history dating back to the 15th century.

With such a lengthy past (and a positive future ahead), it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are many unique things about Bangkok… the first of which is its real name.

You must be wondering, “Isn’t Bangkok the capital city’s name?”

It is. Bangkok is the nickname of the capital, deriving from the Thai words “Bahng” and “Gawk” which means “a place” and “olives” respectively. However, the official name is actually very different and a lot longer.

A whole lot longer. Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.

Bangkok’s real name is:

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

(กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์)

This roughly translates to:

The City of Angels, the Great City, the Eternal Jewel City, the Impregnable City of God Indra, the Grand Capital of the World Endowed With Nine Precious Gems, the Happy City, Abounding in an Enormous Royal Palace That Resembles the Heavenly Abode Where Reigns the Reincarnated God, a City Given by Indra and Built by Vishnukarma.

Bangkok’s full name, which was given to it by King Rama in 1782, is a mouthful. It is also the longest name for a city in the world, according to Guinness World Record.

However, not to worry. Travellers are not required to memorise Bangkok’s full name. In fact, even locals only use its official shortened version “Krung Thep or Krung Theph Mahanakhon,” which can quickly be translated to “The City of Angels.” You can also refer to the capital city using its nickname, which is known worldwide as Bangkok.

Now that we’ve got the Bangkok real name uncovered, it’s time to dive deeper and learn other interesting facts about Thailand’s capital city. Here are five unique things you need to know about the Bangkok metropolis.

  1. Bangkok is home to the Red Bull
Unveiling Bangkok's True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand's Capital City?

Red Bull is known across the globe as one of the best energy drinks. But not a lot of people know the drink was actually made in Bangkok by pharmacist Chaleo Yoovidya in 1976.

That being said, the drink enjoyed by many tastes quite different from the Red Bull marketed in Thailand. Bangkok’s version of the drink is reddish in colour and has a syrup-like consistency. The drink was later sweetened and carbonated to fit the taste of the people in the West. Both versions are available at some shops in the city.

  1. All temples seen on the Thai Baht can be found in Bangkok
Unveiling Bangkok's True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand's Capital City?

If you’re set on going on an adventure, consider trying to find the locations of the temples pictured on the country’s coins. This activity is perfect for a day trip as all temples can be visited within a single day.

Here are the temples pictured on the Thai baht coins.

  • 1 THB coin – Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (found inside the Grand Palace)
  • 2 THB coin – Wat Saket or Temple on the Mount
  • 5 THB coin – Wat Benjamabophit or The Marble Temple
  • 10 THB coin – Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn
  1. Bangkok has some funny outdated laws
Unveiling Bangkok's True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand's Capital City?

Every country has some strange laws that have yet to be updated to keep up with modern times. Thailand is no exception. In Bangkok, for instance, it is illegal to drive a motorised vehicle bare-chested. However, there is one law that truly takes the cake…

It is illegal to use a durian fruit as a weapon. In fact, people who use durian to harm other people can be fined an amount based on how many thorns strike the victim.

  1. Bangkok is one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly places in the world
Unveiling Bangkok's True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand's Capital City?

Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is a very liberal place that is also considered one of the most LGBTQ+-welcoming cities in all of Asia. Apart from normal washrooms, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a third-gender washroom in Bangkok for transgender men and women.

  1. Bangkok is a haven for shoppers
Unveiling Bangkok's True Identity: What Is The Real Name Of Thailand's Capital City?

If there is one thing you should never miss in Bangkok, it’s the city’s wide range of night markets where vendors sell a large variety of products, including clothing items, handmade accessories, vintage finds, and mouthwatering street food.

The most popular night market in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Located on Kamphaeng Phet 2 road, the Chatuchak Market is home to over 15,000 stalls selling all kinds of objects and tidbits, including locally crafted jewellery and one-of-a-kind art pieces.

In addition to their wares, an endless number of vendors also sell authentic Thai food throughout the entire Chatuchak Market. Some of our favourites include coconut ice cream, grilled honey roast pork, Thai poached chicken (Khao Man Gai) and mango sticky rice.

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