Bangkok: The City with the Longest Name
Yes, you guessed it right, the city is in Thailand. Our capital city, Bangkok, has the longest name in the world and we proudly hold the world record for the longest name of a place! The full name goes:
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทราอยุธยา มหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะ ทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์
This auspicious city’s name was established by King Rama I (Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok Maharaj), the first king of the Chakri dynasty since 1782. The name tells the story of the city and reflects how Thai culture is tightly linked with buddhism and hinduism.
The story goes…The capital city of Thailand is an enormous city, with a size similar to the city of angels in heaven, where the emerald buddha is situated. It is undefeatable and is the land of prosperity and stability. The beautiful palaces around the city are built by Indra and Vishnu deities for the angels from heaven that get reincarnated into the kings. The city is complete with abundant resources and charm.
So why is the capital city of Thailand known as “Bangkok” rather than its long name?
Since the Ayutthaya period (14th-18th Century), there were records of a small harbor town called “Bangkok” known to foreigners as the entrance to Thailand. The spelling of the city was established by the priests that came to Thailand to spread Christianity and wrote letters back home. As trades flourished, Bangkok became more popular as more merchants arrived in Thailand. However, to Thai people, the capital city was still Ayutthaya and Bangkok was just a small town.
In 1767, the Burmese-Siamese war resulted in the dissolution of Ayutthaya Kingdom and Thailand lost its capital city. However, in 1770, King Taksin reunited the country and moved the capital city to Bangkok for its convenient location as a harbor city. The geography of Bangkok is a floodplain, splitted in half by the Chao Phraya river. Initially, the capital city was established on the west side of the river and was called “Krung Thonburi”. Then, the Chakri dynasty moved the capital city to the east side of the river, in order to use the river as a barrier against future enemies. The name “Krung Thep” was then given to this new capital city, hence Thai people call our capital city “Krung Thep” rather than Bangkok.
If you’d like to try learning the name, maybe this song can help! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK9y95DQhwM
Today, Bangkok is the world’s most-visited city, ranked by Mastercard for 4 consecutive years (2016-2019). The reason behind why the city is so popular among tourists is the unique balance of historical sites, delicious food, relaxation, nightlife and shopping centers. Bangkok offers everything you want in your travels and much more!
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