Bangkok is in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest place-name in the world. Of course, “Bangkok” isn’t the longest name in the world – but Bangkok is really just the name that foreign people call the city. Thais themselves refer to their capital as “Krung Thep” – which means “city of Angels”. However, that’s just the short version of an incredibly long name:
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
or in Thai: กรุงเทพ มหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์
So what does that name actually mean? Well, here’s the English translation: 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
Fortunately, when you’re on a Bangkok sightseeing tour, you don’t need to remember that, and on flight tickets “BKK” is usually enough to bring you to the right destination.
This name was given by King Rama I in 1782, you can see him in the picture below. Although when he first named the city, the name was a bit shorter – “just” 43 syllables – another 21 syllables have been added later in history.
He was the founding father of the current dynasty, also known as the Chakri dynasty. The currently reigning monarch is Rama IX, and he is the longest-reigning living monarch on earth – for more than 60 years he is the King of Thailand already, and is deeply loved by the people of this country.