Located in Central Thailand, Bangkok is a vibrant city famous for its temples and well articulated nightlife. Compared to other Thai cities, the capital city is the most commercial of all and there is a festival or special event nearly every week. The city offers visitors a rich tapestry of culture, entertainment, cuisine, and natural beauty. Below are some interesting facts about Bangkok.
10 Interesting Facts about Bangkok
- Bangkok currently holds the Guinness World book record for having the longest name for a place. It is better known as Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep in Thai, known in English as the ‘City of Angels’. The full traditional name is a bit difficult to remember or pronounce – “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”.
- Another name for Bangkok is ‘Venice of the East’. It used to be a city of canals and buildings were on stilts. As with Venice, Bangkok has a very active nightlife scene and is sinking – at a rate of 2 to 5 centimetres a year which is attributed to heavy urban development. The city might additionally be threatened by the rising sea level.
- Thailand is the 20th most populous country in the world, with the population close to 67 million. More than 10% of Thailand’s population lives in Bangkok. Also, the country’s tallest building is the Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok – it is the world’s 80th tallest at 304 meters.
- All the temples etched on the back of the Thai Baht coins – 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht coins are all found in Bangkok. All four temples are the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha, inside The Grand Palace), Wat Saket (Temple on the Mount), Wat Benjamabophit (The Marble Temple) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
- According to WMO stats, Bangkok is the world’s hottest city and the average air temperature throughout the year is 28°C but that could rise as high as 34°C between the months of March and May. The city is at its best during the cool season which falls between November and February when it enjoys blue skies and cooler temperatures.
- The world’s largest gold Buddha statue (3m-tall, 5.5-ton statue) can be found in Bangkok; its value is estimated in tens of millions of dollars. Also, the Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market spanning over 27 acres, is one of the largest in the world.
- Going out without wearing underwear is officially illegal in Bangkok and may land you in jail. Stepping on the Thai currency – both bills and notes are illegal, as they carry images of the king and so also is driving an automobile bare-chested.
- With Thailand being a liberal country in terms of sexuality and tolerance towards gender identity; Bangkok has three options of rest rooms – the usual Male and Female restrooms along with a third option for transgenders.
- Thailand’s Monarch HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (9th Rama, b. 5 Dec 1927) became the king in 1946 at the age of 21 years. He is currently the world’s longest serving head of the state and Thailand’s longest reigning monarch. Bhumibol has a degree in engineering and composed Thailand’s national anthem. He also owns a patent on a form of cloud seeding.
- Thai people loves their kings; little wonder it is illegal to laugh at a picture of the king or even say anything bad about him.Pictures and posters of the royal family can be found in nooks and crannies of the city. Also before the start of a play, cultural programmes or screening of a movie theatres, the king’s anthem is played everyone must stand to pay respect. Not doing so may lend you in jail.