Bangkok, the city with the longest name in the world… How so? Because its real name is:
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
Which means: The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) 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 Vishnukarn.
Thais usually go with just the Krung Thep Mahanakhon bit…
As of 2013 Bangkok is the most visited city in the world, it also has an unenviable reputation for corruption and scams, so a pre visit check here might be useful to keep abreast of the latest tricks. Most are aimed at tourists visiting the big sites and are along the ‘palace is closed today’ lines… but have a read here: Bangkok Scams.
To keep abreast of bribes being charges and paid check this site: Bribespot Thailand.
Update from January 2013
Was in Bangkok for a few days and had the chance to visit Wat Po again – one of my favourites, although much busier these days.
Wat Po is noted for the number of Buddha statues and the enormous Reclining Buddha: 15m high and 43m long.
Wat Po is also the home of Thai Massage.
As with Kuala Lumpur; its a very long time since I was here, and again there are massive changes.
The city is still recognisable and lots of the old parts remain as I remember them, however blocks of old areas are being torn down and replaced with high rise offices and residential blocks – the rich are taking to the air to escape the pollution and noise of street level…
Like this oasis of Thai calm
This bar is pretty high too The Dome, open air terrace at 64 floors up.
Their photos are better than mine.
The traffic was always bad in Bangkok, but now it is a total nightmare; large parts of the city are in gridlock for most of the day; any day, all day…
Siam Square – not a square… the elevated concrete runways are for the Skytrain, which at least moves you about fairly quickly.
and this is how it used to look…
Bangkok Boutique Hotels – info here