Bangkok Has The World’s Longest City Name – But What Does It Mean?


When I first moved to Bangkok, or Krung Thep as the Thais call it, I was fascinated by the length of its name. Then, when I was teaching English and I’d ask my students if they knew Bangkok’s full name, every single one of them from the tiniest on up could reel it off in the blink of an eye. Quite an amazing feat, when you realize just how long it is.

For the uninitiated, Bangkok’s full name in Thai is this:

“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”.

But what does it actually mean. In English, that is? Not surprisingly, when you do know the true meaning of the longest city name in the world, it doesn’t make Bangkok less exotic and less beautiful – just more so. And it goes….

“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 Vishnukarm”.

Photo – View out over Bangkok from Wat Arun

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