Entry: What's in a name? Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's in a name? Quite a lot, if the name you're talking about is the actual name of Bangkok. - the real, official, full name of Bangkok is :

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

which translates to :

The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayuthaya) 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.

This is the longest city name in the world (167 letters), and I'm very happy that they decided to shorten it. Thais call it "Krung Thep", which means something like "village of wild plums" - sounds very nice, but the city isn't very nice at all. The King (of Thailand) has called Bangkok "a toilet without a flush" - and he lives there. I don't like Bangkok, and I have found out that there may be more in a name than I ever thought - the word "Bangkok" means "City of Angels". Los Angeles and Bangkok have a name in common, and I can add one other thing - I don't care if I never go to either city again.

One other note, while we're on the topic of city names - "Chiang Mai" (where we live) means "New City".

It's over 700 years old.



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