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Thai Capital Bangkok Will Undergo a Name Change

Feature Image courtesy of Florian Wehde / Unsplash
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Southeast Asia is going through a dynamic shakeup with Indonesia moving its capital, and now Bangkok getting a new name.

With the border between Malaysia and Thailand opening up soon, many are eager to escape to all the best tourist hotspots our northern neighbour is so well-known for. Even if one doesn’t get the opportunity to experience other parts of Thailand, capital city Bangkok alone has so much to offer, making it one of the most popular Southeast Asian destinations.

Image Credit: Bradley Prentice / Unsplash

So it comes as a thorough surprise when Thailand’s Office of the Royal Society (ORST) announced that the country’s capital will be getting a new official English name. Bangkok will officially be changed to “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon”.


On February 15, 2022, Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office, detailing the updated names of countries, territories, administrative zones, and capitals. Among those new updates was, of course, the new English name for Bangkok.

However, this doesn’t mean that Bangkok will be erased or forgotten. With the new official English name being Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, ‘Bangkok’ itself is being relegated to the confines of parentheses.

On official documents, for example, the Thai capital will be listed as “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok)” going forward.

Image Credit: Lisheng Chang / Unsplash

Although it might prove to be a mouthful for non-Thai speakers, it might come as a surprise to know that the ‘new’ English name is what Thai people have called their capital city for quite some time, though they usually shorten it to just Krung Thep. In fact, the full ceremonial name of the city, which came into use during the reign of King Mongkut, is much, much longer:

Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasi

Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, the first part, roughly translates to “The City of Angels,” “The Great City,” and “The Eternal Jewel City.” just to name a few. The entire name has a much lengthier translation.

If you’re wondering what brought about this decision, according to the ORST, it will enable government agencies to use the same titles that best reflect the “current situation.”

Whatever the situation is purported to be, it’s probably a safe bet that international tourists will still be calling it Bangkok for a long time.


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