Top 12 Interesting Facts About Bangkok
1. Bangkok is better known as Krung Thep by the Thai, but even that is a shortened name. The full name in Thai is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. But who has time for that little fun fact? Bangkok it is.
2. Due to heavy (literally) development, Bangkok is sinking at a rate of 2-5 cm per year. This combined with rising sea levels may make the city a bit more Venice-like in the not-so-distant future.
3. Bangkok nicknames include Venice of the East and City of Angels.
4. Travel + Leisure Magazine has rated Bangkok the Number One city in the world in both 2008 and 2010. (In 2010, Thailand's second city Chiang Mai took #2 in that ranking!)
5. Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market (J.J. Market) is one of the largest markets in the world covering an area of 27 acres.
6. The word soi means side street and most major roads will have numbered sois along its length. You will also notice an abundance of stray dogs which many refer to as "soi dogs."
7. One interesting fact is that many Thai believe that leaving bottles of water along the front of a building will discourage soi dogs from urinating there. You can see shopfronts at the end of the day with a row of plastic water bottles on the sidewalk.
8. The popular Erawan Shrine downtown was built to appease angered spirits that were causing delays and accidents during the construction of what is now the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.
9. Every April Bangkok hosts the world's largest street water fight during the Thai New Year holiday known as the Songkran Festival.
10. Here's a random fact: the Guinness Book of World Records lists the stage at Bangkok's Siam Niramit as the highest in the world.
11. Thailand was known as the Kingdom of Siam until the kingdom took its present name on June 23, 1939.
12. The 5.5-ton Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit in Bangkok is the not only the largest solid gold Buddha in the world, but also the most valuable (moneywise) religious object.