Krung Thep - More to a name than meets the eye!
Pronounced 'grung-tayp' which roughly translates to 'City of Angels', this is what the Thais call their capital...
Thais themselves will never call it 'Bangkok' and indeed, many Thais in the more remote provinces may never have even heard it being called Bangkok!
So why do we still call it Bangkok?
Bangkok, or 'village of wild plums' was the original site for the capital city and was located west of the river in what is now Thonburi - In 1782, King Rama I decided to have his capital at a more defensible site and moved across the river and called his new capital Krung Thep.
So, for whatever reason, foreigners are now over two hundred years out of date (roughly the length of time the USA has been independent!) and have been calling it Bangkok ever since!
Recently Krung Thep/Bangkok has expanded over such a large area that it has engulfed the location of the original Bangkok and you could argue that you can be justified in using 'Bangkok' after all...;-)
Krung Thep (highlighted in red on my picture) is actually an abbreviated version of the full ceremonial name:
'Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit'
This is actually in the Guiness Book of Records as the longest place name in the world In romanised text! It translates as:
'The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of 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.' Now you can see why the Thais just stick with 'The City of Angels' given its length. It is also apt because pollutionwise, it has an awful lot in common with that other great City of Angels - Los Angeles...
The full name is never actually used for obvious reasons, although an impressive number of Thai people can recite the entire name off by heart!
I'd wonder what kind of superlatives King Rama I would use to describe his city if he saw it now...?
Street Vendors in Bangkok
There are lots of street vendors here in Bangkok, you can find varities of foods along the streets and at night time you can even eat there with a small table along the street! It was pretty amucing at the first time but I get used to it! Just thinking how many millions of smokes from the cars that will goes directly to the food and the customers! But Thai people love to eat this kind of seating! It hold a special place in my heart!=)*wink* I love thai foods! The BEST,I might add!
Ancient City ~ Muang Boran
Muang Boran is situated 33 km from Bangkok, is a mere 45-minutes drive from the heart of the city. The ancient city is opened everyday from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening. You can rent a bicycle to tour the large 320 odd acres of land with varied landscape comparable in shape and form to the whole country of Thailand.
Add: Km.33 Old Sukhumvit Highway, Samut Prakarn Province, Bangpoo, Thailand.
Tele +66-(0)2-323 9253
To get there, take air-conditioned bus number 11 to the terminus and then minibus number 36, which passes by the entrance to the site. Admission costs 50 baht for adults, 25 baht for children. Discounts are available for group tours. The founder of Ancient City is Sia Lek, a Chinese-descendent businessman who was highly successful as a Mercedes Benz dealer. Sia Lek developed his interest in Thai arts as part of a highly personal search for values in life. Rather than put his wealth into the pursuit of more material gains, he resolved to give something back to society.
But funny this place is not popular among the locals; most of the visitors are international tourists. The lack of promotion means that only a thousand or so people visit the Ancient City in an average month. Continuing maintenance costs are borne by the Viriyahbhan family. However, the financial burden could one day prove to be too great, says a worried Assoc Prof Srisakra Vallibhotama, a well-known historian and an adviser to Sia Lek. Today, the project is under taken by the founder son after his passing away several years back.
Sia Lek once wrote: "In order to grasp the significance of Muang Boran, one must acquire a broad knowledge of Thai history and culture, not by viewing each separate manifestation in isolation, but by approaching it as an integral part of a unified whole.
"But one should realise that each structure, reflecting as it does the great splendour of the past, was not constructed in isolation from the next. Each one relates to another in such a way that it conveys a certain meaning in terms of our historical, social and cultural achievements. Therefore, visitors to Muang Boran should not limit themselves to viewing each thing in isolation."
In this open museum you will find numerous reproductions of palace halls, temples, stupas, stone sanctuaries, and traditional Thai houses plus reconstructed historical buildings, anthenticated communities representing many different villages of the country.
The replicas were constructed with the assistance of experts from the National Museum to ensure historical accuracy.
Come and take a tour with me.....
A Few Dos & Donts For Bangkok
DO- smile! Thailand is renowned as the land of smiles, and the locals are generally happy people, embrace this!
DON'T- get angry. Always take a deep breath and don't become confrontational. This just doesn't happen in Thailand, and many see it as a sign of weakness.
DO- sample the local cusine! If you don't try out the local Thai food then you really will be missing out. It is gorgeous, and CHEAP!
DON'T- drink tap water. The water system here is not great, and even the locals rarely indulge. With bottled water being so cheap, this shouldn't pose any problems.
DO- be confident. Do not allow yourself to be pressured in to doing something you don't want to. For example if a tuk tuk driver is hassling you for a lift you do not want, then don't go.
DON'T- be rude! Remember, however annoying it can become turning down taxi driver after taxi driver, they are only trying to earn a living. Just smile and say no thankyou, and they will appreciate this much more.
a back pack or soft bag as opposed to a suitcase much easier especially if travelling independently A sarong is a must it can be used as a towel, put on the seat on the bus, train or ferry as most are slippery vinyl. Can also be used on the beach if you don't want to pay for a sun bed!!! can also be used to shade yourself from the sun. They have a hundres uses and I would never travel without one. sun block and insect repellent.