You say Bangkok, I say Krung Thep

In English, the capital of Thailand is known as Bangkok, but in Thai, it’s referred to as Krung Thep Maka Nakhon which is often shortened to Krung Thep.

However, it has a much fuller name: “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.”

The translation of that mouthful is “The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike 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.”

Try fitting that on a luggage tag!

Photos: Bountiful views of Bangkok

We call it Bangkok. The Thais call it Krung Thep. Whatever you call it, it’s a big, sprawling city that is both beautiful and frustrating. It is a major airline hub in Southeast Asia so many travellers pass through it. Here are the sorts of things they see when they arrive:

Photos: Beautiful views of Bangkok

Recent violence is keeping some travellers away from Bangkok, but if you’re planning on spending any kind of time in Southeast Asia, chances are you’ll find yourself in the Thai capital before long. Here are some images that capture tiny slices of this sprawling, beautiful, infuriating city.