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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 Things You Didn't Know about Bangkok - 10 Facts Most Travellers Don't Know about Bangkok
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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know about Bangkok - 10 Facts Most Travellers Don't Know about Bangkok

Although the Thai capital is one of Asia's most popular holiday hubs, there's much about this dynamic city most travellers are unaware of. Here are 10 fascinating facts most don't know about Bangkok.

1

Colonial Legacy

Thailand and by default Bangkok is the only South Asian city and capital that has never been under the colonial rule of a European country. This fact is not only a source of pride for locals as the country's strategic location blocked European invaders from launching an all out military attack on the country and nation owed a debt of gratitude to King Rama V, whose shrewd political moves saved Thailand from invasion.

2

Sawadee

Although the term "Sawadee" is recognized as one of the most common and traditional greetings in Bangkok, the term was first used in the 1930's. Introduced to the country by a Chulalongkorn University professor the term replaced "Gin kaow leaow ruu yang?" (Have you eaten yet?) as the catchphrase most Thais used to say hello to one another.

3

The Longest Name of a City

Although most of the world calls Thailand's capital city "Bangkok," the official name of the country's capital is "Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasi." Containing a whopping 169 characters it is the longest city name in the world.

4

Temple Coins

Travellers who note that there are temples etched on to every Thai coin are probably unaware that each of the temples represented on the coins are located in Bangkok. This includes Wat Phra Kaew and countless other famous temples in the city that tourists based in Anantara Sathorn Bangkok Hotel or any of the many other five star hotels in Bangkok inevitably visit.

5

Inclusive Bathrooms

While most Asian countries have separate bathrooms for men and women, travellers exploring Thailand will also come across a third bathroom option for those who are transgendered. As a progressive and inclusive move, Thailand is one of the first nations in the world to introduce a washroom for transgendered locals and travellers.

6

The King's Anthem

Be prepared to stand up for the King's Anthem before a movie screening or public performance in Thailand. The country also plays the National Anthem twice a day but the King's Anthem is also a staple before films and cultural showcases begin.

7

Red Bull Was Invented Here

While Red Bull is a popular global beverage brand few are aware of its Thai origins. The brain child of Chaleo Yoovidhya, who was the third wealthiest man on the planet at the time of his demise, was the inventor of the energy drink.

8

Strange Legalities

Some of the strangest laws in effect in Thailand include refraining from using a durian fruit to assault someone, not leaving the house without proper underwear and driving a vehicle bare chested. It is also illegal to step on Thai coins or local currency of any sort as they bear the King's image.

9

Hot City

Bangkok is also the world's hottest city by the estimations of the World Meteorological Organisation. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius but increases to 34 degrees Celsius during the months from March to May.

10

Globe's Largest Chinatown

The world's biggest gold Buddha is contained with the world's largest Chinatown, which is incidentally located in Bangkok. Dubbed Yaowarat in the local language, Chinatown is a maze of stores, restaurants and homes in Bangkok which is home to more than a million Chinese residents.