You probably already know some Bangkok facts, such as it’s the capital and largest city of Thailand, and that it’s full of exquisite temples, palaces, bars, clubs, shopping, dining, and plenty more things to see and do, but what else do you know about this amazingly vibrant city? We’ve put together a collection of interesting and fun facts about Bangkok, answering questions you didn’t even know you had, including one of the most commonly asked questions – which is highest sky bar in Bangkok? Read on to find out.
1. Bangkok’s Thai Name
To the outside world, the capital of Thailand has long been known as Bangkok, but this is not what the Thai people call it; it is officially known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
2. Longest City Name in the World
But… that’s just the abbreviated form of the Thai name for Bangkok. The entire name has 169 characters making it the longest city name in the world. Take a deep breath and prepare to read the full city name; here goes: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit. That’s an interesting Bangkok fact, but what does it mean? Deep breath again: City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest.
3. Largest City in Thailand
Bangkok is by far the largest city in Thailand. In fact, it’s roughly 8.2 million population is close to 13% of the entire population of Thailand. Even if the city does seem horrendously busy and overcrowded, bear in mind that Bangkok is relatively small (population-wise) when compared to other major cities of the world. It currently ranks 24th largest, behind the likes of Moscow, New York City, Shanghai and Beijing.
4. One of the World’s Most Popular Cities
Of course, the population of Bangkok is the number of people who live there full time, but what about all the visitors who come to Bangkok every year? Add these to the permanent population and you start to understand why the city is so busy! Bangkok is one of the world’s most popular cities, attracting more tourists each year than even Paris. Exact numbers vary according to who you ask, but it’s somewhere in the region of 15 million visitors per year.
5. Bangkok has 50 Districts
Another interesting fact about Bangkok is its land size. The city has sprawled out, especially since the boom of the 1980s. Today the city is divided into fifty districts with 35 of them located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, and only 15 on the western bank. As if 50 districts wasn’t enough, these are further subdivided into 169 subdistricts.
6. The Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River is as important as the River Thames is to London in defining the city’s geography. The Chao Phraya River runs right through the heart of Bangkok and serves as a great way for locals and tourists to get around the city. Many of the city’s major tourist attractions are located right on the river, or within easy walking distance of a river ferry stop. The river meanders its way through Bangkok, and benefits from a number of canals that were built as early as the 1500s to cut down on the long travelling times.
7. World’s Hottest City
You probably already knew that Bangkok was a hot place to visit but did you know this interesting Bangkok fact? Yes, Bangkok does hold the title as the world’s hottest city! It’s not that daily high temperatures are really stupidly high, it’s more the fact that the city remains hot all year round. The annual mean air temperature is 28C, and the hottest months are from March to May. The truth is, whatever month of the year you come, it will be hot, but with slightly lower humidity levels the preferred time to visit is between November and February.
8. Highest Sky Bar in Bangkok
Bangkok is famous for its nightlife, from go-go bars to beer bars, nightclubs to sky bars, but if you’re seeking out one of the most spectacular places to enjoy a drink it has to be a sky bar. Sky bars are named as such because they’re usually located in high up places, on the tops of buildings, where they offer fabulous views and settings. There are many amazing sky bars scattered all across the city, but the one that currently earns the title of highest sky bar in Bangkok is The Rooftop Bar on the 83rd floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. If you can overcome the vertigo, the views from here are unsurpassed! Read more about Bangkok sky bars in our top 10 Bangkok sky bar list.
9. The Number of Temples in Bangkok
There are three very famous temples in Bangkok, which we recommend you go and visit, but these three are nothing compared to the vast number of temples there are in the city altogether. There are over 400 wats (the Thai word for temple), so there’s just no way you could get to see them all! However many you visit, be sure to include Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun (in the picture) and Wat Pho, and then maybe choose a selection of others to see too. Read more in our guide about the top 8 temples in Bangkok.
10. Largest Chinatown in the World
Another fun fact about Bangkok is that it’s reputed to have the largest Chinatown in the world. The vast area, known locally as Yaowarat, is full of streets and alleys that are in turn full of shops and restaurants and countless street food vendors. Visit Chinatown in Bangkok for the culture but stay for some of the best cuisine in the city, and goods and s
ouvenirs at some of the cheapest prices. While here, be sure to visit Wat Traimit so you can set your eyes upon the largest sold gold Buddha in the world. Read more in our Chinatown Guide.
11. The Largest Market in the World?
Then there’s the world’s largest market. Chatuchak Weekend Market is claimed by some to be the largest market in the world with its 8,000 or so stalls. Whether or not it tops the list as the world’s largest, it’s a well known Bangkok fact that Chatuchak is by far the largest in Thailand and definitely somewhere you should visit. Read more in our Chatuchak Market Guide.
12. The Best Place to Celebrate Songkran
You may already know that Songkran is a Thai festival that celebrates the country’s new year, but did you know how it is celebrated and where the best place in Bangkok is to get involved in the festivities? Well the Thai New Year is from 13 to 15 April each year and you should head over to the famous Khao San Road to experience probably the biggest and best water fight of your life! Read more about Khao San Road in our guide.
So those are our 12 fun facts about Bangkok. Now next time you visit this amazing city you can impress your friends and family with all these interesting Bangkok facts we’ve given you!