The names of Thailand’s cities have a meaning, the meaning of Thai city names is usually descriptive, often describing a city’s physical characteristics, a landmark feature, or it may be named after a fruit, an animal, or even an agricultural term, in the case of Pattaya it is a weather condition. So below I have listed a few of the most popular towns, cities and islands in Thailand and what the place name means. Amongst them is the longest place name in the world, Bangkok, yes you’re right that’s only 7 letters but please read on. Just for fun I’ve added some other strange, long, weird and wonderful place names.
Meanings of Thai city names.
The name ‘Pattaya’ means “wind blowing from the south west”, and just for the record I’m sure most of you have seen Pattaya spelt “Phatthaya”, according to wikipedia, “Phatthaya” is the official transliteration (translation/romanization). A little bit of history occurred before Pattaya became known as Pattaya (hang in there I promise I’ll keep it short).
Many moons ago, in 1767 to be precise, in a land far far away (pattaya) Phraya Tak (king Taksin to you and me) and his army confronted the army of Nai Kom, Nai Kom surrendered without a fight, the land of far far away was then named ‘Thap Phraya’ (Army of the Phraya). At some point in history at a time not known in a land once known as far far away, Thap Phraya was renamed Phatthaya, now commonly known as Pattaya.
I know what Bangkok means, known it since I was a kid, here goes…..
Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner
Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change, don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue
Whoa ! all stop, STOP the music right now, and get me a coffee. !!!.
It is not exactly clear what Bangkok means except it possibly means “Village Island”, bang = village, and kok possibly derived from ko or koh, the Thai word for island. To find the true meaning of Bangkok we must use the Thai name for Bangkok, which is Krung Thep.
What does Krung Thep mean ?.
Thailand’s capital city, known as Bangkok to foreigners but Krung Thep to Thai’s, translates to City Of Angels. But there’s even more to it than that, Krung Thep is a shortened version, the full name is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. But just wait a minute that’s not all, the full, original version of Krung Thep (Bangkok) is the longest place name in the world, and that’s official (according to the Guinness book of world records).
The full name of Bangkok (Krung Thep).
Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudya mahadiloponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwes mahasatarnamornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit.
And that translates to.
The land of angels,
the great city of immortality,
various of divine gems,
the great angelic land unconquerable,
land of nine noble gems, the royal city,
the pleasant capital,
place of the grand royal palace,
forever land of angels and reincarnated spirits,
predestined and created by the highest devas.
More Thailand City and Island Meanings.
- Phuket means “Crystal Mountain”.
- Naklua means “Salt Fields”.
- Chiang Mai means “New City”.
- Hua Hin means “Stone Head”.
- Chonburi means “City Of Water”.
- Buriram means “City Of Joy”.
- Hat Yai means “Big Beach”.
- Udon Thani means “The Northern City”.
- Surat Thani means “City Of Good People”.
- Koh Tao means “Turtle Island”.
- koh Chang means “Elephant Island”.
- Koh Samui means “Coconut Island”.
- Singburi means “City of Lions”.
Bangkok beats these long unpronouncable world place names.
Longest place name in the United Kingdom.
A little village in Wales called “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”, which translates to “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.”
Longest place name in New Zealand.
This is the Maori name for a hill in southern Hawkes Bay in New Zealand “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu”, and it means, doh I forgot.