Thailand, relax. Bangkok is not about to change its name

An aerial view of Bangkok. File photo

Thai social media went into overdrive on Tuesday (Feb 15) amid a proposal for the name of Bangkok to be changed to ‘Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok)’.

The proposal to change the name of the Thai capital was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday but is still subject to further consideration by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, much of the chatter online was largely misplaced, with a government spokesperson clarifying that both ‘Bangkok’ and ‘Krung Thep Maha Nakhon’ can be used when referring to the Thai capital in English.

The official full name of the Thai capital is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.

In Thai, this is shortened to กรุงเทพมหานคร (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), but normally Thai people just say กรุงเทพฯ (Krung Thep).

Typically, the Thai capital is only referred to as ‘Bangkok’ by foreigners or by Thais speaking about the capital in English.

The proposal for Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) mainly relates to the naming of the Thai capital in an official capacity.

As already stated by the government spokesperson, ‘Bangkok’ will remain in use, while Krung Thep Maha Nakhon is also acceptable when referring to the Thai capital in English.