Bangkok Will Be Officially Renamed as ‘Krung Thep Maha Nakhon’

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Planning to travel to Thailand soon? If so, you would no doubt be heading for the country’s bustling capital – Bangkok.

Except… you might have to refer to it as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon now.

Readers: Uh, how do you pronounce that?

We’ve got you covered. It is pronounced kroong-teh-maha-nak-hon.

Yep, don’t worry about butchering it the first few times.

Official Change in Name

Just yesterday, the Office of the Royal Society (ORST) announced the change of the official name of Thailand’s capital, from Bangkok to Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.

Fret not if you found the nasal-sounds hard to manage because the name Bangkok is still recognised.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a Prime Minister’s Office draft announcement on updated names of countries, territories, administrative zones and capitals, as proposed by the ORST.

The new official name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, will not come into effect until it is vetted by a committee in charge of scrutinising all draft bills.

Updated Geographic Names

The announcement said that the ORST’s committee had updated the spelling of countries, territories, administrative zones and capitals to be in line with the current situation. The panel then submitted the list to the PM’s Office to issue the announcement.

The draft announcement also revokes the Prime Minister’s announcement on names of countries, territories, administrative zones and capitals dated 9 November 2001, using the ORST’s announcement on updated names of 1 September last year.

Krung Thep Maha Nakhon will become the official name of Thailand’s capital. However, the name Bangkok will be put in parentheses.

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Other Changes Made

The ORST also updated the official spelling for other countries, including Rome and Roma for Italy’s capital, the change of Myanmar’s capital from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw and the change of the Kingdom of Nepal to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Government deputy spokeswoman Ratchda Dhanadirek on Wednesday said nothing had been changed in the naming of the capital.

The Thai name Krung Thep Maha Nakhon would be used only as its official name. The name Bangkok would still be recognised in parenthesis, she explained on her Facebook page.

Locals Upset

No doubt, the people most affected by this change in name would be locals themselves. Needless to say, they were not too happy about the change.


In response to the public criticism, the ORST posted a message on its Facebook page saying that both names could be used, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon and Bangkok.

Bangkok has been in use officially since November 2001 under an Office of the Royal Society announcement.

It came from an old area of Bangkok, which is now a part of the greater metropolitan area of the capital, Bangkok Noi and Bangkok Yai districts. Historically, it has been in common use for a long time.

While you can still refer to Thailand’s capital as Bangkok, you might want to keep its official name in mind while travelling there.

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