10 Surprising Fun Facts about Bangkok that will Make you Smile! 🙂

bangkok funny statue - fun facts

Bangkok is a Universe: so spread out (1569km2!), so chaotic (over 14 million inhabitants!), so rich in culture (over 100 museums!) and so damn unique (to agree on this, you’ll have to see it at least once-in-lifetime with your own eyes! 😉 ).

Personally, I’ve been visiting Bangkok for 5 days, and I felt I could only scratch the surface of the many layers of the Buddhist religion, the traditional cuisine, the forward-looking modernity, and cultural richness that all entwine together in that astonishing capital city we call “Bangkok” 😀

There are so many things to do in Bangkok that I felt I could have spent there 2 more weeks without getting bored! 

In this article, I want to share with you the 10 Funniest Curiosities and Fun Facts I discovered on my journey through Bangkok. I am sure, that by the end of the article, you are going to admire Bangkok with new eyes ;D

Let’s dive right in! 🙂




1. Bangkok is not actually called “Bangkok”,

but the Official Name is too Long for You to Remember


“Bangkok” in Thailand is not the official name of the city: quite far from it!

The Thais commonly refer to Bangkok as “Krung Thep” (which means “City of the Angels”, exactly like “Los Angeles”!), which is a short form of the much longer official full name of Bangkok.

Imagine that Bangkok’s real name also entered the Book of the Guinness World Record as the longest city name in the world with a whopping 168 Letters.

Are you dying to know what is Bangkok’s real name? Here you have it:

“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

The name was given to the city in 1782 by Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I – the first King of the Chakri Dynasty) and in English it translates to:

“The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarma.”

Yes, I know… you won’t remember one part of it the moment you scroll past this paragraph! ;D

That is why, for foreigners, Bangkok is a much easier name and it has become so widely used.

The origin of the name Bangkok instead, seems to have come from Bang-Koh (Bang=District, Koh=Island), which was used to describe Bangkok and its many channels in ancient times (not for nothing, the city is also nicknamed as the “Venice of the East! 😉 ).

2. If you Have a Buddha Tattoo,

you Better Hide it!


When I first entered the country by bus, coming from nearby Cambodia, I was incredibly surprised to see this huge billboard all around the main road.

“No Buddha Head”, “Tattoo Buddha it’s Wrong”, and “Don’t Buy or Sell Buddha”, were only few of the sentences that I could read loud and clear while crossing the roads of Bangkok on the bus.

Then I learned, about how seriously Buddhism is for Thailand (and all religions for that matter!).

Respect for faiths of all kinds goes a long way in Thailand, and as a foreigner it’s important to learn about the sensitivity of locals about this topic: Buddha is revered as a spiritual guide and thus it’s not meant to be used as a decoration.

That might be strange for tourists coming from other cultures (ex. in Italy you can see a Christ dying on the cross virtually anywhere!), but it’s a lesson to be learned: If you have Buddha tattoos it’s better to cover them for respect, and don’t buy nor wear jewelry with Buddha’s head 🙂


3. Taxis in Bangkok are Colorful,

and Colors are Meaningful!


New York’s taxis are yellow, London’s taxis are black, Rome’s Taxis are White, and Bangkok’s taxis are… COLORFUL! eh eh ;D

Indeed, taxis in Bangkok have many colors and make the streets very multi-colored: there are green with yellow, Orange, Pink, and Green!

  Among these Colors are: Green with Yellow, Red and Blue, Orange, Pink, and Green

Luckily, it is very easy to recognize them as they all have the “Taxi” sign on top of the Car and Orange Plates (while all other cars wear white!).

Despite all taxis in Bangkok offering more or less the same tariffs, the colors can say you a lot about the owner of the taxi: yellow-green are personal private taxis, the red-blu are rental taxis, while the yellow, orange, pink, and green are all different companies!

I remember jumping on a Pink taxi (the first available) on my way to the airport and it was an amazing drive through Bangkok (with airCon, compared to the outside felt like paradise! ahah :).


4. Bangkok is the

Most Visited City on Earth!


With over 23 million visitors a year, Bangkok is the most visited urban hub on Earth!

The convenient prices, entertainment offers of all kinds, affordable food, rich culture, and the gigantic and well-connected Suvarnabhumi international airport are probably the main reasons why Bangkok is so popular and attractive for such a variety of different tourists (from millionaires to broken backpackers and anything in between! ;D ).

This is the Top visitors Ranking (data from 2022): Bangkok (23M), Paris (19M), London (19M), Dubai (16M), Singapore (15M) Kuala Lumpur (14M), New York (14M), Istanbul (13M), Tokyo (13M) e Antalya (12M).


5. Bangkok is a Foodie’s Wild Dream,

so Wild that Insects are a Popular Street Food!


Bangkok’s cuisine is diverse like very few others in the world: you can find renowned Michelin restaurants, traditional Thai, noodle shops, dirt-cheap street food kiosks and anything in between!

Two things surprised me big time on my journey through Bangkok:

1) Food is cheap-EST! But not just cheap, cheaper than all surrounding places I’ve visited on my road trip: cheaper than Vietnam, cheaper than Cambodia, and cheaper than Malaysia.

If you want to eat well with few, Bangkok is a foodie paradise!

2) In Bangkok you can find the weirdest foods, and insects are one of those!

Scorpions, mealworms, crickets, scarabs, tarantula…and the list goes on and on! People here, eat them as a street food snack (like we eat potato chips in the west).

I forced myself to try them (I had my mother’s voice in the head “If you don’t try you cannot know if you like it!” eh eh), and well.I was surprised again: the taste is not bad at all!

I found insects hard to swallow at first because mainly of not being used to seeing them as food (as we never eat them in Italy!), but after seeing everyone eating them so easily, I was reassured and I went on too!

If you think it rationally, it’s all about culture: we eat shrimp, but objectively if we were not used to eating them since we were kids, who would eat something that ugly? ;D

Same goes with insects! So, if you’re on a visit to Bangkok, my little tip is to try forcing yourself to give the first bite, and you’re going to be surprised too! 😉 


6. The Redbull Drink was Born in Bangkok and its name was “Krating Daeng”

KRATING DAENG in thailand - origin of redbull from bangkok

What many people don’t know about Red Bull, is that it didn’t originate from Austria, but it finds its roots in Bangkok, Thailand!

Introduced in 1976 by the Thai Entrepreneur Chaleo Yoovidhya, the energy drink was originally called “Krating Daeng” (which means “Red Gaur” in English) and was popular between truck drivers and laborers.

In 1982, Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian Entrepreneur now regarded as the father of Red Bull, traveled to Thailand to meet Chaleo for a business trip and noticed Krating Daeng could help me cure its jet lag.

In 1984, the two businessmen co-founded the multi-billion dollar business that today we call Red Bull, each with an initial investment of 500.000 euros.

Today, both Red Bull and Krating Deng remain on the market, the first one as a trendy and premium energy drink, while the second is sold in Thailand as a popular drink among blue-collar workers.


7. Party and Alcohol are everywhere

to be found in Bangkok,

but if a Sovereign dies,

there’s one year of Mourne!

bangkok party street

Bangkok is full of pubs, bars, and night clubs of ANY kind, and alcohol is cheap and readily available everywhere!

Knowing that, the first time I visited Bangkok I could not believe my eyes: all bars were closed, no parties and, even sadder for a beer-lover like me, no beer at all!

Then, by walking around the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, I start noticing big billboards on the street explaining that Thailand was still in its “Mourne Year”. 

Then I googled it up and understood: when a Sovereign dies, Thailand enters in a “Year of Mourne”, in which parties are abolished, no music is allowed and drinks are available only in few restaurants and when sitting. 

Locals told me that the rules would probably loose slightly after the 3 months mark, but hey, I was unlucky enough to reach Bangkok exactly within that time frame!

As a visitor, if you plan to dive into the Night-Life party vibe of Bangkok, be sure to check out that the Sovereign is healthy before booking your flight 😉

8. “Hello Massaaaage!”

will Stay in your Head for Days 😉 

massage in thailand bangkok

“Massage” will be your new name in Bangkok!

Truly: I’ve never seen another place on Earth with so many massage shops! 

If you’re into Thai massage, here you have just the embarrassment of choice!

If you’re not, you’ll just have to say “no” twenty-thirty times a day! ;D

Thai massagists are in general very friendly and it’s common for them to offer massage to passerby in front of their shop, instead of waiting inside for you to enter.

I’m not the kind of person who likes receiving massages, but if you are you’ll love it here: prices start very low, from 6-7$/hour and the choice is incredible!

9. ATMs in Bangkok first give you Money,

then Give Back the Card (and people forget it!)

atms in bangkok - fun facts

Ok, this is something curious too!

Going to an ATM is the same experience everywhere in the world: Insert Card, Pin Code, Get Money (if you’re not to zero eh eh), Get Card, Get Money, Bye!

Everywhere but not in Bangkok: in Bangkok, I wonder why, FIRST the machine gives you the MONEY, and THEN you withdraw your CARD.

Seems a small difference, and at first sight nothing relevant changes in the withdrawal process.

The pity is, that not knowing this, many distracted tourists often end up forgetting their card in the machine, and recovering it is not always fast and easy!

So, if you need to withdraw in Bangkok, just be focused on not forgetting your card! ;)

10. In Bangkok there are hundred of thousands of Ladyboys, and tell them apart is not that easy! 🙂

ladyboys in bangkok

In Bangkok there’s the largest community of ladyboys in the world, unofficially counted between 10.000 and 300.000 people.

Ladyboys are transgender women, or in other words men who adopts a female appearance or identity.

Although not legally recognized as “women” (on passport/ID they are still marked as “man), ladyboys are widely accepted in Thailand (because of Buddhist/Hindu religions teaching about reincarnation and accepting people for what they truly are!).

In Bangkok ladyboys can be everywhere (like all other people too, no wonder!): working as waitresses, as cashiers, as managers…anywere! 🙂

Some of them are easy to recognize, while others are so feminine that telling them apart it’s hard and you might end up mistaking them for real girls too  ;D

In Bangkok there are also dozens of ladyboys nightclubs, ladyboys pageants and even ladyboys shows, with the most famous being the Calypso Carabet Show 🙂


funny facts about bangkok

And here we are at the end of the article! 🙂 In this article, we have seen 10 Funny curiosities about Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit Bangkok 😉

What do you think about the list? Did you know other fun facts about Bangkok that you believe would be a great fit in this article?

Let us know in the comments below!

As always, I thank you for reading, and see you in the next article! 🙂





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