As an Asian American who has been back to visit Thailand several times, I’ve noticed many changes over the years. Like any big city there is always construction and building work going on. What I definitely like is the Bangkok Mass Transit System (or BTS). I think that part made it so much easier to travel around particularly in the Siam area. However, there are also some negative things: the growing traffic and the recent political unrest to name a few. With the recent recession and bad economic news from around the world, let’s think about a positive change for Bangkok. I think it would be nice to do a B2K. What’s that? I’m suggesting that Bangkok changes its name to Krungthep. This will have many benefits. Thais already call their capital Krungthep. Bangkok is an old name. It’s like calling Thailand, Siam. People understand it, but it sounds more updated saying Krupthep rather than Bangkok. Krungthep sounds much better than Bangkok. In Thai, Krungthep means the city of angels, where as Bangkok translates roughly to fruit grove.
Bangkok also has negative connotations associated with it. In English, unfortunately it can be easily connected to sex, especially if the second syllable is stressed. The name change should help the city move away from the emphasis on what many male tourists come for, and make the city sound more family-oriented. The cost will be many million baths to make the change, but I believe it will be worth it. Also, it has been done before. China changed its capital name from Peking to Beijing. India changed its capital name from Bombay to Mumbai. I’m curious to hear the thoughts of my fellow teachers on this subject. I think it’s a good thing if we make this change. But, feel free to disagree!