(1) The name Bangkok is in fact Thai, meaning ‘Village of Olives’. In the past, before the name was changed to Krungthep – Bangkok referred to the eastern side of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi on the west. Foreigners didn’t like the word Krungthep and stuck to saying Bangkok. In the Thai southern dialect, they still say Bangkok (Bang – gawk) instead of Krungthep.
(2) In 1939 the country changed its name from Siam to Thailand. In 1945 the country changed its name from Thailand back to Siam. In 1949 the country changed its name again from Siam to Thailand. It is the only country in the world to change its name 3 times in 10 years.
(3) According to the ‘Guinness Book of Records 1995’, the Thai language has the second largest alphabet in the world. Second only to Khmer.
(4) Approximately half the standard Thai language is comprised of words which have been adopted from other languages: Khmer, Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, Lao, Shan and even English etc…
(5) The Thai greeting Sawatdee (or Sawasdee) is derived from the Sanskrit – Svasti. Svasti, meaning ‘well-being’ is called in English ‘Swastika’. The word Sawatdee is Hindu in origin
(6) A Guava was known as a ‘Farang’ years before the French arrived. It was the Portuguese who originally brought the Guava to Thailand, and the fruit was called a Farang after the Persian traders (the original farangs/Franks). Ton Farang = Frank’s Tree.
Other relevant Persian words from this trading era in Thai include:
– Dork Kularp = Rose
– Angun = Grape
– Kalam Phlii = Cauliflower
– Kalam Dork = Cabbage
(Source: Paknam Web)