Then there's the long list of facts and figures that almost, but not quite, put Bangkok in the record books. Bangkok has the eighth most impressive skyline (according to the Emporis Skyline Ranking method, which ranks different city skylines according to the number of high-rise buildings and their floor count), the fifth tallest hotel (Baiyoke Sky), and one of the fastest rates in the world for the construction of high-rise buildings. Until recently it also had the longest single-span suspension bridge, in Bang-Na, and Sukhumvit Road, which stretches nearly all the way to the Cambodian border, is Thailand's longest, if not quite the world's.
Simply the Best: Bangkok's World Records
However, when it comes to world records Bangkok does come top of the pile in many, often unexpected, areas. Here is a list of those that make the capital a true record-breaker...
First Jailbird Boxing Champ
Convicted drug dealer Samson Sor Siriporn became the world's first prisoner to clinch a World Boxing Council (WBC) title when she defeated her opponent from Japan for the light-flyweight crown at Bangkok's notorious Klong Prem Central Prison. The match was held in a makeshift ring at the prison on April 3, 2007, and a prison official was quoted as saying that Siriporn's victory is likely to see her being released three years early. She has served seven years of a ten-year sentence.
Most expensive cocktail
The Vivaldi Italian Restaurant at the Amari Atrium Hotel in Bangkok offered guests what it claimed to be the world's most expensive Valentine's Cocktail in February, 2007. Priced at a breathtaking 540,000 baht (roughly US$ 15,000) the Amore d'Amari Ruby Martini contained a dazzling 5.02 carat heart-shaped ruby instead of an olive, and was served in an award-winning hand blown martini glass.
The cocktail price included a six-course gala dinner for two, an overnight stay in a Deluxe Suite, and a Dom Perignon Champagne breakfast in bed. It is not known how many 'takers' there were, or if anyone accidentally swallowed a ruby.
Hottest City in the World
It may not have the highest peak temperatures but according to the World Meteorological Society, and based on year-round average high-low temperatures, Bangkok is the hottest city in the world. The average 'winter' temperature in the city is 26 degrees Celsius, so winter coats barely see the light of day here.
Aerobics World Record
In November 2002, ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra lead a record-breaking, hour-long aerobics session at Sanam Luang in the Old City (Rattanakosin). The event, which saw nearly 47,000 participants dressed in yellow (the Royal colour), earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Longest Length of Silk
The world's longest length of silk - measuring an astonishing 1,199 metres - was produced for a Thai culture and handicraft exposition held in April 2007 at a Bangkok department store.
Largest Captive Crocodile and Crocodile Farm
With over 60,000 crocodiles of 28 different species, some of them no longer in existence elsewhere, the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm, on the outskirts of Bangkok, is the world's largest. It's also home to the world's largest captive crocodile, a six-metre beast going by the name of Chai Yai. Weighing a hefty 1,114 kilograms and a hybrid of Estuarine and Siamese breeds, he recently passed his 34th birthday. On his demise, expect him to posthumously set a world record for the amount of wallets, handbags and shoes produced from the hide of one croc.
Most expensive burger
The 6,600 baht (about US$ 184) diners at the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa's Trader's Vic Restauarant had to fork out for the famous 'Trilogy Burger' is undoubtedly the highest price a burger ever fetched anywhere in the world. It's not just any old burger though... Sprinkled with edible gold leaf, the burger featured Matsusaka beef, morel mushroom, black truffles and 'foie gras'.
For the uninitiated, Matsusaka beef is imported from Japan and said to be the finest, most tender beef in the world. A Matsusaka cow listens to classical music, eats oat, drinks beer and is massaged with sake for three years before it ends up on the table, so to speak.
Largest Christmas Log Cake
Despite being a devoutly Buddhist country, this bizarre world record is a wonderful upshot of the country's long-standing tolerance of other religions. On Chistmas Day in 1997, ten staff from the Mercure Hotel created a Christmas log cake weighing 2,300 kilos, 8.4 metres long and 60 cm wide. Cut into 19,212 portions, it was donated to more than 40 local charities.
With the capacity to seat 5,000 customers, 1,200 staff and over 16,000 square metres of space, the Chinese-themed Royal Dragon Restaurant in Bangna is officially the world's largest. Staff scuttle around on roller-skates to ensure service of the huge seafood menu is speedy.
Longest Place Name
Bangkok's full ceremonial name is the longest place name in the world, so long in fact that attempting it in one breathe would probably result in oxygen deprivation, possibly even death. 'Krung Thep Mahanakon Amon Rattanakosin...' is just the opening line. Fortunately, this name is abbreviated for daily use to Krung Thep or Krung Thep Mahanakon, which means City of Angels.
Largest Teak Building
The splendid Vimanmek Mansion in Dusit is the largest golden teak building in the world. Built by King Rama V in 1900, this elaborate three-storey building today serves as a museum commemorating this popular king and his Western-influenced tastes, his collections of photographs, personal art and handicrafts on display.
Worst joss stick disaster
On November 2, 1998, five Buddhist worshippers were killed when three giant ceremonial joss sticks collapsed at the Phra Pathom Jedi temple, 58 km northwest of Bangkok. The 89 feet tall joss sticks had been built in April 1998 to commemorate the 84th anniversary of the construction of a Buddha image at the temple. Although the cause of the accident is unclear, the joss sticks could have collapsed under their own weight as they had soaked up a substantial amount of rain.
Biggest Gold Buddha
Soaring and serene, the 32-metre high standing Buddha at Wat Intharawihan, in Bangkok's Banglamphu area, is the tallest of its kind in the world. Known as the Luangpor Toh and built in brick and stucco, building began in 1867 during the reign of King Rama IV. Decorated in glass mosaics and 24-carat gold, it took over 60 years to complete.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market - an open-air labyrinth of over 15,000 stalls set amidst 15 hectares of winding alleyways - is widely regarded as the world's biggest market. On Saturdays and Sundays (main market days) over 200,000 visitors come each day to shop for everything from shoes and furniture to pets and strange curios. Read More...
Largest mass freefall parachute drop
The largest mass freefall parachute drop was completed by 960 skydivers in February 2006 for the inauguration of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Some 700 freefalling sportsmen and women joined 260 paratroopers representing all services of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The record-setting attempts were part of the Royal Sky Celebration, which honoured the 60th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
World's Longest Condom Chain
For World AIDS Day in 2006, Bangkok did its part to promote condoms and safe sex by creating the world's longest chain of condoms. In the capital's Lumpini Park, a total of 1,436 participants tied together 24,516 condoms, measuring a distance of more than 2,7 kilometre, and in the process setting a new Guinness World Record.
The Longest Lego Structure
On April 27, 2003, over 20,000 kids in Bangkok used just under 2.5 million lego blocks to build the world's longest millipede - 1,052 metres (over a kilometre) long! The estimated cost of the lego blocks is US$ 350,000.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Okay, so it may not be perfect and have already racked up a list of negative achievements - taking 45 years from conception to completion, having the fastest cracking runways on earth, corruption scandals surrounding bomb-detection scanners - but still, the grand Suvarnabhumi airport packs some mightily impressive stats.
At 563,000 square metres, the passenger terminal Read More...
Biggest Freshwater Fish
On the capital's outskirts, the Bungsamlan Fishing Park is home to the world's two biggest freshwater fish, the Mekong Giant Catfish and Arapaima. Many IGFA World Record Fish have been caught here over the years. Stories abound of broken rods, busted reels and aching arms and backs that come from this venue, so expect to put up a fight for that monstrous catch! Bungsamlan is a former quarry that has been transformed into a truly magnificent fishing park.
Most expensive dinner
Considering the cost of some rare wine vintages at the world's finest restaurants, the Epicurean Masters of the World event hosted at Bangkok's famous State Tower Dome two years in a row now (2006 and 2007) might not be the priciest dining experience in the world. However, at a staggering one million baht per person (about US$ 25,000), it certainly raised the bar more than just a few notches in Asia, and is an unrivaled occasion.
The 2007 event saw eight internationally renowned three-star Michelin chefs congregate under one roof to create an unforgettable culinary experience for a handful of privileged guests, along with some very rare wines. The price tag included overnight suite accommodation at Lebua at State Tower, a personalised designer jewelry gift for each guest, a set of personalised Riedel sommelier glasses, and signed commemorative Limoges plate from the event. They say money can't buy happiness. We say it sure pays for the illusion!