BANGKOK -- The eastern outskirts of Bangkok were once a marshland known locally as Nong Nguhao, or Cobra Swamp. The more exalted Sanskrit name of Suvarnabhumi -- Realm of Gold -- was given to the area by late King Rama IX for the capital's international airport, which opened in 2006. With its hint of riches, the name is also apt for the hopes of developers who are turning the area into a new retail battleground.
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