December 8, 2016
A look into Thailand’s Past and how it compares to the reality of today’s world
With its long and at times bloody history, the Kingdom of Thailand’s recent past is not that well documented on film. Contained here are 25 pictures of our favorite selection of Thailand Past and Present, featuring numerous well known landmarks, historical monuments, temples and the many different people that make up this wonderful country.
Late 1950’s and present: The former Chinese Opera House in Yaowat (Bangkok’s – China Town), began life in 1892 as a trading house, and in 1908, it was transformed into Bangkok’s first Chinese opera house. Renowned for its spectacular interiors and popular staging of classic Chinese theatre, the opera house was frequented by members of Thailand’s Royal Family, among other members of the aristocracy.
Circa 1960 and Present: Wat Ratchanadda, Loha Prasat, also known as the Metal castle Wat Ratchanadda is a Royal temple best known for the Loha Prasat or Metal Castle, a very unique structure in the Bangkok skyline. In 1846 King Rama III ordered construction of the Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, as the temple is officially named. The Loha Prasat or Metal Castle The Loha Prasat, which means iron castle or iron monastery
New Road China Town Bangkok circa 1945 and present
Lampang Railway Station circa 1922 and present Lampang is the third largest town in northern Thailand
Wat Pathum Wanaram Circa 1860 and present The temple was once almost entirely surrounded by a large expanse of water Located in the central shopping district, next to the World Trade Centre, this very old temple provides a quiet refuge from the city. A working temple, the monk’s residence is located behind the temple. With an area behind the monks quarters planted with trees, this small park provides a cool refuge from the noise and bustle of daily city life.
Wat Phitchaya Yatikaram Worawiharn Circa 1890 and present
The slums of Pathumwan 1979 and present: MBK Center, also known as Mahboonkrong (Thai: มาบุญครอง), is a large shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. At eight stories high, the center contains around 2,000 shops, restaurants and service outlets The MBK Center management reports daily visitor numbers of more than 100,000, half of whom are young Thai people and a third foreign visitors. MBK was the largest shopping mall in Asia when it opened 1985 (only six years after the first pic).
Transport in 1880 and present
1949 and present: On 6 September 1901, King Rama the Fifth granted the Royal Charter, which gave birth to the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The King also instructed the Club to obtain, by taking a lease or by any other means, the piece of land known as the Royal Racing Course as the site of the Club. That piece of land is still the site of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club today.
Phra Pathom Chedi Nakhon Pathom 1935 and present
1933 and Present: When once entertainment was shared
Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Road 1940 and present
Royal Ploughing Ceremony Held in May Each Year the actual dates are chosen by Royal Astrologers Cira 1970 and Present
Teak wood docks on the Chao Phraya River 1935 and present
Picture from circa 1909 and present Khun Tan Tunnel (Thai: อุโมงค์ขุนตาน) is the longest of Thailand’s seven railway tunnels and runs under the Khun Tan Mountain Range The Tunnel is 1362.10 metres long, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Khun Tan Station, at the northern end of the tunnel, is the highest railway station in Thailand at an elevation of 758 m Historically the Khun Tan Range was a formidable natural barrier between the Kingdom of Chiangmai and the Central Plain. Click on the highlighted section for more on the best train ride in the Kingdom (The Death Railway) and its strangest – The Umbrella Pull Down Market
Akha women 1930 and present (Click here to see more on the Akha Hill Tribes of Thailand)
Thai Police: Somethings just don’t change in Thailand
Hat Yai 1953 and present: Hat Yai, a city in Thailand’s far south near the Malaysian border, is a sprawling commercial hub and shopping destination.
Soi Nana ‘entertainment district’ in Bangkok. 1971 and Present
1898 and today: The country’s former Customs House was once the gateway to Thailand, levying taxes on traders moving in and out of the kingdom. It was designed by an Italian architect and built in the 1890s; the front door opened onto its source of income (the river) and the grand facade was ceremoniously decorated in columns and transom windows. Today, with its sagging shutters, peeling yellow paint and laundry flapping on the balconies, the building has certainly seen better days.
Sampeng Lane Bangkok circa 1900 and present: Soi Wanit 1 – colloquially known as Sampeng Lane – is a narrow artery running parallel to Th Yaowarat and bisecting the commercial areas of Chinatown and Phahurat. The Chinatown portion of Sampeng Lane is lined with wholesale shops of hair accessories, pens, stickers, household wares and beeping, flashing knick-knacks. Near Th Chakrawat, gem and jewellery shops abound. Weekends are horribly crowded, and it takes a gymnast’s flexibility to squeeze past the pushcarts, motorcycles and other roadblocks.
Klong Padung Krung Kasem 1947 and today: As a Tourist floating market the 5.5 kilometre long Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem is a moat marking the unofficial border for Bangkok’s Old City, otherwise known as Rattanakosin. Digging began in 1851 during the reign of King Rama IV in response to the rapid expansion of the capital. It stretches in an arch from Chareon Krung Road, past Khlong Mahanak, before ending in the Chao Phraya River, near Rama VIII bridge.
Wat Po Bangkok 1900 and today: Wat Pho (Thai: วัดโพธิ์), also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace. Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn (Thai: วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลารามราชวรมหาวิหาร). The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction its older name Wat Phota
Street vendors selling coffee 1936 and present.
Khlong Phasi Charoen lock gate being bombed by allied aircraft on 18 April 1945 and present
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