Bangkok: Then & Now

I am fascinated by historical photos. I can stare at an old black & white photo from turn-of-the-century anywhere for minutes on end. I look at the people or places depicted and try to put myself there. I look at the faces, the clothing..what was the weather like? Are those people miserably hot in their stiff century-old garb? What did they do after the photo was taken? What did they say?

Especially fascinating to me are the series of photos called “then & now”. These pictures will show some area, landmark, or building from long ago. Next to it will be a photo showing how that area or building looks today. Usually the “now” photo is in color. My local newspaper does this every Sunday and it is the first page I turn to every weekend.

This brings me to the topic of my blog. As I was leaving Thailand back in 2001, I ran across a book in the airport duty-free shop. It was called “Bangkok: Then and Now” by Steve Van Beek (ISBN #:974-87616-0-6).
This book has loads of photos taken from 1900-1901 in and around Bangkok. Next to those photos are their modern siblings depicted in a modern myriad of colors. Some of the photos are depicting well-known areas or structures. Many are often more obscure (such as a sidestreet or narrow little klong).

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite photos from the book. Enjoy! P.S. My apologies; I couldn’t fit these photos side by side. I don’t think too much was lost by stacking them like this. The quality might have suffered a bit as well, as I took the photos with my camera from the open book.

Looking north from the top of the Golden Mount ca.1880 and today

Ti Thong Road ca.1900 and today

The intersection of New Road and Worachak Road then and now. I don’t know where this is, but I thought it was cool.

7 responses to “Bangkok: Then & Now