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Thread: Ugly towns

  1. #1
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    Ugly towns

    I'm in Nakhonratchasima (affectionately known as Korat) right now and, other than the town center where the memorial is located, it looks like every other Soviet era, concrete building, mixed industrial and retail, dirty endless rows of 3 storey ugly buildings that I see in every stretch of populated Thailand.

    Other than the beautiful wats and a few other exceptions the Thais seem to place little value on urban aesthetics. I think they have no other frame of reference for architecture or urban "planning". Many cities in the American Southwest are suffering under a similar form of homogeneic sprawl so maybe it's just a matter economics and what works.

    Anyway, just an observation.

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    You're right Agent Smith. The sad thing is that before the era of concrete and horrible design I think that some of these provincial towns were quite attractive. You can find evidence of this in some of the older buildings that still exist and in the surrounding villages that have yet to be "redeveloped" with ugly concrete boxes replacing the charming wooden structures and the Rattanakosin era colonial designs.

    I find it very sad that there is so little push to preserve some of the finer old structures.

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    Urban planning? You must be joking.

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    Are there parallels with the industrialization of European countries, when people moved form the land to the cities and were housed in (UK at least) horribly ugly slum estates built row on row, like so many battery hen cages?

  5. #5
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    Yes, it is a great pity to see the old teak shophouses torn down to make way for concrete block buildings that look decrepit after a year of mould and soot stains. A pity Thailand didn't adopt Penang-style buildings; even when the old ones start to decay, the red brick underneath somehow makes them look like grande old dames. If I had the cash, I'd start restoring them and make guesthouses and cafes and saloons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon View Post
    Yes, it is a great pity to see the old teak shophouses torn down to make way for concrete block buildings that look decrepit after a year of mould and soot stains. A pity Thailand didn't adopt Penang-style buildings; even when the old ones start to decay, the red brick underneath somehow makes them look like grande old dames. If I had the cash, I'd start restoring them and make guesthouses and cafes and saloons.
    No bars then?

  7. #7
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    ^ bar = saloon

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    i agree with OP - but hasnt Hat Yai managed to avoid that problem, i think someone told me Hat Yai was pretty...?

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    Ya, HatYai has/had some nice terrace houses. Before the bombings, anyway.

  10. #10
    たのむよ。
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    It's not ugly it just doesn't reflect the taste of the times.

    Have none of you heard of the Tricorn in Portsmouth? A childhood landmark of mine now sadly demolished because it was 'ugly', oh, but now 60's retro is making a fashionable comeback - "Doh!" say Portsmouth city council.
    "I'm an outsider by choice, but not truly. It's the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I'd rather be in, in a good system. That's where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside.
    My advice: Just keep movin' straight ahead. Every now and then you find yourself in a different place."

    George Carlin

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    On the whole I think Thailand is ugly. All the old buildings are demolished to make way for the modern (a moo bahn close to us is unspeakably ugly. All different colours and far too many pedestal things in iridescent purple) A Thai friend told me it was so that those with the modern western houses could be looked up to and gain face. China Town in BKK still has some rather gorgeous wooden houses, but I suppose if I was 80 years old and given the choice between a basic wooden structure or cement and amenities I'd go with the water option. Shame really.

  12. #12
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    There's still a few old buildings in Ayutthaya, as the new city is located off the historical island, but I see that 'progress' is making inroads to the old part of town as well.

  13. #13
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Concrete buildings don't have to look ugly.
    Also it is not illegal to repair or repaint a house and keep it looking nice

    Maybe someone should tell the owners

  14. #14
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    ^ Well said Tets! Shame that wasn't the case for the Tricorn.

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