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  1. #1451
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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-a04-jpg

    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows a part of military parade seen with aircraft combat equipment, the searchlight units. The parade took place in front of the Grand Palace during the WWII.

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    The future King Rama IX with his first eyeglasses in 1937 (born 1927).


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-aa06-jpg
    (Photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’)

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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-aa03-jpg


    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows Phraya Prachakij Worajak (1875-1956). He was one of the noblemen who worked in the Court of Siam in the reign of King Rama V. Chube (his real name) was graduated from England with a law degree. While studying in England, he was very skillful at riding a bicycle which at that time was unknown in Siam.

    Bicycles were introduced to Siamese later in 1893. They were very popular in the high society and also in the Court of Siam. The King was among those who were eager to learn how to ride this new invention and Chube was his personal trainer.

  4. #1454
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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-01-jpg


    Phra Pathom Chedi, meaning the ‘Holy chedi of the beginning’, is recognized as the world’s tallest chedi, towering an impressive 127 meters from its base to the tip of the Chedi.

    Phra Pathom Chedi marks the site where Buddhism was first introduced to Thailand more than two thousand years ago.

    Many cities in the world sprung up around important religious temples, landmarks, or chapels. However, none of them are as interesting as Phra Pathom Chedi. The Chedi has a long and varied history. In fact, there has no historical record, but according to a prominent Thai historian and archaeologist, it was Asoka, an Indian Emperor who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from circa 269 to 232 BCE, sent prominent Buddhist monks to expand Buddhism in Suvarnabhumi, which nowadays is South East Asia, including the area that is Nakhon Pathom in the present day.

    A Buddhist temple, Wat Phra Pathom, was said to be established around the year 325 BCE, and the stupa had been built around the year 193 BCE. A simple hemispherical brick structure built housing the relics of Gautama Buddha brought to Thailand by Indian monks with a structure on the top of the stupa in the shape of a chatra or parasol symbolizing high rank.

    After Khmer Empire invaded the land in the 11th century and modified Phra Pathom Chedi with a Khmer style prang on the top of stupa.

    Later it was invaded by a pagan king of Pagan Kingdom (the very first Burmese Kingdom), he plundered ancient Nakhon Pathom. Then the city and the stupa had been abandoned and later overgrown by the jungle.

    Long after its construction, in 1831 under the reign of King Rama III, his half-brother, Prince Mongkut (the future King Rama IV), as a monk then, had discovered the ruin of Phra Pathom Chedi and paid visit several times.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-02-jpg


    He requested royal approval to restore the stupa, but King Rama III declined. Anyway, after his coronation, King Rama IV rebuilt the stupa in the Sri Lankan style, covering the old stupa as well as the new temple.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-03-jpg


    After 17 years of construction, the stupa and temple were finished in 1870 which fell in the reign of the King’s son, King Rama V. The new King added belfries and imported golden brown colour tiles from China to cover the whole stupa.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-04-jpg


    In 1907 as Crown Prince Vajiravudh, after visited Phra Pathom Chedi for several times, he decided to build a palace named Sanam Chandra (related story on page 3/72) close by.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-05-jpg


    In 1966, the temple abbot found several cracks inside the stupa. Ministry of Interior sent a group of experts to check the stupa. After nine years of research, the experts group reported that the stupa was in critical state and needed urgent restoration. The restoration finished in 1981.

    In 2008 Phra Pathom Chedi had been restored again to solve inside stupa moisture problem, the work was done in 2012.

    In 2009, the Department of Fine Arts, Ministry of Culture announced a plan to promote Phra Pathom Chedi to be inducted into UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the stupa's long history and its significance on Buddhism expansion in Southeast Asia.

    Initially, the government's plan had been welcomed by media and general public and supported by local municipal office as well as the temple. However the plan caused concerns to local people around Phra Pathom Chedi which located in the city center and near the city's central fresh market for fearing that if Phra Pathom Chedi becomes the World Heritage Site, the market may have to relocate and the whole community may get affected from management plan of UNESCO.

    Locals started to protest the plan. In 2011, Department of Fine Arts organized the public hearings for Phra Pathom Chedi Temple as the World Heritage Site nomination. From 200 supported the nominations, only 3 votes were against.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-06-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-14-07-jpg
    (Shot in 1973 by
    Photographer: Patricia Young)
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 29-07-2022 at 04:04 PM.

  5. #1455
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    Great thread, superb pics and info.
    Love it

  6. #1456
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    I keep dipping in and out. Thanks for the effort, it's a great thread!

  7. #1457
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123 View Post
    Great thread, superb pics and info.
    Love it

    Thank you so much for your kind compliments...

  8. #1458
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    I keep dipping in and out. Thanks for the effort, it's a great thread!
    Thank you so much for your kind compliments

  9. #1459
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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-a06-jpg

    The, rare, colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows King Rama V’s bedroom. It was inside the Grand Palace. During the WWII, some bombs went astray and fell down ruining a part of the Grand Palace including this bedroom section. The wreckage was beyond repair and had to wait until the War was absolutely over then the demolition plan began.

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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-aa02-jpg
    The
    colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’


    On October 23th of every year is a national holiday in Thailand as it marks “King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) Day" or known in Thai as “Piyamaharaj Day". It is the memorial day of the passing of the King who led several major reforms in Thailand, for example, in the areas of Thai educational system, military affairs, State Railway and Slave Liberation Act without bloodshed in Siam/Thailand.

    Princess Sriphromma, daughter of the last hereditary chief of Nan (page 54/1335), noted about this sad event…

    … No one (at that time) really knew what had caused the King ill. At night, his symptoms started to get critical. The atmosphere inside the King's private section was solemn and depressing although there were many people being present but everyone didn't say a word.

    After lunch, while waiting on duty at night shift, I took a nap but was waken up because a rat was biting at my toe. I also heard some strange noises up on the ceiling. These were considered ominous.

    At night, looking through the window, I saw the long-tailed Haley comet stretching across the sky.

    When it's time to go on duty, I went up to the second floor of the private section. Everyone along the way had sad faces. No one greeted me.

    On the stairs up to the third floor, so many people were sitting and blocked the way up. I had to ask for space to get through. When I reached the third floor, it was so quiet that I heard sound like someone snoring heard from the bedroom.

    As soon as I opened the door, I saw The Queen (don't know who) lying sleeping on the floor, the King on his bed. The snore I heard at the first time turned out to be the condition known as a coma stage.
    I crawled on four closer to the end of the bed then looked up and saw the King's body being dressed in red. His body was plump and his face swollen.

    Later I fell asleep for how long I did not know until the sound of cries and weeps woke me up. I glanced around the bedroom and saw many people crouching on the floor. It was very dark here. Only one single red light lit the room.

    I felt for the Queen but couldn't find her. I realized that the King had passed. I searched again for the Queen. This time, I found her on the slumber pedestal. Eugene Reytter, the King's personal doctor was injecting something to her to revive her up then she was carried downstairs on a palanquin and out to her private section...
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 31-07-2022 at 01:33 PM.

  11. #1461
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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-aa04-jpg

    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows Phis Bunnag (1870-1965), one of King Rama V’s Royal Concubines. She was from the very powerful House of Bunnag. Phis had a reputation of making boiled ham. Back in those days, this simple recipe was very exotic. Locals did not know what it was only some in the royal court did.

    Phis’s boiled ham was said to have unique taste. It was marinated with more than 10 kinds of liquors and wines (!). Her boiled ham was one of the King’s favorites.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Memory Lane (In my own language)-aa04-jpg  

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    Bangkok in 1973


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1973-01-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1973-02-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1973-03-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1973-04-jpg

  13. #1463
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    Less plastic blowing around, less weed in the Chao Phraya due to less fertilizer....

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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Less plastic blowing around, less weed in the Chao Phraya due to less fertilizer....

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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-a09-1930-jpg


    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows ‘Motor Show’ at Sanam Luang in 1930.

  16. #1466
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    1957 - Friendship Highway (Saraburi–Pak Chong–Nakhon Ratchasima)

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1957friendship-highway-saraburi-pak-chong-nakhon



    1958 - Racecourse, The Royal Bangkok Sports Club

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1958-racecourse-royal-bangkok-sports-club


  17. #1467
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    Bangkok in 1973


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1973-01-jpg
    Wat Saket, Golden Mount, a place I always take visitors to in Bkk.

    Lovely place, lovely views.

  18. #1468
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    Wat Saket, Golden Mount, a place I always take visitors to in Bkk.

    Lovely place, lovely views.
    ...More story on page 28/693

  19. #1469
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    A documentary (photos not included) titled: The king who led Siam forward

    Western influences arrived in Siam in the Third Reign and began flourishing under King Rama IV, but in the Fifth Reign, the country truly saw the sweeping changes in administration, economy, education and science that brought it into the modern era.

    King Rama V established new foundations for Siam and transformed traditional society into a genuinely modern state.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-01-jpg


    Chulalongkorn, the eldest son of King Rama IV, was born in Bangkok in 1853 and ascended the throne on October 1, 1868. Although the first few years of his monarchy were under regency, his long reign of 42 years and 23 days witnessed tremendous advances.

    The King actively pursued a policy of modernization, calling upon Europeans to oversee many projects, such as the construction of Siam’s first railway in 1903.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-02-jpg


    He was the first king to travel abroad, visiting both Asia and the West.

    He made trips to Singapore and Java in 1870 and to India and Burma in 1871. He toured Europe in 1897 and 1907 and formed warm relationship with most rulers of the powerful countries there, including the Russian Tsar. King Chulalongkorn sent his sons to study in Europe, to schools in England and military academies in Denmark, Germany and Russia.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-03-jpg


    Crucially, he cultivated the idea of Siam as a buffer state between the colonial possessions of the European powers in Southeast Asia. Although Siam lost some border territories, it managed in doing so to avoid colonization.

    King Rama V built a modern army that in many ways matched those of the European nations. In 1871, the soldiers of the expanded Royal Guard were better trained and had more modern weapons than had ever before been imaginable.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-04-jpg


    In 1873, the King abolished the old practice of prostration in the royal presence. Government officials were required instead to dress in full uniform and remain standing in the king’s presence. King Rama V even introduced new fashions in dress for both men and women. Men began cutting their hair in the Western style while women let theirs grow long.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-05-jpg


    One of his primary achievements was the abolition of slavery, achieved with deliberate caution to avoid sudden social upheaval. The King gave Siam’s slaves their freedom gradually, until a law abolishing the practice was invoked in 1905.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-06-jpg


    In 1870, the King established the first school at the Grand Palace. Ten years later the first public museum was founded within the compound of the Concordia Building. Many ministries were formed in this reign, including those of Foreign Affairs and Justice.

    King Rama V died on October 23, 1910, but remains one of the country’s most cherished of rulers, revered as Somdej Phra Piyamaharaj (literally means ‘The great beloved King’) and regarded to this day by many Thais as a holy spirit.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-07-jpg
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 05-08-2022 at 02:09 PM.

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    60s at Bang Saen

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-60sbangsaen-jpg


    70s at Sanum Luang, showing old style irons using hot coals

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-70staoread-jpg


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    In May 10th, 2406 BE, Colonel Robel brought the French insignia, Legion D'honneur, to King Mongkut as well as King Pinklao (his brother, the second King). For this reason, he pleased the diplomats to take the tours in Phetchaburi and Phra Nakhon Khiri…

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-a10-jpg


    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows King Rama IV, with the Crown Prince, wearing the French insignia.

  22. #1472
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    Memory Lane (In my own language)-a07-jpg

    The colorized B&W photo courtesy of ‘Page Siam Colorization by Noomrattana’ shows the rice fields in Bang Khen area in the reign of King Rama VIII (1946). On June 5th, the King came to this area to plow the rice field on a special occasion. That was his last public royal mission before the eyes of the Siamese citizen prior to his untimely death.


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-01-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-02-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-05-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-06-jpg


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-07-jpg


  23. #1473
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    1970, Montien Hotel

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1970monteinh-jpg



    1980, Lumpini Boxing Stadium, Praram 4 Rd.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-1980lumpiniboxsta-jpg


  24. #1474
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    A documentary (photos not included) titled: Phrai, Neither Free Nor Bonded


    Phrai is an ancient term referred to all male commoners aged between 18 and 70 years old and taller than 125 centimeters. Women and children were counted as phrai's dependents and were the ones who actually had to provide for means of subsistence when phrai were recruited for corvée labor or to fight in wars.

    The earliest reference to phrai is said to be in a famous Ramkharnhaeng inscription of the preceding Sukhothai period dated around 1292 A.D.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-02-jpg


    In the Ayutthaya period, the social structure was divided into four classes:

    1. The kings and the princes of royal blood
    2. The aristocrats
    3. The freemen, commoners or phrai (pronounced like ‘prai’) and
    4. The slaves or that (pronounced like ‘tart’).

    Each group of phrai (# 3) was controlled by a leader, called mun nai (noble; pronounced like ‘moon nai’) which were #1 and #2. Phrai were required by law to be enlisted under a mun nai in return for legal protection. A clause in the Law on Litigation dated 1356 decreed: "Do not accept any litigation put forward by a citizen who has no mun nai”.

    During its early period, the Ayutthaya Kingdom was vulnerable to war. Since there was no standing army at the time, this forced labor system provided the necessary soldiers.

    The mun nai were charged with responsibility for furnishing as many men under their control as required by the king. If they failed to do so, for whatever reason, they would be penalized.

    During the early Ayutthaya period, this forced labor system was also employed to recruit labor for government corvée duties such as building and repairing palaces and temples.

    Laws dated before 1454 reveal that two types of phrai existed: phrai luang and phrai som.

    Phrai luang were phrai attached to the king while phrai som were phrai attached to the nobles.

    An observation was also made that phrai luang were those commoners who failed to register under a mun nai when they were mobilized to fight in war.

    As a result, these people were deemed as criminals, and when they were arrested, they were made phrai luang who had to do government corvée labor for six months in a year. But since the king could not personally control them himself, he thus assigned this task to one mun nai.

    Nevertheless, phrai luang were not supposed to be attached to the mun nai. Phrai som, on the other hand, were fixed to the mun nai.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-03-jpg


    A
    ll phrai were different from ‘that (slaves)’ since they had the right to select the mun nai with whom they wanted to be enlisted while ‘that’, on the other hand, were more directly bound to their mun nai through slavery or debt-bondage and owed all of their labor to their mun nai.

    Yet, mobility out of the phrai status was difficult except for a few rare cases when phrai who were capable warriors were promoted into a low nobility status during wartime.

    In times of peace, such opportunities appear to have been very limited because of the rigidity of the social structure.

    Much historical evidence suggests that the life of phrai luang, particularly in the later Ayutthaya period, was harsher and more burdensome than that of phrai som.

    Unlike the latter, phrai luang were required to do corvée for six months each in alternating months. Although phrai som could also be recruited for governrnent corvée, they primarily took turns and worked in shorter shifts for their mun nai, thus allowing them more independent time to earn a living.

    When phrai luang went to do their corvée service, they also had to bring their own tools and their own food. As most phrai were farming peasants, the time lost for farming due to the forced corvée obviously wreaked havoc on their paddy cultivation, which was the source of their own subsistence and the taxes to be paid to the nobles.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-05-jpg


    It was thus common for phrai luang to seek ways to avoid corvée or to avoid being enlisted as phrai luang altogether.

    Since all phrai luang had to have their names entered into registration rolls, many phrai luang used all sorts of subterfuges to avoid this procedure.

    Some nobles, aware of the phrai's reluctance, took advantage of the situation.

    Many laws in the later Ayutthaya period imply that officials accepted bribes from phrai luang to drop their names from the registration rolls by not listing their names at all, by keeping them as their own phrai som, by switching them to other groups that had lighter duty, or by registering them as pseudo ‘that’ would be penalized in different degrees.

    In the meantime, such relationships between the mun nai and phrai began to grow and gradually formed a dominant patron-client relationship that increasingly threatened the king's political power.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-04-jpg


    For those phrai who could not get cooperation from the mun nai, they also had the option of running away to another town, hiding in the wilderness or becoming a monk or selling themselves as ‘that’. Neither ‘that’ nor monks were subject to corvée.

    (To be continued)
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 10-08-2022 at 01:17 PM.

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    (Continued from the last time)


    In the late Ayutthaya period, when trade with foreign merchants became more widespread, phrai were allowed to pay a commutation fee in lieu of corvée service. The fee could be in the form of money or rare items that could be sold as exports.

    Phrai who chose to pay in money and products were called phrai suai.

    Towards the end of the Ayutthaya period, it is quite clear that the corvée labor system, which was required of all phrai luang, was undermined by various devices to avoid corvée and subterfuges to avoid being registered as phrai luang.

    As a result, Ayutthaya's manpower organization system was deficient and poorly organized. Facing the massive Burmese invasion in 1765- 1767, this situation and the existence of political factions very likely contributed to Ayutthaya’s downfall.

    King Taksin the Great, who was responsible for expelling the Burmese and moving the capital to Thonburi, must have learnt this lesson from Ayutthaya's collapse. Faced with the shortage of labor after the wars with Burma, he took steps to rectify the corvée system.

    During this period, manpower was crucial both for military and rebuilding purposes so there was a need for an effective means to keep track of all the phrai.

    In a law passed in 1774, the king mandated that every adult male be tattooed on the wrist with his name, name of the town where he resided, and the name of the mun nai with whom he was registered.

    The same law also imposed a high penalty on those who attempted tattooing frauds either by faking a tattoo or by stealing the official device to do the tattooing themselves. Those who were charged with this crime would be executed along with all their relatives and living ancestors.

    In addition, all phrai, both phrai luang and phrai som, were required to provide corvée service of six months out of the year. This requirement of six-month service caused much discontent among the phrai, the majority of whom were peasants. They found it most difficult to farm effectively under such conditions.

    The organization of Thai society during the early years of the Rattanakosin Kingdom was not fundamentally different from that of the late Ayutthaya period. Emphasis was still placed on manpower control and on an extensive system of political and social patronage. In fact, the early Rattanakosin rulers were trying to rebuild the social structure of the Ayutthaya era.

    The forced corvée labor, which had caused phrai so much suffering during the Ayutthaya period, was still practiced although some changes had been introduced.

    In the first reign of the new Chakri dynasty, King Rama I (1782-1809) reduced the required corvée time from six months to four months, thus allowing the phrai more free time to do their rice farming.

    Similarly, King Rama II eased the corvée burden further to only three months, freeing up nine months for the phrai.

    The reduction in corvée was due to a number of factors that did not mean, however, that control on labor had been relaxed. On the contrary, systems for registering phrai were tightened and wrist tattooing continued until the late nineteenth century.

    From the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the foundations of the Rattanakosin economy and society began to experience a major shift. Indeed, the nineteenth century was a period of important transition in Thai history. The changes and continuities in this period culminated in the great reform of King Rama V, which not only formally launched Thailand on a modernization path but also liberated the phrai and ‘that’ to become citizens and ended the traditional means and modes of surveillance on all commoners.

    The most important change, which had profound economic and social impacts on the organization of labor in this period and on Thai social structure in the century beyond, was the influx of Chinese immigrants beginning in the 1800s. To meet the shortage of labor outside agriculture, the Thai state, particularly the kings, encouraged Chinese immigration.

    Unlike the Thai peasants, the Chinese immigrants were exempt from the corvée and other forms of bondage although they did have to pay a light poll tax.


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-01-jpg
    (The computer colored photo of ‘Phrai’ in the reign of King Rama V)



    Last edited by nathanielnong; 11-08-2022 at 12:50 PM.

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