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Thailand in 1960, Half a Century Ago

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Contributed by: Special Adviser of JTBF
Kazuo Kikkawa

In addition to the former photo album titled "Bangkok in 1960 and 2010" which shows the change of Bangkok after the interval of 50 years, this new album with the title of "Thailand in 1960, Half a Century Ago", has been compiled with the photos taken in the same 1960 without the recent photos for comparison. This is for recognizing the situations of Thailand, 50 years ago, not limiting to Bangkok.

All photos of the both albums were taken by Kazuo KIKKAWA, Special Adviser of JTBF.

Road and Waterway

The Rajdamnoen Avenue seemed more active than present days. There were offices of the Government such as BOI.

Numbers of the cars on the Rajdamnoen Avenue were incredibly few, when compared with today.

Along the road in Cholburi, the new type of the shophouse became 縲€popular.

A part of Road No. 4, to the South.

The street car was moving on the LanLuan Road, crossing the Khlong Krung Kasem.

The ECAFE head office was a land mark along Khlong Krung Kasem.

The memorial bridge was functioned, contributing for large vessels to pass the area for better transportation.

Within the eye-sight, there happened no moving boat and barge, in the early morning near Sanam Luang.

The boat on the river played an important role in transportation. The scene was near the Memorial Bridge.

The dawn on River Chaopraya. It was a visionary scene in Bangkok.

It was very peaceful afternoon. Only a small boat was moving very quietly.

Lumphai was the main khlong in Bang Kaen District. Various kinds of boats and barges were passing one after another.

A small barge was moored in Khlong Sam Saen in Din Daen District, for residence purpose.

A tug boat was pulling several barges to carry agro-products from up-stream. The picture in Pitsanuloke.

Even in the center of the City, the floating market could be seen, near Royal Turf Club at Dusit District.

Fresh vegetable and fruits were brought into the market at Dusit District through Khlong.

There were many bridges of this kind, for residents to cross over the irrigation khlong.

The road used to have no guard-rail. Rather frequently, the accidents of this kind occurred.

Speciality of Lampang was famous horse-carriage, which can be seen even now.

Thailand had expanded its network of high grade road over the country. The Japanese car makers used to test the new model car for speed and durability.


Express train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Big size of water jar was attached to 1st class sleeping car for taking shower.

The steam locomotives depended on wood burning. Some of them had been brought from Japan during the war.

Northern line could command the good view.

Passengers stood on the deck, to get fresh air and fine view.

The freight train was passing the bridges of Namtok line, old Thai-Burma railway near Kanchanaburi.

There was a railway station without platform in Northern Line.

Many venders at the station tried to sell foods and drinks to passengers. How many times did the train stop at this station a day? Probably, 5

Women were working, while men were chatting under the tree, doing nothing.

Airport and Seaport

There was no boarding bridge in Airport, so passengers had to walk to board. Planes were DC-6 or similar ones for international flight.

As soon as the ocean going vessel was berthed, the venders at the port gathered to sell coffee and refreshment, Fruits, etc.

Don Muang Airport was used for both International and domestic flights. DC-3 was for domestic flight.

The agricultural products were loaded from the barge directly.

Glimpses of People's Lives

From the market, the women brought back the goods purchased by bus or samlo. Some of them were barefoot.

Usually, servants were in charge to buy dairy necessaries at the market.

50 years ago, the variety of vegetable was rather limited, but quantity was abundant.

A girl was tying fishes with rope so that the buyer may carry easily.

Seller sat on the vendor's table, so that buyer could check the items easily and negotiate the price.

Mostly on Sunday, people, old and young, visited the temple to pray, dedicating flowers and incense.

Snapshots of Children

Thai Children were religious. They could recite a sutra.

School children used samlo to go to school jointly. They seemed to wait for another one.

Even small child could manage handling the boat, which was necessary for moving.

It looked very idyllic and pastoral. Maybe, the child was taking water buffalo to home.

In Thailand, children worked hard. In Japan too, in old days, children assisted the parents.

The boy seemed come to the market to buy something according to the order of his family. In Thailand, children worked hard. In Japan too, in old days, children assisted the parents.

In old Japan too, the children reportedly came to the temple to learn, especially in the rural area,

The boy seemed to come to sell the sweets or something in the back alley.

The boy worked to assist the parents. The big water jars in the backside were for sale to keep water for drinking or shower.

The boy kept the hair-style of the old time in Bangkok.

In swimming beach, the boy was leasing the rubber tube, as a buoy for swimmer.

The boy was taking something. Was it orange to sell, or something else ?

Various Events

Sunday market at Sanam Luang was the root of its kind. We can see the developed one at Chatchuk.

The sale by this boy seemed the origin of Sunday market. He must have brought fruits from his own farm.

The celebration of King's Birthday was the biggest event of Thailand.

The football match between Chula and Thammasart was the big attraction of Bangkok.

Bang Phra Golf course was reopened,

The imprint of Japanese town of Ayuthaya era was remaining.

Water pouring of the Songkran Festival was rather gentle in old days. The photo shows the festival in the temple at Pitsanuloke.

The Japanese Association held the baseball match once a year. About 10 teams participated. Old persons also participated.


The ruins at Sukhothai.

The ruins at Sukhothai. The ruins had better be kept without excessive restoration.

The ruins at Ayuthaya.

The ruins at Ayuthaya.