The introduction of Western style art to Thailand is often attributed to the Italian Corrado Feroci who established Silphakorn University in 1932. But in fact nearly 100 years earlier a Thai monk named Khrua In Khong was painting large temple murals using Western themes and techniques. His murals are quite unlike those seen in other temples. He paints scenes of people in European dress, grand buildings and modern technology. So who was this monk painting scenes of the modern world and how were such murals appropriate in a Buddhist temple? This is the story of Khrua In Khong, a Thai Buddhist artist who painted futuristic riddles.
The History of Bangkok’s Canals – How “Venice of the East” turned into “World’s Worst Traffic”
Bangkok is famous for its canals or khlongs with tourist brochures promoting the city as having once been "The Venice of the East". In fact the history of Thailand's canals is older than Bangkok itself. The "Venice of the East" description was originally from the Portuguese explorer Fernão Mendes Pinto writing about Ayutthaya in the 1540's. But why were there so many canals, when were they built and why are they to blame for Bangkok's terrible traffic-jams today?
Wang Derm – Bangkok’s Original Palace
Bangkok's Grand Palace is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions with millions of visitors each year. But just across the Chao Phraya River is an older palace which attracts very little attention. Wang Derm or The Original Palace was the palace built in 1767 by King Taksin when he decided to establish Thonburi as the new capital of Siam.
Sala Chalermkrung and the History of Early Thai Cinema
The iconic Art Deco style Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in Bangkok, is a well known landmark built by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). But the story of early cinema in Thailand and how it was that Thailand's king came to build a popular theatre is now largely forgotten.
Madness and Mayhem – Bangkok’s Fast & Furious Number 8 Bus
Buses are the most heavily used public transport in Bangkok but often they are badly neglected and services are often poor. One route in particular has become so notorious for not just poor service but the cause of death, destruction and mayhem on Bangkok's streets that it has become an icon in popular culture. That is the infamous "Fast and Furious" Bus Route 8.
The Italians Who Built Bangkok
Western tourists flock to Bangkok every year drawn by the spectacle of glittering exotic temples. But some might notice that many of the other grand old buildings appear to be of European style, betraying the influence once held by Italians in early Bangkok.
Churches of Bangkok
Everybody associates Bangkok with its magnificent Buddhist temples, but along the Chao Phraya River are a series of beautiful Catholic churches
Bangkok’s Birthday Bridges
King Chulalongkorn considered the building of bridges so important he funded the construction of a bridge each year to celebrate his birthday.
Bangkok Protestant Cemetery
Hidden away on the banks of the Chao Phraya river lies the small but serenely peaceful Protestant Cemetery where rest some of the European and American settlers that helped shape modern Bangkok.