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.
Hidden Treasures on Phra Pradaeng Island
Phra Pradaeng is a great place to escape from the city and for Siamrat one of the hidden treasures there is the pair of old temple buildings at Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nok.
Thailand’s Gingerbread Houses
In the mid-nineteenth century growing European influence in Siam resulted in a new style of architecture for wealthy families called "gingerbread". One hundred years later many of these old homes are being restored to their former glory.
The Remarkable History of the Portuguese in Thailand
These days the community of Westerners resident in Thailand is dominated by British, Americans, Germans, French or Scandinavians. But in fact the western community with by far the longest history in Thailand is the Portuguese who first arrived in 1511 some one hundred years before any other European nation.
Siam or Thailand ?
On 11th May 1949 Radio Bangkok announced to the world that from that day on Siam would be known as Thailand. But in fact this was the second time this name change had occurred within ten years and the change was not particularly popular. So why the change?
The Many Fathers of Thailand’s Development
Anybody who takes an interest in Thai history will soon hear the phrase "He is today considered the Father of Thai........" where the blank might be anything from "Navy" or "Postal System" to "Art" or even "History". After a while one realises that there are many of these "fathers" some of whom are mentioned in... Continue Reading →
Thailand’s Greatest Heroines
As any visitor to Thailand quickly discovers, this country has a deep culture and history replete with miraculous tales of heroic deeds. Quite a few of these tales involve strong women who through bravery and sometimes a bit of powerful magic overcome adversaries and save the people from certain destruction.
Tracking The Teak That Transformed Thailand
One hundred years ago the second largest export of then Siam was teak and this industry helped shape modern Thailand. It also left behind some beautiful architecture.
Following the Journey of the Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha is the most venerated Buddha image in all of Thailand and is the highlight for many of the 8 Million visitors to the Grand Palace each year. But few of these visitors consider where this sacred image originated from or are aware of the journey travelled by the Emerald Buddha prior to being installed within the Grand Palace
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
Putthamonthon is a public park west of Bangkok. Its centre piece is a graceful 15.87 metre tall Buddha statue.
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.
Louis XIV’s Embassy to Lop Buri
Lop Buri is an ancient town with some fascinating history linking it to the King Louis XIV of France.