1941 Bangkok travel film shows how city has changed yet still stayed the same
Anyone who has spent a lot of time in Bangkok, Thailand knows how quickly the city changes. From a relatively undeveloped town in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Bangkok has grown into one of the world’s most modern, most international and largest cities in just the last 20 to 30 years.
You do not realize how much has changed, though, as well as how much has not, until you watch a 1941 Bangkok travel film released by a company called Travelcade and narrated by American radio announcer Milton Cross.
Called ‘Siam‘ and filmed just before the Japanese invasion of Thailand in December, 1941 and before the young king His Majesty Ananda Mahidol was killed in 1946, the film shows a traditional Thai Bangkok full of ancient temples, river and canal boats, floating markets and food stalls and, of course, the city’s extravagant and incredibly beautiful Grand Palace.
Not much different from today really, for all Bangkok’s mega shopping malls and enormous skyscrapers.
The film also showcases the city’s 1941 university rowing regatta on the Chao Praya River, traditional Thai dancers and, of course, several of the Thai beauties the likes of which are still celebrated today.
Watch the 1941 Bangkok travel film below. It’s a lovely look into early 1940s Bangkok and a nice reminder that, while things do change, they often also stay the same.