Old Postcards of Bangkok, Thailand: Time Machines to Days Gone By (Photos)

boats at bo bae market bangkok 100 years ago
Mahanak canal and Bo Bae floating market. In the 21st century, this canal is still there but is rarely used by any boats except klong boats that take passengers up and down.

 

No matter what country I’m in, I love looking at old postcards as they give you a look back in time to how things used to be. That’s why, if I ever stumble across old postcards of Bangkok, Thailand, the city I currently live in, you can expect to find me lost for hours.

Old postcards of Bangkok pop up all over the internet nowadays as modern day Thais are beginning to realize how much of their traditional culture they are losing and how fast it will disappear entirely if they don’t find some way of preserving it. Scanning old postcards of Bangkok and other cities around Thailand is a quick way to do so, as well as to easily share them with millions of people all over Thailand and the rest of the world.


What always fascinates me about looking at old postcards, however, isn’t just that so many places have changed so much, it’s that so many places haven’t. Even if they are now mobbed with people and in the throes of Bangkok’s horrendous traffic jams, many of these places are still instantly recognizable.

Look at the postcard below of Hua Lamphong railway station, Bangkok’s main train station, for instance. Probably taken some time in the 1920s just a few years after Hua Lamphong was first opened (it opened in 1916), it honestly doesn’t look that much different almost 100 years later. There are just now more people, more cars and fashions have changed — as you’ll see by the photo below it taken in 2008.

 

hua lamphong train station bangkok

hua lamphong train station bangkok 2008

 

As for where you can buy old postcards of Bangkok or other places in Thailand, your best bet is to look in the many antique shops scattered all over Bangkok or at the Chatuchak weekend market, where you’ll find a number of excellent antique stalls to browse through.

Meanwhile, you can find a whole slew of old postcards on this Bloggang site. Click on them to see them in larger size. Just be warned, the site does have music so you might want to turn down your speakers before you go there.