What was Thailand like 50 years ago?
It is a question many people think about when they see the rapid modernization of Thai cities in the 21st century. Funnily, though, as you will see from this United Nations video that was filmed in Thailand more than 50 years ago (1966), little has actually changed in many Thai villages. Even in the 21st century.
Many families still live in the same traditional Thai houses on stilts, they eat the same food, farm with buffaloes the same way they have always done, and the children even wear the same school uniforms.
If you shop at traditional Thai stores in towns like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, you will still see the same types of stores like the one where the father buys the kerosene lantern and, yes, they are still selling many of the same things.
What is funny about the video too is it was put out by the United Nations, but they never mention the country it was filmed in. Just keep talking about ‘south east Asia’ as if every country in the region was exactly the same. If you have never visited the area, the differences between each country are absolutely drastic, so it is a very strange error on the US’s part.
Do watch the video though. It is a fascinating snapshot of traditional Thai life in 1966, and even more interesting when you think the boy in the video will now be well into his 50s and many of the older people will have since passed on.
Thanks to Michael Rogge, too, for featuring the video on his YouTube page.