Bangkok’s history is fascinating. Its spaghetti-like maze of streets and alleys that have been worked and reworked since before the city was founded in 1782, and peeling back the layers of 230+ years of history reveals some incredibly interesting stuff.
One of the best ways to appreciate this is with a book called Bangkok Then & Now by Steve Van Beek, the 4th edition of which was just released. Steve is an old Bangkok hand and in his forty-plus years in Bangkok has amassed an impressive collection of photos and information on the capital throughout the years. (Read this post where Steve, his wife, and I took part in an extremely complex tea ceremony with a certified tea master).
One of the most interesting features of the book is side-by-side comparisons of photos taken decades apart from the same spot. I thought it might be a really good fit for a blog post with a before/after effect, so here we go!
There’s Steve’s book above. I’ve also included some interesting quotes from the Bangkok Times Newspaper, from 1900 and 1901, also taken from the book, just to break things up a bit.