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Thread: Thai Historical Tidbits.

  1. #21
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    Great stuff Chob. I am going to try to get Dad's war service record (RN) Haven't a clue how yet, but if there is anything to add from it re action in the Indian Ocean side, I'd be glad to. He only opened up to me once about it during his life and it was about the fear they all felt waiting for the Jap advance.
    My BIL got my Grandfathers from the War Memorial in Canberra.
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  2. #22
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Interesting little video on Yala and the problems there.http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11721795640/video
    .

  3. #23
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    Worse than I realised

    Quote Originally Posted by wabbits View Post
    Interesting little video on Yala and the problems there.http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11721795640/video
    Excellent wabbits
    Didn't realise how bad it is on a daily basis
    Thanks

  4. #24
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RakThai View Post
    The most difficult part of history, is put put what you read in the right time and political perspective..
    In this post you word it very well I think.. Thailand was reluctant to bet on any horse in this race.. But where the French, the Brittish and the Chinese had been stealing land away..
    The japanese were non colonial..

    Very interesting in a similar discussion on the role of Thailand in the second WW on another forum, is that American history writes that Thailand was occupied by the Japanese, while European history says they collaborated..
    There are loads of arguments for both point of view, but more importantly, I think, is that the writing of history (both from the Americans as the Europeans) depends on political interests served by labeling it one way or the other..
    I just recently saw Jan Dara 2. Thai Drama mostly, where everybody has sex with every other character in the movie 555, but a few historical references. The movies paints a picture of occupation. Maybe a Thai perspective on the Japanese, one of hindsight of course, that seems to suggest occupation.

    Interesting that the missus had never heard of Hitler when I mentioned him, even after a long explanation and Google sessions. Maybe the WWII is played down, omitted, in Thai schools as a not so bright period in Thai history? Maybe the Isaan school system just isn't too comprehensive. So evidence, (not very good 555), of a collaboration perspective.

    A big grey area, I think this has always been the case from the day the first troops arrived. I think the Thai just saw little point in resisting as it would only result in a slaughter.
    Last edited by Cippy; 24th May 2013 at 15:31.
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

  5. #25
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    I have always been interested in the Vietnam era and Thailand. We know foreign P4P in Thailand started with American G.I. R&R in the country, maybe changing the culture. Isaan rice farmers started sending their daughters south, looking to them to support the family, maybe changing gender roles in Thailand. This cultural shift is my own speculation of course, I haven't done any research into the matter.

    It also interests me because my step father was stationed in Udon Thani at the (now) Udon Royal Thai Air Force Base, built the Americans to launch air sorties into Vietnam. He was a back seater in the F4 phantom fighter jets. Dad never set foot in Vietnam, but flew over almost everyday. He bought a black market Kenwood stereo there that he still uses the receiver and speakers to this day, just put the the real to real tape player in the attic about five years ago.

    I Know a guy in Loei, "Big Bob," were I find myself living now who was stationed there as well for a few years. His married a girl from Loei during the war and was probably the first Farang in the area. The stories he tells about having to leave town after dark and he and his wife not being allowed to ride in the same rickshaw, or whatever they were called, together before they were married fascinate me. I am easily amused I guess. 555 Took his wife back to the US for 17 years and has come back for retirement. I trust him when he says: "You can take the girl out of Thailand, but you can't take the Thailand out of the girl." 555

    Good way to pass an evening over a few beers, listening to his stories.
    Last edited by Cippy; 23rd May 2013 at 17:45.
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

  6. #26
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    "Maybe the WWII is played down, omitted, in Thai schools as a not so bright period in Thai history? Maybe the Isaan school system just isn't too comprehensive. So evidence, (not very good 555), of a collaboration perspective." Cippy.

    I was going to talk a bit about what Ive found about post war Thailand , but a few people like Cippy and myself have wondered what position Thailand took in World War 2 , and I guess it follows , why they did so.
    For those of you who like their history short and sweet , as far as I can see it , Thailand followed the guidelines its K!ngs had laid out in practise over the previous centuries....in short , it chose to be on its own side.
    This may not sound very courageous or 'high' morally , but the result was that while other fledgling new asian nations faced decimation and horrors in that war , the Thais comparatively speaking , came out unscathed.
    Those that controlled Thailand must have agreed , because despite being lead by the dictatorial leader Phibun during it , he was placed in control of the Thais by the Thais again AFTER the war.

    But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
    Lest have a look at Thailand coming in to the war.

    In 1925 Rama VI died. His great and powerful father , Rama V , the great Chulalongkorn , the man you see so often accompanying household and temple offerings ( the one on the horse ) , had embarked on a program of modernizing Thailand and had seen to it that his son had had a fine education in the West.

    Rama VI had further modernised the administration , introduced the Western calender to aid business , ordered the adoption of 'family' names , and even ordered the change of appearance of women. ( I have an interesting article on the latter that I'll post later). He also changed the flag. Most people , even Thais , dont know that the Thai flag up until then was a white elephant on a red background.

    But most importantly , like many of the worlds leaders , he was an ardent Nationalist. ( Still , as a k!ng , I guess thats ok..555). Nationalism was sweeping the world by the late 20s , and often sighted as a major cause of WW2 , BTW.

    King Rama VI - Thailand Life

    His younger brother became Rama VII , but seemed incapable of understanding the sweeping changes that a rapidly modernising world demanded of him.
    Because by the 30's , a new class of Thai was emerging , and they were actually ethnic Thai , and they wanted change.
    This emerging middle class had risen not through business , every source I can find asserts that the Chinese and Indians were in total control of the economy of Thailand and had been for some time , and were tolerated because of the fabulous 'tribute' they paid to the m0narch and his foremost nobility who would not dirty their hands doing lowly business. ( Even the Governor of Phuket was an Indian at this time !)
    This new class of Sino-Thais ( and Malays) had risen through the reforms in the legal system , the army , and the medical profession instigated by Ramas V and VI. They had the money to send themselves and their children to Europe , where they saw democracies , and were imbued with modern ideas which even included republicism and ant-m0narchism .
    They certainly objected to 'other' nationalities controlling their nations economy , an attitude abetted by nationalism , and the fact that they had no say in the countries government lead to increasing dissent amongst them and their student children.
    In the mean time , the Great Depression started across the world , and Rama VII , who saw it all coming , could do nothing , but cut the budgets of these newly powerful public charcters , notavly the Colonels and Magistrates and high public servants , and discontentment grew.
    Last edited by Chob; 25th May 2013 at 21:33.

  7. #27
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    The Revolution of 1932

    Anyone ever heard about this?
    I hadnt.
    But that year , the Thai K!ng was overthrown , while he was staying at that lovely restored wooden palace , many of us would have visited , 15 km north of Hua Hin.
    Theres no plaque mentioning that there. Ive been there with 3 different Thai ladies who have read the signs to me and said the same thing.
    No mention of anything even resembling a problem.
    I always scratched my head as to why this palace was left to fall to ruins after his reign...

    Maybe this goes part of the way to answering Cippys question.
    If its not nice , Thai history doesnt mention it.
    Schools certainly dont want to upset things by teaching the 'uncomfortable'.

    But Id urge anyone to go and look at this lovely colonial building , inside a Navy Base and open to the public , if they are in the vicinity of HH .

    "How to get to Maruekhathaiyawan Palace
    Maruekhathaiyawan Summer Palace is located almost halfway between Cha-Am and Hua Hin in Petchaburi province, some 10 kilometers South of Cha-Am and 15 kilometers North of Hua Hin inside the Rama VI army camp. From either place, you can easily and quickly reach it by taxi or tuk-tuk. There is also a local orange colored bus between Cha-Am and Hua Hin that will stop there on request. From Bangkok, you can either go by taxi, which would take around three hours or by train from Hualamphong station to Cha-Am and from there by tuk-tuk.
    Opening hours & admission
    The Palace can be visited every day except Wednesday from 8 am until 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday until 5 pm. Admission is 60 Thai Baht per person. Please take off your shoes when you go inside the upstairs area of the Palace. You can put your shoes in a cloth bag that is provided at the stairs and carry them until you exit the upper floor of the Palace."
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Chob; 25th May 2013 at 21:39.

  8. #28
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    So think about how the Thais would be without their K!ng. ( And think about what will happen in the not-too-distant future!)
    Seven hundred years of monarchy gone.
    And this wasnt just another palace coup , this was a take-over by near 100 commoner Thai military elite , combined with intellectuals from the judiciary , many left leaning and mostly educated in Europe.
    They called themselves , The Peoples Party.
    They had the audacity to threaten the replacement of Rama VII with another r0yal , one more liberal , but whoever it was , he would now be a Constitutional M0narch.

    He accepted , stating that he wished to avoid bloodshed , and that he had intended such changes all along.

  9. #29
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    As is usually the case with revolutions , in-fighting soon started.
    A lawyer , named Pridi, emerged as the leader of a powerful leftist faction , and even suggested nationalising all rice lands.
    Of course the people themselves just plodded on , planting their crops and harvesting their rice , but after a year of turmoil , a Royalist force mounted a counter revolt , and there was fighting in the streets in Bangkok.
    But it was put down by the army.
    Pridi was already gone.
    The leader to emerge from this was one Phibun ( Phibulsongram), ironically part Chinese , but almost fascist in his direction to make the old Siamese ( a name Ive learnt the Siamese didnt like because it means 'dark people') the modern Thai.
    The k!ng left for England and abdicated in 1935.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaek_Phibunsongkhram

  10. #30
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    The next k!ng was nominated ( by the military directed Privy Council ) as one 'Ananda Mahidol , who was conveniently 10 years old , and at school in Switzeland and unlikely to return soon.

    Now Phibun , with a policy of strong reform through powerful government , took almost complete control.
    Some call him a fascist , some a Thai for Thai reformer , some a self-serving opportunist.
    A colleague said this , "Throughout his entire life , this man has displayed not a jot of sincerity , honesty or adherence to any principles." ( Colonel Akhaney)

    It sounds to me that he was therefore very well equipped to deal with the various foreign governments that would attempt to control Thailand thru the coming crises of WW2...555

  11. #31
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Of course he did all the usual dastardly things that authoritan leaders did back then ; shut down the press and had journalists arrested , and executed 18 r0yal family members and exiled another 30 to Koh Tao and Taratao ( ever seen any signs or info about that when visiting those islands?).
    He rewarded faithful Generals with massive contracts and got handsome kickbacks ( maybe that still happens today?).
    His right hand man was named Wichit , and he was tasked with changing the rules so that Phibuns picture now replaced the K!ngs , and the Constitution now enabled only Phibuns cabinet to hold power. ( The GB ambassador labelled him , "The Thai Dr. Goebbels".)

    Theres a huge story on Phibun and his reforms worth a few posts in itself.
    I'll be brief...
    No National or Cultural Dress ( even Thai).
    Only Western Dress from now on.
    Women will wear 3/4 legth skirts , blouses and bobby socks.
    Both sexes will wear hats.
    No one will wear sarongs , or underwear or shorts on the streets.
    Farming ladies will no longer go topless ( Theres a bummer! 555)
    No sitting on pavements.
    No bathing on public roads.
    Everyone will eat with knives and forks and sit at tables to eat.
    Everyone will wai each other as a greeting.
    Everyone will say 'kah' or 'krap' once receiving their needs.


    My favourite is 'Ratthaniyom Number 4'.... that interprets as 'No pushing into queues' ..."No forceful acquisition of space such as on buses , ticket windows or at cinema entrances will occur..."
    They seem to have gladly shook that rule off after Phibuns demise! 555

    Many more classics here , BUT , this government is clearly totalitarian , and quite well equipped to understand the Japanese machine that is about to confront them.
    Last edited by Chob; 24th May 2013 at 04:10.

  12. #32
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    ..Once a teacher.. 555
    But very interesting, and told in a very easy way.. I like!

    In Thailand you always see the Rama V pictures and medallions and things..
    But when asking the average Thai why he was so important, you don't get an answer, he just is..tit..555

    So a few years back, I decided to find out what made this Rama immortal?..
    And at first, it seems like he wasn't all that succesfull.. During his reign, Thailand lost a lot of land to the French, to the Brittish and to the Chinese..
    The most importanat change was the westernizing of Thailand, introducing fork and spoon instead of chobsticks..

    But then I found an interesting thing..
    Starts in 1828, when the Prince of Vientiane revolted.. The central power of Siam did not let this pass and went to war against him..
    Siam won, the Vientine elite were killed and the population was deported and put into slavery in the Thai Northeast, which at that time must have been mainly tropical rainforest..
    So the Isarn people were kept as slaves, put to work on deforestration and crop growing..

    France had missed the battle in Europe on colonizing land, and was set back economicly as a result of this..
    France, which before the colonizing had started was the main power in Europe, but now the British had taken over and left the French way behind..
    So France was desperate to gain more land in the world, preferably without going to war with the British..
    And expanding Indochine, as the french colony of Vietnam was called seemed the best way..

    Little pieces had been fought over and gained, but Frnace wanted more..
    When the American civil war had ended in favour on the north, slavery by the western world had (laregly) come to an end, and this seemed to be a good excuse to conquer Siam, a slave keeping nation..
    It got as far that the French marine had their ships up the Chao Praya river, when Rama V did his best at damage control..

    Yes, he gave away large parts of land, land that is now Cambodia and Laos, but safed Siam from being colonized..
    One of the things that helped, was that he openly abolished slavery..

    I think that must be why the Isarn people are forever grateful and still honour him today..

  13. #33
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    ^^ Sounds a bit like the National Party here in SA when they came in to power...
    There was a rule stating the distance that males and females had to keep between themselves at public swimming pools..

  14. #34
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Shouldn't this thread be up a level?..... all this talk about the monarch.
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

  15. #35
    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Massively riveting Chob is my fav thread more please kind sir.
    History is always written by the victors...The truth is a little harder to find.55555
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  16. #36
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nubbins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cippy View Post
    Interesting that the missus had never heard of Hitler when I mentioned her, even after a long explanation and Google sessions. Maybe the WWII is played down, omitted, in Thai schools as a not so bright period in Thai history? Maybe the Isaan school system just isn't too comprehensive. So evidence, (not very good 555), of a collaboration perspective.

    A big grey area, I think this has always been the case from the day the first troops arrived. I think the Thai just saw little point in resisting as it would only result in a slaughter.
    I just checked this with my TG and got absolutely the same response when I asked her about Hitler. She had never heard of him.

  17. #37
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Have some problems with your tg , and try to revisit and analyse the problem a week later.
    The inevitable , "Why you make problem again?" will usually be asked.
    Thais generally would prefer to 'bury' past dramas , the idea of dissecting previous problems in order to avoid the same issue in the future is alien to them.
    Having said that , if we westerners were so good at the above , one would assume we would eventually run out of problems , but that isnt the case , is it?

  18. #38
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน slampay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubbins View Post
    I just checked this with my TG and got absolutely the same response when I asked her about Hitler. She had never heard of him.
    That's amazing. And kinda sad?

  19. #39
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    Have some problems with your tg , and try to revisit and analyse the problem a week later.
    The inevitable , "Why you make problem again?" will usually be asked.
    Thais generally would prefer to 'bury' past dramas , the idea of dissecting previous problems in order to avoid the same issue in the future is alien to them.
    Having said that , if we westerners were so good at the above , one would assume we would eventually run out of problems , but that isnt the case , is it?
    Interesting point, this is one issue I have gone over and over with my TG. I tell her that keeping all her problems bottled up will just bring them back sooner or later and they will never get better. I go on to explain how therapeutic it can be to talk about problems, explain to her about therapist, psychology and the thousands of years it has taken to develop this science. I, for one, think this does help even if doesn't resolve our issues. Thing is, as we get older new problems arise, dealing with aging, raising children, etc. If we are still dealing with problems that have followed us from childhood, how equipped are we to deal with new problems that always do arise in life? I see many complaints on these boards about how long it takes a TG to grow up. Maybe this is connected? Again, my own musings, wrong or right.

    Don't get me wrong, forgetting (burying) problems works in some cases, but I think more often than not it will come back in some way shape or form. I consider myself lucky that she actually is changing to my point of view on this. Sometimes to my regret! 555 But best in the long run.
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

  20. #40
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    ^^^ Don't try too hard there Clippy.. It is a cultural trait as much as anything, and you are not going to change thousands of years of the way of doing things over night.

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