Thonburi

Thonburi is an area in Bangkok, Thailand. Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, it is an area that has its place in the Thai history. From 1767 to 1782, it was the capital of the Thailand under King Taksin, after the previous capital Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese. In 1782, King Rama I took over power and moved the capital across the river to the present day Bangkok. Thonburi remained as an independent town and province until 1972, when it was merged into Bangkok metropolitan area.

During the night bike tour when we’re visiting Bangkok, we rode through Thonburi after crossing the river in a ferry. It was quite a contrast comparing the section of Thonburi that we visited to the Banglamphu area across the river. The Thonburi area was a quiet residential neighborhood that’s nothing close to the busy Khao San Road. The area that we passed reminded me to some residential area in Jakarta, Indonesia — small homes lining up on the sides of very narrow streets and alleys, some were not even wide enough to be accessible by cars. It was mostly quiet, in some homes we could see and hear residents watching TV, cooking dinners, or simply just enjoying the company of others — just a quiet night in a residential neighborhood.

I thought it was interesting to think about this place as the center of power at one point in Thailand history. I wonder if the present residents knew about that fact, and even if they did, if that really mattered much to them. Most of the neighborhoods we rode through seemed to be of a lower class economically, so I’m guessing thinking about the history was the last thing in their minds.

The photo below was taken when we stopped outside a temple in Thonburi. It was very quiet and somewhat dark in the area. Our guide Tami gave us a little history and culture lesson there.

Temple in Thonburi

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