Category: Buildings

British Embassy in Bangkok

The original British Legation in Bangkok was alongside the river on Charoen Krung Road. A new 12 acre plot of land was bought on Ploenchit road in March 1922. As it was on the outskirts of Bangkok, many British subjects complained that it wouldn’t be convenient to go there. The first structure to be built was the War Memorial in 1923. The Queen Victoria statue and flagstaff were also moved here. The buildings in the compound, including The Residence, pictured on this page, were completed four years after the purchase of the land. Sir Robert Greg, the Head of Mission at that time, entered into residence on 22nd September 1926, a little later than planned due to some delays. He wrote at the time,  “What is a few weeks’ delay when you have built almost for eternity?” Little did he know that the Ambassador’s Residence is unlikely to reach its 100th anniversary. Four acres of the property was sold in 2006 to make way for Central Embassy. The War Memorial was moved to the front of the Residence and Queen Victoria’s statue was moved around the back. Now it looks like the rest of the embassy ground will be sold off. What will happen to the statue and war memorial? The embassy will most likely move to an office block.

More photos….

US Ambassador’s Residence in Bangkok

One of the most beautiful residences in Bangkok is occupied by the US Ambassador. The wooden house on stilts, which is surrounded by a lush 10 acre garden, actually belongs to the Crown Property Bureau. The main house was built in 1914 by Henry Victor Bailey, an English architect. Upon his death it was sold to the Finance Ministry in 1920. During the Second World War it was briefly occupied by Japanese troops. In 1947, the Thais leased it to the American government as a token of their gratitude in not punishing them for taking the wrong side during the war. Today, the property is valued at around $90 million. The future is uncertain as the Crown Property Bureau has made it known in the past that it may take back the compound. Let’s hope that they decide to preserve both the house and the gardens. These photos were taken during a Christmas party at the residence.

More photos….

Centenary of Bangkok Railway Station

IMG_2623

The Bangkok Railway Station, known to local people as Hua Lamphong Station, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The historic station was officially opened on 25th June 1916. This is the main railway station in Bangkok. It is situated in the center of the city in Pathum Wan District. However, its days are numbered as this terminal station will be relocated to Bang Sue in northern Bangkok in 2019. This is due to congestion and traffic problems at railway crossings. It’s believed that the present 100 year old station in Bangkok will become a railway museum.

More photos….

French Ambassador’s Residence in Bangkok

French Embassy in Bangkok

Every year, people in France have a chance to visit the hidden treasures of less well-known sites such as banks, courts, prefectures, chambers of commerce etc., all sorts of buildings that are usually closed to the public or rarely visited. European Heritage Days in France are held on the third weekend of September. In Bangkok we also have a chance to join European Heritage Days by visiting the French Embassy. The original building dates back to the 1830’s, however it has been added onto extensively during the 20th Century. Then during the last decade it went through another series of renovations to modernize it. During the open day, you are allowed up to the living room and large dining room on the second floor, then down to the reception room on the ground floor and the swimming pool around the back.

More photos….