As a local, it is easy to forget just how much our city has transformed over the years.

Although Bangkok has become one of the world’s premier metropolises, it hasn’t always been this way. Some parts of Bangkok, many would argue, are unrecognizable from what they were twenty years ago.

For a long period of time, Bangkok was a rambling, dusty town, known for its novel old-world charm. The city carried an incomparable vibrancy, comprised of untidy shopping streets, honking tuk tuks, and steaming food carts- most of which are becoming increasingly hard to come by today.

While tourists were common, the city was not a major destination back then. Visitors to the Kingdom could be guaranteed an authentic, sincere experience of Thailand, the wondrous monuments and grand palaces, and the local livelihoods of Thais living within the meandering khlongs that convene around the city.

Fast forward twenty years, Bangkok has boomed into a modern cosmopolitan city with an increasingly western presence. Modern infrastructure conveniences like the BTS Sky Train and the underground MRT Subway, extravagant shopping malls and a raft of luxury hotels have all added a newfangled dynamic to the city’s identity.

Below we share with you a collection of photos from the Old Bangkok and New.

 

SIAM CENTER, THEN AND NOW

Siam Center was one of Bangkok’s first major shopping attractions when it opened in 1973.

Siam Center was one of Bangkok’s first major shopping attractions when it opened in 1973.

 

Here it is in 1985.

Here it is in 1985.

 HomeHot TopicsSukhumvit Through The Years Sukhumvit Through The Years Staff Writer  16th October 2015  Hot Topics Sukhumvit Road Bangkok is one of the world’s premier metropolitan cities. But it hasn’t always been this way. As we’ll see, by taking a trip in time down the Sukhumvit Line… Here are some revealing photos of Bangkok past and present. PHROM PHONG, THEN AND NOW This is the Sukhumvit Road, near Soi 24, in 1969: Phrom Phong old photo Source: Thaivisa.com Admin ‘Tywais’, found in this thread The Chokchai Building is under construction in this photo, soon destined to become the home of the CIA. Today it houses a UOB branch. It’s good to see the tuk tuks still look the same! Fast forward to Phrom Phong in 2015; now one of the busiest hubs of the city: bangkok through the years By Anton (CC BY 2.0 licence) The BTS skytrain (opened in 1999) cuts through a valley of skyscrapers. SIAM CENTER, THEN AND NOW Siam Center was one of Bangkok’s first major shopping attractions when it opened in 1973. Siam Center old photo Source: Unknown The plaza became a meeting point for the young, hip and fashionable. A reputation it carries to this day as a Mecca for young Thai designers. Here it is in 1985: Siam Center 1985 Source: Unknown We can make out the promo poster for The Killing Fields; an 80s classic starring Sam Waterston. Siam Center has undergone four facelifts, including major works after a fire in 1995.

Siam Center has undergone four facelifts, including major works after a fire in 1995.

PHROM PHONG, THEN AND NOW

phrom-phong-old-photo

phrom phong today

CENTRALWORLD, THEN AND NOW

CentralWorld started as the World Trade Center in 1990

CentralWorld started as the World Trade Center in 1990

The mall reopened in 2007 as CentralWorld

The mall reopened in 2007 as CentralWorld

 

NANA, THEN AND NOW

 

The photo was taken in 1974 and shows the famous Nana Hotel.

The photo was taken in 1974 and shows the famous Nana Hotel.

 

soi-nana

PATHUMWAN, THEN AND NOW

The slums of Pathumwan are captured here in 1979.

The slums of Pathumwan are captured here in 1979.

Just six years later this area would be transformed in to, at that time, the largest shopping mall in Asia: MBK.

Just six years later this area would be transformed in to, at that time, the largest shopping mall in Asia: MBK.