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Bangkok in the 1970's


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On 5/2/2021 at 3:17 PM, cnx1204 said:

Sanam Luang 1969 but doesn't help the topic any.  Poor scan of a slide.

 

99989662_BKK007SanamLuang1969.thumb.jpg.859b81c6d09a41e3f194ba8ae713b251.jpg

my first trip to that market was in late 1968, still have two wooden elephants that I bought there for 100 baht each, that would have been five US dollars back then

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On 4/6/2021 at 6:08 PM, dekestone said:

I didn't get here until 1980 and I've only watched 2 episodes so far, but thought they got a couple of things right. The place they used for Kanit House has that older Bangkok apartment style -- the stairway, the pool, the layout of the apt and the furniture. It actually looks a lot like the original Kanit which was off Silom (no longer standing). Also the lack of A.C. everywhere. Even the Dutch embassy doesn't have it as Knippenberg always has his door open. That I remember. Don't recognize the beer they're drinking. Think back then it was mostly Singha, Amarit or Kloster.

 

For those who don't know, Kanit House was demolished and The Legend Saladaeng built on that corner plot. I lived in a very similar building facing Kanit House for 7 years in the 80s and 90s and it was very similar to Kanit House portrayed in the show.

 

I wasn't in BKK in the 70s but the show definitely portrayed how i remember it in the 80s and 90s. I thought they did a great job of showing BKK.  

 

One thing i noticed that didn't strike me as authentic (minor point). Dragon fruit is shown in the show but i don't remember seeing it in Thailand until sometime in the 2000s - i first saw it in the 90s in Vietnam and i had no idea what it was and thought it very exotic. In the 2000s it became popular to grow in Thailand - according to my brother in law back who was growing it back then, it was because its very easy and cheap to grow.

 

I really enjoyed the show!

 

  

 

 

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On 4/6/2021 at 6:44 PM, Aforek said:

In the seventies, ( from 1975 for me ) , one of the" big  hotel "for backpapers was the " Thai song greet hotel ", I stayed there every time I came to Bangkok; maybe this guy " The Serpent " stayed ' there sometimes, too  ; the other one was the " Malaysia " 

 

Thai Song Greet Hotel - Bangkok (mgnewman.com)

Charles Sobhraj aka The Serpent actually rented an apartment in Kannikar Court Soi Saladaeng

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On 4/5/2021 at 7:04 AM, Yellowtail said:

Given Netflix track record anything they do is suspect....

Is that not the show I saw on BBC earlier in the year?

 

I didn't realise it was a Netflix production.

 

Just  googled it, the mini series I saw was a BBC production and 

was a bit rubbish. I only watched the first episode which seemed to 

go on for hours. I didn't bother with the rest.

 

Now my interest has been rekindled I may give it another go and hope 

it's improved.

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Lots of time in Thailand and Goa, Mumbai, may have met him using a false identity in Arthur Road Prison Mumbai. A male body was found buried near the beach in Colva, maggots were eating it. The cops cleaned it up and brought photos of the body on the slab, wondering if we knew or met the victim, Charles could have killed him, his throat was slit. Colva Beach Goa 71.

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On 4/17/2021 at 9:15 AM, Why Me said:

He seemed to make friends first, win their trust and find out what they owned. Man definitely had more than just a menacing smirk and a powder in his pocket.

 

And I don't know if the part about Suda is an embellishment or not. But if it is true then that is a testament to a gifted loverboy. For a foreigner to seduce a hiso Thai gal is not easy at all:-)

In the series, she was the daughter of a traffic cop - not so hiso.

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There are some threads in which those of us who came in the mid sixties describe what Bangkok and Chiang Mai were like in those days.  Patpong was just a normal street with a bar on each side of the street.  The Chiang Mai night market was just two pickup trucks selling handicrafts.  New Phetburi Road was being developed.  There were only two English bookstores in Bangkok.  How times have changed!  I think that Thailand's heyday is over.  Lets see how things turn out post-pandemic.

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14 hours ago, shoupy said:

The reason it reminded you of the Miami hotel was because it was filmed at the Miami hotel.  I first stayed at the Miami in 1972.  Paradise on earth.  Room with pool - $4.00, flaming Shish-ka-bob served by a waiter wearing a white jacket - $1.50, 24 hour companion - $5.00.  Pack of Winston cigarettes replaced with Thai stick - $5.00.

Are you sure The Miami Hotel was used in filming, I cannot find any reference to it being used, It did cross my mind it looked a bit like it, I did stay there a few times in the late 80s.

https://thecinemaholic.com/where-was-the-serpent-filmed/

 

A YouTuber did a video on the locations of the series, but no mention of the Miami

 

 

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22 hours ago, pattayamick said:

Charles Sobhraj aka The Serpent actually rented an apartment in Kannikar Court Soi Saladaeng

 

Kannikar Court is opposite Kanit  House on Soi Saladaeng. In The Serpent they show Sobhraj living at Kanit House. Kannikar Court is still there, and is typical of all those old BKK apartment buildings.

 

I lived in a similar old apartment building on Sathorn Rd, and Sobhraj's apartment in the show reminded me so much of where i lived. From my living room i looked out at Kannikar Court and Kanit  House two minutes walk away.

 

Across Sathorn Rd was/is The King's Hotel, infamous place built in the 50s. The Malaysia Hotel is 5 minutes drive as is Patpong from  Kanit  House. No doubt he frequented all of them.

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13 hours ago, DogNo1 said:

There are some threads in which those of us who came in the mid sixties describe what Bangkok and Chiang Mai were like in those days.  Patpong was just a normal street with a bar on each side of the street.  The Chiang Mai night market was just two pickup trucks selling handicrafts.  New Phetburi Road was being developed.  There were only two English bookstores in Bangkok.  How times have changed!  I think that Thailand's heyday is over.  Lets see how things turn out post-pandemic.

 

And back in the 80s and 90s (no doubt the 70s also) the 'go-to' for what was on in BKK was Trink's page. I used to have the BKK Post delivered for years and after reading the front and back pages it was straight to Trink's page to find out what was on at the cinemas and which bars were doing what (there were only a few pubs / bars - Toby Jug, Bobby's, etc - so going to Patpong was no different than going to the pub back then).

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I agree with those who say the actor plays Sobraj as far too obviously menacing and untrustworthy-looking. We Westerners may have been somewhat more innocent of the ways of the Orient in those days, but we knew a dodgy character when we met one, and yet the backpackers in the series seem to fall for him and his schtick one after the other.

 

As for the locations, costumes and detail, I only arrived mid-eighties, by which time the old Bangkok was on the cusp of change as the economic boom of the Prem years took place, but I think the costume people, stylists etc generally did a good job in their portrayal of that vanished era. 

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On 4/8/2021 at 7:12 AM, Why Me said:

You are quite right. I looked up the actress who plays Suda because she's cute. Her name is Chicha Amatayakul and she was born in 1993. So much for 70s authenticity.

 

Maybe if they'd have employed an actress that was what? 20 years old in the 70's? you wouldn't think she was so cute now 50 years later, and it wouldn't have fit into the visuals either.

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On 4/12/2021 at 4:51 PM, Filer said:

I got the Serpent series from Netflix a few weeks ago and started watching it before this topic came up in Thaivisa. I am an old Bangkok hand, familiar with the central part of Bangkok since the 70s (my first arrival being 1978).

 

My first reaction was that this looked genuinely like old Bangkok of the 1970s – so much so that I wondered whether it was in fact an old production that had now been re-issued with some enhancements (just like old movies such as The Third Man (1949) have been reissued/enhanced a number of times). In the Serpent, the street scenes, houses and small old hotels with rooms around a pool looked genuine. It was good to see the old Atlanta hotel in Suk. Soi 2, with its art deco architecture, put in an appearance; also expats gathering and playing tennis at the Bangkok British Club, which has been around, little changed, since the early 1900s.

 

I then checked the production details and found that it was in fact a newly filmed series. However, they’ve done quite a good job, in my view, in capturing the feel of Bangkok and its buildings and streets 40+ years back. Naturally, one or two of their “short-cuts” were a little irritating: for example, using the British Club’s imposing main building of 1910 for the British Embassy/Consulate and using clips of aircraft in flight that are contemporary planes and weren’t around in the 1970s.

 

Overall, in my view, a very good attempt to recreate the feel of 1970s Bangkok.

 

Although not arriving in Bangkok until the late eighties myself I was also impressed with what looked like the 'old feel' of the production regarding the streets, buildings, cars, atmosphere etc.

 

Made me wonder if any such areas still exist that they filmed in or it was the magic of CGI?

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On 4/20/2021 at 6:13 AM, bojo said:

fabulous link, really paints a picture............ brief extract.......'making coffee using a great long filter that looked like an old gym sock'......................this hotel reminds me of the Miami hotel in BKK, stayed there in '91, all echoey, high ceilings, terrazzo floors cheap with quintessential rude Thai/Chinese receptionist, great times

 

 

And a pool in the central courtyard that you could dive into from the surrounding balcony if you were drunk / stoned enough 😱

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On 5/5/2021 at 7:04 PM, shy coconut said:

Is that not the show I saw on BBC earlier in the year?

 

I didn't realise it was a Netflix production.

 

Just  googled it, the mini series I saw was a BBC production and 

was a bit rubbish. I only watched the first episode which seemed to 

go on for hours. I didn't bother with the rest.

 

Now my interest has been rekindled I may give it another go and hope 

it's improved.

 

The Netflix one IS the BBC production, they bought it off the Beeb.

Edited by LongTimeLurker
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4 hours ago, LongTimeLurker said:

 

Maybe if they'd have employed an actress that was what? 20 years old in the 70's? you wouldn't think she was so cute now 50 years later, and it wouldn't have fit into the visuals either.

Never thought of that. You are a very smart man Long.

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