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Chiang Mai in the past.


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Any idea what year that is?

My first visit was in 1974. The traffic around the moat was as bonkers bad as pre corona, and there was no lift up to Doi Suthep temple. Lot of stairs to climb. One of the royals must have been staying in the palace because there were soldiers stationed on every corner of the road up the hill.

The second hand shops on the north side of the moat were full of American army gear ( ? from Vietnam ).

Only had one day/ night there so don't remember much else.

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Does anyone know when the movie theater was shut down across the intersection from Pantip Plaza? Has anyone ventured in there and poked around? Must be fascinating. It saddens me to think it has just been left there to rot when in my mind it could have been a great attraction given the location. But I suppose all those old theaters were abandoned because they weren't a draw anymore. Amazing it just sits there year after year...

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Checked with some locals they reckon about 60 years ago....Price of gold then was 600 baht per baht, today about 28000 baht if not mistaken..

Been to the demolished cinema it was large then it was converted to Khan Tok dinner and show...My first trip to Chiangmai was in 1969 it was more modern than the video..

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17 minutes ago, Aussiepeter said:

A similar hotel building that had been "modified" collapsed in the early 90's (in Udon Thani from memory), killing a US Medal of Honour winner from the Vietnam conflict, his Thai wife & others eating dinner. After that they clamped down on illegally modified high-rise buildings. 

Are you thinking of the Royal Plaza collapse in Korat? It was illegally modified, but from three stories to six, so not a high rise per se.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_of_the_Royal_Plaza_Hotel

 

Edited by khunjeff
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1 hour ago, Aussiepeter said:

The best secret is Asia's first ever revolving restaurant, which sits on top of the long abandoned Bpoy Luang Hotel.

This was actually demolished last year and apparently they are going to build a new hospital there.

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3 hours ago, Aussiepeter said:

I lived in C Mai for twenty-five years or so, but finally left in 2013. At one stage I visited many of the abandoned buildings and wrote a story about them for a local magazine, only to have them lose my draft. The movie theatre was still operating in 1989 as I went there once or twice - very nice & very cheap (no double pricing). I recall a sad occasion when a farang was found dead there after the end of a film. Apparently a cobra had slithered in at some time during the film and had bitten him several times - it was rainy season. If you go down Changklan Rd past the old theatre about 500m, just before the next traffic lights there is an abandoned 14 storey building in a Soi on the right - it's been there unfinished  since at least 1990. It had been approved as eight floors from memory, but the builder illegally added extra floors. A similar hotel building that had been "modified" collapsed in the early 90's (in Udon Thani from memory), killing a US Medal of Honour winner from the Vietnam conflict, his Thai wife & others eating dinner. After that they clamped down on illegally modified high-rise buildings. They demolished the old railway hotel opposite C Mai railway station, but not before I climbed up to the top and got some amazing (pre-digital) photos. The best secret is Asia's first ever revolving restaurant, which sits on top of the long abandoned Bpoy Luang Hotel. It is on the main highway intersection with the road coming from the railway station. I left in 2013, but it was still there a few years ago when I visited. (I did write about it a while back on 'tv'). Assuming it is still there, it looks like a smaller round room on top of an old white rectangular building. I rode a Honda Dream up the ramp/fire-esape to the top about 20 years ago & climbed into the old revolving restaurant. It was a big G.I. hotel in the Vietnam War & had a disco-like mirror-ball in the revolving restaurant & it had a big swimming pool in the rear. All the lifts etc have been removed and it is just a shell now, but it was incredible back in 1968 or so. They started to refurb it in the 90's as a hospital, but the 97 crash killed it. They fixed up a couple of rooms and filmed episodes of a popular Thai 'soap' opera there in the early 90's too. I actually appeared in that show quite by accident, when I stopped & asked a BIB for directions (I speak local Thai). The 'cop' laughed and told me in perfect English that he was not a real cop but was an actor and, "would I mind riding my motorbike up the street again and asking him the same question, so they could film it" ! I was famous in local bars for a week to two. The 90's were a fantastic time to be in Chiang Mai (or elsewhere in Thailand for that matter) and, the air was clean !

I think that abandoned building 500m down Changklan and right onto a soi has been....wait for it.....refurbished! I could be wrong and I might have your soi wrong but I do remember a big graffiti covered shell that it seemed they used for rappelling or something. Anyway, driving by there a few weeks ago I was looking for that building and what I saw was a fixed up one. I could have been out of my tree, though. I will have to check again.

 

I did eyeball that round rest. many a time and wonder. I didn't realize it had been demolished. 

 

The cobra story seems hard to believe. I mean, wouldn't he have cried out? But what do I know??

 

Thank you for the info!

Edited by bamboozled
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In the frame on Nawarat Bridge, the caption says พ.ศ. 2010, but in the sound track she says 2510, which makes more sense. พ.ศ. 2010 would be 1467 AD. พ.ศ.
 2510 would be 1967 AD. I'm surprised they were still using so many pedicabs. I first came to Bangkok in 1972, and they had been outlawed there by then. I didn't bother looking through the rest of the video to see if any other dates were given.

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15 hours ago, Aussiepeter said:

I lived in C Mai for twenty-five years or so, but finally left in 2013. At one stage I visited many of the abandoned buildings and wrote a story about them for a local magazine, only to have them lose my draft. The movie theatre was still operating in 1989 as I went there once or twice - very nice & very cheap (no double pricing). I recall a sad occasion when a farang was found dead there after the end of a film. Apparently a cobra had slithered in at some time during the film and had bitten him several times - it was rainy season. If you go down Changklan Rd past the old theatre about 500m, just before the next traffic lights there is an abandoned 14 storey building in a Soi on the right - it's been there unfinished  since at least 1990. It had been approved as eight floors from memory, but the builder illegally added extra floors. A similar hotel building that had been "modified" collapsed in the early 90's (in Udon Thani from memory), killing a US Medal of Honour winner from the Vietnam conflict, his Thai wife & others eating dinner. After that they clamped down on illegally modified high-rise buildings. They demolished the old railway hotel opposite C Mai railway station, but not before I climbed up to the top and got some amazing (pre-digital) photos. The best secret is Asia's first ever revolving restaurant, which sits on top of the long abandoned Bpoy Luang Hotel. It is on the main highway intersection with the road coming from the railway station. I left in 2013, but it was still there a few years ago when I visited. (I did write about it a while back on 'tv'). Assuming it is still there, it looks like a smaller round room on top of an old white rectangular building. I rode a Honda Dream up the ramp/fire-esape to the top about 20 years ago & climbed into the old revolving restaurant. It was a big G.I. hotel in the Vietnam War & had a disco-like mirror-ball in the revolving restaurant & it had a big swimming pool in the rear. All the lifts etc have been removed and it is just a shell now, but it was incredible back in 1968 or so. They started to refurb it in the 90's as a hospital, but the 97 crash killed it. They fixed up a couple of rooms and filmed episodes of a popular Thai 'soap' opera there in the early 90's too. I actually appeared in that show quite by accident, when I stopped & asked a BIB for directions (I speak local Thai). The 'cop' laughed and told me in perfect English that he was not a real cop but was an actor and, "would I mind riding my motorbike up the street again and asking him the same question, so they could film it" ! I was famous in local bars for a week to two. The 90's were a fantastic time to be in Chiang Mai (or elsewhere in Thailand for that matter) and, the air was clean !

Good post.

I suppose you have been in the "haunted" building inside the moat on the north west corner. Apparently it's quite well known.

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4 hours ago, bangkok19 said:

These days I walk a lot around Chiang Mai and enjoy still seeing small remnants from the past. 

Likewise ( at least when I lived in C M ). I discovered the real gems of C M hidden away and thankfully ignored by the tourists.

I suppose they are the only things I miss about C M. the "new" city could be anywhere and isn't IMO in any way "special".

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On 9/23/2021 at 6:43 AM, thaibeachlovers said:

Any idea what year that is?

My first visit was in 1974. The traffic around the moat was as bonkers bad as pre corona, and there was no lift up to Doi Suthep temple. Lot of stairs to climb. One of the royals must have been staying in the palace because there were soldiers stationed on every corner of the road up the hill.

The second hand shops on the north side of the moat were full of American army gear ( ? from Vietnam ).

Only had one day/ night there so don't remember much else.

It was a dirt road then, slow going during the rainy season. there was no train station, it looked like a bus stop.

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On 9/23/2021 at 8:01 PM, khunjeff said:

Are you thinking of the Royal Plaza collapse in Korat? It was illegally modified, but from three stories to six, so not a high rise per se.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_of_the_Royal_Plaza_Hotel

 

That was the one. I remember the cause was they put up a lot of water tanks on the roof and piped water up to them. The building couldn't handle the weight of the additional floors plus all the extra weight of the full water tanks and the whole place suddenly collapsed. So sad for a Medal-of- Honour winner to go that way. Over the many years I lived in Chiang Mai, I met a number of military veterans who had also survived major battles, only to die from 'misadventure' in Thailand.

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14 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Good post.

I suppose you have been in the "haunted" building inside the moat on the north west corner. Apparently it's quite well known.

Yes, I had a look through it but it was un-exciting, to say the least ! 

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On 9/23/2021 at 10:56 PM, bamboozled said:

I think that abandoned building 500m down Changklan and right onto a soi has been....wait for it.....refurbished! I could be wrong and I might have your soi wrong but I do remember a big graffiti covered shell that it seemed they used for rappelling or something. Anyway, driving by there a few weeks ago I was looking for that building and what I saw was a fixed up one. I could have been out of my tree, though. I will have to check again.

 

I did eyeball that round rest. many a time and wonder. I didn't realize it had been demolished. 

 

The cobra story seems hard to believe. I mean, wouldn't he have cried out? But what do I know??

 

Thank you for the info!

The chap who died from snakebite had consumed quite a lot of alcohol before going to see the movie and may even have fallen asleep. He was wearing shorts and flip-flops (thongs for us Aussies) and the cobra had bitten him on his foot. According to my wife, when the lights came on at the end of the film, the locals just thought he was asleep. She told me she wouldn't ever go in there - Thais tend to avoid areas that may be "ghost-prone". 

 

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11 hours ago, Aussiepeter said:

The chap who died from snakebite had consumed quite a lot of alcohol before going to see the movie and may even have fallen asleep. He was wearing shorts and flip-flops (thongs for us Aussies) and the cobra had bitten him on his foot. According to my wife, when the lights came on at the end of the film, the locals just thought he was asleep. She told me she wouldn't ever go in there - Thais tend to avoid areas that may be "ghost-prone". 

 

Furthermore....what was playing?? I want to avoid watching that movie!

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On 9/23/2021 at 4:44 PM, Aussiepeter said:

I lived in C Mai for twenty-five years or so, but finally left in 2013. At one stage I visited many of the abandoned buildings and wrote a story about them for a local magazine, only to have them lose my draft. The movie theatre was still operating in 1989 as I went there once or twice - very nice & very cheap (no double pricing). I recall a sad occasion when a farang was found dead there after the end of a film. Apparently a cobra had slithered in at some time during the film and had bitten him several times - it was rainy season. If you go down Changklan Rd past the old theatre about 500m, just before the next traffic lights there is an abandoned 14 storey building in a Soi on the right - it's been there unfinished  since at least 1990. It had been approved as eight floors from memory, but the builder illegally added extra floors. A similar hotel building that had been "modified" collapsed in the early 90's (in Udon Thani from memory), killing a US Medal of Honour winner from the Vietnam conflict, his Thai wife & others eating dinner. After that they clamped down on illegally modified high-rise buildings. They demolished the old railway hotel opposite C Mai railway station, but not before I climbed up to the top and got some amazing (pre-digital) photos. The best secret is Asia's first ever revolving restaurant, which sits on top of the long abandoned Bpoy Luang Hotel. It is on the main highway intersection with the road coming from the railway station. I left in 2013, but it was still there a few years ago when I visited. (I did write about it a while back on 'tv'). Assuming it is still there, it looks like a smaller round room on top of an old white rectangular building. I rode a Honda Dream up the ramp/fire-esape to the top about 20 years ago & climbed into the old revolving restaurant. It was a big G.I. hotel in the Vietnam War & had a disco-like mirror-ball in the revolving restaurant & it had a big swimming pool in the rear. All the lifts etc have been removed and it is just a shell now, but it was incredible back in 1968 or so. They started to refurb it in the 90's as a hospital, but the 97 crash killed it. They fixed up a couple of rooms and filmed episodes of a popular Thai 'soap' opera there in the early 90's too. I actually appeared in that show quite by accident, when I stopped & asked a BIB for directions (I speak local Thai). The 'cop' laughed and told me in perfect English that he was not a real cop but was an actor and, "would I mind riding my motorbike up the street again and asking him the same question, so they could film it" ! I was famous in local bars for a week to two. The 90's were a fantastic time to be in Chiang Mai (or elsewhere in Thailand for that matter) and, the air was clean !

'92- Black Cat Bar off the Moat road (I think near a bar named Johns?), had some crazy times there!

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17 hours ago, DrPhibes said:

'92- Black Cat Bar off the Moat road (I think near a bar named Johns?), had some crazy times there!

Close...  yes the BLACK CAT BAR was behind the OASIS, you walked down the lane alongside the OASIS.

Further down that Soi (walking towards the Anodard) on the RHS was the PATTANA MEAT FACTORY. (It's now a Guest House). Its high walls and gate always had a Thai Army guy nearby...   Stewart from the OASIS told me it was KUHN SAH'S Chiang Mai H.Q.   At the time he was the #1 Opium producer/trafficker in S.E.Asia. (I'm talking 1988/89).

There were always a couple of spooks from the CNX U.S. Consulate in the Oasis drinking with Stewart keeping their eyes on the comings and goings at the "Pattana Meat Factory".  After Stewart's passing, conspiracy theorists often said that Stewart was a lot more than his Aeronautical Engineer profession, but rather, another 'spook' or 'ex-spook' and named his bar after the O.A.S.

Every time I walk past that small guest house and see the farang women on the deck chairs I think to myself....  little do you know!   

When the OASIS finally closed (around '90) many of 'the girls' moved on to other bars, I saw several of them at the newly opened TOP NORTH CENTER.

Another intimate little outdoor (yet indoor) bar was the BIG BEER BAR in Kotchasarn Rd. It was right near the AROON RAI Restaurant. The SPOTLIGHT was just down the road and it was a small little place (trying to be a 'go-go bar)..  later on it bought the shophouse next door and expanded..  the only go-go bar on the "strip".

Further into the early 90's and the BA BA BO BO opened on one corner of LOI KROH, and there already was an IRISH BAR the other corner.  Next to the BA BA BO BO was the LINDA BAR.  During the late 90's, German expat ROLFE was the owner of the BA BA BO BO.  He'd sit behind the bar near the corner playing CD's (and even requests)...  the sound system was pretty good.  In the 2000's, AM took over from Rolfe.

Memories! 

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Used to patronise Aroon Rai and occasionlly Spotlight bar...in the early 70's are they still around, they are close to each other...Those were the days..

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16 hours ago, chuang said:

Used to patronise Aroon Rai and occasionlly Spotlight bar...in the early 70's are they still around, they are close to each other...Those were the days..

Aroon Rai is one of the oldest restaurants in the area.

There used to be the KAI-TONG Restaurant further down Kotchasaan Rd (past Loi Kroa) their specialty was SNAKE STEAK.  Also Crocodile, Iguana etc. There was a deep pit in the centre of the front section that was full of "reptiles" you could choose to be cooked and eat. It was lit up by bright light...  I always remember the hundreds of small insects flying around at the top of the pit in that shaft of light.

It was opened until about 3 or 4 in the morning...  the attraction for me was..  buy a Snake Steak and get 1 large Singha for free!

At 4 in the morning - it tasted like chicken!

 

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On 9/23/2021 at 10:44 AM, Aussiepeter said:

I lived in C Mai for twenty-five years or so, but finally left in 2013. At one stage I visited many of the abandoned buildings and wrote a story about them for a local magazine, only to have them lose my draft. The movie theatre was still operating in 1989 as I went there once or twice - very nice & very cheap (no double pricing). I recall a sad occasion when a farang was found dead there after the end of a film. Apparently a cobra had slithered in at some time during the film and had bitten him several times - it was rainy season. If you go down Changklan Rd past the old theatre about 500m, just before the next traffic lights there is an abandoned 14 storey building in a Soi on the right - it's been there unfinished  since at least 1990. It had been approved as eight floors from memory, but the builder illegally added extra floors. A similar hotel building that had been "modified" collapsed in the early 90's (in Udon Thani from memory), killing a US Medal of Honour winner from the Vietnam conflict, his Thai wife & others eating dinner. After that they clamped down on illegally modified high-rise buildings. They demolished the old railway hotel opposite C Mai railway station, but not before I climbed up to the top and got some amazing (pre-digital) photos. The best secret is Asia's first ever revolving restaurant, which sits on top of the long abandoned Bpoy Luang Hotel. It is on the main highway intersection with the road coming from the railway station. I left in 2013, but it was still there a few years ago when I visited. (I did write about it a while back on 'tv'). Assuming it is still there, it looks like a smaller round room on top of an old white rectangular building. I rode a Honda Dream up the ramp/fire-esape to the top about 20 years ago & climbed into the old revolving restaurant. It was a big G.I. hotel in the Vietnam War & had a disco-like mirror-ball in the revolving restaurant & it had a big swimming pool in the rear. All the lifts etc have been removed and it is just a shell now, but it was incredible back in 1968 or so. They started to refurb it in the 90's as a hospital, but the 97 crash killed it. They fixed up a couple of rooms and filmed episodes of a popular Thai 'soap' opera there in the early 90's too. I actually appeared in that show quite by accident, when I stopped & asked a BIB for directions (I speak local Thai). The 'cop' laughed and told me in perfect English that he was not a real cop but was an actor and, "would I mind riding my motorbike up the street again and asking him the same question, so they could film it" ! I was famous in local bars for a week to two. The 90's were a fantastic time to be in Chiang Mai (or elsewhere in Thailand for that matter) and, the air was clean !

Thought your story of old was great - do you think it was fantastic because you were younger or it was generally just better all-round (why) or bit of both ? Also, was it easier to stay here long-term then ?

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