Old Ubon Ratchathani video and photos.

Bob has sent me a few more photos as well as some video footage.

This photo he took at the intersection of Chayangkun (main road) and Sapphasit Road in 1967.

Bob mentioned that “the young people in Ubon don’t remember the days of the 2-lane asphalt main road. There was dirt on the sides and many vendors put up blankets as awnings to keep out the dust and the sun.”

On a visit in 2001 he took another photo from the same position. Bit of a difference over 34 years!

I was also very excited to receive a video taken in 1968. I will let Bob explain.

“I’m sending you a video I took from the 9th floor of the Ubon Hotel in 1968. In the late 60s, the Ubon Hotel was the best hotel in Ubon and the restaurant on the 9th floor was the “in” place to go late at night. I used an 8mm camera and later converted the 8mm to VHS video. I generated a .WMV file from the video and to keep the file size small, I had to reduce the quality of the video. The video shows the traffic in front of the Ubon Hotel as it intersected with Chayangkun Road. As you can see, there weren’t any enforced traffic rules and everyone did their own thing.”

The history of the Ubon hotel has been mentioned once before on my blog by long term resident Michael Hare. You can see that blog here.

I was unable to upload the video direct to my blog so ended up having to host it on You Tube.

16 responses to “Old Ubon Ratchathani video and photos.

  1. Thanks! We love history of Ubon stuff! It’s fun to see how much traffic has NOT changed! 🙂

  2. That is so true! I drive through this intersection twice today and I reckon I was no better then the cream coloured car turning right in the video!

  3. That is classic stuff…

  4. Fantastic! Absolutely Fantastic!
    Looking at the top photo of the 2-lane road I can’t help but smell the odors and dust and feel the heat from 1969.
    The video is a treasure!

  5. How could any one stand in the second scene and imagine the first? Just as impossible to to imagine the reverse. WOW!

  6. I love the old photos of Thailand. That video is classic. The merging of the traffic, without traffic lights or signs is Asian genius at its finest. A few months ago I was in Pagadian City, Philippines and the same system was the norm. No traffic lights, road markings etc., just a wonderful free for all at a four road junction. It seemed to work ok! No angry honking horns, just the traditional short, sharp beep-beeps, traditional in the Philippines, to warn those around you of your presence. The flow of traffic was just pure poetry in motion, a classical ballet of trikes, bikes, cars and pick-ups.

  7. Yup, i`ve driven round Ubon quite a bit and i agree the traffic situation hasn’t changed that much and i`m sure some of those cars are still out there!

  8. One of the old tin-roofed shops is still on the corner of Sapphasit and Chayangkun Roads. It was still open a fw years ago selling odds and ends, plus a sign curry and rice. Now closed, but for some reason the curry and rice sign remains.

    I don’t think that there are many cars from the 1960s still being driven around in Ubon. Thailand, to me at least, seems to be a country of new cars. Goodness knows where the old cars end up at. Where I come from, New Zealand, there are more old cars on the road than new cars.

  9. Did any of you notice the old white bus at the end of the video?

    For decades, Ubon had these 5 bus lines that criss-crossed the city. White bus line, pink bus line, yellow bus line, blue bus line and gray bus line.

    And the buses kept on running and running. Ubon had the oldest buses in Thailand. They were still going strong right up until about 1998-99 when finally enough was enough. Out they went (perhaps to Burma?), and in came todays pickup minibuses.

  10. Hi Memock
    My wife looked at the pictures yesterday and noticed the photos taken 34 years apart by the same guy both have a white car on the left and red top guy on the right. How weird is that?
    ps.. great photos though……….

  11. Just shows you that Ubon has always been red shirt country!

    The white car/pickup is just a distraction.

  12. I’ve been acquainted with Ubon for more than 20 years, and have noticed so many changes as it has developed, but these are real eye-openers!
    Thanks for showing these, and let’s hope that many more will appear in the future.

  13. MeMock – watching the video I couldn’t help but notice the monks crossing the road. With free for all traffic they seemed to get across the road a lot easier than you would nowadays in Thailand’s big cities.

    A great video treasure and I didn’t realise cameras had zoom back in the 60’s. Good zoom as well.

  14. I too love old photos of places I’ve been. I’m now thinking who of my friends (Thai and expat) would have old photos of Thailand. I have books with photos of Thailand, sure, but it’s not quite the same as coming across treats such as these. Thank you 🙂

  15. Pingback: Looking for her parents from the Vietnam War era in Ubon Ratchathani, can you help? | Family life in rural Thailand & Australia

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