King Chulalongkorn's visit to Songkhla | Bangkok Post: learning

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Songkhla: Reliving King Chulalongkorn's 1905 trip

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Old photos bring you to an imaginary city of Songkhla's past & help you appreciate what remains of this past. 

Songkhla's city gate in 1905 at the time that King Chulalongkorn made a trip to the city.

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TRAVEL

A savour of the South

The towns of Songkhla and Hat Yai make convenient launching pads for exploring interesting sites in the vicinity or farther afield
21 Mar 2013
Pongpet Mekloy

I often find myself spending more time looking at century-old photographs than more recently taken ones. ... vintage pictures can be fascinating... guiding you on mental journeys back through time to periods before any person alive today was even born....

Those faces in antique black-and-white images were once full of life... These youngsters ... may have gone on to become someone's great-grandparent and their memory is still cherished today by their descendants, or else perhaps, their legacy did not endure long after their deaths and now their existence has been completely forgotten...

The old photograph you see here is ... located in the shrine of the Songkhla City Pillar. ... it was taken over a century ago on the day King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) paid a visit to this southern town. The people in the photo are waiting for the monarch's arrival...

The Chinese-style structure in the middle of the photo is one of the original city gates, none of which have survived to the present day. And beyond this gate... you can glimpse Songkhla Lake in the distance...

Judging from the deep shadows thrown by people and buildings, it was a bright, sunny day. And I bet that at the instant it was snapped the brackish water of the lake, although not as blue as the sea on the other side of the cape on which Songkhla is built, would have been no less clear than the sky above it... 

...King Chulalongkorn's historic visit to Songkhla took place, and was immortalised on film, in 1905, a very important date indeed since it was in that same year that he abolished slavery in Siam (now Thailand) completely.

All the people featured in these photos are long gone, of course, but if you step back out onto the street you'll find that many remnants of the past linger in this old part of Songkhla. 

The neighbourhood consists of three parallel streets - Nakhon Nok, Nakhon Nai and Nang Ngam - which are still lined with old buildings like those portrayed in the antique photographs. Not all of them are in good condition, though.

Actually, some are closed up and visibly crumbling. But walk along these streets, and others which connect to them, and you'll find that this quarter is still very much alive.

A lot of decades-old restaurants and shops selling a variety of home-made goodies are still doing a brisk business. For several generations now, they have been part and parcel of daily life for residents of this town. And tourists who venture into this part of Songkhla are invariably delighted to be able to experience first-hand the yummy stuff that the natives of yesteryear once snacked on...

(Source: Bangkok Post, TRAVEL, A savour of the South, The towns of Songkhla and Hat Yai make convenient launching pads for exploring interesting sites in the vicinity or farther afield, 21 Mar 2013, Pongpet Mekloy, link


Historic Songkhla Vocabulary

Songkhla city - a small city of 75,000 at the opening of Songkhla lake to the Gulf of Thailand, Songkhla is a fishing town and also an important harbour สงขลา (See Wikipedia)

Songkhla lake - the largest natural lake in Thailand covering an area of 1,040 km², despite being called a lake it is actually a lagoon and contains saltwater of about half the salinity of the ocean ทะเลสาบสงขลา (See Wikipedia)

City Pillar - "found in most cities of Thailand and housed in a shrine (Thai: ศาลหลักเมือง) which is also believed to house Chao Pho Lak Mueang (เจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง), the city spirit deity; it is held in high esteem by citizens" หลักเมือง (See Wikipedia)
the Songkhla City Pillar

city gates- ประตูเมือง

King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) - พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาจุฬาลงกรณ์ พระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว (See Wikipedia)

savour - a pleasant smell or flavour; something that is enjoyable
a savour of the South

launching pad - a starting place for some activity  (a "launching pad" is where a rocket to outer space takes off from)
launching pads for exploring interesting tourist sites

convenient - easy to use; easy to do; an easy way to do something สะดวก
convenient launching pads for exploring interesting tourist sites

vicinity - an area near a particular place บริเวณใกล้เคียง
in the vicinity - near the place, in the area around and near to some place

farther afield - farther away, at a distance
in the vicinity or farther afield

The towns of Songkhla and Hat Yai make convenient launching pads for exploring interesting sites in the vicinity or farther afield

century - a period of one hundred years ศตวรรษ
century-old photographs - photos taken 100 years in the past 

take a photograph
recently
- happened a short time in the past, not long ago 
recently taken photograph
- a photo taken a short time ago

vintage -
an interesting old thing that is kept in good condition
vintage pictures

fascinating - extremely interesting น่าหลงใหล, มีเสน่ห์
vintage pictures can be fascinating

mental journeys -
not real travelling in a car or airplane, but rather travelling in your imagination or by reading a book
vintage pictures
guide you on mental journeys back through time

I often find myself spending more time looking at century-old photographs than more recently taken ones. ... vintage pictures can be fascinating... guiding you on mental journeys back through time to periods before any person alive today was even born....

antique - old and valuable things วัตถุโบราณ, โบราณวัตถุ
antique black and-white images

Those faces in antique black and-white images were once full of life...

memory - something that you remember from the past; the ability to remember information, experiences and people ความจำ
cherished - much loved
cherished memory  

descendants - their children and their childrens' children and their children ... and so on ... ลูกหลานสายตรง
their memory is still cherished today by their descendants

legacy
- the things you leave behind for people after you die มรดก
endure - continues to exist for a long time (even through many problems)  

their legacy did not endure long after their deaths and now their existence has been completely forgotten

youngsters - children
great-grandparents - the fathers and mothers of your grandparents (who are the fathers and mothers of your father and mother)

The youngsters ... may have gone on to become someone's great-grandparent and their memory is still cherished today by their descendants, or else perhaps, their legacy did not endure long after their deaths and now their existence has been completely forgotten...

shrine - a special place in which you remember and praise someone who has died, especially someone famous; a place for worship which is holy because of a connection with a holy person or object หลุมศพ หรือ สถานที่บูชา
the shrine of the Songkhla City Pillar

pay a visit   (present) - go to a place (for a short time)
paid a visit (past)
paid a visit to the town
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) paid a visit to this southern town

monarch - king or queen พระมหากษัตริย์,  กษัตริย์, พระราชา, เจ้าแผ่นดิน
arrival - when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) ขาเข้า การเข้ามา
the monarch's arrival...

The old photograph you see here is ... located in the shrine of the Songkhla City Pillar. ... it was taken over a century ago on the day King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) paid a visit to this southern town. The people in the photo are waiting for the monarch's arrival...

original - the first, that was there in the past before it was changed ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ, ซึ่งเป็นต้นฉบับ, ที่เป็นอันแรก
the original city gates

one of the original city gates

the present day - now, this period of time in history

survived - continued to live or exist รอดมาได้
survived to the present day
none of which have survived to the present day

glimpse - when you see something or someone for a very short time เหลือบดู, ชำเลือง, ชายตามอง

glimpse -
การมองผาด, การเห็นแวบหนึ่ง, การมองผ่าน,การมองปราด
glimpse in the distance...

glimpse Songkhla Lake
you can glimpse Songkhla Lake in the distance...

The Chinese-style structure in the middle of the photo is one of the original city gates, none of which have survived to the present day. And beyond this gate... you can glimpse Songkhla Lake in the distance...

shadows - an area where the sun does not hit or reach เงา
deep shadows - very dark shadows (without any sun)
deep shadows thrown by people and buildings


it was a bright, sunny day

snapped - took a lot of photographs quickly ถ่ายรูป
the instant the photo was snapped

brackish water - saltwater (like water in the sea or ocean)
the brackish water of the lake
the brackish water of the lake would have been no less clear than the sky above

cape -  a long piece of land that goes out in the sea or a lake, a point or headland แหลม, ส่วนของผืนดินที่ยื่นเข้าไปในน้ำ
the cape on which Songkhla is built
the cape on which Songkhla is built, would have been no less clear than the sky above

Judging from ... - using this to make my decision (or judgement about something)

Judging from the deep shadows thrown by people and buildings, it was a bright, sunny day. And I bet that at the instant it was snapped the brackish water of the lake, although not as blue as the sea on the other side of the cape on which Songkhla is built, would have been no less clear than the sky above it... 

immortal (adjective) - will never die
immortalise (verb) - made so that it will never die
immortalised on film

abolish - stopped, eliminated เลิกล้ม,  ล้มเลิก, ยกเลิก, ระงับ
slavery - when people own other people (so that person has no freedom) ความเป็นทาส
abolished slavery

...King Chulalongkorn's historic visit to Songkhla took place, and was immortalised on film, in 1905, a very important date indeed since it was in that same year that he abolished slavery in Siam (now Thailand) completely.

featured - included someone or something as an important part มีบทบาทสำคัญใน
people featured in photos
All the people featured in these photos are long gone

remnants - the remaining parts of something ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
remnants of the past

linger - to stay somewhere longer than is necessary or required อ้อยอิ่ง
remnants of the past linger

All the people featured in these photos are long gone, of course, but if you step back out onto the street you'll find that many remnants of the past linger in this old part of Songkhla.

parallel - when the distance between two lines, etc. is the same all along their length ขนาน
three parallel streets

lined with -
having on all sides
lined with buildings

streets still lined with old buildings

portrayed - represented or described someone or something พรรณา
portrayed in the antique photographs

The neighbourhood consists of three parallel streets - Nakhon Nok, Nakhon Nai and Nang Ngam - which are still lined with old buildings like those portrayed in the antique photographs. Not all of them are in good condition, though.

closed up - shut, closed, not being used now
closed up buildings

visibly -
can see it happening
crumbling - falling apart; breaking into small pieces แตกละเอียด

visibly crumbling
visibly crumbling buildings

quarter - a part or area of a town or city, neighborhood or district
this quarter is still very much alive.

Actually, some are closed up and visibly crumbling. But walk along these streets, and others which connect to them, and you'll find that this quarter is still very much alive.

decades - periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
decades-old
decades-old restaurants and shops

variety - many different types of things or people ความหลากหลาย
a variety of home-made goodies
shops selling a
variety of home-made goodies

brisk - move quickly
doing a brisk business

A lot of decades-old restaurants and shops selling a variety of home-made goodies are still doing a brisk business.

generations -
20 year, the group of people who were all born at about the same time
residents - people who live in an area ผู้อยู่อาศัย ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
venture - to go somewhere, especially someone that is unpleasant, dangerous or exciting เสี่ยงภัย ผจญภัย
delighted - very happy or satisfied about something ยินดีมาก,สุขใจ

part and parcel of - an important and essential part of
part and parcel of daily life - part of daily

For several generations now, they have been part and parcel of daily life for residents of this town.

venture - to go somewhere, especially someone that is unpleasant, dangerous or exciting เสี่ยงภัย ผจญภัย
venture into this part of Songkhla

natives -
the people who were born in a place and live there
yesteryear -
the past
natives of yesteryear - the people who lived at a place in the past
the yummy stuff that the natives of yesteryear once snacked on...

invariably delighted
experience first-hand
invariably delighted to be able to experience first-hand

invariably delighted to be able to experience first-hand the yummy stuff that the natives of yesteryear once snacked on...


And tourists who venture into this part of Songkhla are invariably delighted to be able to experience first-hand the yummy stuff that the natives of yesteryear once snacked on...

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