The days when I was young by Uncle Yai Naphayon

Part I: The days when I was young by Uncle Yai Naphayon - circa 1930-1940, translated and summarized by Wisarut
[For more translations of transit-related writings about the past: Tram Stories]

1) Every morning (6am) and evening (6pm), the old Chinese fishmongers and Chinese coolies were carrying clams and fish caught at Pak Nam to downtown Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) by the Paknam Railway. Some of the street urchins (including the author) stole mackerel and clams from the Chinese fishmongers by putting their hands deep into the bottom of the fish baskets.
2) There are several stations of Paknam Railway he could remember even though he has admitted that some stations were missing:
a) Hua Lamphong (terminal)
b) Saphan Sawang (stop - minor station) - near Trok Phraya Sunthon. This station had so many food to eat there at the price of 3-5 satang.
c) Saphan Lueng (stop - minor station) - opposite to the tramway depot and near Tong Kok cinema [Chinese Cinema which showed Sun Yat Sen's picture before the Thai king]
d) Sam Yan (station) -> Samyan Subway station
e) Sathan Saowapha (stop - minor station) -> Sathan Saowapha is Thai version of the Pasteur Institute
f) Saladaeng (station) -> Si Lom Subway station
g) Sathon - Witthayu (station) -> This one must become a station after 1936 ->now Lumphinee Subway Station
h) Klong Toei (station)
i) Kluay Nam Thai (stop - minor station) -> near Berlie Jucker Co. Ltd. (the old trading firm which has been in business since 1882)
j) Phra Khanong (the station near Phra Khanong canal)
k) Bang Na (near Naval Ordinance)
l) Bang Nang Kreng (AKA Bang Chakrent) - (stop - minor station)
m) Naval Rating School (station)
n) Mahawongse (stop - minor station) - This station seems never to gain the status of a major station since this one seems to be less important than others.
o) Paknam Samut Prakarn (terminal station)

Commentary by Wisarut: Uncle Yai forgot to mention Ban Kruay station which implies that the old Ban Kruay station has become less important than the newer Kluay Nam Thai stop. Furthermore, he skipped Bang Chak station, Samrong station and Chorakhe station even though Samrong station has a pier for boats to Chachoeng Sao via Samrong canal and Chorakhe is the place where Paknam railway and Sukhumvit road intersect.
Naval rating school (Rongrian Chumphon Thaharn Ruea is the official Thai name or Rongrain Jar Taharn Ruea in colloquial Thai name) is the Naval NCO school--before it moved to Kret Kaeo near Sattahip Naval Base and was transformed into a Naval Academy. After moving there, many collage girls from Chulalongkorn University were riding the Paknam Railway to see their boyfriends at the Naval Academy.
Other missing stations are Phrakhanong Witthayalai stop, Talad Klong Toei stop, Suan Oy stop along with Paknam railway since these stops were much less important and only local people abound Klong Toei and Phra Khanaong noticed at all. Also, the Bangkrabue-Witthayu tram line terminated at Saphan Chaloemkiat 45 (now Lumphinee Subway station)

Part II: The days when I was young by Uncle Yai Naphayon - translated and summarized

Uncle Yai also mentioned about going to visiting their Mon relative at Phra Padang by going along with his grandma who was a Mon descendant. His grandma and the author rode the tram at Nai Loed Ice manufacturing (now Trok Rong Namkhaeng - New Road in Talad Noy area) and paid 5 satang for each ticket to the tram conductor so as to ride to the Maenam Motorboat and then to Paklad Tram. If they wanted to ride from Bang Kholaem tram only to Thanon Tok, they would pay only 3 satang each.

The tram passed Nai Loed Store (the 7-floor building) near Saphan Phitthayasathian (Saphan Lek Lang), Si Phraya, Captain Bush Lane, Chik Sia Mah Shrine, Saphan Yao, GPO, White Away Ledlaw Store, Karachi Store, Bombai store, Surawongse, and parking at German Dispensary. After that, it passed Oriental Hotel, Assumption, Bangrak flea market (near Bang Rak intersection), Sathon canal, Ban Thawai school, Hong Kong Cinema (now Soi Chaloem Wiang - the name of this cinema after changing its name), Wat Yannawa, Bangkok Dock, Wat Don, Ban Thawai Police station, Borneo Co. Ltd. Wat Sutthiwararam (then Wat Lao), Wat Sutthiwararam school Wat Lao Bridge, Trok Chan (parking), Wat Ratchasingkhon, BI Tobacco (now Cigarette Monopoly Factory), Wat Phrya Krai Winsor Sote (AKA Hang Seeta), Westerner cemetery, Wat Lad Buakhao, and the orchard before the municipal butcher house (now Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital) and then turning right at the termination circle to pick up passengers from Thanon Tok pier (now abandoned).

The author was very excited so see so many giant ocean ships along Chao Phraya. He also saw fish traps and rice barges carrying rice to the ricemills. Paklad Pier used to be very long and high. There was a signal car for Paklad tram that they rode on that passed Wat Chakdaeng, Wat Protket, Wat Asasongkram, Wat Klang, turning left at Wat Phraya Prab Patjamit to Phra Paeng flea market (the Tha Hin market) before going down to see their relatives at Ban Thamang.

The return trip after a 3-4-day visit was a boat riding upstream with rowers. They rode the boat from Wat Phraya Prap Pujjamit Pier and then went along Lad Luiang canal to Chao Phray and then pass Rat Boorana canal, Bang Mod canal, Bang [Pa] kaeo canal, Bang Kho laem, Bukkalo, Samreh, Bombay Burma Co.Ltd [the logging company notorious for politicking in Burmese affairs before the downfall of the Burmese royalty in 1885], Wat Phraya Krai, BI Tobacco Factory, Bangkok Dock, Wat Yannawa, Sathon canal, Assumption Oriental Hotel, Bang rak flea market, Bang rak canal, East Asiatic Co. Ltd., Custom House, Wat Maung Khae, GPO, Wang Lee Ricemill, Hong Kong-Shanghai Bank (now Sheraton Hotel), Klongsarn Railway station, Phadung Krungkaem before ending up at Wat Takiang (Wat Mahaphuettharam). After that, they went back to their home by hiring a rickshaw--3 satang each to enable them to go back home.

The author and his grandma got so many sea gifts--especially the dried fishes, salted eggs, rice , rice crackers, rice crackers with sesame seeds, coconuts, Pla Kot and Pla Kod roe, and dried Pla Salad.

More translations of transit-related writings about the past: Tram Stories

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