1961 Visit to Thailand - Part 1 [Part 2]

In June of 1961 Keith was returning to the US after a year's military mission assignment in Saudi Arabia.  He was flying home on a US Embassy flight.  He had originally planned to stop in Thailand only briefly before completing his trip home.  However, he fell in love with the magical country of Thailand and stayed as long as he could (9-10 days).  Many years have passed since then and he has been able to return in more recent times.  While in the country in 1961, Keith took at least 2 rolls of 35 mm pictures.  These old slides have languished over the years in less than ideal storage conditions.  Most have been recovered, scanned and presented here in 2 photo albums.  An attempt has been made to put individual slides in the proper roll group and in the order they were taken, however no guarantees are made on this attempt. A few days after this visit, Keith wrote the following to one of his Army buddies:

I arrived in the oriental country of Thailand, late in the afternoon.  I caught a cab into Bangkok and then made arrangements to stay  in one of the rooms at the JUSMAAG villas.  Also I was able to utilize the facilities of the MAAG group there, including the Villa Club (NC0 club), PX and commissary. … Later I did get out to see more of Bangkok and some of the country side.  I got acquainted with a Thai fellow who works for a tourist agency and he took me around to the sites of interest - and they were of interest.  Actually, I was more impressed with the scenic places and rich culture in Thailand than in any other country which I have been in.  We saw most of the famous Thailand temples, the floating markets (where the people live and work on and along a system of canals), some of the villages out in the country, the farming areas, the Thai classical dancing, Thai boxing and many of the great number of interesting sites.  … This little country is really fabulous - the people friendly - the women beautiful - and the art and culture fascinating. [See last "Letter Home."]

If you can help us identify any of these places or correct any mistakes, please write to Keith at:

[Note: Dear friend Ratta Arwutwittaya from Ban Pong (near Nakom Pakhon) as supplied additional identifying information presented in green type below. Can you add any more?]


One view of the JUSMAAG (Joint US Military Assistance Group) compound where Keith obtained a room.

One of many chedies as seen from the Chao Phraya River that flows through Bankok. Wat Aroon/Arun  Rajwararam (Temple of Dawn)

Venturing in on one of the many klongs or canals in or near Bangkok

A couple of convenient petrol stations along this klong.

Busy life on this klong.

Another temple & prang/chedi located..??

A special Bangkok Buddha...?

Bangkok street scene (which part of the city??) Jarern Krong Road

Another Bangkok street scene ?? Bumroong Maeng Road

? The Royal Pantheon next to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo) ? Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Prakaiew

Part of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha complex...? Pha Mondop (library) ??? The gold pagoda in front of Pratepbidorn castle in Wad Prakaiew

A friendly family on the grounds of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Prakaiew

Two lovely Thai ladies agree to pose with this mythical figure.

Keith gets the privilege of posing with these smiling lovelies!

Another view of the grounds of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, part of the greater Royal or Grand Palace complex.

Keith found the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to be a very special & memorable spiritual place.  He would return.

Demon gate guardian near Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The Standing Budda at Wat Indra Viharn (40 yards tall) - somewhere north of downtown Bangkok in those days.

Keith on the view point on top of the Standing Buddha.

View of surrounding area (???) from the top of the Standing Buddha.

Center, holding the pineapple, is my Thai guide friend. Sadly I have forgotten his name & soon lost his address. How could I identify him & try to make contact after 46 years ... ????

Back to Keith's Military Travel Index                1961 Visit - Part 2

Later Thailand Visits            Index of other travel Photo Albums

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