by the Siam Society under Royal Patronage



The Siamese Heritage Protection Program

To Commemorate the 84th Royal Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Patron of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage


To commemorate the 84th Royal Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Patron of the Siam Society and protector of fine arts and cultural heritage of Thailand, the Council of the Society approved the establishment of a new program, Siamese Heritage Protection Program, or โครงการพิทักษ์มรดกสยาม in Thai. Through a series of public events, associated lectures, tours, and media opinion pieces, the Program will highlight issues and problems in the management of the cultural heritage of Thailand, both tangible and intangible, with the aim of contributing to heritage conservation, generating ideas on how heritage management can be improved, and raising the visibility of cultural heritage management as a national issue of general public interest.


SHT Study Trip:

Communities’ Way of Life on Thailand’s Eastern Gateway: Chantaburi - Trat

Tracing the tale of two historic towns via heritage protection programmes:
Songkhla - Penang


Our publication: Protecting Siam's Heritage

Edited by Chris Baker 
Baht 950/US$35


The cultural heritage of Siam is exceptionally rich and very distinctive. As everywhere, this heritage is under threat – from the pace of change, from the demands of tourism, from mismanagement, and from neglect. Today there is a growing awareness of the value of Siam’s heritage and the need to protect it. This book is the first to examine the issues and challenges.


The book originated as the centenary edition of the Journal of the Siam Society, one of Asia’s oldest and most prestigious cultural journals. The Siam Society has just created the Siamese Heritage Trust to raise awareness of heritage issues. The authors of the 20 essays include the pioneers of conservation over the last generation along with the activists of today.


The first part looks back, tracking the change from a traditional approach of "renovation" to the modern concept of conservation, reviewing the roles of pioneers of heritage protection, and tracing the origins of today's problems. The second part presents contemporary case studies on the issues facing different types of heritage, ranging from monuments to intangible heritage, and the special cases of atrocity and transboundary heritage. Several contributions examine live controversies over conservation in central Bangkok.


The final section brings in international perspectives, including the impact of the World Heritage system, and developments in Penang and Yangon.


The collection illustrates the complexity of the issues involved, and the passions they raise. As Piriya Krairiksh asks in the lead essay, "So will there be a future for heritage protection in Thailand?"


Summary of the Panel discussions:










Small win for heritage preservation

Bangkok Post, 4 September 2014
By Ploenpote Atthakor


Finally, there's some good news. An old mansion in Bangkok that has been restored to its past glory has received Unesco recognition.  The mansion, known as Phraya Sri Thammathirat Residence in the bustling... MORE>>>

Asia's old communities vanishing amid rapid growth

AP, 27 August 2014

By Denis D. Grey


BANGKOK (AP) — Century-old shop houses, twisting alleyways and temples scented with incense still pulsate with the pursuit of old trades and time-honored rituals of families who have lived in Bangkok's Chinatown for generations. But probably not for much longer. MORE>>>

Pom Mahakan eviction would be a calamitious loss

Bangkok Post, 30 September 2013

By Michael Herzfeld


The Pom Mahakan community, located in the symbolic core of Rattanakosin Island, has been struggling for more then two decades to acchieve a cooperative land-sharing arrangement with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).MORE>>>

Mending the heart of a neighbourhood 

Bangkok Post, 30 September 2013

By Pichaya Svasti


The restoration of the principal pagoda at a Bangkok temple has gained international recognition and fostered a sense of community




Siamese Heritage Protection Study Trip in National Geographic
Issue: April 2013




Blue Line construction intrudes on history
Valuable old buildings which form part of the national heritage are being
put at risk

Published: 27 Apr 2013 at 00.00
Bangkok Post Newspaper section: News


While many residents are eagerly awaiting the next subway line to ease the agony of commuting, another kind of woe has arisen because of the construction - that of the cost to Bangkok's cultural heritage, in particular in the city's treasured old quarter. MORE>>>

Parking Spots Are Replacing Vibrant Street Life
in Yangon

Zoë Blackler Apr 04, 2013


YANGON, Myanmar—The Premier coffee shop on Bogyoke Aung San Road, a wide boulevard marking the northern limit of this city's downtown, used to spread out plastic tables and chairs beneath a row of trees along the edge of the broad sidewalk adjacent to its storefront. MORE>>>

"Yangon a City to Rescue",
by Jacques Maudy and Jimi Casaccia.


A photographic tour of the architectural heritage of Myanmar's main city.
Book launch and presentation, 6 pm, Thursday April 25, 2013 at
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand,
Penthouse, Maneeya Center

Lip service to conservation

Published: 5 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Bangkok Post: Heritage

Dr. Piriya Krairiksh's keynote speech at the launch of a book, Protecting Siam's Heritage, at The Siam Society


Thailand has a long history of reconstructing heritage. But it has no history of conserving it. MORE>>>

In search of a king

A team of archaeologists and architects believe the remains of a former ruler of Ayutthaya may lie in a Myanmar stupa. But will the truth remain a mystery?

Bangkok Post, Published: 25 Mar 2013
ection: Life
Writer: Sirinya Wattanasukchai

It was late afternoon on a hot day in Myanmar. A group of Thai archaeologist at an excavation site in Linzingong cemetery in Mandalay were about to wrap up their work when one of them emerged with a lotus-shaped artefact. MORE>>>

Keeping the heart of the old city beating

Bangkok Post:Life
Published: 18 Mar 2013


Siam Society is hosting a forum entitled "Saving Bangkok's Historic Heart" on Wednesday afternoon to examine the threat to the historic district of the capital posed by the draft Bangkok five-year master plan. MORE>>>

Modern family

Lop Buri maintains examples of architecture from the days of controversial Field Marshal Plaek Phibulsonggram

ฺBangkok Post, Published: 11 Mar 2013, Newspaper section: Life

Writer: Sirinya Wattanasukchai


Situated some 150km apart, Lop Buri and Bangkok share at least one architectural lineage, a set of "Modern style" buildings that are the legacy of the People's Party that brought drastic political change to the country in 1932. MORE>>>

Conservation vows put BMA candour to test

Bangkok Post: Opinion

Published: 8 Mar.2013

Writter: Ploenpote Atthakor


A few months ago, when conservationists launched a campaign asking the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to revise its new town planning laws to protect valuable buildings in old-town quarters, the battle was already as good as lost.

Keeping history alive

The demolition of the Supreme Court sets a precedent for architecture of the People's Party era that is at risk of being bulldozed MORE>>>

Published: 14 Jan 2013 at 00.00
Newspaper section: Life

Writer: Sirinya Wattanasukchai

Court owes us the truth, and nothing but

Published: 11/01/2013 at 12:00 AM N
ewspaper section: News

Writer: Ploenpote Atthakor


Finally, the Supreme Court has broken its silence.

For about two months, the country's top legal body has been bombarded with questions over its move to tear down its old office, a complex of courthouses on Sanam Luang and Khlong Lot. The Fine Arts Department has categorised the buildings as historical structures that must be preserved. But the judiciary had remained tight-lipped, until this week. MORE>>>

Out with the old
Conservationists continue to fight uphill battles against the demolition of Thailand's historic architecture

Published: 26/12/2012 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Life

Writer: Sirinya Wattanasukchai


This year was a tough one for conservationists who have been vehemently fighting to preserve national heritage under threat in the name of "development". MORE>>>

Courthouse death sentence

Bangkok Post

Published: 26/12/2012 at 12:00 AM

Writer: Ploenpote Atthakor


A high-profile dispute over the old Supreme Court building has reached a dead end. The Supreme Court staunchly insists it has the right to continue with its plan to replace the ageing structure with a new, much bigger office, citing a cabinet resolution it acquired in 1988, but the Fine Arts Department and a group of conservationists want to keep the old building for a simple reason _ it is national heritage. MORE>>>

In courthouse kerfuffle,
hubris reigns supreme

In courthouse kerfuffle, hubris reigns supreme

Bangkok Post, Section News, Published: 14/12/2012

Writer: Ploenpote Atthakor


If you still don't know this, it's about time you did: We are losing the old Supreme Court building, a vintage structure that is part of our national heritage. It is being quietly demolished. MORE>>>

Ruination of Amphawa old town must be put right

Bangkok Post, Section News, Published: 30/11/2012

Writer: Sirinya Wattanasukchai


The Chuchai Buri Sri Amphawa may not be the first property development project to emerge from the skyline in Amphawa, but it was the final straw which has made conservationists stand up against what they call over-development of cultural tourism in this canal-side community in Samut Songkhram province. MORE>>>


Preservation pleas
falling on deaf ears

Preservation pleas falling on deaf ears
Bangkok Post, Published: 2/11/2012 at 12:00 AM
section: news

The danger modern development poses for what remains of Bangkok's heritage came into sharp relief this week as a conservation network brought to public attention the adverse effects planned projects will have on old-town communities. MORE>>>

Old-town communities under threat
Published: 30/10/2012 at 12:00 AM
Bangkok Post, section: News

The new version of the Bangkok Comprehensive Plan and its new town planning rules are a threat to communities in the city's old town quarters, in particular Charoen Chai community and Woeng Nakornkasem near Chinatown MORE>>>

The Amphawa Hai exhibition is designed to stop a heritage from disappearing, but it is more than a protest action


Bangkok Post, section: Life

Published: 26/09/2012 at 02:15 AM

Pleas go out to protect historic areas

Conservation groups claim new draft plan for the capital is sadly deficient Published: 8/09/2012 at 03:43 AM
Newspaper section: News

Led by the Siam Society, the critics of the revised draft of the current city plan, on Aug 20 submitted a letter to Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra calling for another revision of the draft, especially as it concerns the importance of protecting the value of the city's historic quarters. MORE>>>

Amphawa residents protest new hotel
Published: 4/09/2012 at 02:06 AM
Newspaper section: Life

Amphawa residents, lamenting the loss of aesthetic beauty of their riverside community in Samut Songkhram, a province neighbouring Bangkok, are directing their anger into works of art which they will show at an exhibition that opens Sept 15.


Tearing down old towns, where would our roots be? 10/08/2012
A Panel Discussion conducted by National Human Rights Commission.


Mr. James Stent, President of the Siamese Heritage Protection Project, talked from viewpoints of a foreigner that Yaovaraj was a historical town, and historical town is a precious treasure of a nation, because Yaovaraj had well maintained cultural perfection through its cultural landscape which was not only ‘wat’ (temple), but also its people’s way of life. He talked about San Francisco which was his birth place that to conserve San Francisco’s old town ....MORE>>>

Cultural Heritage

Bangkok Post - Published: 6/02/2012 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Life Writer: Ploenpote Atthakor Position: Reporter