I was sent to Thailand by the U.S. Air Force from November 1970 to
November 1971. Southeast Asian Tours of Duty were exactly a year.
I left America shortly after getting married
The War was pretty hot then, the U.S. had just bombed the capitol
of North Vietnam, Hanoi.
These photos were taken by a film Instamatic in 1970. The prints faded,
color changed, etc. I did what processing I could to fix them.
Thailand has many beautiful Bhuddhist Temples. Marble Temple in Bangkok is one of the best.>
I spent a year living on an airbase in Khorat Thailand. This temple is typical size.
It has a three tier roof, a form of air cooling. The top layer gets the full Sun,the heat comes out the sides.
Don't laugh, that is me in the 70s. Jungle Fatigues. not the best looking but cool.
The hottest day I experienced was 117 degrees. Khorat was in a dessert, and was very dry.
I could go for a hike in the evening and walk for miles without sweating.
Right after writing it was dry, I have a photo with a rain collection system.
These would be mid level homes, remember this is 1970.
A GEM store, with an outdoor restaurant in front of it. I would eat at these
establishments, just a table, a lady, and a WOK. I knew how to order fried rice, which came with
many things in it. I could get a large pile of rice with a 12 oz bottle of Pepsi for 15 cents.
It was one thing I could order that was not too spicy for an American Palette.
A common means to transport goods.
Me wearing custom made pants and shoes. The cost of labor was so low it was cheaper
to go down town and have clothing custom fitted than buy U.S. goods at the Military Base Exchange,
The statue of "Lady Mo" is highly revered. It is believed she saved the City in 1826
from an invasion. Placing gold leaf on the base raises your status in re-incarnation.
Lady selling fruit.
Me with Water Buffalo. Used as Beast of Burden on Farms but his one is in a zoo.
The Golden Buddha is in Bangkok. There were no barriers and no guards visible. 9.8 feet tall.
I'm sure if I did something disrespectful someone would stop me. That is 5.5 tons of gold.
The statue was plastered over to protect it from invaders. The monks died in the invasion and the
statue was forgotton for 200 years. Still, a plaster Buddha is worth something so in 1954 it was moved
to a new home. It was dropped, some plaster broke off, revealing the gold underneith.
A closeup of the golden hands. I did not have a zoom camera, so I had to get pretty close.
The five official poses of Buddha
A stunning temple on Bangkok.
A water taxis on one of the rivers or channels of Bangkok.
The floating market where farmers and vendors sell food. Note the boats have a motor at the
stern where the propeller is on a long shaft under water. If you've seen the James Bond movie,
"The Man with the Golden Gun", part is filmed here. The Bad Guy and 007 Battle on the canals
by raising the propeller in the air and useing it as a weapon!
Peddle powered delivery vehicle.
Buddhist Strines are often seen, bith indoor and out. This one is unusually large.
People sometimes put food, candles, and other supplies on a small table on the sidewalk.
In the early morning monks in saffron robes pass by to collect the gifts.
Vendor cooking Satay chicken on a stick. I liked the peanut sauce, but could manage hot sauce.
It took months before I discovered horse racing was very popular. Full scale
Parimutuel betting, it is only the Jockeys that are small.
You can see it is a big oval track.
During a 1 year Tour of Duty the GIs got a 5 day R & R. I and four buddies went
to Pattaya Beach, a resort town about 4 hours South of Khorat on the Gulf of Siam.
We rented this 5 bedroom bungalow for a small fee.
Palm trees, gentle breezes, sandy beaches. So different from the deserts in Eastern Thailand or
or the jungles to our North. I was fortunate to be stationed in a hot dry area.
Boats tied up at the beach.
We decided to rent a sailboat. 17 foot Catamaran with captain all day for $10. We quickly
demoted the young fellow to passenger and took turns steering the craft in the Gulf of SIAM.
Return to Leo's Web Page Menu