Tag Archives: The Teak Industry in Thailand

Rafts of logs in a river East Asiatic Company
Rafts of teak logs on the Chao Phraya River. Courtesy of Mrs.Suwaphon Chuto

The Teak Industry in Thailand

The teak industry was an important economic activity in Thailand roughly between the mid-1880s and the late 1950s. Foreign companies obtained concessions to extricate teak from the forests of northern Thailand. The biggest overseas companies that were involved were the  Borneo Company and the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation.

Besides these, there were the smaller Anglo-Siam and the Louis T.Leonowens companies. All these companies were British. Apart from the British companies, the Danish East Asiatic Company was a major player as well as the French Est-Asiatique.

Most of the teak logs found their way to the sawmills in Bangkok via waterways. Elephants dumped the logs in the Ping, Wang, Nan, and Yom rivers after which the logs floated down to Nakhon Sawan (formerly named Paknampo). Here staff of the above-mentioned companies oversaw the creation of giant rafts, made up of logs, that people steered on the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok.

Tours about the Teak industry in Thailand

In various locations such as Chiang Mai, Lampang, and Phrae there are historical sites related to the teak industry in Thailand. These are, for example, historical houses, small museums but also temples, funded by Burmese migrants who worked for these companies. In short, there is a legacy as well as interesting stories about the lives of these early ex-pats in Thailand.

We offer several tours about this legacy and the stories of this interesting period. Besides that, we have guided relatives of the people who worked for the teak companies to the places, related to the industry. Join us on a trip about the teak industry in Thailand.