Chiang Mai Memories

Chiang Mai Memories on Facebook

I founded this Facebook group in 2016 to share old stories and photographs of Chiang Mai and North Thailand. The group currently has more than 2700 members. Some of the stories and photographs I publish on my website Travel and History. Then I have used my knowledge of the history of Chiang Mai as inspiration for our historical tours. In September 2019 the local magazine Chiang Mai Citylife approached me for an interview, which I gladly accepted. I met editor and owner Pim Kemasingki at the Gymkhana Club.  Below the picture an excerpt of the article that she wrote.

Boy in front of a temple
Wat Saen Fang in the 1920s, Chiang Mai. Picture by Morinosuke Tanaka

Chiang Mai Citylife: Capturing Chiang Mai’s many memories

Pim Kemasingki starts her article like this:

“It’s easy to scoff at all the nonsense found on Facebook, but then you would miss out on the absolute gem that is Chiang Mai Memories. The public group was setup in 2016 when Frans Betgem, who works in the tourism industry but has long had a passion for history, was contacted by an Oliver Backhouse, his grandfather had worked in Chiang Mai for the Bombay Burmah Trading Company, and he sought more information of his grandfather’s time here.”

In early April 2021 I gave an interview to Catherine Vanesse of Le Petit Journal. The article is in French. This is the beginning of the article:

“Through old photographs, the Chiang Mai Memories Facebook group aims to be an archive center for the history of Northern Thailand. It is a rich heritage in which tourism can revive interest in.

By showcasing archival photographs of 19th century teak industry people or from Chiang Mai airport to the old prison, hill tribes and heated debates around the date of the birth of the Lanna Kingdom, often complemented by descriptions to retrace its history, the Chiang Mai Memories Facebook group is a real gold mine for history buffs.

Created in 2016, the Chiang Mai Memories page now has 2,700 members and between 30 and 50 posts per month published by the administrator of the page, Frans Betgem, but also by other enthusiasts.”

Teak logging railway. Picture by Morinosuke Tanaka