On the 25th of September 2016 we interviewed Pol.Sub.Lt. Pramote Sankarit in front of the Marine Police Department. He was born in 1948 and moved into Bang Rak in his early twenties. He married Sukanya Ruanson. As an officer in the Marine Police he had learned several languages and had lots of experiences. He is now retired and lives in Bang Bua Thong.
Here are some of his memories and thoughts on Bang Rak:
“The entire place here is a business district … Sathorn … Silom … Suriyawong … and Siphraya … all business … Suriyawong [a sub district in Bang Rak] is the top business quarter … everything is there and everyone comes … Filipinos, Indonesians, Vietnamese, Chinese, British and French…”
“The land here is the most expensive in Thailand … it must be like a million baht per square meter … You have to have a lot of money to live here. To put simply, anyone who can afford to live on Silom has to be part of the upper class…”
“I have been living here for thirty years … if it were not for my inheritance and assets … there is no way I could have resided here … The locals keep on struggling … to find their way … to find jobs and make money.
“You have to make peace and accept that development is coming. Things can’t remain the same forever, they develop … convenience ends, concentration dissipates … beauty gets replaced by buildings … To be honest I don’t like things like that. I like the same old environment and atmosphere … The older generation – I am almost seventy – wants to see the same old stuff while the newer generation wants to see development … I would like to see the Old Customs House preserved … it was built by Rama the Fifth and future generations should be able to come and see it…”
“Change here happens a little bit at a time … things are fixed and developed continuously … If people were to come in and further develop the place they will probably make the tall buildings taller … [Development on] the river side is slower … There is no pollution here alongside the river … its convenient, good air, a view of the boats sailing upstream…”