Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

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via Channel NewsAsia, 31 July 2018

Kneeling before his homemade metal scuba helmet, Bhoomin Samang prays for good fortune before he dives into the day’s work – scouring the bed of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river for sunken treasure.

The 62-year-old is part of a small community known as Thailand’s “Indiana Jones” divers, who brave the inky-black underworld of the trash-filled waterway in search of coins, china, jewellery and scrap metal.

“We look for old coins, sometimes we are hired to find lost objects in the river,” says Bhoomin, a veteran diver who has been scouring the river for 30 years.

Source: Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

Thai Treasure Divers Lose Out to Economic Growth

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via NHK World, 07 November 2017: An interesting video story from NHK World about the underwater salvagers who operate in the Chao Phraya River that cuts through Bangkok.

Running through central Bangkok is the Chao Phraya River. On it is the city’s largest floating village, Mittakham. About 300 people live there. The community is estimated to be about 100 years old.

A development project means the community is scheduled to be torn down. Its residents are being forced to move from the river that’s given them their livelihoods for generations.

One of them is 53-year-old Jamroen Bua-Sri. Every day, he puts on a steel helmet and goes into the river to hunt for antiques and other treasures. He’s one of about 40 such divers. The river was a crucial trade route linking the ancient capital of Ayutthaya to China and other Asian countries, so it’s surprising what can turn up.

“My grandfather was a fisherman. One day, he found something in the river, and there were people who paid for it. So he began to search for lost treasures in the river,” says Jamroen. He has salvaged more than 10,000 items. He says this is an amulet from the early Ayutthaya Kingdom period that ended in the mid-1700s. Some artifacts retrieved by the divers have even gone into national museum collections.

Source: Thai Treasure Divers Lose Out to Economic Growth – Editor’s Picks – News – NHK WORLD – English

Chao Phraya River on heritage watch list

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via Bangkok Post, 19 October 2017:

The Chao Phraya River has been enlisted in the 2018 World Monument Watch for cultural heritage sites that face daunting risks.

The river that runs through Thailand’s capital city is one of 25 sites placed under the 2018 watch list by World Monuments Fund (WMF), an independent agency devoted to saving the world’s treasured sites.

WMF on Sunday released its 2018 World Monuments Watch, consisting of a diverse group of cultural heritage sites spanning across 30 countries and territories, that face daunting threats ranging from human conflicts and urbanisation to natural disasters and climate change. The list also includes unique conservation opportunities.

Source: Chao Phraya on heritage watch list | Bangkok Post: news

Ayutthaya overwhelmed by flood

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The week’s rains have continued to overwhelm Ayutthaya as the Chao Phraya floods the world heritage site.

Flooded Ayutthaya, The Nation 20111005

Wat Chaiwatthanaram suffers flooding
The Nation, 04 October 2011

UNESCO Heritage Site Hit By Flood In Central Thailand
Bernama, 04 October 2011

Red alert in Ayutthaya
The Nation, 05 October 2011

Floods pound ancient temple
Bangkok Post, 05 October 2011

Historic Ayutthaya temple inundated, PM orders new measures
Thailand Business News, 05 October 2011

Flooding in Ayutthaya to worsen; heavy rain expected
The Nation, 06 October 2011

PM orders urgent raising height of riverside dykes in Ayutthaya
MCOT News, 06 October 2011

Thailand Flooding Threatens World Heritage Site
Voice of America, 07 October 2011

UNESCO offers help for flood-hit Ayutthaya World Heritage site
MCOT News, 07 October 2011

Thailand prepares more sites for the world heritage list


Thailand announces ongoing fact-finding programmes to propose five new sites into Unesco’s World Heritage Site list by next year. Among the sites are the ancient cities of Chiang Saen and Suvannakhomkham, which shares Laotian territory; the Lanna kingdom in the north, as well as the Srivijaya-Nakhon Si Tammarat cultural route.

Slanted Roof
photo credit: The Wandering Angel

Ministry to seek heritage status for ancient cities
The Nation, 4 June 2009
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Thai Srivijaya to be a World Heritage Site?


May thanks to Andy for the heads up. The Thai Fine Arts Department is hoping to propose three new sites in Thailand: Lanna, a section of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok and the Srivijaya ruins in Southern Thailand.

Slanted Roof
photo credit: The Wandering Angel

Anusorn pushes for listing of Thai sites
Bangkok Post, 17 June 2008
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