Henri Dunant Road in Bangkok

May 4, 2013
By

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In Bangkok you will come across a few roads that are named after foreigners such as Captain Bush Lane and Henri Dunant Road. I spotted this letter in the Bangkok Post that explained the background to the latter road:

Thanon Sanam Ma (Racecourse Road) was renamed Thanon Henri Dunant on May 8, 1965, at the request of the Thai Red Cross Society (TRCS) to the Bangkok City Municipality, as the BMA was then known. The road passes TRCS property on both sides. On one side stands the TRCS National Blood Service Centre; on the other are the TRCS College of Nursing and Chulalongkorn Hospital of the TRCS. The road connects Surawong Road to Rama I Road via Chulalongkorn University and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club with its racecourse. The request of the TRCS to change the name was based on a proposal of the International Federation of the Red Cross, at its meeting in 1963 to celebrate the centenary of the Red Cross, that something should be done to commemorate Henri Dunant. Meanwhile, most Thais continue to call the road by its pre-1965 name.

TEJ BUNNAG Assistant secretary-general for administration, the
Thai Red Cross Society

Do you know of any other road in Bangkok with foreign names?

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17 Responses to Henri Dunant Road in Bangkok

  1. 3ty3
    May 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Where did they get the name Soi Bearing from? Does not sound Thai.

    • Richard Barrow
      May 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Bearing is really named after Emil Adolf von Behring (1854-1917). His company had a place on what is now Soi Bearing manufacturing medicine. Also on Soi Bearing in Chaeng Wattana.

  2. Paul
    May 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    While you’re at it, might as well mention why the next road (Suk. 105) is called “La Salle”.

  3. steven
    May 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I believe La Salle is named after a French catholic missionary group who build schools r the poor.and provide eductaion across Asia, especially for the poor!!

  4. Stuart
    May 5, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Wireless Rd
    Soi St Louis

    • Richard Barrow
      May 5, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Wireless Road is a strange one as this is just a translation of the Thai name. Only foreigners call it Wireless Road.

  5. Serge
    May 5, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Soi 36 of Charoen Krung, where the French embassy is, has been recalled “Rue de Brest” early this year.
    This is because over 300 years ago, the first Siamese delegation, sent by King Narai to meet Louis XIV, arrived in Brest, a big harbour city on the Atlantic.

    If you can read french:
    http://www.lepetitjournal.com/bangkok/accueil/images-video-son/141130-diaporama-ceremonie-de-bapteme-de-la-rue-de-brest-a-bangkok

  6. Leeshaaad
    May 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Soi Cowboy?

    • Richard Barrow
      May 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

      I presume that is a nickname and not the real name of that road. Lots of Sois have unofficial nicknames like mine. Can anyone confirm?

      • Leeshaaad
        May 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

        I was joking. Perhaps a little too early in the morning….

        • Richard Barrow
          May 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

          Well, this is Thailand and I wouldn’t be surprised if it really was called Soi Cowboy 🙂

          • Seatless
            May 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

            One story is it was named from one of the first bars – run by a Texan who always wore a stetson and fitted out the bar in wild west style – but that could be wrong. But it’s definitely untrue that Patpong was named after an unwashed Irishman!

          • Win Wessels
            May 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

            The following is from Wikipedia:
            “The soi was given its name by longtime nightlife columnist Bernard Trink, after the late T. G. “Cowboy” Edwards, a retired American airman who opened one of the first bars there in 1977. A tall African-American, Edwards got his nickname because he often wore a cowboy hat.”

  7. Ualan
    May 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Henri Dunant is our local hero here in Geneva, one of the founder of the red cross after witnessing that no one was taking care of the wounded after a fierce war battle at Solferino, Italy. Adventurous man, he ended totally broke after doing bad business in the railway sector.
    There is a nice statue in Geneva and, if you come here, do not miss the International Red Cross Museum. Very interesting (but now closed until 2014 for
    Will be glad to be your guide!

  8. May 12, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Hi, Richard Hope you can help I’m planning a backpacking trip to Thailand some Pacific islands and New zealand around September,October time , could you give me some advice to what hostels,or cheap hotels you could recommend and some must not miss sights and things to do as this will be my first ever backpacking trip and first time ever to travel to that part of the world .Im 48 and have four kids and four grand kids and hope I’ve not left it to late in life to take on such a trip,I’m from Northern Ireland and normally up for a bit off adventure, fun
    I’ve got to make it to Austraila for December to meet my wife and son to return home after visiting my nice. Ps, most forums I’ve looked at all seem to talk about 18 to 30 year olds on gap year I’m sure I’m wouldn’t, be the only older croc knocking about with a backpack. I hope to here from you and thankyou so much yours greatfully stephen.

  9. Stan
    August 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Wongwian Yai sounded Chinese

    • Pongprapas
      June 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Wongwian means roundabout
      Yai means big
      therefore, literally it is a big roundabout.

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