Hidden treasures in Bangkok-Fort Mahakan

The thick white walls of the fort are stained and streaked with mold. Isolated behind the fortified perimeter at the intersection of Rajadamnoen Avenue and Mahachai Street, close to the temple of Golden Mont and opposite the Paan Fa bridge (at least for now), there is a tiny village with elaborate wooden buildings that date back more than a century.

Fort Mahakan the oldest fort in Bangkok could soon be confined to the history books. The remaining inhabitants of Fort Mahakan, whose community dates back to the 1800s, was ordered to leave their homes.

The small community was formed 200 years ago by the Thai aristocrats and their servants, who built houses near their masters.


The inhabitants tried to defend their right to remain in that place where they had demonstrated, in a phase of extreme social difficulty, a vital, united community, endowed with a remarkable sense of collective responsibility and mutual solidarity.

Today, visitors walking inside the walls of the fortress will see that the nearby village is a living museum – with each family proudly putting up a sign, a poster or a newspaper article in front of their shabby houses to tell their stories


 Vanessa Zuddas