The air is suffused with excitement as Siam quickly moves forward. And we weave in and out of Bangkok as the railway system begins to expand outwards.
Siam had experienced an expansion of the railway system which began during King Chulalongkorn’s reign, culminating in a unified and vast network during the reign of King Vajiravudh. The construction of the railway reflects Western influence in two ways, both physical and ideological. The most evident influence is the use of Western materials and technology for the railway itself. However, the more subtle influence is that the railway enabled the realization of the Western idea of a “nation-state” pursued by Asian rulers of the period by connecting the periphery to the center. Governance can be centralized and the project of unifying the culture and administration of the country can begin. Siam had thereby become more connected and thus unified, leading to growth in mass tourism and large scale development which expanded beyond the capital.
And yet, amidst all of the modernization and movement, we see the Siamese people go through the everyday motions of life: sorting through documents at work and going to the cinema in order to enjoy the steady influx of western movies.

Part D