Flight from Bangkok to Munich


Behind the lens
Peter Nitsch, a Munich born documentary photographer and designer presented Bangkok in a new light before the world, through his lens. Most of his outstanding clicks in and around Bangkok, highlight daily struggles of the Thai people. His photography collections are available both in Bangkok and Munich. For his assignments, he often takes flights between Bangkok and Munich. He won several awards, including Photography Masters Cup, German Photography Award and International Photography Award Bangkok, for his unique portrayal of Thailand and its people. Nitsch is also a designer and his clients include Universal Studios, Sci-Fi Channel and United Nations. He regularly contributes to Shpilman Institute of Photography, a non-profit research organisation that promotes photography worldwide. He loves living in both Bangkok and Munich.

Right on track
Thailand’s first ever railway track, Paknam Railways was established in 1893 and was inaugurated by King Rama V. A narrow-gauge line, it stretched 13 miles and four steam locomotives were driven on it. The tracks were laid by Krauss and Company of Munich. It took two years to build them and construct the locomotives. This German company was given 20 years concession by the Thai authorities to run Paknam Railways. The locomotives ran daily and became a popular public transport in Bangkok. To inspect the tracks, officials from Krauss and Company would have taken flights from Bangkok to Munich and vice versa. In 1908 the Motor Tramway Service came into force and Paknam Railways got their first electric engine. Later this railway service was bought by the Thai Government, who was not enthusiastic as before to invest in it. During World War II the cables of these locomotives were cut and in 1959 Paknam Railways was finally closed down as Rama IV roadways came in place of the railway tracks. The four German locomotives were kept in the museum reminding all, of Bangkok’s first train services.

German architect at Bangkok Airport
Helmut Jahn, a German architect who designed numerous buildings and structures worldwide, was born during World War II. He witnessed devastation of Germany due to massive bombing and it’s restructuring after the war. This reconstruction of a destroyed city influenced Jahn to become an architect. He was the brain behind the 800 million dollar Sony Centre in reunited Berlin. Jahn was also the chief architect of Bangkok’s Subarnabhumi Airport, while the Munich Airport Centre is being designed by him. He built the impressive structure of Kempinski Hotel which is run by Bangkok’s royal family. His other architectural splendours include the tallest building of Philadelphia and Highlight Munich Business towers. Helmut Jahn’s global business spreads across continents and his architecture firm ranks among the top 20 US architect firms with a huge annual turnover. Every time Helmut Jahn takes a flight from Bangkok Subarnabhumi Airport to Munich, he must be in praise of his own structural wonder. He shares a great relationship with both Bangkok and Munich.
Sky Trains made in Munich
Bangkok’s famous Sky Trains, a rapid elevated transit system, is one of the swiftest transports to go around the city with easy access to major shopping malls, markets, riverside area and the popular Sukumvhit Road. These popular Sky Trains used by both residents and tourists in Bangkok, are made by Siemens, one of the leading electrical goods manufacturing companies of the world. Siemens is a German company with its headquarters in Munich. The Thai government of Bangkok has a contract with Siemens to supply these Sky Trains. Tourists who have taken flights to Bangkok from various parts of the world get a taste of Munich while riding these trains and touring the city. So the ties between Bangkok and Munich run sky high.

Silver screen connect
Hollywood actress Maile Fianagan, who played the role of Ninja Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto, spent her childhood in both Bangkok and Munich. Born into a military family in Honululu, Hawai, she and her relatives lived in Bangkok around 1969. When she was ten years old, her parents took a flight from Bangkok back to Munich, where they settled finally and Fianagan completed her graduation. She excelled in theatre and stand-up comedies. She was engaged with Lab Rats as Terry Perry and acted in the role of Janet in Yes Man. An Emmy award winner for her outstanding performance in animated movies, she has more than seventy films to her credit. Though born in Hawaii USA, she is immensely attached to both Bangkok and Munich where she believes her roots lie. Fianagan always mentions the two cities while speaking of her childhood and student life and how these cities framed her future. She once said: “It took me three years to settle down in the USA as I was forever close to Bangkok and Munich.”