Bangkok is one top tourist destination in Asia and is home to many world-class hotels. There’s one luxury hotel there that, unknown to many of you, was rebuilt by a Danish businessman named Hans Niels Andersen.
The Oriental, Bangkok had a long history that dates back to 1881. During that year, Andersen who was then only 29 years old already had a vision of putting up a modest lodging place with a bar and western menu for all types of travelers visiting Thailand. He was on a seamen’s mission at that time.
When the second part of the 19th century came, Asia had seen the growth of luxurious hotels notably along the shipping routes such as Singapore, Penang and Hong Kong. Hans Niels Andersen was, of course, aware of the development of hotels at that time in response to the demand for respectable places of accommodation. He was then looking for items to export to his native land of Denmark and the rest of Europe.
The Oriental’s first building was constructed on the Chao Phraya River banks. The structure was considered way back then as only a seafarer’s boarding house. Unfortunately, it was burned down in 1865.
The hotel got reconstructed 10 years later in 1875 courtesy of two Danish sea captains. But since it didn’t flourish as expected, Andersen saw a good opportunity to buy out the hotel business. Andersen had already made money then and wanted to convert the building into the first grand hotel in the former Siam. With the help of an Italian architect, the hotel was built using materials imported from Persia, France and Burma and took six years to finish.