The role of Chinese people in developing the Tha Chin river basin

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Supaporn Kacharat


Chinese people migrated to settle in Thailand for a long time. Their diligence and commercial expertise made them to be progressive and successful in their lives. This article presents the role of the Chinese people in developing the Tha Chin River Basin by studying the stories of Chinese people who migrated to live in the Tha Chin River Basin and their roles through studying in Youth Research in Local History of Central Thailand for Nakhon Pathom Students Project and reviewing literature and researches related to Chinese people in Thailand. The study reveals that Chinese people were important mechanism for driving prosperity into the Tha Chin River Basin as laborers who dug canals around the Tha Chin River Basin, built railways and various buildings. The Chinese people were also the initiator of the sugar industry in Nakhon Chai Si area, the middlemen in the rice trading industry and brought the knowledge of gardening to Thai people. Moreover, they initiated the career of swineherd, weaving of black clothes and Chinese banquet business in Nakhon Pathom as well. In addition, the important role of Chinese people in the Tha Chin River Basin was the role of "merchant" who pioneered the trade in the markets along the Tha Chin River. Hard-working combined with the expertise in the trade which was Chinese people's unique characteristics thus made the Chinese people successful in trade. Moreover, the Chinese people in the Tha Chin River Basin also gathered as a group according to their beliefs and helped each other among members as well as strengthening the ethnic identity nowadays.


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