Change is good. Change is everything.
Sometimes I want something to remain the same. But then again I cannot stop what is going around in Bangkok. What I can do is to collect memories and keep them for occasional session of old-Bangkok-days nostalgia and luckily I have found one place in Bangkok where I can do just that.
Klong Bang Luang (คลองบางหลวง ), a peaceful life ริมคลอง (by the canal). I tricked my friend into coming along with me for this wee adventure. I didn’t tell her where I was taking her to, the only thing she got from me was – it is going to be great. She gave me a big doubtful look because being away from home for years and knowing so wee bit about modern Bangkok (particularly places and locations), the combination doesn’t give me much credits.
Anyway, we made it to Blong Bang Luang (phew) and it was peacefully magical. We started off with a delish-ก๋วยจั๋บ (rice-noodle soup) lunch and “taro-tako” – Thai taro pudding with coconut topping. We then crossed a bridge and popped into one of the lovely ร้านขายน้ำปั่น where we were told that the Thai puppets show (Hun Lakorn Lek – หุ่นละครเล็ก) was about to start. Run. We did make it to see Hanuman with Supamatcha at บ้านศิลปิน (Baan Silapin | the artisr’s house). There were already a couple of dozens of audience some sat on the provided seats and some on the wooden floor. The show was an excerpt from the Indian Epic Ramayana – Hanuman, the very cheeky monkey god wins the love of the very beautiful mermaid Supamatcha. We enjoyed the show and definitely wanted to go back again. We learned that the Thai puppets show or หุ่นละครเล็ก at Baan Silapin is on everyday (except Wednesday) at 2pm with free admission but is welcome for the visitors’ generous donation.
Baan Silapin is an outstanding hundred years old wooden house originally owned by goldsmiths for generations. It was in a bad condition until it was sold to Yodchai Raksamruad who asked his friend Chumpol Akkapantanon (and 3 friends) to help renovating. Chumpol decided to buy it from Yodchai and turned it into an art gallery. A two-storey L-shaped house is built around a Yor Mum Sipsong-style pagoda (เจดีย์ย่อมุมไม้สิบสอง สมัยอยุธยา) in its small garden in the middle.
After Baan Silapin, we loitered pass houses with lovely local shops along the canal like ร้านของเล่น where I bought my ปิ่นโต (a classic monk’s food carrier), bang Luan Gallery, ร้านขายน้ำปั่น D Lerd coffeeshop – the name means “excellent” – which is decorated with a tin wall-advertisements for soft drinks and radios etc.
Talking about changes. How could we not visit ศาลาเฉลิมกรุง (Sala Chalerm Krung)?
So we did but didn’t go inside. Nowadays, ศาลาเฉลิมกรุง runs the show, the arts, and dance heritage of India – the pantomime. I hope to come back and see it one day.
We both realised that it would be a shame to not going to ท่าพระจันทร์ (Tha-Phra-Chan pier) from where we were and so we jumped into a tuk-tuk and headed there which was about time for another delish-meal and the evening gin by chao praya river before our next stop – the Asiatique.
We walked around Asiatique as much as our physiques allowed which means we are going to have to go back there again, hopefully, soon.
After spending my saturday visiting old บางกอก, I definitely don’t mind having a peacefully awesome life ริมคลอง.