/ Chaiyaphum, Thailand /

/ Story: Trairat Songpao / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

It was a journey through time as we paid a visit to ethnic Nyah Kur communities in Chaiyaphum Province, located in the heart of northeastern Thailand, also known as Isan.

Nyah Kur

The Nyah Kur are nonurban groups inhabiting several parts of the country. Their language is a branch of the larger Austroasiatic family indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia and eastern South Asia.

By way of introduction, the Nyah Kur is related to the Mons of Dvaravati, a kingdom that flourished from the 6th to the late 11th century in what is now Thailand. Studies show the modern Nyah Kur language shares extensive similarities in the vocabulary and sounds with Mon, the language of the ancient kingdom.

Narita Lert-utsahakul, liaison of the Nyah Kur Community Learning Center, told this writer:

“It will be nice for everyone to learn through hands-on experience the history of the community, its ethnic music, and the rural way of life.

“This way, they will get to appreciate the traditional music of the people native to the region. It’s a type of tourism activity that focuses on the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage assets.”

That was pretty much a great starting point for our journey to the Isan countryside. The trip took us to a community of descendants of the ancient Mon people located at Tambon Ban Rai in Chaiyaphum’s Thep Sathit District.

As we were witnessing history, we were also watching the present way of life unfold in real time, not to mention good food and the beautiful natural surroundings.

Ways of life

We arrived at Wang Ai Pho Village, Tambon Ban Rai to learn about the homes of the Nyah Kur people.  A remarkable lasting legacy of the past, they were built the old-fashioned way — with one exception.

As time passed, the homes once made of bamboo transformed in the appearance and character to ones built of wood for durability. What remained largely unchanged was house-on-stilts design with a three-level floor plan, each level serving a specific purpose.

The beams that supported the floors above them sat atop pile heads shaped like slingshot catapults. An unfamiliar sight for us city dwellers, it’s an age-old wisdom that’s been passed down from one generation to the next.

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

The Nyah Kur people originally settled in the Phang Hoei mountains located at Tambon Ban Rai in Thep Sathit District. Nowadays, ethnic Nyah Kur communities can be found in three provinces.

They made their permanent homes in two districts of Chaiyaphum Province namely, Ban Khwao and Thep Sathit. Their other communities are located in Petchabun Province, and in Pak Thong Chai District of Nakhon Ratchasima, aka Korat.

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

Altogether the Nyah Kur people now number more than six thousand. Their written language is adapted from visual symbols of Thai alphabetic writing. The Nyah Kur refer to themselves in the Thai language as “Khon Dong” or “Chao Bon”, literally translated as “People of the Mountains”.

Interestingly, “Nyah” is their native word for people, and “Kur” the mountains. Likewise, “Chao” also means people, whereas “Bon” refers to somewhere up there.


The simple ways of life of the Nyah Kur people are often manifested in smooth performances that combine singing and dancing.

Their musical instruments are made from objects readily available in nature, such as tree leaves. You got that right! They make music by blowing on leaves, a technique requiring practice to make perfect. And nobody does it better than the Nyah Kur, plus they can perform in a band alongside other instruments, too.

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

Since ancient times the Nyah Kur have perfected leaf blowing as a means of communication as they foraged for food in the forest. They made short musical sections to signal it was time to call it a day and go home.

And we got to try this technique ourselves on this trip. Sometimes we succeeded in doing it, but more than half the time, we failed.

The Nyah Kur could make music blowing on leaves, while we had fun imitating the songs of birds in the tree. Not bad, ha!

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur

The Nyah Kur society is about caring and sharing. Traditionally women are skilled at performing rituals in their everyday lives.

They use objects with supposed magical powers to make predictions, among them a betel nut wrapped in white cloth, which they suspend from somewhere and spin. Meantime, it’s the men who go out into the woods hunting and foraging for food.

Before going on a long journey, they would seek blessings from supernatural beings. And upon their return, it’s customary to offer veneration to good spirits as a way to boost morale.

Nyah Kur

Nyah Kur



For what it is worth, the Nyah Kur people are highly thought of for their ability to use natural resources wisely.

They know the forest like the back of their hands. They can tell by experience which plant is edible and which is not. Traditionally they were born hunters. Now they make a living doing agricultural work but still occasionally hunt and forage for food.

Before the advent of agriculture, the Nyah Kur had lived life strictly following every rule. They didn’t just go out into the woods cutting down trees and clearing forest land for farming. Instead, they relied on village elders for good spiritual blessings before making a move.

After that, they would go to bed as usual. If they had a bad dream, it’s regarded as a portent of evil, and the intended project must be scrapped. Otherwise, it was good to go. Their philosophy is simply this. Every forest has a guardian angel. If you want something, ask.

It’s their symbiotic associations with nature that have helped the Nyah Kur people to survive in the wilderness. To them, the forest provides food security plus the nutrition and water they need going forward.

Take for example, a favorite recipe known as “Miang,” or bite-sized appetizers wrapped in leaves. They are stuffed full of herbs and other good ingredients such as raw banana, eggplants, lemongrass, and elephant ear plants (Colocasia esculenta) that are grown for their edible corms.

To prepare, start by cutting the ingredients into small pieces, add salt and a little bit of hot chilli pepper and wrap with elephant ear leaves. And you’re good to go

The Nyah Kur rely on Miang for a healthy, balanced diet. Plus, it’s in keeping with the long-established tradition that values sharing and caring. It’s a forum for community members to meet as they sit in a circle to share a good meal.

Nyah Kur

The Nyah Kur group whom we met today coincidentally happened to be the first to discover of a famous Siam Tulip field located deep inside the Pa Hin Ngam National Park.

We spent two days and one night on this journey into the forest. The message is clear. It’s amazing how immersing yourself in nature benefits your health. If you have a chance, stop by a Nyah Kur village for a visit. Whether you’re planning to spend a night or two, or making a day trip to the Pa Hin Ngam National Park, trust us.

There is a lot to see. It’s a naturally beautiful place to sleep in a tent if you love stargazing and night sky watching. It’s the only national park open for year-round visits unconditionally. Serious!

The original article in Thai originated in บ้านและสวน Explorer’s Club
Pattani Naturally Charming Small Town

Pattani Naturally Charming Small Town

Many ask what is so fascinating about Pattani. We hear about negative events in the South of Thailand from time to time. But have you ever wondered what it’s really like to visit Pattani? Here’s an inside story.


Story: Samutcha Viraporn / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham, Samutcha Viraporn

Naturally charming, Pattani is a cosmopolitan area with many small town secrets waiting to be discovered. You will love southern hospitality, the friendly and generous reception that locals, for the most part Muslims and Thais of Chinese descent, give their visitors. For simplicity’s sake, let’s look at 5 good reasons why you should pay them a visit.


The mangrove forest is both a source of food for locals and a healthy coastlands ecology that protects the city from strong winds.

Adventure: Take the Tunnel of Bushes through a Mangrove Forest

If you travel the world in search of adventure, the sight of a centuries-old mangrove forest and a tunnel of bushes that runs through it will fill you with awe. It’s home to tropical trees and woody plants with countless prop roots that thrive to form dense thickets. The unspoiled forest covers the entire coastal swamp that’s flooded at high tide. Dubbed one of Thailand’s healthiest wetland ecologies, the Bang Poo Mangrove Forest in Yaring District lies along Pattani Bay and only 25 kilometers from the provincial seat.

A tunnel of bushes among tropical coastal swamps offers views of impressive natural scenery. It tells stories of an enormous richness of the mangrove forest.
Tourists learn how to collect sea mussels, a hands-on experience at the Bang Poo Mangrove Forest, Yaring District.

It’s quite an education to stop by the Yaring Mangrove Forest Study Center. Take a boat ride under forest canopies, then head out to sea and back. The service is offered by villagers. Learn how to collect sea mussels like locals do. On the way back, take a moment to observe sea birds on the bay and coastal wetlands, where sedges and other grass-like species thrive. They provide raw material for sedge basket weaving industries in the area. It could be your most exciting ride, and the view is fantastic.

The tidal mouth of the Pattani River that empties into the Gulf of Thailand.
Dense groups of sedge thrive inside the mangrove forest. The glass-like plants are used to make weaving crafts associated with the way of life in southern Thailand.

The mangrove forest was originally part of ancient coastlands that had grown to form an impenetrable mass around Pattani Bay. After a period of neglect, concerted efforts have been successful in restoring it to good health. Nowadays, tour activities vary from season to season, ranging from boat rides into the forest on nights aglow with fireflies, to stargazing night rides, to homestays at affordable prices.


The façade of the widely revered shrine of Lim Kor Niew.

Old World Charm, Chinatown, and Cool Café

Like other settlements in an earlier time, Pattani originally was a regional hub of commerce. The charming old town sits on the banks of the Pattani River that provides convenient access to the open sea and areas in the hinterland. This is evident in the way shop houses and people’s homes are located along river banks. You will like a quiet saunter on Pattani Pirom Road from Ruedee Intersection to Anohru Road.

The place of origin of an extended family in Pattani in bygone times.

Since ancient times, the little Chinatown at Anohru had been a region of diverse cultures, where Thais, Indians and Chinese met for the buying and selling of goods. It’s also home to the holy shrine of Lim Kor Niew, a goddess widely revered for her supernatural powers. Other main tourist attractions include relics of a bygone society, such as the ancestral home of the Kunanurak clan, and the residence of Khunpitakraya, son of Chinese monk Kunanurak who governed Pattani in the past.

Pattani Pirom Road, one of the city’s most popular thoroughfares.
The café named “All Good Coffee & Bakery” is right next to a famous Hainan chicken restaurant.
The interior of IN_T_AF Café and Gallery looks out over the Pattani River.
Part of an interior living space at the home of Khunpitakraya.

Anohru Road is famous for cozy Chinese style inns, charming wood homes, and Sino-Portuguese architecture. Coffee lovers shouldn’t miss the old town’s greatest hangouts – All Good Coffee & Bakery (which is right next to a famous Hainan chicken restaurant), and IN_T_AF Café & Gallery.

Civilization has diverse origins. Krue Se Mosque is a beautiful piece of architecture and pride of Pattani town. The holy shrine of Lim Kor Niew is a widely revered temple that’s the city’s heart and soul.

Looking for a holy place to pray to God? There are the famous Krue Se Mosque and the Central Mosque of Pattani. Dress properly if you intend to visit.


Don’t miss out on it! Wae Mah Roti is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Delicious Food, Good Tea, Great Roti, and all

Pattani food culture is interesting for it brings people together to enjoy good eating. There is happiness in their eyes as people meet and eat together in their favorite restaurants. If Roti, or Chapati, is your thing, you shouldn’t miss the Wae Mah Roti shop. It’s always full of people, but it’s worth a visit. There’s the slightly salty, crispy crunchy kind to suit every pleasure of taste. The best place no doubt, if you want to eat like locals do. And it’s inexpensive, too!

Wae Mah Roti shop is busy all day every day.
The frying pan that goes to work non-stop every day at Wae Mah Roti.

For a more modern atmosphere, there is Chaba Roti & Coffee located behind Mor Or (call sign of the Prince of Songkhla University at Pattani). It’s located on Samakkee Road Route B. Their famous tea recipes go together very well with Roti. A nice place to dine alfresco.
By the way, if strong tea is your thing, go to a small shop called Cha-Indo & Roti located on the same road. Right opposite from it stands Papa TaGu Restaurant that serves Khao Mok, the Thai Muslim version of Indian Biryahni. The fragrant yellow rice dish is served with chicken, fish, beef, or goat meat. All good. Take your pick. If you dine together as a group, it’s better to order trays of food and come away satisfied every time. You will love the Arab rice they use, which is perfectly fluffy and not sticky.

Chaba Roti & Coffee presents charcoaled Roti and Roti with curry, a Pakistan style recipe served with sunny-side up eggs.
Mouth-watering Khao Mok recipe at Papa TuGu. Order trays of food if you come as a group. It’s deeply satisfying.
The sign in front of Papa TuGu that has appeared in print media.

If the ambience of a restaurant is important in entertaining guests, we recommend Baan De Nara. Try out their signature yellow curry with mackerel and coconut milk. You may also like Solok, a traditional southern dish made of bell peppers stuffed with fish, shrimp, and a healthy dose of curry, a lesser-known recipe but delicious nonetheless.

The most delicious meals at Baan De Nara: Yellow curry with mackerel and coconut milk, Solok (traditional southern dish made of bell peppers stuffed with fish and a healthy dose of curry), Boodoo, and fired shrimp with lemongrass. All good.

Chinese food is meant to be savored and enjoyed. For that, we recommend London, an old restaurant widely admired for enchanting Chinese cuisine. Their highly pleasing recipes are on par with those that you get in Bangkok no doubt. But for a mouth-watering Rad-Na meal (stir-fried noodle with pork and kale soaked in gravy), go to Num Ros Restaurant, and you won’t be disappointed.


An event that’s part of the Pattani Decoded design exhibition.

A Vibrant and Growing Scene of Art and Design

You may have heard of the Koleh boat that over time has come to symbolize culture and the way of life on the Malay Penninsula. But there is more to Pattani than just the Koleh boat.
Nowadays, at a continually increasing rate the young generation of Pattani has taken a keen interest in art and design. As a result, an art gallery called “Patani Art Space” was born. It has achieved its objective in promoting the works and ideas of up-and-coming young artists in the three southernmost provinces.

Asst. Prof. Jehabdulloh Jehsorhoh, founder of Patani Art Space

Over the past several years, their designs have received proper recognition. Take for example the Benjametha brand of ceramics, which earned a few DEmark design awards; the Batik of Baan De Nara, which some Japan buyers bought for Kimono making; and the Tlejourn brand of footwear that turned recycled ocean waste into products of quality and value.

An outdoor market selling secondhand goods and vintages that’s part of the Pattani Decoded design week.
Patterns characteristic of Malay design by local artists on show during the Pattani Decoded design week.
Ocean debris transforms into raw material for the Tlejourn shoemaking industry.
Ceramic article by Emsophian from the brand Benjametha.

The force behind this success was Rachit Radenahmad. He teamed up with Melayu Living, a local creative group. Together they succeeded in staging “Pattani Decoded”, the province’s first Design Week showcasing works by local artists, designers and community members in August 2019.


Roti Achiva, a crisped-to-perfection Roti meal by members of the Vocational College of Pattani. A delicious memento to take home!

OTOP as Memento of Your Visit

Your adventures in Pattani are not complete without something to take home or a souvenir to remind you of your visit. For that, we recommend Roti Achiva, a local brand of crisped-to-perfection meals made by members of the Vocational College of Pattani. It’ so delicious it’s hard to stop eating. By the way, there’s another Roti brand called Miss Millah, which is also very good. It’s part of OTOP, an acronym for the “One Tambon, One Product” project. Take your pick. Or go for dried banana strips and fish flavored rice chips that are equally popular.


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10 Best Places to Eat in Canggu, Bali

10 Best Places to Eat in Canggu, Bali

Located on the southern coast of Bali, Canggu is known for beautiful rolling rice fields and the roar of the surf. The fast growing village is roughly half-an-hour drive from the upscale resort area at Seminyak that lies further south. Looking for good food, good vibe? Here are ten best places to eat in Canggu, from trendy café to Balinese style restaurants to cool spots to post on Instagram.


/// Indonesia ///

Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham

Cafe Organic

One of the favorite hangouts in Canggu, Café Organic means exactly that. Good food comes from natural farming methods. Feel the atmosphere. The interior space in shades of white is adorned with lush tropical gardens. There are healthy desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Warung Gouthe

A restaurant with beautiful rice field views, Warung Gouthe is well known for its home-style brochettes. The skewered meat or fish chunks grilled or roasted to perfection come in a tray with an excellent side dish of salad. You will love panini, a sandwich made with toasted Italian bread and the tantalizing aroma of a country style kitchen.

Cabina Bali

A favorite place serving breakfast and lunch, Cabina Bali is about good food, great company, and the opportunity to share the happiest moments in life. Here, food comes in a floating basket, so you don’t even have to get out of the pool. Girls in bikinis love it for the Gram.



Calm down and relax at Parachute as you take in the view of surrounding rice fields and lush vegetable gardens. If you prefer to eat alfresco, there are parachute canopies for that. Inside, coffee smells like heaven, and the aroma of baked goods will simply overwhelm you.


My Warung Canggu

Nothing beats a steak grilled to perfection. My Warung Canggu is a place to give yourself a nice treat or the ultimate indulgence. It goes together well with artistic and definitely exciting interior design. There’s even a confession room in case you think you’ve eaten too much.

A Day Trip Through Yaowarat / Chinatown Bangkok

A Day Trip Through Yaowarat / Chinatown Bangkok

The historic business hub of Bangkok is on CNN’s List of “Best Districts for Street Food” and “Top Ten Chinatowns in the World”. Whether it be fine dining or quick one-dish dinners, you can find some of the best meals in Yaowarat. Combine your favorite pastimes into one-day adventure. Living ASEAN recommends stopping by these places.

/// THAILAND ///

9:00 Coffee at Ama Hostel

Start your day at Ama Hostel Bangkok, a recently renovated Chinese style building located at 191 Soi Sapanhan off Chakkrawat Road in Samphanthawong area. The café in the forward section of the hostel offers coffee that smells so good. There’s nothing like the warm aroma of a steaming cup of coffee to wake you up to a beautiful day in old Chinatown. Nearby, push cart vendors serve delicious Kuichai meals and Kuay Jub noodes.


10:00 Shop at Sampeng Market and Yaowarat

A stone’s throw away from Ama Hostel stands Sampeng Market, a shopper’s paradise for goods at bargain prices, both retail and wholesale. The area is well known for many gift shops and stores selling fabrics, clothing and accessories, toys and seasonal decorating materials. Follow Chakkrawat Road and you come to Yaowarat Road.


12:00 Lunch at the Canton House

Enjoy the pleasure of authentic Chinese food at the Canton House. Established in 1908, the restaurant has since been renovated to give it unique appeal characterized by raw construction materials. The Canton House is located at 530 Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong area. You will love the bite-sized Dim Sum in steamer baskets, steamed pork rib with black bean sauce, and fried Mantou (buns) with condensed milk. Thai and Western meals are also on the menu.


13:00 Wat Leng Noei Yi

The historic Wat Leng Noei Yi is rooted deeply in this community of Thai citizens of Chinese descent. Founded in 1871, the temple has been involved in every facet of life of the followers of Buddhism. It sees the busiest time during the period leading to Chinese New Year celebrations. Slowly burning joss sticks are used in paying tribute to the Lord Buddha. It’s good idea to avoid getting smoke in your eyes.


14:00 Jay Noi’s Kuichai Meal

About 250 meters to the right of Wat Leng Noei Yi stands a famous push-cart business selling fried Kuichai meals. Jay Noi’s Kuichai is renowned for being one of the most delicious vegetable meals in Yaowarat. Located on Charoen Krung Road, the humble push cart vendor sells Kuichai at 10 Baht apiece. The menu also includes fried Taro and Jicama (a globe shaped root vegetable). They are equally delightful.


15:00 Cakes at Wallflowers Café

Beat the heat in the afternoon with yummy mouthwatering cakes served with frothy Thai tea with cheese. Located at 31-33 Soi Nana, Pom Prab area, Wallflowers Café sits on the upper floor of a florist’s shop, which provides inspiration for many beautiful items on its menu. The café is owned and operated by an architect who has great interest in the art of coffee making.

Go Eat, Go View! Fill up at Restaurants the Locals Love (Chao Phraya)

Go Eat, Go View! Fill up at Restaurants the Locals Love (Chao Phraya)

It’s said that waterways are the wellsprings of civilization, and that does appear to be true. Looking back many thousands of years to the earliest prototypes of human civilization it seems they all had close relationships with and originated along water sources. Civilizations in the Nile Delta, the Huang He basin, along the Indus River, the Tigris-Euphrates, and in Thailand itself, humanity’s ways of life began with connections to waterways used for consumption, travel, and agricultural use.

The international festival of contemporary art Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) 2018 echoes this historic heritage of civilization by exhibiting the works of artists both Thai and foreign along one of Asia’s ancient and majestic waterways. Come along today as we take you to see art on the Chao Phraya riverside, and, by the way, take a few breaks to scarf down some truly delicious food.

Saphan Taksin SkyTrain Station

Our starting point today is the Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain station, itself an important landmark. Foreigners are familiar with it for its location in the heart of Charoen Krung district and its access to the Chao Phraya Express Boat and cross-river ferries, for travel to major points such as Asiatique the Riverfront, ICONSIAM, Wat Arun, Maharaj Pier, and many others.

Sathorn Pier (Chao Phraya Express Boat, Chao Phraya Tour boats, cross-river ferries)
A songthaew minibus service running along Charoen Krung Road

For a taste treat in the Charoen Krung area, we’ll first take you to “Thip Hoi Thot Phukhao Fai,” a superb fried shellfish shop in Soi Charoen Krung 50 known for the freshness of ingredients coming direct from the sea each day. We recommend the Hoi Thap Hoi (“Shellfish on Shellfish”) for 90 baht, featuring deep fried mussels spread on top of a layer of oysters for a crispy-outside, soft-inside taste, with oysters that are delightfully fresh and juicy.

Thip Hoi Thot Phukhao Fai (Shop is in the front of the tiny 1 Khuha Building, tucked away in Soi Charoenkrung 50)

Hoi Thap Hoi (crispy-fried mussels spread over oysters)

Thip Hoi Thot Phukhao Fai Restaurant
Open Monday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tel: 0-2233-1116

Full from our Thip Hoi Thot Phukhao Fai meal, leaving the shop we see Robinson’s Department Store, a Bang Rak landmark since 1992 and an early indicator of the commercial boom this area was about to undergo.

Robinson Department Store, Bang Rak Branch

Just past Robinson we glance across the street to see another of this area’s great restaurants, Prajak Roast Duck.”

In front of Robinson’s, traffic tends to get congested!

Prajak Roast Duck (directly across from Robinson’s)

Prajak Roast Duck has a long history in Bang Rak, and is famous for its roast duck, tender, skin crispy to perfection, and delicious. Today we’re ordering kiaow mee kung pet (“mee noodles with dumplings, shrimp, and duck”) and kiaow kung chin toh (“prawn dumplings”) with crispy-skin roast duck on top, for an intensely savory taste without needing to add any seasoning at all.

kiaow mee kung pet
kiaow mee kung pet

Prajak Roast Duck Shop
Open: daily, 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tel: 0-2234-3755

. . . continuing our walk along Charoen Krung Road, at Soi 40 we reach a major Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 location, with Festival exhibits at three venues: the East Asiatic Building, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and the OP Place Shopping Plaza.

On the way to Assumption College, Bang Rak
Bang Rak District stands out for its tremendous number of jewelry shops selling natural stones and gems.
At Soi Charoen Krung 40 a charming old fellow directs traffic in to the exhibitions.
As we enter Soi Charoen Krung 40, the East Asiatic Building is on the left.

Going up the 2nd floor of East Asiatic Building we find an exciting group of works, including Diluvium, an installation art piece which transforms the room in a uniquely disturbing way, by Korean female artist Lee Bul. Then there is Nothing Is Less Comparable 2018 by Sara Favriau, a sculptress from France skilled in creating art works from wood. Moving on, we see Pyramid Shape Sculpture, an extremely unusual and striking sculpture by Andrew Stahl, and Performing Textiles, which poses questions about various social issues, especially women’s rights, with artist Kawita Vatanajyankur using her body as a tool for “women’s work at home.”

Inside the East Asiatic Building
Diluvium, by Lee Bul
Diluvium, by Lee Bul
Nothing Is Less Comparable 2018, by Sara Favriau
Nothing Is Less Comparable 2018, by Sara Favriau
Pyramid Shape Sculpture, by Andrew Stahl
Pyramid Shape Sculpture, by Andrew Stahl
Performing Textiles, by Kawita Vatanajyankur
Performing Textiles, by Kawita Vatanajyankur
Companion Hands, by Kata Sangkhae
Companion Hands, by Kata Sangkhae

Leaving the East Asiatic Building we encounter Lost Dog, a more than 3.8-meter-tall sculpture by Aurèle Ricard, towering in front of the Mandarin Oriental.

Lost Dog, by Aurèle Ricard

Turning left into the OP Shopping Plaza right next door, there is more great art on exhibit, beginning with Jrai Dew: a radicle room, a mixed-media presentation by Art Labor, a Vietnamese group of artists. Next is Listen to the voice my Land Papua, a painting on canvas by Moelyono. And there is QUALITY: quality, by Latthapon Korkiatarkul, which urges us to think and pose questions about our lives and surroundings.

OP Place Shopping Plaza
Jrai Dew: a radicle room – Art Labor
Jrai Dew: a radicle room, by Art Labor
Listen to the voice my Land Papua, by Moelyono
QUALITY : quality, by Latthapon Korkiatarkul
Becoming White, by Eisa Jocson

OK! We’ve seen quite a bit of art! Let’s go pamper ourselves a little with a visit to the organic café “Farm to Table.” This tiny place is hidden away near the Pak Khlong flower market, with a warm and familiar atmosphere suitable for a good sit-down chill. Let’s order lod chong + ice cream (75 baht), a mix of soft, smooth organic ice cream with the signature sweetness of lod chong dessert noodles.

Farm to Table organic café
Lod Chong + Ice Cream

Shop: Farm to Table organic café
Open: every day, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tel: 0-2115-2625

Feeling fat and sassy after a restful stop, we exit the shop to head out again on our art odyssey. There are two more BAB 2018 exhibition locations right nearby: Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn, or Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Ratchawararam.

We can just walk across the bridge to Tha Thien Pier (Wat Pho)

In the Wat Pho grounds six important art works are on display, including Paths of Faith, by Jitsing Somboon – a collection of white robes, backs embroidered with the word “faith” in Thai, Chinese, and English – and Zuo You He Che, by Huang Yong Ping, which uses sculptures of fantastic animals to depict stories based in Chinese culture.

Paths of Faith, by Jitsing Somboon
Zuo You He Che, by Huang Yong Ping
(Photo credit: Metthi Samanthong)

If you get tired looking at the Wat Pho exhibitions, you can walk across Maharaj Road and into a tiny alley on the Chao Phraya riverside. There you’ll find another super-cool café hidden away, the Blue Whale Café.

The Blue Whale Café

The Blue Whale Café is a tiny Maharaj Road district coffeehouse set in the soi opposite Wat Pho. What makes it special is the ambiance, a sky blue décor  matching the name. We order the signature dish, “nom anchan (“butterfly-pea milk) for 120 baht, colorful, eye-catching, photogenic! Check in there and have a taste: milk, butterfly pea, mixed, for an incredible new taste.

nom anchan

Shop: Blue Whale Café
Open: every day, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tel: 08-1641-4514

Once you’ve filled yourself up with this treat, let’s check out one more place. Right near Phra Athit Pier is “Khun Daeng’s Kui Jap Yuan,” is one of the area’s best-known spots for Thais and foreigners alike, and should be experienced at least once. We suggest the Kui Jap Juan (45 baht), which Khun Daeng is justly known for: soft, viscous noodles in a mellow soup that needs practically no additional seasoning.

Khun Daeng’s Kui Jap Yuan

The dish Kui Jap Yuan

Shop: Khun Daeng’s Kui Jap Yuan
Open: every day, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tel: 0-2282-0568

. . . Full of delicious kui jap but still not sated with all this art? Then hop on a boat, cross to the other riverbank and see more at the Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan and Wat Prayoonwongsawat Worawihan BAB expositions.

Across the Universe and Beyond, by Sanitas Pradittasnee

So, have you experienced a full menu of awesome art works and fabulous eats along the Chao Phraya riverside? Well, remember: Bangkok Art Biennale 2018’s “Beyond Bliss” is held until February 3, 2019, at a full 20 venues, not just here, but all over the city of Bangkok!

Four Cafés We’ve Picked for You to Stop and Have Some Tea or Coffee After Visiting BAB 2018’s Urban Zone

Four Cafés We’ve Picked for You to Stop and Have Some Tea or Coffee After Visiting BAB 2018’s Urban Zone

We’ve told you already about “6 cafés with cool designs for us to stop in after a visit to BAB 2018,” right? Well, now we’d like to take you on a tour of BAB’s urban zone, with four more primo cafés we’ve picked out. Besides an attractive drink menu, as with ones we gave you before, each has a uniquely cool atmosphere, and they definitely aren’t far from exhibits at Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) 2018 international festival of contemporary art . . . so come on, don’t be a stuck-in-the-mud, let’s go check ‘em out!!

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Taliw /// Photo: Sroisuwan.T, Wara Suttiwan and Taliw

Hungry Me & Thirsty You 

bangkok art biennale 2018

The Hungry Me & Thirsty You café, on the bank of Khlong Saen Saep, stands out for its yellow color tones and chic atmosphere. It’s a bit of a secret, hidden away in the Yelo House creative space. But it’s just a short 350-meter walk from there to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), a major BAB 2018 exhibition location.

Yelo House is a warehouse converted into a multipurpose space right on Khlong Saen Saep, with this “secret” café inside. Besides a great drink and snack menu to refresh your body with, there’s also real food to be had.

Hungry Me & Thirsty You stands out for its cool half-glass-house design looking out on Khlong Saen Saep and some colorful graffiti for scenery. At midday the sun shines in to give the yellow-toned café a warm look. As evening stretches into darkness, Hungry Me & Thirsty You morphs into a hangout where we can socialize with the gang.

bangkok art biennale 2018 bangkok art biennale 2018

Besides its unique identity, another good point is that there are art fairs and various activities here, which can be a lot of fun depending on what Yelo House has going on when you visit. In any case, enjoy snacks and food to your heart’s content, and then . . . hop over to the BACC for another hit of BAB 2018!

Our suggestion today is a sweet snack and a light drink to relax from the heat. Start with the refreshing Apple Ginger drink (120 baht), apple juice blended with ginger for a sweet mellow taste tending just a bit toward sour. For those who like milk, we recommend ELLA (120 baht), a dark tea with honey and milk served in bottle form. It’s chilled already, so no need to add ice to muck up the taste.

Now to bakery items: we recommend the Chocolate Memories Cake (200 baht), with a soft frosting on top and a rich chocolate taste along with a succulent texture. Eaten with the Apple Ginger drink it becomes perfection itself. Or you could try the Lemon Poppy Butter Cake (150 baht), a lightly moist butter cake, sweet-tasting with a hidden sour. At first blush it may look ordinary, but the taste is extraordinary, and we’re betting you won’t stop at one piece.

  • Address: Soi Kasemsan 1, Rama 1 Road (BTS National Stadium, Exit 1)
    • Business hours: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., closed Mondays (kitchen opens 11:30)
    • FB:

Samples of art on display at the Bangkok Art Biennale International Contemporary Art Festival 2018

Basket Tower; Artist: Choi Jeong Hwa;
Name: Basket Tower; Artist: Choi Jeong Hwa; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Genetic Manipulation
Name: Genetic Manipulation; Artist: Heri Dono; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Name: Soaked Dream; Artist: Firoz Mahmud; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Name: Soaked Dream; Artist: Firoz Mahmud; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre



Heekcaa is a hot spot that tea lovers absolutely should know about. It’s located on the 2nd floor of Siam Discovery, midway between two BAB 2018 locations, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Siam Paragon. Actually, walk just 750 meters further on and you can enjoy the BAB exhibits at Central World, too.

For this second shop, we recommend you try an original recipe from China that Siam Discovery and café Heekcaa have found hits the spot for many tea lovers, the signature drink of this café, “cheese tea.”

This drink is both a best-seller and the signature Heekcaa offering, under the name Heekcaa Cheese (90 baht).  It has the charming taste of oolong, but is topped with soft cream cheese for a rich taste with a nice salty sweetness. Green tea powder is sprinkled on top for an added subtlety. We recommend when drinking it to raise the glass at a 45-degree angle, for a blended flavor of oolong and cream cheese.

If you aren’t a cream cheese fan, Heekcaa has plenty of other dishes to choose from, for instance the fruit juice Full Cup Passion Fruit (99 baht), a jasmine tea blended with the unique sweet-sour taste of passion fruit, a refreshing drink that’s definitely not boring!

Besides blended teas of premium freshness, another Heekcaa highlight is its simple but elegant atmosphere, subtly relaxing in color tones of grey-white in a well apportioned space, perfect for sitting and chatting with friends or simply chilling.

Examples of works on exhibit at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 international festival of contemporary art

Tape Bangkok
Name: Tape Bangkok; Artist: Numen For Use Design Collective; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Spiritual Spaceship
Name: Spiritual Spaceship; Artist: Torlarp Larpjaroensook; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Name: ALIEN CAPITAL; Artist: Sornchai Phongsa; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

House of Eden

House of Eden

At the House of Eden café you’ll have no trouble pleasing the palate. Snacks or main dishes, you’ll experience perfectly delicious flavors in newly created dishes, especially the Thai fusion food. This half-café, half-restaurant is on the 2nd floor of Siam Discovery, an easy walk to or from BAB 2018 expositions, whether at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Siam Paragon, or Central World.

This is the second branch of the café, with the first in Groove at Central World This new outlet is remarkable for its rose-gold color, built around the unusual concept of a “Tree of God.”

What catches the eye here is the décor: the color selection gives it a cute, sweet ambience, and at same time there is the transformative Tree of God theme that gives a heavenly feeling to dining here. Furniture designed in the same color scheme and style adds to this artifice.

There is a really wide variety of food and drink choices here. You can eat light, or eat heavy, really filling up on Thai fusion, whose distinct flavors make it the favorite of many. With that in mind, here are some meal suggestions for hungry folks.

House of EdenHouse of Eden


Start with a Chicken Wings Eden Sauce (260 baht) appetizer. This is fried chicken enhanced with the café’s own special sauce for a mellow, playful taste. Moving towards the main course, we suggest Spaghetti Bacon Garlic (270 baht), with its hot, peppery Thai-style flavor with dried chilis and garlic, a perfect match for the soft noodles and crispy bacon. And don’t forget to order Grilled Kurobuta with Mala Sauce (370 baht), which really adds flavor to the meal, especially the delicacy of grilled-to-perfection  Kuroba pork with Mahala sauce, chili-hot and served with grilled vegetables to go along with the heat.

Besides main dishes, House of Eden has lots of fruit drinks, tea, and sweets to try out. There’s Passion Sunrise (220 baht), a “mocktail” with a pleasant combination of sweet and sour, for an appropriate contrast with the spicy hot of a main dish. Enjoy it with a light dessert such as Panna Cotta: softness topped with fresh fruit.

Examples of art works on display at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 international festival of contemporary art

The Settlement
Name: The Settlement; Artist: Mark Justiniani; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
The Outlaw’s Flag; Artist: Jakkai Siribut
Name: The Outlaw’s Flag; Artist: Jakkai Siributr; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere
Name: Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere; Artist: Imhathai Suwatthanasilp; on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Boyy & Son Café

Boyy & Son Café

Boyy & Son is the last café we’ll bring you to visit today. It provides a comfy atmosphere in the Chidlom-Ploenchit district, and it’s only 700-meter walk from there to yet another BAB 2018 art exhibit location, Central Embassy.

A super-cool café that grew out of a fashion brand, it connects to Flagship Store, so the décor has a “minimal luxury” style stressing simplicity and warmth, while at the same time luxury is revealed in its selection of materials.

The décor here is simple. The furniture is based around benches constructed of gorgeous terrazzo-style polished stone. There’s a feeling of openness, with on one side glass walls letting in natural light for an atmosphere of comfort and warmth, and on the other a supremely beautiful ocean aquarium, an impressive feature that is softened with green pastels.

Boyy & Son Café

Drink and dessert menus here are unique, staring with the their signature Iced Boyy & Son Caramel (120 baht), notable for its homemade caramel sauce, flavorful with special fresh ingredients such as sea salt. This drink is delightfully rich, as a thick jelly adds texture. Continuing on, for chocolate lovers there’s the Iced Dark Chocolate Mint (140 baht), a dark chocolate from Valrhona Chocolate, a French brand known for some of the most delicious chocolates in the world. This is served with a blend of mint syrup for its characteristic fragrance and flavor.

Boyy & Son Café

Finally, we recommend a new product, freshly baked, the Almond Croissant (130 baht). This is warmed before serving: crispy on the outside, soft and luscious on the inside, and chock full of almonds. This dish makes for some fun eating, and goes perfectly with either of the two drinks above.

  • Address: Floor G, Gaysorn Village (Gaysorn Tower)
  • Hours: open every day, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Examples of art works on display at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 international festival of contemporary art

Name: 14 Pumpkins; Artist: Yayoi Kusama; on display at Central World
Name: I Carry on Living with the Pumpkins; Artist: Yayoi Kusama; on display at Siam Paragon
Name: Pumpkin; Artist: Yayoi Kusama; on display at Siam Paragon
Name: Happy Happy Project: Fruit Tree; Artist: Choi Jeong Hwa; on display at Central Embassy
3 Well-designed Cafés Along the Phra Nakhon Riverside for Relaxation After Viewing Fine Art at BAB 2018

3 Well-designed Cafés Along the Phra Nakhon Riverside for Relaxation After Viewing Fine Art at BAB 2018

Let’s check out the coffee and tea scene along the Chao Phraya “riverside zone” for the final weekend of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Bangkok art festival. Come connect with us at 3 more shops in the Phra Nakhon district for some not-to-be-missed café-hopping.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Taliw /// Photography: Sroisuwan.T and Wara Suttiwan

Ha Tien Café

Ha Tien Café

Ha Tien Café is in Soi Pratu Nokyung, just off Maharaj Road, convenient to BAB 2018 exhibits at Wat Pho and just a ferry ride from more art on display across the river at Wat Arun.

Ha Tien Café

Old-style coffee at the Tha Tien pier, surrounded by old antiques collected over 10 years in this café converted from a house that is itself an antique: what could be cooler? Customers sit and sip, enjoying the ambience with their favorite drinks and snacking on homemade sweets. There are three floors, each with a different style. Drinks are mostly coffee-based, but include added herbs and flowers that give the tastes here a unique identity. Try the Rose Latte coffee, with rose hips, or Ma-Toom Coffee, with a syrup from quince simmered to an intense rich flavor. Specially selected coffee beans give the drink an extra mellowness that brings out the flavor of the quince. The homemade cake is a perfect match for whatever choice you make.

Ha Tien CaféHa Tien Café

  • Address: Soi Pratu Nokyung
    Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A Pink Rabbit + Bob

A Pink Rabbit + Bob

The Tha Tien district also offers a diminutive café named A Pink Rabbit + Bob that’s well known for its vintage style. The atmosphere begins with the building, a great example of the old community architecture here, and is reinforced by the vintage furniture and brash pink neon signs in the evening that seem perfect for the context. Some great delicacies are served here, not limited to drinks and pastries, but including a great food menu. This café is under the same management as the well-known “It’s Happened to be a Closet” in another part of town, so guaranteed, this is a satisfying place to eat.

A Pink Rabbit + Bob

A dish you really ought to try is the Custard Salted Choc, or “Lon Tan Cake.” This dish is noted for its flavorful palm sugar filling, cut with caramel and chocolate, and the cake is topped with a meringue and soft chocolate. There is also the chocolate-topped Zebra Mascapone, another signature dish of the shop. You can cut those chocolate oils with a Chinese Plum Frappé or the Iced Coconut Latte Cube, espresso and milk formed into an icy shape and served with cool coconut milk, pretty incredible!

A Pink Rabbit + Bob

  • Address: Maharaj Street, across from Wat Pho
    Time: Open every day, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Arelomdee Cafe @Khao San

Arelomdee Cafe @Khao San

This café is perfect if you’re traveling by car from Tha Tien to the Bank of Thailand Learning Center to catch the BAB 2018 exhibits there. The route takes you along Khao San Road and the Arelomdee Café, with the Learning Center just 1.3 kilometers away.

Arelomdee Cafe @Khao San

The cafe maintains a chic atmosphere, easy-going, with a rustic style that understates how chic it actually is. The ancient look of the walls fits perfectly with the neon lights. There are 2 floors, each with a different look. The first floor has the feel of a typical Khao San hangout, while the upstairs is really comfy and set up for relaxation. What to drink? you do not want to miss the Black Cocoa x Hokkaido and Melon Sprite. Hungry? Try the Yam Mu Yaw Kiao Krop, a salad with just the right chili-hot that won’t make you feel too full, great for a snack and some good chill time.

Arelomdee Cafe @Khao San

  • Address: Tanao Street, across from a famous Banglampoo Bakery Shop
  • Hours: Open every day, 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Examples of art on exhibit at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 festival of international contemporary art, Phra Nakhon District and nearby areas

Dragon Boat by Huang Yong Ping
Venue: BOT Learning Center

Dragon Boat is an installation created by Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping, founder of the Xiamen Dada art movement. Standing 4.2 meters tall, the sculptural work that measures 16 by 4.2 meters depicts a journey by the people who migrated from China’s Fuxian region to settle in Thailand more than a century ago. Huang is passionate about the art of storytelling. Huang is originally from Xiamen, a port city in China’s southeast. He now lives and works in France. One of his masterpieces, Dragon Boat, is currently on show at the Bank of Thailand Learning Center.

Memory House by Alex Face, Souled Out Studios (SOS)
Venue: BOT Learning Center

Thailand’s well-known graffiti artist Alex Face is a member of the street art troupe SOS, which is short for “Souled Out Studios”. The group includes, among other things, visual artists, videographers, and ceramic sculptors who explore questions about the end of life. Alex participates in the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 by presenting little Mardi, a three-eyed baby character with an aged face filled with disillusions. The sculptural installation shows the baby’s eyes opened wide in shock and rabbit ears crashing through the roof. Is he trying to call attention to a worrisome problem that’s happening to the Chao Phraya River? It’s left to your interpretation.

Paths of Faith by Jitsing Somboon
Venue: Wat Phra Chetupon or Wat Pho

Formerly chief designer at the Thai clothing brand “Playhound”, Jitsing Somboon is passionate about marrying art with fashion design. “Paths of Faith”, his entry into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, is a collection of white overcoats with “Faith” in Thai, English, and Chinese embroidered on their back. The items are given for people to wear over other clothing as they enter an area dedicated to a religious purpose at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The clothing item is part of a live installation art that’s happening with the accompaniment of sacred music and the sounds of coins hitting the inside wall of the donation bowl.

Sediments of Migration by Pannapan Yodmanee
Venue: Khao Mo at Wat Phra Chetupon or Wat Pho

“Sediment of Migration” is a transportable installation by Pannapan Yodmanee, one of the few Thai artists to ever win the 11th Benesse Prize. The sculptural composition that’s her entry into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 consists of six miniature mountains, hermit figures in yoga poses, and ballast stones taken from ancient cargo ships. Inspired by the mural paintings found throughout the temple, the exhibition is a chronicle of historical accounts of migration, trade, and religious travels between China and the Kingdom of Siam of olden days.

From the World Inside / Across the Universe by Sanitas Pradittasnee
Venue: Khao Mo at Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn

“From the World Inside / Across the Universe” is a site specific installation entered into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 by Sanitas Pradittasnee. The artist got her inspiration from miniature mountain landscapes that she saw at Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. Her new work comes in handy as an invitation to search the mind to understand the inner self, so as to become knowledgeably aware of the goings-on in the world outside. It sends a message that's in line with "Loka-witu", one of nine rules in Buddhism. The installation consists of acrylic panels painted a bright shade of red that changes hue as time passes, a reminder that things change, people change, feelings change.

Giant Twins by Komkrit Tepthian
Venue: In Front of Khao Mo, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

Thai contemporary artist Komkrit Tepthian is well known for creating beautiful works using Lego blocks. His past works included the reconstruction of Buddha statutes that had been decapitated and the heads smuggled out of the country and sold as ornaments on the black market. His entry into the 2018 Bangkok Art Biennale is “Giant Twins”, an installation featuring conjoined twin brothers — a Chinese warrior stone sculpture and the likeness of the iconic Giant of Wat Arun in full regalia.

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3 Well-designed Cafés in the Charoen Krung/Khlong San Riverside Zone for Relaxation After Viewing Fine Art at BAB 2018

3 Well-designed Cafés in the Charoen Krung/Khlong San Riverside Zone for Relaxation After Viewing Fine Art at BAB 2018

Making plans to see some great art in the Chao Phraya riverside zone on the final weekend of Bangkok Art Biennale 2018? Today we have an added suggestion for your trip: include some “café-hopping!” Here are 3 spots in the Charoen Krung/Khlong San area where you can stop, rest, and sip some tea or grab some coffee.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Taliw /// Photography: Sroisuwan.T and Wara Suttiwan

Heijii Bangkok

Heijii Bangkok

Our first stop is near several BAB 2018 riverside art locations: it’s only an 800-meter walk from O.P. Place, 950 meters from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and a single kilometer from the East Asiatic Building to Heijii Bangkok, a café that has the classic flavor inside and out of an old Chinese community that keeps up with the times. The menu is to die for, with homemade drinks, pastries, and snacks freshly prepared each day. For an iced drink, we recommend Hong Kong Papaya Milk or OP Place Ice Cold Brew (Black), both with the distinctive flavor of house blend coffee beans picked seasonally. Hot coffee comes from an Aeropress coffee machine.

Heijii Bangkok Heijii Bangkok

  • Address: Charoen Krung Soi 43 (where you’ll see the Poste 43 Residence at the mouth of the alley)
    Hours: (soft opening) 09:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Closed Monday

About White Café & Bistro

About White Café & Bistro

Another café you should know about is on Charoen Krung Road near Assumption College Bang Rak. From the first moment, friendly baristas welcome you into this space dominated by white, clean tones that give a sense of openness,. About White Café & Bistro is a great neighborhood spot to sit, chill, and rest up. Board games are provided to relax with here, too.

About White Café & Bistro

Recommended treats are Iced Chocolate: rich, mellow, and iced, or the incredibly refreshing Iced Mixed Berry: drink it along with a slice or two of their great cheesecake.

About White Café & Bistro

  • Address: Charoen Krung Road (Near Assumption College Bang Rak)
    Hours: Monday – Friday 8.00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Vacation Bangkok

Vacation Bangkok

This café in the Charoen Rak/Khlong San area lives up to its name, Vacation Bangkok, and the motto, “Make every day a vacation.” A short 800-meter walk from the Peninsula Hotel, it has a simple, comfortable interior décor: sitting here feels like relaxing at a friend’s house. It feels spacious, with a plush sofa, a corner with a long table, and an outdoor area to hang out in. For refreshment there are coffee, fruit drinks, and a “casual dining” menu you can fill up on without ever getting too full. Every dish is homemade, with select ingredients and a unique recipe. There is Berry Sister, a mellow blend of fruits and yogurt, and Banana Mango Orange, with those three fruits frozen and blended with no added ice, syrup, or plain water. If you get hungry, try the Kimchi Rice Ball and/or Caesar Salad, delicious!

Vacation BangkokVacation Bangkok

  • Address: Charoen Rak Road
    Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., closed Mondays

Examples of art on exhibit at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 festival of international contemporary art in Charoen Krung/Khlong San and nearby areas

Lost Dog by Aurèle Richard
Venue: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel

For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, renowned French artist Aurèle Richard debuts “Lost Dog”, a giant sculpted bull terrier in a shiny golden coat. He uses the canine figure as a means to communicate the deterioration of human values that’s having devastating effects on the environment. The call to attention is manifested in “Lost Dog CO2”, an artwork made of plants – a key factor that’s central to reducing air pollution. The artist invites children to spray paint messages encouraging people to protect the environment. Nearby, another sculpture, “Lost Dog Ma Long”, is on hand to welcome visitors at the hotel entrance. Lost Dog Ma Long recently exhibited at the 2018 Venice Biennale.

Zero by Elmgreen and Dragset
Venue:  The East Asiatic Company Building

Working together, Micheal Elmgreen of Denmark and Ingar Dragset of Norway present an installation called “Zero” on the waterfront terrace of the old East Asiatic Company Building. Resembling an upright swimming pool circumference, the 8-meter-tall artwork is silhouetted against the panoramic view of the Chao Phraya River in the backdrop. The installation explores the relationship between different cultures, in this particular case an imagined rendezvous between the peoples of the Chao Phraya River and the Nordic Seas.

Diluvium by Lee Bul
Venue: East Asiatic Company Building

What seems like a frightening scene is, in fact, an architectural installation by South Korean artist Lee Bul. Aptly called “Diluvium”, the sculptural composition gets its inspiration from the earth surface that’s in a constant state of change. The sophisticated thought experiment consists of multiple metal frames wrapped in reflective plastic sheets. They are welded together randomly like the crushed remains of a place hit by force majeure. Resembling a chance occurrence, the exhibit is located inside the old East Asiatic Company building that’s well known for its beautiful Renaissance Revival architecture.

Nothing is Led Comparable by Sara Faviau
Venue: East Asiatic Company Building

French artist Sara Faviau is well known for working with wood, especially her unique idea of mixing old and contemporary skills. For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, she presents “Nothing is Led Comparable”, an installation crafted of wood native to Thailand. The timber includes teakwood, Anan or Krankrao (Fagraea frangrans), and sandalwood. The artistic composition is on view at the old East Asiatic Company Building well known for its beautiful Renaissance Revival architecture.

Becoming White by Eisa Jocson
Venue: O.P. Place

Contemporary choreographer and dancer Eisa Jocson is a visual artist with a background in ballet.

For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, the versatile artist debuts “Becoming White”, a live performance that she creates to call attention to the exploitation of migrant laborers from the Philippines at Hong Kong Disneyland. The performance is given in conjunction with other shows such as video, art exhibits, and installations.

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3 Destinations Not to Be Missed at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

3 Destinations Not to Be Missed at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

We have less than a month before the curtain falls. The inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale will end on February 3, 2019. If you haven’t already been to the show, find time to do it. Plenty of exciting exhibits to see, if you love art. Grab a smartphone. Bring your friend, and take a selfie or two. Not sure where to start? Living ASEAN recommends 3 destinations that you can’t miss.


Destination 1
The Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC)
Open daily 10.00-21.00 Hours (Closed on Monday)

You will love these amazing exhibits.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
“Basket Tower” by Choi Jeong Hwa
The Spiritual Spaceship 2018 by Thai artist Torlarp Larpjaroensook currently on view at BACC | Photo courtesy of Soopakorn Srisakul
“Spiritual Spaceship” 2018 by Torlarp Larpjaroensook
“Rekayasa Genetika” (REGEN) by Heri Dono

“Tape Bangkok” by the Numen For Use Design Collective

BAAC is one of 20 destinations partaking in the country’s inaugural art festival. It’s centrally located and accessible via BTS mass transit. Get off at National Stadium Station. Many world-renowned artists are exhibited here. Worth a visit, worth a lifetime.

To get thereTake the BTS. Get off at National Stadium Station.

East Asiatic Building

Destination 2
The East Asiatic Building
Open daily 10.00-19.00

The astonishing masterpieces you can’t afford to miss

“Diluvium” by Lee Bul
“The Female Angels” by Heri Dono
“Rien n’est moins comparable” by Sara Favriau
An installation titled "Pyramid Shape Sculpture 2018” by Andrew Sthal | Photo courtesy of Singhanart Nakpongphun
“Pyramid Shape Sculpture” 2018 by Andrew Stahl, and
“Zero”, a sculptural installation by Elmgreen and Dragset | Photo courtesy of Rithirong Chanthongsuk
“Zero” by Elmgreen & Dragset

 It’s easy to get to: Hop the BTS at National Stadium Station. Get off at Taksin Bridge Station. Then catch Bus No. 1 or No. 75 to Charoen Krung Soi 40.

Destination 3
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) Learning Center
Open daily 09.30-20.00 Hours (Closed on Monday)

BOT Learning Center

Highly recommended as worth seeing

“Dragon Boat” by Huang Yong Ping
“Memory House” 2018 by Alex Face, Souled Out Studios (SOS)
“Memory House” 2018 by Alex Face, Souled Out Studios (SOS)

It’s convenient by boat.

– Take a Chao Phraya River Boat (regular service), and get off at Wat Sam Phraya – Or take the Chao Phraya River Express, and get off at Theves.

And by bus

– Take No. 3, 9, 30, 32, 33, 43, 49, 53, 64, 65, 516 and 524. And get off at Wat Sam Phraya.

Listed above are 3 out of 20 venues of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. 200 works by 75 renowned artists from 34 countries are on display. The BACC has the most shows. Plenty of happenings to excite your imagination. You can see all in one day if you start early. But, time is running out. We don’t want you to miss any of them!


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Find a Place To Crash Between Visits to BAB: 5 Convenient Hotels with Super-Cool Designs

Find a Place To Crash Between Visits to BAB: 5 Convenient Hotels with Super-Cool Designs

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is an event that will for the first time transform metropolitan Bangkok into a world-class art destination. People coming from every corner of the globe to see the incredible art on display creates a need for world-class accommodations, so we’ve put together some suggestions. These are places with standout designs that will not only put you in the mood for each BAB visit, but facilitate convenient and comfortable travel for you and your friends to and from all the many venues.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Taliw /// Photography: Wara Suttiwan

Amdaeng Hotel

Amdaeng Hotel

Beside the Chao Phraya in the Khlong San neighborhood stands the remarkable Amdaeng Hotel, eye-catching for its vermilion color and charming architecture.

The hotel’s name came from the name “Amdaeng Li,” the name on a deed for the property from the time of Siam’s King Rama V. “Amdaeng” is a lofty honorific for ‘lady,” for a concept that extends to the hotel’s design as well as its name: a beautiful, glamorous lady.

Amdaeng Hotel Amdaeng Hotel

The Amdaeng Hotel has 10 rooms, with the style of each designed to reinforce the sense that this is, as they say, “the most romantic hotel in Bangkok.” It includes the NYE Café Restaurant, where we can partake of delicious cuisine and drink in the delightful Chao Phraya riverside ambience. The café interior is darker and relies less on the color red than inside the hotel proper. Here there’s also a roof deck where we can sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening atmosphere.

Amdaeng Hotel

Traveling to BAB:

The Amdaeng Hotel is convenient to BAB exhibition sites from the nearby Lhong 1919 pier, which offers ferry service to the Si Phraya Pier on the opposite side. From there visitors can hop on the Chao Phraya Express Boat and speed off to see world-class art works of their choice.

Chann Bangkok Noi

The name “Chann” comes from the Thai word for the porch deck of a traditional house, and wood is the hotel’s primary construction material, harking back to the houses of an earlier Thailand and filling the hotel with a contemporary version of that easy Thai charm to match its motto: “Simply at Ease.”

Chann Bangkok Noi

The lower floor of the two-storey Chann Bangkok Noi reflects an essential element of the traditional Thai home: the tai thun lower space which is home to a variety of activities and opens onto the Chao Phraya riverside atmosphere. The floor above is designed as four separate houses with an interconnecting porch deck.

Chann Bangkok Noi

But what will capture your heart here is the sense of peace along the riverside, the river seen through the natural light shining freely into open areas and the green of garden plants, bringing the feeling of being out in the countryside. The guest rooms retain that relaxed atmosphere, with high gabled roofs that make them feel open and airy, reminiscent of the simple charms of old Thailand.

Chann Bangkok Noi

Traveling to BAB:

It’s easy to get from Chann Bangkok Noi to the BAB Chao Phraya “Riverside Zone”:  the Tha Rot Fai Pier, one of the main stops for the Chao Phraya Express Boat, is right next door. The hotel also has its own private pier where you can hire a longtail boat to take you wherever you want for as long as you want.

Siam Plug In Boutique Hostel

Plug in here and get acquainted with Thainess” is this hostel’s defining concept. Its aim is to bring  “Thainess” to foreigners and for Thais to experience their identity in a contemporary format, as it is set in an old commercial building in the Charoen Nakhon area that was renovated in a Thai/Industrial Loft style, featuring walls of bare cement and brick for a perfect blend of Thai flavor and modern stylishness.

Siam Plug In Boutique Hostel

The half-reception, half-café area is between one wall of show brick and another of wood, and features vintage furniture, for a combined sense of being in a house and sitting relaxed on a porch. Further in is a concrete wall decorated with gilded patterns and a staircase of bare concrete leading up to the second floor.

The rooms at Siam Plug In follow that Thai/industrial style, with a brighter décor suggesting an atmosphere of comfort. Rooms are named after Chao Phraya piers, a cute touch. Here the walls are a gallery of photographs to tease the touristic imagination. And whoever would like to sit and chill in the Thonburi evening can relax at the Sky Lounge, whose uneven brick walls were inspired by ancient temple and palace ruins.

Traveling to BAB:

From Siam Plug In it’s easy to get not only to BAB exhibitions in the Chao Phraya Riverside Zone, but also to all the ones in the Urban Zone. The hostel is near the Thonburi SkyTrain station, so for riverside sites, get off at Taksin Station and transfer to the Chao Phraya Express Boat. For urban art displays, simply continue on the SkyTrain to your chosen destination.

J No. 14

The 50-year-old J building was renovated as a chic hotel with an “industrial/vintage” atmosphere, exposing the building frame to convey a fashionable sense of rawness. The hotel owner put his own hand to the design, which gently masks a classic European style –suggested by tasteful collectible items found everywhere – that give J No. 14 a remarkable and unique identity.

J NO 14

While the industrial vintage design and décor is based in the roughness of its building materials, the hotel feels light and airy. A skylight brings in natural light to brighten the ornamental plants placed throughout the hotel. The many guest rooms retain the style and are furnished with vintage pieces, many of them true antiques. This hotel has an irresistible charm, and we can’t help but give it high marks.

Traveling to BAB:

From J No. 14 it’s not far to the Pepsi Pier, where you can take a boat across river to Saphan Taksin, a perfect starting point for visits along the art festival’s Chao Phraya Riverside Zone.

Glur Bangkok Hostel

Though Glur is not large, it has important advantages. Travel is convenient and comfortable because of proximity to the Saphan Taksin pier and SkyTrain station. The warm familial atmosphere here is a major plus. A stay here feels like sleeping over  at a friend’s home. After all, “Glur,” means “friend” in Thai!

The front side of the hostel is a travelers’ café open for service 24 hours, which noticeable for its atmosphere reinforced by intense navy blues. Upstairs are rooms of many sizes, but Glur is primarily designed for the “backpacker” traveler.

Guest rooms primarily stress functionality, and décor is simple. The dorm-style common sleeping spaces are great for coming with a group of  friends and keeping it economical. However, more privacy is also available here, from 2-person to family-size rooms.

Traveling to BAB:

As already mentioned, Glur Bangkok has significant advantages in location, at Saphan Taksin with both the Skytrain station and the pier where the Chao Phraya Express Boat stops just 150 meters from the hotel. This makes for very easy travel to either Urban or Riverside BAB festival zones.

These are just a few selections we came up with for you art lovers to think about when making plans for visiting Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, which is – don’t forget! – between 19 October 2018 and 3 February 2019, at 20 different metropolitan Bangkok landmarks.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, (BAB) is an art fair which will transform Bangkok into a city for art lovers. Famous artists from many corners of the world have brought their works here to be shown at 20 landmark sites. (Download here)