Blog : Chinese Influence

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.

Chinoiserie Chic / Timeless Wood Décor Charm

Chinoiserie Chic / Timeless Wood Décor Charm

Chinoiserie style brings out the charm of wood crafted panel and East Asian traditional décor.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Attavanti /// Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /// Architect: Kanit Tantiwong /// Interior Designer: Suwannee Chanthai

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We have seen many Chinese-style homes built on ground level. This one sits on higher ground. Naturally, it is more difficult to build a home on a slope. But the homeowner decided to give it a go to this land in Phuket.

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One of the hallway walls is covered in Chinese calligraphic tiles imported from China. The pieces demonstrate the evolution of one word – “Fu” meaning wealth.

The property spans across a land of almost an acre. The 5-unit complex is based on an O-shaped plan with the main villa at the center surrounded by single-story annexes scattered across the landscape. Inspired by arcade designs, a garden pathway runs along the edges of the roof providing access to all units.

According to Voranuch Saencharoen who owns the place, a grassy hill at the center court reflect traditional Chinese wisdom. “The house was originally belonged to a Western gentleman and his wife. At that time, the land was half an acre. When we bought the place, a Feng Shui master recommended us to expand the space to an adjacent land.”

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The main villa on the hilltop looks out over the contoured landscape with the bedroom annex for children to the left. The lush courtyard with tall trees descends slightly to other parts of the residential complex.

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Kanit Tantiwong, a friend of the family, was responsible for the design. He initially came up with a beautiful Modern Balinese design, but the owner insisted on going the Sino-Portuguese style. Most of Sino-Portugese buildings are shophouses, not detached house. As a result, the designer and the homeowner had to do a lot of research.

As the construction got underway, Voranuch was seeking for materials from both inbound and abroad. “To me, building this house is also an experience to learn new things. For example, I learned that white plaster was used in the old days to cover wall cracks but it’s sensitive to humidity. So, I had to search for a solution and finally found one.”

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Voranuch took care of the décor, while her other half, Thanawat Surachetkhomson was responsible for the structural enhancement and construction. Antique Chinese-style door panels were assembled from various origins, including Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. The roof was inspired by ancient Korean homes, which in turn was influenced by Chinese architecture. The roof tiles were custom made in Thailand, with some tweaks in design. A vintage-looking charcoal stove was inspired by one of Voranuch’s trip to Phuket Museum. Only this one is using gas instead of charcoal.

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A floor-to-ceiling glass opening allows natural light into the workspace. The office door is an old Chinese-style panel.
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Equipped with modern furniture, the living room differs from other interior spaces. Running-bond brick walls add a vintage feel.

Above all, seems like the charm of chinoiserie-style lies in the house’s old-fashioned doors and window. Ceiling-height windows were equipped with plantation shutters at the top and ventilation grids were added where necessary, creating a good balance between the old and the new.

 

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A sundeck and a veranda stretching from the main villa surrounded by an infinity pool in the backyard.

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The wood-crafted door and windows with elaborate details of Sino-Portuguese characters.

link: http://tantiwong-architect.com/

The Fusion of Chinese Heritage with Traditional Thai / Baan Gongsi

The Fusion of Chinese Heritage with Traditional Thai / Baan Gongsi

Baan Gongsi, the home is built based on Chinese heritage in architecture mixed with defining features that are characteristic of the traditional Thai style home. The perfect visual blend is the brainchild of Pongsakorn Tumprueksa and Nattanan Pokinpitak of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Supachart Boontang ///

Photos : Soopakorn Srisakul and Arsom Arch Community and Environment Co., Ltd. A division of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts ///

Architecture : Arsom Arch Community and Environment Co., Ltd. A division of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts

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The two-storey home, which is the main building on the premises, features large double doors designed for air circulation by natural means. The interior space is kept cool all day because heat doesn’t build up inside it. There is hardly any need for mechanical air conditioning.

Known as “ Baan Gongsi  the handsome home embraces the concept of extended family living along with peaceful coexistence with nature. Thais of Chinese descent, the homeowners Thianchai and Noree Niyom want to perpetuate a traditional lifestyle that values family sharing and mutual benefits. Thianchai’s sister also lives in the same compound.

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A garden slate walkway leads to an elevated pool hemmed in by Applied Chinese architecture. Distinctive, slightly upturned roof design makes the main building and surrounding annexes appear lightweight.
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The center court pool stretches across the entire length of the veranda. It provides plenty of room for exercise. Meantime, the interior spaces are kept cool by breezes blowing in over the pool.

The design features a Chinese architectural feature known as “Court House,” which relies on a central courtyard as the main engine driving air circulation by natural means. The well-conceived design ensures the home fits in well with the hot and humid climate of the region. Its floor plan showcases a cluster home design similar to that of the typical Thai-style home of olden days. The main villa and nearby annexes are set around the center court. The sprawling design allows a healthy dose of morning sun to pour into the interior living spaces. At night the courtyard is aglow with moonlight.

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Long roof overhangs protect the buildings from harsh afternoon sun. Diamond-shaped tiles at the far end blend well with Chinese-style roofing on either side of the pool.
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The slightly upturned Chinese-style roofing is crafted the old-fashioned way. The design makes use of large structural wood timbers for primary support of the roof tiles.

The center court is referred to as “Heart” of the cluster home design. It brings joy into family life and supplies every part of the house with fresh air. There is a stone paver patio by the ancestral home that serves as a venue for morning tea. Nearby the center court swimming pool means the health benefits of good exercise are there for the taking. Overall, it is a piece of architecture designed for the salubrious lifestyle of an extended family.

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The second-floor balcony looks out over the pool and the landscape beyond. The wood deck is reminiscent of Thai-style home design.

From a security perspective, the home is well crafted and based on an interesting access floor plan, which ensures privacy is protected. Well thought out plan offers smooth transition from one area to another. There is a Welcome Court with patches of greenery where guests are met upon arrival, followed by a stone paver patio leading to the Moon Door, which is the house’s main entrance. From there stone paver walkways provide access to the main villa and nearby annexes. The center court itself lies protected by a lacy canopy of mature trees making this visit a warm and enchanting experience. Because it is nestled in the city center, the home relies on plenty of lush greenery to protect it from noises and air pollution.

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The interior boasts contiguous living spaces that stretch from the dining area to seating spaces to the library and all the way to the veranda beyond.
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The bathroom comes with contemporary design. The shower room is semi-outdoor reminiscent of traditional Thai-style home. Floor tiles with antique patterns complement the soft white color on the walls.
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Lush greenery adds a touch of nature to the central courtyard.

Real wood is one of the most outstanding features here. What makes it aesthetically pleasing is the gracefully upturned roof that is characteristic of Chinese architecture. All things considered, it has been a wholesome destination where nature and culture coexist in peaceful harmony.

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The Moon Door is adapted to sport a more contemporary look. The main entrance into the cluster home setting also serves as a defining feature that embraces respect for nature and traditional wisdom.
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The home’s front view design showcases the gracefully upturned roof style characteristic of traditional Chinese architecture.
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The peaceful stand-alone house of Buddha serves as a reminder of Thai architecture of olden days.
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Concrete footing protects timber piles from humidity that could pose a threat to the home in the long term. /// Primary roofing support is crafted the old-fashioned way utilizing of large structural timbers. The cutout at the top of the pole allows the ridge beam to rest securely for extra durability.

link: http://arsomsilp.ac.th/th/

link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/17431

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