AYUTTHAYA / An old grocery-cum-bistro in the historic city of Ayutthaya has been tastefully renovated as a home style café. Aptly named “Basic Space Coffee”, it’s located at the corner of Bang Ian and Liab Khlong Makham Riang roads. Intended to better meet customer needs, the makeover project was undertaken by BodinChapa Architects, who were responsible for both design and construction supervision.
The design team has kept firmly to its original concept. Since the business owner works here all day, it makes perfect sense for the café to feel like a home. To ensure customers feel comfortable and at ease, the designers think it wise to turn back to basics.
Parts of the 100 sq. m. building that are not impaired in any way are kept intact. They include the old corrugated roofing sheets and flooring materials with a simplicity and charm typical of the countryside.
Old ceiling panels are removed to make the interior spacious and well ventilated. The bar counter and custom cabinetry that form an integral part of the structure remain where they’ve always been since old times. Together, they prove a perfect complement to the building façade made of a hybrid of wood, brickwork, concrete.
Door casing, panels and the bar counter are made of solid wood, such as Makha (Afzelia xylocarpa) and Teng (Shorea obtuse). Where appropriate, plywood is used on parts of the interior walls, while furniture brings a degree of uniqueness to a peaceful country setting. This include tables with cabriole legs that have been adapted for use in a different purpose supporting the bar counter. Just like old times, rustic wooden tables with cabriole legs adorn semi-open spaces that remain at the ready for spontaneous meetings.
Basic Space Coffee is open Tuesday through Sunday from 07.30 to 16.00. Tel: 09-1871-2028.
Basic Space Coffee is among 17 cafés being featured in “House Becomes Café”, a guide to home remodeling that’s part of the “room Books” series. It’s a nexus of ideas to transform single homes, townhouses, and row houses into business spaces giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation. It’s a rich source of strategies and techniques that can be done in real life, plus knowledge of safety inspections, café restaurant systems and procedures, and laws you need to know.
“House Becomes Café” is available in paperback, 4-color-process printing, dimensions 20 x 25 cm. Total 184 pages. Pre-order now until 31 May 2021 to receive a special introductory offer of 360 Baht (a 425 Baht value), plus 50 Baht shipping in Thailand for a total of 411 Baht. Place your order at: https://www.naiin.com/product/detail/526784 or Inbox Page: m.me/roomfan
RATCHABURI / Because memories are made here, Puchong Satirapipatkul of the design firm OTATO Architect built a house for his grandfather Kumnung Yindeesuk. The new home nestles in a coconut grove overlooking Nong Salid Canal that connects to Damnoen Saduak, the bustling little town famous for its Floating Market.
From the beginning, the orchard land was in a clutter of untidiness while the old house was more than 30 years old and impossible to repair. The only way forward was a complete teardown to make room for a new home. The old house provided vintage recycled building materials, which gave Puchong the means to avoid a large cost overrun. Ensconced in a grove of coconut trees, jackfruits, and tamarinds, the single-story house plan is well suited to a 100-sq-wah lot. Plus, it offers a warm, comfortable environment while minimizing costs. To keep within a 700,000-baht budget, the architect used locally sourced building materials and oversaw construction work himself.
To enhance views of the garden, Puchong chose a U-shaped house plan that’s made up of four blocks. Where appropriate, tall well-positioned windows create a stylish look and spacious feel. The result was a pared down tropical home for cool minimalist living. To merge into the landscape, he picked low pitch gable roof systems that blend harmoniously with traditional architecture in the area. Open floor plans maximize space and provide excellent flow from room to room. The front entry and south-facing walls that receive the afternoon sun are built of opaque materials to soak up the day’s heat. For a more comfortable living environment, north-facing walls are open to take in fresh air and beautiful views of the canal.
The south-facing block contains a pantry, work station, and clothes storage closet. For indoor thermal comfort, the north-facing block is protected by an array of vertical fins. Not far away, a viewing platform supported on girders extends from the house to the water’s edge. The vertical louvre fins double as a privacy screen for the bedroom and provide light and breeze control. Together, they make the sitting room, dining room, and small balconies comfortable during daylight hours.
“Adjacent to the U-shaped house plan lies a raised passageway that leads out to a body of water. Functional spaces are carefully thought out. Private residential areas are on the right side, while semi-outdoor spaces for houseguests are on the left,” Puchong explained.
“Among other things, main functional spaces include a living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom neatly fitted into a small space. All of them have undisturbed views of the canal. High ceilings paired with tall windows make the house feel bigger, light and airy. To get work done fast, only standard building materials were used. They included ceiling panels, roof tiles, and glass in prefab sizes such as 1.20, 1.60, and 2.40 m. This made it easy for local builders to build, easy to maintain. Plus, it saves money, and reduces waste.”
“Using vertical louvre fins is a technique that gives the house its character. They are architectural features that blend beautifully with the overall design. This is evident in the way every roof rafter is positioned to coincide with the top end of the vertical fin. Although in different sizes, the vertical fins are placed at regular intervals, resulting in a clean and simple exterior.”
Embraced by nature, the house is well planned every step of the way. All elements are arranged in such a way that best accomplishes a particular purpose. More than anything else, it’s about living in peaceful harmony with the land, the water, the trees, even the fireflies. For Puchong, building a retirement home for his beloved Grandpa is the absolutely right thing to do.
BANGKOK / Designed to improve the quality of life, SCOPE Promsri sits on a prime residential lot in the heart of Sukhumvit, one of Bangkok’s vibrant cosmopolitan areas. Among its most outstanding features is the integration of the high-end contemporary furniture brand Ligne Roset of France with the overall design of every room and common area. A nexus between well thought-out design, best appliances brands and urban lifestyle conveniences, the 1.35-billion-Baht eight-story condo comes complete with a security system that exceeds standards for residential property management.
SCOPE Promsri is conveniently situated on Soi Promsri, a prime street that connects with three famous city thoroughfares; namely Soi Prompong (Sukhumvit 39), Soi Klang (Sukhumvit 49), and Soi Thonglor (Sukhunvit 55). The intention is to become a premium residential project capable of providing its residents with a world class service.
What makes SCOPE Promsri exceptionally good is the overall interior design paired with matching contemporary furniture by Ligne Roset, a high end brand that has been around for more than 160 years. Founded in 1860, Ligne Roset grew from humble beginnings and transformed itself into a successful furnishings outfit with branches across the globe. Over time, modern luxury furniture and decorative accessories have earned the company a reputation as experts in design and innovative manufacturing processes. The secret to its success lies in strict quality control that culminates in unique products that are not only handsome and comfortable, but also a profusion of elegance and value characteristic of French design.
Yongyuth Chaipromprasith is creative expert in real estate development and CEO of the SCOPE Co, Ltd, which specializes in homes at the international premium level. He said: “We commit ourselves to providing quality and innovative design that has been our signature from day one. Every project that we’ve accomplished are the product of collaborations between us and other experts in the field, including world famous brands. When it comes to home furnishings, it’s not about selecting products from catalogs. Rather, it’s an act of working with others who have comprehensive knowledge and skill in a bid to create products that are evidence of quality and best express our ideas.”
By this is meant that SCOPE Promsri places great emphasis on the individual’s privacy and freedom from being disturbed by others. Hence, there are only two business units, compared to 146 residential condominium units on the premises. First and foremost, it’s designed to raise the quality of life and improve safety for the project’s residents. This is evident in the installation of water sprinklers in the ceiling of every room, despite it not being required by law governing eight-story buildings.
That’s not all. At SCOPE Promsri every condominium comes complete with modern conveniences and household appliances that comply with standards. They include electrical kitchen appliances by the MIELE brand of Germany, plus built-in combinations consisting of a microwave oven, induction cook top, kitchen exhaust fan, and built-in Liebherr brand refrigerator, as well as wall-mounted washlets by Kohler, Germany.
Apart from the full complement of world class equipment, every condo unit receives a great deal on decoration known as “Promsri Edition Fully Furnished Package”, an 890,000-Baht value that includes, among other things, a Prado sofa by Christian Werner. Customers are allowed to choose more than one color for the sofa. Plus, there’s a special edition table code named “Promsri Table”, which is manufactured exclusively by Ligne Roset for this project only. And that’s not all. The list also includes a built-in console that comes with a 75-inch TV set, bed with headboard decorating ideas and mattress by Simmons, the world class brand that’s used by six star hotels across the globe.
Strictly speaking, the Promsri Edition is more than just a list of household equipment or furniture. Rather, it opens the door to a new lifestyle evolving around feeling good and living better ideas. It’s about nurturing quality thoughts that culminate in good design for homes at the international premium level.
Yongyuth added: “SCOPE Promsri has invested a lot of money to create a good first impression with the project’s exterior design. But the quality that pleases the aesthetic senses alone isn’t enough. That’s why we also place great emphasis on long term durability and ease of maintenance. This is evident in the use of reflective glass acoustic film that not only protects resident privacy, but also reduces heat transfer from outside, thereby saving on energy consumption. Plus, it doubles as sound barrier that reduces street noise by as much as 30%, a feature that’s further enhanced by motorized blackout blinds for added indoor thermal comfort. It’s designed to achieve total darkness in the room, especially for customers in the young international premium group who requires the highest quality of rest. This is particularly important for the so-called work-hard, high-income group.”
“SCOPE gives good living conditions the highest priority. For this reason, it provides a variety of services including safe transport of food items and cleaning service. It’s a luxury condo that not only allows pets, but also is truly pet friendly. By enforcing carefully thought-out rules and regulations, it ensures that pet owners and non-pet owners can live together in harmony.”
SCOPE Promsri condos complete with the “Promsri Edition Fully Furnished Package” are on sale now for 6.3 million Baht apiece. The scheduled finish date is around November 2022. Unit reservation has begun as of 12 March 2021. Register now at www.scopepromsri.com
BANGKOK / As many probably already know, Fort Canning Park is one of Singapore’s largest public parks. It features nine historic gardens that are part of the “garden city” vision introduced in the mid-1990’s. Do you know that in the near future, upon completion of Phases 2 and 3 of the Benjakitti Park expansion project, Bangkok will join the ranks of ASEAN capitals with vast networks of parks to preserve local ecosystems. It represents an important step forward to increase the quality of life for many residents as well as visitors.
Opened in 1994, Benjakitti Park underwent the first phase of renovations in 2016 on an area of 61 rai. Phases 2 and 3, which include an expansion and landscape improvements, are currently progressing on schedule. The new, updated Benjakitti Park extends over an area of 259 rai that originally was home to a tobacco manufacturing facility. Costing 652 million baht to build, the monumental forest park project is a joint enterprise involving the Finance Ministry Treasury Department, the Royal Thai Army, and the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts, which is responsible for design.
The urban forest project will provide a new ecosystem that supports the quality of life in the city. It’s designed to give rise to a biological community that depends on an intricate network of water channels, which in turn is crucial to the growth of trees and shrubbery and habitats for many animal species.
Like a super absorbent sponge, the park’s unpaved grounds are capable of soaking up in excess of 128,000 cubic meters of storm water during the rainy season. Plus, it doubles as a treatment plant that produces as much as 1,600 cubic meters of treated water per day. The existing trees, 1,733 in all, have been preserved. To create a pristine forest landscape, they plan on adding a variety of native tree species, among them Lumpae (Sonneratia caseolaris), Lumpoon (Sonneratia ovate), Kheelek (Senna siamea), Sadao (Neem), Bodhi or sacred figs (Ficus religiosa), Banyan trees, Yangna (Dipterocarpus alatus), and Takhian (Hopea odorata).
That’s not all. Currently plans are afoot to connect Benjakitti Forest Park with a trade show pavilion and three nearby museums; namely the old tobacco factory building, an urban forest life museum, and a museum in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother. There will also be demonstration rice paddy fields for kids, plus bike trails and a skywalk system connecting to Lumpini Park, a landmark public green space in Pathumwan District.
The forest park project will bring benefits to not only the city and its people, but also healthy habitats for many animals. It provides temporary refuge to migratory bird species, a place for physical activity, and room for our children to spend more time outdoors. Most importantly, it removes pollutants and gives us clean air to breathe.
Benjakitti Forest Park will be open to the public in phases, the first of which is scheduled for the 12th of August this year. Access to the entire project will open around February 2022.
The coffee shop name got its inspiration from “Fly Me to the Moon”, one of Frank Sinatra’s all-time greatest hits. A brainchild of the Bangkok-based studio Embassy of Design Territory, the serene café serving coffee and refreshments is nestled among lush tropical gardens in the heart of the city’s Lad Phrao District.
Drawing on his experience and a remarkable aptitude for organizing events, the designer transformed an ordinary co-creating office space into a coffee shop ensconced among the trees and shrubs. The café on the ground floor is characterized by a relaxing cozy atmosphere that gives off good vibes. Vertical gardens come in handy to fulfill a dream that one day humans will be able to grow them on the Moon.
Design ideas: The outside part of the shop is made of steel scaffolds with platforms or shelves, upon which gardens of luxuriant foliage thrive. The café interior built of plywood affords ample space, while exterior glass walls protect it from the elements, let natural light shine through and increase aesthetic appeal. Wood furniture, vintage décor and garden plants have positive effects on the atmosphere and good mental health. There’s a picture of Leon: The Professional, a 1994 action thriller film, starkly juxtaposed with lush green surroundings. If you’re shopping for plant containers, there are plenty of them to buy.
Why we love it: Like an oasis tucked away in a city neighborhood, “Plant Me on the Moon” is a perfect rendezvous to share good times with friends and loved ones. The atmosphere is just right for life, and coffee smells like fresh ground heaven, plus a collection of soothing garden music. Drop in for a nice cup of coffee, sit back, relax and enjoy the calm and peaceful greenhouse view!
A duplex house design by EAST Architect avails natural light, sun and air flow to provide indoor thermal comfort that’s the hallmark of the ultimate tropical design.
One wing is a semi-outdoor living space roofed over with ceramic shingles in a timeless shade of white. It’s made almost entirely of wood with a balcony and the Thai-style underfloor space high enough for additional uses. The other wing boasts the stylistic characteristics of the postmodern era. To make the most of natural light, the external walls are made of glass. Upstairs a straight passageway connecting individual rooms leads to a cantilevered addition that extends 6 meters supported by a V-shaped steel rigid frame – an unusual approach to lightweight house design.
The upper covering of a living wing is made of steel reinforced concrete slabs. The gable roof that rises above them is topped with corrugated aluminum panels to allow light to pass through. This keeps the modern tropical home well-lit by day and glowing with light and color by night. No wonder they call it “Baan Hing Hoy”, literally translated “Fireflies House”.
A piece of architecture representing the nexus between Eastern and Western cultures, Fireflies House is a design that merges Modern and Traditional in a tropical home. The house plan doesn’t sit parallel to the road in front of it. Neither does it align with property boundary lines. Rather, it’s designed to respond to wind direction and the sun’s path across the sky. That pretty much summarizes the design concept embraced by two assistant professors, Pirast Pacharaswate and Sayanee Virochrut, of EAST Architect. The design duo prides themselves on being “architects of tropical rainforests”.
Together they turned a wish into reality. The homeowner, Mr. Thanawat Yongsanguanchai, wanted to build a house for a big family, a place to spend more time in nature. He was looking for a light and airy house plan, one that’s comfortable without air conditioning. The architects responded by using a lot of natural building materials. The result was a well-thought-out design that made people feel as if they were tunneling their way into another world hidden at the rear of the property.
“In essence the design takes into account basic human needs and the culture in which people live. The relationship between culture and climate is one of the inevitabilities of life. It’s for this reason that the house is built with knowledge of the climate in mind,”said architect Pirast Pacharaswate.
“We think up contradictory thoughts when designing the duplex house plan. The kids belong to a new generation, but their living wing boasts certain features that are characteristic of traditional Thai style. This is contrary to the design of the parents wing, which is evidence of a new language of architecture. It sits under a roof that glows with light and color, which bespeaks the postmodern discipline of art. The upper covering of the parents wing is made of steel reinforced concrete slabs. The gable roof that rises above them doesn’t function as roof in a proper way.”
“It’s our intention to present a Thai-style house under the gable roof that many consider as old-fashioned. So we use a modern building material instead. The result is a roof that’s topped with corrugated aluminum panels. It looks light, airy and very noticeable with an entirely new perception.”
“We learned through conversation that the homeowner preferred white, and responded with a house plan in shades of white. The children’s wing gives a powerful impression of being Thai. It’s protected by ceramic roof shingles in the lightest shade. Wood is the main building material here. Although metal is part of roof framing, the skill and craftsmanship is Thai style. The living spaces are linked by a roofed platform along the outside of the house, unlike the parents wing where spaces are connected via corridors that bespeak modern design.”
The children’s wing is designed for semi-outdoor living, thanks to the veranda and spacious Thai-style underfloor spaces. Proceed to the parents wing, and you come into a glass-enclosed room that’s a great way to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. A straight corridor connects individual areas and functions reminiscent of Western-style house plans.
The ground floor has pantries and a dining area with sitting room. It’s dominated by a long dining table that’s custom-made. The upper floor contains mom and dad’s bedroom that projects horizontally into space. Glass walls pour natural light into the room that’s embraced by nature.
There’s a multifunctional room with wood décor ideas. An array of alternating plain and hand carved wood cabinets ooze the charm and poise of Thai style.
The upstairs bedroom projects 6 meters into space, supported by a V-shaped steel rigid frame for a lightweight look. Floor-to-ceiling glass wall systems afford views of the landscape. Not all ceilings are horizontal. Above, the children’s bedroom boasts a ceiling that slopes in agreement with the gable roof. The front side under the gable is open to bring natural brightness inside, while accent wall ideas behind the headboard fill the room in style. There’s something quintessentially Thai in the other bedroom where the platform bed frame is wider than the mattress, an easy hack to create space for wedge pillows and the triangle pillow that’s unique to Thai culture.
“To create a good first impression, an architectural space has to be a noticeable new phenomenon. Hence, a garden passageway is designed for people to recognize what’s unique about ceramic roof shingles as they approach the house from various distances, each resulting in different impressions. Psychologically, humans and architecture interact with each other all the time. Circulation, or human movement in and around a piece of architecture, constitutes an interaction. It’s interactive experience that creates an awareness and evokes admiration of architectural beauty,” said architect Pirast Pacharaswate.
This modern home under the gable roof evokes admiration through design and the power of storytelling about the architectural design concept that integrates traditional values, longing for nature, and great aesthetic pleasure to form a coherent whole.
A lot has changed since the time of Venice of the East, for which Bangkok was lovingly known. Along came the railway system that ushered in an era of mass travel, followed by the building of many transport routes. As people’s lifestyles changed, shopping malls were mushrooming everywhere, and mass transit light rail systems were introduced. Now it’s a city of skyscrapers. See what it’s like then and now.
Built in the reign of King Rama V, the Stupa of the Golden Mount dominates the skyline above the junction of two canals, Ong-ang and Mahanak, main routes for travel by water since the early days.
Bangkok Railway Station, also known as Hua Lamphong, then and now.
Completed in 1942, the Victory Monument serves as Kilometer Zero on major routes linking Bangkok with other parts of the country. It was designed by famous architect M.L. Poum Malakoul.
The historic Mahakan Fort overlooks Ratchadamnoen Avenue with the Stupa of the Golden Mount in the backdrop.
A bustling street market opposite the Temple of Dawn is home to river view hotels, among them Sala Rattanakosin and Sala Arun.
The Giant Swing bespeaks the influence of Brahmanism on Thai society in olden days. The swing is gone now; only the red tower remains in front of Wat Suthat Thepwararam.
Above, Silom Road in its early days. Below, the vibrant central business district is served by passenger rail transport — the elevated BTS and underground MRT. The Siboonrueng Building, a familiar sight on Silom, is scheduled for a teardown to make room for a new project.
Siam Center, then and now. The busy intersection in Pathumwan District has become a passenger rail transport hub conveniently linked to business and shopping destinations via the Skywalk.
Ratchaprasong Intersection, then and now. The area is home to the Erawan Shrine, a widely revered Brahman shrine erected in 1956.
Views from the top of the Baiyoke 2, tallest building in Bangkok from 1997 to 2016.
Back in the day, the Post and Telegraph Department doubled as the Central Post Office in Bangrak District. There’s a river pier at the rear of the building that once upon a time was a British consulate. Nowadays, it’s home to the TCDC, Thailand Creative and Design Center.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jade has been cherished over many centuries. There is something about it to hold dear. The green ornamental stone is considered a lucky charm by the Chinese people. It symbolizes purity, kindness and virtue of moral good.
A part of people’s lives from time immemorial, jade has evolved into an artistic tradition. In China it has a specific connection with folk medicine and long-established cultural expressions.
Aficionados of jade shouldn’t miss a handicraft exhibition that’s taking place now at Siam Paragon. The focal point of the show is a beautifully handcrafted jade mat made of about 27,000 green stone beads. The exhibition known as “Design Nation” is happening until November 17.
The jade mat on display is designed by Panitsara Hongthanadecho and made by a team of highly skilled craftswomen from Myawaddi, Myanmar. The green stone is believed to have the power of giving delight and arousing admiration. It’s in demand for its spiritual and healing properties relating to traditional Chinese art and culture.
The 67-year-old designer is a Thai of Chinese descent, who grows sentimentally attached to everything jade. It’s easy to perceive the meaning of the green stone when she included a jade mat similar to the one on display among funeral objects for her mother recently.
She said that the green ornamental stone was believed to have positive energy. In ancient times, emperors and members of the Chinese nobility aspired to sleep in a bed filled with green stone beads threaded together to perfectly fit the bedstead, on which the mattress was placed.
Panitsara could still recall promising her Mom a jade beads mat ten years back. She searched and found a big block of jade, bought it in an auction, and had it cut to size. She received about 27,000 stone cubes, each measuring 10 millimeters.
She had them machined continuously for two days to achieve perfectly polished round stone beads. After that, they were threaded together. And the final outcome is beautiful beyond words, thanks to a team of highly skilled craftswomen she hired from Myawaddi, Myanmar, which is located across the river from Mae Sod District in Tak. As promised, she included the jade mat among other funeral objects for her Mom after she passed.
That’s just one of many interesting items on show now at Design Nation, on the second floor of Siam Paragon. The event is rich in exhibits from several countries including the Philippines, Italy, and those created right here in Thailand.
Whilst there, drop by the design market and attend workshops and seminars hosted by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Lido Connect, Siam Center, Siam Discovery Center, and Siam Paragon.
River Festival 2019 The Fifth Annual Celebration of Thailand’s River Culture Illustrating the Concept of “River Consonance”
Every river has an amazing true story to tell. To celebrate our beautiful and fulfilling culture and heritage, ThaiBev is happy to support the tourism industry’s River Festival 2019 scheduled for November 9-11 in Bangkok. Now in its fifth year, the landmark event recognizes the importance of the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019. Everyone is invited to experience the charms of civilizations situated beside the river at 10 cultural heritage waterfronts along the Chao Phraya River during the three-day period. They focus on the concept of “River Consonance”.
The Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, or ThaiBev, is assisting with this effort in close cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Royal Thai Navy, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and a network of business partners. Together, they are able to draw on prior experience to make the fifth edition of the River Festival a continuing remarkable success for 2019.
This year, the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s ASEAN Affairs Department also joins forces. Its contribution to the “River Festival 2019” supports government policies that are aimed at making Thailand a center of cultural tourism and engaging with worldwide audiences. The show is timed to coincide with the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019 proclaimed to raise public awareness of the identity, diverse culture and heritage of the Region.
The driving forces behind this year’s celebration include Mr. Itthiphol Kunplome, Minister of Culture; Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, President of the River Festival 2019; and Mr. Kamolnai Chaixanien, Senior Vice President of the Thai Beverage Public Company Limited; as well as main sponsors from the private sector and partner networks. Details of the River Festival 2019 and the “River Consonance” concept were given during a press conference at Wat Kalayanamitr.
The city’s main tourist attractions during the festival period include spectacular light and sound shows, retail businesses, and nighttime entertainments in outdoor venues of historic significance. The 10 truly amazing places to visit are Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Prayurawongsawat, Wat Kalayanamitr, Yodpiman River Walk, Tha Maharaj, Asiatique the Riverfront, Lhong 1919, SookSiam@ICONSIAM, and Wat Rakhang (Temple of Bells) that was built during the Ayutthaya Period.
The ornate shrines and vibrant street scenes are located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. They are some of the most visited destinations among pilgrims as well as foreign tourists and locals. During the three-day festival, visitors can enter the five temple grounds and pay homage to the Buddha at night. Or stop and take a moment to admire the beauty of the Chao Phraya River from all 10 riverboat piers.
If you’re into music, know that 11 universities across the capital are giving performances in various genres from popular music with wide appeal to classical. They are Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University, Srinakharinwirot University, Silpakorn University, Kasetsart University, Ramkhamhaeng University, Dhurakij Pundit University, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Rangsit University, Bangkok Thonburi University, and Bangkok University Rangsit Campus.
Experience the charms of Thai culture and Thai identity at venues of historic significance on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. No better time than now. Soak yourself in the concept of “River Consonance” during the River Festival 2019, scheduled for 9-11 November 2019, 17.00-22.30 hours. For updates please visit www.riverfestivalthailand.com and facebook/riverfestivalthailand
The River Festival 2019 is an annual cultural celebration, which is now in its fifth year. Data collected from previous years indicated that participating retail businesses could generate incomes for local communities amounting to more than 2 million baht in three days. Each year, the event attracted more than 200,000 visitors, both foreign and local. Exit interviews showed more than 90 percent of visitors came away impressed about efforts at fostering the progress of Thailand’s culture through greater awareness of its heritage. To sum up, it’s a festival that contributes significantly to the betterment of society and culture, as well as the future of the tourism industry.
Highlights of this year’s River Festival
It’s an opportunity to come in contact with pop stars, among them Sinjaroen Brother, Praw Kanitkul, Nont Tanont and other celebs, who give concerts at Asiatique. While there, find out what the concept of “River Consonance” means to you, and what kind of music is the happening thing. Step in for a surprise. Plenty of music to enjoy both on the boat and on the piers, plus performances by the CU Band and CU Chorus from Chulalongkorn, and the TU band and TU Chorus from Thammasat. Not to mention country music by up-and coming bands from Kasetsart, Srinakarinwirote, Ramkhamhaeng, Dhurakij Pundit, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat, and Bangkok Thonburi universities. There’s also jazz and international by Silapakorn. That pretty much ensures that fun is had by all.
The opening of Pier 10
To celebrate a very important year marked by the coronation of a new sovereign, H. M. King Rama X of Thailand, a new riverboat pier is officially opened on the Chao Phraya River. The pier at Wat Rakhang has since been renamed “Pier 10”. The new call sign coincides with proclamation of 2019 as the ASEAN Cultural Year and the fact that the ASEAN Region has 10 members. The 10-pier system bodes well for the future of river traffic in the inner core of Bangkok, which is home to the longest river bend running through the capital.
To reiterate the importance of 2019 as the ASEAN Cultural Year, more VIP Cruises up and down the Chao Phraya River will be added for pleasure. Representatives of the international community will be invited to participate in various promotional activities, offering them the opportunity of experiencing the charms of Thai culture and interacting with members of the local community, from temples to schools to people’s homes. The heart of the matter is a multicultural neighborhood that’s home to three religions, four beliefs, and five ethnic groups who coexist peacefully in harmony at “Ka Dee Jeen”, a midtown area in Thonburi. The activity is cohosted by the Supatra Group.
Something of interest to the media is the “Unseen Cruise Tour”, a series of activities at Wat Rakhang Pier. Begin the day with a photo contest aptly titled “One Shot Knockout”, which is scheduled for November 10 from 07.30 to 14.00 hours. At nightfall, enjoy outdoor movies featuring two of the best of Thai cinema, น้ำตาลไม่หวาน (Sugar Not Sweet), and เกาะสวาทหาดสวรรค์ (Paradise Island) that were part of the exhibits at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2019.
The journey is incomplete without a visit to Lhong 1919 and Asiatique, two famous riverboat piers on the south bend of the Chao Phraya River. Plenty of activities and fun you can do for enjoyment. From here, you can travel on to SookSiam@ICONSIAM and take part in the celebration of its first anniversary. Along the way, collect rubber stamps as proof of having visited all three riverboat piers, and you can enter for a chance to win a “Happy Pouch” from the River Festival 2019.
You may also like: … The River Festival Lamphun.
The best event you can’t miss is the Loy Krathong Festival, which is happening at the same time as the River Festival in Lamphun. The venue for dual celebrations is the bank of the Kuang River that’s a lifeline of this beautiful northern city.
The River Festival Lamphun offers the opportunity of experiencing Lanna culture that’s renowned for exceptional northern hospitality. During this time, the street is full of locals and visitors as the crowd gathers to pay respect to Phra That Hariphunchai Temple, home of the gilded stupa that’s the heart and soul of Lamphun town. By night the sky is aglow under floating lanterns during the “Festival of a Hundred Thousand Lights”.
What makes Lamphun famous is the rich riparian ecosystems and forests that thrive within the city. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the art market where pieces are bought and sold through fairs and exhibitions in art shops. The festive season is a paradise for those looking for good deals on local products. Be spoilt for choice when it comes to authentic northern food prepared by locals as well as up-and-coming young chefs. By and large, it’s an immersive experience to enjoy in the lead-up to Loy Krathong Night on 11 November.
Don’t miss out on it! The River Festival Lamphun is happening on 7-11 November on the bank of the Kuang River from 17.00 to 22.00 hours.