Bang Lamphu Community, Bangkok
Walk through alleys to explore ‘Bang Lamphu’, a local community in Rattanakosin Island that is so old yet vivid in memory. One of the highlights of Bang Lamphu is the costumes of royal ‘Khon’ performances (Thai Masked Dance Drama) intricately embroidered by local master artisans. On the route behind Phra Sumen Fort, you will enjoy a rare Thai dessert called ‘Kao Tom Nam Woon’ or pyramid-shaped sticky rice with syrup wrapped in banana leaf before visiting the Coin Museum to learn the history of Thai coins.
- Listen to the story of Bang Lamphu at the exhibition of Life of Bang Lamphu.
- Learn how to embroider ‘Khon’ costumes in a traditional way from the master artisans.
- Visit the Coin Museum to learn the history of Thai coins.
- Enjoy the local desserts of Bang Lamphu.
- Enjoy the best Bang Lamphu street food along 13 Hang Road. You can start with some warm dishes such as congee, fish maw soup, Chinese roll noodle soup, and Thai stir-fried glass noodles with flavorful sauce and freshen up with blended fruit juice. There are also spicy salads, rice with Thai curry, noodles in pork blood soup, spicy noodle soup, noodles with roasted duck, and Muslim dishes coupled with yummy local desserts such as sweet sticky rice with egg custard, boiled coconut cream dessert, Thai crispy pancake, roti and steamed buns with pandan dip.
Meet at Bang Lamphu Market near Kraisee Alley to buy food to offer to Buddhist monks as a morning ritual in Buddhism before having breakfast at the market.
Make merit by giving an offering set to the monks at Bowonniwet Vihara Temple. Have Dhamma talk with the monks and listen to the story from a person with local wisdom.
Visit the Coin Museum where you will learn the history of coins in Thailand and other countries.
Visit Chakrabongse Mosque Community. Meet a person with local wisdom before entering the mosque to see the beauty of architecture inside and get to know more about the rituals. Then, let’s go to Trok Kanom Buang - an alley that was named after the famous Kanom Buang which is a Thai crispy pancake. It’s time to enjoy traditional Thai crispy pancakes with flavorful salty and sweet fillings.
Learn how to embroider ‘Khon’ costumes from the master artisans. You will see the exquisitely embroidered garment, which is traditional embroidery of royal Khon costumes.
Bang Lamphu Craft: Learn more about the art of embroidery for Khon and Thai dance performances which require advanced skills, determination, and a certain amount of neatness. Today, there are not so many skillful artisans left. Somkid Laothong or ‘Pink’ and Chanyapak Kaenthong are the master artisans who live in Kian Niwas, a community in Kai Jae Alley, in Bang Lamphu, and still, continue the art of Khon embroidery today. A number of ‘Khon’ costume masterpieces in the Fine Arts Department belong to these 2 local master artisans. The art of embroidery can turn ordinary cloth into high-end fashion design and even shine bright when combined with beautiful moves and lights on stage.
Explore the route along Phra Sumen Road. You will see the brick remnants of a palace gate which once was the residence of Prince Chakrard store Chesada. This is the only palace gate in Bang Lamphu. Then, continue to T. Ngek Chuan, the first record store. On the first floor is ‘Kanom Buang Mae Prapa’ where you can find the best old-style Thai crispy pancakes! The next stop is ‘Mae Ngam Jit’, a famous local Thai dessert shop that also makes desserts for the palace. Near the dessert shop around the corner of Bang Lamphu Intersection is ‘New World', an abandoned shopping mall that was once very prosperous in the area. Opposite the entrance of Chakrabongse Mosque is ‘Tang Hua Seng’, a local department store surrounded by local shops and restaurants.
Have dinner at ‘Kao Tom Peng Peng’ before returning to the accommodation.
‘Art Time at Bang Lamphu’
- View the street art of Bang Lamphu which represents the story of the community - Kian Niwas - Trok Kai Jae Community, the house of costume embroidery for Khon and Thai dance performances which is the only one left in Bang Lamphu, master artisans with advanced skills in traditional embroidery.
- Khlong Bang Lamphu : It is a canal for local transportation and other uses like a swimming place for local kids. Let’s find out how the canal is related to Thai kings.
- House of Thai instruments: Passersby may think that this is just a house. However, if you look inside, you will spot a number of Thai instruments. On weekends, kids usually come here to attend a Thai dance class wearing red-tucked loincloths. Next to the house is the office of young local guides presenting 7 important things of Bang Lamphu. There is also a painting of ‘Lamphu’ flowers in different stages.
- Wat Sam Phraya Community: It tells the story of the community, the well-known factory of herbal medicine for women’s health, and ‘Kao Tom Nam Woon’, a common dessert in almost every household with a special recipe to make the texture sticky, soft and tender.
- Buddha amulets: Most Thai people believe that Buddha amulets are sacred; and Wat Mai Amataros is one of the places well-known for Thai amulets. During the Songkran festival, there is the Queen Wisut Kasat beauty contest which was commonly known to be the first step to the contest of Miss Thailand. Besides, there is a traditional Chinese lion dance performance that allows kids to show off their skills.
- Silverware and nielloware: Making silverware and nielloware is the main occupation of Baan Pan Thom Community, also known as Trok Baan Lor. A Thai bowl with a supporting stand which is the award for Queen Wisut Kasat is also made from this community.
Let’s enjoy a new taste of Bang Lamphu created by a group of young guides from ‘Kaysorn Lamphu Club’. As the area was once full of Lamphu trees, the kids and Kaewjai Naterangkool who is a dessert chef created their own dessert called ‘ Kanom Kaysorn Lamphu’. The pattern on the dessert tells the story of a Lamphu tree at Santi Chai Prakan Public Park located in Koh Rattanakosin - from little to full-grown and eventually to a dead stump, for young generations and also tourists to remember the Lamphu tree of Bang Lamphu.
Return home safely.
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