Quaint, tranquil Bangkok… Hidden treasures

IMG_20150905_124835       ‘Quaint, tranquil, beautiful’ are not normally words to describe Bangkok. Maybe… ‘Busy, touristy, full of pollution’.
However, living in Bangkok for 5 months, I get to explore all the popular tourist places as well as the more local luxuries.
Today, I wandered around a hidden gem, which I feel should not be missed if you have a day free in Bangkok.
The Artist house along a smaller canal on the Thornburi side of the main river was just those words… Quiet, peaceful, picturesque. As it is not a know place, there is only a handful of people there with a few farangs.
Here the Artist house is a two storey building with beautiful art placed on the wooden walls of the second floor. As you IMG_20150905_125841enter there is a coffee shop with a gift shop and a seating area. It houses a daily traditional Thai puppet show lasting around an hour, with entertainment, photo opportunities and a magical place to be. There were plenty of seats but I opted to sit on the floor and by the 2pm came around the place was buzzing with people. The show started with 2 guys having some banter in Thai introducing the area. After two young boys wearing traditional type clothing did some moves, which was partly entertaining as the younger boy who was about 4 years old couldn’t do it correctly but they were also made to do the splits with the help of the teachers where they were clearly in pain.IMG_20150905_130543
The two presenters explained the puppets and it was hilarious seeing them joke around, trying to speak English then laughing at themselves in Thai.

Each puppet was carrying by three masked people wearing all black. They danced and moved with the puppets, conveying a love story. Once the short show was over, they intertwined with the audience, where the puppet kisses and joked with the watchers. I had both puppets come up to me, one kissed me on both cheeks and the other tried to bite my nose. It was just a lovely experience. The whole place is free to get into with the show but to show your appreciation you can give a donation or at least buy a beverage from the coffee shop. I treated myself to a tasty ice fruit tea.
Also in the gallery, there is a chance to paint a mask or piggy bank, or feed the fish in the canal, meaning that this is a great place for kids to enjoy.IMG_20150905_132443

Around the artist house is various shops selling souvenirs and various food. I had lunch just outside in a quiet place, facing the canal and the beautiful view, where I savoured every bite of my delicious prawn panang curry, rice and soup. With all Thai food, you never know what to expect as every place is different but you can always guarantee that it will be delicious. This has got to be the tastiest panang curry I have ever had with huge prawns. It was also the cheapest… 50baht (£1).
IMG_20150905_143135After the show, I treated myself to an ice-cream: thai tea flavour with a wafer and sweets. I’ve been living here 5 months and never seen Thai tea ice-cream. It was incredible. I could of had scoops and scoops of it.IMG_20150905_150625
From different websites, it explains that this place is not easy to find or get to but I beg to differ. I decided to do the cheapest option from my apartment. I got the BTS to Bang Wa, then with my trusty phone walked to the Artist house. It was extremely simple. It is just over a mile to walk through a local village to get there so took about 20 minutes.
To conclude, if you want to go somewhere a bit different and away from the busyness of the typical Bangkok, I would total recommend the Artist House.

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