[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Bangkok sightseeing – The Artist House” heading_tag=”h1″ alignment=”center” spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” spacer_img_width=”48″ line_style=”solid” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#333333″ icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-circle-blank” icon_size=”32″ icon_style=”none” icon_color_border=”#333333″ icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ img_width=”48″ line_icon_fixer=”10″][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
Bangkok sightseeing by NINE
The Artist House, Klong Bang Luang
The Artist House, or the name in Thai is “Baan Silapin”. For a tourist who wants to see something different from the classic attractions, this is a place to visit. Baan Silapin is where to experience the “slow” life of old Bangkok, escape the fast-paced metropolis Bangkok and find the quiet life along its Klong or canal. It brings one back to the time when civilisation thrived just beside the river, and how life was back then.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”2853″ css_animation=”fadeInUp” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” title=”The color of sculpture at The Artist House area” img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Bangkok has long been known as the “Venice of the East.” Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the area around modern Bangkok developed an extensive network of waterway canals (known as Klongs) that provided practical transportation as well as protection. It gives one a feeling of how Thonburi looked in the 17th century, when it was Siam’s capital. Then this was the residential area for influential families and high-ranking government officials. From there comes the name Bang Luang: Bang means “area”, Luang refers to the “monarchy”. Today the official name of the canal is Klong Bangkok Yai.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”2852″ css_animation=”fadeInUp” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” title=”Klong Bang Luang – Klong Bangkok Yai(official name today) – Thank you picture from migrationology.com” img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Baan Silapin is over 200 years old two-storey L-shaped teak wood house set beside the canal and built around a 300-plus-year-old pagoda in its garden. It has a gently sloping roof and gables, which are decorated with wooden carving. Admiral Yodchai Raksamruad took possession of it not long ago after it had belonged to his goldsmiths family for generations. Although a charming old structure but the house became dilapidated, so he invited artist Chumpon Akkapantanon to help after he had seen what Chumpon did for the Phranakorn Nornlen Boutique Hotel. Chumpom and three friends decided to buy, renovate and turn it into an art gallery, an artist-run cafe and performance space. Everyone from notable professional artists to teenage art students joined hands to support the idea and transform the space into a unique centre for the arts. Klong Bang Luang possesses a homegrown artistic spirit since then.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”2851″ css_animation=”fadeInUp” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” title=”The Artist House, or the name in Thai is “Baan Silapin”” img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Baan Sinlapin’s upstairs section has been set up as an art gallery with exhibitions of various paintings; while prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and other artistic decorations are scattered around the first floor in a colourful melange. There is a coffee shop on the first floor and a studio where visitors can learn to draw and make woodcuts and jewellery. Plain papier-mâché masks are also available to purchase and visitors can unleash their own creativity by painting their very own masks (with a canal view in front). It is a great activity for kids, too. Once finished, the masks can be left behind to add to the decor or taken home as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. The artwork here is also beautiful to look at. One of the iconic images of Baan Silapin is the red man statue, it is an expression of art that is undoubtedly unique and recognisable.
Yet Baan Sinlapin’s most popular artists are its resident traditional Thai shadow puppet troupe, Kum Nai Hun Lakon Lek, who act out scenes from the Ramakien in 15 minutes show. Dressed in black costumes with expressionless masks covering their faces, performers masterfully bring their Khon (Thai classical masked drama) puppets to life in thrilling and humorous shows. The Thai puppet show is an amazing performance, each puppet is brought to life by three puppeteers, as they control the puppets they also dance in rhythm. The show is very entertaining and free of charge, although donation is appreciated. Show time is at 2 pm every day of the week except on Wednesdays. It is best to call and check beforehand at 02-868 5279 or 089-125 3949.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”2850″ css_animation=”fadeInUp” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” title=”Thai shadow puppet troupe, Kum Nai Hun Lakon Lek – the Ramakien in 15 minutes show – Thank you picture from migrationology.com” img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_column_text]Before or after the show, try the outstanding coffee or Thai iced tea at The Artist House Café, it is a great place to sit and relax and enjoy the traditional Thai culture atmosphere. Visitors can also dangle their feet off the old wooden docks while feeding the fish and watching the children swimming in the Klong or the speedy long-tailed boats passing by.
The old wooden shop houses along the Klong are similar to those found in Ampawa. The surrounding area is similarly attractive, just take a stroll through the narrow alleys. Also the new owners have encouraged their neighbours to create terraces in front of their houses, where visitors can now walk along the canal.
It is a treasure along one of Bangkok’s old canals and gives a true feeling of being a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of central Bangkok. The neighbourhood is charming, with clean canal, old shops and old way of life. If someone is looking for an attraction that is off the beaten track and a great preservation of Thai culture and tradition, visit Baan Silapin – Bangkok’s Inspiring Artist’s House.
Baan Silapin was opened to the public in September 2009. Open hours are Mon-Tue 10 am-6 pm, Wed-Fri 9 am-6 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-7 pm and admission is free.
How to get there: Take a BTS to Wongwian Yai station, then take a taxi to Charansanitwong Soi 3. Ride all the way to the end of the soi (small street), where it is a dead end at the 7-Eleven. Get out and keep walking straight and in just 10 metres there is a bridge. Walk across the bridge and make a left turn along the canal and Baan Silapin will be found.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]