TRAVEL DATE: 11th April 2016
DESTINATION: Walking tour of the outskirts of the city wall in Bangkok
This is a walking tour of the old quarter in the city. We visited some communities that have been around for generations. The tour was based around the Mahakan Fort, which is on the eastern outskirts of Rattanakosin Island. The communities we visited also included Ban Bat (craftsmen who make alms bowls for monks) and Trok Shanghai (carpenters who mainly make coffins). The easiest way to reach this area is by Saen Saeb canal to Phanfa Bridge.
The following map shows the places that we visited during the walking tour:
LIST OF PLACES WE VISITED:
Sutathip Restaurant, ร้านสุธาทิพย์,13.754916 100.509331
Mahakan Fort,ป้อมมหากาฬ,13.755510 100.505560
Nam Ob Nang Loi shop,ร้านน้ำอบนางลอย,13.753775 100.505068
Ban Bat community,ชุมชนบ้านบาตร,13.752261 100.505428
Shanghai Alley,ตรอกเซี่ยงไฮ้,13.752032 100.508382
Wat Saket,วัดสระเกศ,13.753876 100.508397
Mahakan Fort Community,ชุมชนป้อมมหากาฬ,13.754727 100.505413
PHOTO ALBUM – We started our walking tour at the famous Sutathip Restaurant. Their Hainanese noodles (ขนมจีนไหหลำ Khanom Chin Hailam) is particularly popular. Our first stop on the walk was the Mahakan Fort community. There used to be as many as 14 forts around the old city. This is one of only two that remain. The community here are fighting eviction notices to leave. If they are still there when you reads this, its worth exploring the narrow lanes between the houses. Look out for the singing birds and the fireworks shop. Our next stop was at Nam Ob Nang Loi which sells perfumed water. This is a very popular product during the Songkran celebration. From here we moved on to the nearby Ban Bat community. This is the only place left in Bangkok where they still make alms bowls by hand. You are welcome to come and watch them make the bowls or have a go yourself. Further down the road, we visited Shanghai Alley. The Chinese migrants here were expert craftsmen. These days, the lane is famous for coffin making. Our final stop was at Wat Saket which was built during the reign of King Rama I. It has a popular temple fair here in November. Overlooking the temple, on an artificial hill, is The Golden Mount. If you have the time and energy, climb to the top for some great views of Rattanakosin.