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Chinese New Year 2013 in Bangkok’s Chinatown

Last month we’ve been at the Chinese New Year festival in Chinatown, Bangkok – on February 10, 2013. It’s always a big spectacle with lots of things to see, buy and eat.

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Vendors are preparing snacks, and often quite spectacularly.

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Of course, lots of Chinese food to be had too.

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Taking pictures with Chinese figures.

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All kinds of knick-knack which you could buy on the streets.

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The streets flow over with the auspicious color of the Chinese New Year: red.

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Turtles in Bangkok’s Lumphini Park

turtle in Lumphini park Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok used to be mainly a tropical swampland not too long ago – and sometimes you still get a sense of how short a while ago human progress has found it’s way into this place. In Lumphini park for example, you still find plenty of large turtles like this one who meander around and crawl out of the lake – considering that Lumphini park is located right in the heart of Bangkok’s business district, it’s quite impressive. And what beautiful and fascinating creatures they are!

So if you have some time to spare and are in no rush with your Bangkok sightseeing activities, check out some of the parks in Bangkok – they have even more amazing creatures than this magnificent turtle 🙂


Kite Flying in Bangkok near the Grand Palace

In Bangkok’s historic district, right adjacent to the Grand Palace is a big green area called “Sanam Luang” (สนามหลวง). One of the popular activities for Thai people here is kite flying – and you’ll often see Thai’s, both young and old, letting their kites fly here.

This is not some new fashion, but indeed an old tradition which has been around since the founding days of Bangkok.

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In the past, during the reign of King Rama I (who was the very first king of Bangkok) people were already flying kites at Sanam Luang – including the His Majesty the King himself.

On certain occasions you can still observe kite flying contests here, which have been promoted since the reign of King Rama V (his reign lasted from 1 October 1868 until 23 October 1910). However, Thailand has a very long tradition of kite flying, which was already a part of Thai culture since the Sukhotai period (1238-1438) – and in fact, kites were used in warfare hundreds of years ago in Thailand!

Kite Bombers

King Petraja, who reigned from 1688-1703 used kites to fight a rebellion in Nakhon Ratchasima against him. He tied small containers of gunpowder to kites, let the kites fly over the rebels and thus forced the rebels into capitulation with what could be called a “traditional air strike.

The best time to come to see kites in the sky at Sanam Luang (or let one fly yourself) is during Thai summertime – around the month of March, as the Thai people find that the hot “Tapao wind” is best for letting kites fly. Kite festivals are also held in other provinces of Thailand (and you can watch a video of the kite flying festival over at YouTube).

Thai people usually fly two types of kites: Chula kites and Pakpao kites, and King Rama II enjoyed kite fighting with his brother – his brother had a Pakpao kite, and he had a Chula kite.

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So if you have enough time to spare during your Bangkok sightseeing trip and are here at the right time of the year, why not stop by to watch the kites fly? 🙂



Bangkok Sightseeing By Boat From The Chao Phraya River Express

Bangkok used to be called the “Venice of the East” long ago – because life was happening mainly on waterways. Nowadays of course, it’s a concrete jungle, but there are still some remaining waterways which are used as a mode of transportation. The most popular one is the Chao Phraya river – which floats all the way from northern Thailand into the gulf of Thailand and separates Bangkok in two halves. If you’re visiting Bangkok, taking a boat ride on the Chao Phraya is an old tradition, especially for a view of the Grand Palace either in the early morning hours when it’s glistering with the rays of the days first sunlight, or at night, when it’s shining it’s golden light brightly in the darkness.

But even during the daytime it can be an interesting boat ride. If you don’t want to go with the Bangkok dinner cruise, you can also take the very cheap and low-key Bangkok River Express Boat, which actually serves as a means of transportation for local people, but is popular with tourists too. A ride here costs just around 20 Baht – but it can be very crowded. Here you find a map of the stops the Chao Phraya River Express boat makes. (Click on the image for full size view).

Chao Phraya River Boat Map

Be aware that there are different colored lines, and not every boat stops at every pier, so it’s worth checking that the boat you’re getting on will stop at your destination.

There are a couple of noteworthy attractions along the river, like the Grand Palace and the Wat Arun temple, and some of the impressive bridges, but mostly a boat ride is interesting for the atmosphere, and the sometimes little quirky and fascinating things you can spot along the waterside.

Bangkok Sightseeing By Boat

You can do this kind of sightseeing tour in Bangkok on your own, or hire a personal tour guide.

There are all kinds of boats maneuvering on the river, some big, some small, and many in between.

Chao Phraya Boat

James Bond Movie Marathon

Every once in a while strange things are happening in Bangkok. Well, they are happening every day, but some day we blog about them. Like the James Bond marathon that’s coming up. Imagine spending three full days doing nothing but watching all James Bond movies which have ever been made. In case you’re wondering, that’s 22 movies.

If you want to spend the three full days of October 28, 29 and 30 sitting in a cinema and watching one Bond movie after the other, then you can apply to join the marathon here.


Bangkok From Above

If you’re lucky to sit on the right side of the plane on the right flight on the right time of the day with the right weather conditions… you might see something like this:


What you see shining here is the Chao Phraya river, also known as the River of Kings. It separates Bangkok in two halves – the right (eastern) half is where most tourists will spend most of the time, and it’s also the area that’s more developed, whereas the left (western) half is more a residential and business area.

The only place on the western side of the Chao Phraya that’s a real tourist attraction is the Wat Arun temple, opposite of the Wat Po temple. But the river is also a great way to go sightseeing in Bangkok:

Going on a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya river can be great fun, because you get to see Bangkok from the river by night and can enjoy some nice food at the same time.


Beautiful Bangkok Video

Just watch this. It’s Bangkok. It’s beautiful…

This is what you see, experience and feel when you go sightseeing in Bangkok with open eyes, and more importantly, an open heart. There is so much LIFE in this city. It’s one of the reason why we love it – and why we love to share it’s unique beauty with you.


Audition For A Role At Bangkok Community Theatre

The Bangkok Community Theatre announces: AUDITIONS

For our early 2013 production of Noel Coward’s An improbably magical and hilarious comedy “Blithe Spirit”

When? Sunday, November 11th at 1:00pm

Where? At The British Club, Silom Soi 18

English-speaking Men and Women of all nationalities (minimum age 18 years) are invited to audition for the 7 roles needed to bring this delightful comedy to the stage.

Characters can be played by any nationality and the roles range in size from cameo parts to lead roles.

For more details about the show and BCT, please visit www.bct-th.org For questions and audition registration, please email bct@sala.net

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Bangkok Theatre: The Other Land @ B-Floor Theatre

B-Floor Theatre restages a contemporary performance based on a 1996 S.E.A.-Write work “The Other Land”The-Other-Land-Poster

”The Other Land” was praised by the S.E.A. Write judges in 1996 as ‘stories of literary value and delicate presentation, allowing freedom of imagination in its readers.” The work by Kanokphong Songsomphan, an author who devoted his life to writing until its last minute, inspired B-Floor Theatre to create a contemporary performance in 2008. Selected short stories from the collection: “On Coliseum Street, “Homeland,” and “The Cat of Bu Kre Krue Saw,” were woven together and retold to reflect social conflicts at the time. “Everyone loves their country, so why are they fighting?“

Directed by Teerawat Mulvilai, the director of “Flu-Fool” and “Oxygen.” “The Other Land” will be performed (with English surtitles) as part of Diverse Arts Festival by the Pridi Banomyong Institute Date: 5th-7th and 12th-14th October, 2010 at 8pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday 6th October at 2pm and a post-show discussion with the director, activists and artists from the South.

All tickets are 400 THB. For more information and reservation, contact B-Floor at 089 167 4039 or bfloortheatre@gmail.com, or visit www.bfloortheatre.com


Bangkok by Air

This is an incredibly cool video, especially if you know Bangkok – you’ll see it in ways never seen before (unless you often cruise around with a helicopter).

They mounted a wireless FPV camera on a FPV airplane and flew around the city. Awesome footage! I bet you’ve never been sightseeing in Bangkok like this before 😉