Published on : Monday, November 27, 2017
On a recent afternoon, six old neighborhoods in and around Bangkok were teleported to a hotel garden. A man at the corner was hawking sets of radiant copper and bronze made bowls, a business passed down in the Baan Bu community for centuries.
“There’s only one engraver left alive,” community leader Pichit Boonjin told a group of tourists. “No one else is taking up his job.” “What happens when he dies?” a tourist asked. I don’t know! He’s leaving the craft to his son, but he’s not even a craftsman yet,” Pichit said.
Thais and foreigners lined up at another corner in order to buy gac juices. It’s a red fruit grown in the Koh Sarn Chao neighborhood. Not quite remote, descendants of ethnic Mon from the Bang Kadi community displayed handmade textiles to the inquisitive onlookers.The marketing effort was hosted by a company that’s interested to bring visitors to these old communities; few of them are even older than Bangkok city itself. Its portion of a community-based tourism trend that is slowly replacing the age-old custom of bus-hopping and taking photos at well-known landmarks.
The six communities on exhibit include Banglamphu, Hua Takhe, Baan Bu, Nang Loeng, Bang Kadi and Koh Sarn Chao. The company co-founder, Achiraya Thamparipattra, explained that she initiated the business after seeing old neighborhoods like Saphan Lek and Mahakan Fort torn down.
“I don’t want Bangkok to be without a soul,” Achiraya said.
The trend is changing with time. Now, there are many companies providing Bangkok tours to traditional neighborhoods of the city, like Hivesters and Local Alike.
Tags: Bangkok tourism