Tha Maharaj: Life at the River

‘Tha Maharaj’ is a community mall located on Maharaj Road in the Rattanakosin area, thus in walking distance of Thammasat University. The Rattanakosin Island was built in the early Rattanakosin period. Hence, Tha Maharaj tries to capture the charm of the old town’s architecture.

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

This community mall is thus in close proximity of the Chao Phraya River and there is also the Tha Maharaj Pier. What is more, it is surrounded by some important cultural attractions of Bangkok including The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Nearby this place are also Silpakorn Fine Arts University and Siriraj Hospital.

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River*

Of course, due to this location, Tha Maharaj has become a tourist attraction as well. However, locals also love this place because there are specialists of antiques and one of the greatest Thai amulet markets in the country.

At Tha Maharaj*

A community mall with many shops and restaurants*

Tha Maharaj aims at bringing the beauty of the Chao Phraya River near to the visitors. In addition, people should get to know and enjoy the local culinary specialities which can also be referred to as the Taste of the River. What is more, the place surprises the visitor with some colourful details 🙂 Thus, there is also a community garden and a riverside promenade.

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Tha Maharaj includes seven buildings in total and a parking building. There are more that 50 restaurants, retail shops dedicated to fashion and beauty. You can reach this place by road but also via Chao Phraya Express Boat. Other options to get there are Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, Long-Tail Boats and Private Boats.

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Summing up, Tha Maharaj is certainly worth a visit since there are not only numerous interesting shops, facilities and restaurants but also special events and activities like weekend market.

A colourful place for special events and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

A colourful place for special events like the weekend market and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

For more information check out: Tha Maharaj

Yours, Sirinya

(All photos in this post, credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)




Retirement in Thailand

Thailand has become a popular country for retirees from Western countries. The best places for retirement in Thailand are considered to be Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Bangkok. Today, there are also retirement villages and homes for those who need assisted living.

Even though the options for retirement homes are still limited in Thailand, there are three facilities that admit expats in need of daily assistance. For instance, there are the Thailand Retirement and Long Term Care Communities in Pattaya. This institution has been known for assisting disabled foreigners.

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand

Pattaya is a nice location for all retirees who like to enjoy the beach, sun, entertainment and fast life in a transcient place. Nevertheless, there are also two main hospitals that offer great healthcare. These are Pattaya International, a private hospital, and there is Pattaya-Bangkok International which is located a short distance outside of Pattaya.

What is more, in Bangkok you can find the Golden Years Hospital which also take care of elderly expats. They also offer special tour programmes for elders in which the elderly are accompanied by a personal caregiver. There are many advantages of being nursed in the Golden Years Hospital because the doctors and nurses provide warm and close care.

Another well-known facility is the Mc Kean Rehabilitation Centre in Chaing Mai which has a complete nursing home for the elderly. It is a Christian Centre which wants to provide good life quality to seniors so that they can live in a caring and supportive community with dignity.

Thailand is a popular place for retirees from Western countries

Thailand is a popular place for retirees from Western countries

If you do not necessarily need a retirement home, there is also the possibility to buy or rent a small condo. Particularly, these kind of small condo units can be found in Pattaya where there is a large expat community. If you want to buy such a condo of around 50 square meters, the price is commonly around 900,000 Baht.

These condos for expats are usually in close proximity to immigration facilities. For instance, in Pattaya, Thai Immigration Building is in Jomtien, where you can find numerous condo units for senior expatriates. Hence, Jomtien has become a hot retirement spot and thus there are also many facilities for expats like clubs.

Actually, many of the Thai expat retirees in these areas live off their government pension. This is important because a government pension is a requirement for a retirement visa. Do you want to find out how much you need to live well in Thailand? Try the Thai Retirement Calculator found on my website.

Finally, we may say that Thailand is a very popular place for Western retirees because of the excellent weather and the generally stable economy. Thus, many Western seniors consider getting a Thai retirement visa for expats. In addition, the living costs in Thailand are much lower than in Western countries like the USA, the UK and Europe in general.

Yours, Sirinya




Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives

Today I’d like to present you the outstanding stage culture performance ‘Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives’. This show takes place in Bangkok at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront, from Tuesday to Sunday, 8PM onwards.

Muay Thai Live in Bangkok

Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives & Warrior Rising Boxing

Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives 

The show was created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham. It is a special and spectacular event not only for Muay Thai lovers. The performance is about the history of Thai Boxing, dealing with its origins and its development until today.

A performacne about the history of Thai Boxing was created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham

A performacne about the history of Thai Boxing, created by acclaimed director Ekachai Uekrongtham

Hence, the show has five thrilling acts which trace the story of Muay Thai. Thus, the first part starts at the very beginning of the history of Thai boxing, namely in the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1699 where the ‘Tiger King’ appears. He is not only charismatic but shows extraordinary kickboxing skills.

Ancient Thai Boxing techniques at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront

Ancient Thai Boxing techniques at The Stage Asiatique The Riverfront

The second act, set in 1767, deals with the ‘Prisoner with Eight Limbs’. After the downfall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, many Siamese soldiers are confined by their ememies. Among them is a warrior with amazing skills in Muay Boran which is an ancient form of Thai Boxing.

The Prisoner with Eight Limbs

The Prisoner with Eight Limbs

The third act takes place in 1773, a time when the Kingdom is again in fierce war with enemies. Swordsmen are recruted from all over the country to fight against the opponents. General Pichai is a warrior of the double swords. Hence, he is known as the ‘Warrior with broken swords’ because in battle one of his swords is broken. Eventually, he is left to fight with only his body and soul.

Scene from 'The Warrior with Broken Swords'

Scene from ‘The Warrior with Broken Swords’

Fighting with swords and with body & soul

Fighting with swords, body & soul

Act four might be the most dramatic part of the show because this part is about the most dangerous and lethal methods of ancient Muay Thai. These techniques have not been performed over a 100 years. It is also about the ‘Modern Action Hero’ whose fight is reinforced by the combination of stunt techniques and other martial arts.

Modern Action Hero at Muay Thai Live BKK

Modern Action Hero at Muay Thai Live BKK

The dangerous and lethal methods of ancient Muay Thai

The dangerous methods of ancient Muay Thai

Finally, in the last act, the cast performs the ‘Wai Kru’, thus paying respect to the great Thai boxing masters of the past. The Wai Kru is known as Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves.

Wai Kru - Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves.

Wai Kru – Thailand’s unique and most beautiful boxing dance moves

The show is followed by Live Muay Thai boxing as an added feature. In ‘Warriors Rising’ there are two Thai boxing matches that are mentored by Muay Thai Grand Master Kru Sane Tubtimtong.

Summing up, Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives is a special event for everyone interested in Thai culture and the history of Thai boxing. For more information, please visit Muay Thai Live and their FB page. I’m also giving away four tickets for this show on my Facebook page! Thus, head over to Sirinya’s Thailand Blog and participate 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




A Hidden Gem: The Bangkokian Museum

The Bangkokian Museum is also known as the Bangkok Folk Museum. In Thai, it is called Phiphithaphan Chao Bang Kok (พิพิธภัณฑ์ชาวบางกอก). This museum is located in the Bangrak district only several hundered meters from the Chao Phraya River and hence not far from the well-known Oriental Hotel. It is placed at Soi Charoen Krung and Maha Set Road.

Entrance to the Bangkokian Museum (photo: Amporn Konglapumnuay)*

Entrance to the Bangkokian Museum (photo: Amporn Konglapumnuay)*

The Bangkok Folk Museum has two wooden houses which date back to the time of World War II. These teak houses are behind a wooden gate, in the back of a garden. Thus, the museum captures the spirit and lifestyle of middle-class people in Bangkok during WWII and the after war period.

A Hidden Gem: The Bangkok Folk Museum*

A Hidden Gem: The Bangkok Folk Museum*

This museum was once the home of the Suravadee family*

This museum was once the home of the Suravadee family*

The houses, built in 1937, were the home of the Suravadee family. They became a museum to preserve Thai lifestyle of early Bangkok and have been managed by the Bangkok  Metropolitan Authority since 2004. Today, Ms Waraporn Suravadee is the caretaker of the museum which was once her residence.

The living room*

The living room*

Ms Waraporn Suravadee*

Ms Waraporn Suravadee*

In the first building, there is an ancestors’ quarters upstairs. There are many valuable objects but also everyday items of the Suravadee family who used to live there. Some treasures include precious Benjarong jars. These jars are made from Thai porcelain, painted in five basic colours black, green, yellow, red and white. The technique dates back to the time of King Rama V (1858-1910). What is more, the museum also habours other amazing porcelain art which stem from the early Rattanakosin period.

A display of porcelain from the Rattanakosin era*

A display of porcelain from the Rattanakosin era*

Some more porcelain in a cabinet*

Some more porcelain in a cabinet*

In the ground floor are the dining rooms, library and offices. Upstairs are the neat bedrooms with cabinets and closets. There are also valuable objects like antique jewelry for instance.

The Library at the Bangkok Folk Museum*

The Library at the Bangkok Folk Museum*

A neat bedroom*

A neat bedroom*

At the rear, behind the main building, is the second house of the museum. This place was supposed to be the clinic of Dr. Francis Christian who was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn. However, he passed away before he could move in. For instance, there you find his amazing cigar collection displayed and an old kitchen with typical utensils dating back to the war period.

Dr. Francis Christian was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn Suravadee. This bust was created by Prof Silpa Bhirasr. *

Dr. Francis Christian was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn Suravadee. This bust was created by Prof Silpa Bhirasri*

Kitchen utensils from the war era*

Kitchen utensils from the war era*

In addition, you can also admire some stunning antique jewelry. Do you like the amazing purple spider brooch? I do 😉

Antique jewelry*

Antique jewelry*

A beautiful dresser from the war era*

A beautiful antique teak dresser*

In a nutshell, we may say that the Bangkokian Museum is one of the important heritage buildings in Bangkok like the Jim Thompson House, Suan Pakkad Palace and Vimanmek Palace. If you are in Bangkok, this place is worth a visit for sure 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(All pictures in this post, credit to Amporn Konglapumnuay)




The History of Wat Arun

Wat Arun is known as the Temple of Dawn located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. It is a very prominent landmark in Bangkok. This temple is best seen from the opposite river bank. The complete name of this temple is Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan.

Wat Arun

View on Wat Arun from from Bitter Deck at Sala Arun. photo: Amazing Thailand FB page

View on Wat Arun from Bitter Deck at Sala Arun. photo: Amazing Thailand FB page

Wat Arun is a temple complex that consists of the towers, the so-called ‘Phra Prang’ (spires) which symbolize the Mount Meru of Hindu cosmology. There are also narrow lanes, old white buildings, shrines and two giants called ‘Yak Wat Jaeng’ who are the mortal enemies of the ‘Yak Wat Pho’ located across the river. The Yaks are figures from the Thai Ramakien, the white figure is called Sahassa Deja and the green one is Thotsakan, the Demon Rāvana.

‘Yak Wat Jaeng', the temple guardians of Wat Arun (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

‘Yak Wat Jaeng’, the temple guardians of Wat Arun (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

The temple has existed since the days when Ayutthaya was Thailand’s capital. It was then named Wat Makok in the place called Bangmakok meaning ‘Village of Olive’. Hence, Bangmakok was shortened to ‘Bangkok’.

The Chao Phraya River as seen from the main spire of Wat Arun; photo by John Thomson in 1865, Wellcome Library London

The Chao Phraya River as seen from the main spire of Wat Arun; photo by John Thomson in 1865, Wellcome Library London

After defeating the Burmese Army in Ayutthaya, King Taksin reached this place to establish the new capital Thonburi. He arrived at dawn and thus renamed the temple ‘Wat Jeang’. ‘Jeang’ means bright, dawn and clear. During his reign, no monks lived in this temple. However, it was used to house the Emerald Buddha which is located at Wat Phra Kaeow today.

The precious Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaeow (photo credit: JPSwimmer, wikipedia.org)

The precious Emerald Buddha, today located at Wat Phra Kaeow (photo credit: JPSwimmer, wikipedia.org)

King Taksin’s General had taken the Emerald Buddha from Vientiane in Laos to Wat Jeang. Later after King Taksin’s death, this General became King Rama I (Buddha Yodfa Chulaoke). Eventually, King Rama I moved his capital from Thonburi to Bangkok taking the Emerals Buddha with him. There the Buddha was moved to his present site in the Emerald Buddha Temple.

King Rama I, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke; photo: wikimedia.org

King Rama I, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke; photo: wikimedia.org

King Rama II (1809-1824) started the construction of the tall spire and the four smaller ones. This was completed by King Rama III (1824-1851). The towers are supported by rows of demons and monkeys and very narrow steps lead to a balcony on the central tower.

The towers of Wat Arun are supported by a row of demons, photo: Sirinya Pakditawan

The towers of Wat Arun are supported by a row of demons, photo: Sirinya Pakditawan

The towers are built of brick covered with stucco and the decorations are also unique. There are numerous pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain.

Pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain at the Temple of Dawn, Bangkok (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

Pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain at the Temple of Dawn, Bangkok (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

The central tower also harbours the figure of the God Indra seated on his vehicle Erawan which is the three-headed elephant. What is more, there are also figures of the Moon God on a white horse. In addition, the trident of Shiva extends from the top of each tower.

Wat Arun stairway, photo: wikimedia.org

Wat Arun stairway, I think in the centre there is Indra on his vehicle Erawan, photo: wikimedia.org

Thus, the central balcony offers an impressive view of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River. From there you can also see the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho.

Wat Arun seen from the Chao Phraya River, photo: wikimedia.org

Wat Arun seen from the Chao Phraya River, photo: wikimedia.org

Summing up, I find that Wat Arun is one of the most impressive monuments that I have ever seen. I really love to visit this place soon again 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

This month’s topic of the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem (คลองผดุงกรุงเกษม) market is ‘Mementos For Fathers & New Year’s Gifts’. The market is situated next to the Government House in Bangkok’s Old City and takes place from 1-24 December 2015, daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

Divided into two periods, the first one from 1-12 December 2015 focussed on the theme of ‘Gifts for Father’s Day’. The second period from 13-24 December 2015 is all about ‘New Year’s Gifts’. For every item you purchase for 300 Baht per shop, you have the chance of getting a prize from the lucky draw station. In addition, you can also get free gift wrapping.

Since H. M. King Bhumibol’s Birthday was on 5th December, the market invites you to show loyalty to the King by writing a salute. After registering at the zone, you receive a piece of paper to write down a salute and hang on the Bodhi tree.

Write down a salute for H.M. King Bhumibol

Write down a salute for H.M. King Bhumibol

Are you a flower and nature lover? Then I have some special items to present to you from this market festival. First, there are the adorable handmade ‘Real Flower Accessories’. Aren’t they amazing? The petals are dried and arranged, then coated with resin.

'Real Flower Accessories' at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market festival

‘Real Flower Accessories’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market festival

Colourful necklaces made with real flowers

Colourful necklaces made with real flowers

Maybe you are looking for a nice floral home decoration? Take a look at ‘Fah Artificial Flower’ from Supanburi Province. They offer a special price on their wonderful fabric flowers.

‘Fah Artificial Flower’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

‘Fah Artificial Flower’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Another wonderful item and New Year’s present is the ‘Gift Box’ which contains beautifully arranged artificial flowers.

A nice Gift Box with beautifully arranged artificial flowers

A nice Gift Box with beautifully arranged artificial flowers

What is more, the market presents numerous amazing and unique Thai handicraft products such as these exquisite articles by Sukkee. By the way, Sukkee is one of the OTOP exporters that were awarded by the Ministry of Commerce.

Exquisite articles by Sukkee

Exquisite articles by Sukkee

Thai handicraft products by Sukkee

Thai handicraft products by Sukkee

In fact, there are a variety of appealing products to satisfy shoppers such as these adorable handmade articles by ‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’. These turtles with crystals on their carapace are believed to symbolize and bring both longevity and prosperity to the owners.

‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’, turtles with crystals

‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’, turtles with crystals

Amazing Thai handicraft at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Amazing Thai handicraft at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, elephants with crystals

I also cherish the stunning Thai handicraft articles by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”.Take a look at these fine arts 🙂

Thai handicraft by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”

Thai handicraft by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”

“Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory” at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

“Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory” at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

There are many more exotic products like these beautiful articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”.

Articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”

Articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”

Thai mango tree products by “Creationwww”

Thai mango tree products by “Creationwww”

Last but not least, there are some very cute teddy bears from ‘Teddy Bear Thailand’ that offers a super special price only at this event. You can take pictures with a bunch of furry teddy bears and take one home.

'Teddy Bear Thailand' at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

‘Teddy Bear Thailand’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

For more information, please check out: facebook.com/khlongphadungkrungkasem. For tourists, I recommend that you print this map out and show it to a taxi driver, adding that the market is situated next to the Government House (ทำเนียบรัฐบาล).

Map & travel info

Map & travel info

Summing up, we can say that the market at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem is an innovative attraction in Bangkok appealing to both locals and to tourists with amazing articles and Thai wisdom products. This month, the market offers some unique New Year’s Gifts and Father’s Day gifts. There is simply something for everyone’s taste. Thus, don’t miss the event!

Yours, Sirinya




Media Review: Asia Street Food by Heike & Stephan Leistner

Today’s media review is about asia street food by Heike & Stefan Leistner (ISBN: 978-3862448050). This book was published in September 2015 by Christian Verlag, Munich. This book is in German language, comprises 224 pages and 300 colour photographs. It costs 24,99 EUR and is available in the German bookselling trade and on Amazon.

Asia Street Food

Cover Asia Street Food (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Cover Asia Street Food (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The book asia street food combines a cookbook with a (culinary) journey of discovery through the Southeast Asian countries Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Hence, the authors Heike & Stephan Leistner present 70 authentic street food recipes from these countries, thus inviting the reader to try these special recipes at home.

Since 2004, the authors have been travelling regularly to Southeast Asia collecting wonderful streetfood recipes. Heike Leistner is a passionate food and travel photographer and Stephan Leistner is a cook and author. Thus, in 2011 the couple also launched their website asiastreetfood.com in order to make Asian streetfood recipes known in the German-speaking world.

Rice noodle soup with chicken from Vietnam (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Rice noodle soup with chicken from Vietnam (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The book starts with an introduction and a brief history and background of streetfood in Asia. The first chapter is about Vietnam. Thus, the authors first introduce Vietnamese cuisine poiting out its specialities. A very prominent and well-known dish in Vietnamese cuisine is the Pho Bo. Hence, there is a recipe for this kind of noodle soup with beef. Other specialities are different kinds of spring rolls, like for example springrolls with tumeric and banh mi which is a kind of Vietnamese sandwich. In addition, the authors introduce prominent cities of Vietnam like Hanoi and Saigon and also present a family restaurant from Phu Quoc.

Spring rolls with tumeric from Vietnam (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Spring rolls with tumeric from Vietnam (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The second chapter deals with Cambodia and begins with an introduction of the characteristics of Cambodian cuisine. A first recipe the authors present is mango salad with fish. Other prominent recipes in Cambodian streetcuisine are fish and rice soup and the Khmer baguette. In-between the recipes, the authors present important Cambodian cities like Phnom Penh and Battambang.

Mango salad with fish from Cambodia (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Mango salad with fish from Cambodia (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The next chapter is about Laos and starts off with an introduction about Laotian cuisine, the history of the county and its specialities. This is followed by popular recipes from Laotian streetcuisine, among them for instance fish curry with Lao whiskey. In this chapter, the authors also present a section about ‘sticky rice’ and how it is prepared as well as an informative section about the use of lime and its different kinds.

Fish curry with Lao whiskey from Laos (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Fish curry with Lao whiskey from Laos (photo: ©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The fourth chapter is about Thailand and begins with introducing Thai cuisine emphasizing its regional cuisines and their characteristics. Thus, the presented recipes come from the different regions of Thailand. For instance, there is curry noodle soup and sausage from Northern Thailand, fried chicken from Isaan but also classic recipes found throughout the country like Pad Thai, Som Tam and Tom Yum. In the sections in-between the recipes, the authors deal with different topics like monasteries and night markets in Chaing Mai, the cultivation of rice, floating markets, curry shops, streetfood in Bangkok, usage of the coconut & Bangkok in general.

Pad Thai from Thailand (photo:©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Pad Thai from Thailand, a popular street food (photo:©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

The last chapter deals with the cuisine of Myanmar. It starts with an introduction and then presents the most popular streetfood recipes like Burmese noodle soup (mohinga), chicken curry, noodlesalad & the Burmese milk tea, for example. The sections in-between are about popular cities in Myanmar like Yangoon and Bagan.

Shan noodle salad from Myanmar (photo:©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Shan noodle salad from Myanmar (photo:©Christian Verlag / Heike Leistner)

Finally, I think that asia street food by Heike and Stephan Leistner is a well-made book that offers more than a simple cookbook. Indeed, it is an invitation for a journey of discovery. What catches the reader’s eye immediately are the numerous and colourful photographs. In short, I find the book appealingly illustrated. I particularly like that the authors also introduce and present some streetfood vendors. Thus, I can recommend this book to all those who love Southeast Asia and its multifaceted cuisine.

Yours, Sirinya




‘OTOP TO AEC’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

This month’s topic of the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem (คลองผดุงกรุงเกษม) market is about ‘OTOP TO AEC…Heritage of Thailand from Local to Global’. The market is situated next to the Government House in Bangkok’s Old City and takes place from 3-25 November 2015, daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

‘OTOP TO AEC’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

'OTOP TO AEC … Heritage of Thailand from Local to Global' at the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market

‘OTOP TO AEC … Heritage of Thailand from Local to Global’ at the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market

At this event you find many OTOP products from all over Thailand, for instance local OTOP food products but also exported OTOP goods which will rotate each week. The market offers something for everyone’s taste.

First let us take a look at some amazing food products – there are for example Riceberry and Sungyod brown rice. Riceberry is high in anti-oxidants and fiber. Thus, it helps lower cholesterol and has many other health benefits. Sungyod brown rice is very rare and considered to be a premium rice from the South. It is rich in protein and vitamins. You can get these products for a very special price at the market.

Riceberry and Sungyod brown rice

OTOP products: Riceberry and Sungyod brown rice

Many cheap and cheerful groceries are available at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, such as Instant noodles MAMA, fruit juice, detergents and much more

Many cheap and cheerful groceries are available at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, such as Instant noodles MAMA, fruit juice, detergents and many more

In addition, the event offers numerous ready-to-eat delicacies such as Kalamare which is a delicious Thai dessert. Traditionally, it comes in black sticky form but nowadays it has various colors. Kalamare from auntie Tui is a famous one from Koh Samui.

Kalamare, Thai dessert from auntie Tui

Kalamare, Thai dessert from auntie Tui at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

If you are looking for something savoury, you may want to try Naam Prig Goong Siab. This is a Southern style dip with dried shrimp. Serve this dip with fresh vegetables, fermented egg, and steamed rice.

OTOP Product: Naam Prig Goong Siab, Southern style dip

OTOP Product: Naam Prig Goong Siab, Southern style dip

Another food speciality is Mo-Din Vermicelli with hot sauce from Baan Kradok, Nakonrachasima province

Another food speciality is Mo-Din Vermicelli with hot sauce from Baan Kradok, Nakonrachasima province

Fresh seafood from Paknam, Suratanee Province! There are fresh huge oysters, super-sized prawns and many more items

Fresh seafood from Paknam, Suratanee Province! There are fresh huge oysters, super-sized prawns and many more delicious foods at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Well, if you’re still hungry and looking for something pastry-like, try the herbal fluffy rice flour cake of Baan Morakot from Sakaew Province. The ingredients are all natural and it tastes fantastic.

Herbal fluffy rice flour cake of Baan Morakot

OTOP Product: Herbal fluffy rice flour cake of Baan Morakot

Another option is the BIG-sized ROTI from Satool Province. This Roti not only huge and crispy but also more delicious than common Roti.

Another option is the BIG-sized ROTI from Satool Province. This Roti is not only huge and crispy but also more delicious than common Roti. Only at this month’s ‘OTOP TO ACE’ festival.

However, the market also offers some crafts like unique Thai silk from different provinces in Thailand.

Unique Thai silk is an OTOP Product at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Unique Thai silk is an OTOP Product at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

There are also amazing artificial flowers from Chaiyaphum province. These flowers are very beautiful, exquisite and affordable. Good for home, office, and restaurant decorations.

There are also amazing artificial flowers from Chaiyaphum province. These flowers are very beautiful, exquisite and affordable. Good for home, office, and restaurant decorations.

Maybe you are looking for some effective health care products. I recommend you try the herbal hot packs which are relieving body pain and muscle sprains. The hot pack is easy to use, just put it into the microwave for about two minutes and press it right onto your painful spot.

Herbal hot packs are OTOP Products

Herbal hot packs are OTOP Products

Try one of the products with bergamot. This herb has many benefits such as making the hair soft and beautiful. It has also blood purifiying properties

Try one of the products with bergamot. This herb has many benefits such as making the hair soft and beautiful. It has also blood purifiying properties

An innovative product is the Thai stone aromatherapy. This innovation is made from powder, herbs, and food coloring. It is used for creating a refreshing atmosphere so that you can relax enjoying this new format.

Thai stone aromatherapy- an innovation at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Thai stone aromatherapy- an innovation at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Last but not least, my favourite product of this month’s event is a lamp made from coconut shell. This OTOP product appreciates the value of coconuts. The lamp is unique and very beautiful. The market offers various products designed with coconut shell.

Lamp made from coconut shell

Lamp made from coconut shell

For more information, please check out: facebook.com/khlongphadungkrungkasem. For tourists, I recommend that you print this map out and show it to a taxi driver, adding that the market is situated next to the Government House (ทำเนียบรัฐบาล).

Map & travel info

Map & travel info

In a nutshell, we can say that the market at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem is an innovative attraction in Bangkok appealing to both locals and to tourists with monthly changing topics and premium products. Thus, don’t miss the event!

Yours, Sirinya




Thai Designer Nagara & The Floating World (BIFW 2015)

Nagara Sambandaraksa can be regarded as the most renowned Thai fashion designer. He has designed for Thai royalty and his creations are strongly connected with his Thai heritage and regional influences. Thus, his designs are predominantly custom-made pieces created from Thai silk, borcade and other premium materials.

 Nagara’s Story

Renowned Thai Fashion Designer Nagara Sambandaraksa

Renowned Thai Fashion Designer Nagara Sambandaraksa*

At the age of 15, Nagara left Thailand to study interior design in the United States and the UK. However, each summer he returned to Bangkok in order to study the art of fabric painting and design. After finishing his studies in the US and the UK, Nagara went to Omoto School near Kyoto in Japan to study Japanese traditional arts in textile design.

Nagara's models at the BIFW 2015, The Floating World*

Nagara’s models at the BIFW 2015, The Floating World*

At the beginning of his career, Nagara made home furnishing fabrics and textile design. He started fashion design in 1983 and today he is well-known for his ‘East meets West’ designs and the distinct oriental character of his creations. Nagara fashion is a regular representative at Bangkok Fashion Shows and the International Fashion Week.

Nadech Kugimiya & Urassaya Sperbund for Nagara*

Nadech Kugimiya & Urassaya Sperbund for Nagara*

He travels a lot to find inspiration in other countries. Hence, he particularly loves the cities of India, China and Japan. However, he also likes European cities like Paris and Florence for their inspiring character. He feels the need to search for inspiration in other countries but at the same time Thailand’s fashion scene is becoming more dynamic and younger designers are receiving more support.

Thai Fashion Designer Nagara 'The Floating World' at BIFW 2015*

Thai Fashion Designer Nagara ‘The Floating World’ at BIFW 2015*

He thinks that it is also important to consider trends in fashion and to be guided by the younger generation. Nevertheless, the special feature of Nagara’s fahion is that he produces all the fabrics himself. This includes the weaving, printing and painting of the fabrics. Thus, he needs more time in creating the designs but they are unique. Hence, his signature style is using the world famous Thai silk.

The Floating World by Nagara BIFW 2015*

Janie Tienphosuwan at The Floating World by Nagara BIFW 2015*

We may describe Nagara’s style as flamboyant, extraordinary and yet simple. What is more, his designs are exotic. For instance, his 2014 collection was inspired by his travels to India. Hence, the designs are very colourful, oriental and many different fabrics are combined and mixed together. Nagara uses exotic materials like peacock feathers and native Indian floral prints. His recent collection is called ‘The Floating World’ and was featured at the Bangkok International Fashion Week 2015. This collection distinctively combines Japanese elements with a flamboyant design.

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund at the Bangkok International Fashion Week 2015*

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund at the Bangkok International Fashion Week 2015*

Our popular models Urassaya Sperbund and Nadech Kugimiya presented these marvellous and amazing designs among others.

Finally, we may say that Nagara is Thailand’s most renowned fashion designer with good reason. His designs are extravagant and they combine Western and Eastern elements.

Yours, Sirinya

(All pictures in this post, photo credit: Nagara Naga, FB page)




Sretsis: Thai Fashion Designer

Stretsis fashion can be described as a fusion between a traditional and a vintage style. This top Thai designer brand was launched in 2002 by three sisters. Hence, the label already hints at this bond, ‘Stretsis’ being ‘Sisters’ spelled backward.

The Story of Stretsis

Fashion with a vintage touch (photo: Stretsis Universe, FB page)

Fashion with a vintage touch (photo: Stretsis Universe, FB page)

Pimdao Sukhahuta, the eldest of the sisters, is the head designer. She studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and opened her first store while being still a student. Pim did an internship at internationally acclaimed designer Marc Jacob and finally graduated in 2003. By this time, her fashion was already becoming renowned for its unconventional and girlish design.

The three sisters (photo credit: nationmultimedia.com)

The three sisters Pimdao, Klyduen and Matina Sukhahuta, the founders of Stretsis (photo: nationmultimedia.com)

The three sisters stayed in New York for four years. Pim is the main designer and creative director. The younger sister Klyduen is a fashion marketer promoting the brand and the youngest sister Matina creates jewellery which is run under the label ‘Matina Amanita’ jewellery collection.

Playful, vintage & dainty fashion (photo: Stretsis Universe, FB page)

Playful, vintage & dainty fashion (photo: Stretsis Universe, FB page)

Pim very much enjoys a nostalgic and vintage style in fashion. Hence, you often find pieces with unusual patterns in her collections. In fact, her designs are inspired by childhood nostalgic memories. Nevertheless, her design is innovative, flamboyant, unconventional but at the same time elegant and modern. Thus, Stretsis fuses traditional yet whimsical patterns and styles with a modern, stylish touch to create a unique, but somehow naughty style.

sretsis-4887-485331-1  sretsis-9564-755541-1   sretsis-9885-045541-1   sretsis-9618-455541-1

Thus, she puts forward that dressing up should be a part of everyday life. She likes to work with different textures like silk, chiffon and satin. A special feature of Stretsis is that it uses Thailand’s elegant silk textiles to create an innovative Thai fashion design that should make a statement and a lasting impression.

sretsis-0412-728801-1  sretsis-3003-128801-1   sretsis-4980-72838-1   sretsis-9865-145541-1

Stretsis’ headquarter is in Bangkok and employs around 25 seamstresses who sew many dresses by hand. For this reason, every piece of clothing becomes a piece of artwork. The brand is growing and gaining international popularity. Hence, for instance, this brand has been featured in numerous glossy magazines like Vogue, Instyle and Elle. What is more, celebrities like Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Paris Hilton have been seen wearing Stretsis garments 🙂

sretsis-4824-885331-1  sretsis-9491-165541-1  sretsis-4070-655541-1   sretsis-5010-40308-1

Summing up, we may say that Stretsis is one of the top Thai designer brands offering a unique combination of Thai traditional vintage style and sweet lingering patterns. Hence, the style is both sweet and rebellious.

Yours, Sirinya

(*All pictures in this post, photo credit: ZALORA Thailand, unless otherwise stated)