Baan Silapin (Klong Bang Luang, The Artist House Bangkok)

R and I spent three days in a row at Klong Bang Luang or Artist House. On the first day we were the only ones at the house. The ladies who work there were very friendly and helpful. R chose to paint an elephant which kept her occupied for a good 20 minutes. Be on the lookout for mosquitoes because when R was painting an army of mosquitoes flew and bit her. The ladies turned the fan on and back to painting she was. We had a chance to go upstairs, the gallery, and watch long tail boats go past. We noticed that there were no passenger or local boats that ferry residents through the canal only tourists on the boats. It was a quiet place to go to, people watch and have a cup of something and read or paint.

There is coffee, cocoa and other cold drinks to buy at the house. The other shops that were open on a Friday are the fish food shop, snacks shop, souvenir shop and massage place.

On Saturday, more things going on at the house. There is a table full of pots to choose curries from for lunch of snack. Next to the coffee table is now a counter to buy jelly on top of ice. We had sorbet this time to console ourselves for there was not a puppet show.  On our way out of the place we bought a big bag of fish food which the resident pla duk or catfish feasted on. It was definitely busier at the weekend in this place but just happy people around.

Sunday, at last there will be a puppet show at 2pm. We waited for half an hour for the show. The place was packed, people sat on the floor and there were viewers upstairs as well. It was a fun experience. R loved it. Our friend L loved it too. We will definitely go back for another show next time we are in town.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

How to get to the Artist’s house from the Wongwianyai BTS station? Take exit 3 and at (by the lift) Krungthonburi Soi 1 take a taxi to Charan Sanitwong Soi 3.  Tell the driver to go to the end of the road. At the end of that Soi follow the alley straight on and you will see a steep bridge, cross that bridge, turn left at the foot of the bridge and the Artist’s house is at the end of the row of houses along the canal.

 

Advertisements

A trip to Bangkok Klong Lat Mayom Floating Market

IMG_20180819_094843I have been thinking about going to a floating market in Bangkok since I visited the country nearly a decade ago.

Finally went to one at the weekend with my 5 year old. Klong Lat Mayom was an easy choice because we already are on the Thonburi side of the city and a 2 minute walk away from the BTS skytrain station.

We set off just before 9am as we get up very early every day. I am sure every mum with a young child could relate to that. We got off at BTS Bang Wa looked for exit 1/2. Fortunately, there is a lift there which I find helpful now that I take a pushchair/stroller nearly everywhere. Although the pavements here are not pushchair friendly, it is a relief to not have to carry a child when she is tired or we are both tired and in the heat.

There was a queue of taxis waiting for passengers outside the station. First try and we were on the road to the floating market! Baht 107 later and the kind taxi driver saw us off.

We arrived at the market relatively early. It was still quiet so it was easy to navigate the market. We bought a 1.30 hour canal boat trip ticket for a Baht 100. For locals it is 60 baht. It was a fun boat trip for me and my daughter. I have not seen her excited about boats in a long time.

Part of the trip was to stop at a temple for 20 minutes. R watched people offer incense, candles and lotus flower to Buddha and prayed. She was especially interested at the children praying. There’s a market on the temple grounds where they have vegetables, fruits and snacks. Another stop was at an oIMG_20180819_115400.jpgrchid farm. It was not a big place but to a small child it looked big enough. We did not buy any plants but we fed the catfish in the canal with a loaf that R bought from the market around the temple. Those fish in the canal are enormous. It’s the kind a child would remember for the rest of her life.

There were a few boats selling at the market. I have no other markets to compare it with but the place is good enough for a weekend morning day out with a little one. The best thing about this trip was to see life along the canal, spirit houses, neighbours chatting, locals on their boats getting on with their lives, a floating vegetable shop (a vegetable seller on a boat), papaya, banana, dragon fruit, coconut palm, pea aubergines, basil plants to name a few things to look at while on the trip.

IMG_20180819_101659.jpg

To have a plate or bowl of something to eat before heading back is easy. By the time we got off the boat and it was only 20 to 11, the place was already packed. People were already eating and we waited a good 10 minutes before we had a free table to have a snack.

 

When it is time to go back for a rest a child certainly knows how to tell an adult. No fussing but there is only one question left in the bag and it will be asked by someone who is like a broken record. Out we went to the main drop off area and there was a taxi waiting. Back to the BTS station in no time. It was 109 baht this time.

 

It’s been ages since….

R turned 5 in April but before that she started Reception class. The first few weeks until a couple of months later she still held on to my legs like a limpet because she did not want to stay at school on her own the whole day. In the end she playfully pushes me out of the gates, says goodbye and off she goes to play with her friends.

She started out at not being confident at reading and writing even though she could. Towards the second half of the school year she was reading her favourite stories. Reading in the car, signs. In October last year, she made her first shopping list and we went to the shops. Slowly but surely ticking all the things on her list.

R still loves drawing, scribbling notes, colouring and making up stories in the car or at home. We still play I spy with beginning letter sounds, she still loves noughts and crosses with Daddy while out for a drive (mostly on our way back from our trip to Granny and Granddad).

At home, she picked up a baking book once and that was the beginning of many weekend baking afternoons. She still chops the veg with me and she cooks stir fries now. R happily puts the rice cooker on or put together ingredients for a loaf then puts the bread machine on.

Everything has gone leaps and bounds in many aspects. That includes swimming, tumble turns, dives and more dives on her own. We went to the beach for a week. It took her two days to get used to the open water. We spent whole days on the beach just playing with sand and swimming. We rarely went up for a rest in the bungalow.

IMG_20180810_175536.jpg

We are in Bangkok for the summer and she is very proud to be able to finish a page or more of the workbooks that Daddy picked up from the tip for pennies. I did not realise that she would be into workbooks on her own. It is part of getting more and more independent.

IMG_20180811_071035.jpg

This week she voluntarily practised pedalling her bicycle and today she came up and said that she could cycle on her own. I asked her how she felt and she said very happy.

In the mornings she gets up at around 6am and goes out the balcony then back in for books or games. R just walks around the room quietly and finding what she wishes to do before breakfast. I hope that when we go back to Devon it will be the same.

We only have 11 days left in our trip and back to our chaotic life back in the UK. Cinema, boat trips, Japanese food, shopping and a little temple hopping to do before that dreadful flight and we will definitely look forward to our next trip here.

22 April

Guess who’s birthday is it tomorrow?

My baby will be 5 tomorrow and she has been waiting for it for a year. It was literally every day that she asked how many days to go before her birthday or what month is it and a different way every morning when she does her calendar only to ask when her birthday will be. And finally it will be the BIG day.

We baked 24 cupcakes today to share in class tomorrow. She made sure there are spare ones for her teachers. It is very sweet.

This year was so rocky for all of us. We had crying, yelling, laughing, snow (storm) which meant no school for a few days, daddy going away for a couple of weeks and not seeing him often because he constantly is at his olds to look after them, R being at school full time, me beating myself up for not being able to send her to the best school I could think of, name it and we had it this year. I am sure this will remain as a memorable year which will be remembered dearly.

Well, we will leave more space for the big day’s review.

4 years 9 months today

R will be 5 years old in 3 months’ time. She is growing so fast I can’t keep up. She reads to me now. Writes me love notes, they come with lots of hugs and kisses, cards, drawings of me. I will miss this stage and all the sweet messages she hands over. I heard the other day that she is trying spelling as well. Reading and writing has gone leaps and bounds since starting Reception. Modelling by other children at school definitely is a positive influence although it comes with a price. She sometimes blurts out nasty words which no one can help or shield her from. It is reality but it is quite an impact to her increasing vocabulary and language development. Well, what better way to immerse in to society than to take a splash into the pool and with mum and dad still there swimming with her all hopes that she comes out of the pool creative and socially responsible individual whose eyes are on the target.

I miss my baby

Eight days into the beginning of the school year I miss my baby so much. She is in school full time now which I think is still too long for a little person. But she is beginning to be more confident in writing and reading from one week going to school alone. She fondly talks about her new friends at school, lunch and play time. On Monday she came back and said to me that she has joined the Joke Club which I am not sure if it is pure imagination but on Friday she said that the club has been shut down.

Six hours and a half everyday is too long at the moment to be alone in the house without R’s presence. Every time she comes back from school she is starving and tired. No more problem about eating supper, so long it may last. I miss her, the happiness, energy in the house in the last four years 24/7 and she is becoming more and and more independent and slowly getting out of mummy and daddy’s wings. I guess that is how things work in having a child.

R in big school

R started in Class one on Wednesday. She was excited to go until today which was nice in a way that I could happily leave there without worries the whole day. She came back on the first day and she was starving although she said that she enjoyed her school lunch. She refuses to packed lunch unlike in when she went to preschool. Exercise, play time, pudding, colouring, new friends and a ‘rusty’ loo are the things she tells about before bed time. It is fun because R picks up her pens and paper and writes cards, notes with lots of hugs and kisses. I do not force her to go and write she is the one who is happy and much happier now to sound out letters while writing them since Wednesday.

She looks bigger and matured now in her uniform. My baby is growing fast and I know more independence is to come and I will only be in the sideline. It will be fine for the three of us as she grows in to her own person.