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Bangkok Travelbug July 09 Thai silk weavers of Ban Krua
June 30, 2009

Thai silk weavers of Ban Krua

Welcome back to our July 2009 issue of Bangkok Travelbug, the monthly newsletter of Tour Bangkok Legacies. If you are a new subscriber, welcome to Bangkok Travelbug. We wish you an informative experience.

July’s contents (click on the link to go directly to the topic)

Major events in July

  • 1 July – National Scouts Day

  • 7 July – Asarnha Bucha Day on the 15th night of the waxing moon on the 8th lunar month commemorating the day Buddha gave his first sermon

  • 8 July - Khao Pansa the start of the Buddhist Lent which lasts for 90 days till 4 October

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Thai silk weavers of Ban Krua

Ban Krua is a Cham Muslim community just across the Saen Saab canal from the Jim Thompson House, former home of the man who made Thai silk famous. The residents are traditionally silk weavers and Thompson got to know them even before he decided to build his house across the canal from them.

Ban Krua

Thompson persuaded a few families to produce the first batches of Thai silk to launch his Thai silk company. Later he built his house on opposite bank of the canal from Ban Krua. Over the years, Thompson developed a close attachment to the people in Ban Krua.

Saen Saab canal, Ban Krua (left) Jim Thompson House (right hidden by trees)

There’s a story about an incident that took place three months after Thompson disappeared in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia in 1967. A house guest in the Jim Thompson House decided to have a party at the house to cheer up the staff and brighten up the place.

That evening, when the residents in Ban Krua saw the lights and people in the Jim Thompson House, they were convinced that Thompson was back. A huge crowd gathered on the banks of the Saen Saab opposite the house and started talking excitedly.

When they realized they were mistaken, they slipped back home disappointed and the whole place quietened down.

I had the pleasure of meeting the son of one of the Thai silk weavers who worked with Jim Thompson in those early days. Read about this in the Thai silk weavers of Ban Krua.

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Bangkok Dolls Museum

We bring you pictures from a quaint little museum, the Bangkok Dolls Museum, which is tucked away deep in Soi Mor Leng near Pratunam.

Traditional Thai dancers

Well I did say last month that we are going to visit some Bangkok dolls, didn’t I? What did you have in mind?

Kids at play

The museum was started in 1956 by Khunying Thongkorn Chanthawimol who learnt her doll making skills at the Ozawa Doll School in Tokyo. Her dolls have won national and international recognition.

The international section

The intricate work involved in the making of these Khon dolls is something to be marvelled at.

Khon dance

Pay a visit to the Bangkok Dolls Museum to see more of these beautiful dolls. For the way there, please refer to the map to the Bangkok Dolls Museum.

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Location of the four-faced Buddha

A number of visitors have made searches for the location of the Erawan Shrine or what is commonly called the four-faced Buddha.

Here is a map of the Bangkok Shrines in the Ratchaprasong junction where this popular shrine and five other Hindu shrines are located. The junction is near the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.

Just click on the icons in the map for the information.

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Bangkok hotels update – more Ibis hotels

The Accor hotels group is expanding its budget hotels chain, Ibis in Thailand. Ibis current operates Ibis Phuket Patong, Ibis Pattaya, Ibis Bangkok Sathorn, Ibis Samui Bophut and Ibis Bangkok Nana.

Further expansions are planned. The 260 room Ibis Bangkok Chao Phraya is due to open in late 2010. Ibis Phuket Kata, also with 260 rooms, will open in December 2009.

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Airport link delayed

In the June issue of the Bangkok Travelbug, we reported that the Suvarnabhumi rail link to the city commences its service on 12 August 2009. I’m afraid we have to disappoint you. That was supposed to be just the first trial run, not the full services.

What’s more the contractor has announced that even that trial run has to be postponed to 5 December 2009. Full services can only commence in March 2010.

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Do something you have always wanted to do

Site Build It!

Next month
  • We are going out of Bangkok to visit Ko Kred, the island in midstream Chao Phraya, where an old community lives.

  • We’ll also be exploring some unusual nooks and corners in old Bangkok. I hope you’ll like them.

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