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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.

kiting bangkok

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.

kiting sanam luang bangkok

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? 🙂

 

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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
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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.

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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:

Bangkok

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.

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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.

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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

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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 😉

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Bangkok Creative: The Purple Rubberband Leopard

The Siam Paragon is an interesting place to visit even if you’re not actually into shopping. They often feature creative works of local Thai artists, like this leopard who’s fur is made from colored rubber bands.

There are other animals as well, but you gotta visit the place yourself to see them. However, this one is our favorite.

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The Country Wife is the newest play to be staged by the Bangkok Community Theatre.

The playwright, William Wycherley, was born near Shrewsbury, England, in 1640. He relished the new found freedom when theatres re-opened on the restoration of the monarchy with King Charles II, after an eighteen year period of puritanical Parliamentary rule.

BCT’s production explores the parallels of 17th Century society with the present day; one which is obsessed with material wealth, fashion, gossip and sexual freedom.

Bangkok Community Theatre has been producing live shows for about 40 years. Their last production, Nunsense, was a sellout success and if the interest already shown in The County Wife turns into ticket sales, their latest show will be another smash hit. The director is Severin Herbert, Director of Drama at Harrow International School. He last directed Lysistrata for BCT based on the ancient Greek play. With The Country Wife, he is bringing another classic comedy to Bangkok audiences. But does a 350 year old play set in London have any relevance for modern day Bangkokians? As Severin Herbert says “there are many good reasons for staging The Country Wife. It is a play about sex and marriage; double standards and hypocrisy; gossip and stealth. It has huge parallels in our own modern age. The news is always full of those who stand before us as moral leaders, falling down because of their private behaviour; our media heaves with gossip and speculation and with celebrities famous not for their talents but for simply being a celebrity.”

The Country Wife has a cast of fifteen. Half the actors are new to a major Bangkok Community Theatre production having recently made their mark in BCT’s Fringe Show. Newcomer, James Laver, plays the debonair but deceitful Mr Horner who is happy for a rumour to be spread about town that he has become a eunuch following an illness in France. This gives him the perfect excuse to mix freely with the ‘ladies’ who are not as prim and proper as they would like to appear. Stephanie Wallis, a BCT regular, is Lady Fidget, one of the not so chaste ladies who is only too pleased to be palmed off on Mr Horner by her foolish husband, Sir Jasper (Michael Allman, another familiar BCT face) who is only interested in money and business.

Nic Frances, who almost stole the show in last year’s production Pygmalion as Mrs Pearce the Housekeeper, takes the title role of The Country Wife, Mrs Margery Pinchwife, the innocent young country girl who is introduced to the wicked ways of London. But will she succumb? Her bullying husband, in the capable hands of Jonathan Truslow (Henry Higgins in Pygmalion) will do all he can to make sure she stays on the straight and narrow.

Nic FrancesThe Country Wife is a fast-moving farce full of double entendres, mistaken identities and good old British honest vulgarity. Fans of the Carry On film series of films might recognize similarities with their love of naughtiness, ridiculous characters with ridiculous names (e.g. Old Lady Squeamish!) and a riot of fun.

Tickets are 800 baht and will go on sale from 1st September. Bookings can be made by emailing bctcountry@gmail.com or calling 081 937 3600. More information can be found at www.bct-th.org and on BCT’s Facebook pages.

Tickets are also available at Nelson Hays Library Cafe in Suriwong Road and at the British Club (for members).

For those wanting to make a night of it, The British Club will be laying on a sumptuous pre-show buffet of traditional British dishes. If you are looking for a fun night out with lots of laughs mark your diaries now, Wednesday 10- Saturday 13 October, and make sure you get a ticket.

You might want to leave your maiden aunt at home if she is easily shocked. On the other hand, with the temptations of Bangkok on her doorstep, there is no knowing what she might get up to. After all, as The Country Wife shows us, appearances can be deceptive.

Written over 350 years ago, The Country Wife, is William Wycherley’s hilariously bawdy classic Restoration comedy. It will be staged at The British Club from 8pm to 10pm from Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 October 2012. It’s themes of sexual freedom, gossip, double standards and hypocrisy are as relevant today as they were in the 17th Century but, above all, the play provides plenty of belly-laughs and a really fun night out.

When?

10pm through 10-13 October 2012 .

Where?

The British Club
Silom soi 18
Bangkok

Location map & contact details

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