Bangkok Homes and Gardens Charity Tour

On Saturday the Dusit chapter of Soroptimist International, an organization that concerns itself with issues surrounding women’s welfare, held their biannual Bangkok Homes and Gardens Charity Tour.  We had the opportunity to visit three beautiful homes all located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.  One was a prince’s home, another was a merchant’s, and the third was a nobleman’s.

I’ve compiled a very nice (if I do say so myself) eight-minute video.  Instead of duplicating the information below, I’ll post some pictures with very brief comments.

Wanglee House

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This Chinese house was built in 1881 by a rice merchant.  The Wanglee clan owns it to this day. 

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The house is built according to the principles of feng shui, facing the river.

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Designed in traditional Chinese courtyard style, the house represents a study of the Chinese culture brought to Siam by Chinese merchants during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Chakrabongse House

Pronounced “cha-kra-bong”, this house was built in 1908 by Prince Chakrabongse, the 40th child of King Rama V.  While studying in Czarist Russia, he eloped with a Russian woman, bringing her back to Siam unannounced. 

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The house is now owned and lived in by the prince’s granddaughter. 

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There is also a small boutique hotel built on the property closer to the river.

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We were provided a guided tour to the inside of the house.  No photos were allowed so I have borrowed other photos that appear on the internet.

Praya Palazzo

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An Italian-inspired mansion built in 1923 by a colonel in the customs bureau during an era in which Italian artists and architects were all the rage in Siam.

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The palazzo is now a very exclusive 17-room boutique hotel, accessible only by boat.  Very charming place.

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The unseasonable rain finally caught up to us and the hotel staff rounded up umbrellas to shuttle us back to the pier.  Made it back to the Shangri-La Hotel reasonably dry and appreciated the opportunity to get a peek at what life was like in Bangkok a century ago.

 

0 thoughts on “Bangkok Homes and Gardens Charity Tour

  1. Let me ask you, since you’ve live there now for sometime. Have you acquired some of the traditions of that country. Like putting furniture in your house a certain way and a certain direction, so the energy flows more positively ?Inquiring minds want to know !

  2. The quality of your productions continue to impress me. I could upload this to PBS.org and no one would know the difference. (btw – those long Thai names didn’t seem to be a problem for you – *applause*).

  3. Chris I saw this on your YouTube this morning and commented. But it seems like my comments on the Utube never go through. Anyway,I loved loved loved this post. I am so happy that the Thai Government is doing this and placing such importance on maintaining the beauty and the decor of the old palatial homes. Thank you for the informative post.

  4. i like the wanglee clan house. though i can’t imagine living in such a huge house. i see it as the perfect place for an afternoon tea, though 🙂

  5. It all looks very pretty and clean. I’m taking it to be very far away from the touristy sites because I realized something is missing from most touristy pictures – other tourists ruining the pics :]

  6. @CurryPuffy – Soroptimist was charging 1900 baht per ticket, about $60.  Not sure what their costs are, but I estimate they grossed about 500,000 baht for the event.  Considering that this is their primary fundraiser, I’d say that is a pretty good draw.@Devilzgaysianboi – Two of the three are small boutique hotels so they have very little traffice and the third place (the Chinese home) is a private residence, off limits to the general public.  That’s why you see few tourists.  Plus, I tried to shoot so as to not get the other visitors in the frame.@rudyhou – I was thinking that I could live in a smaller version of it.  I like houses with courtyards.@fukuoka_stars – @stebow –  Thank you very much; glad you enjoyed it.@ZSA_MD – Actually, the Thai government has nothing to do with this.  All three of the buildings are privately owned.  Thanks for the recommendation.  Glad you enjoyed the video.@ElusiveWords – You should heard the audio out-takes track, in which I stumble over every name several times!  =P@Inciteful – It certainly is a culture that has been influenced by many other cultures, thanks to being a trading center for hundreds of years.@murisopsis – Yes, it is nice that they have not been lost to the ravages of time.@radio03 – Glad you enjoyed.  Yes, I make videos from time to time.  There are more than 100 on my YouTube channel.@Fatcat723 – You could *settle* for one of them, huh?  @I_love_Burma – Yes, they are all very well maintained.@The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – Interesting question.  The issue about feng shui is really only applicable to the Chinese minority within Thailand and isn’t really a Thai thing, per se.  There are probably many things I’ve started doing that are a reflection of the local culture.  Two of the biggest are using a fork and spoon when eating food and taking off my shoes when entering a home.

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