My Pinoy friends in Bangkok visited Baan Silapin (Artist's House) on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River last Sunday. Norlash read about it in an in-flight magazine and next thing we know we were following the twisted sois leading to the house.
Baan Silapin is located along one of the canals zigzagging through Thonburi. I heard that before the days of concrete roads one goes around Bangkok on boats plying the canals. The place must give Bangkokians a nostalgic kick because there's quite a number of Thais paying the place a visit last weekend.
We got there early, so for roughly an hour we had the place to ourselves, just exploring the spacious wooden house. Half of the space on the first floor is for art crafts stuff like lithography and mask painting, and the other half is dedicated to masked dance performances. The second floor has lots of open spaces with the walls filled with oil and watercolor paintings of the house and its neighborhood. At the center of the courtyard is a brick chedi that's 300 years old.
Soon enough the house was filled with mostly local tourists. Doing the lithographs proved to be popular, with various levels of success (mine was a bloody mess). As the house is along the route of tourist boats, there's always a boat or two passing by, and their passengers always bring out their cameras to take pictures of the house and its visitors.
In the afternoon we were treated to a puppetry performance.
The visit is a refreshing break from the malls of Bangkok, where we usually spend our weekends. I used to be quite earnest in exploring places similar to Baan Silapin, such as old neighborhoods, temples, and museums, but I had been lazy the past few years. Visiting Baan Silapin is a welcome reminder that I should spend less lazy weekends and instead explore more this beautiful city.