Bangkok, Thailand; Day 4

Today the kids asked for a day off from cultural or educational content but of course we still tried to find something fun to do.

On our way to our big Adventure, we thought we’d have some small ones. We got dropped off about 1.5km away from our destination so we could walk through Chinatown and see what was happening the day before the day before Lunar New Year. It was packed with shoppers and decorated for the holiday.

We walked down the famous Sampeng Lane which is the birthplace of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Around the 1700s, Chinese immigrants looking for a better life established their community here. The market lane, built such a long time ago, is so narrow that cars cannot go through it. Even though it’s packed with people, it’s not closed, it still has motorbikes weaving through the crowd – there’s one next to CreeperKitty in the pic below.

We planned to just walk through but the kids decided to stop and shop. A pair of earrings for 5 bhat (15 cents)? Suaram says ‘Yes, please’ with some help from her brothers.

We did a quick pass by the China Gate which marks the ceremonial entrance to Chinatown. It’s perhaps the youngest sight we’ve visited in Thailand – it was erected in 1999 in honor of the King’s Birthday. Normally the streets around the gate would be closed on Tuesday for New Year’s celebrations but due to COVID precautions the events will not occur.

Our plan was to grab some quick photos so we stopped in front of a hip looking white door to snap some shots. To our surprise, the door opened. We were invited in to the swanky art gallery to walk up to their 5th floor roof and check out the view so we did. The view was interesting and the art was too. It was a one of those small, cool, totally random things that happen some days.

Our ultimate destination was a Thai style restaurant on the river. We wandered down some alleys and passed a lot of people cooking dinner.

The restaurant was hosting a special event – an English language performance of The Emperor Has No Clothes by the Bangkok Community Theatre. It was their first performance in 24 months, an interactive version designed for kids.

We used to have season tickets to the Children’s Theater at home but haven’t in probably 4 years between conflicts and the pandemic. We’ve really missed it and were happy to find something in an open air venue. It was minimalist sets, few actors, a little music and a lot of fun. It even started with a ‘make-your-own-mirror’ craft the kids used in the show.

The kids found seats in the front (on the right by the pole) and – as is typical – were riveted the whole 60 minutes of the show. Suaram even got picked to participate as part of the loom making cloth for the Emperor’s clothes.

We stuck around the restaurant afterwards to enjoy the sunset over the river and eat dinner. The wait was long, the chairs weren’t comfortable and the food was relatively expensive (oh well). More importantly, the setting was wonderful and the sunset was a great way to end the day.

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