Chang Chui - Bangkok's newest creative space

Travel log September 14, 2017 15:01

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A vibrant new platform to fire up the imagination...



Chang Chui market is a new hip creative space covering an area of 11 rai on the Thonburi side of Bangkok. Destined to be a creative community where new-generation artists and designers can unleash their artistic ability without restraint, the market packs an art gallery, a theatre / cinema, co-working space, cafes, restaurants, a tea house, a music store and many unique and creative shops, all under one roof.

            The creative space, officially known as “Thailand Tomorrow” in English, is the brainchild of Somchai Songwattana, CEO and art director of Thailand’s pioneering fashion brand FlyNow. Infused with vintage-style architecture, it is made up of many separate structures designed under the “nothing is useless” concept, with the reuse of old materials throughout. Aged teakwood window frames, massive old glass windows and used corrugated zinc sheets and wrought iron are fused in a unique way into something much-like traditional Chinese shop houses, giving shoppers a feeling of nostalgia. Several eccentric sculptures have been thrown in to give the place a modern art vibe.

            Chang Chui’s icon is a decommissioned Lockheed L-1011 TriStar airplane that sits right at the center of the market. Named “Naoh,” a spoonerism of Noah’s Ark, the plane is being transformed into a fine-dining restaurant with exotic décor and an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, stuffed animals, sculptures and luxury chandeliers. Run by Michelin-starred chef Andy Yang, the restaurant will serve a range of creatively-designed dishes. Under the airplane is the “Runway Bar”, where diners can have a drink in a vibrant atmosphere as the sun goes down.

Art enthusiasts should head to the “Akarn Anekpasong” multipurpose creativity ground to explore rotating art exhibitions and events, as well as an occasional art & craft market, or shop for curios and fashion items that can’t be found elsewhere at “Happening”. Nearby is an art gallery, which also offers print T-shirts of famous paintings. For those who appreciate wooden handicrafts, don’t forget to drop by “Carpenter” to bring home some meticulously-made stationery items, modern gadgets such as flash drives and power banks, as well as various knick-knacks. Also must-visit is “Chui Charoen”, a classic Chinese grocery-themed shop that will bring childhood memories flooding back with its toys, games, sweets and many other items of the past.

Film buffs and lovers of drama should check out “Dujit Arai Kor Chang”, an old-style theatre from a bygone era where various performances and well-curated documentary features take turns on the stage. Music lovers can’t miss “Chang Cheum Live House”, where CDs and vinyl records are on sale and local bands play for the crowds. Bookworms can browse a selection of old and contemporary books, as well as stylish handmade stationery at “mali mali”, or flip through books while sipping a coffee in the laid-back ambience of “Yon Yarn Hall”, where “Booksmith” and “One Ounce for Onion” coffee shop share space.

There are also shops offering home décor items, antiques and collectibles, such as “Lamp of Industry” and “Vinternity, an eyewear shop, fashion stores, a galaxy-themed barber shop, a gardening and plant shop in a whimsical skull shape, and even a drone shop.

Chang Chui is also a wonderful place for food and drink. Visitors can sample some of Thailand’s most popular dishes and desserts from nine well-known street food shops at the funky “Dak Din” food court. Pizza and burgers are served up at “Pizza Pazza” and “Gunger”. Stalls and food trucks providing a variety of local and international cuisines are scattered around the market. Beer aficionados will be impressed with the wide range of Thai and international craft brews at “Huay Bar”, decorated in a barbaric prison theme where drinks are ordered through the bars of a prison cell.

For an unusual culinary experience, “Insects in the Backyard” is an interesting option. Insect consumption is growing in popularity due to the high nutritional benefits of bugs and sustainability as a food source. As its name hints, the restaurant specializes in insect-based dishes such as nachos and mixed insects with cherry tomato salsa and sour cream, green salad with pan-fried crickets, and fresh homemade cricket pasta with black basil pesto and chorizo.

            This retro-hip walking market is a great place to pick up some creative inspiration and new ideas. Visitors can appreciate different forms of art, enjoy dining and shopping, or simply strolling around the market to absorb the chilled-out and nostalgic atmosphere, especially at night. With its exotic design and décor, it is also fantastic for those who enjoy taking pictures.

 

 

  • Getting there

Chang Chui is located at 460/8 Sirindhorn Road, Bang Phlat District, Bangkok.

 

To get there with public transportation, take the BTS Skytrain to Victory Monument Station and then air-conditioned BMTA bus No. 515 or 539.

 

  • Opening hours

Tue – Sun: 16.00 – 23.00 hrs. (closed on Mondays)

Green zone (alcohol-free): from 11.00 hrs.

  • Admission

Tue – Fri, 20 baht, Sat – Sun, 40 baht

Free for children not exceeding 120 cm in height, disabled persons and monks

  • Check schedules of performances and activities on www.changchuibangkok.com