New Boat Service on Klong Phadung Krung Kasem
I had heard about this project for some time and I thought it was a very good idea. In service since early October 2018 on the Klong Phadung Krung Kasem, which means city of joy. Not as exotic as the Khlong Saen Saeb but nice and above all facilitates the access to some part of the city that are not served by public transport, MRT and BTS, and it is free for now. Very busy early in the morning and evening at the closing of the schools and administration’s offices, which are numerous in these areas.
The boat is small and can only accommodate 20 people, departing every 15 minutes from Hualampong train/MRT station. It takes 8 piers and about half an hour to reach Devaraj market pier the last station. That was the first time I used this service and it’s indeed a good idea, I liked it, but be careful not to sit in the front seats because the swirls when crossing a boat could splash you (I Was) and the water is not so clean.
Golden Teak Museum “Ban Sak Thong”
Honestly, Tewet is not a neighborhood where I often go for a walk but that was a good opportunity. I went over the footbridge to the Tewarat market opposite the pier, which at that time of day was quiet. Then I headed to the Devarajkunchorn Varaviharn temple behind the market and decided to visit the Golden Teak Museum. As its name suggests, this is a very beautiful two-floors teak house supported by 59 giant teak pillars. Originally built in Phrae, a northern province renowned for teak wood, was then moved to Pathum Thani province and in 2009 was donated to the temple by Ukrit Mongkolnavin, a former president of the Senate and then became a museum.
The teak tree is one of it that has very visible annual rings, which witness the condition during its living time and determine the climate in the zone it lived as well. Mahidol University by picking samples from15 pillars conducted a study to determine the age of the wood and concluded is about 479 years old. The museum also serves to testify and preserve the rich heritage of the importance of teak, which was one of the country’s main exports in the past.
Recently, the law has been amended to allow the cultivation of precious trees on private property, which without permission may be cut down or given as security loan to the bank, but is overseen by a Community Forest Policy Committee, Provincial Community Forest Committees and a Community Forest Management Committee.
In 1945, forests covered more than 60% of the country and now 32%.
With rich forest resources, Thailand was among the main timber-producing countries. Continuous exploitation of natural forests before the creation of the Royal Department of Forestry (1896) made the teak that export earnings were second only to rice for many decades. Illegal logging, poor forest management, the expansion of agriculture, livestock and shifting cultivation, as well as a demand from the wood industries had led to a shortage and Thailand imported from neighboring countries (Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao, many illegally) to meet domestic demand, and from exporter became an importer.
It was following the devastating floods in the south that in 1989 the government banned all logging operations (except for the areas with land titles) and revoked all terrestrial concessions, then all timber supply had ceased. As a result of this decision, many sawmills have had to close down but it also affected the plywood and veneer industries, which could only rely mainly on imports. Since then, deforestation levels and the depletion of forest resources in Thailand have been relatively low.
Teak is officially classified as a protected species. Currently, commercial harvesting of teak from natural forests or wherever they were grown is prohibited. It is necessary to ask for an authorization to the Royal Forest Department to cut and transport teak, otherwise, harvesting is illegal and Since 1991, only processed or veneered products have been allowed for export. But recently the law has been amended to allow the cultivation of precious trees on private property, which without permission may be cut down, exported or given as a guaranteed loan to the bank. In 1945 the forest recovered 60% of the territory, compared to only 32% today. This is one of the new measures and the authorities expect to reach 55% of the country’s surface area by 2037. It takes 5 to 7 years for a tree to reach a usable commercial size and at least 20 years for a good output.
On the other hand, rubber plantations since the mid-1990s have been developing considerably in the country and over the period 2008-2017 produced 15 to 20 million tonnes (Thailand is the largest rubber-producer and exporter in the world). This wood shares several characteristics with natural teak wood, but its cost is lower. As a result, it is commonly used as a raw material in a number of industries, such as building materials, interior decoration, furniture, and spare parts.
Education on Buddhism and moral value
Also, the museum’s three objectives other than scientific education on teak wood are the education of Buddhism and the history of the replicas of 18 highly revered monks and 19 supreme patriarchs of the Rattanakosin era in fiberglass which are displayed in two rooms on the second floor. But one of their main ones, which Mrs. Rochanat my guide insisted on, is the moral value of teaching Buddhism. She told me that the 5 precepts are not to lie, steal, kill, sexual misconduct and not to drink alcohol and take drugs and that there are a total of 227 rules of conduct that every bhikkhu must respect.
Open from 10.00 to 17.00 daily.
Fee 30 baht
No English-speaking and if you wish you can contact Mrs. Rochana 081 356 37 48 who will organize the service of an English-speaking guide
Where to Buy Teak Products
Chatuchak remains the best address in Bangkok, crafts in section 7-9 and furniture in Chatuchak Plaza, and in the large hall just across the street, where you can have custom-made products manufactured at attractive prices.
Restaurants and Hotels
After that, I went for a walk to visit some restaurants around, there are of course the small locals but I think it would be nice to have lunch on the Chao Phraya River and two of them caught my attention, the In Love and Steve cafe & cuisine, great view. I chose Steve and have fried soft shell crabs with yellow curry, good, 240 baht. After this, I continued on my way and passed in front of Baan Manusarn B&B and Steve Boutique hostel. Beautiful property on the parking lot of the In Love restaurant attracted my attention. Restoration work is underway, a worker told me that this house was an administrative office under the reign of Rama 6 but He did not know what the purpose of the restoration was. I went for a walk around in the little soi and back to Kung Kasem road to visit the Raweekanlaya Wellness Cuisine Resort, which was the residence of the royal governess of King Rama 6, a real oasis, and very friendly staff. Then walked to Prachatippatai pier and took the boat back home.
It’s Better to Know
The controller on the boat does not speak English if your destination is on the way, it is better to know the name in Thai, although I am sure that a passenger or someone will help you. If no passengers get off at a pier, the boat does not stop. In addition, it is preferable to signal from the pier to ask it to stop.
Krasuang Phalang Ngan (Ministry of Energy)
Yaek Lan Luang – Bobae market, Padung Krung Kasem market
Nakorn Sawan – Wat Benchamabophit, Nang Loen market
Ratchadamnoen Nok -Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (close) UN, Thai boxing stadium
Tewes (sometimes written Tewet or Thewet)
Devaraj market – Tewarat Market, Golden Teak Museum, Hotel, Restaurants, B&B, express boat service, ferry to Thonburi
Service from 06:00 to 18:00
I think that the people living near the Klong Krung Kasem but certainly tourists as well will appreciate this new means of transport (no noise pollution) which will certainly become a paying attraction (cheap) but very useful to visit these areas of Bangkok. Now every time one of my friends come to visit I take him/her there.
If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help you out