It was one of those weekends when the weather was just right, everyone was eager for a walk and the thought of tasting earl grey chiffon cake propelled us out of the house to explore a new.. or should I say “old” part of Bangkok.
Saphan Taksin BTS station on the Silom line is normally the gateway to go to places like IconSiam mall and Asiatique. This time we skipped the boat ride and decided to walk along the Charoen Krung road along the river. It was like a flashback of Hyderabad old city.
A long main road with little shops flanking either side. Spice shops and tailoring stores sitting beside Afghani rug and jewelry shops with semi precious stones and amber beads. A few modern cafes peeked out here and there but the charm and character of this area were definitely the old bakeries with tantalizing aromas of fresh bread and custards wafting out. I enjoyed talking to the old aunties at one bakery selling a sort of rice cake. Even though we spoke using actions and smiles more than any language, we all came away laughing and happy. Bangkok is a city where you are reminded time and again of the warmth and kindness of the Thai people.
A local friend had recommended the Earl grey chiffon cake at Hei Jii . So we followed the map to an even tinier lane and found the rustic and homely cafe. Surprisingly, it wasn’t empty and they had a steady stream of local kids coming in for some Yuzu soda or Thai milk tea. We of course went straight for the delicious and light chiffon cake. It was so good, we had to have two. There’s no such thing as a diet on weekends, right?
I loved the rustic and simple decor of Hei Jii with its potted plants at the entrance and the wooden doors. It seems to be run by a family and we spent a lovely time at their cafe enjoying the Thai tea and cake. I will be back to try the spring rolls as they told me they serve authentic home style Chinese food.
Sundays are quiet and empty here in old town so we’ll have to go back and experience this area when everything is open and bustling. However, we were quite content to stroll around and enjoy the artwork and graffiti on the walls and sample the treats at different cafes in the area. I particularly loved the scratched art by Alexandre Farto aka VHILS on a wall behind warehouse 30.
Warehouse 30 was found quite by accident, but if you are thinking of exploring Old Town, you must take a look at the gallery and exhibitions held there for lifestyle products, artwork and design. The cafes are also one better than the other and I couldn’t resist trying the Library cafe’s Pandan waffle.
Next time you want to explore Bangkok, get off the beaten track and go see Old Town. It’s a side of Bangkok you rarely see.
How to get there: Take the Silom line BTS to Saphan Taksin station. Walk down towards Charoen Krung road. Et Voila! You’re in the heart of Old Bangkok.