Before I flew off to Thailand in March, I came across a blog post on The Wrong Way Home (a site I mentioned on here a few weeks ago). It was about the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre – something that isn’t on the “must see” list of many backpackers travelling to the Thai capital.
Being one who enjoys galleries I instantly added it to my schedule, and it was so worth it.
Whilst I was there they had an exhibition of the work of three Belgian artists’ (all of whom had some link to Thailand), which I really enjoyed. However, once I headed upstairs to the main gallery I was met by a fantastic exhibition of young Thai multi-media artists examining the place of Buddhism in modern Thailand.
Sadly, I had to leave my daypack and camera in a locker before being allowed in (and my smartphone battery was dead, so I couldn’t take any sneaky shots with its camera). It was a great experience, and if you’re in Bangkok before it closes I highly recommend seeing it.
As those of you who have been to Thailand know, Buddhism is an ever-present part of the society and culture, so seeing how it is interpreted by young Thai people in the 21st Century was an insight I wouldn’t have otherwise gained during my trip.
The best thing about all of these exhibitions is that they were entirely free.
THE HIDDEN GEM
Whilst I adored the art, the real gem is hidden on the ground floor next to the main entrance. I’m a bit of a coffee nerd at the best of times, and coming from the cafe culture of Wellington I was missing my regular fix of expertly made coffee. Luckily BACC is home to Gallery Drip Coffee – a fantastic coffee bar that deals exclusively in filtered coffee – no espresso to be found here, and “instant” is a dirty word.
There’s a trendy decor and plenty of reading material (both in Thai and English), and you can sit at the bar and watch them grind your selected coffee by hand before carefully pouring water through a V60 drip filter.
I must admit, by the end of my stay in Thailand the staff had got to know me and were asking my opinion on the various single origin beans they offer.
If you go there, make sure you try the Maejantai Peaberry which is grown near Chiang Mai (I didn’t even know they grew coffee in Thailand before I tried it!)
I’m not sure if this was the type of culture they mean in the BACC’s name, but it was definitely an interesting perspective on modern, trendy Bangkok. I can only thank Izy’s post for sending me there in the first place!
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Open: 10am – 9pm