ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
From ancient Coke bottles to a classic barbershop, Baan Bangkhen is a palace of nostalgia
AN OUTDOOR museum billed as a nostalgic paean to growing up in the 1960s, Baan Bangkhen has an imitation market stocked with vintage household items, a retro radio shop, and a salon where your dad might have had his hair cut.
Straighter to the point, there’s also an antique store full of old-fashioned clocks and brassware.
A cluster of old wooden shophouses, Baan Bangkhen evokes childhood nostalgia with its vintage collectibles.
Baan Bangkhen opened in January in a classic string of shophouses in that district of Bangkok, on Phaholyothin Road. Visitors seem to adore the place, the older ones reliving fond memories and the younger ones amused enough to snap selfies and kid each other, “Were you even born when they had these things?”
This had been Khum Chao Phraya, a Thai-food restaurant with sauna attached, but owner Sompong Pisankitvanich decided to turn the five-rai site into a museum for the multitude of nostalgia items he’d collected. The transition took eight months, and now the place is open – around the clock.
“I’ve been collecting all kinds of antiques for more than a decade,” says the restaurateur behind Ruen Panya and Monte Carlo on Ekamai-Ram Indra Road.
“Originally I just wanted to have a cafe where I could share my passion with the public, but then I noticed all these young people reading books at cafes at shopping malls.
“So I decided to create a ‘cultural learning centre’ where the younger generation could learn how their parents lived 50 or 60 years ago and also use the place as a co-working space twenty-four-seven.”
“Most of the museum is comprised of old Thai wooden houses pulled together, so the construction cost wasn’t much – but my collectibles are priceless!”
He only charges Bt20 for admission, and visitors can redeem their entry ticket for a bottle of water or a discount on the food and beverages sold in the cafe.
Right out front catching the attention of passers-by is a bazaar selling different street-style food dishes.
Inside are five separate areas amid walls decorated with funky 3D street art that, as modern as the approach might seem, also evoke community scenes from bygone days.
The first traditional house you enter is named Baan Poh Luang in tribute to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the royal family. It houses an exhibition of vintage black-and-white photographs and commemorative stamps and coins.
Next is Baan Coke with its playful array of thousands of collectibles such as toys and souvenirs that together chronicle the 130-year history of Coca-Cola. It’s an adorable glass warehouse whose treasures include first-edition Coke bottles from 1894 and Coca-Cola vending machines and electric refrigerators from the 1930s.
Baan Coke offers an amazing tour of CocaCola’s history in bottles, cans, toys and other collectibles.
There are Coke bottles and cans from different countries, a full set of “Coca-Cola Salutes Walt Disney World Happy15th Birthday” pins, and the limited edition “Coca-Cola 100 Centennial Celebration” pins.
In the middle of the complex is a 1958 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck parked under a tree house, creating a spectacularly photogenic vertical garden.
A cluster of five old wooden houses has been rigged to recreate an old market in Ang Thong, Sompong’s hometown. You can see a traditional Chinese medicine store, an antique shop, a barbershop and a primary-school classroom complete with blackboard and those unforgettable wooden desks where kids struggled to pay attention.
The old grocery is my favourite, bringing back childhood memories with its shelves of Milo and Ovaltine in aluminium cans, the familiar cardboard boxes of Fab, Pack and Bao Boon Jin detergents, enamelled tableware and dress-up paper dolls.
The old market has a traditional barbershop with the furnishings and equipment of old.
The cafe has a garage theme and an astonishing collection of 20 Be@rbrick bear dolls that look like Mickey Mouse, the Joker from Batman, Peko and Superman. On the menu board are homemade pastries, coffee, Korean bingsu, toast, pancakes and fruity cakes.
The co-working space at the end of complex is lovely and tranquil. Simply decorated with wooden furniture, it offers free Wi-Fi and personal seating in several layouts, electrical outlets always handy.
A Royal Thai Air Force corporal, Sawitree Sukrochanee, was at Baan Bangkhen, reminiscing and marvelling at the old market.
“I’ve been here twice,” said the 30-year-old. “I love that the owner was thinking outside the box and built a museum that’s open around the clock. Office workers can come here to hang out with friends and students can use the co-working space with no time limits.
The Chinese medicine shop is decked out with oldfashioned furniture and supplies.
“The atmosphere is very relaxing, though the place is well lit and lively – I don’t like seeing exhibitions in gloomy rooms.”
Sawitree said she liked the old market in particular.
“It has many things I’d never seen before, like the traditional barbershop. I know Bao Boon Jin is a Chinese brand of detergent.
“Baan Bangkhen is a good place for young people to do activities together, although, with the museum open 24 hours a day, we might have to be concerned about their safety at night.”
WHERE TIME STANDS STILL
>> Baan Bangkhen is on Phaholyothin Road, opposite the 11th Infantry Regiment King’s Guard.
>> It’s open around the clock. Admission is Bt20.
>> Find out more on the Baan Bangkhen Facebook page.