Kudi Jeen and Klong San

Kudi Jeen and Klong San are so compact and human scaled that wandering through them transports you away from hustling and bustling Bangkok and gives you a sense of intimate discovery.

A. Wat Kalayanamitr

Take a blue flag Chao Phraya Express Boat to Yodipman pier. Walk into Yodpiman River Walk and immediately turn left. Continue walking to Pak Khlong Talat river crossing pier at the end and board a ferry to cross over to the other side of the river. Exit the pier and head into the temple in front of you.
This temple’s name translates roughly to “true friend” and is a reference to its founder. In the late 1820s, Chao Phraya Nikon Bodin, a nobleman with ties to King Rama III, donated his land to establish the temple, which established his status as a friend of the people. The complex contains one of Bangkok’s largest Buddhist libraries, making it a very active center for the local Buddhist community.
Exit onto Thetsaban Sai 1 road on the east side of the temple. Walk south along the temple walls and turn right into a small community alleyway where the walls end. Continue on the path and turn left to find:

B. Baan Phatthayakosol

The Phattayakosol family is a well-known clan that have contributed much to Thai traditional music since the beginning of the Chakri dynasty. The family researched and produced Thai instruments and composed and taught music. Over many generations, they have amassed a treasure trove of Thai traditional instruments and have it displayed in this museum.
Facing away from the museum, turn left and walk towards Arun Ammarin main road. Turn left after you exit the alleyway and then left again into Arun Ammarin 6 street. Continue walking back towards the temple and turn right at the next four-way intersection onto Wat Kanlaya street. Keep walking until you see a gate on your right that lists houses 157 to 169. Directly opposite the gate is an unmarked alley. Enter and get ready to wander Kudi Jeen community. The easiest way to get to the next stop is to keep turning left as you follow the path. Continue until you find on your right:

C. Baan Kudichin Museum

This area known as Kudi Jeen was where the Portuguese settled when Bangkok was founded. Today, many of the descendants still live in the area. Baan Kudichin Museum was started by a resident who had a collection of items that were handed down for generations and wanted to educate the public on the community’s past. Displays include an ancient Portuguese armor and examples of their famous porcelain.
Exit the museum and turn right. Keep following the path until you find on your left:

D. Thanusingha Bakery House

The community’s culture is shaped by its Portuguese past. One legacy is the Khanom Farang Kudi Jeen or translated as “Kudi Jeen Caucasian sweet” at Thanusingha Bakery. This sweet baked treat is unlike any Thai dessert, owing to its European, Siamese, and Chinese heritage. Thanusingha Bakery House specializes in this delight.
Once you have finished your snack, exit the bakery and turn left. Follow the path until a T intersection and turn right. In a short distance, on your left you will see the back of:

E. Windsor House

The original owner of this wooden beauty was Louis Windsor, a wealthy British merchant who owned Windsor Shop on Charoen Krung Road. Noted for its elegant decay and detailed fretwork, the gingerbread house was built in a style popular in its time. For a better view, walk around to the river and follow the riverside pathway until you see the front of the house.
Continue following the pathway until you exit out next to a community pier that is on your left. Turn right and walk straight to see:

F. Santa Cruz Church

When the Portuguese was given land to settle in Bangkok, they were also given the freedom to practice their religion. This heart of the community was established and quickly became a center for Catholics. Its architecture, having Chinese influences, led the locals to nickname it Kudi Jeen, meaning “Chinese church”.
Walk around the church to its southern end. Turn left to walk out to a T intersection. Turn left on Arun Ammarin 4 street and continue walking east. On your right, look out for the large white pagoda of:

G. Wat Prayurawongsawas Woravihara

This temple built 200 years ago boasts a unique feature saved by the community. In 2005, the abbot noticed the temple’s principal white pagoda that stands 60.5m-high was leaning. In collaboration with experts, the community restored it successfully in 2010 and the project went on to win UNESCO’s Award of Excellence for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Exit the pagoda and walk straight out. Turn left on the main road and follow it toward the river to get a view of:

H. Rama I Memorial Bridge

This steel bascule bridge is one of Bangkok’s most iconic feature on the river. Completed in 1932, the structure is now associated with a bygone pre-war era.
Continue walking under the bridge and follow the road until you reach a red-tiled street with a red stone gateway on your left. Turn left into the street and cross a canal bridge. Turn left on the street immediately after the bridge. Walk straight and turn right. Where the road veers right again, find on your left:

I. Goowatin Islam Mosque

This small community mosque might not seem much but it plays a significant role in connecting two of the most famous families of Thailand: Bunnag and Nana. The mosque was converted from a warehouse into a mosque to give Indian immigrants from Surat a place to worship.
Exit the mosque and walk straight. Enter a tree-lined street on your left. On your right is:

J. Princess Mother Memorial Park

In 1995, the Princess Mother passed on. In memory of her, King Rama IX founded the Princess Mother Memorial Park. Opened in 1997, the park allows the general public to get to know the Princess Mother intimately through exhibitions. Inside is a reproduction of the house she grew up in.
Opposite the park toward the river is:

K. Guan Yu Shrine

This pagoda shrine on the river is dedicated to the Chinese warrior god Guan Yu. Guan Yu was a Chinese general, whose warring prowess was immortalized in the tale of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Today, he is revered and prayed to for his many qualities, including integrity, loyalty, and many others.
Facing away from the shrine on the tree-lined street, turn left and continue walking. Turn right and then left onto another red-tiled street. At the first T intersection, turn left and start walking toward the river. The path turns into a river front walkway. Follow it until you emerge out on:

L. Tha Din Daeng Road

This road is as local as it gets. During rush hours, residents amble up and down this street to run their errands, have their meals, and shop at their local markets. Explore the entire length and indulge in some famous eateries including a pork satay vendor and Chua Kim Huad restaurant selling roast duck and goose dishes. Finish your walking tour here and wind down before going to your next destination.
To get back next destination, walk toward the river on Tha Din Daeng road and board a river crossing ferry at the pier at the end. On the other side at Rajchawongse pier, take an orange flag Chao Phraya Express Boat to wherever you need to go.

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