In a rather inconsistent manner throughout a sweltering Sunday, without really knowing where I was (because I allowed myself to get lost and explore Bangkok beyond its skyscrappers...), I found myself stepping into Kudi Jeen, a neighborhood with Eurasian heritage alongside Chao Phraya River. Little known by tourists, this district, offers an immersion in the city’s historic past. As I wander through a maze of alleys, colorful houses, I am transported away from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, and entering a sense of intimate escapade and discovery.
The Kudee Jeen community traces its history back to 1700s, when King Taksin gave permission the Portuguese to settle on the West bank of the river. Throughout time, the community evolved, and diversified as Siamese , Chinese, and Muslims also settled into the area giving the neighborhood a unique history and mix of cultures. You will find Buddhist temples, Chinese shrines and mosques coexisting alongside Santa Cruz Church, the centre of the community.. As you wander the hidden alleys of Kudi Jeen, one begins to see the interesting legacies of the Portuguese and other settlements in the area.
Have a glimpse into the houses and see the Portuguese influence: azulejo tiles and crosses. And... if you wish to have a little break or immerse further into the history of the area, stop by Baan Kudi Jeen, a museum and cafe owned by a Thai Portuguese family.