BANGKOK — Tour a century-old timber building on Rue de Brest – aka Soi Charoen Krung 36 – Sunday, that technically sits on French soil.
Once a year, the French Ambassador’s Residence in Thailand opens to the public to explore the early-19th century building to celebrate European Heritage Day. It will open its doors to the public for the 33rd year running to check out its unique colonial style designed by a now-forgotten Italian architect.
Tours of the former three-story customs house located along the the Chao Phraya River start on the ground floor where a grand kitchen is located. Walk up to the second floor to find the living room, reading room, workroom and elegant wooden dining room. The third floor bedroom of Amb. Gilles Garachon, unfortunately, will be off limits.
Photographs and films about its construction and the 160th anniversary of French-Thai diplomatic relations will be shown, while the work such as “La Forêt” by contemporary artist Jacques Vieille will show nearby at the embassy.
Guided tours of the residence are available and limited to 20 people per round. French-language tours are at 10:30am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3pm. For tours in Thai, be ready at 10:40am, 11:40am, 2:10pm and 3:10pm. Only speak English? Try 10:50am, 11:50am, 2:20pm and 3:20pm.
Feel free to explore the residence from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. The residence, located near the French Embassy, on Rue de Brest, better known as Soi Charoen Krung 36, can be reached by taxi or motorcycle taxi from BTS Saphan Taksin.