The Chaophraya River, Central Thailand’s so-called source of life, isn’t just Bangkok’s main river. It also runs through Chainat, a province home to a quaint Chao Phraya riverside settlement known as the Old Police Station Market Community within Sappaya district. The Chao Phraya River is like an artery that feeds life and keeps people together; here, the community’s strength lies in its long-inherited and diverse cultural roots. The community’s new generation, who work in both the public and private sectors, have been recently collaborated to form “Sappaya Old Market Rehabilitation Club” which aims to revive all the community’s attractions and preserve traditions.
The main Sappaya District Police Station building was constructed during the Rama IV period and is now the landmark of the community. It was awarded as the “best architectural preservation project” from the Association of Siamese Architects under the Royal Patronage in 2018. Nowadays, it is used as a community museum – perfect for those who love the rare vintage vibes of an old police station building that’s over a hundred years old.
Every first weekend of the month, the community’s riverside street is closed to traffic and local stalls are set up. Tourists can enjoy various seasonal activities and events, many of which revolve around food! If you happen to be a dessert-lover, try the “Kui lee” sesame snack class. This ancient recipe has been adopted since the Rama VI period.
The senior community master (who will be your instructor while you visit) never tires of telling the story of “Sapya”. Have fun while discovering the origins of the community name. Also, learn to cook floating rice crackers from an ancient recipe. Craft lovers can join the water hyacinth wickerwork class (which isn’t only for old-fashioned folks like many people think it is…)
In addition, the community organizes seasonal activities throughout the year. For example, head out collecting duck eggs in the morning; cruise along Chao Phraya River during sunset and take a ride on a local tractor to have a picnic in the toddy palm field, which said to be one of the most beautiful in Thailand.