Let’s Get Ready to Jumble

Soi Nana’s Craft+Jumble Trail is an aptly named art, music, food, and drink festival. 2Mag gets the lowdown on what’s happening in Chinatown this Sunday (May 14) from artist Micaela Marini Higgs.

May 12, 2017

This Sunday (May 14) marks the third year (and fourth iteration) of Soi Nana’s Craft+Jumble Trail: a day of great food, art, drinking, and music. Though this corner of Chinatown boasts plenty of popular bars and galleries mixed in-between traditional Chinese shop houses and businesses, the Craft Jumble is one of the rare occasions when they all come alive at the same time.

Besides your favorite bars hosting workshops, featuring special menus, and offering up discounts, expect to find neighborhood residents selling vintage clothing on the sidewalk, along with cold drinks and food from their kitchens. Starting at 1pm with pop ups from the likes of Appia and Golden Coins Taproom, expect the party to last into the late hours of the night as you hop between businesses, watching live painting, listening to Thai bands, and looking at art.

Rather than the formulaic Bangkok markets we’ve gotten bored of, Craft Jumble should offer plenty of unexpected additions since, without an official event organizer, some neighborhood businesses have taken a spontaneous approach to planning. “The great thing is that you really don’t know what everyone is doing until the day of [the event], so it’s a surprise,” says David Fernández of Cho Why. Thus, while you’re sure to find a last-minute addition or two on Sunday—perhaps an open artist’s studio or people cheekily selling illegal Thai beer on the street—here’s what you can expect from some of my favorite spots.

Tep Bar
"We first opened the bar two years ago [during] the Jumble Trail, so this event is a good symbol of us and the street," says Asawin Ant of Tep Bar. As they did last year, Tep is hosting a Tom Tom Drum (Klong Yao in Thai) workshop, with two 20 minute sessions (first come, first serve or register by messaging their Facebook page). With an interior and a cocktail menu that draw heavily from traditional Thai influences and ingredients, the workshop will give visitors a chance to “have fun and learn a bit more about Thai musical instruments [and culture].” A live band will go on at 6pm, and the party is expected to last late into the night.

Cho Why
This art and event space (my favorite spot on the street), plans to be packed on Sunday with a large offering of food and drink pop ups. On the walls you’ll find my own artwork, paper collages made of old magazines and colorful paper, and postcard prints for sale by the door. Before heading up to the roof to watch artist Sath live paint a mural next to a FoudeJoie pop-up selling barbacoa, make sure to grab a Thai craft beer from Golden Coins Taproom on the first floor and food from Appia. You can expect more seating than in past years, with music and a large crowd eager to eat and drink.

Maison de Poupeé
I bought one of my favorite shirts from this elusive pop-up, run by Victor and Pupe of El Chiringuito, at last year’s Craft Jumble: a small shop house that only opens for neighborhood events or when a visiting designer rents the space (one recent visitor was Hanoi-based clothing brand Chula Fashion). Expect to find a selection of women’s clothing, with a smaller range of shirts for men.

Oneday Wallflowers

Providing the most Instagram-worthy shots of last year’s Craft Jumble, like an inverted pyramid of flowers hanging from a four-poster bed, this flower shop once again opens its doors and invites people to “enjoy our shop’s atmosphere and the feeling of fresh flowers.” You’ll find food, drinks, music, and “flower decorations and installations all over the place.”

Píjiǔ Bar
“We’re very excited to be a part of this year’s Craft Jumble… it's really unique in Bangkok to find such a funky mix of great food, beer, cocktails, and art all on one soi,” says Brian Bartusch of Píjiǔ Bar, a recent addition to the street that adds imported craft beer to an already diverse bar scene. They’ll be serving up discounted drafts all day, charging 250 baht for 16 oz. pours of imported craft favorites.

Teens of Thailand
This fancy gin and tonic bar—my go-to place to impress guests—is offering up a menu of local infusions for this weekend’s events. “We will sell special gin tonics using local ingredients as the main character, such as Thai Tea, Rose Tea, and Chrysanthemum,” promises Niks Anuman. It’s best to try these out earlier in the night, while you’re still sober enough to properly appreciate them and there’s enough room to sit in the easily crowded space.

Bar 23
Bar 23 is the favorite watering hole of everyone who can’t quite afford multiple rounds at TOT—or for those who love listening to ’90s Britpop. This bar is the cozy dive that ties the neighborhood’s bar scene together and, chances are, if you spend the whole day on the street, you’ll end up here for last call. Upstairs you’ll find a watercolor exhibit by American artist Maura Moynihan paying tribute to King Bhumibol through a series of portraits.

Ba Hao
Enjoy a rare opportunity to go upstairs and check out the comfortable rooms for rent above this cozy oriental-style bar. The intimately lit Soi Nana newcomer will be serving up Chinese street food paired with a tap takeover by Udomsuk craft brewery, and planned entertainment includes guest DJs and live oriental music.

Soi Nana’s Craft+Jumble Trail takes place this Sunday, May 14 from 1pm to late. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.