When Singaporeans think of Bangkok, we likely think of amazing food and incredible shopping. However, it is also abuzz with a vibrant board gaming culture, with around a hundred board game cafes and over 20 independent board game publishers. Here's our top discoveries in our trip to Bangkok that you can consider for your future holidays!
Thai malls are hubs of shopping activity and cool oases from the sweltering heat, but did you know that there are many board game events held in malls around Bangkok as well? In fact, Origame was present at one of these events, the Thailand Board Game Show 4 Junctions in Terminal 21, Asok, over the weekend from 9-11 September. It was fun to see board games take centre stage not just in one but three malls that we visited during our stay there! The others included Seacon Square in Srinagarinda as well as Central World, which many Singaporeans may be familiar with.
Regardless of language, Thais and Singaporeans bond over our shared love for delicious food! In this case, food in the form of board games, but food nonetheless :)
Our Thai friends got a sneak preview of our latest all-you-can-stack game, Buffet Boss. This was the biggest hit at our booth! It may look like a kids’ game at first glance, but judging from how much fun the adults also had, we can’t wait for you to dig in when it launches on Kickstarter in early October.
There were players as young as five who independently took on this dexterity challenge without any assistance from adults. We had a trio of siblings who helped one another create impressively high boss-level towers. The Asian obsession for tasty cuisine as well as our competitive streak to pile as much food onto plates as possible transcends any language barrier. We love how the 3-second rule is universally understood, and how some visitors shared their favourite places to eat at before they left our booth. If ever you are at Terminal 21, check out the After You Dessert Cafe at level 1 of the mall, or visit the Pier 21 foodcourt on level 5!
Through countless games of Durian Dash, we also discovered that the Thais have different names for durians! Mao Shan Wang or Golden Phoenix might draw a blank, but say Mon Thong, which means golden pillow, or Cha Nee, which means gibbon in Thai, chances are that you will get big smiles in response! The Thais love their durians too, and we were delighted to find other durian based snacks to try!
There are hidden treasures and unusual experiences to try at BTS stations!
Did you know that Bangkok’s skytrain, or BTS, offers a variety of shopping and unique experiences within or sometimes just outside each station? We discovered purikura (Japanese photo booths) at one station, Lawson at another, and most surprisingly, a board game pit stop at BTS Ari!
Board Game Station is right next to Exit 1 of BTS Ari, one level down from the boarding platforms. They opened in February this year and we were delighted to find copies of our games Mooncake Master, Kopi King, and Durian Dash there, in addition to a myriad of games in Thai and other languages! They are open daily from 10am to 8pm, so if you need a break from shopping at Chatuchak nearby, you know where to go!
Bangkok offers beautiful and serene parks for moments of stillness away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A friend shared about the Benjakitti Forest Park (Benchakitti) in the Khlong Toei district of Bangkok. It is right next to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. You can walk there from Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre MRT Station, Sukhumvit MRT Station or the Asok BTS Station. It is open from 5am to 9pm daily. The 72 hectares of lush greenery, fresh air, coupled with the longest skywalk in the world, is a welcome respite from the otherwise frantic pace in Bangkok. The quietness within the forest park is a stark contrast to the buzzing energy of the city centre just minutes’ walk away. With lovely meandering pathways, running tracks and bicycle routes, this is an ideal place to work off excess calories from all the holiday eating and snacking. This green oasis marks a milestone in urban development in Bangkok.
The park reminds us of our game Rainforest City, where players attempt to build the most sustainable ecosystems whilst balancing the impact of human development on these natural habitats. Whilst we were in Bangkok, we encountered some really heavy monsoon rains and thunderstorms, which resulted in flooding in some parts of the city. Witnessing the Thai people navigating everyday life in such conditions and chatting with some locals on the situation, left us with a deep respect for their resilience and unwavering optimism.
The next time you are in Bangkok, I hope you take time to explore these offbeat experiences and discover new ways of enjoying this amazing city!