If you have time to wander around and explore Bangkok around Rattanakosin AKA the old town, without a rush, you will come across many temples and delicious food from well-renowned food stores that have been there for along time. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to observe architectural treasures conserved over the years. One of the standouts is the "Gingerbread House", a century-old wooden house built in the Thai traditional style which was restored and converted into a museum and a coffee shop, in the Giant Swing area.
When traversing in the alley behind the Brahmin Temple on Dinso Road, you will come across a two-storeys Traditional Thai house situated among the shade of the mango trees. From outside, the wall of the house looks beautifully decorated with the wooden stencil technique. When stepping inside, you will witness the architecture style popular among houses in the early Rattanakosin era until the period of King Rama IV, with its distinctively splendid stencil designs, shaped like gingerbread or the cookies that people from the west consume during the Christmas season.
The architectural style prevalent more than a hundred years ago among the middle-class noblemen had succumbed to the father time. Many of its kinds were dismantled. "Gingerbread House" of the Giant Swing District is among a few lefts that let people experience the treasure from the old-time closely.
The house was built around the year 1913 (about 106 years old until today). Am Daeng Nai, the wife of An Assistant of Police Lieutenant "Khun Prasert Thabian" (Khan) bought a 188 squares metres land from Lhuang Buri Phithak; its first owner. Afterwards, Khun Prasert Thabian (Khan), built a house that became the Gingerbread House today. The house is standing out for its popular architectural stencil style which was popular during that time. There are also emblems engraved into the air vents and on the gates, with the word "Khan", for example, which is the name of the person who designed the house.
Later, when Am Daeng Nai passed away, the house was sold to Dame Petchara Techakumpuch, the dentist of King Rama IX and the heir of Madam Nuang Sanit (The second daughter of Khun Prasert Thabian). Dame Petchara set the intention to preserve this house to allow future generations to witness classical architecture that is hard to find today. It is around this period that this house has been renamed as the"Gingerbread House”. The name of the house that appears above the front door was engraved by Doctor Sitthi Techakumpuch, the husband of Dame Petchara Techakumpuch, himself, during the first restoration of the house.
At the second restoration, Thanatporn Kunaratanaungkoon (The daughter of Dame Petchara), the 4th generation heir, revived this hundred years old Thai-styled house and turned it into a cafe and a Thai dessert shop as well as a museum. Everything, including the wood, doors, windows, balconies, air vents, original stencils, old photos and other decorative items, is maintained in its original condition. It is considered a community museum that represents the Giant Swing district.
The highlights in the menu include "Bua Thong set", a large Thai dessert, served with ice cream, hot tea and cake (599 baht), suitable for two people. If that sounds too big of a meal, then there is also a smaller set of snacks, such as pandan + Bua Loi Ice Cream, giant Tako + ice cream, coconut milk ice cream + cendol, Thai-tea ice cream + grass jelly, or durian + Bua Loi ice cream, which is the latest addition to the menu.
There are also Western-style bakery, as well as, coffee, tea and more than 20 different styles of Italian soda to choose from to quench your thirst
Gingerbread House is open from Tuesday - Friday 11.00-20.00 hrs.
(Sat-Sun, open from 9.00 hrs.)
Situated on the Soi (alley) behind the Brahmin Temple, Giant Swing area,
Dinso Road, Phra Nakhon District, Tel. 097 229 7021