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Buddha & Pals is not just “a whatever venue”. It is one of those surprises that only Bangkok can give you. Outside, work in progress at various points of the sidewalks that line Krungkasem Road, inside you find a parallel universe, made of magic, vintage spirit and classic style, an interior floor made of red-colored terracotta, columns that support an upper floor where there is Kanvela House, a guest house where you can rest from the hubbub and city traffic, immersing yourself in an atmosphere of other times.
"My plan is to turn this hostel, too, into yet another bar that replicates and extends the spirit of Buddha & Pals," Peerasith Seemoolsathion (Mac), 40, a charming Thai with a face that could well camp in an advertising campaign or play intense roles in cinema, tells us. A focused face that smacks of professionalism focused on her daily work.
What was here before it became Buddha & Pals?
There was clutter, a shambles, abandoned building materials, abandoned like the whole environment, construction work going on everywhere, I had to basically redo everything from the beginning, from the floor to the ceiling. It was a total reconstruction and rebuilding. These were two different properties, upstairs Kanvela House, downstairs Buddha & Pals, although the spirit that unites them today is one turned to the past, to a vintage spirit. Classic transcends the barriers of Time, which is why this choice was adopted in the design and style that have been the defining element of the two locations.
When Buddha & Pals was born?
The venue was officially born on November 2018, but it was a short period before Covid's entry into the nation and Bangkok. At that point, with the arrival of so many restrictions such as those that affected the hours of alcohol mixing, or the closures imposed by the lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, it was really so hard to survive. But here we are now, with an even greater will to live and a desire to return to a time when we can safely and serenely be together again
That's the very spirit of Buddha & Pals, isn't it?
Yes, the key word we could find in "Happiness," a Happiness that is possible to share with friends, with people we love and by whom we are loved. I have traveled a lot, including in Europe, wandering around London, Rome and other Western cities and capitals. I have gleaned the spirit of it, drawn lessons and suggestions, ideas that I then decanted into my Buddha & Pals experience. In Rome, for example, I breathed in the spirit marked by joy, lightness, color, the pursuit of good food and -exactly- being together with joy and serenity. There is a cosmopolitan air in London as, after all, there is here in Bangkok, where different peoples converge, tourists coming from every corner of the Planet and also many foreigners who then decide to come and live here for longer periods or permanently.
And then there is another important element: jazz
Jazz came later in my life, you could say it was not among my initial main interests, I knew little about it. It was precisely through my travels, confronting other cultures and other experiences, that I encountered Jazz in my life. And in it I found just that spirit marked by joy, by shared happiness. When I started this Buddha & Pals experience, I tried to gather all the stimuli and impulses that came to me from traveling and also from listening to Jazz, and I tried to transfer all this into the spirit that characterizes Buddha & Pals today.
A hot "American" coffee, a glass of water, a quiet and open dialogue, while through the large windows overlooking the outside you watch the constant comings and goings of cars along Krungkasem Road. Buddha & Pals is a magical place that brings together all the main features of Bangkok life, where Modern and Tradition coexist side by side, where the legacies of the ancient past are punctuated by large skyscrapers and many symbols of a Future that is getting closer, ever more present. Then, step through the entrance of Buddha & Pals and the Jazz, the serene and peaceful atmosphere inside where contemporary figures and people eat, drink, listen to Jazz, stand for a Present made of great Space-Temporal intersections. A magical place where it is highly recommended to experience for yourself.
Buddha & Pals, 716 Krungkasem Road, Wat Sommanat, Pornprap Sattruphai, Bangkok, Tel.: 061 585 9285