We visited ChatuChak, a relatively new region design by Lotus Mastroianni and frecoi (aka Fred Hamilton) earlier in October, but it has taken me a while to get around to writing it up. Lotus and frecoi are responsible for developing a number of regions I’ve covered in these pages, and so while it has taken a while to write about it, ChatuChak had been a place I was keen to see, a desire somewhat increased because of the region’s subject matter.
Welcome somewhere in Thailand … Turn on the sound and your graphics , let yourself be in immersion with the nature and elements….Enjoy your visit <3.
– ChatuChak About Land description
I’ve never really spent much time in Thailand, but I love the Far East (notably Hong Kong and China), and have had a fascination with Indo-China / South-east Asia, which encompasses Thailand, together with Myanmar (Burma), peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, so was really keen to see what ChatuChak has to offer. And the truth is, it is a remarkably atmospheric region, well in keeping with the description, if a little reliant on some elements that perhaps lean towards a more Japanese style of environment (but which nevertheless fit well here).
The landing point sits on the west side of the region, within a small courtyard at the back of a riverside hamlet split by rail tracks that encircle the region. As it passes through the hamlet, the railway is the focus of a small market offering fresh garden produce, flowers, fish and – at one end and rather incongruously, good that might be considered more in keeping with the tourist industry.
This incongruity adds a level of authenticity to the market – the dresses, headsets, brightly-coloured bags and sun hats are exactly the kind of odd items that one can so often unexpectedly find in little off-the-beaten track villages and towns when exploring places like this in the east.
Down on the river banks below the village are all the signs that this is a place reliant on the river and the fertile soil of the area. Along the river banks are stone an wooden wharves where local fishermen bring their catches ashore for weighing, drying and filleting – and where local produce may well be packaged in preparation to be shipped out, going by the cases on one of the wharves. Behind one of the wharves, to the north, sits a rain forest through which paths wind, one of which slips through a narrow gorge to lead the way to a little beach.
On the south side of the river, the land has been cleared to form a series of terraces for growing crops and to provide space for cattle to graze. A path climbs the eastern – and natural – steps here, allowing a little village of single-roomed houses to spring-up, a path climbing through them to the railway tracks beyond.
Rounded out by an immersive sound scape, ChatuChak offers a multitude of opportunities for photography as well as opportunities to explore. Those taking photos are welcome to submit them to the region’s Flickr group.
- ChatuChak (Dfine Island, rated Adult)