OK – after six months of running Bangkokbeer guru.com, we finally made it to Chit Beer, up in Pakkred. Getting there was an adventure in itself. My recommendation: take the MRT from wherever you start, to the Ministry of Public Health Station, on the Purple Line, up in Nonthaburi. Helpful tip: If coming from the normal (underground) “Blue Line,” do not try to buy a “ticket” (black disc token) from a machine – instead, go to a ticket selling window, and ask for a ticket to the Purple Line Station at Ministry of Public Health. You ride the underground MRT past Bang Sue Station, after which the route then rises above ground to pull into Tao Poon Station. You must exit the train, and follow the signs for about 100 meters and travel on an escalator up to the Purple Line Station. You then ride to Ministry of Public Health Station, and exit via Exit 4, down to Tiwanon Road, turning left at street level. You now have to catch a taxi – which is not easy – and get them to understand where you want to go.
You want to go north on Tiwanon Road for seven kilometers, to where it intersects with Chaiyaphruek Road, then continue north on Chaiyaphruek Road for another one kilometer to Soi Chaeng Watthana- Pakkred 4 Road, where you turn left. You then proceed 400 meters to Wat Sanam Nuea.
The following map shows the route.
If you have communications problems, say that you want to go almost to Rama IV Bridge (“bai Saphan PhraRam See” – and then, as you get close – say “Bai Wat Sanam Nu-ah”. In that last kilometer, traffic that is in the right lane will have to cross the bridge – so you need the driver to be in the left lane. You will see Chaeng Watthana- Pakkred 14 Road, on your left, and the sois will then count down – 12, 10, 8, 6 – and you need to turn left onto Chaeng Watthana- Pakkred 4 Road. There will be a very large Buddhist temple right off the road there – that is Wat Boa. You need the taxi to take you 400 meters to a “T” junction, where you turn left, and then stop in front of the entrance to Wat Sanam Nuea.
If you are driving, there is a parking lot across the road, opposite the Wat Entrance
At Wat Sanam Nuea, you simply walk onto the temple grounds, and guide toward your right front, to follow a road that leads back to the ferry pier. A close up: (the blue square indicates the Wat property) :
The ferry seats about 25 passengers – and you have to scramble on and scramble off – so people with limited mobility should probably take a pass. You pay nothing at the boarding end. After the eight minute ride, and after you scramble ashore, there is a path you follow that has a table on the right side, where a woman collects the two baht fare. She has neat stacks of changer for 5-baht or 10-baht coins.
Once you have paid, you want to immediately guide left and follow a concrete foot path that runs perhaps ten meters from the river. You follow this path for about 500 meters – it is two meters wide, with walls of houses on both sides. At one point, you actually pass through a barn-like market enclosure, where you have a roof over your head.
WHAT I’VE NEVER BEFORE SEEN WRITTEN ABOUT: On the day of my visit , about 65% of the footpath route to Chit Beer was 10 to 15 centimeters deep in water, starting just 75 meters from the ferry landing !!! Our group was wearing shoes and socks , so we chose to backtrack and look around the shopping area located in the northeast tip of the island. We eventually found a little shoe shop, where we managed to buy some cheap plastic sandals for 180 baht a pair. We donned the sandals, put our shoes and socks into plastic shopping bags, rolled up our trousers to our knees, and resumed our hike to the south.
Suggestion: For a visit to Chit Beer, wear casual clothing – visiting this place calls for a T-shirt, shorts, and cheap sandals!
After twisting and turning around and between the buildings that lined the flooded footpath, we finally reached our destination, on the left:
You climb up into the house, which is raised perhaps a meter above ground level. Turning left, you see the bar with an overhead chalkboard beer menu, and with the taps immediately below the sign:
They offered eight draft craft beers – all locally brewed – with prices between 100 baht and 145 baht.
They also have a beer cooler with about 25 different bottled craft beers – most of which were imported Thai expatriate beers:
They also offer bottles of water for ten baht.
They do have a kitchen, but the menu is limited – french fries, chicken wings, and deep fried pork knuckle (for an affordable 380 baht).
The house and bar are elevated a bit, and there is then a large deck seating area a bit lower, suspended out slightly over the river bank:
Looking up toward the raised indoor section – in this case with a western DJ manning the rail, overlooking the seating (and dancing) area:
There is a toilet just off the seating area – it has both a sit-down toilet, and a urinal. The photo below shows the toilet entrance – note that if you want toilet paper inside, you must first gather it from the roll outside and to the right of the toilet entrance:
The hand-washing station is outside the toilet entrance, immediately to your right as you exit the toilet. The toilets were fully serviceable, but of low ambiance.
There is one video screen in the bar – you can see it at upper left in the photo above. It was showing a football match during my visit. The music there was LOUD – making it tough to hold a conversation at a distance.
The bar owner, Wichit Saiklao, is famous for running a “brewing academy” on site, to teach interested parties about the fine points of brewing beer. That activity takes place right off the seating area:
During our visit, we watched bottles being filled and capped – in the above photo, you can see a completed batch in a green carton just in front of (and to the left of) the lady in the reddish-orange skirt. We could also smell the sweet yeast odors of fermenting beer from out seats.
There is no air conditioning, and smoking is allowed in the deck seating area.
This bar is only open on weekends – and then only from noon until 9:00 pm. During the week, Khun Wichit (“Chit”) is an active duty Army Officer who works as an instructor at Thailand’s Chulachongklao Military Academy.
Photo with Khun Chit:
When it was time to leave, our group decided to depart via the pier immediately adjacent to Chit beer . We took a “fast boat” – which normally costs 15 baht, if the boat is full. But – Khun Chit arranged for our party of just three passengers to have our own boat, and he also told the boat pilot to take us to a non-standard destination where we could more easily get a taxi – so we unilaterally paid 100+ baht – and the boat pilot was happy.
Photo of a “fast boat” picking up a passenger group ahead of us:
As the most iconic craft beer destination in Thailand, Chit Beer is well worth a visit. Khun Chit is the acknowledged “Godfather” of craft beer brewing in Thailand. But – getting to and from this bar is quite a challenging trek.
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