Standing in the heart of the southern part of China Town, Talat Noi, is a 30-room Chinese mansion that also just happens to be a scuba diving centre
UNLIKE other areas of Bangkok that are rapidly developing and modernising, Talat Noi has preserved and protected its heritage and charm. The land has been divided and sold to individual owners, ensuring condominiums or government houses will never destroy this area.
Characterising the area’s long history, So Heng Tai has stood for more than two centuries and is now one of the only remaining traditional Chinese houses in Bangkok.
It’s unknown exactly when the house was built, but it is believed to have been built by Choa Sua Son, one of the first Chinese migrant settlers during the reign of King Rama I, making it approximately 230 years old.
The first recorded owner of the house lived during the reign of King Rama II and has since been passed down to family members for eight generations. Currently, the house is owned by Mrs Dungtawan Posayachinda and her children: Mr Poosak Posayachinda, Mrs Jariya Posayachinda, and Mr Sermsak Posayachinda.
The house was made using an entire golden teak tree and traditional Chinese methods. No structural changes have been made to the house, except the addition of a 4m deep pool.
Mr Poosak Posayachinda is a keen diver himself and increased the courtyard’s original pool to a depth of 4m to make it fit for teaching scuba diving courses; priding himself in offering a unique experience in a unique setting.
The diving centre, Dumnam, offers introduction classes priced at B1,300 for two hours. For an open water license, the full course is priced at B12,500. The diving centre is a representative of Thailand and can all the way up to teach up to instructor level. All courses are taught under NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) standards by experienced NAUI instructors and course directors who have been teaching NAUI courses for over 22 years.
Both Thais and foreigners are welcome to visit the house, take photos, and, of course, try scuba diving. Refreshing ice coffees and teas are also on offer, the profit of which goes towards the upkeep of the house.
How to get there
282 Duangtawan Soi 2, Talad Noi. 02 639 5577
Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to the Marine Department Pier,
So Heng Tai is but a short walk away.