‘The Beach’ is a new interactive art installation on the ground floor of Central Embassy; it runs from 18 May to 18 June 2017. Created by New York-based design studio Snarkitecture, the monochromatic exhibit features a textured floor that is gritty like sand, an ‘ocean’ comprising 250,000 transparent (and anti-microbial) plastic balls and a wall of mirrors that resembles the infinite horizon. Feel free to ‘swim’, play on inflatable pool toys, or lounge on deck chairs.
On the whole, the experience is great fun for children and parents; you could spend a good 20 to 30 minutes playing in there. The ball pit slopes down with deep and shallow ends — parents should keep an eye (and grip) on babies and toddlers. Also, watch out for your belongings, especially phones. If things are accidentally dropped in the pit, they would be very difficult to retrieve (we were told that a lost and found would be set up once the installation is dismantled).
When we visited on a Monday afternoon, The Beach was extremely crowded; be prepared to wait in line as there are limits as to how many people are allowed inside at one time. As you would expect, there were lots of adults inside taking selfies and posing for photos.
The Beach opens from 10am to 10pm daily, with last admission at 9pm. You must register to enter and take off your shoes. Socks are required and you can purchase a pair for 50 baht at the entrance. You can also request a key for a locker to store your things. There is no re-entry so you’ll have to get back in line if you leave to go to the bathroom, get a drink, etc.
If it’s all too overwhelming, you could always head upstairs to Open House for a meal or snack. Also, browse the huge selection of English language books, and let the smaller children (under 120 cm) continue to play in the padded kids’ area while the older ones check out the weekend craft activities and workshops.
Photo credit: Central Embassy