Creative Bangkok Personalities: The Bamboo Saxophone Maker

There is an old man in Bangkok with a strange passion: he is making saxophones from bamboo.

Waiboon Tungyuenyong is his name, and he is actually a learned optician – which probably explains why he is willing to pay so much attention to detail when it comes to working with bamboo.

He is making his bamboo saxophones in an old shophouse. And he won’t move anytime soon: he was born in this building. His parents used to have a shop here to, where they sold all kinds of things. They were immigrants from China.

How did he get this idea?

One day he was watching TV. A show was featuring a German guy in Northern Thailand who was making saxophones from bamboo and he thought he would give this a try.

He met this German bamboo saxophone maker too, and learned to play the saxophone. He already had some basic musical knowledge, because he could play the flute, and it turned into a new passion.

He didn’t succeed at making bamboo saxophones at first – it took him years to make his first one, and that sounded terrible. It was learning by doing.

There are many creative people in Bangkok who have fascinating stories to tell and share. When you book a personal tour guide in Bangkok, you get to see behind the tourist facade and learn about the real life and history of this amazing place.


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