While I was still in Thailand, I was able to check out this really awesome coffee shop in the Nana District of Bangkok. CityLight Coffee is coffee with a connection. They make delicious coffee made with the freshest locally-sourced beans, a homemade pastries, and have very comfortable chairs to rest in.
For those who don’t know, the Nana District of Bangkok, is a red-light district. To get to this coffee shop, you have to walk past several adult bars to get to the coffee shop. We went during that day, so it wasn’t overtly in your face, but it was definitely noticeable.
Thailand is a source, destination and transit country for trafficking in persons according to the 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs. An estimated are that 80% of Thai men frequent women in bars and 60% of foreign men entering Thailand participate in the sex industry, generating approximately US $1.2 billion annually.
This coffee shop is a light in the darkness, a safe place to come in, escape the madness, enjoy a coffee or their signature CityLight cold creations (I went with the coconut creme and it did not disappoint) and lounge on their comfy couches.
They also have some great jewelry for sale, made by local women looking to better their economic circumstances.
I also picked up a new coffee mug and snagged a bag of their coffee beans, these locally-sourced beans are from Abonzo Coffee, a small coffee farm operated by Akha Hilltribe people on Doi Chaang, located 65km outside of Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. CityLight Coffee purchases the beans directly from the farmer, ensuring that no money passes through a middleman and maximizing the benefit to the community. The beans are grown on the highest part of Doi Chaang which provides the perfect climate for full-flavored coffee beans. All of the farm laborers are paid fair wages and Abonzo Coffee seeks to use proceeds from their coffee sales to benefit education and job opportunities in their Akha community. How cool is that?
Ever been to Bangkok? What was your favorite coffee shop?