One of the reasons I love art is because it is an illustration of our internal workings—a fast track to how our culture, politics, and society shape us. Fortunately, you can do a ‘pub-crawl’ style self-guided tour in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok). This tour will fulfill your creative curiosity (and your stomach, as there is a lot to eat and drink). Meander through art galleries, cafes, and even an entire department store dedicated to artistry and craftsmanship.
This trail can take 3-6 hours, depending on how often you stop to take in the sights and sounds. Also, this would depend on how long you choose to eat, drink and shop at each location.
Our starting point MRT Wat Mongkorn is true to its name. ‘Mongkorn’ means dragon in Thai. The station boasts its beautiful Chinese depictions of dragons as you exit it. Take exit number 2, or follow the crowd!
Our first location is situated close to the MRT station. The Rebel Art Space Yaowarat is actually located on the 3rd floor of a cafe/restaurant. Painted all white with long rectangular windows spaced close together, this expansive area makes it an ideal space for the abstract art that it portrays.
Walking past the aromas of Chinatown, you will come across this small playful art gallery that blends traditional Thai art with Thai customaries seen today. PLAY art house is also part of a collective which promotes events around the Songwat area.
Our next destination is Baan So Heng Tai or So Heng Tai Mansion. A stylish mansion through a combination of both Thai and Hokkien courtyards. In the middle of the courtyard lies a deep emerald-green pool used as a diving school pool. The entrance fee is 50 baht, or you can buy a drink at the back and sit to enjoy this serene beauty.
After coming across Talad Noi market, you will reach River City Bangkok - the only department store dedicated to inspiring artists to showcase their work and sell a few pieces. Here you can also do a bit of your canvas painting at Soul Salt River City.
After a short walk, you will reach Warehouse 30. These warehouses showcase various other art exhibitions and furniture showrooms. Alternatively, you can also find yourself some vintage clothes, fauna stamps, pictures of framed mushrooms, and much more at Woot Woot Cabinets of Curiosity.
Next, we brush past the green scrubs that have come to form a loose gate at this hidden gallery and artspace ATT19. This impressive art space holds antiques and beautiful furniture that you can buy. I love the natural sunroof this place has at the center of the building. Truly remarkable and a pleasure to walk around. Besides ATT19, you can also visit Lek Art Gallery, which holds beautiful large canvas paintings.
Nomad Sugar Daddy Gallery exhibits mainly photography from a political standpoint. There are sometimes discussions around the portraits and pictures. It is best to check the exhibition before you go; otherwise, the gallery is closed. However, if you are a fan of PASTA, this place is not to be missed! All the pasta is HANDMADE! And it sure tastes like that too! One of the best pasta in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok)! Worth it to go for this alone.
Finishing our journey, you can take a little detour to this lovely House of Commons - BookCafe and Space, where you can either trade a book for another or buy books for roughly 200 baht. A girl and her father run this cafe and will offer a friendly conversation every time you visit.
Our last destination before heading back via Wat Hua Lamphong station is FUN Cafe Bangkok. This neat cafe has devised an ingenious idea of selling cake you can paint on! Run by a group of teenagers, this gives you a total hipster vibe and is the last place to express creativity.
I hope you like my self-guided walking tour, ‘In Search For Art’ trail in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok). Please leave a comment to tell me how you found the trail.
This initiative was born from the desire for expats and locals alike to enjoy Bangkok’s hidden gems. Furthermore, I hope walking these trails; will help you build a relationship with the spaces and locals around you.
Thank you for reading! Till my next trail around Thailand ✌️
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