The tourist-free neighbourhoods to visit in Bangkok
Think you know Bangkok? We bet you haven’t visited these parts of the city.
- June 2019
If you’re after off-the-beaten-track experiences in Bangkok, you’ll appreciate these neighbourhoods hand-picked by Achiraya Thamparipattra, CEO of sustainable travel company HiveSters.
For indie and artsy vibes: Hua Takhe
While the nostalgic charm of two-storey wooden houses along the canal remains, in recent years, this old neighbourhood in eastern Bangkok has been given a new lease of life thanks to local artists. Seek out colourful street art and murals, check out quaint cafes and visit stores selling frames and art supplies, frequented by students from the nearby College of Fine Arts.
For checking out ancient crafts: Ban Bu
Ban Bu is a community of artisans on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River, best known for being the only remaining makers of stone-polished bronzeware (khan long hin), an ancient centuries-old craft. Built during the Ayutthaya period, Suwannaram Temple has some of Thailand’s most beautiful mural paintings and is worth checking out too.
For experiencing local life: Koh Sarn Chao
With its well-preserved 500-year-old architecture and traditions, a visit to this leafy oasis nestled between two canals transports you back in time. “The locals are friendly, and you can learn rare Thai crafts such as [how to create] pang puang (vintage Thai perfumed flower garlands),” says Thamparipattra.
For hard-to-find food gems: Nang Loeng
Despite being in the centre of Bangkok’s Old Town, not many travellers explore Nang Loeng Market. It’s a shame, because hard-to-find Bangkok recipes have been passed down here for decades, such as the Hakka noodles at Suwimon. At Aunt Hong’s, the shop owner has been making sweet sticky rice with coconut cream and black beans since World War II.
For cultural immersion: Bang Kradi
To experience a slice of Mon culture, visit the Bang Kradi Temple during a Buddhist holiday, or head to the Mon Art and Cultural Center. Don’t forget to buy a unique souvenir from Tassel House — the tassels are made from nipa palm stalks and are perfect for chasing away insects with.