A Quiet Interlude: The Artist’s House Bangkok
Bangkok, the city of partying, night markets, tuk tuks and temples. The place isn’t usually quiet, and that’s part of the charm. But every now and then you’ll need a break, and that’s where the Artist’s House comes in.
Set on the banks of the river and away from the busy roads there’s an element of peace for you to embrace in this chaotic city. The whole area is quiet, so much so that you’ll hear the long-tails humming through the water long before you see them, and the waves will continue to lap against the walls long after they’ve passed.
The Artist’s House, also known as Baan Silapin, is a very special place. Known mainly only within the local population, both young and old mingle together to eat, drink and be merry within a creative community. The house itself is over 200 years old and even puts on traditional puppets shows for visitors.
What’s at The Artist’s House?
Winding your way through the small side streets (known as Soi in Thai) in Thonburi, you’ll start to find small signs pointing you in the right direction. The surrounding area before you get to the house offers a host of riverside restaurants that serve up Thai specialties at affordable rates that don’t compromise on flavor. Try some of the more unusual menu items such as fried frog for a different experience!
The actual house itself is up next. The house is truly an artist’s expression. Colorful paint speckled tables, portraits and pictures adorn the walls and a wooden deck opens up alongside the dock. Potted plants hang above you and trinkets line the surfaces; this really is a charming place to relax.
You can happily explore for hours, and what’s more you can even take away souvenirs from the “gift shop”. We say it like that because it’s not your traditional shop, more a museum where you can take away the artefacts at a cut-price rate. These items are handcrafted, unique and sold at a rate so much lower than the usual market fare. Think silk screens, hand painted wooden figures and postcards just for starters.
You won’t be alone during your time there. The house is also a hangout for local artists. They’ll be more than happy for you to join them and, for the truly creative, there are affordable sketchbooks in the shop.
If that’s not enough for you then head outside to the chedi that’s just next door. If you’re lucky enough to time your visit right this is where the puppet show takes place. Even though the shows are entirely in Thai they are still incredibly entertaining. The show, and entrance to the house, is free but there is a donation box to pay what you want.
Getting to The Artist’s House
The quickest route is to jump onto the BTS and head for the Bang Wa station. For those of you unfamiliar with the city, that’s not too far off from Bodega Bangkok! Once you’ve arrive you have a choice of a 20 minute walk or a quick motorbike taxi that will take a lot less time and only cost roughly 30 baht per person.
Don’t rush. Plan a trip as a daytime activity after a hectic day the day before. This is your chance to relax, embrace some local culture and recharge. Avoid squeezing it in and make the most of it. You’ll thank us later.