Go for a Walk on the Hunt for Street Art in Bangkok
You don’t have to search hard to see where to find street art in Bangkok. When the buzzing streets and gleaming mega-malls of the city get too much, you need a bit of quiet time away from the urban jungle to relax and unwind. Bangkok has a few secrets up its sleeve for the discerning traveler, not least of which is a load of fun, fascinating street art hidden away from the crowds. Look under the skin of this Asian metropolis and you’ll like what you find.
The 2016 Bangrak Urban Art Festival brought together artists from all over the world to create magic on the Bangkok streets. Big names from Europe and Asia gathered to paint numerous pieces in a zone alongside the Chao Phraya river, and the results are still there today for you to enjoy. Check out the wall outside Saphan Taksin train station for a multi-colored mural from Dutch artist Daan Botlek and Soi 28 for several pieces all in one place.
How to Get to Bangrak: Jump on the BTS and get off at either Saphan Taksin or Hua Lamphong station
Trendy and fun, Chalerma Park is home to tons of small murals and art works that are well worth a look. Some of them are on traditional themes, like the one celebrating King Rama I, but some are altogether more unusual and there’s even a tire swing for you to enjoy while you survey the scene! The ever-impressive artist Alexface is featured here, as is Bon and a number of other less well-known local guys.
How to Get to Chalerma Park: Ttake the BTS to Ratchatewi station and head towards VIE hotel, to enter from Petchaburi Soi 18
Saen Saep Canal
Feeling a bit closer to the traditional graffiti that you see in the west, the Saen Saep canal bank is covered in murals and tags along much of its length. Think bold, colorful motifs and a bunch of slogans that may not make much sense to the casual viewer but are very cool to look at! The vibe here is decidedly urban and it’s probably a good idea to stick to the daylight hours, but this is a fun part of the city with a very distinct atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed.
How to Take the Bangkok Canal Ferry: Take the BTS to Ratchatewi station and head towards the Asia hotel, go over the Hua Chang bridge and take the stairs down to water level
Our next destination is another one which gets you under the skin of the city. Crammed in alongside the tourist side of Chinatown is a gritty, working-class area which is home to lots of small street art pieces hidden down side streets and concealed alleys. The businesses here are focused on keeping the area running so you’ll be wandering past scrap merchants, TV repair shops and small food stalls, but the experience of discovering a new piece of street art where you least expect it is a great one. Check out Song Wat road to see a house decorated by Romanian artist Aitch and a tower bloc decorated (with elephants!) by Belgian artist Roa.
How to Get to Bangkok Chinatown: it’s a bit of a walk, but you can get here from Hua Lamphong BTS. Otherwise grab a river taxi to Rajchawongse and walk south east along the river bank.
Charoen Krung Soi 32
This is our favorite place for street art in Bangkok. Some of the world’s top artists have all chosen to add a bit of their genius here, and it gives you the most pieces in the smallest area compared to elsewhere in the city. Alexface has contributed a mural of his famous character Mardi, and Thai artist Bonus TMC has painted a visually striking (if slightly terrifying) rendition of his trademark bear. Wander the length of the street to get the full effect and enjoy spotting works from some up and coming artists as well as the established names.
It’s also worth noting that there’s plenty of graffiti and street art elsewhere on Charoen Krung, especially close to, inside and outside the infamous Ghost Tower!
How to Get to Charoen Krung: head to Hua Lamphong BTS and walk south along Charoen Krung Soi 32
Street Art in Bangkok is Everywhere
Bangkok is so good at being a mega-city that it’s easy sometimes to forget to appreciate all its hidden gems. Take to the streets and enjoy the experience of wandering aimlessly and enjoying the street art. You’ll get to know, and therefore love, the city even more as a result.