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Charoen krung-Talat Noi

Last year, I came across a video of a Japanese Youtuber visiting Charoen Krung and the Talat Noi area, and was surprised by so many interesting spots. As someone who has lived here all my life for more than three decades, I wonder how I could have taken my own neighborhood so much for granted! So, this is the beginning of a one-day trip around this cool old town, and now, an art district hipsters and cafe hoppers should not miss.

Charoen Krung

As the first western street of old Siam, Charoen Krung was built in the reign of King Rama IV following the free trade agreement from the Bowring Treaty, and marked the beginning of a new civilization. A lively waterfront and small shops were established, followed by a tram service, department stores, and the 7-storey Nai Lert building – renowned as the first high-rise building in Bangkok.

The old town district is also the origin of nightlife culture, dance clubs, and cinema. The street is lined with all kind of restaurants and cafés, including all-time-popular places such as Prajak Roasted Duck restaurant, Shangri-La restaurant, and The Mandarin Oriental hotel which offers a one-of-a-kind afternoon tea and bakery. Charoen Krung is also known as the street of culture where you will discover a diverse range of places of worship, from churches and temples to mosques, including western architectural remains and numerous, new trendy cafés.

In Charoen Krung 44 alley is Homu Café, serving authentic Japanese desserts. The must-try menu offers freshly-made Warabi-mochi, a jelly-like concoction. Also recommended is Sarnies, a famous Singaporean café tucked away in a renovated 19th-century building, offering fusion dishes like Tom Yum Eggs Benedict and Salted Egg Pasta.

This historical district has also been selected as a model community where TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Center) and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation have joined forces with locals to renovate and modernize the area from an old, dying town to a zone of creativity that invokes the feeling of revisiting your grandparents’ house.

One-Day Walking Trip: Street Arts – Talat Noi

Walking from Charoen Krung 40 (Bang Rak district), you will discover notable architectural buildings, such as the General Post Office, one of Bangkok’s landmarks. Along the way, you will see street art painted on the walls. Not far away is Wearhouse 30, a community complex renovated from an old warehouse which has become a new creative space, featuring restaurants, cafés, and exhibitions for art lovers.

In Vanit 2 alley, you can see the roof of Wat Kalawa, or the Holy Rosary Church. It is a 121-year-old Catholic church built by the Portuguese who were resettled from Ayutthaya, which enshrines the statue of the Mother of the Rosary and the 200-year-old crucifixion of the body of Jesus. The name “Kalawa” derives from the Calvary mountain where Jesus was crucified.

Then, we headed further into Talat Noi to Charoen Krung 22 alley. The old engine spare parts laid out on the sidewalks reminded us that we were now in “Xiang Kong”, Bangkok’s first engine spare parts market. “Xiang Kong” comes from the Shrine in the neighborhood that implicitly gives the market its name.

We kept taking pictures of amazing street art along the alley which now looks more like an open-air gallery. This area also has chic cafés, such as Mother Roaster, Baan Rim Naam riverside restaurant, and So Heng Tai – a 200-year-old Chinese-style mansion that is now home to a café and diving school.

A great spot to enjoy the Chao Phraya River is on the 8th floor of the River Vibe Restaurant and Bar, the very first hotel in Talat Noi, where we ended this memorable trip with a sumptuous dinner in the golden sunset hours overlooking the river.


– Getting to Talat Noi: By boat to Si Phraya Pier, or take the MRT to Hua Lamphong Station. Either walk or take a motorcycle to Charoen Krung 22.

– A flea market is on every first Saturday & Sunday of the month, at Rong Kuak Shrine.

– For updated information and activities in Chinatown, visit

– Hon Wong Kung Shrine is the only shrine in Thailand where the main statue is not a deity, but a former king of the early Han dynasty.

– Jor Xhu Gong Shrine is famous for granting people their wish and finding a cure for their sickness. It is the spiritual center of Talat Noi community.