The Best Street Art In Bangkok And Where To Find It
Street art may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Bangkok, but Thailand’s capital city teems with it. But, thanks to Bukruk Urban Arts Festivals in 2013 and 2016 which involved artists from all over the globe as well as Thailand creating masterpieces all over the city, all that is changing. The city is overflowing with emerging, worldwide renowned artists such as Alex Face and Mue Bon. But with so much urban art to see in a city of over 8 million people, finding it can be challenging. So here is some of the best urban art in Bangkok and where to find it.
Where To Start?
Getting around the city can sometimes be difficult, so unless you’re here for an extended period, you may have to sacrifice certain places. The sites in this list are mainly split into two area’s, so as you get the best out of your street art fill.
Chalerm La Park
Charlem La Park is as right a place to start as any as it was the leading site for the Bukruk Festival in 2016. The entire park is plastered with some of the best street art in Thailand with pieces by artists such as Alex Face. Although many of the original works of art remain, such as the one above, many pieces have been painted over, giving the park a fresh, ever-evolving look.
Nowhere in this park is safe from a spray canister. It’s a great spot to catch a bit of shade from the sun and, of course, to get that all-important Instagram shot!
Khlong Saen Saep
A short 5-minute walk from Chalerm La Park is one of Bangkok’s many canals, Khlong Saen Saep with street art covering seemingly every centimetre of the walls along either side. Much of the art along here doesn’t seem to be ‘official’, but the whole area is covered wonderfully by street art, graffiti and stickers. Even though it gives the impression of being an unofficial area for street art, the work is no less impressive, and you can find several pieces by well-known artists from all over the world.
The art along the canal stretches for quite some way so be prepared for a bit of a walk if you want to see it all. But if a long walk is out of the question, you will get more than enough of your street art fill in the first 400 metres. Keep walking down one side of the canal until you reach a small bridge which will allow you to head back the way you came.
Although most of the art along here is by artists relatively unknown outside of Thailand, you’ll still spot a few works by revered street artists such as this one by Alex Face. Sadly, it seems to have seen better days but that’s the draw back with urban art.
The second area to get your street art fix in Bangkok is along Soi Charoenkrung and into the city’s China Town. The long road, just a stone’s throw from the river stretches from Sapan Taksin Pier and into China Town, but the main area for street art is on three roads that branch off. You can find brilliant street art down soi’s 28, 30, and 32, and all are within a 10-minute walk radius.
If you’re walking from Sapan Taksin pier (the easiest way to describe how to get there) towards Talad Noi in China Town the first soi you came across is 32 and is the main centre for street art in this area. You will find lots of pieces of street art by artists from all over the world. The whole one end of the street feels like an outdoor gallery with one piece after another lined up until you reach the river.
Along this small soi, you will find street art from some of Thailand’s best artists including the one above by Mue Bon and the one below, another wonderful piece by Alex Face. In many people’s opinion, this is the best place for street art in Bangkok.
You’ll also find lots of street food stalls along the road, so it’s not too bad a place to grab a bite to eat before the short walk to Talad Noi.
To get from Soi 32 to Talad Noi you can take a shortcut past Warehouse 30, a contemporary art gallery. As you make your way you will walk past the stunning piece of artwork below by Portuguese artist Vhils. Rather than using paints of any kind, Vhils unique style involves him hammering the image into the wall.
A further 10-minute walk will take you into the area known as Talad Noi in China Town.
Talad Noi is one of Bangkok’s oldest neighbourhoods, with narrow, winding alleyways and roads. The area is full of premises whose primary line of business seems to be in old car parts with old engines and any other part of a car you can think of stacked up high along the small soi’s. Talad Noi is also home to a treasure trove of street art.
The best way to experience the street art in this area is to wander around the narrow lanes, almost allowing yourself to get lost. Whether by fault or design some of the best urban art here is very much off the beaten track. One place you should definitely look for is San Chao Rong Kueak Alley. It may be a bit of a challenge to find but walking down this small alley leads to lots of street art.
Some of the works along the narrow soi’s are much smaller than usual, and you’ll find some in obscure places. You will never know what may be hiding behind doors or window shutters. The art-hunting all adds to the sense of excitement when you do finally spot one. You may even get some of it confused with the many cats that make this area their home.
Song Wat Road
If you’ve still got some energy left to burn head onto Song Wat Road and the short walk along the Chao Phraya River to the two final pieces. They’re both to be found in an unassuming car park on the side of the road. But there is nothing unassuming about the art. On your left are two elephants by Roa, a Belgian graffiti artist who typically paints animals that are native to the location, and across from it are blue bicycles by Spanish street artist Aryz.
The street art scene in Bangkok is full of joy and originality, and one that only seems to be getting greater. A day in Bangkok looking for street art is a must for anyone with a love of art. If you would like any more information on how to find some of the art shown above, please feel free to contact me, I’ll be happy to help.