Photo of the week – October 1 – 7 2019

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Walk 2

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History of Dodgy Detours

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Walk 9: Fabric, Faith, Food, Flowers and Fuk thong


Where: Pathumwan District / Outer Rattanakosin (South)

Duration: About 3 hours (more if you explore)

Start: National Stadium BTS

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1) Once you get to National Stadium BTS you have a few options. If you have shopping fever then head to MBK on the southern side. If you have an art craving you can walk from the BTS into the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre which opens at 10am (closed Mondays).While you are here take a peak at the new murals in honour of the King.

king pic BACC

But if you are just walking take the left hand side exit (Exit 2) and continue your journey up Rama 1.

Within about 200 metres you will see the National Stadium on your left. The area is a large sporting complex and the original stadium – Supachalasai Stadium, was built in 1937.

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Roughly opposite is Jim Thompson’s house at 6 Soi Kasem San 2. Worth a visit if you have the time. The footpaths here are quite wide so it is pleasant walking in company. After about 400 metres you come to Th. Banthat Thong intersection. Cross the intersection and keep heading west. On the right hand side at the intersection you will see a 2013 mural by Amandine Urruty, a female artist who….lives and works on her bed, with a suit case full of pens always nearby. After studying at University for long years and a brief career in underground music, Amandine Urruty spreads her repertoire of beasts and her gallery of weird characters on all kind of mediums, on paper as on walls. As she masters techniques of traditional drawing, Amandine Urruty offers us a cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits with baroque decorum which miraculously reconcile lovers of alchemistic symbolism to young ladies with too much make up (from her blog). It’s a collaborative work with Nicolas Barrome, another French artist.

Walk2 Mural Fr

2) Continue along Rama 1 and you will walk under the expressway. On the left is the Pathumwan Sports Club where you might catch a glimpse of Muay Thai aspirants practising their craft. At this intersection you may be approached by a Thai man who will tell you that there are ‘protests’ up ahead. We haven’t encountered one yet and unlikely to as they are generally illegal at this point in time. As you continue down Rama 1 you see Wat Sam Ngam on the right. The Chinese inspired filigree work on the pavilions and murals inside are worth are seeing. To see the murals, enter the wat and take your first left.

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Within meters of the wat is a bridge over the northern railway line. Rather than walk directly over the bridge, walk down to the small community on the right hand side. Note the small outdoor library and play centre for kids sheltering under the lip of the bridge. At the end of the street there is a small Chinese temple and steps back up onto the bridge.

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From the bridge you can see the rear of the old railway buildings within the Hualamphong railway complex. Most recently the interesting inner-courtyard of these buildings was used for a pop-up market.

Hualamphonghua 3

It’s a short distance to a khlong which wends its way down to River City. Just before you cross the bridge however, look back to your right to see a fine example of early 20th century architecture housing a section of the Ministry of Energy. There is an intersection on the far side of the khlong with, thankfully, an overhead bridge to avoid a tricky ground level crossing. It’s at this intersection that Rama 1 becomes Th Bamrung Mueang (which means ‘road embellishing the city’). For a fascinating sketch of the road’s commercial history see: Th. Bamrung Mueang’s history

Coming from this walk’s direction you will pass an assortment of businesses including traditional medicine, hardware stores, glaziers, hairdressers (the road was the site of the first barber shops in Bangkok) although office furniture seems to be at the heart of it. Then again, it also has a great Vespa sales and repair shop as well. The footpath is wide and the walking is easy.

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You will also pass on the left hand side, what looks to be a deserted French Second Empire style building optimistically called European Town. A dream gone wrong somewhere. Just crying out for a hipster makeover. Although for now and rightly so it is home to quite a number of squatters.

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What I like about this part of town are the tree-lined streets that add colour, beauty and most importantly, at time of writing, shade. Continue along Th Bamrung Mueang and at the next intersection (Th. Worachak) you will see the old Bangkok Waterworks. The project was started by Rama V although he didn’t live to see it completed in 1914. A similar tower can be seen in the grounds of the Chulalongkhorn School of Medicine on Th Rachadamri.

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3) Just after the Waterworks on the left hand side you will come to Soi Ban Bat. This community was established by Rama 1 and here lived artisans whose speciality was the making of alms bowls for monks. Much diminished these days, there are still some people working on the craft in the alleyways off the Soi along with other assorted small businesses. Take the first alley to the right once you have entered the soi. Apart from seeing traditional baat (alm’s bowls) you will find yourself amidst a vibrant community. Lots of grandparents looking after grandchildren on weekdays.

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baat alley 3baat alley 2baat alley


Photo courtesy of Louise Saddington

Over to your right is Phu Khao Thong – the Chedi of the Golden Mountain. Now commonly known as the Golden Mount. A project started by Rama III, it was completed by his son Rama IV (of the King and I story). On this walk you can continue a short way from Soi Ban Bat to the interaction with Th.Boriphat. Take a right and walk about 100 metres until you come to what is a kind of back entrance to the Mount. Enter and follow the internal road to the right until you come to the ticket office.Explore the Mount at your leisure. Just before the office, however, is what I’m claiming to be the world’s biggest mortar and pestle. That’s my trusty orange pen in the frame.

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Of course, if your desire runs more to inner carpenter rather than inner peace, you will have noticed on the far side of Th. Boriphat running parallel to the Mount’s wall a row of timber shops selling everything in the world of joinery. While away the hours!

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Behind these shops runs the outer-khlong of Rattankosin island. Cross the bridge and at the intersection of Th. Maha Chai you will need to cross to the left hand side of the road as the footpath disappears on the right. If you look ahead, about 300 metres away, you will see the Giant Swing.

4) For this walk, rather than go right towards the under siege Manakhon Fort community, turn left and walk along Th. Maha Chai towards the river. There are some interesting cane shops on the right along with the pleasant Romaneenart Park that has the remains of the former Central Prison that was built in 1890 and only closed about 30 years ago. There is also a penal museum here. As Kenneth Barratt tells it, when beheading was replaced by machine gun executions, the prisoner was seated behind a blanket with a target on it so it was really only target practice.There is also a relatively early example of Thai street artist Asin just near an entrance to the park.


Once you have explored the park continue along the right hand side of the road.

5) Shortly you will come to Th. Charoen Krung  but just before you do check out the music shop on the left hand side – great whimsical facade (look carefully).

Music shop

At the intersection, on the south western corner, you can see a good example of the potential for saving some of the classic buildings in this area. The revamped Victorian building is now the home to the Cacha Bed Heritage Hostel (it has now added a rooftop terrace). The building dates from 1900 and was originally owned by the Royal Family.


Housed on the ground floor is the is the Gallery Drip Coffee shop  – 70 baht a cup and delicious. The shop has kept the floor tiles which is a great touch. Currently has an excellent photography exhibition. The staff are friendly.

Highly recommended before you dive into the markets of Little India just a hundred metres away. Keep an eye out for police ute surfing as well.


6) Take the first or second left after the coffee shop and you will come to a road that leads to a mustard-coloured Mall. Dotted around this area are numerous gun shops so if your fancy turns to side arms and rifles you’re in the right place. Now, walk through the Mall or skirt around it by going left and you will come to the first ever Department store in Bangkok – yep, it’s the Nightingale-Olympic Department Store. First, check out the brutalist facade, next enter and step back in time. Explore at your leisure. And don’t miss the fountain near the sweeping staircase. For a good article check:

7) Turn around and head up Th. Parhurat and into the markets  – the wonderful fabric markets up ahead including the oldest disused escalator in the world (I made that up – the part about ‘the oldest’). This is the place to pick up all things Indian.

8) A little further south from the markets is a Sikh Gurdwara which is definately worth a visit – you will have to take off your shoes and cover your head. Women and men sit separately in the Gurdwara. A most welcoming place. You will be offered food and taking photos is actively encouraged. The sixth floor offers views back to the city skyscrapers but also it is the repository for the holy books. You are welcome to explore. One of the highlights of this walk.


                                                       Sixth floor of the Gurdwara: Photo courtesy of Louise Saddington

9) Feeling hungry – well the next door samosa man has been serving up samosa for over 30 years. Cheap and filling. And I’m making the call that they are the best samosa in Bangkok, no, Thailand. Only three things are sold here and they are all delicious.



                                                                 Photo courtesy of Louise Saddington

10) Keep walking towards the river and as you savour your samosa look to your right and you see Thailand’s Constitutional Court which will figure prominently in the coming  year.


Follow the road and swing right. To your left is the Memorial Bridge and the Statue of Rama 1. Immediately on your right is a good example of thirties inspired mid-sixties architecture and houses the Metropolitan Electricity Authority which is not surprising given Bangkok’s first electricity generating station was in the grounds of the next door Wat Liab. The wat was almost completely destroyed by allied bombing in World War Two because of the generator. Re-built after the war the plant finally closed in 1965. In the grounds of the re-built wat is the delightful  milky-green prang which was commissioned by Rama 111. The ceramic covered prang survived the bombing.


11) Across the road from Wat Liab (also known as Wat Watchaburana) is a long, mustard coloured building (named Suan Kularb) that was really the first, modern school in Thailand and was established by Rama V. It’s still referred to as ‘the long building’. Cross the road here and continue along Th Chakpet.

flowers in sun

Flowers are to be had on both sides of the road. The footpaths are wide although for some insane reason (money?) the BMA decided no more street sellers so the area had lost some of its chaotic charm. Nonetheless, the flowers are beautiful, varied, and cheap. The area retains that market feel and purpose so keep an eye out for people with trolleys of vegetables or flowers as this is their workplace and they kinda have right of way.

12) Cross the first road you come to, walk about another 50 metres and then take a right into the vegetable markets. This is a small, but wonderful vegetable market. Directly opposite towards the river is a similar sized market focussing on flowers – especially for temple visits. In the vegetable market have a wander but return to this initial lane for the next stop.


                                                                    Photo courtesy of Andrea Dawson

13) Follow the lane to the end – there are usually fuk thong piled up in big baskets.You may be lucky enough to see the produce that hangs mysteriously in the air making the loading much easier for the workers.


                                                  Photo courtesy of Louise Saddington

Across, slightly to your left is another laneway that generally serves the rear of small century old shophouses. Walk between the back entrances to these enterprises and after about 50 metres on your right you will come to the final stop for this walk – Farm to Table The Hideaway. Great food, ice-cream and coffee. It’s in a restored house, which as you can see from the pictures of the original inside, and it is clear a lot of thought has gone into the restoration. Enjoy.


Photo courtesy of Louise Saddington


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Walk 8: The Schematic Mystery

Source: Walk 8: The Schematic Mystery

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Walk 8: The Schematic Mystery

Where: Victory Monument to the River (and maybe elsewhere)

Duration: Could be years

Start: Victory Monument

A schematic, or schematic diagram, is a representation of the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures. A schematic usually omits all details that are not relevant to the information the schematic is intended to convey, and may add unrealistic elements that aid comprehension.

1) Over the last few months there has been a steady increase in the number of complicated schematics appearing on Soi Lang Suan and Th. Ratchadamri

2) What we know so far.

  • ‘Schematic’ for want of a better description, began by using electrical boxes as the preferred surface.
  • Relatively recently, Schematic has started to use public telephone pods and bus stops for the drawings. Movement and communication seem central.
  • Schematic works under the cover of darkness and for that reason Bangkok Walkabout will go out on a limb and say that Schematic is a male.
  • Schematic is patient, has access to quality felt tip pens, is bilingual (at least) and is evolving as the next dot points will demonstrate.
  • Schematic has used a footpath for the first time and has used two colours – again, a first.
  • The footpath mural has a number of images and is bilingual.
  • And it is outside the British Club. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
  • pavement-theory-1

3) Bangkok Walkabout has decided to delve further into Schematic‘s purpose and modus operandi. So rather than follow Schematic‘s lead and head further towards the River, we backtracked and walked up Th. Phayathai under the BTS.

The news is we found more, though less developed examples of Schematic‘s work all the way to Victory Monument. But then….. no more as we headed north to BTS Mo Chit. And the works we did find are early examples judging by the faded nature of the patterns.

Bangkok Walkabout has commissioned a felt tip pen forensic expert to date the markings. We expect results quite soon. Once we have a date, we can start to track how fast Schematic moves.

What is more interesting however, is the Schematic has re-visited some of these early sites.


Above: Example of revisited work on Th. Phayathai (Feb. 2017)


Above: Example of an early Schematic work on Th. Phayathai (Feb. 2017)

So, if you are interested in documenting Schematic‘s work, please go walking to find examples around Bangkok and send picture, date and location to:

At this stage, Bangkok Walkabout has not walked Th. Sathorn or Th. Silom looking for examples. Also, does Schematic just travel roughly North – South?

Hope to hear from you.


Update on Schematic: new and somewhat different work found outside of Central Chitlom on the overhead bridge. Seen 20 Feb 2017…photo to come.

8th March 2017: Actually, just near the empty carpark (dispute unresolved) adjacent Central Chitlom is a hotspot for Khun Schematic – here are some examples.

14th March 2017: Ploenchit BTS

More work by Schematic

March 28th

Khun Schematic has been quite prolific along Th. Petchaburi….up until Soi Nana and then no more. Interesting there is no work up Nana either so we might consider this an endpoint / starting point. So the pattern begins to take shape Watson. Let’s recap:

  • male
  • 5’8″
  • bilingual
  • human figures suggest an economy of style (graphic artist?)
  • two definite end/start points (Victory Monument / Soi Nana / Th. Petchaburi
  • he retraces his steps – old work is sometimes added to
  • forensic analysis commissioned by Bangkok Walkabout suggests he has been at this for at least 2 years
  • prefers to create schematics on electricity boxes but also has quite a thing for bus stops. Has some work on stairs crossing roads (does he want to ‘cross over”??) and has lately taken to footpaths (Th Asoke  / Th. Surawong
  • has shown some frustration by blotting out some of his work (I have seen two examples only of this)
  • has written the name of only one country so far…..the Netherlands

April 7th 2017

More work…this time on Ploenchit, Sarasin and Rama 4 (only one small piece has been spotted on Silom). And why has the Netherlands been singled out? Another coincidence – I don’t think so!

April 22nd

Two things have come to light. Khun Schematic has started to revisit Th Silom with at least 5 new pieces as discovered by BW contributor Kara. Here is a new piece done in the last week on the North west corner of the Th Silom, Th Rama IV intersection.

May 25th 2017

Okay, settle down….we’ve had a sighting of Khun Schematic!!Khun Schematic

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Walk 7: Art by the railway line

Where: Bang Khen

Duration: Depends on how you get there – the actual gallery length is about one and a half kilometres

Start: Bang Khen Railway Station


1) This walk could be the shortest in the series  – it all depends upon how you get to Bang Khen railway station. If you live in downtown Bangkok you could walk to Hualamphong Station and catch a regular train to Bang Khen. For example, Train 7 (this is the Chiang Mai daytime train) leaves Hualamphong at 8.30 and takes 30 minutes (usually to travel to Bang Khen – it’s two stops before the Airport. Or, you could catch a taxi. There are other ways as well – catch the MRT to Bang Sue then walk or taxi

For my International School Bangkok colleagues it is a nine and a half kilometre walk – 3km east along Soi Samakee; 3 km south under the expresssway; and then 3 1/2 kms east again, along Th. Ngam Won Wan, to Bang Khen.

2) Once you reach the station on the north-south railway line there are two galleries: the smaller, less impressive one lies to the south along the 300 metre eastern platform.

Maybe do this first, then double back and head north towards Laksi. Some of the works here can be sen from the road but to see the full range you need to walk along the railway line.


Keep an eye out for trains coming from both directions! Enjoy the art!

3) The work above is just a sample. Choose your own adventure to get home.

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Walk 6: Architecture (2)

Where: Sathorn / Yannawa district Duration: Two hours (with breaks) Start: Chong Nonsi BTS 1) On this walk we start where Walk 4 left off – Chong Nonsi BTS and the magnificant Mahanakon skysc…

Source: Walk 6: Architecture (2)

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Walk 6: Architecture (2)

Where: Sathorn / Yannawa district

Duration: Two hours (with breaks)

Start: Chong Nonsi BTS


1) On this walk we start where Walk 4 left off – Chong Nonsi BTS and the magnificant Mahanakon skyscraper. From the forecourt of the Sathorn Square building, head down Th. Sathorn and after only 30 metres look to the left and into the grounds of the W Hotel. Here you will see the imaginatively named The House. This impressive neo-classical home was built in 1889 by the Chinese businessman who built the Sathorn Canal – Luang Sathorn Rajayutka. The house was lost to the family and became a hotel before being home to the Russian Embassy from 1948 until 1999. The House has been carefully restored and all listening devices have been removed.


2) Now prepare yourself. We are coming to an iconic Bangkok building. You can begin to glimpse it on the left hand side of Th Sathorn as you make your way towards Soi 10. The BTS blocks the view a little, but between it and various electrical wires you can see the ‘bolts’ on the side of the magnificent Robot Building (1986). This is the Gigantor to the Optimus Prime we saw in Walk 4. It was designed by the famous Thai architect  Sumet Jumsai.


Rejecting neo-classicism and post-modernism, this was to be one of the last modernist buildings for Bangkok. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles selected the Bank of Asia (The Robot Building) as one of 50 seminal buildings of the 20th century. Inside are robotic artworks by Thai sculptor Thaveechai Nitiprabha but I was not allowed to take pictures inside unfortunately.


3) Nearby, on the right hand side of the road is Soi 12 – good street food during the day and some handy eating / drinking places including Kai, Rocket and Le Cafe des Stagiaires. For the record, I think Rocket has the best coffee in Bangkok.


On the right of the Soi about halfway down is the impressive H Gallery which occupies a stately timber building.



And from

Located on the third floor of Lady Brett restaurant on Sathorn Soi 12, U.N.C.L.E – short for United Nations of Cocktail Lovers Everywhere – is an atmospheric bar and hangout space with a mixed crowd of expats and Thais. It follows a vague speakeasy vibe with hidden doors and winding staircases making it hard to find for first-timers (plus its only open from Wednesday to Friday), but cocktail lovers take note: this place is very serious about drinks.

A little further on is an overhead bridge which affords views back up Sathorn – good for an alternative view of the Robot Building. Cross Sathorn here and continue the journey. The tall building just past the Robot Building is the award winning 29 storey AIA Sathorn Tower. There is an unnamed angular sculpture at the entrance-way but what caught my eye was the use of patterned glass. The lobby is pretty impressive also with its nine metre ceiling. Next door is another another milky green mid-size office block not dissimilar to the ASA Centre seen on Walk 4.

4) A little further, on the left hand side, is the 118 year old St Louis Hospital adjacent to which is the vaguely Thai-style St Louis Church. And next door is The Embassy of the Holy See – The Vatican. Established in 1957, it became officially an Embassy in 1969. And by now we are at Surasak BTS. To the left is the new scimitar-like green glass building that is The Eastin Grand Hotel.


Next door is the Thai Chine Building. It was built in 1903 and opened as the Bombay Department Store, in what was then considered the most exclusive neighbourhood in Bangkok. Twenty five years later the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce was founded and it purchased the building to become their headquarters. Like the Neilson Hayes Library (on Surawong) and other period buildings, the Japanese Imperial army made the building it’s Command Centre. After the war the building returned to its previous use until the new ugly glass block was built behind it to where the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce moved. Now it houses a restaurant and a cooking school.

From here we head to the next big intersection (Th. Charoen Rat) and turn left. Off this road we veer left into Soi 1 and after about 100 metres we come to the Jam Cafe. Run by friendly people, this relatively out of the way place serves reasonable food, and usually has an on-going series of weekly movies based around some theme. You’ll often see a forgotten classic here. Zabriskie Point anyone?jam-cafe-1

Follow this Soi, walking roughly parallel to the expressway on your right.This is a quiet Thai neighbourhood with an assortment of old timber houses.

Take the best route in the general heading and shortly you will see a most intriguing place. It is a large open area – roughly square with an overgrown Chinese cemetery on three sides. This the Teo Chew Association of Thailand cultural site. In the centre is a grassy knoll which seems to be a gravesite of people of some significance. It’s a fine place for a walk and to explore the various temples and shrines. Not to mention a gym open to the air (though covered) where you can pump iron and watch Chinese movies at the same time. And what’s more, it’s only 100 baht a month to join. It is said that ghosts roam the century old site – you have been warned. From Coconuts Bangkok: Thirty years ago the cemetery had become a ruined mess that people avoided, largely because of frequent sightings of ghosts. Taxi drivers were reluctant to stop there, because they risked pulling a way with a ghost passenger fare.

This is a fascinating area for next door is Wat Prok – built in 1927 in the Pegu style. Pegu used to be the capital of the Mon Kingdom in Myanmar. It houses a white jade Buddha image. The monks use the Mon language and if you have a hankering to learn Mon this is the place to come as they offer free lessons – you can’t do much better on a weekend (or two).

Can you take some further spiritual guidance? Across the road is the citadel-like, white marble Hindu Dharma Sadha – Vishnu Temple. Wander in and receive a forehead marking and sip some blessed, aromatic liquid.

Now it gets really weird. In all the alleyways, in all of Bangkok, I walk down the one immediately to the left of the Temple, heading back towards the expressway. You know the kind, just wide enough for a motorbike with small timber doors opening onto the passageway. Now, as a proud Sydney-sider I did not expect to find this.

5) This alleyway will take you back to the road under the expressway. Turn right and walk along the footpath until it ends – cross the road to your left and you will see a small, mustard-coloured Thai colonial house called Baan Pra Nond. It’s actually a bed and breakfast and while the location leaves a bit to be desired, the design / renovation is first rate. The building was the former home of Pra Nondphapanyaa, a Supreme Court Justice of Thailand. Return now to Th Sathorn by turning left at the intersection. If you didn’t get your fill of ghosts back at the cemetery then you can see the Ghost Tower ahead and to your left. You will pass a small row of old Chines shophouses where, outside the last one, is always a game of makruk (Thai chess) being played.


Within about 200 metres we re-join Th Charoen Khrung and intersect with Walk 1: Bangkok Street Art. Use the free water outside one of the small cafes or take a break at Bridge Art Space.

Sapaan Taksin BTS is here if you need to train it to your next destination.

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Walk 5: Baan Sinlapin (Artist House) in Bangkok Yai

Where: Thonburi / Bangkok Yai

Duration: One hour walking + relaxing time

Start: Wong Wian Yai BTS

Khlong Walkway

1) This walk can also start at River City and include a cross-river boat trip to the Khlong San market and neighbourhood, and a walk up Th. Charoen Rat (see Walk 3) to Wong Wian Yai and King Taksin’s statue to  your right once you reach Th. Somdet. For now however, catch the BTS to the second station over the river – BTS Wong Wian Yai. Take the station exit that follows the direction of the train and use the above ground walkway to take you to the intersection of Th. Krung Thonburi and Th. Somdet. Take the second Wong Wian Yai exit on your right and you will find yourself on ground level.

Head north along Th. Somdet. The footpath is wide and even and the walking pleasant. Keep an eye out for motorbikes however. We will pass an interesting retro chair showroom and the Mahachai Mae-Klong railway station (see Walk 3).  As we approach the Big Circle – with the centre-piece of King Taksin on a horse (sculptured by the famous Italian and long-time Bangkok resident, Corrado Feroci )off to the right on the edge of the roundabout is the abandoned Merry Kings Department store. The centre of the circle can be reached by an underground walkway which we will pass just before we exit the roundabout.

2) Take the first left Th. Inthraraphitak / Th. Phet Kasem and follow this road for about three kilometres. Beware of the very low hanging signs if you are more than 177cms tall. And before setting off down this road, have a look across the street and note the shop that sells the loudest shirts this side of the river.

Once again, the footpath is wide and even. There are some interesting shops along the first section of this road. There is a sewing machine shop that has a display of ancient machines in the front window; and a shop that appears to sell classic 70s stereo equipment. Please report in if you pass by and it is open. A little further on and we pass an unusually designed house / office with a single, polished aggregate column with a motif to swell the heart of any primal devotee.  Just after passing Th. Toet Thai on the left, we will cross Khlong Bangkok Yai as it travels south before it swings north to ultimately link up with Khlong Bangkok Noi.

3) Shortly we’ll come to the intersection of Th. Phet Kasem and Th. Charon Sanit. Actually, Th. Phet Kasem does a bit of a dog-leg to the left so Th. Charon Sanit is more or less straight ahead. But at time of writing (August 2016) the new Blue Line is being built overhead and the intersection is a major construction zone. Our goal is the un-sign posted Soi 3 on the left of Th. Charon Sanit.  After a few pieces of street art on the right there is an overhead bridge to the left hand side of the road. Make sure you take the right exit off this walkway because the right exit is missing the last two metres of steps.


Turn into Soi 3 (just ask one of the street vendors to make sure) – a pleasant Thai neighbourhood, and walk to the end of the Soi. Follow the small lane and you will cross the Bangkok Yai Khlong (also called Khlong Bang Luang). Turn immediately left after the bridge and follow the wooden walkway past teak houses selling a range of tourist bits and pieces. Shortly you will come to Baan Sinlapin. This is a wonderful 100 year old, two story house with an inner-courtyard backed by a wonderful 300 year old chedi

There are classes run here; a gallery upstairs; and lot’s of interesting things to purchase if you wish. Donations are gratefully accepted. A shadow puppet troupe perform everyday except Wednesday at 2pm. The restaurant has rustic tables and chairs and benches overhanging the khlong. Excellent coffee for 45 baht.

The place is very relaxing and great for a coffee and a read or just to gaze out onto the khlong which is generally busy with longtails taking tourists up and down. An ice cream seller drops by occasionally for an extra treat.

4) When ready, continue to walk along the khlong past old houses and some small restaurants. Lots of fish in the khlong, too.

As you wander you can’t miss the peaceful Wat Kamphang. What it lacks in grandeur it more than makes up with setting.

From Travelfish: Passing over the threshold into the wat’s perpetually empty ordination hall is like being swept off to a bygone era defined by pious kings, wandering ascetics, beautiful princesses and loyal swordsmen; an era during which the countless Thai tales of dragons, spirits and monks with supernatural powers seem as believable as 747s and cell phones.

When we visited, apart from monks chatting near the entrance, we were the only people in the temple surrounds. The older parts are thought to be around 500 years old.

wat 1

5) Homeward bound: from the wat wander into the surrounding community but just keep the khlong vaguely to your left. You’ll pass schools, the outdoor laundromat, and the everyday life of Thais on this side of the river.

Before too long we will come to Th. Phet Kasem where it is a 60 baht taxi ride back to Wong Wian Yai BTS.

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