This two-day itinerary will take you through some of the best spots to see local art in the Thai capital.
9am: Have breakfast in the Old Town at Kope Hya Tai Kee, an oldschool, Chinese-style coffee house near the Queen’s Gallery. Afterwards, walk back up Phra Sumen Road to the Phra Arthit Pier, passing by cool, old shophouses. From the pier, take the orange-flag Chao Phraya Express Boat to Oriental Pier in the heart of Bang Rak — also known as the city’s creative district.
1pm: After disembarking, lunch at Supanniga Eating Room by Khunyai Charoenkrung, whose charming, recently opened branch near O.P. Garden specializes in Thai family recipes executed in gourmet style. Next, detour through the maze of tiny streets in the Muslim village that surrounds Haroon Mosque, and hit Charoen Krung main road. Consider a stop at the Thailand Creative and Design Centre.
5.30pm: After ATT 19, walk down Soi 30 and stop at Warehouse 30. This hub of creative activity is located in a series of old warehouses, with loads of boutiques, cafés and special exhibits. Next, follow Captain Bush Lane up to River City Bangkok.
8pm: Enjoy an evening stroll past the Holy Rosary Church, and then make for FooJohn Building, a super hip four-storey bar and restaurant with live jazz on the second floor most nights.
9am: Breakfast on Maha Rat Road in the Old Town, which has plenty of street food options as well as superb modern cafés like Elefin. After Museum Siam, take the MRT subway from the newly built Sanam Chai station all the way to Lumphini station.
12.30pm: Before Bangkok CityCity Gallery, take time to explore Lumphini Park, have a cheap and cheerful Thai lunch at Northeast Restaurant and grab a gourmet ice cream at Guss Damn Good in the nearby Woof Pack Building.
3pm: After CityCity, take the MRT to Sukhumvit station, where it’s about a 2.2km walk to Subhashok The Arts Centre Gallery. The best route passes Barcelona Gaudi and Holey Artisan Bakery, and ends with a left turn at Beirut Lebanese Restaurant (Phrom Chit Alley), so you won’t arrive hungry or thirsty.
6pm: After SAC, walk or take a motorcycle taxi the half-kilometer to the Ital Thai Pier and catch the Saen Saep khlong boat to Sapan Hua Chang Pier (you’ll change boats at Pratunam Pier). Alight and walk to Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).
8pm: After BACC, check out the restaurants that line both sides of nearby Banthat Thong Road. For a nightcap, splurge out at the just-opened Philtration, where the drinks are miniature works of art.
Meet A Local
Linjie Zhou, art curator at Subhashok The Arts Centre Gallery
What’s your opinion of the current Bangkok art scene?
It’s very active now, and more new galleries have popped up. I’m delighted to see young artists showing their work in those spaces.
How did the 2018 Bangkok Art Biennale affect the country’s art scene?
It definitely increased the international focus on Thai art. Meanwhile, Thai artists got a chance to see international artists’ works inside Thailand.
Who are some of your favorite Thai artists?
I like so many, including Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew, Torlarp Larpjaroensook and Weerapong Sansomporn. But my favorite emerging artist is Chayanin Kwangkaew — he has great technical skill and a good eye for composition. He walks a great balance between abstract styles and realism.
Name a must-see art spot in Bangkok.
The outdoor mural that Vhils — the tag name of Portuguese graffiti/street artist Alexandre Manuel Dias Farto — did on the wall in front of The Embassy of Portugal, on Captain Bush Lane.