Bangrak is one of the 50 districts of Bangkok and also one of the most interesting. It’s a great place to take a self-guided walking tour. Bangrak is bounded by Sathorn Road, Rama IV Road, and the Chao Phraya river. If you look at it on a map, it’s pretty much a triangle shape. For this walking tour, I’ll take you along the section nearest to the Chao Phraya River.
This tour will start at Saphan Taksin BTS station, which is right next to Sathorn Pier on the Chao Phraya River. It should take you around 1-2 hours but could be as long as 3-4 hours if you explore a bit further around the route. There are lots of interesting things hidden down many of the side roads.
Charoenkrung Road & Sathorn Unique (aka The Ghost Building)
From Saphan Taksin BTS station you can see the derelict Sathorn Unique building (aka The Ghost Tower). This was meant to be a luxury building, but the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s meant it didn’t get completed. It’s now derelict and the locals think it’s inhabited by ghosts. The building is just outside the Bangrak district, but I mention it because it’s so well known. You can see this building from the platform of the BTS station.
The main road is called Charoenkrung Road, and this was the first ever paved road in Thailand. When originally built it was called New Road. This area has a huge population descended from Chinese settlers that arrived in the early 1900s.
As you can see from the image above, this road is usually packed with traffic and very polluted.
So, leave the BTS station and head to Charoenkrung Road, then turn left and keep walking until a few meters back from the junction with Silom Road. This is where you’ll see State Tower. This is the 4th tallest building in Bangkok. See 10 Tallest Buildings in Bangkok.
Panlee (Bangkok’s Oldest Bakery)
Just in front of State Tower is Panlee, Bangkok’s oldest bakery. It’s been run by the same family since the 1950s. It’s worth popping in a for a coffee and dessert. See Bangkok Cafes for more information.
After leaving Panlee, carry on along Charoenkrung Road until you come to Charoenkrung Soi 40. Walk down that road for around 30 meters and turn left into the small lane. In the end, you’ll come to Assumption Cathedral.
Assumption Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic church of Thailand. It’s located within the ground of Assumption College, a well-known school in Bangkok.
From Assumption Cathedral, walk back to the main road, turn left and continue walking until you come to the old General Post Office building, just after Charoenkrung Soi 32.
Grand Postal Building (Thailand Creative & Design Center)
The Grand Postal Building first opened in 1940 and was until recent years a post office. But recently the building was completely renovated and is now the Thailand Creative & Design Center. There is still a small post office on the right-hand side of the building.
Further to the right of the building, there is a gate that leads out to a small lane. Walk down this lane and you’ll come to the graffiti walls.
This lane of graffiti and street art is very popular and shows how this area of the city is changing. It’s becoming a popular area for art and the creative industries.
For more graffiti, see Street Art Bangkok.
Head back along the lane and you’ll see Warehouse 30 on your left. Enter through the small gate.
Warehouse 30 was recently created from some old industrial buildings. It’s now been turned into a really cool space that has cafes, community art spaces, music, film, and some vintage stores. It’s a great place to spend some time looking around. I’ll explore this in more detail in a later post.
Leave Warehouse 30 at the opposite side from where you entered and then turn left. You’ll now be on Charoenkrung Soi 30. Just as you come to the corner you’ll see an excellent piece of street art.
Wall Stucco Of The Portuguese Ambassador
This amazing wall stucco was created by London-based Portuguese artist Vhils. This mural is part of the Scratching the Surface project. See Portuguese Artist Makes His Mark On Charoenkrung Wall.
Keep walking ahead and you’ll come to River City Shopping Mall. If you want to take a break, walk into the mall and out onto the other side where you will find some nice cafes and restaurants right next to the Chao Phraya River.
Then carry along the road until you come to a small alleyway with a sign that says Kularbwittaya School. Follow the signs to the school. The Holy Rosary Church is within the school grounds.
Holy Rosary Church
Holy Rosary Church is a Roman Catholic church that dates back to 1769. It was originally built by a group of Portuguese settlers but was rebuilt 1891-97. It seems a little odd, but you have to actually enter the school playground to get to the church.
Head back out of the school and then walk straight ahead along Yotha Road. At the end of the road, you’ll see the New Chinese Daily News Building. Outside they show the day’s paper pinned onto a wall so that you can read it.
You’ll now be at the junction with Charoenkrung Road. Turn right and keep walking until you come to Charoenkrung Soi 43 on the left. This is where you’ll find the Bangkokian Museum
We finally arrive at the Bangkokian Museum. This is a real hidden treasure, and you will likely have the whole place to yourself. The museum is made up of three separate houses that show what life was like in Bangkok in the past.
That is the end of this tour. I hope you have fun when you take it.