Bangkok is an ever-expanding city, and the pace at which it continues to develop is certainly exciting. Some things get better with age, however, and a perfect example of this is Talad Noi, one of the oldest areas of the city. Here, the top things to see in Talad Noi, one of the coolest neighborhoods in Bangkok.
Meander the Sieng Kong Zone
If Talad Noi was home to one grandiose attraction, it would certainly be the Sieng Kong Zone. Otherwise known as Sarn Chao Sieng Kong, this area is home to the largest used car parts market in the capital. The alleyways that make up the area consist of small shops cluttered with the used parts, oftentimes piling up and spilling out into the street. Many of mechanics reside in the area and are normally found hunched over an aged automobile or fixing a colorful Vespa.
Stroll down the Trok San Chao Rong Kueak alley
This cute alleyway is simply oozing with character. A number of small street art instalments decorate its concrete lined sidewalk, with everything from a colourful cat to a woman riding her bicycle enhancing the urban, grey scenery. Meander past the instalments and find the Hon Wong Kung shrine and a stunning view of the Chao Phraya River, just outside its doors. Worn murals make up its exterior and reflect its age. The shrine is the home to an annual ceremony held on the birthday of Cai Shen, the God of wealth and fortune, on the 12th day of the ninth Chinese lunar month.
Stop by the Sol Heng Tai Mansion
Found down this alleyway is the Sol Heng Tai Mansion. The mansion’s exterior is entirely inconspicuous of its actual purpose. The Chinese-style mansion, though some would speculate it to be a temple at first glance, is actually a dive centre. The two-story structure is over 200 years old and used to house a Chinese shrine. Today, it is a historical relic that doubles as a dive school. It is the oldest Chinese courtyard mansion in the country, and the outside of the residence is bright red and enhanced with porcelain ornaments.
Check out the U Phai Rat Bamrung temple
Otherwise known as Chua Khanh Van, the U Phai Rat Bamrung temple was one of the first Vietnamese temples in Thailand. It was built by immigrants during the Chakri Dynasty in the late 18th century. The property was given to the Vietnamese community by King Rama I so that they could settle down in the area.
See Kalawar Church
Though a majority of the residents of Talad Noi are Thai or Chinese, there used to be a large Roman Catholic Portuguese community residing here shortly after the ancient of Ayutthaya city fell to the Burmese. The community built the Kalawar Church, also known as the Holy Rosary Church. The original church, which was built in 1787, burnt down but was reconstructed in 1897. It is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the country.
Photograph the Siam Commercial Bank
Siam Commercial Bank was the first ever bank in Thailand, and it was built in 1906. The structure is certainly stunning and unusual to the type of architecture visitors to the country are accustomed to seeing. It was built by Annibale Rigotti, an architect hailing from Italy, which could explain why the style is so different.
Drop by the River City Shopping Complex
Dubbed as one of the most luxurious shopping centres in the capital, River City Shopping Complex is certainly a change in scenery from the other sites in Talad Noi. The shopping centre is filled with Thai-style arts and antiques which are sold at a monthly auction which unveils all its unique pieces. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants found inside the complex. The River City Shopping Complex is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Eat dinner at River Vibe Restaurant and Bar
Equipped with great views and some even better prices is River Vibe Restaurant and Bar. Visitors to Bangkok have become accustomed to shelling out one too many baht to enjoy the high up views the sky bars and restaurants in the capital provide diners with, but this is not the case at this eight-story high restaurant. River Vibe Restaurant and Bar is the perfect place to cap off a day spent exploring the riverside community of Talad Noi. The restaurant is charming and has a laid-back vibe, so do not worry about abiding by a dress code. The menu has a good combination of both Thai and international dishes, and it is home to arguably the best pomelo salad in town. The restaurant also doubles as a guesthouse.
Where is Talad Noi?
Talad Noi is in Chinatown. To get there, visitors must take the MRT subway to the Hua Lamphong station. From there, take exit two and the neighborhood is about a ten-minute walk. The area is scattered with unique finds along the way, including quaint temples, canals, and history Chinese-style shops and homes.