Running along the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya, Song Wat encompasses a diverse mix of old shophouses and new restaurants, all of which adhere to its slow, laid-back vibe.
Coffee & Breakfast
Drink like a local with a Thai-style coffee (B80) at the narrow Pieces Cafe & Bed (214 Soi Saphan Yuan, Song Wat Rd., 089-783-3099) or satisfy that sweet tooth with their moka pot affogato (B105). For a caffeine fix, grab an iced green tea latte (B95) at vintage-style Yesterday’s Tea Rooms (518/7-8 Song Wat Rd., 096-470-0062), where you can also fill up on a hearty American breakfast (B150). For something refreshing, try Aoon Pottery’s (2/8, Soi Phathum Kongkha, 089-447-7161) honey lemon tea (B75) with a slice of mixed berries cheese pie (B100) while perusing their hand-crafted ceramics, or cool down at Sunset Cafe & Woodworks (1125 Song Wat Rd., 02-233-7661) with a banana honey smoothie (B60).
Lunch & Dinner
Don’t miss the vegetarian Japanese cuisine at Chijuya (1396, Son Wat Rd., 02-226-2275), where convincing mock seafood features in the mixed sashimi (B300) and grilled gobo eel (B150). Sing Tia Sua (815 Song Wat Rd., 02-622-4405) dishes out deep-fried frog with chili and salt (B220) and steamed pork ribs (B220), while traditional Thai cuisine from Som Tum Ratchawong (244 Ratchawong Rd., 081-772-9656) includes papaya salad with a fried egg (B60) and fermented spicy pork salad (B70). Head to Waen Fa (292, Ratchawong Rd., 02-222-8679) for a two-hour dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River (B1,600) or stay ashore and enjoy Chinese, European and Thai cuisine, like green curry with pork (B180) or chicken cordon bleu (B250), in their restaurant.
Pieces’ nighttime persona Shuu Shuu (218 Trok Saphan Yuan, 062-229-8947) is exactly what it sounds like—hushed. Head to this quiet Japanese umeshu bar to sample five varieties of plum wine ranging from B150-B250. Take a step away from the bustling roads to enjoy a lychee mojito on the river at Samsara Cafe & Meal (1612 Song Wat Rd., 02-639-6853) or opt for their Miami Pine (B240) featuring Malibu rum and pineapple juice.
MRT Hua Lamphong is just a short 10-minute stroll from the heart of Song Wat, though if you’re traveling by ferry you can get right to the thick of it by alighting at Ratchawong Pier.
Condo One Soho (2070-72 Khao Lam Rd.) is just a five-minute walk from MRT Hua Lamphong and features 48 units from B10,000-14,0000/month. Nearby, Si Phraya River View (1020/4 Yotha Rd., 02-639-5002) offers 310 units from B17,000-40,000/month. Although rooms are not currently available for rent at Bangkok River Park (Trok Saphan Yao, Song Wat Rd., 02-221-2338), the condo houses 97 units, with sale prices of around B26 million.
There’s no shortage of temples surrounding the Song Wat area. Just steps from MRT Hua Lamphong, Wat Traimit (661 Charoenkrung Rd., 02-225-9775, open Tue-Sun 9am5pm) is home to the world’s biggest seated Golden Buddha, which also happens to be the largest gold statue in the world. Venture further and you’ll find Wat Pathum Khongkha (1620 Song Wat Rd., 02-639-1952) and the Vietnamese temple, Wat U Phai Rat Bamrung (Charoenkrung Rd., 081-402-5502). Under 10 minutes’ jaunt from Song Wat, don’t miss Chinatown’s busy open-air Sampeng Market (96 Chakkrawat Rd., 098-332-1539), filled with accessories, clothes, souvenirs and food.
What do you like about life on Song Wat?
Patsapong Wangthamrong, Owner of Yesterday's Tea Rooms
“This area is unique because of its diverse cultures and people. Also, you can see old and new blend together in the same neighborhood.”
Piyapa "Meow" Vichiansan, Owner of Pieces Cafe & Bed and Shuu Shuu
“Everybody here stays for two generations and it’s all grandmas—they are so nice, they treat me like a granddaughter and this soi is always clean. That’s why I feel bad when Shuu Shuu is noisy.”
Pollasate Iohachalatanakul, Owner of Aoon Pottery
“The combination of old and new is so fascinating—the variety of food, architecture, lifestyles. In every small detail you can learn the past and enjoy the present.”