1. HIDE AWAY
The folk behind Chinatown warehouse-turned-art-space Soy Sauce Factory
have been busy lately. The space recently opened as a restaurant during the day, serving simple Thai dishes like pad kra pow
and khao soi
. They’ll soon open Vintage Bicycle Club
in the same up-and-coming Charoenkrung area, too. Currently showing at Soy Sauce is Hide
(pictured), a contemporary nude photography exhibition by controversial Chinese artist Ren Hang, which opened on Dec 12.
2. EAT LIKE A LOCAL
Much of Chareonkrung’s charm is that the new and old sit side by side. The cozy On Lok Yun
has been a local diner favorite for over 80 years, and makes a popular choice for a Thai-style American breakfast and a good cup of joe. We dig the no-frills décor where wooden cabinets filled with old tins of Milo and condiments are the only real trimmings. Coffee and milk start from B20 and the American breakfast from B40.
72 Charoenkrung Rd. (close to Sala Chalermkrung), 02-233-9621. Open daily from 6am-4pm
3. LISTEN TO GOLDEN OLDIES
If you really want to step back in time, head to Tang Siang Thai
(pictured). This record store’s walls are lined with vinyl from the 60s and 70s, from retro molam to Abba albums to soundtracks like Gone With the Wind
. Vinyl is priced from B100-B3,000 and they sometimes have record players (B4,000-B10,000), too. If you want some more modern sounds, further up the road the tiny Soulbar
packs punters in with its night-after-night of live soul and funk.
Tang Siang Thai, 253-255 Charoenkrung Rd. (in front of Soi 11), 02-221-8732. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Soulbar, 945 Charoen Krung Rd., 095-521-1541. Open Mon-Sat 8am-midnight
4. GET TRASHED
Ren Hang’s exhibition is not the only one worth visiting in the neighborhood. Speedy Grandma
, the renovated, raw-looking shop house gallery by Lee Anantawat and Thomas Menard, has also just opened Wonderful Trash in Bangkok
(pictured) by Kyoto artist Ishida Shinya. Running through Dec 28
, the exhibition, which has traveled around Asia, stems from an art piece on wheels that the artist dragged through the streets of Bangkok during his two-month residency here.
5. SHOP AND CHILL BY THE RIVER
What’s a day out without a visit to a pop-up flea market? And this is one of the more exciting ones taking place this winter. Just a five-minute walk from BTS Saphan Taksin, The Great Outdoor Market
) occupies the Bangkok Docklands for a three day festival of art and food. It will feature some of the city’s favorite pop-up cafés and food trucks, including Mother Trucker, an outdoor picnic by the Chao Phraya River, art installations, camper-style pop-up design shops, and music from local acts Plastic Plastic, Zweedz n’ Roll and Aey The Voice
6. THE NEW NANA
A short walk from MRT Hua Lamphong, Soi Nana couldn’t be further removed from its Sukhumvit namesake. Among the generations-old families a number of recent openings are making the neighborhood a real destination for the art-inclined: Cho Why
(pictured) is a multifloored, multi-disciplinary art space that’s already held an impressive variety of events since opening in September, ranging from documentary screenings to Chun Kawara’s recent exhibition that covered the entire venue. This Dec 18
sees a documentary screening of "Emerging Women of Burma
," depicting the lives of seven leading Burmese women who are working to bring positive change in their communities. Just down the road is El Chiringuito
, a slender Spanish tapas bar that does a mean gin tonic and occasionally holds exhibitions on its second floor.
7. BRIDGE THE GAP
This Saturday (Dec 20
), café-slash-art space Bridge
, just a few minutes’ walk from BTS Saphan Taksin, will host the launch party of the new Khlong journal
, which features short and experimental fiction, poetry, illustrations and photography about living in Southeast Asia’s urban cities.