Growing up, Charoenkrung was for hotel brunches with the family. It was where you headed to get on little boats shaped like temples to ferry you over to the Peninsula. It was for eating in hole-in-the-wall duck noodle restaurants.

For the most part of post-war Bangkok history, the neighbourhood has been home to merchants, tailors’ factories, gem stores and street vendors who still make up the vast social mix of this part of Charoenkrung.

In recent years, however, the Chao Phraya and its neighbourhoods have shaken off their out-of-the-way reputation and have been given a new lease of life.  The neighbourhood has long had potential as a “creative district,” with old, cavernous buildings and low rents (three stories for B20,000 is still a reality in these parts) attracting more young entrepreneurs, people are murmuring “Bangkok’s Soho” about this strip of the Chao Phraya…

One of the first openings responsible for herding the townies over to ‘the other side’ was funky urban collective, The Jam Factory. Brainchild of local architect Duangrit Bunnag, the former factory compound has been transformed into a luscious, pulsing riverside capsule of creative, punctuated by enormous Bodhi trees providing welcome shade.

 

22861510_1527708687320447_1404707907124608615_o

Come weekend, the Jam Factory is host to regular markets, live music, and fam-friendly events. The Riverside compound even comprises the edgy restaurant, Never Ending Summer, with an expansive river-fronting deck with a fare emphasizing on traditional Thai upscale comfort eats- think crab stir-friend noodles and Tom Yum Bloody Mary.

In late 2018, Bunnag opened the doors to another project, Warehouse 30, a collection of old World War II-era storage facilities totalling 4000 sq-meter overhauled into a “creative community complex”designer boutiques and coffee shops, He’s joined by a wave of independent creative spaces in the area.

Screen Shot 2562-02-24 at 12.55.37

 

Just one street over on the little alley Charoen Krung Soi 28 you’ll find Speedy Grandma, hosting some of the city’s most channeling art exhibitions.

At the same time over on the Khlong San side of the river, Lhong 1919 has reclaimed a group of old warehouses and a Chinese shrine dating back to King Rama IV (1851-1868) for its 6,800 sq meters of co-working space, eateries and art and design shops spotlighting the work of young artists.

40140016_695452550804171_8606608080244834304_o

In an area that is so much more calm than central Bangkok, you really feel a sense of community. Its the perfect place to escape to on the weekend when you need a break from city life but don’t have the time for a weekend get-a-way!