Is there a bohemian quarter in Bangkok?
February 23, 2007 5:45 AM   Subscribe

I will have to linger in Bangkok next week. As I am pretty dispassionate about aged culture and interchangeable city centers: what is the best borough to get access to Bangkok subcultures?
posted by phuture-4000 to Travel & Transportation around Bangkok, Thailand (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of travellers passing through Bangkok head for the Koh San Road but it's not exactly a secret haven of Thai culture, more a place for South-East Asia's itinerant vagabonding community to hang out and drink Singha's until the sun comes up. Can be fun for a while tho.
posted by whoojemaflip at 7:08 AM on February 23, 2007

Just to the west (I think) of Kho San Road, there is a stretch of more interesting local culture. This is along the banks of the Chao Phraya river. There's a small white fort that's now part of a park. In the evenings, there are free aerobics classes (crazy fun!), and the usual gaggles of Thai teenagers, skateboarding, break dancing, and hanging out. There are also some good restaurants on this road, especially one with a second story dining room (can't remember the name). It is almost directly across from the fort / park. There are also some more upscale and less german-israeli-u.s. packed bars on the strip and an art gallery or two.

We stayed here for a week or so in BKK, and it was nice. It's about a 5-7 minute walk (along a couple of alleys) to Kho San Road, so there options around for other stuff. There is a water bus line in BKK and you can catch it right near the park as well. It's 15-20 minutes (but fun / beautiful minutes) to the Palace and Grand Wat.

Another cool neighborhood is the Siam Square area. Lots of tiny shops with thai fashion designers doing amazing stuff. It's a little more soho than boho, so I'm not sure it fits your needs.

Also, be sure to hit the Chawktuk Weekend Market. It's Saturday's and its the most amazing market I've ever seen. You can take the bus there (3? 33?). The neighborhood surrounding it is nothing special, so I wouldn't recommend staying near there, but for the day on Saturday, it can't be beat. Lots of local color of every sort.
posted by zpousman at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2007

Oh, and here's a comment I left in another Thailand thread.
posted by zpousman at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2007

off topic, no practical information to offer except that at some point in my life, I would love to linger in Bangkok. So do your best for me (especially in the food department), there's a good chance I won't get there.
posted by nnk at 7:56 AM on February 23, 2007

Not sure if you're looking to cruise around and check out the galleries and alternative lifestyles of the boho quarters or chill with some interesting people in interesting places, but the Bed Supperclub (Sukhumvit 11) is as cool a place as any to kick back and enojy an evening. Dress to impress :)
posted by whoojemaflip at 9:08 AM on February 23, 2007

Another vote for the market (better pronunciation is "Chatuchak"). Take the skytrain or a songtaew, you will easily spend a full day there. You can buy anything from tourist doo-dads and electronics and clothes to fighting cocks, enormous beetles, liquor with snakes in it, food and pretty high-quality crafts from the hill tribes. Many more Thais shopping there than tourists, although it has become a tourist destination as well. The floating markets on the river are neat too.
posted by luriete at 10:32 AM on February 23, 2007

Bangkok's bohemia is mostly expatriate Chinese, in with whom you would be unlikely to fit.

But you could have amazing food on the sidewalk corners in Chinatown, which will distract you, at least.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:23 AM on February 24, 2007

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