Charoenkrung’s New Cool Vibe

Laid down more than 150 years ago, Charoenkrung was Bangkok’s first paved road. Paralleling the Chao Phraya, it rapidly became the city’s center of commerce, conveying international traders and diplomats from the southern riverside up through Chinatown and on to the gates of the Grand Palace. The legendary Oriental Hotel—now the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok—was founded in 1876 just off the Bangrak section of the road; a decade later, the city’s first tramline opened along Charoenkrung. By the mid 20th-century, however, the thoroughfare had lost its importance as the Thai capital spread east and Sukhumvit Road became its main artery, a dominance it continues to hold to this day. But there are signs that this part of town is ready for a comeback.  Read on…

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