Bang Rak is one of Bangkok’s most diverse districts. Silom’s central business district and nightlife, Sathorn’s high rises and hidden neighborhoods, and the creative riverside old town areas make it an exciting place to explore and experience the various facets of the city. But one of the standout places is located in its southwest corner. There, a vibrant and historical community still stands and serves as a true anchor of authenticity of the city. Bang Rak Community is a destination one must explore for a multitude of reasons. On Charoenkrung Road stretching from Saphan Taksin BTS Station to the Silom intersection, Bang Rak Community spreads out on both sides with shophouses filling the available nooks and crannies with local cuisine and culture.
Ban Oou Mosque and Bang Rak Market are the centers of activities on the west side of Charoenkrung Road. Wander the sois and you will find wildly differing highlights such as luxurious Shangri-La Hotel and its famed restaurants, Bang Rak Bazaar (open in the evenings) for community shopping and tastings, Wat Suan Plu for beautiful traditional architecture, and eateries such as the renowned Boonsap Thai Dessert Shop and newcomer Baan Phadthai.
On the east side of the road, historical standalone cinema Prince Rama Theatre turned heritage homestay (now called Prince Theatre Heritage Stay) is the new centerpiece. Surrounded on all sides by shophouses, the boutique accommodation is blessed with a variety of neighborhood establishments around it. This includes the famed Joke Prince congee shop, the century old Prachak Roasted Duck Restaurant, Bangkok’s champion stewed pork shop Khaokhamu Trok Sung, and more. Stroll along on the sidewalk to find endless street vendors during evening rush hour.
Food, shophouse lifestyles, community goods, and religious diversity make Bang Rak Community pleasantly insular. But it is evolving steadily as areas around it change. The area it is in is fast becoming Creative District where new innovative forces are moving in to open up galleries, bars, and restaurants. On the opposite side of the river, ICONSIAM is fast becoming a springboard for many to jump off of to explore surrounding areas. With all this though, Bang Rak Community still holds its own as a unique neighborhood.