Art you a street art admirer? Do you know about the street art walk at the Klong Ong Ang in Bangkok? Formerly known as Saphan Lek, located in the Phra Nakhon district, Ong Ang is the newest walking street in the capital. It has been an entertainment hub in the past but now it is wooing locals for more than one reason. A visit to this street during my recent trip to Thailand turned out to be one of my favorite experiences in Bangkok. I was elated to be there. Why? Because, it is charming, historic and my kind of place, drenched in community vibes and street art hues. I was both, surprised and impressed to witness an incredible number of wall art murals in one place. If you know me, you must be aware of my fascination for colorful and fascinating street art. I love to visit places that are noted for their vibrant graffiti and murals. And I am always up for arty experiences. Trust me, it is a lot of fun when you turn around the corner and find a beautiful piece of art. I had heard that the street art scene in Thailand is evolving and growing big. In the past, I have visited Bangkok a couple of times but this was my first chance to witness the true creative spirit of the artists of Thailand.
In the last few years, Klong Ong Ang has evolved into an art lover’s paradise. Every artwork has a different story to tell, which is what makes this street unique. If you too enjoy stumbling on random art in nooks and crannies of different cities, this street will leave you mesmerized for sure. I had a great time clicking pictures of the countless murals, made by some of Thailand’s best street artists. And if you are looking for photo-ops, local food and a unique walking experience in Bangkok, this is the place to go. For now, you are invited to enjoy a virtual walk with me.
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Klong Ong Ang : Past & Present
“The walk to China Town begins from here. Klong Ong Ang is one of the oldest waterways in the city of Bangkok, and it used to be a thriving hub of businesses“, said my guide. It used to be a pottery market, a toys paradise, and also a foodies hub. In the past few years, it has been an entertainment venue where one could see independent artists, and buskers performing for the visitors. Due to the pandemic, the place was closed and many businesses had to close down. But now, it’s all coming back and people are excited to check out its latest avatar. The puchkas, Indian grills, pad Thai satays, paranthas, and various other food stalls are back in business. For ages, this place has been home to Thai, Chinese and Indian communities, and the murals speak out loud about it. As part of a landscape restoration and beautification program initiated by the local administration, the streets, alleys, bridges, and the water in the canal have been cleaned for the good. The walkway has been refurbished. And huge paintings and murals have added a burst of creative energy to this place like never before. Today, this neighborhood has become one of the most vibrant walking streets in the city. There is no more a dull wall.
Klong Ong Ang canal restoration project won a 2020 United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Asian Townscape Award for the beautiful change that it has undergone. The refurbishment has given a new character to this place and it is a perfect example of how old neighborhoods can be used for the growth of tourism purposes. If you love food and art, you must visit Klong Ong Ang street. Also, this place has been a cultural melting pot and has lots of history to offer. If you are keen to know, observe the wall art pieces. The street art walk at the Klong Ong Ang gives a perfect peek into the past and present of the local life here.
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Where is Khlong Ong Ang Walking Street?
A 5-minute walk from Sam Yot MRT Station, Khlong Ong Ang stretches between the Damrong Sathit Bridge and Saphan Han Bridge. It is open 24 hours a day, but the street is known for its weekend buzz- Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4pm-10pm
Street art walk at Khlong Ong Ang: A must-visit for street art lovers
A casual stroll with a camera in hand is the perfect way to extract pure joy out of this place. With a Go Pro in hand, I captured some of the hidden and not-so-hidden murals around the neighborhood. The Chinese lanterns, flower decorations, local eateries, and the beautiful lights around the bridge lend more character and liveliness to this old neighborhood. There are several eye-catching paintings and showstopper pieces on both sides of the bridge. Initially, I was not sure which side, to begin with. Eventually, I covered it all. Some masterpieces have to be seen with the naked eye. The real fun was in interpreting the artist’s thoughts behind the painting and their unique styles. The pleasure of discovering and accumulating new experiences has no match.
Visitors will be able to appreciate the beauty of this place only if they have an hour or two in their hands. They must indulge and observe how locals have decorated their houses to color-co-ordinate with the ambiance. One must also sit down to relish a local treat and explore the variety that this place offers. I was very happy to find Indian restaurants around. And of course, street art is the latest highlight and the best reason to visit this place.
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Are you a street art lover? Have you been to Thailand and explored street art? If you have visited Klong Ong Ang street, do tell me which is your favorite mural there? Are you planning to visit Thailand in 2022? Read this to know all about SHA, Thai Pass, and other guidelines.