When you think of Bangkok, its usually food, shopping and nightlife that spring to mind. But there’s a new reason worth visiting this sprawling metropolis – street art, as Travel Blogger and Repeat Traveller Chris Ashton recently found out…
Unlike New York or Berlin where you’ll often find a cluster of works in the same area, Bangkok’s street art tends to be more spread out, making it harder to track down. Thankfully there is at least one cluster you can visit to get a taste of the local street scene – Ratchathewi, only a few minutes by train from downtown Siam.
Located near Vie Hotel MGallery by Sofitel, Si Surat Alley and the appropriately named Graffiti Park are an explosion of colour, adorned with vibrant artworks by local and international artists including Alex Face and the late Mamafaka.
While Bangkok’s street art scene is still in its infancy, it is steadily growing in popularity. The high-profile Bukruk Urban Arts Festival held in 2016 signalled a turning point street art coming out of the shadows and into the mainstream.
Event organiser Nico says local attitudes to street art continue to be mixed. Many welcome the freedom of expression, while others still see it as vandalism, unable to appreciate the value. Regardless, street art has arrived and it’s here to stay.
How to get there:
Ratchathewi is easily accessible via the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line. A day pass is the most cost effective option, giving you unlimited one-day travel for around 140 THB (approx. AUD$5.20). Exit via the right hand side stairs towards Vie Hotel, walk for around 50 metres and you’ll find Graffiti Park on your left – you can’t miss it. A gate off adjacent Si Surut Alley will give you access to the park. Be sure to explore the alley itself too, as there are several artworks hidden down small laneways.
Where to stay:
Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11
Street art fans will be right at home at Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11. Not only is the hotel design bold and visually striking, it also features a healthy dose of graffiti style. A collaboration between Thai graffiti artist Cheap7 and the hotel, the front façade of the hotel was completely transformed into a towering work of art, and one which draws inspiration from the hotel’s strong emphasis on music and design. Created for tech and budget savvy travellers, it’s a perfect base to experience Bangkok.
Visit aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com for more information.