Bangkok has often been described as the food heaven of the world, and if you have spent time here you will understand why. If you have ever unknowingly stumbled upon one of its numerous restaurants or street food vendors that have been passed down through several generations, then you would have been very fortunate to have discovered a place that was likely to be truly special and worthy of its reputation.
“Today we are exploring the Bangrak district of Bangkok, also known as the ‘Village of Love’, and we are going to introduce you to the diverse selection of food and culture that can be found along this small busy stretch of Charoen Krung Road.”
Peter – tour guide at Follow Me Bangkok Bicycle Tours
Welcome to the diversity of life on Charoen Krung Road in the Bangrak district of Bangkok, a fascinating multi-cultural part of the city.
Located at the western end of Silom Road this particular area of the Bangrak district is the home of the earliest trading community in Bangkok where traders from both the east and west settled. Not surprisingly its strategic location borders the mighty Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road, one of the oldest roads in Bangkok, passes through it.
Charoen Krung Road is over 150 years old and the name translates to mean ‘prosperity of the city’. The early European merchants requested its construction and the area quickly became known as Bangkok’s European quarter. Over time, as the use of the river and adjacent canals declined, the Bangkok road network was developed for transportation and today Charoen Krung Road is a major thoroughfare.
There are many modern five-star hotels in this area of the Bangrak, particularly along the riverside, however as you wander along and explore the old shop houses and market vendors you quickly realize that the character of the area has been established by the past generations.
Over the decades, the integration of cultures from the Thai, Southern India, Chinese and Thai Muslim communities, to name just a few, have created this ‘Old Bangkok’ atmosphere. This is more apparent when you get to understand that most of the local businesses have been passed down through the generations and this provides a unique glimpse into history.
With the mix of cultures coexisting in harmony, this area is a food lover’s paradise with a fantastic diversity of flavours from Thai, French, Chinese, European and Indian food and beverages. Many of these down to earth unpretentious restaurants, shops and street food vendors, have been in business for over a century. Proud of their heritage they are now run by the second or third generations, from the 20-year-old popular Thai restaurant to the traditional local Chinese shop that has been selling herbal health drinks for the past 100 years.
It has been said that if you love food you will definitely love Bangrak, so why not find out for yourself and join us on our amazing Siam Chiva food tasting Bangkok cycling tour.
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You may also like to watch our video of Khun Abdulormarn the local shopkeeper located in the back streets of the Muslim community in Bangrak.