Weekend Trip to the Eastern Suburbs of Bangkok

Over the weekend, I went on a two-day trip to explore some old communities in Eastern Bangkok. The highlight was the Tak Bat Phra Roi Festival in Lat Krabang on Sunday morning. This marked the end of the three-month long Buddhist Lent.

Date of travel: 19-20 October 2019

DAY ONE: Breakfast at Guay Tong noodle shop (ก๋วยต๋งก๋วยเตี๋ยว รามอินทรา123) on Ram Intra road, Min Buri district of Bangkok. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/LPrVhX843rkGKsF69

Kamalun Islam Mosque is on the bank of Saen Saeb canal in Khlong Sam Wa district of Bangkok. It was visited by King Rama V in 1907 while on a boat trip along the canal. The mosque is the center for Muslim cultural and traditional activities.

Kamalun Islam Mosque is the center for Muslim cultural and traditional activities. About 80% of the local community are Muslims. They have been living here since the reign of King Rama I, about 250 years. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/W5FQMqAq1DMfWhag6

Saen Saeb canal was built by King Rama III in 1837 in order to transport soldiers. Most people know only of the section in central Bangkok that has a taxi boat service. But, in reality, it is 72km long and goes all the way to Bang Pakong River in Chachoengsao.

In December, they plan to start a new boat tour service on Saen Saeb canal starting from Wat Sapphaya Samoson in Nong Chok district of Bangkok. This is what we are testing out this morning. They will also have a new floating market here. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/PYYovLCdDTWZh9VF9

Two boys having fun swimming in Saen Saeb canal in Bangkok. This section of the canal in the eastern suburbs is much cleaner compared to the central district of the city. Why can’t all of Saen Saeb canal be like this?

It’s a lovely day for a boat ride along Saeng Saeb canal. We started in Khlong Sam Wa district and we are now in Nong Chok district of Bangkok. Nearly two hours so far on this small boat.

Photos of life along Saen Saeb canal in Eastern Bangkok.

This is Nong Chok riverside market on Saen Saeb Canal. During the reign of King Rama V, this was a major stop for boats on the “highway” east out of Bangkok.

The riverside market is very quiet today but I’m told it’s busier on Sundays. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4x1rEoDnbxke76Ay6

Lunch today was at Rom Mai Plai Na (ร้านอาหารร่มไม้ปลายนา) in Nong Chok district of Bangkok. This is an excellent Muslim-run food market selling coffee and Halal food in the shade of trees by the edge of a rice field. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qNPQvGrrAzdgfAEt6

At Rom Mai Plai Na in Nong Chok district they had an excellent menu of Halal food which is not always easy to find. I had beef noodle curry, noodles in coconut milk, chicken curry with roti and beef stir-fried with basil. I will come back again for sure to try more. Too full now!

This afternoon we explored Hua Takhe Old Riverside Market (ตลาดเก่าริมน้ำหัวตะเข้) in Lat Krabang district of Bangkok. A hundred years ago, this was a prosperous market when the canals were the main highways. But after the roads were built, people stopped coming.

Several times they tried to revive the market before they were finally successful a few years ago. The market is now recognized as an art venue with workshops and galleries. The market is open every day but it’s busier at the weekends. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/8bDs9xvzUQgZU2YKA

In the Hua Takhe area of Lat Krabang, there are a number of art colleges. A couple of years ago, about 70 graffiti artists came together for a street art project. Among them were about ten international graffiti artists.

Their work can still be seen along a 300 meter stretch of road near Hua Takhe riverside market. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/iKMvZynUEg33MENh8

Some night shots of Hua Takhe Riverside Market in Lat Krabang, Bangkok. The first photo is the restaurant where we are eating tonight. They also have guest rooms. Prices start from 700 Baht. Their contact number is 081-514-6636. I will definitely be coming back here again.

Tonight I’m sleeping at 274 Bed and Brews in Hua Takhe Riverside in Lat Krabang, Bangkok. They have three rooms between 700 Baht and 1,100 Baht. Breakfast not included. There are several other places in the market where you can also stay. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qTEshACpork1MJqx6

DAY TWO: Good morning from Hua Takhe Riverside Market (ตลาดเก่าริมน้ำหัวตะเข้) in Lat Krabang, Bangkok. I’m up early to catch a boat to a nearby festival.

A hundred monks have just left Wat Sutthaphot in Lat Krabang district to paddle down Lamplatiew Canal to receive alms from thousands of Thai Buddhists lining a two kilometer stretch of the canal.

The alms round by boat at Wat Sutthaphot in Lat Krabang district has just come to an end. It took just over three hours for them to finish as there were thousands of people along both banks of Lamplatiew Canal for two kilometers.

One hundred and twenty monks from local temples took part in the alms round by boat that takes place once a year on the first Sunday after the end of Buddhist Lent.

Tak Bat Phra Roi Tang Ruea, or Merit Making to 100 monks in Boats is still relatively unknown among Western tourists despite taking place in Lat Krabang district of Bangkok. Highly recommended if you’re in the area next year.

Lat Krabang district of Bangkok is home to many Thais with Mon ancestors. This is reflected in their culture and Buddhist traditions. In particular, they celebrate Songkran differently to the rest of the country. Today’s festival marked the end of the Buddhist Lent.

After the alms round by boat during the Tak Bat Phra Roi Festival at Wat Sutthaphot has finished, the monks returned to the temple at 11am. Here, the monks were presented with some typical Mon food in antique dishes that the people keep at home just for this occasion.

Lunch at Ha Seng Roast Duck 2 on Rom Klao road in Lat Krabang, Bangkok. Roast duck on rice or with noodles is a good choice here. They also have red pork/crispy pork on rice. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/EmBndekLdPa8rbHp9

hat’s a wrap on my two-day trip to the Eastern suburbs of Bangkok. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I’ve inspired you to visit this area. Click here for a google map of the places that we visited: https://goo.gl/maps/7K9VchkLYszziUza7

One comment

  1. Marlies Ohlenberg says:

    Hi Mr. Barrow,
    We are a German couple (72/74) and we have been to Thailand for more than 40 times since the 80ies. But we have never been to the region of your report. We would love to do your trip next time we come to Bangkok.

    It would be nice if you could tell us how you organized your trip.
    We suppose you rented a private boat? Was the little white boat private or a public transport?
    What do we have to do to have such a boat? Will there be boats waiting for customers at the start? Or did you arrange it in advance (e.g. by phone)?
    Where exactly does the boat trip start?
    How can we get to the start of your canal trip from Banglamphu? By public transport? Or maybe a taxi is better?
    You had several stops on the canal. We suppose that, if you had a private boat, you told the driver to stop and wait for you to go on?
    If it was a public boat, how can we know the time of the next boat?

    We love your reports and in the past we have got many ideas from them for our own trips.
    We hope you can answer some of our questions and that you have the time to do so. No need to hurry, our next trip to Thailand is already planned, it will be for the trip after.
    We wish you a Happy New Year and good luck to everything you will be planning and doing.
    Marlies and Helmut Ohlenberg from Hamburg, Germany

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