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Bangkok Walking Tour – Khlong Ong Ang, Portuguese Quarter & Flower Market

Bangkok Walking Tour – Khlong Ong Ang, Portuguese Quarter & Flower Market

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Santa Cruz Church Landscape

One of the best ways to explore a city is on foot. This walking tour through the old town of Bangkok takes you along beautiful sights and cultural spots. It is based on a walk my friend Martin Cowling planned out for one of our walks. Thank you, Martin, for introducing me to these interesting places and all the background information you offered during this walk.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Rommaninat Park Bench

This walk is about 6 km and takes about 2 hours – depending on your walking speed and length of breaks. I have also marked this walk and the major sights and locations in a map which you find at the end of this article.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Lane Plant Pots
Plants in a side lane near Sam Yot MTR station

Start your walk at Sam Yot MTR station and walk towards Rommaninat Park. We also explored the small alleys of the area. It is always a surprise what you will find there.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Lane Textiles
Textiles stored outside of the shops near Sam Yot.

Rommaninat Park has a very special story, because it used to be the Khlong Prem Prison. If you pay attention to the architecture, the past of this park becomes very clear.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Rommaninat Park Tower v2
Architectural elements like this tower are reminders of the parks past as a prison.

I cannot really describe the vibe of the park – it is a gorgeous park with cute little places, locals meeting for their runs but at the same time the past of a prison is lingering over the park.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Rommaninat Park Running Group
The park is a popular exercising spot for locals.

Walk out of the part and walk towards Khlong Ong Ang. Again, we ventured into the small alleys around the area.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Rommaninat Park Khlong
Khlong (canal) in the park which leads into Khlong Ong Ang.

A canal runs through this park as well.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Car Logos
Car brand logos in a lane near Rommaninat Park

You may suddenly find yourself in a side alley with random car dealerships…

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Geometric Buidling Motorcycle
Motorcycles and 70s architecture – it cannot get any more nostalgic.

…or on a busy road with architecture taking you back to the 70s.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Laundry Khlong Ong Ang
Laundry by the canal

When you reach the canal, walk along the canal towards Chao Praya River.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Wooden House Khlong Ong Ang
Even though this house may have seen better times, the wooden shutters are still stunning.

I love to explore residential areas and see how locals live. Always make sure to be respectful and never underestimate the power of a smile or a greeting with “Sawasdee kha” (Hello in Thai).

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Houses
Khlong Ong Ang

“Khlong” is the Thai word for “canal”. Khlong Ong Ang is one of the oldest water passages of Bangkok. It dates back to the 18th century. In the evenings, the area turns into a vibrant area of shops and restaurants.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Alex Face Street Art
Street Art by Alex Face

The area is also known for its street art. If you have explored Bangkok’s street art, you may have come across local artist Alex Face and his three-eyed child dressed in a rabbit suit. One of these artworks can be spotted right by the canal.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Street Art Woman
This is one of my favourite murals by Khlong Ong Ang.

But Alex Face is not the only street artist – throughout your walk you will spot countless artworks.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang
Lush greenery in one of the busiest cities in the world

At certain points of the walk, it was hard to believe that we were still in one of the biggest cities in the world.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Nap
Fancy a nap by the canal?

This walk was done when tourism to Thailand was still minimal due to Covid-19 restrictions. Hence, this bustling area was unusually calm.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Fruit
Does anyone know these fruits? We think it may be papayas.

Can you believe that suddenly you look up and tropical fruits are growing in this metropolis?

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Residential Building Mask
Can you spot the random mask?

Always pay attention to the details. Along the canal, you will see a spectrum of old vs. new, tradition vs. leisure attractions, beautifully renovated buildings vs. those who would badly need a touch-up.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Heritage House
Residential wood house with intricate carvings vs. high-rise in the back.

Don’t forget to look up, there are quite a few reminders that the skyscrapers are not too far away.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Wooden Details Construction
Wood scaffold for the renovation of these beautiful wood shutters.

Shortly before you reach the footbridge across the river, there is another small public park. Walk through it and head up the stairs to the Chao Praya Skypark.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Khlong Ong Ang Old Post Office
Old post office on the left

On your left, you can see the old post office building.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Chao Praya Skypark Boat Skyline
A boat, a Chinese temple, a mosque, landed houses and skyscrapers all in the same picture.

Enjoy the 360-degree views and watching the boats and the skyline. I also really enjoyed the juxtaposition of the skyscrapers in the back and the Chinese temple and the mosque at the front.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Chao Praya Skypark Flowers
I loved the flowers and plants at the Skypark.

A lot of effort went into the plants and flowers of the Skypark. It was opened in 2020 and the bridge is universally accessible also for senior citizens and people in wheelchairs. It also has seating areas to enjoy the view.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Chao Praya River Beautiful House
Can I move in?

The Skypark is a refurbished structure of the Phra Pok Klao Bridge, or Duan Bridge, of the Lavalin electric train track. This track lay abandoned for more than 30 years.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Park Women
Chat amongst girlfriends

There is another small park at the end of the bridge on the other side of the river. Head under the bridge and when you face the river, turn left and walk along the river.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Wat Prayun Wongsawat Worawihan Gate
Gate of Wat Prayun

On your left, Wat Prayun Wongsawat Worawihan, a temple, will come up. Also called “Wat Prayun”, this Buddhist temple dates back to the 19th century.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Wat Prayun Wongsawat Worawihan Decor
Beautiful flower decor at one of the buildings of the temple – see the chandelier?

The main stupa contains Buddha’s relics and is a UNESCO world heritage site. (A “stupa” is a hemispherical structure containing relics.)

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Pier
Pier leading to Santa Cruz Church

Head back towards the river and keep walking until you reach the pier of Santa Cruz church. You cannot miss the structure with its beautiful intricate carvings.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Santa Cruz Church Front
Santa Cruz is the centre of the old Portuguese quarter.

You have now reached the former Portuguese quarter. Up until our walk, I was not aware that there was old Portuguese area in Bangkok.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Santa Cruz Church Details Ceiling
Details at the entrance of the church

This area was granted to Portuguese Catholics in the 18th century. Until today, the so-called “Kudi Chin”-area is characterised by people from a wide range of (religious) backgrounds living in close proximity.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Santa Cruz Church Window
The current structure and architecture of Santa Cruz dates back to the early 20th century.

The first church was built in 1770 and used to be the main Catholic church in the city. What you see today is the cathedral built at the beginning of the 20th century.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Santa Cruz Church Alley
Lane leading to Baan Kudichin Museum

Take a walk around the the church and when you almost reach the main entrance turn into the side lane leading to Baan Kudichin Museum. There are some small shops selling fusion Portuguese-Thai pastry and a small restaurant serving Thai-Portuguese fusion food. Also pay attention to the street art in the side lanes.

The Baan Kudichin Museum is the perfect spot for a break and enjoy some snacks or coffee. It is tucked away at the end of the lane and has a beautiful verandah-like terrace. The museum gives an insight into the relationship between Portugal and the Kingdom of Siam by using photos and tools/furniture by former residents of the area and the house who frequently travelled to Europe. Their rooftop allows for beautiful views of Kudichin and the river.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Wooden House
Beautiful – but obviously abandoned – wooden house

Head back to the riverside and keep walking along the river until you reach Wat Kanlayanamit Pier. Enjoy the views of the beautiful old and new (wood) houses.

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Flower Market Orchids Yellow
Orchids at the flower market

Take the ferry back across the river and walk towards the flower market. The whole area around the market is made up of small shops and street stall selling the most beautiful flowers.

See Also

Bangkok Walking Tour Portuguese Quarter Napasorn Flower Cafe
The café is located on the first floor, the ground floor is a flower shop which also sells other pretty decor items.

End your walk at Napasorn Flower Café and enjoy a nice piece of cake and a coffee or their delicious chocolate frappé.

Distance of the Walk: about 6 km

Time Needed: about 2 hours (depending on your walking speed and breaks)

Special thanks to Martin Cowling who shared his incredible knowledge and walking tour with me. You can follow him on his blog “Wild About Travel”.

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Disclaimer:

All information as of the date of publishing/updating and based on the information on the websites of the respective sights and the information provided at the location. We cannot accept responsibility for the correctness or completeness of the data, or for ensuring that it is up to date. All recommendations are based on the personal experience of Elisabeth Steiger, no fees were received by the recommended places above.

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