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Bangkok Walking Tour – Thong Lo and Khlong Saen Saep

Bangkok Walking Tour – Thong Lo and Khlong Saen Saep

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Residential Houses

This walking tour is a quick escape which starts in one of the busiest areas of Bangkok. This walk is about 7 km long and we leave at the BTS station Thong Lo. It takes us along the beautiful Khlong Saen Saep, its residential areas, Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque, the mansions near Sukhumvit Soi 39 and ends at Benchasiri Park.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Sunrise Lane
Start your walk early – Bangkok’s heat is a real challenge and it is a true experience to see the city before everyone wakes up.

From the BTS Thong Lo station walk down Sukhumvit Soi 55, also known as Thong Lo Road. Just walk along this road until you reach the Khlong (canal).

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Purple Flower
I always pay attention to the big variety of flowers along my walk.

If you need a coffee to get your walk started, there are two options along Thong Lo Road: KOF has a branch at J Avenue, right at the entrance from Thong Lo Road. Right behind KOF, there is a small kiosk called Diamond Coffee. Both cafés have really nice coffee – KOF has a small indoor space to sit, while Diamond Coffee is outdoors.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Tree Empty Plot
An empty plot with its future in the backdrop.

Thong Lo Road is a preview of what you will see along the canal: the old and the new, modernity vs. tradition, quiet vs. bustling noise. This plot has been empty for a while. Only one tree survived. Soon, this plot will probably will be turned into a condominium, serviced apartments, a hotel, or a small mall – or, all of these in one.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen-Saep and Thong Lo Building in Bloom
“Building in Bloom” on Thong Lo Road

Just before you reach the canal, you will notice a building with interesting architectural shapes. There is no specific name for this building. Because of the shapes, I started calling it the “Building in Bloom”.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo View from Avani Atrium Sunrise
Khlong Saen Saep at sunrise

At the end of the road, there is a small lane under the bridge. This is the entrance to the walkway along Khlong Saen Saep.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Frangipani
Always looking up to spot some frangipani

Once you reach the canal, it is hard to imagine that you are in one of the biggest cities in the world. Suddenly, it is quiet. You can hardly notice the noise from Thong Lo and Petchaburi Road.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Hut Construction Site
A hut in front of a huge construction development. Many locals have to leave their homes and give way to giant condominiums, malls and hotels.

One reminder that we are still in Bangkok is the big construction sites. Development companies have discovered the attractive plots next to the canals for their “luxury condominiums with a view”.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Huts Flowers
A string of local houses which hopefully will survive the current construction bubble.

Khlong Saen Saep is one of Bangkok’s longest canals and connects the Chao Phraya river to many of its districts.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Morning Boat
One of the first boats in the mornings

There are boat services on some sections of the canal. They start at 5.30 am and end at 8.30 pm (7 pm on weekends) and locals use the boats as an alternative to the traffic jams and the crowded trains.

The canal walkway is also a popular spot for street art. Throughout the walk, you will discover quite a few murals. Some may stay, others were painted on the temporary walls and fences of construction sites.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Street Art Eggs
“Egg Men” on the cover wall of a construction site.

It is really beautiful to just walk along the canal and peek into the landed houses. Sometimes, you can spot cats or dogs. One family even has what I call “watchturtles”.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Cat

There are small shops and outdoor restaurants along the walkway as well.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Outdoor Restaurant
One of the outdoor restaurants – during the lockdown, these places were closed.

An elderly lady sells Benjarong crockery (the intricate hand-painted Thai crockery style with lots of colours and gold). In front of her shop, there is a small pond (which looks like a bathtub) with a ceramic lizard.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Lizard Pond

Unfortunately, the Khlong has been heavily polluted. Residential buildings, hotels and hospitals have been using it to get rid of their sewage. There has been an initiative to clean up the canal which claims that improvements have been made.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Empty Walkway
One of my walks just after start of the second lockdown in 2021 – the Khlong was completely empty.

Nevertheless, locals put a lot of effort into their houses, gardens and the walkway itself. There are beautiful flowers, wooden window shutters and you may even spot a traditional wooden parasol in the gardens.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Turquoise Window Shutters

Thais pay tribute to them by putting orchids on trees, in plant pots and even painting them on their walls.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Orchids Street Art

The frangipani flowers are my favourites – from white, to pale pink, to yellow, to blush. They come in so many colours and always remind me of the beach and the tropics.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Yellow Frangipani

About halfway through, there is Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque. Before you arrive at this mosque, there is a cemetery on the left, which may be mistaken for a park. Unless you wear long trousers and cover your shoulders, please do not enter this cemetery.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque
Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque

Already before reaching Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque, you can tell that this is a Muslim neighbourhood. Some houses and buildings have Arabic inscriptions.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo View Canal

It is always worth walking up the bridges and enjoying the beautiful views.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Jackfruit

Never forget to look up – mangoes, jackfruits, papayas and bananas are right above.

Despite its beauty, not many tourists make it to this part of Khlong Saen Saep. Hence, it has preserved its authentic charm. Every morning, I see two ladies having breakfast in front of their house. Another elderly lady is cleaning her porch and greeting me with a big smile.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Air Condition Building
The “AC Building”

I have done this walk many times and every time, I discovered something new. Pay attention while you admire the scenery – motorcycle drivers also use the walkway.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Spirit House

Every building in Thailand has a spirit house. Of course, there are many types in the gardens along the canal.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Birdcages

In some gardens, you will spot birdcages.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Number Plates

Others display their collection of number plates.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Plant Pots

And some are true fans of plant pots.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Dog

You can turn left into Soi Prachan Khadi (right after the bridge). But I recommend to keep walking until the end of the walkway, which is another 500 metres.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Pink String Plant Boat

I do not know what these plants are called, but their pink “curtain” is the perfect frame for any picture of the canal.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo View from Avani Atrium Thai House

Luxurious mansions and low-income housing side-by-side.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo End of Khlong Residential Building

The laundry hanging outside to dry always reminds me of Italy.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Street Art Purple Face

Look up, but also look down. That way, I discovered a rose apple tree.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Rose Apples

There are still some empty plots which have turned into an urban jungle. I hope these green oases survive.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Urban Jungle

The walkway ends shorty after Soi Petchaburi 38/1 (the extension of Sukhumvit Soi 39). You can cross the canal via a footbridge, walk around the Avani Atrium Hotel and then keep walking along until Prasrnmit (SWU) ferry station. From there, you can keep walking along the canal again.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong End of Khlong

But now, walk back to Soi Prachan Khadi (right behind the newly built Supalai Oriental Sukhumvit 39 condominium) and walk towards Sukhumvit Road.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo View from Avani Atrium Details
Khlong Saen Saep and Masjed Darulmuhsinin Mosque

The first section of this Soi is nothing special, but I found it really interesting to walk behind the huge construction sites and condominiums of Soi 39. Unfortunately, Soi Prachan Khadi is being turned into a copy of 39 with a lot of empty plots and constructions sites coming up.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Purple Flowers

If there still are empty plots, there are always interesting flowers to discover.

See Also
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Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo White Mansion

The closer you come towards Sukhumvit Road, the more mansions come up.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo White Door

Many of the houses are not Thai or “Asian” at all. Some doors even look Mediterranean.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Dustbin

Even the dustbins are decorated with bougainvilleas.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Mansion

Walk back to Soi 39. If you are in need for something sweet – have a croissant at Tiengna Viennoiserie in Soi Phrom Si 1.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Pastel Gate

Pay attention to the side lanes of Sukhumvit Soi 39. There are many interesting buildings to discover.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Building 39

Walk towards Sukhumvit Road and end your walk at Benchasiri Park. (I will publish another article about the park itself soon, stay tuned!)

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Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Old New

Disclaimer:

All information as of the date of publishing/updating and based on the information on the websites of the respective sights (listed above) 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.

Walking Tour Khlong Saen Saep and Thong Lo Fairy Tale Door
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