Feed your creative mind at Bangkok’s new art and heritage hub

WHERE there is water, there is life. A case in point is the Chao Phraya River, whose fringes are a continually shifting range of neighborhood attractions and sites, hidden local gems, and innovative entities that serve to make Bangkok one of the most exciting cities in the world.

While the waters are calm, the hubbub surrounding its banks are nothing but. Over the years, the river has seen something of a Renaissance by way of development and a revitalization of infrastructure in the suburbs. If you’re staying by the river, you’ll never run out of things to do, places to eat, or people to meet.

One of the most sought-after properties by the river is Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, an established five-star operation with a “resort in the city” feel. On clear nights, it’s a twinkling vision of elegance by the riverside, with all 726 guest rooms offering unobstructed views of the river.

Besides its strategic location, one of the best things about the property is its 1-Hour Gem program where tourists can embark on a curated excursion around the area to attractions and sites that are within an hour from the hotel.

Some of the areas positively affected by this uptick in activity are Bangrak and Klongsan, home to the new Creative District. Set to be the “center of creative Bangkokians’ universe”, the district is a manifestation of the rise in artists and creatives coming together in the area.

Only a five-minute walk from the hotel is the newly instated Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC), a resource and information center in creativity and design in the context of Thai society – in other words, it’s a darn cool creative hub.

Also worthy of a mid-afternoon stop and also a five-minute walk from the hotel is Warehouse 30, a newly opened gallery and community space by the river with an Instagram-worthy industrial get-up. The 4,000sq m space set in an abandoned WWII-era building was reworked into a fashionable cluster of stores, restaurants, art spaces, and other creative spaces.

Near the hotel is also the historic Talad Noi neighbourhood, which is home to the iconic Holy Rosary Church and its classic Gothic-style architecture. While in the area, don’t forget to challenge your palettes with the likes of grilled meats from makeshift barbecues or classic Thai curries from obscure family-run restaurants.

If you’re one for giddying colors and heady scents, Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is an array of street food stalls hawking all manner of fried foods and mango-based desserts, as well as local markets lined with teas and crockery. After a long day on foot, stop by one of the many seafood restaurants fronted by basil-rubbed tiger prawns that sizzle on the grill.

With the areas around the banks of the Chao Phraya thriving, the latest attraction – Lhong 1919 – is likely to draw even more attention to the area. The mixed-use lifestyle development, home to shops and restaurants, opened in early November on the old pier where the ancestors of the majority of Thai-Chinese families first reached Thailand. The development blends the best of old and new Thailand, acknowledging the great history of the area but incorporating a very modern take.

If you want in on the action and more, Royal Orchid Sheraton is offering a Creative District Discovery package that throws in buffet breakfast for two, a complimentary upgrade to the next available room category, late check-out, and hotel credit of up to THB 1,500 nett (US$45) per stay towards any F&B spend in the hotel.

Curious? Find out more about the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotels & Towers.