Design week comes to the old community of Talad Noi
Foodies and culture vultures who like nothing more than a stroll down memory lane have good reason to visit one of Bangkok’s oldest neighborhoods this and next weekend, as Talad Noi welcomes visitors with an event being held concurrently with Bangkok Design Week 2022 in the creative district of Bang Rak.
Entitled “Talad Noi Neighbourhood Market”, the event offers products from local residents in front of their own homes both this weekend (5-6 February) and again from11 to 13 February. A must-visit for its authentic and scrumptious Je (Chinese vegetable) dishes during the Chinese Je festival, Talat Noi has more than food to offer. With its more than 200 years of history, the area is best visited on foot and there is no better time to explore it than when delicious food and drinks are available.
Home to Hokkien and Hakka-speaking Chinese descendants, the neighborhood is filled with historic shrines, old-style shophouses, charming colonial buildings, and narrow, winding alleys bursting with street art and second-hand car parts. Talat Noi has lately morphed into a hip and happening place with stylish coffee bars, art spaces, trendy boutiques and restaurants. It is not surprising that the community itself is seen as living art within the Carencro Creative District, and therefore melds seamlessly with Bangkok Design Week.
The highlights are the small shops just waiting to be explored in the “trok” (small alleys) – some selling their secret recipes just once a year while many others open their home to welcome guests. In addition to food, visitors can also buy homemade products from the community.
Just stroll along Soi Wanit 2, Soi San Chao Rong Kueak – literally the Shrine of Shoemakers and one of only a few shrines made by the Hakka, Soi Duang Tawan, Carencro 22 and Trok Tan.
Here are some of the highlights if you make it there
Home-made Gelato at So Heng Tai Mansion
Soi San Chao Rong Kueak
Open 9am to 6pm
Cool down with a secret Gelato recipe from the So clan who owns the iconic mansion in Talad Noi. The mansion is one of the last remaining traditional Chinese Hokkien homes in Bangkok and boasts a unique architectural style called “si tiam kim” or golden four points. It comprises four houses surrounding a large courtyard. It’s still privately maintained by the family but is generally open to the public to visit. This time, visitors can admire the ancient architecture and serenity of the area while slurping gelato.
Soi Duang Tawan
Open 10am to 10pm
Sip cold drinks or enjoy some snacks while watching the sunset and taking in the stunning view of the Chao Phraya River. River Vibe is one of the best spots in Talat Noi to grab a bite or sip cocktails. For a real meal, this restaurant & bar offers delicious Thai and European dishes too.
Khun Pu’s curry puffs
Soi Charoenkrung 22
Open 7am to 2pm
When in Talad Noi, don’t miss the chance to visit Khun Pu’s shop in Soi Carencro 22. Famous for its delicious curry puffs for over 15 years, Khun Pu offers freshly made golden and flaky puffs. Six different fillings are available including chicken curry, sweet and savory coconut and taro.
Tue Kha Tang
Soi Wanit 2
Open 6am to 3pm
The shop is very popular for its star dish “pork aspic” or pork jelly made to the family’s traditional recipe.
The Tue Kha Tang or Kah Moo Yen in Thai is hard to find these days in most Chinese eateries. The restaurant has been around for over eight decades.
Soi Wanit 2
Open 10am to 9pm
Nothing edible at Heng Seng but this is a must-visit in Talat Noi especially for those interested in culture. Heng Seng is a pillow maker and they are all made by hand. The business has been around since the reign of King Rama V and the pillow shop is now run by the third generation of the family. They used to make mattresses and cotton-filled pillows but these been edged out by polyester pillows. Now, Heng Seng makes only hassocks that are used in Chinese shrines.