Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน) – Visiting Bangkok’s Inspiring Artist’s House

By Mark Wiens 18 Comments
Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist's House บ้านศิลปิน)
Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน)

Bangkok has long been known as the “Venice of the East.”

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the area around modern Bangkok developed an extensive network of waterway canals (known as klongs) that provided practical transportation as well as protection.

Due to Bangkok city growth and modernization, many of the central canals have been filled in to build roads, yet there are some that still exist. Dotted throughout Bangkok you’ll find floating markets like Khlong Lat Mayom or Bang Nam Pheung.

Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน) or Klong Bang Luang (คลองบางหลวง), or in English known as Artist’s House, is a treasure along one of Bangkok’s old canals.

Neighborhood around Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน)
Neighborhood around Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน)

Located on the Thonburi side of Bangkok, across the Chao Phraya river from many of the tall buildings, is the quiet peaceful Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน) – the Artist’s House.

The neighborhood is a throwback in time, a place where you can go to hang out with a good book or just relax in this creative space.

Red statue at Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน)
Red statue at Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน)

One of the iconic images of Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน), is the red man statue. Now I’m not sure exactly who it is or what it’s for, but it’s an expression of art that’s undoubtedly unique and recognizable.

Feeding the fish and relaxing on the canal in Bangkok
Feeding the fish and relaxing on the canal in Bangkok

On the weekends there are a number of little boutique stores that have opened, probably in an attempt to get some business from the visitors that come to Artist’s House.

Along with exploring the entire neighborhood, you can buy a bag of fish food and sit with your legs dangling off the edge, feeding the vicious Bangkok catfish.

Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist's House บ้านศิลปิน)
Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน)

Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน) is over 200 years old. It’s a well preserved family house constructed of wood that hovers over one of Bangkok’s main canals (klongs).

If you take a Bangkok klong tour in a longtail boat from the Chao Phraya river, chances are you will pass through this neighborhood – though drivers won’t normally stop. So if you visit Baan Silapin, you’ll see many longtail boats thundering past but not so many people will stop by.

Sculptures and artistic decorations are scattered throughout the house.

Pinting masks
Pinting masks

Plain papier-mâché masks are available to purchase, and then you can sit with a canal view while painting your mask. It’s a great activity if you have kids!

Ready to have lunch!
Ready to have lunch!

I headed straight for the food!

Khao gaeng is a common Thai meal that included a plate of rice and a choice of different curries. The day I visited Baan Silapin (Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน), the food was all laid out and ready to be ordered.

Nam prik kaphi with a fried fish and omelet on the side
Nam prik kaphi with a fried fish and omelet on the side

I’m a huge lover of nam prik kaphi (น้ำพริกกะปิ), fermented shrimp paste hot sauce. It was served along with a deep fried mackerel and chopped up pieces of acacia shoot omelet.

Gaeng Het Dtab Dtao (แกงเห็ดตับเตา)
Gaeng Het Dtab Dtao (แกงเห็ดตับเตา)

Next up was a dish known as Gaeng Het Dtab Dtao (แกงเห็ดตับเตา), a mushroom curry cooked in a medley of spices, herbs, and coconut milk.

The mushrooms, translated into English as turtle liver mushrooms (but don’t worry, they are really just mushrooms), were so firm they almost tasted like chunks of meat.

Absolutely delicious!

Can't resist the egg on the side!
Can’t resist the egg on the side!

On top of my rice, I couldn’t resist a fried egg!

Pulling up with coconut ice cream
Pulling up with coconut ice cream

While eating and enjoying the delightful view of the Bangkok canal and the occasional longtail boat cruising past, a boat man pulled up his vessel stocked with fresh coconuts and a metal cylinder full of coconut ice cream – how convenient!

But since I was still enjoying my curry, I didn’t have an ice cream sandwich this time.

Traditional Thai puppets
Traditional Thai puppets

Along with lunch, the highlight of visiting Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน) is the traditional Thai puppet performance.

The show begins at approximately 2 pm everyday except Wednesday (also sometimes they randomly don’t have the show because the artists occasionally get hired out by private functions – so make sure you call them ahead of time to confirm there will be a show – phone number at the bottom of this page).

Thai puppet dance at Baan Silapin
Thai puppet dance at Baan Silapin

The Thai puppet show was an amazing performance. The puppeteers were dressed in all black with black masks, and as they worked the puppets they also danced in rhythm.

The 15 minute show journeyed through a number of scenes depicting Hanuman. Even though I have been living in Bangkok for quite a few years, I was impressed by the authenticity and skill of the craft – it was a wonderful performance.

The show is free of charge, but they do accept tips and donations.

There are so many things to do in Bangkok, and if you’re looking for an attraction that’s off the beaten track, and a great preservation of Thai culture and tradition, visit Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน)!

Rot Songthaew on Charoen Sanitwong Soi 3
Rot Songthaew on Charoen Sanitwong Soi 3

Here’s a video of visiting Baan Silapin (includes a delicious lunch and the traditional Thai puppet dance)!

Thank you for watching!

Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน คลองบางหลวง)

Address: 315 Wat Tong Salangam, Phet Kasem 28, Thanon Phet Kasem, Pa Si Charoen, Bangkok, Thailand 10160
Open Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily (but no puppet show on Wednesdays, also call ahead to confirm the puppet show)
Phone: 02-868-5279, 089-125-3949 , 081-258-9260

315 วัดทองศาลางาม ซ.เพชรเกษม 28 ถ.เพชรเกษม แขวงคูหาสวรรค์ เขตภาษีเจริญ กรุงเทพ 10160
โทรศัพท์/โทรสาร : 02-868-5279, 089-125-3949, 081-258-9260
เวลา 9.00-18.00น ทุกวัน (งดการแสดงทุกวันพุธ)

How to get to Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน)

If you don’t take a canal boat from the Chao Phraya river, the easiest and cheapest way to get to Baan Silapin is by taking a taxi to Charoen Sanitwong Soi 3. Ride all the way to the end of the soi (small street), where it dead ends at the 7-Eleven. Get out and keep walking straight and in just 10 meters you’ll get to the canal. Walk across the bridge and make a left along the canal, and you’ll be at Bangkok Artist’s House in just a few moments. It’s a wonderful place in Bangkok to explore on foot!

On the way back, you might have to jump in the back of a communal truck taxi (rot songthaew) to get back to the main Charoen Santiwong road in order to catch a taxi (or you can walk in about 10 minutes).


View Baan Silapin (Bangkok Artist’s House บ้านศิลปิน คลองบางหลวง) in a larger map

Note: If you visit Bangkok be sure to check out my Bangkok travel guide!



18 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Cathy Orlando

    6 months ago

    Thank you for your directions…perfect! This was a delight for me…allowed me to peek into the lives of working Thai people in a less touristy location. Ban Salipin was an experience that I won’t soon forget. Your Bangkok travel guide is so packed with information! Blessings to you and your family.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 months ago

      Hey Cathy, glad you enjoyed visiting Baan Silapin, thank you very much!

  • Cathy Orlando

    7 months ago

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and videos. I have learned so much from your work. This will be my second trip to Bangkok and I look forward to getting to explore some of the back streets and food spots that you have visited. I can’t wait to visit Ban Sillapin.
    Keep up your wonderful work.

  • Cathy Orlando

    7 months ago

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and videos. I have learned so much from your work. This will be my second trip to Bangkok and I look forward to getting to explore some of the back streets and food spots that you have visited.
    Keep up your wonderful work.

  • Daphne

    4 years ago

    Thanks for your amazingly helpful tips on how to enjoy Bangkok. My trip to Artist’s house has been exciting and a little stressful because I copied the address from another blogger’s article, and I had to spend a total extra hour to find the place. Even though that day the show was not on, I still had a great time there, enjoying the nice artistic ambience and cool, relaxing, exotic space. ( I simply should have copied your info though.)

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Daphne, sorry it was stressful, but glad you had a good time there. Hope you enjoyed your time in Bangkok!

  • Heather

    4 years ago

    I wish I’d known about this place before our trip to Bangkok last year! We took a longtail boat ride, but the driver went so fast we didn’t really see anything. A visit here looks much more enjoyable!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Heather, yes I did see many boats whizzing past without stopping. It is really worth the stop!

  • flipnomad

    4 years ago

    Looks like a very interesting place to visit. Will definitely check it out.

    PS

    The red man looks real!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Yes, you should check it out, it’s a nice place to visit!

  • ags

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    Glad you finally made the trip there! I loved your photos! Unfortunately I didn’t have any of the food when I was there—will definitely try it out next time! I am also a big fan of fried eggs 🙂

  • Mike | Earthdrifter

    4 years ago

    Excellent looking food. Just in Bangkok alone the food options and concoctions seem virtually endless. The ‘Gaeng Het Dtab Dtao’ appears to be a dream dish. Meat-like mushrooms, spices, herbs, and coconut milk, I don’t know if it can get much tastier than that

    A dude pulling up in a little boat with fresh coconut ice cream for sale: How exotic!

  • TUey

    4 years ago

    Great!, Mark……….I love it! I’ll check it out on my next trip to Thailand.

  • Justin

    4 years ago

    That’s a wonderful place to visit. I had been traveling to Krung Thep for many years. I think it’s about time for me to pay a visit to Thonburi site. Thanks for the nice introductory to this place!