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.
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.
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.
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) 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.
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Sculptures and artistic decorations are scattered throughout the house.
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!
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.
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.
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.
On top of my rice, I couldn’t resist a fried egg!
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.
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).
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)!
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!