Planning a trip to Thailand and looking for the best neighborhoods in Bangkok? In this short guide, you’ll find out all about Talat Noi, Bangkok’s coolest neighborhood.
Talat Noi ( also known as Talad Noi) is one of Bangkok’s oldest neighborhoods. Today it’s one of the city’s most exciting ones and a visit here is a must when in Bangkok.
Talat Noi is a very local neighborhood that’s full of color, local life, and both Thai and Chinese culture. Here you’ll also find some of the city’s oldest surviving mechanic shops as well as street art, hip cafes, and religious shrines. It’s easy to get to and its location just south of Chinatown means it’s accessible and well-connected.
When in Bangkok, make sure to take an afternoon out of your itinerary to explore Talad Noi. In this short guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the neighborhood, the best things to do and see, and my favorite cafes and places to eat.
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Where Is Talad Noi?
Talad Noi is essentially a hip, extended part of Bangkok’s Chinatown. You’ll find it just south of Chinatown, between the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road.
The neighborhood has a ‘V’ shape on the map, outlined by the river and one of Bangkok’s many canals.
How to Get to Talat Noi Bangkok
There are many ways to get to Talad Noi Bangkok and it’s generally a well-connected neighbourhood in Bangkok’s heart.
River– Talat Noi is easily reached by riverboat. The closest pier is Marine Department which is served by many different lines. The green, yellow, and orange Chao Praya Express boats all stop at Marine Department.
Public Transportation– Bangkok’s MRT goes straight through Chinatown. Hua Lamphong is the closest station but you can also get off at Wat Mangkon if you want to explore a bit of Chinatown before getting to Talat Noi. It’s just a 10-minute walk from Hua Lamphong station to Talat Noi.
Grab/Taxi– One of the best ways to get to Talat Noi is by taxi especially if you find yourself in an area with no MRT or river transport. The best taxis are the moto-taxis which quickly zip through all the Bangkok traffic. You can order them via the Grab app. If you’re not alone or in a small group it might be worthwhile getting a regular taxi, just probably not at rush hour.
A Short History of Talat Noi Bangkok
Talat Noi carries a rich history and the neighborhood has always been at the heart of the city’s evolution.
Talat Noi was originally settled by the Portuguese from Ayutthaya in the 1700s but more recently in the 19th Century, it was settled by Chinese immigrants. Being located right by the river, the neighbourhood quickly became a huge trade hub, and its name, which translates as ‘small market’ came to reflect that.
As the decades rolled on, Talat Noi retained its Chinese heritage, evident in its ornate temples, intricate architecture, and narrow alleyways. The neighborhood became an amalgamation of cultures, a melting pot of Thai and Chinese traditions. Its labyrinthine streets unveil hidden gems like shophouses, traditional medicine shops, and family-owned eateries.
Today the area is modernizing and gentrifying but its authenticity still remains. The area has been preserved by the locals and many locals still live and work on the Talat Noi streets.
What to See and Do in Talad Noi Bangkok
Explore the Streets and Alleys of Talat Noi
Probably the best thing to do in Talat Noi is to simply forget your map and walk around. There are so many small streets and alleyways to get lost in and you just never know what’ll be around the next corner. You’ll find yourself face to face with the buzzing streets, car parts shops, hip cafes, and colorful street art.
Talat Noi is a small area so it’s difficult to get lost anyway and you’ll probably come across most of the spots in this guide by just strolling around. A Talat Noi walk really is one of the best ways to get to know the area.
The So Heng Tai Mansion
This heritage mansion is an architectural marvel in Bangkok and a timeless embodiment of cultural heritage.
Constructed during the early 20th century, this mansion stands as a living testament to the artistic fusion of Chinese and Thai influences- the Hokkien architectural style. The mansion is composed of four separate houses which share a large courtyard with a pool (now fallen into disuse).
The house belonged to one of the earliest Chinese trading families in this area. As you walk around you’ll find intricately carved wooden details, vibrant tiles, and ornate facades that adorn its structure, reflecting an era of craftsmanship and opulence.
Check out the Talat Noi Street Art
One of the best things about Talat Noi is its street art. Talad Noi street art is known all around Bangkok and it won’t be long into your Talat Noi walk before you start seeing the best of it.
Trok San Chao Rong Kueak is the alleyway to head to for street art. Mother Roaster Cafe is at the heart of it but make sure to take your time strolling down this alley to take in the colorful street art.
Many local artists come here to express themselves and you’ll see many Thai/Chinese cultural scenes and references, many scenes from daily life, and other more abstract forms of art. Talat Noi street art is some of the best in Bangkok so if you’re a fan make sure to come here at some point during your Bangkok itinerary.
Photograph the Antique Turtle Car
Deep in the alleyways of Talat Noi, you’ll find the ‘Antique Turtle Car’, one of Talat Noi’s defining images. What previously must have been a Fiat 500, the car was simply abandoned and never claimed. Today the car is rusted beyond belief and is one of the most popular things to see in Talad Noi.
You can find its location on Google Maps as ‘Antique Turtle Car’ and today it’s a popular photo spot.
Visit the Rong Kueak Shrine
Right off Trok San Chao Rong Kueak or Soi Chareonkrung is Rong Kueak Shrine ( Chow Sue Kong temple ), a brightly colored Chinese, Talat Noi temple which is a must-see. The large Chinese shrine occupies a courtyard right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Inside you’ll be able to notice all the colorful decor, a bas-relief dedicated to stories from the Chinese community that used to live in the area as well as several interesting wall paintings. It’s free to visit so make sure to pop in for a few moments.
Relax in a Cafe
If you’re someone who loves cute, aesthetic cafes then you’ll have the best time in Talat Noi. The area has some of the most photogenic cafes in Bangkok not to mention the quality of coffee, tea, and snacks is also brilliant.
Many of the cafes are quite popular and well known but as you walk round you’ll be sure to discover some hidden gems. From minimalist gems to Old-Bangkok-style cafes, there’s something here for everyone.
Scroll down to the Where to Eat and Drink section below to find all my favorite cafes in Talat Noi.
Stroll Through the Sieng Gong Spare Parts District
Talat Noi is a district that’s famous for its old car parts shops. Song Wat Road especially is where most of them are located and if you’re coming to Talat Noi from Chinatown you’ll certainly pass through here. Full of hanging red lanterns that contrast heavily with the interior of these coal-black stores, these streets are certainly atmospheric.
Car parts stores like this rarely exist anymore in other parts of the world so these stores are definitely a sight to behold.
Visit the Holy Rosary Church
You don’t see many Catholic churches in Bangkok and this one is a lovely golden yellow church that you’ll no doubt pass by. Built in 1786 in the neo-Gothic style, the church has a rather simple facade but come inside and you’ll notice a beautifully painted ceiling, Roman Catholic stained-glass windows, and various sculptures and religious artifacts.
It’s definitely worth a walk around for a few minutes.
Enjoy the Air Conditioning at River City Bangkok
Bangkok can get a little much if you’re already spent a few hours outside but air-conditioned bliss awaits at River City Bangkok. You might be thinking ‘Urgh, not another mall’ but River City is quite different from the malls of Siam.
River City is a small and manageable mall that has many intriguing local boutiques and art galleries to explore. There are also many cafes and coffee shops too. Make sure to check out the Morita Japan Arts store for some interesting work from Japan as well as the Gallery Shop which is great for unique gifts.
Don’t forget that Talat Noi is super close to Chinatown which offers many other great things to do. If you’re already in the area, it makes sense to combine these two neighborhoods together. Some of the best places to visit in Bangkok’s Chinatown are:
- Chinatown Gate
- Yaowarat Road
- The side alleys and food markets
- Wat Traimit Withayaram Worawihan and its huge Golden Buddha statue
- CHATA Speciality Coffee
- FV Healthy food and Juice Cafe
Shop at Warehouse 30
So this converted warehouse technically isn’t in Talat Noi but it’s so close you may as well check it out. Warehouse 30 is a brand new, industrial-chic converted warehouse space full of local stores, boutiques, and art galleries.
The place is insanely cool and you’ll be able to pick up a great specialty coffee at a Coffee Roaster before shopping for art at ATTA Gallery or 333 Gallery. There’s also a superb vintage store and other local boutiques to check out while you’re there.
The space is very popular with Bangkok’s selfie-taking, Tik-Tokking young crowd.
Where to Eat & Drink
Talat Noi is one of the best places to eat and drink in Bangkok. It’s especially great for hip cafes so make sure to save your caffeine fix for when you get here. You could easily spend the afternoon hopping from one aesthetic cafe to another while also exploring the main sights.
Make sure not to miss these great restaurants, cafes, and street food stalls in or near Talat Noi.
Charmgang– You wouldn’t guess this restaurant exists on this non-descript back street but Charmgang is a little hidden gem. Upscale modern Thai food with a twist. Don’t miss lunch here.
Jay Hieng Fish Ball Noodles– One of the best street food stalls in the area, come here for delicious and fresh fish ball noodles.
80/20 Eighty Twenty– Located just over the canal from Talat Noi this restaurant is one of the best new spots in Bangkok. Their menu is made up of 80% locally sourced ingredients and the food is next level.