Khlong San is an up-and-coming riverside district with trendy developments like Icon Siam, the latest attempt for the most grandiose shopping mall in SE-Asia, Lhong 1919, a former Chinese courtyard mansion now filled with upscale restaurants and quirky shops offering clothing, home goods, and crafts. The iconic peninsula Hotel still stands tall along the river bank.
With the opening of Siam to foreign trade in the mid-1800s, foreign sailing ships docked on the Chao Phraya near Klong San. Commerce prospered with the entry of more foreign traders. As foreign ships were not allowed further up-river, Klong San became a port for trade, ship repairs, factories, rice and sugar mills, warehouses and foreign residences. Besides the Chinese and European traders, the Indians and Muslims added to the cultural diversity in Klong San district. The temples, shrines and mosques present in the district today are testament of this cultural diversity. Thai temples stand proudly beside Chinese shrines and mosques along the riverside mixed in with old houses and businesses that pay testament to the craftsmanship of the past.
What was once a thriving trade hub on the west bank of Chao Phraya River, the Khlong San neighbourhood is now a popular biking and walking route with travelers, both local and foreign, and a treasure trove of history dating back to the Thon Buri and early Rattanakosin kingdoms.Despite being a stone’s throw away from downtown Bangkok, it is a place to escape the city’s fast pace while indulging in a diversity of cultures.
The recent explosion in activity in the district is a consequence of the arrival of the BTS Skytrain, making the area much more accessible than before. Restaurants, shopping malls, local BnBs, A new chapter in Bangkok living is about to be written.