Bangkok, Thailand Song Wat Road


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Rank of old shophouses on Song Wat road.

from Wikipedia by Heiko S CC BY 2.0

Song Wat Road (Thai: ถนนทรงวาด,, ) is a historic road in the area of Bangkok's Samphanthawong district. It has its origins by separating from Chak Phet road near Chakkrawat police station and foot of Phra Pok Klao bridge on the borderline of Chakkrawat sub-district, Samphanthwong district and Wang Burapha Phirom sub-district, Phra Nakhon district, then cuts across Ratchawong road in the area near Ratchawong pier, as far as ending at the intersection with Khao Lam and Charoen Krung roads in Talat Noi sub-district in the area known as Sieng Kong (เซียงกง) or official name Soi Wanit 2 (ซอยวานิช 2). The distance is 1,196 m (about 0.6 mi) alongside Chao Phraya river almost all the way.
The name "Song Wat" translates to "drawing by the king". It was built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1892 after the great fire in Sampheng area. The Siamese government wanted to expand the roads and public utilities to a wider area, such as Yaowarat etc. For Song Wat, it was from the King Chulalongkorn who wrote the line with a pencil on the map by himself. The construction was divided into two phases. The first phase starting from Chak Phet road to ends at Trok Rong Krata (now's Yaowaphanit road) in 1892, the second phase began in 1907 from Trok Rong Krata to ends at Charoen Krung road like today.
At that time it's considered a main road and the centre of business. Because it's the location of many ports lined from Talat Noi neighbourhood. There're steamers carrying cargo from foreign countries to trade here. The road is full of warehouses and shophouses, including place of worship in various religions such as Lao Pun Tao Kong Joss House, a joss house according by the Chinese belief, Masjid Luang Kocha Itsahak, masjid of the Islamic, or Wat Pathum Khongkha (Wat Sampheng), a Thai temple. Moreover it's also the origin of the business of many Thai Chinese millionaire families in Thailand such as Chearavanont, the owner of CP Group, Chatikavanij, Sirivadhanabhakdi or Kanchanachoosak etc.
Presently, the condition of the buildings along Song Wat is still the same as in the past when more than 100 years ago. Many of them operate traditional businesses, such as the trading of whole grain seeds. Including the walls of some buildings, there're also graffiti artwork from Western artists. In addition, Song Soem Road (ถนนทรงเสริม), which is a separate road from Song Wat. It's considered to be the shortest road in Thailand. It's only 20 m (about 65 ft) long, ending at the pier on Chao Phraya river. The opposite are Lhong 1919 and Wanglee House, which Lhong 1919 is an old port warehouse built with traditional Chinese architecture of the Wanglee family, including the location of the Mazu Joss House. It has been renovated to become a new tourist attraction includes a new landmark of Khlong San area in Thonburi.



Song Wat Road