Ari’s residential streets, known for their tree-lined tranquility and old world Siam feel, now blossom with high-concept eateries and contemporary art galleries inspired by Bangkok and beyond
By Dana MacLean
Photos by Martin Abbiati
Bangkok’s quiet residential neighborhood of Ari has long been a discreet escape for well-heeled Thai dwellers. Its patchwork of main streets and back alleys have a languid, old world Siam feel while the main street, Pahonyothin 7, or Soi Ari, hosts a thriving line of street hawkers in its first vein. Just north of central Bangkok and a few stations from the infamously chaotic Chatuchak market, Ari has evolved from an under-the-radar dining district for locals to a budding cultural hub. Thai-born entrepreneurs and expatriate creatives are behind the neighborhood’s recent urban renewal. Their design-driven leanings result in one-of-a-kind specialty shops tucked amid the area’s neoclassical-styled homes, lush gardens blooming with purple and pink hydrangeas, and low-rise apartment buildings. The desire to bring up-market offerings to the quiet neighborhood—from quality coffee, modern fusion food, and abstract art—is what purveyors say inspired them to open their doors. The result is a unique respite just blocks away from the traditional epicenter of culture in downtown Bangkok.