Warehouse 30 is a creative centre based on the east side of the Chao Phraya River which weaves its way through the city of Bangkok. The collection of warehouses are filled with a variety of unique shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and event spaces. The space offers ample opportunities for tourists to pick up an interesting, handcrafted souvenir, and for locals to meet up with friends and family to sample what the restaurants have to offer.
Warehouse 30 has an interesting history, and the purpose of the space has changed dramatically over the past two centuries. The warehouses were originally built by Japanese invaders in the Second World War, after which they were used as storage spaces for agricultural equipment and an export business. But by the 1970s, business in the area had dried up and the space didn’t have much potential. Enter onto the scene Duangrit Bunnag! The architect had transformed the old warehouses across the river into what is now known as the Jam Factory, and there was no reason why he couldn’t do the same with these warehouses. He carefully restored the buildings with as little intervention as possible, preserving elements such as the steel structures, beams and the wooden flooring which serve as reminders of the original purpose of the warehouses. The area surrounding the warehouses has been transformed from its business district days, and it is now home to hipster bars serving craft beers, live music venues, funky galleries and restaurants with artisanal menus.
Let’s have a little look at what’s in store for visitors at Warehouse 30. The fourth warehouse is currently occupied by two shops, the first of which is filled with vintage military clothing and accessories. In fact, Horse Unit feels more like a museum than a shop, and it is certainly worth having a little poke through some of their interesting antique furniture and military deadstock from around the world, even if you’re not interested in buying anything! Just as magical and under the same roof, Woot Woot sells hand crafted jewellery and has a unique array of mineral crystals and stones. They also sell a number of sustainable items such as their Japanese Style brooms, which are made from wild grass.
A few warehouses down, 30_6 is a trendy lifestyle store which sells high quality clothing, shoes, bags and other accessories. If you’re looking for something particularly distinctive, take a visit to P. Tendercool, a bespoke furniture company specialising in huge tables (but actually selling a variety of other furniture such as coffee tables, chairs, sofas and bookcases). The company describes itself as a “Haute Manufacture Service” and everything is handmade to the highest standard. They use antique materials such as reclaimed teakwood from old Thai houses, and they claim to “honour traditional crafts: sand-cast bronze, french polishing, home-made wax and the works”. They have a passion for creating furniture which is made to last a lifetime, intended to be handed down to children and grandchildren, and making those moments we celebrate around a table just that little bit more special!
Warehouse 30 wouldn’t be complete without a collection of interesting cafes and restaurants to satisfy your appetite. For “real coffee lovers”, Coffee Roaster serves baked goods alongside fresh coffee made from beans roasted on site. The popular Sweet Pista has also opened at Warehouse 30, serving a fusion of Western and Thai cuisine. The restaurant is well known for its excellent homemade dishes and warm, relaxed atmosphere. Another great option for food at Warehouse 30 is “Dag”, meaning ‘Eat’ in Thai. Restaurant owner and chef, Van, says he came up with the concept in order to reject the “gastronomy and mixology bullshit” that great eating must be complicated or expensive. The Dag team sources the best local produce and secondary cuts of meat, meaning that the menu is always changing depending what is on offer that season.
As Warehouse 30 nows sits right at the heart of Bangkok’s creative district, it would be rude not to include a little bit of art! The Aurum Gallery will open in June 2020, showcasing a variety of works from international contemporary, urban and street artists. Another arty option is 333 Anywhere, a gallery in which Asian artists are able to showcase their work to local and international communities. The remaining warehouses are used as event spaces which are available to rent for a variety of functions. They have hosted a number of screenings, exercise classes and even events such as TEDxCharoenkrung here.
So it is clear that Warehouse 30 offers visitors an exciting warren of opportunities to explore. Whether you are local to Bangkok or a backpacker making your way across Asia, there is something here for everyone.