Bangkok is a city that has something for everyone, and the neighborhood of Ari is no exception. Located in the northern part of the city, Ari is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood that has become a hub for foodies, shoppers, and culture enthusiasts. With its mix of traditional Thai culture and modern amenities, Ari is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for an authentic Bangkok experience. In this article, we’ll guide you through the best things to do in Ari, including the main tourist sites, the best street food and food courts, the best restaurants, the best places to stay, and the best shopping centers and markets to visit.
History of Ari
Ari is a district in the Phaya Thai area of Bangkok, Thailand. It is known for its trendy cafes, stylish restaurants, and chic shops. But what many people don’t know is that Ari has a rich history that dates back to the early days of Bangkok.
In the past, Ari was a rural area located on the outskirts of the city. It was primarily inhabited by rice farmers who worked the fields and sold their crops at local markets. Over time, as Bangkok grew and expanded, Ari became more urbanized and developed into a thriving residential neighborhood.
The name “Ari” is believed to come from the Pali language, which was commonly spoken in ancient India. The word “ari” means “noble” or “worthy,” and it is thought that the name was chosen to reflect the area’s importance and significance.
During the early 20th century, Ari became a popular destination for wealthy Bangkok residents who were looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. They built beautiful homes and villas in the area, and many of these homes still exist today, giving Ari a unique and charming character.
In the 1940s, Ari experienced a period of rapid development and expansion. The government began building new roads and infrastructure, which made it easier for people to travel to and from the area. This led to an influx of new residents, and Ari became a more diverse and cosmopolitan neighborhood.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Ari experienced another wave of development as Bangkok continued to grow and expand. Many new apartment buildings were built in the area, and the population continued to increase. Despite this growth, Ari managed to maintain its unique character and charm, and it remains one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Bangkok.
Today, Ari is known for its trendy cafes, stylish restaurants, and chic shops. But it is also a neighborhood with a rich and fascinating history that is worth exploring. From its humble beginnings as a rural farming community to its current status as one of Bangkok’s most desirable neighborhoods, Ari has undergone many changes over the years. Yet, it has managed to retain its unique identity and character, making it a truly special place to visit or call home.
Ari may not be as famous as other neighborhoods in Bangkok, but it has its fair share of tourist sites that are definitely worth a visit. Some of the main attractions include:
- Wat Phra Si Mahathat Worawihan – This beautiful temple is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is home to a large statue of Buddha and features intricate carvings and traditional Thai architecture.
- Chatuchak Weekend Market – This market is one of the largest in the world and is a must-visit for anyone who loves shopping. With over 15,000 stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to food and souvenirs, it’s easy to spend a whole day here.
- The Jim Thompson House – This museum is dedicated to the life and work of Jim Thompson, an American businessman who helped revive the Thai silk industry in the 1950s. The house itself is a beautiful example of traditional Thai architecture, and the museum features exhibits on Thai silk and art.
When it comes to food, Ari is a paradise for foodies. Whether you’re looking for street food or fine dining, you’ll find something to suit your taste buds. Here are some of the best places to eat in Ari:
- Jae Oh – This street food vendor is famous for its grilled pork neck and spicy dipping sauce. It’s a must-try if you’re in the area.
- Saengchai Phochana – This food court is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It offers a wide range of Thai dishes at affordable prices.
- Salt – This restaurant is known for its contemporary Thai cuisine and unique fusion dishes. It’s a bit more expensive than other options in the area, but it’s worth it for the quality of the food.
Ari has plenty of options when it comes to accommodation, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Here are some of the best places to stay in Ari:
- The Yard Hostel – This trendy hostel offers a range of accommodation options, from dorm rooms to private rooms. It has a relaxed vibe and is perfect for backpackers.
- The Quarter Ari by UHG – This modern hotel is located in the heart of Ari and offers comfortable rooms and excellent amenities, including a rooftop pool.
- Akyra Thonglor Bangkok – This luxury hotel is a bit further away from Ari but is worth the extra distance for its spacious rooms, stylish design, and excellent service.
Shopping Centres and Markets
- Chatuchak Weekend Market – This is one of the largest markets in Thailand and a must-visit for anyone who loves shopping. You can find almost anything here from clothes, accessories, home decor, furniture, and even pets! The market is open on weekends and is easily accessible from the Ari MRT station.
- Union Mall – This is a popular shopping mall among locals and tourists alike. It is known for its affordable prices and variety of shops selling clothes, accessories, and electronics. There are also many food options available, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
- Talad Neon Night Market – This market is open from 5 pm to 12 am and is a great place to visit after dinner. You can find a variety of street food, clothes, and accessories here. The market is located near the MRT station and is easily accessible.
- Central Plaza Ladprao – This is one of the largest shopping malls in Bangkok and is located near the MRT station. The mall has a wide range of shops selling designer clothes, electronics, home decor, and more. There are also many restaurants and a cinema inside the mall.
- Siam Paragon – This is a high-end shopping mall with designer stores, luxury brands, and high-end restaurants. It is located near the BTS station and is easily accessible from the Ari MRT station.
10 interesting facts about Ari Bangkok
- Ari was named after the initials of its developer, Prince Narisara Nuvadtivongs. The Thai word for “initials” is “อารีย์” (ari), hence the name.
- The Ari district used to be a vast orchard and farming area in the early 20th century, before it was developed into a residential area.
- Ari is known for its traditional shophouses that have been preserved and repurposed into trendy cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
- The area is home to many expats and foreigners, which has resulted in a diverse food scene with a variety of international cuisines.
- The famous Chatuchak Weekend Market is located just a few stops away from Ari on the MRT, making it a convenient location for visitors who want to explore the market.
- Ari is considered a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood, with many young professionals and artists living in the area.
- The Phahon Yothin area, which is adjacent to Ari, is one of Bangkok’s main transportation hubs, with a major bus station and several BTS and MRT stations.
- Ari is home to several beautiful temples, including Wat Phrasrirattana Mahathat and Wat Saman Rattanaram.
- The neighborhood is also known for its many green spaces, such as the lush greenery of the Soi Ari Park and the quaint Nana Nuea Community Park.
- Ari is a popular location for filming Thai TV dramas and movies, with several local production companies based in the area.
Ari is a great place to visit if you want to experience the local culture and explore Bangkok’s hidden gems. From the delicious street food to the beautiful temples, there is something for everyone in this district. Whether you are a shopaholic, a foodie, or a history buff, Ari has something to offer. So, pack your bags and head to Ari for an unforgettable vacation!