camping ground saphan kwai bangkok food areaLiving 

Camping Ground – Saphan Kwai Open Air Food Area [review]

I received quite some flack for my article ‘Why street food should be regulated in Thailand‘ since many people thought regulating = banning. It doesn’t! I was mostly advocating for more regulations (e.g. hygiene) and to move those sidewalk shops into a common area. Something like this just happened in the Saphan Kwai neighborhood of Bangkok. Lots of former street vendors moved onto a common area and the overall quality of the food as well as the atmosphere improved dramatically.

Name, location, atmosphere

The common food area in Saphan Kwai is located right on Pradipat Road across the Lumphini Condominium. It is called Camping Ground which is a pretty nice name in my opinion as the atmosphere there is a bit like on such a camping ground. You have some cool seating possibilities that are made off boxes but also some comfy steel chairs, a tipi (yes!) and a swing that are pretty nice to sit on and chill. There also is a stage that hosts local musicians once in a while. Overall the atmosphere is pretty chill and easy going which is so much cooler than sitting on a busy sidewalk.

Food choices, variety & pricing

The are quite a few food shops and the choices reach from Isaan (North-Eastern) food over Tom Yum (soup) to Steak. In regards to drinks you got water, soda, different kinds of Thai teas and even a beer bar.  The pricing of the above mentioned food and drinks is rather reasonable and still street food style in my opinion which means it’s not extensively over charged and I also didn’t need to pay due to being a foreigner (what I have to do when I got to the street food shop next door for example).

Quick Info:

  • Location: Pradipat Road, Saphan Kwai
  • How to go:
    • BTS to Saphan Kwai, then motorcycle to ‘camping ground’ or ‘lumphini’.
    • Bus 524, 3, 44, 97 to Pradipat Road, get off the 7-11 around Soi 14.
    • Car to Pradipat Road – Parking on the street right or the parking lot at the back of the Camping Ground.

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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  • Pichchapak Sukkhe

    I absolutely agree with this article. As I have been living at Saphan Kwai since I was young. Street foot at that place is the best and well-known as a Thai’s identity. So, I accept like you that Thai people only think that regulating is banning and they tries to oppose but actually it is to make street food better than the old day in the way of hygiene. Thanks for new knowledge :)

  • Thanks for your comment. I’m pretty happy that we have that area now in Saphan Kwai :)

  • Phongphaka Lar-ut

    Hello,
    Thank you for this blog! I agreed with you that regulating is not banning, but many street food sellers don’t agree with it. There’s a similar situation happened nearby my house area too, a market called Talad Minburi. The government was trying to organize and regulate the shops that are selling foods on the sidewalk that affects others and creates a lot of traffic because the sellers are parking their cars along the street. The street vendors are against it and gave a reason that they are afraid if they move to other area, they will lose their customers and earn less income. But now the problem has been fixed because the street vendors agreed to move to the place that the government provided for them(which they refused to move to before).The traffic in Talad Minburi area is better, and the sidewalk is cleaner and more organized than before!

  • Thanks for your comment and glad this worked in your area as well. I hope that seeing such examples lets people realize that organizing such food areas is a good idea.

  • Supasita Pittayathikhun

    I think the idea of setting up the food area like this is a great idea. As it regular and clear the side walk and also put the food area in to one place. According to the photos, I think the atmosphere there is very nice and chill as you can buy your meal and drink and able to just sit there hanging out with your friends or other people. I hope this Camping Ground will be a good example for other district to set up food area like this.

  • Beer Suwongwan

    I strongly agree with the article. During my high school, Saphan Kwai is close to my school. So I have a chance to pass them on the way back home or sometime i had a walk with my friend near that place of my six year experiences. Saphan kwai is a good place to invest in building a food area. Bucause it is really close to BTS so it would be a great idea for both BTS user and people nearby.

  • Pokpong Vetchakanjana

    Such a nice place,According that I live around this area and I really want to visit this camp,I think many people want to visit this place too because In Bangkok,There are many event like this too,such as ART BOX but After I read your article, I think this place is very interesting and it’s will gain many customers to visit this place in the future.

  • Bubiboo AG

    I like the photos. I agreed of what you said about is not banning but as we know many sellers don’t get it because they think there is the place they can earn money. Thank you for new knowledge!

  • Opal Tresukosol

    That looks interesting, actually I live near to Saphan Kwai but I never been to a street market in that area before. I like the idea of putting food into one area, it’s created a new atmosphere which is very nice to walk around, hanging out with friends. I think I would go there if I have some free times.

  • Mild Chandhraprasert

    I never known that Saphan Kwai have a place like this. This station is just a pass station when I go to Jatujak and I think that this place is creativity to combine street food and located in one place. The price also reasonable and get variety of food. I would love to go and checked this place.