UPDATED May 29, 2024

BY Olha Kurochkina

IN Bamboo Road

2 comments

UPDATED May 29, 2024

BY Olha Kurochkina

IN Bamboo Road

2 comments

Amazing Street Art of the Bamboo Road Cycling Tour

 

Cycling the Bamboo Road can be a visual pleasure not only due to the breathtaking landscapes, bustling markets and historical landmarks. For humble art lovers, like myself, one of the most enchanting aspects of this amazing journey is the vibrant street art that adorns the urban landscapes along the way. Having initially known only about Ernest Zacharevic, the ‘Malaysian Banksy‘ when I began this blog, I now invite you, my curious reader, to discover the remarkable murals along the Bamboo Road. So, let’s dive into street art together.

The very first city of the tour reveals to us a whole street of murals. Opened in 2018, Phung Hung Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a Vietnamese and South Korean artists’ project with vivid depictions of traditional Vietnamese life, merging history with contemporary creativity. Cyclists can pedal through alleys adorned with murals that narrate tales of local folklore, ancient architecture, and the everyday vibrancy of Vietnamese culture.

If you were ever familiar with the Mademoiselle Maurise street art projects around Europe, you may be surprised to see her rainbow-coloured installation on the Le Loi Street, near the Perfume River in Hue. Known for her intricate origami-inspired murals, Maurice transforms urban spaces with bursts of colour and geometric patterns. Her work in Hue often incorporates themes of nature and humanity, blending traditional Vietnamese motifs with her unique contemporary style. These installations not only beautify the city but also invite viewers to reflect on the interconnectedness of life, culture, and the environment. As you cycle through Hue, encountering Maurice’s art is like stumbling upon a visual symphony that enriches the historical and cultural tapestry of this enchanting city. Carve out some time of your rest day in Hue to see this street art, and you won’t regret it.

Tam Thanh, Vietnam

But the mural street art is not the only thing that Vietnam can surprise you with. Have you heard about the street art village which is located just 45 kilometres south of Hoi An, our next rest day spot? Tam Thanh was a poor village until local and Korean artists launched the community art project and painted more than 100 houses in three weeks. These colourful murals depict local life, folklore, and the stunning coastal landscape. Each piece of art tells a story, celebrating the culture and daily activities of the villagers while bringing a splash of creativity and tourism to the area. As you stroll through Tam Thanh, the cheerful, artistic atmosphere provides a unique and immersive experience, blending the charm of rural Vietnam with the beauty of street art.

As the tour spins into Cambodia, the contrast between historical anguish and contemporary hope is vividly portrayed in its street art. Phnom Penh, the capital, showcases murals that reflect both the tragic history of the Khmer Rouge era and the resilience of its people. The works of artists like Fonki, a Cambodian-Canadian artist, blend traditional Cambodian iconography with modern styles, creating pieces that resonate deeply with both locals and visitors.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by FONKi FT (@fonkiworld)

In Thailand, Bangkok’s street art scene is an eclectic mix of traditional motifs and modern urban culture. Areas like Charoen Krung Road and the neighbourhoods around the Chao Phraya River are hotspots for street art. The walls are adorned with works by both Thai and international artists, blending styles and themes from intricate traditional Thai designs to bold, abstract pieces.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Alexandre Farto (@vhils)

The most stand out art for me is a truly eye-catching wall carving by Vhils which takes the front wall of the Portuguese Embassy.

From Bangkok we move to the street art capital of Asia, which is obviously, Penang, Malaysia. Its streets and walls have become both inspiration and canvas for my favourite “Malaysian Banksy”, Ernest Zakharevich, a Lithuanian-born artist, whom I was fortunate to discover thanks to my friends from Malaysia. “ZAKH” created a series of interactive murals that quickly became iconic. His art often blends elements of whimsy and realism, incorporating everyday objects into the painted scenes, which encourages public interaction and engagement. While there are quite a few murals that are definitely worth your attention, I will highlight a piece of art on the cozy Armenian street.

Kids on a Bike

Ernest Zacharevic’s ‘Kids on a Bike’ mural is one of the most celebrated and recognizable pieces of street art in George Town. The mural has not only become a beloved landmark in George Town but also a symbol of the city’s cultural vibrancy and artistic renaissance. It captures the essence of everyday life and the universal joy of childhood, resonating with both locals and tourists. Over the years, it has attracted countless visitors who come to admire and engage with the artwork, contributing to the mural’s enduring popularity and iconic status. Ernest Zacharevic’s ‘Kids on a Bike’ is a testament to his ability to create art that is both visually striking and emotionally compelling, turning a simple wall into a cherished piece of community heritage.

Kampong Glam, Singapore

The final leg of the Bamboo Road tour brings cyclists to Singapore, where street art is both celebrated and curated. The city-state’s strict regulations are balanced by designated areas for legal street art, such as Haji Lane, Kampong Glam, and the ever-evolving Art Lane in Tiong Bahru.

The mural ‘el lío’ by Didier Jaba Mathieu is the most famous wall mural at Haji Lane and is synonymous with the vibrant street art scene here. Located at the back of Piedra Negra on the corner of Beach Road and Ophir Road, it depicts the indigenous Aztec people dominant in Mexico before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

I am sure that while pedalling the Bamboo Road, you will discover your own hidden gems and might even dispute my choice of the top murals along the route so feel free to share your own list—I’ll be delighted to know that my endeavours have inspired you to conduct your personal art investigations. This tour is more than just a cycling route through Southeast Asia; it’s a journey through a living gallery of street art. Each mural and work of graffiti tells a story, offering insights into the region’s history, culture, and contemporary issues. As you travel from Vietnam to Singapore, you will witness breathtaking natural and urban landscapes and engage with the colourful, dynamic expressions of local artists. This artistic layer adds a profound and enriching dimension to the Bamboo Road experience, making it a truly unforgettable adventure.

RELATED
TOUR

Bamboo Road

Many of us have criss-crossed the countries of South-East Asia on a ‘shoestring’ over the years, returning home with fond memories. Now we invite...

 

2 Comments for "Amazing Street Art of the Bamboo Road Cycling Tour"

Looks an amazing bike tour

    Yes, it really is! Hopefully you can join us in the future. Email us for more information – [email protected]

Leave a Comment for "Amazing Street Art of the Bamboo Road Cycling Tour"

Your Email address will not published. Required fields are marked

REGISTER NOW!