Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown district is one of the oldest areas of Bangkok. The area has got a somewhat seedy historical reputation for large numbers of opium dens, brothels (which hung green lanterns outside, giving it the name of the Green Light district), pawnshops and a fondness for gambling. Today, gold shops and pawnshops are still very popular in Chinatown and can be found almost anywhere. Yaowarat Road is also famous for many varieties of delicious foods, and become foods street in the night.
Chinatown is home to Chinese communities, here visitors will be able to take a glimpse at the Chinese way of life and experience the wonderful food at many restaurants on both sides of the road. It is also a good place to buy gold & jewelry.
Bangkok's Chinatown is a hectic heady old business area around Yaowarat Rd and Charoen Krung Rd.There are also many little streets and alley ways here where you can wonder aimlessly through a maze of shops and stalls selling everything you can imagine.
From Ratchawong Pier walk up Ratchawong Rd where you will see some really old colonial style shophouses takes you pass Sampeng market .This is a shoppers paradise with lots of cheap goods in bulk especially for the girls.Along Yawarat Rd you wil find many reataurants selling Shark Fin and Bird nest soups ,not so cheap if your on a budget.However there are also many cheaper little noodle shops as well. Further on there are gold shops;I lost count of the number of them here,one in paticular was packed .Cheaper than the others I think? The Chinese drugstore are good too if you know what your after.
If you walk to the top end of Yawarat Rd make sure you checked out the the classic Chinese temple on the right then on to the Chinatown Gate .Further on is Wat Tramit Golden Buddha.
I dropped by Chinatown because it was very close to Wat Traimit and I needed something to eat. Very interesting to be strolling along the streets of Chinatown to see what they have to offer although its pretty hard to impress a Chinese in a foreign Chinatown...hahaha. Worth a visit if you are around the area.
walked through the markets by roadside and the Sampaeng Lane.
in Sampaeng lane - heaven for wholeseller and girls..
one can find many many 'Hello Kitty' merchandise here...and fabrics, and many many more..
It is a very nice walk around Chinatown. You can easily spend a few hours there.
Start by visiting Wat Mangkon Kamalawat. It is a large and lively temple, lots of activity going on.
After visiting the temple cross the street and visit the amazing Chinese market and experience the everyday goings on. (Trok Itsaranuphap)
The area is best visited by foot, as there are menay narrow alleys etc to see.
I really enjoyed the visit to Chinatown.
One more question on Chinatown - what time is it open until?
Chinatown is always busy the whole day except during Songkran Festival which takes place between April 13-17 every year.
The Pros: Enjoy your strolling along the street. Visit chineses temples, gold smiths, and stroll into alleys where shops offereing wholesale toys, garments, and typical hawkers' food. Also, enjoy daylight photography. At the end of the street, look for the chinese arch with chinese characters written by the princess.
The Cons: Beware of crowds of the local and workmen rushing around, and heavy traffic producin fumes. Some market areas are filthy. It's always hot in Bangkok.
The Pros: Not too hot weather allows you to stroll a bit longer if you enjoy the scene. Try a variety of hawkers' food, fruit, and nuts. Recommended are sweet chinese herb topped with crushed ice, smelly spiky Durian in case you don't mind it, hazel not freshly roasted. Spotlight night shots.
The Cons: Streets are always two–lane occupied by the vendors making tourists and pedestrians almost always have to walk in the mniddle of the running cars.
This is one of the busiest parts of Bangkok - congestion at its densest. Easiest way to get here is via the ferry system - especially in the evenings, when it gets really busy. Hualamphong Station is also a relatively short walk - roughly 10 mins. - but the Ratchawongse pier is closest.
The shops and alleys of Chinatown are an easy whole day adventure. The markets start well before the sun is up, and change throughout the day. There is also the fabulous "thieves market" which is a daily affair, starting at about 9.00am, folding at about 3.00pm. Busier and much much larger on the weekends.
There is also a 24 hour local market on Saturday nights. Wandered through here a few times - when I've woken in the middle of the night, or stayed up late. Packed - and a great place to buy some 20Baht noodles!
I've read all the reviews about visiting Chinatown. But not this tip:
Take a bike tour through Chinatown. I've done it, not too long ago (posted a review).
You depart from the Grand China Princess Hotel, on Yaowarat Road. The tour brings you to places you never will visit. Shopping streets, sois, sub sois, sub-sub sois, alleys, anywhere.
We cycled I think two or three hours in Chinatown, before crossing over to continue in
Thonburi. Which was great too, but different. Later you cycle through deserted plantations, before taking a longtailboat back.
I was told that Co van Kessel will do a Chinatown only tour as well, somewhere in March or so. Anyway, check the site: www.covankessel.com
You won't believe what you see here, what a different culture!
Strangest food in the world! Lots of pastery in strange colours (like pink) filled with fish, dried stuff, squids, special seafood, they even sell dried crockodile ***! The strangest culture ever seen!
Without having to visit China, visit Chinatown first for an impression.... Definitely a must see.
The Chinatown district is one of the oldest areas of Bangkok as Chinese merchants were originally moved to this area in the early 1780's when Bangkok was founded. One of the main streets of this area, Charoen Krung was actually Bangkok's first paved road, so it's English name, New Road, couldn't really be more inappropriate nowadays. The area has got a somewhat seedy historical reputation for large numbers of opium dens, brothels (which hung green lanterns outside, giving it the name of the Green Light district), pawnshops and a fondness for gambling.
Today, gold shops and pawnshops are still very popular in Chinatown and can be found almost anywhere. Drug dealing, prostitution and gambling (all now illegal in Thailand) are also still thought to be widespread in this area, though they are not likely to be very noticeable to the average visitor.
Though other attractions as such are thin on the ground, Chinatown is an interesting place to just wander around. A couple of Chinatown's most interesting roads are Yaowarat road leading westwards from near Wat Traimit, and Sampeng Lane, also sometimes known as Soi Wanit), running parallel south of Yaowarat.
Busy Yaowarat road is Chinatown's main street, and has surely one of greatest concentrations of gold shops anywhere, reflecting the love of gold the Thai-Chinese are often thought to have. There's dozens of them, all dazzlingly brightly colored, and with mainly very good prices. There's also plenty of restaurants round here also, where you can get birds-nest soup, dim sum, shark fin soup and other traditional Chinese delicacies.
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