Bangkok's vibrant Chinatown district runs along Yaowarat Road from Odeon Circle, where a huge ceremonial Chinese gate marks the entrance, up to the Ong Ang Canal, which marks the outer boundaries of the royal district.
It's a good place to shop for gold . Note there is no haggling with the gold...it's weighed and priced according to weight.
Nothing opens until afternoon so plan accordingly if you want to shop.
The easiest way to reach Chinatown is by boat. Get off at the Ratchawong Pier and walk up Ratchawong Road to Sampaeng Lane or Yaowarat Road.
Many people come to see Wat Traimit .This small temple is home to the world's largest solid gold Buddha image, the five-ton-plus image sits within the temple. It is breathtaking and a must to see.
There are so many sites to see in Chinatown. Many historic buildings such as the Tang To Gung gold shop on Sampaeng Lane .
The markets are always crowded and fun ...selling a variety of things.
Beware of scam artists ...they can pose as police officers giving advice on which places to shop.
The Chinese have found themselves in almost every corners of the world...from Toronto to San Francisco to Sydney to Bangkok.
Bangkok's CHINA TOWN's is by far one of the most interesting places to visit in Bangkok as a travel point or CHINA TOWNs in general.
BKK's china town is almost 24 hours of non stop action. From the crack of dawn, gold and pawn shops, watch dealers, and little coffe houses set up for their days work.
As the evening falls into the night shift to the wee hours of the morning, CHINA TOWN here in BKK becomes one of the largest street side food hawkers' square. From the finest Chinese cuisines, thai deserts rivaling the chinese black bean gluttonous ginger treats, to fresh live seafoods and bird' nest....simply more for your palate than your stomach can hold.
Myriads of little shops open late nights selling remedies to better health such as turtle shell's medi mixes to cd stalls selling the finest collection of Chinese DVD, CD...
It's a must see place, don't miss out!
Upon arriving at Chinatown, go for a nice Thai massage first to sooth all those tired muscles after a day of shopping and sight-seeing. There is a Thai massage parlour called 369 Thai Massage here that offers good and cheap massage (see my tip on Traditional Thai Massage).
After the massage, it's time to fill up the stomach. There are many roadside food stalls in the Chinaton area. There are 2 main seafood stalls here (located in the same lane as the massage parlour), one with red uniformed staff and the other with green uniformed staff. My wife and I sat down at the red stall and ordered a snapper, a plate of barbequed prawns, a vegetable dish, a plate of crab meat fried rice, some drinks and the bill came up to only 650 Baht. Other popular food in the area will be the shark fins soup, and the bird nest soup. If you go to the opposite side of the main road, there is a stall that sells charcoal-toasted bread. Ask for a topping of kaya (coconut custard), it is fabulous and only cost 8 Baht.
If you want to define the word "bustling" take a walk through the streets of Bangkok's Chinatown. On the wider roads dodge the traffic as you step off the pavement to make way for food stalls that line the pavements or the pushcarts of goods being trundled along, on the narrower lanes simply go with the ebb and flow as a sea of people envelops you.
Indeed walking - or should that really be jostling - down Soi Wanit 1 (Sampeng Lane) it almost seems as if the whole of Chinatown has joined you looking for bargains at the shops which line the narrow street. Edging out of the human, and sometimes motorcycle, traffic to have a look at the variety of goods on offer can be a tricky manoeuvre. As for what you can buy it seemed mainly to be a mixture of knick-knacks, jewellery, cloth, toys, household goods and "Hello Kitty" memorabilia, often sold in bulk. I still regret not getting the ten "Hello Kitty" mobile phone holders!
Tha Yaowarat, the district's main street, is home to numerous gold shops, the wares spread out on imposing counters behind large glass windows. Chinatown also contains some fantastic food stalls, particularly seafood, the smell of cooking adding another sensory dimension to the experience of visiting. In fact like a lot of Bangkok Chinatown is an assault on the senses that can leave you exhilarated, exhausted but oh so glad you visited!
Love it or hate it: crowded, hot and a little stressing, but also lively and highly interesting to see. Bangkok Chinatown is not so Chinese as other Chinese boroughs around the world. More thai signs, more people speaking local language... But, if Bangkok itself is a big market, perhaps Chinatown is its most perfect example. So many things to look at, to listen to and even to smell. A feast for senses or perhaps an overwhelming place: you decide. Our group got divided opinions, but nobody regretted to have visited the place.
Amalo u odialo: repleto, caliente y un poco estresante, pero tambien vivo y muy interesante de ver. El Chinatown de Bangkok quiza no es tan chino como otros barrios chinos del mundo: mas senhales en thai, mas gente hablando la lengua del pais... Pero si Bangkok en si mismo es un gran mercado, quizas Chinatown sea su mas perfecta expresion. Tantas cosas para ver, para escuchar, e incluso para oler... Una fiesta para los sentidos o tal vez un puro exceso: tu decides. Nuestro grupo dio diferentes opiniones, pero nadie lamento haber vistado el lugar.
I love wandering around Chinatown. There are so many things to be seen that I don't have any idea what they are for or even what they are but I just love looking at the stuff. Of course everything is written in Chinese with some places also including Thai script but you won't see much English. Some of the shop keepers do speak a little English. It is a great place to get a bowl of Kuay Teow!!!
Even if you do not plan to buy, a leisurely stroll through Chinatown, market and flower market is worth it. You'll see odd foods hung to dry, vendors cooking on the street, bushels of vegetables and unfathomable amounts of flowers.
These streets are very well preserved with Chinese values & day-to-day practices. Merchants here may not speak in Chinese, but the products that they carry & lifestyles are very Chinese. **Myself being a Chinese, I can testify that.
Shops found in these streets are mostly occupied by huge goldsmith stores & other Chinese delicacy outlets that carry products such as shark fins, bird nets, preserved pork & medical herbs.
This whole area just buzzes with frenetic activity. The streets are full of people engaged in their daily business activities. Street vendors sell everything from horse-chestnuts to broken watches and bric-a-brac. In some of the narrow lanes within markets it is difficult to make any progress walking as there are so many people. Be careful of Chinese shopkeepers pushing large carts and trolleys as they will crash into you if you don't get out of the way.
Bangkok Chinatown is one of the largest and most amazing chinatowns outside China! Here there are some great resaturants!! There is also a unique culture formed around chinatown, a mix between Thai and Chinese, quite interesting. Don't forget to bring a camera!
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.
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.
On our way to Wat Traimit from the water taxi stop we went wandering through the narrow alleys and markets of Chinatown. To see a real taste of Bankok I would now recommend this experience to anybody. The alleys are packed with stalls and people, and you will see fewer tourists round here (at least not many fereng).
If you want to do any shopping for gold while in Bangkok then the shops here may be your best bet.
Been to Yaowarat many time, lots of chinese restaurant and road side cart selling sharkfin, birdnest etc. Night time is very crowded with people. Small claypot of sharkfin for only 300baht. Also lots other chinese dishes in very reasonable price. Day time also have chinese medical hall and goldsmith shop.Avoid going or leaving after 4pm(aproximate) heavy traffic jam. To me it worth going there if you like cheap and nice chinese food
Get yourself over to Chinatown on a Saturday night - the whole area was buzzing with outside foodie stalls offering all manner of wonderful dishes. Many of the stalls offer only one or two dishes that you can eat at shared plastic tables on the street. We spent a few hours here moseying from one stall to another sampling noodle soups, veg pancake thingys, skewers of succulent meats, you name it - whilst stopping off for a beer at regular intervals of course - finishing off with pancakes filled with bananas, chocolate, condensed milk, Heaven! Ideal if you're a bit strapped for cash as we ate full to bursting here for just a couple of quid each... Terrific lively atmosphere and surprisingly very few westerners in evidence on the night we were there...