Chinatown Bangkok: a place like none other

Chinatown Bangkok
Yaowarat Road, the main artery of Bangkok’s Chinatown – By Milei.vencel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Bangkok is its Chinatown ( ไชน่าทาวน์). Bangkok’s Chinatown was founded in 1782 and since then it has been attracting a lot of tourists from all over the world. This place is mixed with Chinese and Thai cultures that are unique and fascinating especially for photographers. Hundreds of photographers visit this place and capture the beauty and culture of this magnificent site in the eye of their cameras.

Chinatown is also very well known for the varieties of food that it has. There are many combinations of Chinese and Thai food and even a fusion between them. Famous for a number of things such as food, bars, education and houses, Chinatown is located in the area around Yaowarat Road ( ถนนเยาวราช) in Samphanthawong district ( เขตสัมพันธวงศ์).

Soi Wanit 1. The main market street in Chinatown
Yaowarat Road at night
Yaowarat Road at night

Whether you come here in day time or night time, this place is always packed with locals, tourists, and businessmen. Businessmen come in hordes in the day time for the purpose of trading gold or other things or paying a visit to the famous Chinatown, Bangkok’s famous temples.

Wat Traimit
The new building at Wat Traimit By DdalbiezOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link
Side view of Buddha statue
Side view of the Golden Buddha statue in Wat Traimit

Street-side restaurants, a huge number of gold shops, and stalls in the market make this Chinatown unique from all the other Chinatowns in other countries. Wood-shops are spreading as far as the eye can see, making Chinatown a location that emits vibrant radiation, filling the visitors with energy. Because of the splendid sight that this site provides to the human eye, this place will keep you wanting more and coming back again and again.

Incense in Chinatown's market streets
Incense in Chinatown’s market streets. By McKay Savage from London, UK – Incense in Chinatown’s market streets, CC BY 2.0, Link

So, if you are planning to come here, you are advised to plan your trip in the time of Chinese major festivals or New Year and you will see this place glowing at its best and the scenes will take your breath away.

The shrine at Thien Fah Foundation during Chinese New Year
The shrine at Thien Fah Foundation during Chinese New Year, Samphanthawong District. By Lerdsuwa [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As told above, one of the defining features of Chinatown is its most delicious food which has become the center of attention for many people around the world. If you want to eat good sea-food there is no better place than this one to experience one of the best meals that you have ever had in your life. It’s best to head out when it’s dark because night time is the best time to enjoy your delicious food while being mesmerized by the city lights. Go to Yaowarat Road and find a good restaurant or stalls either by yourself or follow the crowd. The place where you see the maximum number of people gathered in one place, this is probably because of the famous and amazingly delicious food that they provide.

Food street vendor cooking dish in a wok on the open fire

If we move onto the next best thing which are the famous Chinese teas of Chinatown, Bangkok. There a lot of shops in the Yaowarat Market 6 that provide all kinds of Chinese tea that add more prestige to Chinatown. Different types of famous and special Chinese teas such as Oolong tea, black tea, green tea, and white are available in these shops. The teas are of supreme importance because the true culture of Chinese people and people get mesmerized by them.

Chinatown Gate
Chinatown Gate, built in 1999. Source – “Subtleties of tourism”
Hua Lamphong railway station
Hua Lamphong railway station

Other than the above, there are a lot of other activities that you can do as a tourist such as going to bars and visiting the temples. The famous sites to visit are Wat Traimit, Sampeng Lane Market, Chinatown Gate, Hua Lamphong, Wat Chakrawat (also known as the Crocodile Temple), etc.