Coming to Chinatown Yaowarat in Bangkok, tourists can freely explore the cross-cultural interaction of China and Thailand; choose among a variety of textiles, affordable clothing, electronics, souvenirs, antiques and beyond all, the unforgettable culinary experience.
Chinatown is the common name for the Chinese neighborhood that is present in most major cities around the world. This is the living and trading area of Chinese immigrants from the previous centuries. In Bangkok, Chinatown is an indispensable part and contributes to the diversity of the capital city's community culture in particular and the “Golden Temple country” in general. This area is definitely an ideal destination for tourists to have fun while stepping foot to Thailand.
Coming to Yaowarat Chinatown in Bangkok, tourists can freely explore the cross-cultural interaction of China and Thailand; choose among a variety of textiles, affordable clothing, electronics, souvenirs, antiques and beyond all, the unforgettable culinary experience. Yaowarat Chinatown is located in Samphanthawong district, the central region of Bangkok.
Nightlife in Yaowarat Chinatown
History of Yaowarat Chinatown
The Chinese came to this area around the 1700s to expand the "Silk Road" and trade with the Siams (nowadays the Thais). Many of those Chinese who stayed and worked there have transformed it to become the largest and most famous Chinatown in Asia like today. By the end of 1891, King Rama V had opened several inner roads including Charoen Krung, Mungkorn, Songwat, Songsawat, Chakkrawat with Yaowarat remained as the main street of Chinatown.
Impressing tourists from your first sight is a huge ornate gate in characteristic Chinese decoration. This gate is located on the western side of Chinatown complex. Built in 1999, the gigantic entrance was originally called the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch to show the loyalty of the Chinese community to Thailand's King Bhumibol. It was inaugurated to celebrate the King's 60th birthday. The gate is situated in the middle of an "oasis" with bustling traffic from Yaowarat Road, the busiest area of Chinatown, running parallel to a river. This is the highlight of the whole picture of Chinatown, promising tourists the best check-in photos for your Facebook or Instagram.
A food paradise in Bangkok
Chinatown is known as the heart of Thai cuisine in Bangkok city, because every afternoon, tourists can easily catch countless stalls selling food and drinks along the roads. At night, Yaowarat Road - the main street of Bangkok Chinatown - transforms itself into one of the best local food streets in the world. You can catch locals and tourists walking while eating something on their hands, turning the meal into an exploring evening. Some of the must try specialties recommended for tourists are Pad Thai, Tomyum and fresh seafood processed in flavorful seasonings. One of the top-rated restaurants with affordable price is the T&K seafood station.
Foodie exploration in Yaowarat Chinatown
If you are a "durian" fan, then you have to prepare some cash to indulge in the fantastic world of durians from ice cream, sticky rice to fresh durians. Don’t forget to try out Yaowarat soft bread with the sweet and delicate flavor of the fusion between custard, chocolate and dairy in the filling. Moreover, in the neighborhood, there are also Chinese cuisine specialties such as wonton, ginkgo, tofu, dumplings, as well as some tropical fruits such as oranges, pomegranates, etc.
A discovery of Chinese culture
Going further, tourists will immediately see images of ancient houses, groceries, tea shops, fancy ceramic and souvenir stores, all imbued with traditional Chinese culture. After wandering and exploring Chinatown Yaowarat, do not come home if you haven’t tried the signature coconut ice cream and pomegranate juice. These are the saviors under the heat of Bangkok and will definitely please your appetite. Last but not least, you can experience the 360-degree Sky View Bar for 2 hours on the terrace of China Princess Hotel or enjoy live music in the luxurious and classical atmosphere of Cotton Jazz Bar at Shanghai Mansion Hotel to completely feel the nostalgic Chinese culture in the middle of a modern city.
Things to see in Chinatown Bangkok
Not inferior to the night, Chinatown Bangkok during the day is also very bustling and attractive. Tourists can stop by Wat Traimit Temple just a few hundred meters from the entrance gate. This temple is also known as Thailand Golden Temple. Made from monolithic gold, The Buddha image here symbolizes peace and prosperity and is considered the largest in the world with a weight of 5.5 tons and 3 meters high.
At Chinatown’s central area is the largest Wat Mangkon Kamalawat temple with a very spectacular architecture. This is considered the most unique Chinese Buddhist center in Chinatown. Wat Chakrawat is a temple just like any other sacred places in Bangkok. However, with the presence of plenty crocodiles raised here, this temple attracts countless visitors every year. Legend has it that the crocodiles were imprisoned here for eating young monks in the past. Although the story is not proved authentic, these reptile friends have been at the temple for a long time and are visited by thousands of visitors every year.
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat Temple
Best time to visit
One of the busiest times of the year at Chinatown is during Lunar New Year or Mid-Autumn Festival when tourists can blend in with the jovial festivity. Besides, tourists are also recommended to visit Chinatown from March to July as the weather during these months is pretty pleasant, suitable for outdoor exploration. Remember to bring spare cash with you because most shops and food stalls at Chinatown don’t generally accept credit cards.
On major Chinese festivals, visitors usually come to the temple to visit and pray for prosperity. The temples in Chinatown complex are open from 9am. Chinatown Bangkok with its bustling life, merry sounds and fragrant dishes make this place a favorite destination for many travelers. Spend a day exploring the streets of Chinatown and feel the special blend of Thai and Chinese culture, tourists will definitely leave Bangkok with unforgettable memories.
How to get there
Chinatown Bangkok - miniature Chinese world - is a great destination for you to explore Chinese culture right on your trip to Thailand. The bustling day and night lifestyle here will bring tourists a sense of energy and guarantee you the most interesting and memorable trip. The traffic is very crowded so tourists are advised to take the MRT to Hua Lamphong station, travel by BTS or rent a tuk tuk to get to Chinatown.