Chinatown also known as the Yaowarat district is the place where the Chinese community lives in Thailand. Inspite of the rapid urban development this place still retains its old world charm and is one of the famous touristy areas of Bangkok. The area stretches all along Yaowarat Road from the Odeon Circle. A huge Chinese ceremonial gate marks the entrance to this great area. This area was once renowned as a place which housed the famous opium dens, the gambling joints, brothels and pawnshops. But now the scene has completely changed, try and venture into any of the small streets from the main road and you will discover the old tradition, celebrations and the unique identity of the Chinese communities still preserved here. The area is now famous for food, fabric & buying Gold. It is not hip and happening as some other places in Bangkok with their air conditioned shopping malls but this place has its own charm and is a must visit. One is recommended to carry a map as it is well known that you tend to lose your way in Chinatown because of it being a complex area. Also your visit to this place is incomplete if you don’t venture out to savour a few delicacies like the shark fin’s soup, the bird nest soup and a few Indian curries that are available here at quite a bargain. It is also a preferred destination for buying gold. Let us unravel the mysteries of this great Chinatown.
Wat Triamit: Wat Triamit or the Temple of the Golden Buddha is located at the end of Yaowarat Road. The Wat Triamit is famous for housing the biggest statue of the golden seated Buddha, it measures upto 5 feet in height and five and a half ton in weight. The Buddha at Wat Triamit was discovered by accident as it was being moved from one place to another. It was covered with a casing of thick plaster and when the plaster was removed a beautiful solid gold Sukhothai style Buddha was discovered. The pieces of plaster are still kept here as a reminiscence.
Wat Mangon Kamlawat: Located in the heart of Chinatown, this temple is the largest Chinese-buddhist temple in Thailand. It is the hub of all Chinese activities especially around the Chinese New year. You will also see a whole lot of Buddhist, Taoist & Confucian shrines inside this temple. The temple is also known as the Dragon lotus temple and you will find a lot of carved dragon structures here.
Sampeng lane: This lane is famous for its textile market. You can buy a whole range of fabrics here at cheaper rates. Also one could do well to buy gift items for their dear ones such as earrings etc which one could get at half the price they would get from any shopping malls. Please also make sure you visit the Tang Toh Kang if you are planning to buy gold. This shop is also revered for it having the ancient Chinese architecture.
Street Food: If you are interested in street food which is Chinatown’s main feature, then head straight to Lek & Rut seafood. This place is buzzing with activity as it promises to serve you the best of Chinese cuisine at highly cheap rates. It is indeed a gastronomic experience.
Shanghai Mansion: Located in the heart of Chinatown this Hotel promises to be a traveller’s delight as it is a boutique hotel filled with Chinese décor. It is located amidst beautiful surroundings.
Grand Ville Bangkok: A great option for a modern hotel famous for its rooftop restaurant offering panoramic views of the city and best of International cuisine.