If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok, make sure you plan an evening in the city’s bustling Chinatown district. Vibrant colours, creative vendors, and a plethora of exotic scents welcome you to this soulful corner of the city. You can spend an afternoon or early evening wandering the streets and marvelling at the beautiful Chinese temples and architecture, before tucking into some delicious street food before heading back to your hotel.
As foodie experiences go, Bangkok’s Chinatown is certainly up there. While you might be attracted to gawp at some of the more exotic food on offer – think scorpions and giant insects – you can also enjoy some more traditional Chinese cuisine that will get those taste buds tingling! From fried dumplings to boiled seafood soup, the food stalls have something for all taste buds. It’s a good idea to spend an hour or so wandering around before you decide upon something to eat, simply because there’s so much choice. If you’re not sure about what something is, make sure you ask before you eat it, or you might get a very unwelcome surprise!
The undisputed heart of Chinatown, Yaowarat Road is a 1.5km stretch of road that begins at China Gate and ends at Phanuphan Bridge. At night, the overhanging neon signs are quite the spectacle, and they provide the perfect backdrop to the many other colourful decorations that adorn the buildings along the road. What’s more, more than 150 gold traders have settled in this area of Chinatown, so if you’re looking for a souvenir for a special someone, you might be able to find something extra special on Yaowarat Road.
Bangkok is home to some of the most remarkable Buddhist temples in Asia, and one of the most spectacular can be found in the centre of Chinatown. Known locally as Wat Traimit, the Golden Buddha Temple is named after the 13th century 5.5-ton Golden Buddha that sits proudly within the temple. It is valued at an incredible US$ 250 million, and at 5 metres tall, it really is a spectacular sight. The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm and is located very close to China Gate, so it can be a perfect introduction to your afternoon or evening in Chinatown.
Although a visit to a flower market might not sound like an exhilarating experience, the Pak Khlong Talat flower market is one of Bangkok’s most unique and interesting markets. The flower market is directly on the edge of the Chao Phraya river, and you can reach it by boat, which adds to the overall experience. Expect to find an unbelievable array of both fresh and plastic bouquets, as well as many stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Although you can visit the market any time of the day, it’s best to visit in the morning while the flowers, fruit, and vegetables remain fresh!
Although it’s located in Chinatown, you can take in an authentic Thai experience at one of the most charming theatres in the city. Built in the 1930s, the theatre has undergone extensive renovations in recent times, but has managed to retain much of its charm and the art deco building hosts performances of classic Thai theatre every Thursday and Friday evenings. The shows abound with colours and the actors perform in the most glamourous costumes. Although you might not understand what’s going on, it’s an awesome spectacle and one that you should definitely enjoy if you have the chance.
Although not an attraction in itself, Chinatown really comes alive at night. Simply wandering the streets and marvelling at the neon lights and the incredible architecture of the countless temples really makes you feel alive. What’s more, vendors seem to embrace the night, and the hustle and bustle of Chinatown gives the streets a great buzz. The smells coming from the street food vendors is also amplified at night, so you’ll certainly want to try some of the mouth-watering cuisine on offer.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? Chinatown is a must for anyone hoping to experience one of the most vibrant districts in Bangkok. But how do you get there?
Well, there are several ways you can travel to Chinatown, but most people arrive by taxi, bus, MRT, or boat. If you’re using the MRT, you can take the train to Hua Lamphong station and walk to the China Gate. From there, just follow your nose and head into the centre of Chinatown!
The most memorable way to arrive at Chinatown is by boat. There’s something magical about the Chao Phraya river, so organising a boat ride to Chinatown is an excellent way to see Bangkok from the water. Arrange a ride to the Rachawongse stop and head for Yaowarat Road. However, if you want to head straight to the flower market, you should opt to get the boat to Memorial Bridge Station, and from there you can head straight into the market.
It might seem strange to recommend a visit to Chinatown in Thailand, but it really is an awesome area of the city. With so much to see during the day or at night, and with delicious food for you to try at all hours, you won’t be disappointed by your trip to Bangkok’s sensational Chinatown district.
* Required Field
** Required Field.(will not be published)