[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Intro to Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat), what it’s like in local eyes

Bangkok Chinatown, located in Yaowarat Road (ถนนเยาวราช), is one of the most popular areas in Bangkok. It is quiet in the afternoon but as the sun sets, the area turns to paradise for Chinese food lovers. Apart from food bits, it is also a place that people often come to make a wish for their prosperity.

The story of Bangkok Chinatown started around 120 years ago, in the reign of our fifth King. Since then, it has been one of Bangkok’s main business centers and also a home of many Thai-Chinese families.

For me, as a Bangkok-born guy with Chinese descent, Bangkok Chinatown is a place to remember. When I was very young, my dad took me to his close friend’s home near Bangkok Chinatown almost every Sunday and we had lunch together there. When we were bored of home-cooked food or we wanted to eat something different (or more delicious haha), we went to Bangkok Chinatown together. Even though many of my favorite food stalls are not there anymore, Bangkok Chinatown for me is still the same.

In this article, I will write down things that I know, feel and appreciate about Bangkok Chinatown since I was very young. I hope that you guys will find it useful and if there’s anything you think that it’s wrong or you want to add some more points, feel free to leave your comment below 🙂

For me, as a Bangkok-born guy with Chinese descent, Bangkok Chinatown is a place to remember.

Things you should know about Bangkok Chinatown

How to get there?

After reading some great stories about Bangkok Chinatown from many websites (including Bangkokbits of course!), you probably want to know how to get there. For Bangkokians, this is a not-so-difficult question but for foreigners, it probably is not easy.

Don’t worry. After reading this article, you will also think that it is a not-so-difficult question!

By MRT

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By foot

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 By Taxi

Bangkok Taxis

This is the most convenient method and it should cost you no more than 50-60 Thai Baht. If you are not familiar with Thai Taxis, please read Bangkok Taxi Guide first (otherwise; there’s a chance that you will get cheated).

By Bus

Bangkok bus

There is a bus stop area near MRT Hua Lumphong station Exit 4. You can take one of these buses; 4, 40, 53, 73, 73ก., 529 or 542. It should cost you around 9-15 Thai Baht.

By ChaoPhraya Express Boat

You can also reach there by ChaoPhraya Express Boat. Just get off at Ratchawongse Pier (N5), walk through Ratchawong Road around 200 meters and you will find Bangkok Chinatown.

If you are not sure about how to take ChaoPhraya Express Boat, Bangkokbits got it covered for you. Just check it out here 🙂

When and where to go there?

In the Afternoon

Bangkok Chinatown in the Afternoon

Let’s say from 10.00 – 16.00. If your main focus is to visit temples, buying gold and shopping for herbs and food souvenirs.

Temples

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat

The most famous one for foreigners is probably Traimit temple (Temple of the Golden Buddha). However, when it comes to Bangkokians (with Chinese descent in particular), the places we often go are Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Wat Leng Noei Yi or Dragon temple) and Chao Mae Kuan Im Shrine (Guan Yin Shrine).

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is about 3-minute walk from Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat Road). It is believed that, by making merit there, it will change your ‘bad year’ to be your ‘not-too-bad year’. I actually don’t know much about it but I was told by my family that we all have our bad years. If we are not careful or if we don’t do anything to prevent it, bad things would happen to you (I have to go there with my family every time when it comes to my bad years). Whether you believe in this or not, This Temple is worth a visit.

Chao Mae Kuan Im Shrine is also a place worth visiting. Bangkokians (of course with Chinese descent) often come here to pray for their good health.

Gold

Hua Seng Heng

If you are looking to buy Gold in Bangkok, look no further than Bangkok Chinatown! There are many gold shops in this area but the most famous one is Hua Seng Heng (They have 4 branches in Bangkok Chinatown). Every shop actually offers almost the same price. What makes one standout is its reputation.

Herbs

Bangkok Chinatown is also a good place to find Chinese herbs; fist maw, ginseng, dong chong cao and many more. The recommended shops are Vejpong Pharmacy Co.,Ltd., Lucky Me 81 (ฉ. รุ่งเรืองเยาวราช), Auikwang and Baepaeliang. Prices are negotiable.

Food Souvenirs

Chestnut in Bangkok Chinatown

It’s very difficult to take freshly cooked Chinese food back to your home country as, even you manage to pass the security processes at airports, it’s likely to expire before you can eat it (and even if it’s not, it’s not going to be as delicious as it used to be). It seems that what I’m writing is not about food souvenirs…. so let’s get to the point! haha

Apart from freshly cooked Chinese food, food souvenirs in Bangkok Chinatown such as Chinese wine, dried shredded pork, Tea and Chestnut are also worth trying. Every shop is happy to offer you some samples (if it’s not too expensive). If you like it, you can buy it. If you don’t like it, just say good bye to it. It’s as simple as it is. Prices are negotiable.

The recommended shops are Seng Xing Fa Tea Shop, Zhong Hua Tea Shop, Tan See Seng Tea ShopLin Zhen Xiang (For dried shredded pork), C. China (For dried shredded pork) and Lee Thye (Chinese Wine).

Food stalls and restaurants

It is undeniable that the best time in Bangkok Chinatown for foodie is in the evening. However, there are also some food stalls and great local restaurants in the afternoon and Some of them are closed quite early. So I think it’s worth mentioning them here.

P.S. If you need someone to show you the best street food stalls and restaurants in Bangkok Chinatown, this local expert from Takemetour is your best bet!

The ones you should try in the afternoon are;

Hua Seng Hong

Hua Seng Hong (Open 9.00-1.00); opened since 1972. Hua Seng Hong’s most famous menus are roasted duck and roasted pork. They actually have more than 15 branches in Bangkok (in famous shopping malls) but the one at Bangkok Chinatown looks more authentic comparing to others.

Tie Heng (Open 10.00-22.00); Frankly, I have never been there before but this restaurant is well known from its Hainanese-style chicken rice and sukiyaki. I can’t tell you much about Chiken rice but I guarantee that its sukiyaki is one of the best in Bangkok! (They have a branch selling only sukiyaki in Pier 21 of Terminal 21. I had it almost every time I go there).

Kan Kee Nam Tao Tong (Open 8.00-22.00); the most famous menu of this more-than-100-year-old shop is Chrysanthemum tea and it’s super delicious! The first time I tasted it was…. err I really can’t remember; probably since I was a little baby).

Hia O kha mu (Open 7.00-14.00); They have only one menu which is pork leg with rice. It’s less than 50 meters from Wat Mangkon Kamalawat so they both are quite a perfect combination.

Other restaurants that are worth mentioning are Khanom Chip Wat Yuan (Dumplings), Odean’s noodlesEia Sae (Dessert) and Mee whan Jae Muay (Dessert).

If you go there in the afternoon, it’s very likely that you will find them (unless it’s their day offs and I’m not sure what day exactly for each restaurant / food stall).

In the Evening

Bangkok Chinatown in the evening

Despite you being able to shop for herbs and food souvenirs, what you should be aiming for is freshly cooked Chinese food on Yaowarat Road, starting from 18.00 onwards. The must-try dishes are all the noodles, curry, shark’s fin soup, fish maw, cockles and bird’s nest. If you have room in your stomach, I suggest to try them all!

As there are so many, too many, I’m not going to be able talk about specific restaurants in this article but I promise that I will definitely elaborate on it in a different article in the near future.

As promised, here comes [thrive_2step id=’2454′]the ULTIMATE Bangkok Chinatown Food Guide[/thrive_2step]. More than 30 food & desserts stalls are included plus a very detailed map!

Where to stay?

If you are in love with Bangkok Chinatown so much and you don’t want to go anywhere else, you just want to eat, walk, sleep and then wake up to do the same thing over and over again. You would need a place to stay 🙂

Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

If you are looking for a comfy hotel, Shanghai Mansion Bangkok and Hotel Royal Bangkok@Chinatown are probably the best there. However, if you are on a tight budget, Loftel 22 Hostel is a good one. I’ve been there many times, just to get cups of coffee with my friends. The only pitfall is that it’s not close to Bangkok Chinatown (10-minute walk).

If you want to stay close to Bangkok MRT so that you can go to other places easily, Centra Central Station Bangkok is the best in that area. Again, for people having a tight budget (and also for people who want to meet new friends), Chic Hostel and at Hua Lamphong are worth considering.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1452509794553{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”” h4=”Bangkokbits’ Tips on Bangkok Chinatown” h4_font_container=”color:%23e26d25″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” style=”custom” custom_background=”#f0f0f0″ custom_text=”#444444″ use_custom_fonts_h4=”true”]- If you need a local expert to take you around Bangkok Chinatown, Takemetour is the best one here.

– It’s recommended to wear shorts and sandals as it will be more convenient.

– For people who want to try as many delicious foods as possible, you could use ‘one for all’ strategy. What I mean is that, if you are a group of two, you can order just a dish. However, please bear in mind that all the owners want to do their businesses. During busy hours, for some restaurants and food stalls, a number of dishes you order must be equal to a number of people sitting on their chairs; otherwise, they would get mad at you.

– Shark’s fin and bird’s nest taste so good.

* I know that some people are against eating shark’s fin and bird’s nest. I understand and respect their standpoint. So my suggestion is if you friends insist on not trying it, don’t pester them.

– Bangkok Chinatown is very busy, especially in the evening and at night. Please beware of pickpockets.

– It’s recommended to avoid going to Bangkok Chinatown on important days like Chinese New Year (Check the day here), Father’s day (5 Dec), Mother’s day (12 Aug) and New Year (30 Dec – 1 Jan). It’s going to be packed, really packed.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1452519902997{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Last bits for this article. . .

After I finished writing this article, I just felt like I turned back time to the time when I was very young. When I went there every Sunday; spending time with my dad’s friend and his family, wandering around Bangkok Chinatown and tasting great food (I’m crying now haha).

It really is a place to remember for me. If you are the one appreciating Chinese-Thai cultures and you enjoy eating Chinese food so much, I’m sure that Bangkok Chinatown will be a place to remember for you too!

P.S. This article about Bangkok Chinatown is my real first article for Bangkokbits. Thank you for reading this article, thank you the destiny for bringing us together and most importantly, thank you Bangkok for being such an amazing city! :)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1452509794553{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”” h4=”Disclosure” h4_font_container=”color:%23e26d25″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” style=”custom” custom_background=”#f0f0f0″ custom_text=”#444444″ use_custom_fonts_h4=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1469514254354{margin-top: -20px !important;border-bottom-width: -20px !important;}”]Some of the above links are affiliate links which means we will earn a small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase through them at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep Bangkokbits free forever for you guys 🙂[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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