The face of Chinatown
Chinatown in the district Samphanthawong is a chaotic labyrinth with crowded streets, shops, restaurants and countless food stalls. It has temples in Chinese style and in some side streets still old traditional wooden houses. In the day Chinatown is a big market where you will find all like clothing, textiles, plastic household goods, toys, cosmetics, handicrafts, car tires, machinery, computer supplies and much more. There are spice markets, tea shops and pharmacies with exotic Chinese medicines. There is nothing here that does not exist and everything you do not need. Dense crowds of people push themselves into the small, winding side streets.
The Yaowarat Road
Yaowarat Road meanders through the heart of Chinatown are constantly suffocating in the traffic jam, loud and colorful and full of exotic smells. Typicall for Chinatown are the big flashing neon signs with Chinese characters, Chinese goods shops and Chinese restaurants which provides a true Chinese atmosphere. When night falls, street food vendors come out to light up Chinatown’s sidewalks and it looks like a massive open air food market. Countless food stalls tempt and invite you with delicious smells from their cooking pans. Sizzling woks, chopping boards and the sights of cooking flames will compete for your attention. Only from watching they cooking the food you get hungry.
It is incredible to see all this many people walking at the street to enjoy very delicious streetfood. So get there right on time to catch the mood and find the right place for your food you like to try.
How to get there
For all living in the east side (e.g. Sukhumvit) from Chinatown the best way to start your tour trough Chinatown is to enter from the east side into the Yaowarat street at the Odeon Circle. My recommendation is to travel by MRT to the last MRT station Hua Lamphong directly at the Bangkok Main station. From there it is easy to get via Tuk Tuk or Taxi to the Yaowarat street. In the middle of the street turn left into a side street. The best restaurant with the tastiest lobster in Chinatown is Jumbo. Try this if you like to eat lobster for affordable price. It is always fresh made and very delicious. You will like it.
General information Chinatown
Thanon Yaowarat is the main road trough Chinatown and about 1.5 Kilometer long. Entry from east side is via the Odeon Circle.
Best time to visit is in the afternoon to catch the day mood and activities and then to see the changing from day to night.
Time you need to plan for Chinatown is about 4-6 hours depending if you only do night activities for dinner or also shopping in the day.