Yaowarat: China Town in Bangkok

I have a thing about China Town in Bangkok. Locally referred to as Yaowarat, it has this exotic, colorful and vibrant atmosphere that resembles my idea of the perfect Asian city. Crowded streets, crazy traffic, festive vibe – It is such an exciting cultural and culinary experience that I have been here more than twenty times and I still can’t get enought of it.

Take a look at the photos below and tell me – don’t you love it too?

  • Cool place, apart from the shark fin soup shops.

    • Where there are chinese people there are shark fins too ?

  • Not just shark fins, but other strange items too. Not all of them are readily identifiable. The real shame though is that a bunch of the old Chinese shophouses are now being knocked down to make way for newer infrastructure projects. It seems the Thais are doing little to preserve some of their history (and one of the bigger drawcards for tourists and film-makers… China Town has been used as a backdrop in many a Hollywood film).

    • This is such a pity. I read that they also want to remove the steeet hawkers and free the sidewalks. After that Bangkok will become like any other western city – steryl and boring.

      • It’s moving that way… they already reduced the days/times that street hawkers can sell… and they have plans to make Chatuchak market (the world’s largest open air market) an enclosed airconditioned area… it would just become another shopping mall.

        • Really! I hadn’t heard of that! Probably this is the destiny of every developed country. I just wonder what will the street hawkers do if they will not be able to sell like before? The unemployment rate in Thailand is around 1-2% if I’m not wrong and maybe this is also due to the fact that everyone can go on the street and do their business.

  • I was there for Chinese New Year a few weeks ago, and the street food was just amazing!! ๐Ÿ™‚ *yummy*

    • I’m so sad that I missed tje Chinese New Year, I saw them preparing for it and the result musy have been amaZing

  • Beautiful “slice of life” of photos!

    We really should get around to visiting Chinatown soon. Any must-try restos or food items that you can recommend? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ as for the restos- I have tried two chinese restaurants for dinner but they were just normal, nothing exceptional. I usually visit china town in the morning and I always go to the same three places for lunch – the first is in the last section of Sampeng lane, right before the canal, you can see it behind the stalls – it has a terrible ambiance but the thai food has never disappponted me ( they don’t have a menu and don’t speak english ). The second is roayl india – defined by an Indian seller in China Mall – the best indian restaurant in the area, and the third is also indian and very scary looking – if you walk on chakphet road, towards the river, it will be inside in one of the small cross roads- the one with the luggage shops ( you can easily see them ); the restaurant will be on you left. And you must try the raw meat that one lady sells in the last section of Sampeng. I took only one ball because I did’t want to take further risks but it was pretty good – fresh raw meet with salt and herbs.

  • Chinatown is one of my favourite parts of BKk too. a great place to just wander around in !

    • Yeah, and a great place to get lost, it took me a while to figure the neighbourhood out ? I love to go to China Town in Milan too and I often wonder if I will enjoy a real chinese town as much ( I have never been to China )

  • A very nice post. I could almost feel the heat and smell the food!

    • Thank you, Brian! I’m happy to hear that I was able to transmit the vibe.

  • We seem to only ever go in the middle of the night and eat at the night stalls. One of my favourite experience in Bangkok!!!

  • Wow! Your blogs tell me there was so much I’ve been missing in Bangkok. Will check them out the next time I’m there. Thanks, GP!

    • Bangkok is so big that it is impossible to visit and know everything. Even the locals don’t know their city well ?