A visit to Bangkok is incomplete without exploring Chinatown, one of the largest and best Chinatowns in the world. Considered to be the oldest district in Bangkok since the arrival of Chinese immigrants in the 1780s, Chinatown presents an intriguing mix of Thai and Chinese cultures. It is among the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city, always bustling with locals and tourists trying out mouth-watering street food dishes and touring renowned Chinese temples.
Besides indulging yourselves in Chinese delicacies, you can roam around the market alleys and shop for exquisite garments, fabrics, and several other goodies at wholesale prices. Chinatown Bangkok also has a number of galleries and museums where you can learn about the interesting history of the area along with Chinese culture and heritage. In addition, the area boasts of some of the best pubs and bars in Bangkok where you can enjoy amazing views of colorful Chinatown and the city while humming to live music. If you decide to visit during festival times, you are certainly in luck! Although the neighborhood will undoubtedly be more crowded, you may be able to see traditional Chinese Opera performances as well as many other traditional art forms of the country.
Chinatown Tour in Bangkok promises an unforgettable cultural experience, from tasting exotic street food and shopping to temples and galleries. While you can always buy tickets to the various Chinatown attractions in person, it is best to book them online in advance to avoid standing in long lines in the sun. Another advantage of reserving tickets online is that you can earn big discounts on every purchase, enabling you to make the most of your vacation without hurting your pocket.
Chinatown is among the must-visit places in Bangkok as it is a hub of some of the best eateries, pubs, bars, and shopping districts in the city, especially for gold jewelry and clothing. Moreover, this neighborhood treats its visitors to fascinating attractions, including world-renowned temples, beautiful galleries, and museums housing rare artifacts.
Wat Traimit, also known as the Temple of Golden Buddha, is famous for housing the world's largest gold statue of Buddha. The 5.5-tonne gold statue of the seated Buddha, dating from the 13th century, is placed on the temple's fourth floor and stands nearly 5 meters tall. Every year, hundreds of visitors go to the temple, which is lavishly embellished with Thai architecture and elaborate decorations. Wat Traimit also has a museum where you may learn more about the discovery of the magnificent sculpture and watch presentations on the history of Chinese immigrants in Bangkok.
Also known by the name Soi Wanit 1, Sampeng Lane is the area where you can enjoy an incredible shopping experience. The shopping district is filled with narrow lanes and is often thronged with crowds for most of the day. The chaotic nature of Sampeng Lane is what makes it such a unique and exciting place to visit. It is also one of Bangkok's cheapest shopping districts, where you may score some great deals. Some popular items that you must look out for in this area are jewelry, silk sarongs, shoes, handicrafts, dried food, appliances, and home decor.
The China Gate is a spectacular ornate ceremonial gate that stands at the western entrance to Chinatown Bangkok. The giant gate was constructed in 1999 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol’s reign in Thailand and hence, is often referred to as the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch. Besides marking the 60th year of King Bhumibol’s reign, the gate signifies the devotion of the Chinese community residing in the city to the royal family of Thailand. The China Gate, located in the middle of a massive traffic island, is also an ideal backdrop for a family vacation pic.
Yaowarat Road is the place to be if you want to experience Bangkok's famous nightlife. This is the main route that runs through Chinatown Bangkok, which is why Chinatown is also sometimes known as Yaowarat. Built in 1981, the 1.5 km long Yaowarat Road is home to some of the best food outlets in Bangkok. While you may always visit the site during the day, it is at night that Yaowarat Road comes alive with neon signs and billboards. The entire road is packed with locals and tourists sampling delightful street cuisines such as dim sum, flat noodles, shrimp, and oyster omelets. You can also get your hands on exotic fruits and indulge in delectable homemade ice cream. Yaowarat Road is also an excellent area to shop for gold jewelry as well.
The Sky View 360° restaurant is one of the most well-known bars in Bangkok. It is located on the highest floor of the Grand China hotel and offers panoramic views of Chinatown, the Chao Phraya River, and the surrounding area. In addition to presenting beautiful views of the city, the revolving Sky View 360° Restaurant offers a fantastic dining experience complemented by live music. The restaurant's menu includes Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and European dishes. It is also fully air-conditioned, so you can unwind after a long day of exploring the busy streets of Chinatown.
The Wat Mangkon Kamalawat temple, which dates back to 1872, is Bangkok's largest Chinese-Buddhist temple. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful temples in the city and is lavishly decorated in gold and red colors, which symbolize luck in Chinese tradition. The temple is built in Chinese architecture and has numerous Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist shrines. It is especially popular during Chinese celebrations such as the Chinese New Year. Initially, the temple was named Wat Leng Nui Yee but was later renamed Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, which translates to Dragon Lotus Temple.
While Chinatown Bangkok is known for its crowded streets and market places, it also includes a beautiful lush green park where people may often be spotted working out and running. The Romaneenart Park on the eastern outskirts of Chinatown is a good area to escape the traffic of Yaowarat Road. The park area was previously occupied by an old city jail. Even today, you can see remnants of the city jail in the park, such as a wall, many old guard towers, and some neoclassical structures. Apart from these architectural features, there are also numerous fountains in the park.
The Wat Chakrawatrachawat Woramahawihan, which translates to ‘The Crocodile Temple’, is a fascinating monument in Chinatown. When you arrive at the site, you will be greeted by three massive crocodiles lounging in the murky pond at the entrance. According to Chinese tradition, the crocodiles were confined in the temple complex because they kept eating young monks. This unusual temple dating back to the 19th century is mostly visited by locals and is decorated with vivid murals and glass pieces. You may not only see three real crocodiles here, but you can also learn more about how Buddhist monks live while you pay your respects at the Buddha shrine.
Sala Chalermkrung is a charming little theater that currently hosts live performances of Khon, a traditional Thai mask dance. It was founded in 1933 with royal support and features a stunning collection of historical objects, such as red velvet pillows, sepia pictures, and brass fittings. Sala Chalermrung was also the first cinema to include air conditioning and audio systems in Thailand. If you want to get a closer look at Thai culture and heritage, a visit to this theater is a must.
Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, Thailand, 10100.
Chinatown is open 24 hours. However, the timings of its main attractions differ. The opening and closing hours of some of the best attractions of Chinatown are:Wat Traimit: 8 A.M.- 5 P.M.
Sampeng Lane: 8 A.M.- 6 P.M.
Sky View 360: 7 A.M.- midnight
Romaneenart Park: 5 A.M.-9 P.M.
Wat Chakrawat Rachawat: 8 A.M.-6 P.M.
Sala Chalermkrung: 7.30 P.M. onwards (only on Thursdays and Fridays)
Take the MRT subway to the stations nearest to Chinatown, Hua Lamphong (4-minute walk), and Wat Mangkon (6-minute walk). If you're coming from Hua Lamphong, use exit 1 to get to Wat Traimit.
Take a Chao Phraya Express Boat from Khao San Road, Grand Palace, Asiatique, or Wat Arun, to Ratchawong Pier, the nearest port to Chinatown.
Some common bus lines that reach Chinatown are Bus 1, 4, 7, 25, 53, and 73.
By Taxi or Tuk-Tuk:
These options are more expensive in comparison to other means of public transport. However, they are readily available and can take you directly to your destination.
Chinatown Bangkok is more vibrant during the night when the streets light up in colorful lights. However, if you want to explore the attractions and go shopping, visit early in the morning when it is quieter. You may skip visiting Chinatown on Mondays because many street food stalls are closed on that day.
How long should one spend in Chinatown Bangkok?
Chinatown Bangkok has a large number of attractions, food places, and shopping areas. It might take a whole day to cover everything that Chinatown has to offer. You would require a minimum of 2 to 3 hours to explore the shops and eateries at Sampeng Lane and Yaowarat Road. It may take longer during peak hours, such as in the evening.
Are there shopping centers in Chinatown Bangkok?
Yes, Chinatown Bangkok has numerous shopping areas. The Sampeng Lane is particularly renowned for several shops offering a wide range of items like silk sarongs, appliances, toys, and handicrafts at relatively low prices. The main road of Chinatown, Yaowart, is home to more than 150 gold suppliers and a perfect destination to shop for gold jewelry.
What is Bangkok’s Chinatown famous for?
The Chinatown in Bangkok is among the largest and best Chinatowns in the world housing beautiful attractions, including renowned temples, museums, and galleries. It is especially famous for its nightlife, street food, spectacular pubs, and inexpensive shopping.
Can kids also visit Chinatown Market in Bangkok?
Yes, kids are welcome in Chinatown Bangkok, and there are various shops where they can buy attractive toys and goodies. However, since the area attracts a lot of crowds, especially during the evening, you must always keep your children within a safe distance.
What is the best time to visit Chinatown Bangkok?
Chinatown Bangkok is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on the purpose of your visit to Chinatown, you can plan accordingly. For instance, if you are looking forward to shopping and sightseeing, morning hours are ideal. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, you must visit during the evening. Most street food stalls are open throughout the day except on Mondays.