With the size of Thailand’s capital city, you may be overwhelmed with where to visit. There are famous temples, a skywalk, and a blossoming art and museum scene. However, make sure you don’t miss out on Chinatown in Bangkok! Many tourists make the mistake of not giving themselves enough time to explore Yaowarat Road and this unique neighborhood. From the history to the food and incredible Sampeng Market, there’s so much to experience in this part of Bangkok.
How to Get to Chinatown Bangkok
Chinatown in Bangkok is actually very central and easy to get to while exploring the city. Below are the best ways to get to this special area!
River Boat: Not far from the Chao Phraya River you can jump on a river boat and hop off at Ratchawong pier. These ferries are a great source of transportation everywhere in Bangkok.
Subway: You may be wondering where is the closest BTS to Chinatown Bangkok. The Wat Mangkon subway stop will actually drop you off just a street over from the famous Yaowarat Road. From there it will be an easy walk!
Is Chinatown a Good Area to Stay in Bangkok?
Yes! There are many options for places to stay in Bangkok Chinatown. However, on our recent trip we picked a beautiful hotel that’s just a quick walk to all the action.
Ago Hotel has a unique boutique design that’s amazing for solo travelers, families, and couples like us. The beds were comfortable, the wifi was fast, and it was just a 5 minute walk to the heart of Yaowarat Road.
Outside of the friendly service and staff, our favorite part was the delicious food. Ago has both local and western options on the menu so there’s something for everyone. Be sure to try the rice porridge set for breakfast!
They even had live music at night on the weekend during dinnertime. Ago Hotel perfectly exemplifies this multi-cultural neighborhood and is such a great place to stay in Chinatown Bangkok.
Quick History of Chinatown in Bangkok
China and Thailand have a history that’s been intertwined for thousands of years… So it should be no surprise that there’s a Chinatown in Bangkok!
The Chinese have come here to trade ever since the city was first established as the capital in 1782. There was always a community, but the actual main strip on Yaowarat Road didn’t blossom until the reign of King Rama V.
In its early days the area was filled with brothels, opium dens, and gambling houses. Yet, today you’ll see none of the issues of the past. Gold trading, fruit stands, and amazing food is the name of the game in one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world in Bangkok!
5 Amazing Reasons to Visit Bangkok Chinatown
1. Wild Times on Yaowarat Road
When you first enter Yaowarat Road be prepared for a crazy scene! A constant stream of traffic rolls down the street at all times of the day. People crowd the sidewalks as motorbikes whizz by under the bright neon signs with Chinese lettering.
If you’ve never been to Bangkok Chinatown before it may take a few minutes to get used to. Yet, the best thing you can do is embrace the madness! Once you do, it will be easy to see what a fun and exciting area of the city this is.
2. Sampeng Market & More Colorful Alleyways
Although Yaowarat Road is the center of Chinatown Bangkok, you’ll find it’s easy to lose yourself in the side streets and alleyways. Each one bursts with color and has its own story to tell.
Don’t be afraid to explore and lose yourself in the many local shops and fruit stands. This is all part of experiencing a new section of the city! Many of the streets off of the main area are actually small alleys that double as unique markets.
The best example of this is Sampeng Market which runs parallel to Yaowarat Road. The narrow alleyway is crammed with tourists, locals, and even motorbikes flying through!
3. Incredible Local Food
In case you didn’t know, the food in all of Bangkok is amazing! From the famous boat noodle alley to seafood BBQ spots that line the river, there’s something for every foodie in Thailand’s capital.
Still, if you want a unique blend of traditional Chinese and Thai food then Chinatown is the place to go, Honestly, there’s too much to choose from… But here are a few of our favorite spots to eat below!
Nai Ek Roll Noodle: Popular Michelin restaurant that is well worth the wait for the noodle and pork dishes. Be sure to try the Kway Chap.
Lim Lao Ngow Fishball Noodle: Delicious street food stand not far from the main walking street. Get a side of dim sum if the cart is parked next to the fishballs!
Hua Seng Hong Restaurant: Popular dim sum restaurant located right on Yaowarat Road. We also liked Chen’s Dim Sum which was on a backstreet and not as busy!
WoodBrook: Hidden coffee shop that has a nice balcony and view over the river. Perfect spot for a quick pick me up during a long day of exploring!
Por-sam-pao: Duck noodle soup in a brown sauce with egg noodles. We got it dry which means the broth comes on the side.
The Seafood Cafe & Restaurant: Great local dishes that we got as a part of the TAGTHAi app. Fun place to go to try and assortment of seafood dishes.
4. Stunning Temples in Bangkok Chinatown
Chinatown is full of historic temples dotted around the neighborhood. If you only have time to visit one it should be Wat Mangkon Kamalawat!
This is the largest and most historic out of all the temples in Bangkok Chinatown. If you are visiting during Chinese New Years or during the annual Chinese vegetarian festival, you can expect quite the celebration.
5. Bangkok Chinatown at Night
So what time is best to go to Chinatown Bangkok? For the most fun experience you’ll want to visit at night!
Bangkok Chinatown is one of the most popular and lively areas to visit in the late evening. Already bustling with life during the day, when the sun goes down it’s a completely different experience. The restaurant’s are packed full and there is even a midnight market to enjoy!
Walk the crowded streets or jump in a tuk tuk and ask them to take you on a short tour of Chinatown at night. No matter if you go down the main street or into the crowded Sampeng Market, you’re sure to have a great time.
Is Chinatown in Bangkok Worth Visiting?
There are endless delicious food options, a fun night life, and it’s easy to get around to the Chinatown Market. While you might have to push your way through the crowded sidewalks make sure to fully walk Yaowarat Road!
However, after head to the small backstreets and ally’s to experience a different side of Chinatown Bangkok!
Have any questions about Chinatown in Bangkok or want to share your own tips for this amazing area? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Ultra Luxury – JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok – Enjoy all the best luxury amenities right in the heart of Bangkok! JW Marriott offers the 5 star experience with a spa, epic city views, and an award-winning steakhouse.
Central Location – Riva Surya Bangkok – Sitting along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this boutique hotel puts you in the perfect spot to explore the capital. Enjoy a unique stay while still being close to all the action of Bangkok.
BTS Skytrain – Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam – Sitting in the center of Bangkok’s famous Siam shopping district, the Holiday Inn is a great place to lay your head after a day of exploring. Take in the views of the National Stadium from your room and its convenient location next to the BTS Skytrain station.
Budget Travel – VIX Bangkok at Victory Monument – Awesome and affordable option for travelers visiting Bangkok. Comfortable rooms and close to many great food options.
Hostel Stay – Once Again Hostel – Fun hostel in Bangkok’s bustling Old Town. Dorms of all sizes available and it’s walking distance to many of the famous temples. You can even make some new friends at the rooftop bar!
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Thailand Travel Planning
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.