Guide to Chinatown, Bangkok (Yaowarat)
Chinatown in Bangkok guide for tourists
Yaowarat (or Chinatown as it is popularly known), in Bangkok, became a residential area towards the end of the 18th century when it was settled by Chinese immigrants forced out of their homes by the development of Bangkok on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River.
Today, Chinatown covers an area of about two square kilometres although many visitors do not travel much beyond the main Yaowarat Road and neighbouring Rachawong Road.
Hua Lam Phong railway station and the Temple of the Golden Buddha
Near Hua Lam Phong railway station is Traimit Road and the Temple of the Golden Buddha where a three-metre high golden Buddha is made of sold gold. Near the temple is the Samphanthawong Museum which tells the story of Chinese immigration into Bangkok. Marking the beginning of Yaowarat Road is a huge arch that was built in 1999 in celebration of King Bhumipol’s birthday.
Chinatown Signs and Remedies
Signs in Chinatown are in Thai and Chinese and the streets are lined with restaurants and shops selling Chinese herbal remedies such as salted fish and dried mushrooms, and numerous must-have bargains.
Yaowarat Road, during the Chinese New Year, is closed to traffic and gives way to fantastic street festivities, food fairs and various dragon dances. A member of the Thai royal family always attends the celebrations, which is an occasion that is always keenly awaited and appreciated by the residents of Chinatown.
Visitors to Chinatown have a good choice of reasonably priced hotels including the Bangkok Centre Hotel which is near Hua Lam Pong subway station and is only a five minute stroll from Yaowarat Road.
Hotels that are actually in Yaowarat Road include the White Orchid Hotel, the Shanghai Mansion and the Chinatown Hotel. Probably the finest hotel in the area is right in the heart of Chinatown and it is called the Grand China Princess Hotel.
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