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Bangkok Magazine

  • The Old Siam Plaza

    Food and Shopping Mall near Chinatown


    The Old Siam Plaza on Burapha Road is a shopping mall in Bangkok’s Old Town. Most of the indoor malls here are outdated but often brimming full of charm, and this is one such example. It’s well-known throughout the local community for its two large open atriums packed with food vendors selling sweet and savoury treats, plus a standard selection of handicrafts, household appliances, and fashion.

    We’d go as far as saying this is a ‘hidden gem’, but the substantial crowds streaming through the three-storey building every day would suggest otherwise. It’s ‘hidden’ perhaps for the tourist market and Bangkok’s younger generation, who normally stick to the convenience of Siam’s megamalls.

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  • So, what makes The Old Siam Plaza worth visiting? Apart from the nostalgic architecture, the answer is simple: the food! Most of the vendors here are located on the ground floor and the focus is all about traditional Thai deserts.

    Now time for a quick Thai lesson. As you walk around, look out for kanom kuy chai (steamed dumplings), kanom sai sai (sweet coconut milk steamed in banana leaves), kanom buang (crispy pancakes with sweet stuffing), woon grob (Thai-style jelly with sugary topping), and kao tang savoey (sweet rice crackers). Those with less of a sweet tooth should look out for the excellent Chinese steamed buns (sala pao), with fillings such as bbq pork, chicken and salted egg.

    There’s reason to head upstairs too, with a good selection of silk and tailoring shops that cater for special events and ceremonies. This is also where you’ll find a lot of the more generic items such as tourist souvenirs, handicrafts, and household appliances. On the far side of Old Siam Plaza there is also a whole section related to hunting and outdoor pursuits with everything from flashlights to camping gear and even firearms (which you need a license to purchase).

    Old Siam Plaza is relatively easy to find on the corner of Burapha and Phahuratm Road, a short walk from the top of Yaowarat Road (Chinatown). Do note that there aren’t too many ways to reach this part of town other than car/taxi, and traffic during morning and evening rush hours can be very bad (quieter from 10:00-15:00). Siam Old Plaza is open daily from 09:00-18:30.

    The Old Siam Plaza

    • Opening Hours: 09:00-18:30
    • Location: The Old Siam Plaza, corner of Burapha Road and Phahuratm Road, Old Town Bangkok
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